Jeana Weber, of Craig, speaks to an audience of about 45 people Tuesday night at The Journey at First Baptist during “Live for Levi,” an event she organized to raise awareness about suicide. The event is named in memory of her son, Levi, who took his own life in September 2011, a little less than a year after her husband, Jim Weber, committed suicide on Christmas Day 2010.

Photo by Bridget Manley

Jeana Weber, of Craig, speaks to an audience of about 45 people Tuesday night at The Journey at First Baptist during “Live for Levi,” an event she organized to raise awareness about suicide. The event is named in memory of her son, Levi, who took his own life in September 2011, a little less than a year after her husband, Jim Weber, committed suicide on Christmas Day 2010.

‘Live for Levi’ event elicits stories of pain, loss and hope

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Len Browning, pastor of The Journey at First Baptist, speaks to a hushed audience Tuesday night during “Live for Levi.” Several people who attended the event came forward to speak of their own battles with suicide, depression and alcohol, as well as coping from the loss of friends and family members who took their own lives.

Quotable

“People say that time heals all wounds. This is a wound that time does not heal. … That hole will always be there.”

—Jeana Weber, a Craig resident, on the suicides of her husband, Jim Weber, and their 22-year-old son, Levi.

In late September 2011, the clouds seemed to lift for Jeana Weber’s 22-year-old son, Levi.

He had been going through a difficult time in life, Jeana told a group of about 45 people Tuesday night at The Journey at First Baptist.

His father, Jim Weber, and Jeana’s husband of almost three decades, had taken his own life Christmas Day 2010.

But on Sept. 21, 2011, “he was the happiest I had seen him for a long time,” she said.

That unexpected ray of hope didn’t last.

Instead, as Jeana painfully learned, it was a harbinger for tragedy to come.

On Sept. 22, Levi also took his own life.

“People say that time heals all wounds,” she said. “This is a wound that time does not heal. … That hole will always be there.”

Jeana, 47, recounted her painful journey during “Live for Levi,” a Tuesday night event she organized to shed light on and prevent suicide.

The lifelong Craig resident spoke to the cascade of dark emotions that followed the death of her husband and son.

“After my husband’s death … after I got over the initial shock, I was extremely angry,” she said.

Shortly before that day in late September, Jeana was close to coming to grips with her husband’s suicide.

“Then Levi took his life, and those thoughts and feelings all came back again,” she said.

Several people stepped forward to tell their own stories of depression and suicide, including Penny Nelson, of Craig.

On Thanksgiving Day 1982, after a long bout with alcoholism, she attempted to take her own life.

“I drank to numb the pain,” said Nelson, 63. “I didn’t want to feel.”

Nelson said she is now a recovering alcoholic, and she credited her faith for averting what could have been a fatal encounter with suicide.

“Thank you, God, that there were people there to help me when I cried for help,” she said.

Angie Satterwhite, of Craig, attempted suicide three times, she said, even though she didn’t lack people to reach out to.

“There was a list of people I could have called,” the 25-year-old said. “But picking up that phone — no way.”

After her third suicide attempt, she was sent to a rehabilitation center where she “gained hope again,” she said.

That people were willing to listen to Jeana’s story Tuesday was an encouraging sign, she said, “because that means we’re taking one more step to do something … to not just continue the cycle, to not just ignore it.”

“We’re all here. We’re going to do something about it.”

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Comments

sassy1 2 years, 10 months ago

What an act of courage, to take this unimaginable pain and try and help others. I am so touched by this. May God give you and your family strength each day, Jeana. You are an inspiration.

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