She’s hurting. Following the sudden death of pastor Jarrid Wilson, Little People, Big World star Audrey Roloff shared a message on September 18 via Instagram about mental health, which Jarrid preached about often before his passing. “On Ember’s 2nd birthday we found out that our friend Jarrid took his own life💔,” Audrey, 28, began the caption. “It was shocking and absolutely heartbreaking news. I couldn’t breathe when I found out and sobbed for hours😢. Ember saw my tears, ‘Sad mama?’ We sat on the couch together and she kept giving [me] pats on my shoulder and saying, ‘It’s OK mama, no more crying, happy mama?’ When I kept crying she would wipe away my tears and say, ‘blow mama, blow’ and she would show me how to blow just like I do with her when she’s upset. Cue more tears😭 .” So sweet.
The reality TV star continued, “Jarrid and his wife Juli have been such faithful encouragers and good friends since before we were married. As we’ve been crying, processing, and praying, we’ve felt all the emotions that come with loss — anger, confusion, hurt, shock, etc. This past week I just keep thinking about @itsjuliwilson and her two boys and praying in desperation🙏🏻. Praying that Lord would give those boys peace that surpasses understanding. That Juli would be flooded with prayer, love, encouraging truth, practical help, and compassion. That Jarrid’s life would be honored well. That people who struggle with anxiety, depression, and mental illness would not lose hope. And ultimately, that people who don’t struggle with mental illness would be compassionate.”
Jarrid passed away on September 9 and the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church blog confirmed the sad news the following day. “It is with the deepest sadness and shock that I have to report that Jarrid Wilson went to be with the Lord last night,” Senior Pastor Greg Laurie wrote. “Jarrid also repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles. He wanted to especially help those who were dealing with suicidal thoughts. Tragically, Jarrid took his own life.”
Audrey continued her message about those struggling with depression and other mental health concerns and added, “Mental illness has a lot of stigma around it, unfortunately especially in the church. I think we can be better, especially in times of mourning, to be less critical and more compassionate. To be quicker to love than to judge. To be more like a 2-year-old comforting her mama. To be ‘compassionate and gracious, slow to anger; and abounding in love and faithfulness’ (Psalm 86:15).💗 While I was sitting on the couch with Ember mourning the loss of our friend, I realized how much more COMPASSIONATE my 2-year-old is than most adults … Sometimes people just need you to sit with them, wipe their tears, and blow. We love you, Jarrid 💗.”
Danielle Busby — who reacted with shock and sadness along with her husband, Adam Busby, when news of Jarrid’s death first broke —commented, “Well said 💕 and right there with you my friend. We are still rocking all the emotions and gonna miss Jarrid too. Lots of prayers continuously for Juli and boys.” This is such a tragic loss for all involved, and Audrey made an excellent point: let’s all be kinder to one another.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.