I got the news this morning that my close friend Jen Sloe committed suicide late Saturday night by jumping out of the window of her college apartment. Let me tell you about my friend.
Jen was twenty years old, and studied at the University of Akron. She was going to graduate at the end of this semester with a major in psychology, but I knew that she really aspired to be a stand-up comedian. She had this infectious smile and a laugh that turned heads. Her laugh was perhaps her most distinguishing characteristic. High-pitched, loud, and unbelievably hilarious.
It was Jen. I remember the first time I heard her laugh I couldn’t help but laugh in return even though I was having a pretty shitty day. I almost wanted to be embarrassed, but it made me love her. On Tuesdays, when we would go out to dinner after Akron LGBTU meetings, we created a drinking game that involved taking a drink of whatever we had in front of us when Jen’s signature laugh rang high and clear through the air. It is that Jen that I want to remember.
Jen Sloe was a talented individual and without her humor there is less laughter in the world. She loved to make people laugh, and on the outside she seemed happy.
The last contact Jen had with anybody was a simple post on Facebook. It read, “Someone save me from myself.”
I remember seeing it come across my feed but I didn’t think anything of it. I assumed that it was a lyric of some sort, as she posted that kind of thing often. I can hardly express the level of sadness I feel right now. Writing this has my hands shaking, but I needed to get these words out.
Now I must turn to my friends to help me through this.
What else is there to say? Jen was my friend and with her passing I feel as though a part of my own identity has left with her. She was, and still is, loved by her friends and family. I wish you all could have known her.
I wish I could have saved you, Jen. You are loved.
If you are feeling suicidal there are resources for you. Suicide is a permanent end to a temporary problem. Please call 866-4-u-Tevor (866-488-7386) if you feel you need help.
My friends and people who live in the Kent area can always get in contact with me if they need someone to talk to.
In response to Jen’s suicide, my friend and president of Akron LGBTU, Chris Kuhn, started a petition on Change.org pleading that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.com where Jen’s last words were recorded, add a red alert system for suicide prevention into Facebook. Please sign this petition. It’s important.