After a high school student took her own life in June, her family felt a need to disclose to the world the reason behind her death—bullying—and also to send out a message to those who had pushed her over the edge.
Sadie L. Riggs of Bedford, Pennsylvania, killed herself on June 19 due to bullying, her family said. In an obituary that was posted on the internet and Facebook, her family described her as “a sweet and loving girl” who “played softball and loved reading, drawing, and music.”
Her aunt, Sarah Smith, whom she lived with, told 11 News WPXI of Sadie’s dream. “She wanted to be a firefighter or a vet,” Smith said.
But she encountered bullies at her high school and later took her own life. “They called her everything in the book,” Smith described. “On her cellphone, SnapChat, Kik, and Instagram were her big things getting bullied on.”
Her family wrote in the obituary: “In an effort to debunk the rumors about Sadie’s death we would like to share this information. Yes, Sadie took her own life, she hung herself. It is hard to fathom that someone so young could be so troubled.”
“Sadie was seeking help, she was in counseling and taking medication, but it was all too much for such a young soul to live with. If you take a minute and look at Sadie’s family dynamics you will see that a large percent of the people in her life were not related to her by blood but she was sent to us by God who knew this child needed a family. Sadie had a tough life and until a recent incident at school she handled everything life served her.”
The obituary wrote that Sadie was excited to go to high school, but “things sure went terribly wrong for her.”
The family was devastated by the loss, and want the bullies to know that although they despise the bullies’ actions, “never, ever do we wish for you to feel the paralyzing pain that engulfs our bodies, a pain so severe that it makes the simple act of breathing difficult or the guilt that leaves us wondering what we could have done differently-or that struggle to remember the last words we spoke.”
They also wanted the bullies to know they “were effective in making her feel worthless” and hoped that they know “it is not to [sic] late to change your ways.”
The family ended the obituary with the message: “In lieu of flowers, the family of Sadie ask that you be kind to one another.”