flower on grave stone, person grieving

‘Devastated’ dad’s tribute to daughter, 18, who had a ‘beautiful soul’

Suicide is one of those tragic things that few people will truly understand. One teenager who took her life earlier this year left her father feeling devastated. He has made a tribute to his beloved daughter, commemorating her death, as well as her life. He wishes for social media platforms to have stronger protection for those being bullied, as well as more support for those struggling with mental health problems.

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A tribute for a “beautiful soul” who had a “full life”

On July 26th, Macie Jayne Vella took her own life. She was only 18 years old, but already found she could not bare the torment she was facing. David Vella, Macie’s father wrote a tribute for her, honoring her life and death. “She was loved by so many and will be missed dearly,” he said. “She will leave a hole in my soul that will never be replaced.”

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Macie Jayne Vella smiling
Image credit: David Vella | Liverpool Echo

Macie’s mental health was a big part of the struggle, and she was diagnosed with emotional dysregulation disorder the previous year. Her father wrote about her mother’s death, and how this affected her negatively. She died when Macie was only seven years old, and how this left her with a “troubled mind”.

“Myself and our family are completely devastated and are grateful for the kindness and respect that has been shown from family, friends and people in the town. Macie was a beautiful soul, so full of life, very kind and caring and loved her family so much. She had a troubled mind and after the death of her biological mother in her early years, she struggled with her emotions and was diagnosed with EDD ( emotional dysregulation disorder) last year.

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A target for bullies

For about one and a half years, Macie was targeted by a group of bullies. Her bullies verbally, and somewhat physically, tormented her. They also vandalized her car. Her father wrote in his tribute about the coping mechanisms she was learning with the help of some therapy. David described how Macie seemed to be doing better, and she even had a new group of friends. Her future was looking right, with plans to study n Manchester, as well as an impending driver’s license.

“She attended a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) counseling course to learn some coping mechanisms; she responded well to this and seemed happy. This was just before her 18th birthday and she seemed fine. She had a new group of friends, she had a part-time job in a bar. And she was planning to go to uni to study business in Manchester and she had a driving test booked for September.”

Read: With Pregnant Wife in Coma, Virginia Man Fights to Save Her and Their Baby-to-Be: ‘Miracles Can Happen’

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A tribute to raise awareness

David Vella’s tribute is calling for a better support system on all social media platforms. He wrote that teenagers are dealing with so much. Furthermore, he wishes for people to be more understanding towards the teens of society, and for that kindness to spread among themselves as well.

“Teenage years are tough,” he wrote.” managing high school, puberty, relationships, going into adulthood, exams pressures, and it’s just really sad that people aren’t more kind. I want to raise awareness of mental health and the pressures that young people are under, and to highlight the impact of social media trolling, bullying and other harassment.

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Macie Jayne Vella with her dad, David Vella
Image credit: David Vella | Liverpool Echo

Additionally, David the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services to improve their support as well. Macie had been referred to them upon starting high school. However, there had been no follow up. “I understand that funds are depleted,” said David. “But, when you see the amount of money that’s been spent in other areas, this is more important. These are the young people, they are the future. Macie had a happy and full life, she succeeded and achieved throughout that life but due to struggling with her emotions due to the impact of her biological mother’s death, the impact of the bullying weighed heavily on her mind.

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A message for Macie’s bullies

David also included a message for the people who bullied Macie. He did not call any names, or wish for them to be punished. David just wants them to realize their actions have consequence, and so do their words. “My message for her bullies would be just to realize the detrimental impact that their words can have, and their actions, on people,” he wrote. One day, they might be parents themselves and how would they feel? All of us at some point in our lives are fighting a battle that nobody knows anything about. So, like I said, it is just be kind.”

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Macie’s family are asking for donations in her memory to given to the children and young people’s mental health charity Young Minds via a Just Giving page which can be accessed here.

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Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is in crisis call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 (para ayuda en español, llame al 988). You can also contact the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). For more information visit the NIH website.

If you are living in Canada help is available for suicide crisis and prevention.

Get support from a local crisis centre. There is also Talk Suicide Canada (1-833-456-4566), Kids Help Phone, the Hope for Wellness Help Line, and 1 866 APPELLE (277-3553) (Quebec residents), that all offer 24/7 support. For more information visit the Government of Canada website.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.

Keep Reading: Dad whose 3 kids were killed by drunk driver dies by suicide hours after Father’s Day – rest in peace

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Sources

  1. ‘Devastated’ dad’s tribute to daughter, 18, who had a ‘beautiful soul’.Liverpool Echo. James McNeill and Claire Barre. August 15, 2022.
  2. “Suicide Prevention” NIH.
  3. “Preventing suicide: Warning signs and how to help” Government of Canada. Last Updated July 4, 2022.
Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.
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