top of page

Temperance Jones is an HR Generalist at Southern Orthodontic Partners. She is recognized as an Everyday Hero for her advocacy for suicide awareness and prevention. Temperance had the courage to share the story of her brother’s suicide, which sparks deeper conversations and connections at work and within her community. She shares her story in the hopes that it starts a conversation that saves a life.

 

Southern Orthodontic Partners (Nashville, TN) is a network of orthodontic practices in the Southeast. Affiliated practices offer general orthodontic services including correction of crowding and overbite, spacing via braces and Invisalign, as well as teeth whitening solutions.

Transcript

Introduction

Anderson Williams: Welcome to Everyday Heroes, a podcast from Shore Capital Partners that highlights the people who are building our companies from the inside, every day, often out of the spotlight. With this series, we want to pull those heroes out of the shadows. We want to hear their stories, we want to share their stories.

 

We want to understand what drives them, why they do what they do, how they might inspire and support others to become everyday heroes too.

In this episode, I talk with Temperance Jones, who's a Human Resource Generalist at Southern Orthodontic Partners. Temperance was nominated by SOP as an everyday hero because of her work in suicide prevention, a passion she developed unfortunately, through the loss of her brother. Her nomination was one that hit close to home as I lost my father to suicide.

Although our stories are very different, our conversation is open and honest and personal, and is shared in the spirit and hope of more broadly lifting the stigma, shame, and guilt, so often attached to suicide. Given the sensitivity of our discussion, we adjusted the format and length for this episode to share more of our conversation.

It's clear simply by Temperance's nomination that Southern Orthodontic Partners supports openness and transparency around mental health and suicide. But I wanted to hear in her own words why Chief People Officer Emily Leonard nominated Temperance as an everyday hero, and to talk with her a bit about mental health, before sharing my conversation with Temperance.

Can you share a little bit about why you nominated her?

Emily Leonard: Temperance has a role at SOP that I would say is a little bit thankless. She's a very integral behind the scenes HR Generalist. Who just does so much to try to serve the people in our workforce and doesn't ask for much in return.

She loves her job. She loves helping people, and during a team meeting one day, we had some time of reflection and getting to know one another. And I don't remember what the exact prompt question was, but it was something around passion or something that you would do if money were no object. And she, with full humility just shared, it just came up, this passion that she has around suicide prevention in particular in the military community.

We all showed interest in the room. We were all just fascinated around the things she does. She does not want another life impacted by suicide. And so she has just quietly found her way to impact one person at a time through a variety of ways, and I was just really touched by it.

SOP Values Mental Health

Anderson Williams: It's one thing, Emily, to be in that room and be touched by a personal story.

I think most of us would be, it's another thing to take the opportunity not only to recognize Temperance, but to say, this is something that's of value or important to SOP as a company. What role does mental health play, broadly speaking, in a way that you've taken this moment and this individual story and said, you know what, this isn't just about Temperance. This is something bigger that we need to have as part of what we're talking about and what we're doing.

Emily Leonard: I would say the amount of mental health inquiries we have gotten in the last year has been at an all time high, at least for me as a professional, the outreach we get from team members looking for help for themselves or for their teenage children, quite frankly, it's been the other question we get a lot.

It's just been epidemic it seems like this last few years.

Anderson Williams: Can you just say a little bit about the impact, her experience, but her courage to share has had, even if it was just on the people in the room, it obviously impacted you, but as you think about building a company that supports mental health, building a company that is open and honest and doing what it can to prevent suicide.

Can you just say a little bit about the courage for her to step up and speak that?

Emily Leonard: Oh, you've just said it better than I can. I mean, it was just such a vulnerable moment and it did take a lot of courage because she knew she was going to be emotional sharing it, and that's okay. Which I guess that's why it was courageous is she knew she was going to kind of choke through it, but the fact that she trusted that team around her enough to do that, I think was special.

Anderson Williams: And she felt safe to do that, right? It took courage. But that courage meets a certain environment where she knows she has the support to be vulnerable. It's a two-way street. She's not being courageous in the face of opposition.

She's being courageous in a sense where she's stepping out because she feels like this is a place she can do that. And that in and of itself is significant as we think about mental health awareness, suicide awareness, just being able to share.

Emily Leonard: Yeah. And you know, she didn't mean to, or this wasn't her intention, but it also encouraged other, I think everybody else started sharing a layer deeper. When she modeled that for that room everybody went a little bit deeper. And that is, where the real connection happens is that one level deeper than some of the surface things that we try to connect on from a day-to-day basis, whether it's our favorite sports teams and how they did take it that one level deeper.

 

I think it was a spark that ignited a flame for our team. I really do.

Anderson Williams: When Temperance shared her story, she enabled others on her team to take their relationships a level deeper. This is Temperance Jones.

Background on Temperance

Temperance Jones: My name is Temperance Jones. I'm an HR generalist here at SOP. I've been married 13 years. Well, we've actually been married twice to the same man, so that's always a good story to tell.

We've got three kids. I have a 15 year old, 12 year old, and a 10 year old, so they keep me very busy.

Anderson Williams: 15, 12 and 10. I won't, I won't ask about the, the two marriage types, unless you want to divulge.

Temperance Jones: I mean, but it kind of goes, it does kind of go along with our story today. Losing someone and going through that.

I actually had a baby the very next day and I think it just really got to me. And I needed to figure out who I was. So we actually ended up divorcing for five years. And the first time I've ever been on my own in my life. And I think it just kind of brought us back together and we just knew that we were supposed to be together and we ended up getting remarried about three years ago.

Anderson Williams: So the day after your brother died, you had first, second, or your youngest?

Temperance Jones: Youngest.

Anderson Williams: Wow.

Temperance Jones: It was very rough. That makes the emotions so much different.

Anderson Williams: For sure. And the stress on any relationship. And every relationship. And figuring out who you are. All of those things, right?

 

What did you do before you came to SOP?

Temperance Jones: I've done HR. As soon as I got divorced, I have to have a job. I have to do something. That's actually how I got into HR. I actually did temp work and worked my way up and just ended up falling in love with it and just, I think getting to talk to people and hear people's stories, and I did a lot of onboarding, so getting to be that person who gives them this opportunity to change their life or do something with their life.

 

Anderson Williams: Say a little bit more about that. I think that's really interesting that the parts of HR that you enjoy in sharing stories and learning about people is something you're bringing to the world through your own story right? So will you just share a little bit about why you are nominated for an Everyday Hero for SOP, why we're here talking about your brother, his life, anything you want to share.

Her Brother

Temperance Jones: My brother was a great kid. He was goofy and silly. He was also bullied a lot in high school. I think that is what makes it hard is he was bullied all through high school and then he got into the military and that's what I guess pushed him over the edge. So I think just being kind to people all the time, and you put that into your day-to-day life, even with working, when you maybe have deadlines and you've gotta call someone and be like, hey, we done miss this deadline three times.

But at the same time, I can have those conversations and be like, hey, I know you're really swamped. What can I do to help you? Like I'm not just here just to be the bad side of I need to get these deadlines done, but I'll also be a human being. And I think my brother being so strong the way that he was through high school, being bullied, you have to kind of push through those things and carry on with your life.

Even for me, I've been there. I've been in that dark place, or after he passed away, my husband actually had to call my father to come and get me because I was underneath my bed in tears and couldn't get out, like that was it. You know, you just kind of have to push through that and look where I am today. Look at everything I would've missed if I let that take over me.

Anderson Williams: As you think about your brother and bullying, what was he bullied about?

Temperance Jones: I guess the way to say it, he was very quiet, kept to himself, I guess they would call nerdy or dorky, that kind of stuff. He was in to Pokemon and you know, a little bit more immature and so that didn't really sit well with a lot of people, I guess, in high school.

 

It's actually kind of funny because I can remember in high school him going through this and my mom went to the, the high school to tell them and they didn't want to do anything. And finally my brother stood up for himself and actually jumped across the cafeteria table in defense of himself.

Of course, he ended up getting kicked out of school, but it was his moment to like, I'm not putting up with this anymore.

Anderson Williams: And what made him choose the military out of that experience?

Temperance Jones: He's always, I have pictures of him in probably middle school, and he was always dressed up in the military uniform. That was what he'd be for Halloween, that kind of stuff.

And then of course, I also think, because my older brother went in right out of high school as well. I think he felt like he needed to follow him, he needed to be that example as well.

Anderson Williams: How long was he in the military?

Temperance Jones: Uh, two years.

Anderson Williams: Two years? And he was still active when he committed suicide?

Temperance Jones: He was. He was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

Anderson Williams: Did you guys know anything about his mental state prior to that? Had you had any conversation? Did you have any concerns, any signs?

Temperance Jones: No, I think that's the hardest part. It took us a few years to even accept that he actually did it. I think we almost had that denial, like maybe he didn't do this. Maybe this is something being covered up. Because I think he was actually making plans to come home within two weeks of this. He had talked to friends that day, he had made dinner plans. There was no signs at all that this was going to be it.

Discussing Mental Illness

Anderson Williams: Had your family talked about mental illness or talked about anxiety or stress or any of the impact, is that something that you guys were open about?

Temperance Jones: No. Or actually surprisingly, no. My dad's side of the family, it's kind of something you always knew that they kind of struggled with, but we didn't talk about it. My family was more like stick your feelings in your pocket kind of family. So it really wasn't talked about at all. So if you were struggling, I mean, I don't feel like he maybe would've came forward anyway.

Anderson Williams: So my generation and my family, we grew up talking about, these kinds of things. Because my dad struggled with depression, and had sexual abuse and some things that were very prominent in his dealings on a day-to-day basis. But part of the reason he struggled so much is that as he was growing up, you didn't talk about it.

Temperance Jones: Yeah, exactly.

Anderson Williams: Right. So I'm curious, just as you think about it, like what conversations you have with your kids at, you know, 15, 12, and 10, given the reality of your brother, but also the likely genetic predisposition and that kind of thing.

Temperance Jones: Yes.

Even for me, I went through phases where I struggled, and especially when I was divorced and I didn't have my kids there with their dads, like if I didn't wake up tomorrow, it didn't matter to me.

I have been there and like I said, now I can look back now and be thank goodness that I am still here for my children and everything that's going on. And even with my own kids. Like I said, I've got a 15 year old. He struggles. He's gay. He came out of the closet when he was 12 and he's like just always known.

And we always had those conversations with him. I'm like, I know they say men don't cry and you're supposed to be tough, but please, you can cry to me if you need to let it out. Let it out. And I have my own daughter who's 12, who struggles with the body image. That's a huge issue these days. That she's actually has come to us and tell, told us that she didn't want to live anymore.

And as a mom who's been through this, I just hold her and I tell her she's beautiful every day. And we're just very open about it. Like, if you need to come in our bed at two o'clock in the morning and just cry it out, let's cry it out together. Because sometimes thats what you need to do.

Anderson Williams: Why do you think we don't talk about mental illness or suicide in more open terms?

Temperance Jones: And that's something I've, even, for myself, I've always wondered. People will stop and they'll gawk at car crashes on the side of the road and talk about them. I don't know if it's more of a shame thing, because I mean we're not ashamed and I know even we've been told, oh well that's a cowardly way out. I don't think it is.

I think the coward part of it is that you made someone feel that way. Whoever made you feel that way is the coward in my eyes. So I just think it's kind of that shame thing that people kind of associate it with.

Anderson Williams: And it's interesting as you say that because it's, the cowardly comments are in many ways blaming the victim.

Temperance Jones: Yes. Mm-hmm.

Anderson Williams: We don't see someone who dies from suicide as a victim, of something that is an experience that has come from somewhere.

Temperance Jones: Yes. I've learned over the years too, you know, they say 'commit suicide', but if you actually talk to people who have family who died by suicide, they actually don't like that word commit.

Because they know you commit a crime or you commit, like they don't like that word. And I think that's something I've come to learn over the years, just the way that you do talk about it is also you have to be very sensitive about it, I guess.

Anderson Williams: Yeah. I really appreciate that distinction. How do you discuss it?

Temperance Jones: He fought with his demons and he just couldn't take it anymore.

Anderson Williams: I think a lot about how dying by suicide from my experience, I say that my dad died from depression, or from a combination of depression and trauma, right? And in that sense, it's not that 'commit' right? You would never shame someone who died from cancer.

 

Things build to these moments, and I love what you said about the cowardly act is on all of us in our unwillingness to talk about it. In our lack of willingness to address bullying or sexual abuse or depression early stages, to have those conversations you're having with your kids. That I'm having with my kids. To me, that avoidance is the cowardly act.

So when you think about your brother, and I think what I have been aware of that I never thought about is that so often when someone dies by suicide, that becomes their story.

Yeah. And so that's what people remember or somehow that death colors there every act before.

Temperance Jones: That's why when it did happen, we were kinda like, okay, are we sure this really happened? Are we sure there isn't foul play here? We had to go through all those scenarios because you're just not, that's not him. Like that was not what I would've saw at all.

Anderson Williams: Yeah, yeah. In that sense, it's hard to figure out what you can do. What could you have done differently? I know, people really wrestle with that. What are your thoughts as you've gone through your own process for anyone who's experienced this? Because I do think the, what role did I play? What could I have done differently as part of the shame and the burying of the story.

So as a family member, as a sister, as you look at your family more broadly, can you talk a little bit about your thinking on that and the reality that you didn't have a lot of signals to work with with your brother.

Temperance Jones: I can remember four people showing up with dress blues to tell us. And then my parents were divorced at the time, and so they're going to tell my mom and I can remember me and my husband jumping in the car.

They can't go tell my mom by herself. Like, we have to be there before they get there. And on the way my older brother actually called me and the first things he said to me was, I'm sorry I wasn't a better brother. So it's those things. It does, it makes you question everything like, what could I have done differently?

Did I miss something? Should I have called him? Should I have text? You know, there's all these questions that you're always gonna ask, having done live through it, that's always a fear, and I think that's why, I don't have a mean bone in my body because I want to know that I am doing everything I can going forward to be able to help.

Anderson Williams: When you think about all of those questions of what could I have done differently and so forth, we give ourself a sense of control or power that we don't really have in a lot of those. But we do have the power to make it safe to have the conversation.

Temperance Jones: Yes. To at least talk. Yeah.

Anderson Williams: Right, and ask for help. And to me, it seems like as you think about your kids, as I think about my kids, the thing that we can do to have any sense of agency here, because we don't know if their genetics, are going to drive them toward anxiety or depression or whatever it might be, that then life layers on top of, we can't control that.

Temperance Jones: Right.

Anderson Williams: But we can teach them to think about and talk about their feelings and be aware of their bodies and aware of their minds and know that they can have those conversations.

Temperance Jones: Oh yes, definitely.

Anderson Williams: We don't want this experience to be the defining episode of our sibling or our parents' lives. We also don't want it to be a negatively defining episode in our own.

So can you just say a little bit about the work you're doing to raise awareness around suicide and mental illness in the military and else wherever you're doing it.

Sharing Their Stories

Temperance Jones: We just did in October a John's Mission 22 Jeep Ride, and it was really, it was really neat to kind of go and see all these families come together who have lost family to suicide. And sometimes you feel so alone and then going there and they had all these pictures set up along the trail of those that lost by suicide, and it just kind of opens your eyes to like, wow, I'm not alone. And there are so many people and so it just kind of makes you want to more get out there, makes you get the word out there and just talk to people. I would rather talk to you than I would rather attend to your funeral. Like I would rather sit here and have that conversation with you.

There's a lot of times that I'm actually running late to work because there's a man who cleans our garage who I'll stop and talk to you every day. Like I've heard his whole life story and I'm sure nobody's ever stopped just to talk to him because he's just out there sleeping the garage. But I'm like, I'm just that person that just stop and talk to someone.

It takes five minutes out of your day to make someone else smile and make a difference. Because you don't know what they're going on at home. You don't know what they're going through. So just smile and have a conversation.

Anderson Williams: One of the things that was fascinating, to your point for us is when you get into a community or you get into a space where people are willing to share you go, oh my God, I'm not the only one. Oh my God. There are, so––

Temperance Jones: It's very eye-opening.

Anderson Williams: Right? I mean, it's extraordinary. It's, it's horrible. But at the same time, you think, how in the world is this still taboo with this many people dealing with suicide? They're, they've lost a friend. They've lost a loved one.

No, you don't hear about it in the news. You don't talk about it in families. You don't. Right. People don't write it in the obituaries, so nobody knows. And you show up at a place like that and it's like, oh my God, there are literally hundreds of people here, or thousands of people here who are all dealing with suicide.

We got hundreds of notes and letters from people ranging from previous pastors to next door neighbors who we'd lived around for decades. Sharing stories that they had never shared with us after sharing that my dad had died by suicide. Because we did include it in the obituary, we included that he had been sexually abused, we included that he dealt with depression and it was like putting a light on that meant all these other people––

Temperance Jones: were okay to come forward and speak.

Anderson Williams: Yeah, and I think that's the power of your Jeep ride experience too, because once you see that, that makes the shame kind of go away?

It makes the loneliness. Kind of––

Temperance Jones: It does, yes. And because I remember someone asked me when we were riding, how has this experience been for you? And I told them I'm like, I honestly felt so alone in this. There's so many groups out there for like the mothers and fathers of those who pass away by suicide, but sometimes the siblings can be the forgotten ones.

And so I think going there and seeing so many people and that I'm not alone, it really opened my eyes and maybe not feel so alone.

Anderson Williams: We talked with Emily before, and she had shared how she had heard your story.

Why did you feel it was okay or feel driven to share this story at work with your colleagues? That seems like a dangerous place to share a story like this, Temperance. What made you ready to do that?

Temperance Jones: I'm not ashamed. I'm not, I'm not scared to talk about it. I think that goes back to more people should be talking about it. So I think for me, you never know when that story could help someone. And I just think it's important to share that and not be afraid to talk about it.

And I think if I can open up that conversation, maybe someone else can open up and talk about it as well.

Anderson Williams: And how did people respond?

Temperance Jones: Everybody's been amazing. They're very caring. It's almost like a little family actually. I feel really comfortable being able to share those things with them.

Anderson Williams: And when you think about so much of this, and I think rightly so, in my experience anyway, it has come back to the opportunity and access to talk and to have somebody listen.

How do you make that available to somebody like your brother? How do you encourage somebody who's in that position to just reach out? Or take action for themselves. When you think about, I'm not in a good place. How do you think about opening those lines of talking and listening, both from the person who's struggling as well as from the perspective of a family member or an organization, company, whatever, that's willing to listen and provide those resources. How do you open that?

Temperance Jones: I think a lot of it is, like you said, just kind of sharing, given my experience being the one that was left behind. That's kinda the way I'd usually describe it, like I was left here. And just kinda explaining how I feel. I may not be able to understand how they're feeling, but even just having someone just to listen to them and hear them out, because sometimes that's all that they need is someone just to hear what they have to say.

Parallels in Experience

Anderson Williams: I love your choice of language and I can tell it's thoughtful and deliberate. And you say left behind. I use the term living with suicide, because it changes you. It changes you, right? It colors how you see, everything. So describe a little bit for you, what is it like to be the person that's left behind?

How has it changed you? Just as who Temperance was before this happened and who you are and how you see yourself after this happened?

Temperance Jones: Like I said before, I had never worked in my life. I was a stay-at-home mom. I had two kids, one more on the way, and then losing my brother, it almost makes you feel like your sense of self-worth, like what am I doing in this life that's going to make any difference if I couldn't even save him?

And I struggled for many, many months. Like I said, my husband found me underneath the bed and I couldn't get out. He had to call my father to come and get me and lay in the floor with me because I just could not physically move. And then of course, having to take care of a brand new baby. So I kind of had to almost put my grief aside to do that.

And then once it all finally broke, here I was underneath the bed in tears, didn't know what to do with myself. And then as crazy as it sounds, actually right before Christmas, I had a dream. Actually, so I bought the house that I grew up in. So I have all those memories of him. And I actually had a dream of my little brother running down the stairs like he always did, growing up and running into our bedroom and looking at me and he says, I'm okay. And then just walked out.

And I feel like from that moment I felt like, okay, I've got to do something and I need to do something with my life, and I need to make a difference in someone else's life. I couldn't save him, but if I could save one person, then it matters.

Anderson Williams: That's beyond fascinating because just to draw our stories together from very different experiences in terms of our conversation earlier about how somebody gets to the point of suicide.

My dad's path and your brother's paths are very different. But I also live in the house I grew up in.

Temperance Jones: Oh wow.

Anderson Williams: And had a dream, but it was my dad coming down the steps. And saying, I'm just checking on your mom. And that was it. But it was that he was fine.

Temperance Jones: He was at peace. Yeah, you must feel.

Anderson Williams: Yeah. Fascinating parallel.

Temperance Jones: It is. That's, yeah, but it does, it almost gives you that peace like he's there to tell you I'm okay.

Anderson Williams: Yeah.

Temperance, one of the things that I had to recognize and reflect in my own process, and I'm curious about you, is I absolutely wanted my dad to be here, but would I have ever really wished him to continue if he was in that pain?

Temperance Jones: That's something I think I struggle with. You know, he was just two months shy of 21 when he passed.

He would've been 31 this last Friday. And I see all of his friends growing up and having babies and getting married and it's sometimes, it's so hard because I wonder what would his kids look like? What would his wife look like? What would his life be like right now? You know, what kind of uncle would he be to my kids?

But then like you said, there's that other part of you that if he was in that much pain, they say, is he in a better place? You wonder, is he, you know? But where would he be today also? It's a real struggle between those two.

Anderson Williams: Yeah, yeah. Because you have this story, you imagine. But I think where I did find some peace was in similar to shifting that idea of you wouldn't judge someone from dying of cancer.

Right? Is that if somebody is in that much pain. If you were with a family member who was in an excruciating physical pain, you wouldn't wish them and, and that they couldn't overcome, you wouldn't wish them to keep living. And I think part of that was a way of finding some peace in that idea of being in a better place.

Right? That better place was at a minimum, not in that pain anymore. That question comes back to me to both the simplicity and the importance of what you talk about, to even start is making sure you're stopping and having that conversation, greeting people, connecting with people. So you don't have questions, right?

I think that's one of the things that was changing for me as well, was that being that intentional, that I knew come what may, things I can't control, that every day I'm making the investment in the people around me that if something tragic happens, could be a car accident, but that you're not left wondering, could I do more?

Temperance Jones: Yep. And that is exactly how I live my life almost all the time. I'm very careful what I say or how I say things or how I talk to people. Because like you said, you never know when that last moment with someone's going to be and you don't want to relive that last conversation over and over, making sure that you said the right thing.

Anderson Williams: And sort of just living every moment without regret, not just sort of checking in every five years, or anything.

Lessons and Takeaways

Temperance Jones: Yes. And actually, my brother had a tattoo on his arm that said, no regrets. So I actually got no regrets, across my feet. So that was his big saying, was no regrets. And then I actually have this one. ' You haven't come this far to fall off the earth.' It's kind of my daily reminder, like I'm here for a reason. And to keep fighting.

Anderson Williams: And part of your reason now, you wouldn't have wanted it, but here it is, is speaking out. And speaking up. Finding that sense of purpose in tragedy is what helps you mold it and not have it define you.

Temperance Jones: I mean, I'd much rather have him here, but these are the cards that were dealt.

Anderson Williams: Of course. So, yeah, yeah and you did the best with what you're dealt, right? And when you talk to your kids about the experience, how do you frame it for them? Because I feel like to me that's, and I'm still in the process my kids are younger, right? And so, sort of setting the stage for having a full, open conversation.

But thinking intentionally about how even before introducing the concept of suicide to them, that we talk openly about mental illness and that people can die from a sickness of their mind. I'm just curious for anyone who's listening to this to hear your thoughts on how you're approaching this, because I think we've already talked in generational terms, how you're taking this experience and framing this for the next generation of your children.

Temperance Jones: Just being very open with our kids. We don't necessarily have to go into details about how he did it or anything like that. And we've talked about the bullying because that's a huge thing. So like I've always taught my kids, please always be kind, even if someone is being mean to you.

I say kill them with kindness because you don't know what they've got going on at home. They may not have the same home life that you do, and we have an open door policy in my home. I have had, my oldest one's 15, I have had 15 year old kids show up at my house in the middle of the night, literally at 10 o'clock at night because they have a bad home life and they know the code to my front door.

They are always welcome anytime of the day. And I've even had those conversations with those kids, like, if you need to talk, I'm here anytime. You know, doesn't have to go anywhere, you don't have to worry about me going and telling your parents. Just to have someone to talk to, that's what I'm here for.

And so my kids know we have an open door policy - always. And even with my oldest, like I said, being a boy, being gay, he's in high school that we've had to be like, you don't have to be strong. Because he doesn't cry. He's not a crier, he doesn't show emotions. But he's had situations happen and I'm like, it's okay to be angry and it's okay to cry and it's okay to yell.

And if you need to do that, then do it, because we support you no matter what.

Anderson Williams: Sage advice to anyone. Yeah, right, I mean that's, that is profoundly important to your child. But I think if you played that back to yourself on those days where you need to, to cry and yell at something and do all that, right.

That's part of your ongoing life and coping and living with suicide. So I, I think that's sage wisdom.

Temperance Jones: And you'd be surprised with kids. You know, my oldest was actually five when my brother passed. They were really close and I can remember he didn't go to the funeral and we didn't really talk about it because he was so young.

But of course it was all over the news. He saw it on the news. He kind of asked a little bit of questions. Was he killed by a soldier? You know, those kind of things. But I can remember just being upset one day and him coming up to me five years old and being like, I know you miss him, but, do you see the grass moving? He's everywhere.

And it's those little things that I'm like, wow, sometimes you need to listen to the kids. Because sometimes they have the wisdom that we do not have and they can really change things.

Anderson Williams: Amen. Well, I mean, and part of it just to double down. Right? That's because they don't have the baggage of the guilt and shame. They're just seeing it for what it is, right? They're experiencing it without this other social garbage, that gets layered on to the rest of us over time, and that does provide profound clarity.

Temperance Jones: And even to this day, like I said, it's been 10 years. Even my 12 year old daughter she'll, like if I've been sick, like I had, you know, I had the flu last week, she'll write me little notes all the time and she'll be like, uncle Max is watching over you, still to this day.

And she barely knew him. She was like maybe two or three when he passed, but she's still, they always write these little notes and she always has something to say. He's always here. So like I said, kids are very smart.

Anderson Williams: Anything else that you want to share that I didn't ask that you thought I would ask, that I should have asked?

Temperance Jones: You know, suicide, it doesn't define who we are. Even those who have attempted it, that doesn't define who they are. It doesn't make them crazy. Some people say, oh, you just need to be on medication. You know, that's not always a fix. Just be kind to people. I feel like I cannot stress that enough to just always be kind to people.

Anderson Williams: Temperance Jones is an everyday hero whose superpower is kindness, but hers isn't a simple sort of kindness. It's a courageous kindness, one born of her tragedy, but also one that if we have the courage to follow her lead, we can all start practicing today.

If you are considering suicide or know someone who is, please dial 988 to reach the suicide and crisis lifeline. Help is available 24/7.

If you are a family member living with veteran suicide and looking for support and resources, please visit nationalveteranresources.com or call 888-562-5552.

This podcast was produced by Shore Capital Partners with story and narration by Anderson Williams. Recording and editing by Andrew Malone. Editing by Reel Audiobooks. Sound design, mixing and mastering by Mark Galup. Of Reel Audiobooks.

Special thanks to Temperance Jones and Emily Leonard.

This podcast is the Property of Shore Capital Partners, LLC. None of the content herein is investment advice, an offer of investment advisory services, nor a recommendation or offer relating to any security. See the terms of use page on the Shore Capital website for other important information.

bottom of page