Hadley Leas Johnson, 17, of St. Joseph, passed away at home on Monday April 29, 2019. Hadley was born on December 15, 2001 in Dangyang, China and adopted on October 14, 2002 by her father and mother; Barcley A. and Lori Ann (Nicholson) Johnson.
Hadley is loved and survived by her parents; Barcley and Lori, sister Parker Johnson, maternal grandmother; Marilyn R. Nicholson and paternal grandmother; Nancy L. Johnson, paternal grandfather; Allen L. Johnson, Aunt Julie and Uncle Gary G. Toay, cousins; Steven W. Toay, Kayla A. Toay, Kara I. Toay, Brian Toay and Jim Toay. Hadley was preceded in death by her paternal grandfather; Dale L. Nicholson and her Uncle Steven Nicholson.
Our family is gracious for the support and prayers shown through this struggle. In memory of our Hadley we ask for you to ponder the two words Hadley has always dared asking about anything and everything since she was a child.
What if? What if? What if?
We do not remain silent. Mental Health issues are prevalent in our community, our homes, our businesses and our church. Silence and ignorance will not make them go away. We can not be afraid of words like suicide. Too many in our community are suffering in silence.
In our country we devote a fraction of the resources to mental health that we do other diseases like cancer. Our journey the last few years has shown the inaccessibility of timely care, adequate mental health facilities, and the financial crisis imposed on so many families in trying to find help.
We all look into our hearts to examine our opinions of those with mental health issues. How do we treat those that are suffering? Are there biases or stigma we hold?
Our Christian Prayer:
What would happen in our community if churches of all denominations came together to hold a Sunday of “God and Mental Health”?
While Hadley was our “adopted” daughter, we must always celebrate in the joy of the word of God that we all have the choices to be Gods adopted children. In this there is the comfort that one day we shall be with Hadley again.
We would like to extend a special thank you for the care and compassion of the faculty and staff at St. Joseph High School, the compassion and professionalism of the St. Joseph Township Police, and the family of Hope College.
Private memorial services will be held in keeping with Hadley’s wishes. In lieu of memorials or flowers we ask you to spend time this week with family and at work discussing how together we can help those with mental health issues.