CALDWELL, Idaho — For Melanie Jones of Caldwell, the holidays will never be the same. Her son Jeremy took his life two years ago at the age of fourteen. Since his death, things have been so difficult and so different.
"This year has been really hard, and this Christmas, I wanted it to go away I really did," said Melanie Jones. "Jeremy was our little clown, he loved to make everyone laugh, and he tried on a daily basis just to make us laugh and he would, and he hid it really well. There really isn't any closure to suicide, he didn't leave any note, he didn't tell anyone. No family should have to experience what we experienced."
When the snow started falling in December, Jones asked for something extra special in her son's memory on social media.
"One of Jeremy's favorite things to do when it snowed, was to get outside and build a snowman. I just thought wouldn't it be nice if I could get more people to build snowmen for Jeremy, for me, for us, and they did! I really just was not expecting any of it! I wasn't," Jones said.
She posted a request on KTVB's Idaho Weather Watchers Facebook page, asking for people to build snowmen for Jeremy. The response was incredible.
Hundreds of snowmen are now posted on Facebook with the hashtag #snowmenforjeremy. Jones was blown away.
"These people, they don't even know us. These are strangers, we are strangers to them. It's so amazing, they have lifted our burden and they have made it lighter, they really have! We are getting people that are across the country from the midwest and other places, and the outpouring has been so amazing and I can't thank them enough," Jones said through tears. "I felt so inspired that we started a new FB page, and it's called Snowmen for Jeremy. It isn't just for Jeremy, it's for anyone that wants to build a snowman and dedicate it to a child who is lost. A nephew a niece, maybe a friend, it doesn't matter, and they can post it there. We're still working on it, but that's what we've done because of these great people!"
Melanie, her husband, and their other five children are healing through this too.
"There are three kids at home, and I think the kids are a lot happier now because mom's happier because of the love that has been shown, and all the snowmen that have been built. They get online, and they look for the photos," Jones said. "They want to see them and they get so excited!"
For the Jones family, something so simple, someone making a snowman for Jeremy, means the world to them.
"I can't thank them enough, I can't. We can't thank them enough, because it has been just amazing, just amazing."
Melanie has a message for parents who notice changes in their kids' mental health. She says it's so important to start the conversation about how they are feeling, and get them help as soon as possible. Early intervention is key.
You can make a snowman for Jeremy, too! Take a photo of it, and post it on Facebook with the hashtag #snowmenforjeremy.
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