The Kennedy family’s hearts are ‘shattered’ after losing Saoirse Kennedy Hill, who had detailed her battle with depression while a high school student.
The Kennedy family is mourning the loss of Saoirse Kennedy Hill, who was just 22 years old when she died from an “apparent overdose” on Aug. 1, The New York Times reported. That same day, Saoirse was found in the seaside Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Mass. where her grandmother and Robert F. Kennedy’s widow Ethel Kennedy, 91, resides, according to the newspaper. Saoirse was then reportedly pronounced dead at the local Cape Cod Hospital. The young Kennedy was the only child of Courtney Kennedy Hill, 62, and was set to graduate from Boston College with a communication major in 2020.
“Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse,” the Kennedy family wrote in a statement to The New York Times. “Her life was filled with hope, promise and love.” In reaction to her granddaughter’s death, Ethel was quoted to have said, “The world is a little less beautiful today.” Three years prior to her death, Saoirse was just a high school student when she revealed her recurring bouts of depression for an essay published in Deerfield Academy’s online newspaper.
“My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life. Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest. These bouts would come and go, but they did not outwardly affect me until I was a new sophomore at Deerfield,” Saoirse wrote in Feb. 2016. The student then made a vulnerable confession as she added that she “totally lost it” after someone she knew and “loved” had broken “serious sexual boundaries” with her. Instead of reporting the alleged incident, Saoirse tried to ignore what happened. “This all became too much, and I attempted to take my own life,” the Kennedy family member sadly wrote.
Saoirse’s suicide attempt led her to temporarily leave school and seek treatment for depression, and she returned to Deerfield Academy by her senior year. But Saoirse urged readers to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, as she added in her essay, “People talk about cancer freely; why is it so difficult to discuss the effects of depression, bi-polar, anxiety, or schizophrenic disorders? Just because the illness may not be outwardly visible doesn’t mean the person suffering from it isn’t struggling. I have experienced a lot of stigma surrounding mental health on Deerfield’s campus.”
Our thoughts are with the Kennedy family after this tragic news. Not even a full month before Saoirse’s passing, the Kennedy family celebrated the Fourth of July at the same compound where Saoirse was found on Thursday.