Remembering Ciarra

A personal campaign sponsored by Joel "Dusty" Rhodes


On the morning of 10 December 2013 I was downstairs of our house putting my shoes on to go to work. It was about 6:30 AM. This moment will forever haunt me! As I was about to put my shoe on I heard a sound come from my beautiful wife that will forever be imprinted in my mind. The scream that echoed throughout our house still resonates loudly.

My wife, Tina, walked into our 13 year old daughters room to wake her up for school as she did every morning. On this morning everything was wrong. Ciarra had her TV on. This never happened before. She wondered why but thought that our CJ must be feeling better as she was ill and did not go to school on that Monday, the day before. Tina walked farther into the room and noticed that Ciarra’s bed was empty. She thought that our daughter must be already getting dressed for school. She was actually a bit happy that Ciarra was up and so motivated on that morning.

She then walked farther into the room and that is when I heard the piercing scream that will never leave me! She found our beautiful 13 year old daughter had committed suicide at some point during the night. I will forever wish that I was the one that opened that door that day and could protect my wife from this sight.

I ran back up the stairs and found what had happened. I will not go into details about the way this happened. Suffice it to say that no parent should ever have to witness what we did on that morning. Our daughter was dead and we could not help her. I tried until the police and emergency crews showed up. I could not bring her back to us.

The next few hours are still a blur to me. I know that there were many Polizei, (German Police), with us and many Red Cross and Doctors in and out. I was followed every step by a Police Officer. I am not sure if it was because they thought of me, or us, as a threat to ourselves or as suspects. I can now understand both cases. I did not care either way at that time. Nor do I now. They were there. They were all very professional. They cried with us.

We called the one person that could help us the most after the 112,(German version of 911), and my wife’s brother was soon there. He is a career Police Officer and more important, that Godfather of our Ciarra. He was as devastated as we were. He also was our savior for the next few hours, days and weeks.

This day will forever be etched into our lives as the worst possible everything. Ciarra Joi Rhodes was not a loser. She was not a drug addict. She was not a loner. She was a very well respected young woman. She had a family that loved her. She had a circle of friends that loved her. She was smart, funny, outgoing and overall happy. She was not any of the stereotypes that suicide should fit.

I spent over 20 years in the U.S.Army. I was trained to look for and notice signs of a suicidal person. She did not withdraw from life. She attacked it! She did not give her prized possessions away. She gave to charity and to people that needed things. She was not angry and unhappy. She was charitable and giving. She was more than anything LOVED!

We do not have an answer as to why our baby girl decided to make this decision. She did leave us a note that said, {translated from the German language},” Mama and Daddy I am sorry. I love you.” We can not be angry with our daughter. We can not hate our daughter for doing this and making that decision. We can only miss her. We do!

It has been over six weeks since that day as I write this post. Our lives have changed forever. I hope that this will aid me to get my feelings out. I hope this site will bring light to an epidemic that is sweeping this world. That epidemic is TEEN SUICIDE. I hope that if you are reading this it will help to remember a beautiful young woman that left us way to early.

Ciarra we love you baby.

-Written with Love by Joel "Dusty" Rhodes

Remembering Ciarra