Jen Grady
Tree Coordinator for Minnesota

Contact Information

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Location of Tree
To be announced

Tree Lighting Ceremony
Please contact this tree coordinator for the exact date of the launching ceremony and dates that the tree will be open to the public. These trees are usually up for an entire month and you may visit this tree at any time.

Recommended Website

In Memory of my best friend, Joseph Peterson
November 13, 1982 to March 26, 2001

My Story
On the morning of March 26, 2001, I received an e-mail that I will always remember word for word: “Jen, Thank you for everything, and just remember that I will always love you. Joe.” Later that night I received the bad news from Joe's mother that he shot himself. When I got off the phone, I fell into my dadís arms. All of my limbs had gone numb and I could barely hold myself up. It was five days before my eighteenth birthday. The one and only guy I had fallen in love with was gone. Just sitting here thinking about that night brings tears to my eyes. Never in my life have I found a hole in my heart bigger than the one I have now. I knew the minute we talked there would be a lifelong connection between us. I later knew I had found my soul mate.

Losing Joe to suicide has been the most difficult hurdle in my life. There are no words to explaining how I felt then and how I feel now. There isnít a day that goes by that I donít think about Joe, his smile, his laughter, his strong will, and loveable personality. No one really knew he was that depressed; depressed to the point that he wanted to commit suicide. Itís been really hard for me to get emotionally close to other guys. Sometimes I feel like Iím back in square one with my grieving. However, with the help of my friends and family, and support groups, I always seem to pull myself back up and keep on my feet. I just wish the world could stop moving for a short amount of time.

All of this is exactly why I want to reach out to other survivors of suicide. I love being able to talk with people who have been through what I have, and listening to people who want to be heard by someone who knows how they feel. I think the Memory Tree of Lights will help me in more ways than one.
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