June 20 marked one year since Jayden Waters-Tait took his life, and left his family and friends behind to try to figure out how to pick up the pieces of their own lives without him there. One year since he teased his brothers. One year since he was able to go on a date with his girlfriend. One year since he could follow his passion and fight fires. One year since his dad was able to give him a hug and say I love you.

A suicide-awareness vigil was held that night in memory of Jayden. The Kane Community Coalition donated mental health materials, along with information on where and how one can receive help. Family and friends stood and shared favorite memories of Jayden. Most, if not all, mentioned how much they love and miss him, and fervently wish he was still here.

We will never know what truly prompted Jayden’s actions that day. But we do know how horribly that day has affected everyone around him. The Tait family hopes their tragedy will help others who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide to see it as the “permanent solution to a temporary problem” that it is.

Jayden’s dad, Hoss Tait, pleaded with those in attendance to think about their actions, and to not be embarrassed to reach out for help. He said, “I’m here, and I want to help. I want Jayden back. But I know he’s not coming back. Please don’t do this to the people who love you.”

Jayden’s second mom, Randi Tait, poignantly wrote, “Suicide has no bounds – there’s no age limit, no race, no sex that it does not affect. The most rational person can have thoughts of suicide. Please ask for help, please talk to someone, get help. Just get past your bad moment, because tomorrow will be better.”