Juice WRLD's Mother Writes A Heartfelt Letter In Honor Of World Mental Health Day
It has been 10 months since the tragic passing of Juice WRLD. Through his posthumous projects, fans and music lovers have been able to honor him though his talents. His mother has since come up with a way to not only honor Juice, but also help young people who may be going through the same struggles that surrounded her son. For World Mental Health Day, Juice WRLD’s mother Carmela Wallace wrote a heartfelt open letter via the newly launched Live Free 999 website. Carmela detailed their relationship, in addition to candidly speaking about how they handled his struggle with substance abuse, anxiety and depression.
Wallace established Live Free 999 earlier this year to not only honor her late son, but also to support young people in their battles with addiction, anxiety, and depression. The mission statement for Live Free 999 is to “Support programs that provide preventative measures and positive avenues to address mental health challenges and substance dependency The LiveFree999.org website has a shop, with various items made in the likeness of Juice WRLD. The net proceeds from merchandise sales are donated to Live Free 999.
It was reported earlier this week that Live Free 999 donated instruments to his childhood school. According to Variety, “the instrument donation fully outfits the school’s band and orchestra [and] provides beginning instruments for younger students in the preschool through second grade levels. Juice’s record labels, Grade A and Interscope Geffen A&M, assisted with the donation.”
Below is the beautiful letter that Carmela Wallace penned for her son:
October 10, 2020
Jarad and I were always close. We liked to play pinball together. We had long conversations about his future and about the world in general. But like any mother and son, we had our issues. Jarad came from a family where academics were the highest priority, so I wanted him to focus on school, but he was always more interested in music. His teachers would often tell me that he was extremely gifted, but that he was always focused on his music. I’d often find him in the studio in the afternoon, pursuing his dream. He was laser-focused. In the end, Jarad won the battle and I agreed to let him take a year off after high school to work on his own music and his vision as Juice WRLD. When his career took off, I left my job in quality management to join his team. Jarad recorded music every day, in every city he found himself in. He amassed literally hundreds and hundreds of songs. The lyrics and melodies all made from his beautiful mind.
Jarad and I often had frank discussions about his struggles with addiction, anxiety and depression. I think he felt comfortable being honest with me because I never judged him. I recognized that what Jarad was dealing with was a disease and I know he truly wanted to be free from the demons that tormented him. As a parent, I believed early on and supported Jarad having access to counseling. I encouraged him to always share his feelings.
I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love following the loss of my son. His loving spirit which is communicated through his music has touched so many people. I launched Live Free 999 so that perhaps his death could mean something for other mothers whose sons and daughters are dealing with the same kinds of issues that my son struggled with.
My message to the parents and children is simple. You do not have to suffer alone. You do not have to be ashamed of your mental health struggles. There is help. There is a way out.
On Mental Health Day 2020, I have launched a new website LiveFree999.org in the hopes that it will be a resource to those that are struggling. If we can help even one Mother and their son or daughter through our work here, Jarad’s death will have meaning and his positive, loving, creative spirit will endure.
Ms. Carmela Wallace