(The family of Jasmine Rose McGhee will receive friends tonight (3/22) from 5 to 7 p.m. at Rose Mortuary on Broadway. This is from her obituary. Full version here.)
Our beloved Jasmine Rose died on March 19, 2019, as a result of a heroin overdose.
She is much more than a statistic in this war on opiates. Because Jasmine always helped others in life even when she was the one needing, we wanted to share her story.
Jasmine was born in Knoxville on Oct. 12, 1985. She enjoyed a happy childhood and was an avid softball player and pitcher for several traveling teams. She played piano, enjoyed music and abstract drawing, loved swimming, horseback riding, roller coasters and going to the lake when she could get there.
Jasmine was quick-witted, warm, hilarious, resilient and often fearless. She viewed everyone as her friend – no matter if she met them five minutes prior. She was fiercely stubborn, especially when she thought she was right. She liked to dress up in colorful clothes and look pretty.
For all the beautiful parts, which we will miss intensely, Jasmine was deeply conflicted. Her problems began as an early teen. Even though she was loved in the house where she grew up, she could never accept that her biological mother abandoned her and that she did not know who her biological dad was.
Jasmine was introduced to drugs in high school and began to run away. Over a nearly two-decade struggle, Jasmine turned to harder drugs. Once heroin got a hold of Jasmine, it never let go.
Heroin told her “I can make you feel alright. I can make you feel loved. I can make the hurt go away and everything will be okay.” What it didn’t tell her was that it would tear her life apart, strip away her dreams, or pull her from the people who loved her and wanted her back.
Jasmine wanted to become a veterinarian as she loved animals and wanted to eliminate their suffering and mistreatment. She never surrendered her dreams of getting married and having a home of her own.
As she struggled with her addiction and her search for acceptance, Jasmine was arrested many times on drug-related charges and her family stood there with her. Family and friends provided a safe harbor as we could. She would not go to the shelters or accept any help that would separate her from her dog, Bam-Bam. He was the one thing that she never surrendered to drugs – ever!
Although she went to rehab numerous times since her teenage years, she could never stay away from the bad influences or escape the darkness. Even nearly dying from a heroin overdose two years ago was not enough to change her path. Heroin also did not tell her “I will kill you.” We, her family, miss her and want more time with her that we will never get.
We shared Jasmine’s story to help those who have not yet been lost. No more families should have to experience this. The dying must end now. If you are an addict, our hope is you find your courage to reach out for help and life – there are people and resources to help you.
To the families of someone fighting addiction, get and stay involved. Don’t judge your family member, and do everything possible to guide them to rehabilitation and support them before it’s too late.