21-year-old mother of two posts suicide note on Facebook after losing battle with depression

21-year-old mother of two posts suicide note on Facebook after losing battle with depression

A mother of two from Texas, has died in a two-vehicle wreck after posting a suicide note to Facebook.

Olivia Popham, 21, was driving a 2017 Nissan Sentra and collided with Travis Pittman, 33, of Winona, who was driving a 2012 Ford pickup. Popham’s Nissan reportedly crossed the center line and struck the pickup head-on, according to a press release.

 21-year-old mother of two posts suicide note on Facebook after losing battle with depression before killing herself in car wreck (Photos)

In one message, the mother of two made a passionate appeal for her kids not to be taken away by their father. 

 21-year-old mother of two posts suicide note on Facebook after losing battle with depression before killing herself in car wreck (Photos)


“If anything ever happens to me DO NOT give my kids to their dad permanently because if while I was alive you couldn’t help take care of them then why wait till I’m gone,” she wrote.

2pm on 26 January, Aurelia Brouwers lay down on her bed to die. Clutching a toy pink dinosaur and listening to her favourite music, the 29-year-old drank her prescribed medication as close friends gathered round. “She asked me to lie next to her. She had a smile on her face, and then she went softly into sleep,” Sjoukje Willering told the Observer. “It was very serene and calm. It was beautiful.”

Four hours earlier, Brouwers had posted her last message on Facebook. “I’m getting ready for my trip now. Thank you so much for everything. I’m no longer available from now on.” Brouwers died at home in the small Netherlands town of Deventer less than a month after being declared eligible for euthanasia under the country’s 2002 Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act, which permits the ending of lives where there is “unbearable suffering” without hope of relief. Her death has triggered a fierce debate in a country that has one of the most permissive euthanasia laws in the world.

For not only was Brouwers young, she did not have a terminal disease such as cancer. She suffered from psychiatric illnesses, including severe anxiety, depression, eating disorders and psychosis. She self-harmed and had attempted suicide numerous times. She had spent nearly three years as an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital, and had served time in prison for arson.

Some say Brouwers’s death is a terrible illustration of the “slippery slope” inevitably associated with euthanasia legislation. Others who supported legalisation now also fear it has gone too far. Her supporters see her case as an important precedent, an escape to those in hopeless situations.

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“Every day was so hard. She was in a deep black hole,” said Willering. “She said it felt like a hundred knives being stabbed into her head. She never had a moment of doubt that she wanted it to end.” Her death was inevitable, one way or another, she added. “But she wanted the right to die with dignity, and she wanted other psychiatric patients to know that they also have a choice. This was her message to the world.”

This month, annual figures from the bodies that review euthanasia cases in the Netherlands showed an 8.1% increase in assisted deaths in 2017, taking the total to nearly 6,600 people. It came on top of a 10% annual increase the previous year. The vast majority had cancer, heart and arterial disease, or diseases of the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. But 169 had dementia, up from 141 the previous year. And 83 had severe psychiatric illnesses – up from 64 in 2016. “Supply has created demand,” said Professor Theo Boer, who supported the 2002 legislation but resigned from a regulatory body in 2014 amid concern about rising numbers. “We’re getting used to euthanasia, that is exactly what should not happen. We’re no longer speaking about the exceptional situations that the law was created for, but a gradual process towards organised death.”

Bell Hooks, author and activist, dies aged 69

Gloria Jean Watkins, better known by her pen name bell hooks, has died aged 69.

Her niece Ebony Motley tweeted: “The family of @bellhooks is sad to announce the passing of our sister, aunt, great aunt and great great aunt.”

She also attached a statement, which said that “the family of Gloria Jean Watkins is deeply saddened at the passing of our beloved sister on December 15, 2021. The family honored her request to transition at home with family and friends by her side.”

The author, professor and activist was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in 1952, and published more than 30 books in her lifetime, covering topics including race, feminism, capitalism and intersectionality.

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