The Worst Day of My Life.


How do you write about the worst day of your life? I'm not sure and yet here we are. I've had this post started with the curser blinking in the big white box for several days just waiting for me to share my thoughts. 

On May 25, 1990, I was 3 1/2 and my grandparents took me to Shoney's. It was my favorite restaurant and it was raining. That's all that I remember about that day, but it's also the day my brother came into the world. Since then I don't know of life without him, until now.

My brother suffered with a lot of different ailments since his late teen years that he tried so hard to overcome. He had severe depression and had moved back in with my parents last year so they could try to help him get some relief. My parents did everything and took him to every appointment - even driving several times to Mayo Clinic to try to get answers and treatment for him. 

On August 21, 2021, the world as I know it took a tragic turn. Adam took his own life. Some things had transpired that day that gave us all a bad gut feeling, but Bryan took the kids and I out to the park to have a picnic that night to try to keep my mind from racing. While we were there our phones had spotty service and Bryan looked at his phone to see he had two missed phone calls from my dad. And that's where I feel like my world stopped. I didn't need to hear the words my dad said when Bryan called him back, I already knew in my heart. I don't remember a lot but I know I ended up on the ground in the parking lot at the park and Bryan had to physically put me in the car. That's a feeling of shock and immediate grief I wouldn't wish on anyone. That feeling hasn't left me yet. I feel like half of my heart was taken away that day. God placed our friends who were our very first phone call to help with the kids within a mile of us - all of us 20 miles from our homes and they were able to meet us within minutes to get the kids. 

I have lots of feelings and emotions about all of this, my horizons with mental health have been broadened so much through his journey, but I will save that for another day. It's too soon. God's hand was absolutely on that day, and while the tragic ending was not what any of us wanted, I know now that my brother is whole and at peace, something he tried so hard to find here on Earth. We had to break the news to Hudson and Rhett that night, and it was one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things I have ever had to do as parent. They slept with us in our room for several days and we spend a lot of time crying, remembering and trying to process everything. 

We've spent the last week with my parents and my brother's long term girlfriend. We buried Adam on Friday. That was the second worst day of my life. His plot is right by Janet's and that brings us comfort but also reminds us so much of the brokenness here on Earth. I'll share more pictures soon, maybe. I've posted several on my Instagram so feel free to check it out over there. I don't know when I'll write again, but I wanted to write and share his story because I feel like it is important. 

I'm going to include his Obituary below with a link for donations to the Arkansas Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

Adam was so loved. He was hilarious and he loved big. He was special and brilliant and there will never be another person like him. He will be missed every day for the rest of my life. I was his big sister for 31 years, and that will never stop.

Adam Charles Kerby
Adam Charles Kerby (31) departed this life on Saturday, August 21, 2021, in Bella Vista, Arkansas. He was born to parents Chuck and Mary Kerby on May 25, 1990, in Fayetteville, AR. He grew up in Bentonville and graduated from Bentonville High School in 2008. Adam attended Missouri State University and the University of Arkansas studying computer engineering. He was employed by Halliburton Energy Services in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a software developer. He made his life’s work from his love and knowledge of technology; he had an unmatched quick wit and sense of humor. He loved spending his spare time building computers and sharing that passion with others.
Adam was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Joe Kerby of Kirksville, Missouri, and maternal grandmother, Kathleen Stephens, of Bella Vista, Arkansas.
Adam is survived by his parents, Chuck and Mary Kerby of Bella Vista, Arkansas; sister, Jenna Buettemeyer, her husband, Bryan, nephews Hudson, Rhett and Sawyer Buettemeyer, and niece Remi Buettemeyer all of Bentonville; paternal grandmother, Jeda Kerby of Kirksville, Missouri; maternal grandfather, Robert Stephens, of Bella Vista, Arkansas and his longtime girlfriend, Ashlie Worm of Jane, Missouri, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who loved him very much.
There will be a private grave side service for immediate family, with a celebration of Adam’s life planned at a later date.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations be made in Adam’s name to the Arkansas Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


  1. Jenna, how brave you are to take a step towards sharing your story. You can’t imagine how many people need to hear about Adam. You will always be a sister, his sister. Mental illness and depression are often misunderstood and can carry a cloak of shame to those who are struggling. God made each of us, some struggle physically, some mentally and some emotionally. For now, heal, rest in God’s peace. My prayer is that one day you will share your experience and God will be glorified through hearts that will be opened and lives changed. He’s got plans for you, maybe speaking in public or to women’s groups. Perhaps it will be your one voice that gives hope, offers healing or opens hearts. Adam will be with you all of your life and by sharing your experience you will put a voice to his pain and point others to a God that loves us and never leaves us.


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