Jazzamyn Walker – RESILIENT A.F.: Stories of Resilience


At 28, my father’s unexpected passing became the pivotal moment that propelled me into being the resilient woman I am today.

My head rested on my dad’s chest as he drew his final breath. He passed away surrounded by family, except for his mother, who chose to pray with a congregation. The loss of a second child within a year and a half was unbearable for her. My dad had suffered an anoxic Brain Injury while alone in his apartment and was found by military police several days later, barely alive. As his next of kin, I was burdened with the decision to withdraw life support.

When I mustered the strength to open my eyes, I saw the nurse outside our ICU room signaling that my dad had passed away.

 It was then that I realized the linchpin holding our family together was gone. My biggest supporter, the person who challenged me the most and the one I leaned on for major decisions, was no longer with us. It was time for me to step up. Leaving my family with him, I immediately initiated calls about organ donation, contacted the coroner, and reached out to the Military Cemetery to discuss my dad’s funeral plans.

Upon returning home after a few weeks away, the adjustment was difficult. I’ve unfortunately experienced loss many times in my life. I had a dedicated funeral outfit by the age of 13 that saw plenty of use. Death wasn’t unfamiliar to me, but this loss was unique. This marked the second time I grieved the loss of my father. The initial time was when he returned home from his last military deployment, and I realized the version of my father who had raised me was lost overseas. The new version I got to know coincided with my journey into womanhood. Consequently, our strong bond deepened as we became equals and friends. Losing him was not just losing a father but also losing my best friend.

This event shattered me and fundamentally changed who I am. The person I was before his passing ceased to exist with him. I could no longer rely on him to bail me out of tough situations, financially support me, or validate my decisions. I was on my own, and I could no longer exist as a 28-year-old girl with a safety net of a father.

I felt myself crumbling inward. Fragile, anxious, wounded, grappling with abandonment issues, family drama, and the realization of my job instability. I attempted activities that previously brought me joy, but living in a grey storm cloud made it challenging to see the world in color.

A girl I’d recently met at a summer music festival encouraged me about the accessories I’d been creating, suggesting I start a business. As a successful business owner herself, she mentored me, igniting the realization that I had to take charge of my life and that entrepreneurship could offer financial freedom.

Nearly a year passed before the autopsy results revealed the cause of my dad’s death. Years of alcohol abuse had impacted his heart, leading to his demise. Determined not to follow that path, I resolved to confront my trauma, abandon self-medication through drugs and alcohol, and acquire coping skills.

My journey of self-discovery and improvement began in mid-2020. Regular visits to a psychiatrist, therapist, and family doctor led to multiple diagnoses, shedding light on my brain’s workings and my emotional responses. Engaging in various therapy modalities like DBT, CBT, EMDR, and more, I shared this journey on my business’s social platforms. I firmly believe that increased awareness about ADHD, Autism, BPD, Clinical Depression, General Anxiety, and more could have prevented my undiagnosed status for 28 years. Understanding my brain has allowed me to view myself with greater compassion, realizing my “flaws” were unmanaged symptoms of invisible disabilities.

This realization has shaped my business today. It’s not just about creating beautiful, sparkling accessories to mask my depression but about providing accessibility for those with invisible disabilities. We’re establishing a safe space for marginalized communities, fostering an understanding of different brains to encourage self-compassion and empathy toward others.

While my dad’s death was the most devastating event in my life, his absence sculpted me into the woman I am today. I’ve grown beyond what I could have ever imagined in my wildest dreams.

I truly believe that being resilient is an act of self-love. By genuinely allowing myself to experience my emotions, I was able to redirect that grief into a sense of purpose.

Grief can’t be quantified. Take your time and be gentle with yourself. You’ll know when you’re ready to step back into your power.

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.