Stephanie died without life insurance or the ability to cover the cost of her own funeral expenses. Her young children are unable to afford the astronomical cost of honoring their mother which is close to $10,000.
In Fairfax County, VA alone there are 3-4 suicides every day. Stephanie was the fourth person to take her own life within a five-mile radius within last four days. Surveys suggest that at least one million people in the U.S. each year engage in intentionally inflicted self-harm.
Many suicide attempts, however, go unreported or untreated. According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for people ages 35-44. In 2015, there were more than twice as many suicides as there were homicides in the United States.
Suicide victims are not weak, selfish, or cowards, they are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, cousins, friends, and grandchildren who were in pain and will be missed and loved every day. We need to raise awareness, not stigma.
There are some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has worsened, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help. It is too late for Stephanie, but maybe it can help your loved one.
*Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
*Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
*Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
*Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
*Talking about being a burden to others
*Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
*Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
*Sleeping too little or too much
*Withdrawing or isolating themselves
*Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
*Extreme mood swings
While we don't believe Steph, woke up Monday morning and thought to end her life, the combination of the prescription medication Klonopin mixed with alcohol, has been known to cause blackouts. It's in one of these blackouts that we think Stephanie took her life. For those of you who knew Stephanie, know her for her beauty and her spirit. Although she was just 4'11", when she entered a room her presence filled it completely. She loved her children with her whole heart. One of her special gifts was acting, and she shared that talent with many people throughout her short life. She was lucky enough to find Dave, aka Dog-Tag Dave, in the last year of her life. A man who really loved her. We know there is a special place in heaven reserved for Stephanie; our sweet mother, sister, girlfriend, friend.
All money raised will be used for Stephanie Ebinger-Hafer's memorial. After we have paid for all funeral expenses, the remaining proceeds will be donated equally between helpend22.org (Stephanie & Dave's favorite charity) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Steph's name.
With much love and thanks,
Please watch Stephanie's tribute video (recorded just a week before her death) to help raise awareness for our Veterans and PTSD.
￼Zach, Steph & Brad￼Steph & Natali
￼Cael & Steph￼Lindi & Steph
￼Karene, Steph & Arlene
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