Loving Memories of Jessica

Letters

Dear Mrs and Mr Holman-Price

I am shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of your daughter. The headmaster of the Royal School has told me of the circumstances and I write as Chairman of the Board of Governors to convey our deepest sympathy and to assure you of our prayers at this time.

Jessica is remembered at the Royal School with great warmth and joy when she made a wonderful impression on her fellow students. I can well imagine your feelings at this tragic time and I simply want to let you know that you are so much in our thoughts and prayers.

Yours sincerely,
Robert Armagh

Chairman of the Royal School Board of Governors

Letter From The Archbishop

Jessica never cared much for politics. Right-wing, left-wing, she once stuck two straws up her nose as I babbled on about their intrinsic differences using condiments and cutlery as tableside puppets. Full disclosure: “Bush was a pastry.”

She first appeared in my diary – and in effect, my life – in a September 11th 2004 entry that began: “Jessica is an old fart at the over-ripened age of 20,” a dig at her youthfulness. It was French class. We were instructed to introduce ourselves. And there she was, sitting by the door, an alien face wreathed in red. She was a live-action animation, a real-life Betty Boop. We instantly bonded over a shared aversion for that weird Asian kid with the sleazy grin, a sun baked Yeti in the “ugly white jumpah”.

So here we were at the café, sitting by a pane of glass, seemingly overstretching our budgets at the mere mention of water. And there was Jessica; eyes so round you could drown in them, looking at me as if I was the crazy one. Politics just weren’t her thing. Nor was it her thing to pretend to care. That was what was refreshing about her: her ability to at once reconcile her limitations as well as exploiting them. Jessica was fearless of her own shortcomings because in her presentation, she had none. She could just as easily get in your face and coo truths only the tough could survive. Jessica was my very first friend in Montreal: we shared food, we shared clothes, essentially two giggly hobos new to the city. She was my confidante. She made we watch Charmed. She witnessed every milestone, I encountered in my first year of university. She didn’t make it so lonely.

Her life was not without tragedy, though friends, she did not lack. When she sauntered into a room ablaze with the curious and strange, she was a poster-child of self-possession, knowing full well no one could stay away. It was that laugh: a combination of spontaneous combustion and forceful cheer, addictive as it was contagious. When she put her arms around you, it was behind those pursed lips that you understood that she genuinely cared. She has a sixth sense about human behaviour and, however full her plate, she’s always offer to soothe your pain and help overcome those bastards in your life – in my life.

I was her “baby”, always was. She taught me how to navigate around unfamiliar faces in unattractive places (and vice versa). I’d smell brownies in the oven upon entering the flat, and she’d make rich macaroni’n cheese bound solely by butter. Yet, I felt smothered by her maternal-likeness. I wasn’t used to her brand of love. She began her sentences with “Do”, “Don’t” and “Never”. So here she was, eating chocolate bars on the bed, and I there I was, snickering at her instead. “Too melodramatic” I insisted “Too exhausting to keep up”. So I purged her from my system, relegating her from a bookmark to a footnote – blissfully unaware of her foresight. Because when it came to matters of the heart, she was no fool, she knew.

So I’d be lying if I said I was surprised when she called me out of the blue a week prior to the accident. “How are you, baby?” she sing-songed in that Irish lilt. “Join me for a quick coffee.” (You know she loved her coffee.) I hesitantly declined her offer, schoolwork this and that. But here she was, a voice in my life again, assuring me she hadn’t forgotten who I was – she remembered everyone. So I promised to catch up with her after the break. I missed her chutzpah, not to mention her charm. Then I got the distressing news on the train home. My heart sank into an unknown state. We were supposed to meet, like old times, like old times. I was arrogant then and I was arrogant now, I thought she’d be here forever. Jessica was everything to everyone, but most of all, a friend.

She was unforgiving in her generosity, she was unapologetic for her appeal. She gave and gave and gave, and in one mighty stroke – HE TOOK. It’s not fair, her visions were still unfolding. But I remember her accomplishments, the ones she was so proud of. In the words of George Santayana, “a man who has done his natural duty, death is as natural as sleep.” She did everything that could be done, no opportunity escaped. So I refuse to mourn for the “what ifs” and “whens”, I refuse to remember her for her potential. I, instead, choose to remember her for the wonderful person she was and the wonderful way she made us feel.

Lilly W.

I was Jessica’s cousin. She meant very much to me. She sent me presents in the mail. She came all the way from Montreal to Ontario to see me and my family and she took me and my family swimming. I went to Montreal to see her and she took me to her restaurant and I got to meet her friend. She meant more than a cousin to me, she was like a big sister to me. Most of all I loved her and she loved me and I will really miss her every day. I look at a picture of her, sometimes I feel like she is always there for me now. I hope PL is ok now I don’t want two of my favourite cousins gone. God knows I really miss you a lot. If you were here right know it would be a great miracle for many of people.

Letter From Jessica's Cousin Kori

My name is Alan Wyllie. I am a colleague and friend of Jessica’s Mum and Dad. Peter, Jeannette and Jessica joined us for our Scottish “Hogmany” party in 2004 in Ottawa, soon after they moved to Montreal.

My 3 boys were drooling over Jessica during the party. It’s is so sad to lose such a beautiful vibrant spirit so young. I have attached a photograph of Jessica assisting me during the “Address to the Haggis”. Her memory will now stay with us forever and our condolences go out again to all her family and friends. We support your campaign and wish you good luck and success.

In loving memory,
Alan and Family

Letter From Jessica's Friend Alan

It’s so hard to come to terms with what has happened I’m sorry I haven’t been in contact before now. I wrote this the day I heard about what happened and thought you might like to here what I thought. ‘She was the closest person to me for nearly three years. When I first saw Jessica I thought she was so beautiful. We knew each other inside and out but like any young couple we had good times along with the bad. She was my first love and I know that we never stopped caring about each other there was something very special about her. I am deeply saddened by this awful tragedy. I miss her so much’

I hate the fact that I will never get the chance to speak to her again and tell her how I feel. She was so important to me before this happened I thought about very often and had constant reminders. The songs we listened to together you know that song ‘stand by me’ that was kind of one of our songs. I just feel so gutted that its only ever gonna be reminders. I think Jessica still thought about me. And I feel so touched to have meant so much to her.

My heart goes out to all of you at this hard time and I will be in touch again soon. We will have to talk as well I’m sure I have plenty more you like to know.

Clarke….X

Letter From Jessica's Friend Clarke

I just wanted to write this to say what a brilliant person Jess was and how much I completely loved her. She was like the big sister I didn’t have and looked after me for 2 years in boarding. Her advice got me through the really hard time and she always kept the crack going for us all. She was mad as a hatter and I loved every bit of it. I remember when john McCall died she told me that god just wanted him sooner than the rest and I know this was definitely true for Jessica. The advice she gave was incredible like the last thing she wrote on my card was “the teenage years are the best years of your life. Work and play hard and you will have it all” I’ve always lived by that motto since and its got me far. I’m going to miss her so much it is unreal. I love her and always will god bless

xx Viki xx

Letter From Jessica's Friend Viki

I had the privilege to teach Jessica throughout her time at the Royal School here in Armagh and was very upset to hear of her tragic and untimely death. I will always remember her as a bubbly, full of life young lady who was always filled with enthusiasm for everything she was involved in. I saw this attitude particularly through her studies in Classical Civilisation where she responded wonderfully to positive attention and encouragement. She often told me (warned me perhaps) that she intended returning to school after her degree and would be taking over my job, it would not have surprised me to have seen her actually doing this. I just know that Jessica would have made a huge success of whatever career she would have settled into due of her natural enthusiasm and the high quality of her social and people skills. I am so glad that I was able to speak with Jessica during her visit to school recently with Sheila Morton.

Please pass on my deepest sympathy to your mother, father and all the family circle who have suffered so sad a loss.

David Walker

Letter From Jessica's Friend David

I was Jessica’s year head for her first two years in school and consequently discussed many issues with her. I thoroughly appreciated her company and l enjoyed watching her grow into a very fine young woman.

Like all the staff, I was devastated to learn of her death. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Fiona Smyth

Letter From Jessica's Friend Fiona

This brief message is just to let you and the family know that all Jessica’s friends here are stunned and appalled by the sad news.

You don’t know me: I had the good luck to be Jessica’s English teacher for her GCSE English. She was utterly unique – with her passing, a light has gone out.

It is my intention to write to the family – if that is all right. I have your address in St. John’s. I am so sorry that we are making a connection under these sad circumstances.

Deepest condolences,
Caro Day

Letter From Jessica's Friend Caro

I’m sorry to say I’m not still at school, I have just read the newspaper article. It’s just a testament to Jessica’s character the way that she died; I know she is definitely in heaven looking down on us all now. Jessica meant so much to us all and she will be sadly missed.

I pray that PL makes a full recovery and please pass on my condolences and my prayers to your mother.

Jane

Letter From Jessica's Friend Jane

Hi my name is Kayleigh.

Again I am so sorry, its come as a complete shock to us all and it goes to show how well Jessica was considered amongst us. It’s crazy the way one of her last conversations with you was about us when just yesterday we saw Clarke in Belfast and were discussing how much we missed Jessie. She sent me an email a few days ago and I’m gutted that I didn’t reply straight away, but I know she knew how much I loved and admired her. She spent a summer with me after fourth year I think. And I had the best fun with her she was a complete hit with my family, my grandparents liked her so much, my gran thought she was me and continued a conversation with her for five minutes still thinking she was me. She taught me a lot, about how to respect myself and I guess generally how to have fun, and I will never ever forget her.

Stories of Jessica are full of laughs, everyone will tell you how bubbly she was. All my stories are usually of us getting into trouble, the one Jessie and I talked about and remembered the most is when we were in technology writing notes and one had a swear word in it, we were so scared we were going to get in to trouble we immediately ran to our head of year and confessed everything and we didn’t even need to! We were both so annoyed at our honesty, but found it funny in the end.

When she arrived at school, she was an instant hit, she sure let us know that someone knew was in town and we couldn’t get enough of her fresh and vibrant personality. She was so confident, yet so caring and sensitive, she always saw the best in people and wasn’t one to let an argument go unsolved. She was just fantastic as I’m sure you all know!!

Her funeral will be a sorry one, but also a celebration of what a wonderful life she had. Please know that we will all be there in heart and spirit, and I wish you only the best for the day and this sad time. As for her favourite flower, I think it was a lily. But something is making me think its some bizarre special flower that no one else knows!!

I hope this helps, love and best wishes,
Kayleigh

“God takes his Angels too soon”

Letter From Jessica's Friend Kayleigh

Just thought I’d forward this onto you, Jessica sent it to me after John died and there’s a lot of truth in it. Read slowly..

Have you ever wondered which hurts the most?

Saying something and wishing you hadn’t?, or Saying nothing and wishing you had?

I guess the most important things are the hardest things to say. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you love them.

If you do, they might break your heart…if you don’t, you might break theirs.

Have u ever decided not 2 become a couple because you were so afraid of losing what you already had with that person?

Your heart decides whom it likes and whom it doesn’t. You can’t tell your heart what to do. It does it on its own……..when you least suspect it, or even when you don’t want it to.

Have you ever wanted to love someone with everything you had, but that other person was too afraid to let you?

Too many of us stay walled up because we are too afraid to care too much…for fear that the other person does not care as much, or even at all.

Have you ever denied your feelings for someone because your fear of rejection was too hard to handle?

We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us.

But every time we tell a lie, the thing we fear grows stronger.

Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump.

Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have done, or could have had.

What would you do if every time you fell in love you had to say good-bye?

What would you do if every time you wanted someone they would never be there?

What would you do if your best friend died tomorrow and you never got to tell them how you felt? (Even if it is that you don’t care anymore)

What would you do if you loved someone more than ever and you couldn’t have them?

What would you do if you never got the chance to say I am friends with all of my family and they know I love them?

People live, but people die. I want to tell you that you are a friend.

If you died tomorrow (God Forbid)you would be in my heart. Would I be in yours?

You might be best friends one year, pretty good friends the next year, don’t talk that often the next, and don’t want to talk at all the year after that.

So, I just wanted to say, even if I never talk to you again in my life, you are special to me and you have made a difference in my life,

I look up to you, respect you, truly cherish you, most of all I CARE about friends

Let old friends know you haven’t forgotten them, and tell new friends you never will.

Remember, everyone needs a friend someday you might feel like you have NO FRIENDS at all, just remember this e-mail and take comfort in knowing somebody out there cares about you and .. always will..

I care about YOU !!

Letter From Jessica's Friend

I really don’t know what to say. I am so sorry. I am completely in shock. It must have only been a week ago I was in contact with her. I’m not sure if Sheila will have found out or not but I’m sure she has, and as for Clarke I think I will be able to get in contact with him through a mutual friend.
Again, I am so sorry. I can’t believe it could happen. She was the most amazing, fun, caring, loving girl.

All my love and thoughts to all your family.
Kayleigh xx

Letter From Jessica's Friend Kayleigh

I might not have spoken to you in a long time Jessica but it doesn’t mean I am any less saddened and shocked, I can’t believe it… much respect to you my old friend, may you sing with the angels and bring joy to the hearts of the saints, God rest your soul

love forever,
James xox

Letter From Jessica's Friend James

Dear Julie

It was good to speak to you this afternoon after receiving your shattering e-mail. I have also spoken to your mum. We broke the news about Jessica to the boarders this evening many of which knew Jessica well. We have phoned key staff also. We will tell the rest of the staff tomorrow and hold an assembly (see below).

Jessica was very special. She came back with Sheila to see me in November and I was so pleased for her. She was very happy. I always got on very well with her and admired her zest for life and highly positive nature. She was a truly caring person and was an outstanding Head of Boarding. I have let Mr Elliott know, who was Master in Charge of Boarding. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers at the Royal School. Please pass on my condolences to Peter, your father with whom I have not had a chance to speak. Your mother tells me that you are coping with this in your own at the moment. Please try and surround yourself with friends.

Much love
Paul Crute, Headmaster

Letter from Jessica's Headmaster

Dear Mrs Holman-Price

Thank you for your e-mail of February 7, 2006 and enclosures.

First of all I would like to pass on my sincere sympathies to you and your family on the tragic loss of your daughter, Jessica. Also I hope that your son recovers from the serious injuries he received in the same accident.

As I understand your e-mail to me, you are suggesting that Newfoundland and Labrador retain the right for individuals injured in automobile accidents to sue the at-fault party for damages, and not institute a no-fault system like the one in place in Quebec. You may be aware that this has been the subject of much debate in this province over the past several years. My government is strongly in favour of retaining the right of persons injured in automobile accidents to sue the at-fault party for damages. We decided in 2004 not to implement a no-fault system of automobile insurance and not to restrict an injured party’s right to sue for compensation by placing a cap on such compensation, as some provinces have done. Instead, we have retained the right to sue for damages subject to a deductible of $2,500 on compensation received, with no cap or upper limit. We managed to do this, while at the same time reducing automobile insurance rates by an average of 20%. We believe this is a fair system and it seems to be well received by the general public.

I think the automobile insurance system my government has put in place is one that you would subscribe to, based on your comments.

Again, my heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult time and I wish you the very best in coping with the situation.

Sincerely,
Danny Williams OC

Letter from Premier of Newfoundland

It is still very difficult to believe that you are gone. I miss you so much, God how I deeply miss you. Your tragic exit from this earth is and always will be a tough concept to grasp. It seems like only yesterday that I met you at a café in old Montreal and you began to grace my life with your beautiful spirit and presence. Jessica, you changed my world forever and it really was the greatest time in my life because of you. Thank-you so much. You completely captured my heart and you did and still do mean the world to me. I miss you with all my soul.

The impression you made on those around you is very obvious and apparent. You truly were a unique and compassionate human being. A trusting and supportive friend to many, a caring companion to past and current loves, aunt, and of course, loving sister and daughter. You really were the Princess of quite a lot and you will never be forgotten. You have a permanent place in our hearts and minds.

I am having a hard time coping without you; life just is not the same without your gorgeous smile. The small details of day to day are covered in your memory. I see you walking down every street and even the cheesiest, stupidest songs or commercials can bring me to tears. It is tough watching the new Amazing Race without you. But listen, I am staying positive, I can still smile and I am inspired to improve my life here, help others and eventually, love again. I feel you here with me and with all those who were blessed by your presence. Stay with us. We need your help and that undeniable spirit we all loved so much. Guide us and help us navigate our way through this crazy, mixed up world. Help us to teach each other how to care and better ourselves, love our fellow human beings and create a more compassionate, safer world for future generations.(for my 8 kids…) Help me be strong.

Anyhow, I hope you are having a riot in whatever weird disco circus alternate universe you are partying in; I am sure there are tons of diamonds and pink hippos floating about. You were class crack kid, you really were. Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and above all things, Love…

I will see you on the other side, You will always be my Satine,

Love Always,
Jesse

Open Letter To My Sweetheart

Hi Julia,

I am a long time friend and school mate of your Mom. We went to school together through the early years right on up through high school. I remember reading the article in the newspaper and questioning could it be Jeanette’s daughter but having no way to find out until recently. I met another friend that we went to school with Dodie Ennis. At the time she hadn’t heard anything about your tragedy but two days later she confirmed the reality.

I have two daughters ages 13 and 16, I cannot image what your family is going through. I know to lose anyone is devastating but to lose your child must be unbelievably painful.

I want to take this opportunity to tell your Mom that I’m thinking about her and everyone and my thoughts and prayers are with you. It has been a long time since we’ve seen each other and I only hope that we have the opportunity to meet again in the near future. Jessica is the face and eyes of your Mom with such remarkable beauty…she will never be forgotten.

God speed,

Sincerely,
Brenda Decker

Letter From Jessica's Friend Brenda

Hello Julia

My name is Neil Black, I went to school With Jessica for 4th and 5th year at the Royal School Armagh. As I’m sure you know the Royal school has suffered a number of loses over the last couple of years. When I heard the news of Jessica I couldn’t believe it, I thought it was just a rumour, but when news spread I was so shocked. I’m so sorry for your loss, she was a wonderful woman, with so much character and smiling all the time. Words can’t express how hurt you are and when I received this email I thought good on you. I’m glad that maybe something a positive could come of this. Not to undermine the loss of Jessica or anything but I hope that all your hard work an effort pulls through and you are successful in your campaign.

Once again deepest sympathy and may God be with you all!

All my Love,
Neil Black

Letter From Jessica's Friend Neil

My name is Jay Campbell, I’m a boarder at the Royal School and Jessica was a good friend of mine. I was deeply saddened to hear that she had passed away and would like to offer you my condolences. I’d like to begin by saying that Jessica meant a lot to a lot of people. She was a mother figure to most in the boarding community and we all appreciate her for all that effort. She had the knack for making me feel good about myself and was always there when I needed some form of comforting.

The best example of this that I can remember was with the death of her friend John McCall in March of 2003. In front of the younger pupils she looked solid and consoled as many as she could get round. I met her in the kitchen by herself and she broke down. I was pretty devastated too but such was the nature of Jessica that when we hugged, I was sure she was doing her best to comfort me and not herself. I just hope you have someone to do this job when she’s not about.

Strange circumstances in which it happened, how unbelievably unlucky! I’m not a religious person but when these freak accidents happen I start believing it was an act of god. It makes me believe that Jessica was too good for this world and god wanted her back. It may just be in my experiences but anyone that I have known that has died young have been the best people personality-wise. I believe Jessica to have left the school on a high. All the teachers liked her and she emotionally said goodbye to many good friends. We didn’t believe this to be the last goodbye, but that’s how these things go I guess.

It’s fair to say that Jessica was a Heroine in both senses of the word. She was an ‘everyday heroine’ in the ways that I explained above. Then there’s the Hollywood type of heroine that she has proved to be. Given the choice she chose the life of her beloved brother than herself. She has given him the best Christmas present that could be given, the gift of life. I have always said that I wouldn’t mind dying if it was for a good reason, lets hope Jessica felt the same way.

Although Jessica influenced my life greatly for four years I know that you will be hurting a lot more. Be ready for a long time of mourning, maybe your whole life but look back with fondness and know that you’ll see her again if there is a next life. I am thankful for her contribution in making my life as good as it could have been in such a difficult period. Not every boarder in the world gets a second mother, such a good and positive influence as well as friend, especially not in one person. You are in my thoughts and prayers as well as your brother and the rest of your family. I hope he will make as full and speedy a recovery as is possible. I appreciate the time you spent reading this. Please pass my condolences along to the rest of your family.

Sorry for Your Loss.

Your Friend,
Jay

Letter From Jessica's Friend Jay

Just to let the whole family circle of Jessica know that you are very much in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time. I was Jessica’s head of year in Sixth form, she was a delight to know, always happy, always positive with a real zest for life. Last year when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer Jessica took the time to write to me, which was greatly appreciated. I was speaking to her the last time she was over. She will be sadly missed.

God Bless, Johnston T Reid

Letter From Jessica's Friend Johnstone

Just to let you and all your family know how devastated we were to hear the tragic news about Jessica. She died a heroine by thinking of her brother more than of herself but then I know how much she loved him as she did all of you and talked about her family with great affection.
Our last post has gone because of the Christmas Holidays but we will be sending sympathy cards as soon as possible.

Clarke will e-mail you soon but at the moment he is just too upset! Jessica will always be his first love and he will always hold a special place in his heart for her.

All my family’s thoughts are with you at this very sad time. I hope your brother recovers soon and isn’t in hospital for too long.

Kind regards,
Debbie Kennedy (Clarke’s Mum)

Letter From Jessica's Friend Debbie

My name is Megan Whittington, I don’t know if you’ve heard of me but I was friends with Jessica at school. I want to say how very, very sorry I am. Jessica was one of the most amazing people I have ever had the good fortune to know and it is very difficult to accept that someone as lively and vivacious as her is no longer here.

My friend Kayleigh mentioned to me that you wanted to know a bit about Jessica when she was at school. I only joined the school at sixteen but I was in the same year as her for two years and we had German class together. Most of my memories of her are from this class, actually, mainly involving her valiant attempts to get our somewhat wayward teacher to teach us something of actual use. I remember a few times when I had an extra German class the period before and she would sneak me in sweets when she joined me for the next class. When examination time rolled around and stress levels were running high Jessica could always be relied upon to cheer us up by dragging us off to the basement (our local cafe) for copious hot chocolates and cheesy-bacon fries.

I remember once being at the check-in at Belfast City Airport and hearing someone calling my name. Turning around I saw Jessica wearing, from what I can remember, her pyjamas. Thinking she had left for home days beforehand I was somewhat surprised and she soon had me in fits of giggles (as most of anyone’s time with her was spent as I’m sure you know) regaling me with stories of out of date passports and emergency trips to the embassy in Dublin. The fact that she could be so entertaining, cheery and downright hilarious at about 4am having had very little sleep for days is testament to just what an amazing person she was.

Much of my time with Jessica was spent either ranting against the German language or extolling the virtues of bacon cheesy fries but there were also, as I have just been reminded reading an old email from her, (and I quote) “many talks whilst listening to matchbox twenty” during the course of which she would be so incredibly sweet, loyal and confidence-boosting. She was always an excellent person to talk to about any kind of problem and sooner or later would have you a) believing that you were the most gorgeous and intelligent person alive and b) knowing that you were incredibly lucky to have a friend who could make you feel this way.

I hope all this is of some kind of use to you, though use doesn’t seem like the right word. I just wanted to let you know how much Jessica was part of our lives whilst she was in Ireland, whether it was chatting with ‘the girls’ for hours on end or (as on one memorable occasion) spending entire evenings teaching rugby players to swing dance. All our thoughts are with you and the rest of your family and especially with your little brother. My little brother is the same age and I remember Jessica was always talking about hers and saying how much she loved and missed him. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through but I want you to know that her loss will be sorely felt by anyone who ever knew her. She was a truly amazing human being.

Love Megan

Letter From Jessica's Friend Megan

I am very sorry to learn of Jessica’s untimely death. I never taught her but my role in pastoral care in The Royal School brought me into regular contact with her. She had a highly developed sense of what was right, which is not unusual in a young person, but she coupled this with the determination and personality to get her point across, often in defence of those in trouble. She certainly enriched and enlivened this school.

I remember in March 2004 when the boarding students, one of whom was my daughter, Karen, were told of John McCall’s death. Jessica was very upset but she had the personality and strength of character to support the younger students.

You are all in our thoughts and I hope PL is on the mend.

Kind Regards,
Harry Millar & Karen Millar

Letter From Jessica's Friends Harry And Karen

I am so sorry to learn of Jessica’s death. I am the Librarian at the Royal School and Jessica was on my Library Committee. She was so helpful I could always depend on her to carry out her duties to a tee.. She was so full of fun and life. I called her dizzy Lizzie because she would come through the Library doors and somehow suddenly the Library wasn’t as quiet as it should have been. Only she could get a way with it. I would say Jessica “shush” and she would say “but you love me” and we did. As the news has spread through the school this morning it has touched the hearts of all who knew her. There have been a lot of tears shed between us today, but it was a pleasure to have known and worked with her. May you all take comfort to know how proud she has done you all in her short life.

Please take care of each other; my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Deirdre Cloughley

Letter From Jessica's Friend Deirdre

We are two of Jessica’s good friends from Northern Ireland and we are so sorry to hear this tragic news. We want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Jessica was an amazing person and we were really looking forward to seeing her soon. This news will come as a great blow to many of her friends here as she was such a well-liked person. If it is appropriate, could we enquire as to the manner of her passing, as we are finding it hard to comprehend losing such a good friend so suddenly?

We may be one of the first to know this tragic news and we will let as many of our friends know as possible. We will be in touch again and please let us know if you have difficulty reaching Sheila or Clarke.

Jane and Eddy

Letter From Jessica's Friends Jane and Eddy

I am writing to you just to say deepest sympathy for your loss of your sister Jessica. I went to Armagh Royal with Jess and also spent a Christmas in Texas with your family.

I hope you guys are all coping with your awful loss; jess was such a lovely girl.
I sent a card so I hope it finds you well.

Love Dionne McFadyen

Letter From Jessica's Friend Dionne

I am Ruth Nicholson, a friend of Jessica’s from school, I simply cannot put into words what I am feeling now, and can’t begin to think of what this is doing to you and your family.

I would just like to say that I send my most sincere regret to you and your family circle, as I know that Jessica loved every single one of you so much, as I have heard so much about you from her during our time together in school.

I cant think of what to say as I know that words don’t really help at a time like this, but it is just to let you know, that I will be thinking of you and your family in this period of time.

I know that Jessica was an amazing, lively, fabulous person with a wonderful personality, and as much as I missed her before, I miss her a million times more now.

I’ll be thinking of you all in my prayers and thoughts.

Love Ruth, xox

If you need anything please do not hesitate to ask!

Letter From Jessica's Friend Ruth

It’s taken a while to think of the words to express how much you are missed.. Still none can do it justice… I hope you knew and now know how much you were loved!! Such a vibrant spirit and a caring heart. The world is missing one very special girl!! We all are deeply saddened but know you will remain with us forever!

Much love,
Kay

Letter From Jessica's Friend Kay

I just can’t believe it, Jess I’m gonna miss you so much. Respect to a wonderful girl and a true friend to the end. Always.

Jane Abbott xx

Letter From Jessica's Friend Jane

A special assembly has been called this morning because I received some upsetting news yesterday and it is my sad duty to pass it on to you this morning.

Many of you were 4th and 5th Formers when Jessica Holman-Price left the school two years ago. Many of you will have seen her and caught up with her, as I did, when she returned to visit with Sheila Morton at half-term in October. Sheila was due to go out to Canada to stay with Jessica at Christmas.

I spoke with Jessica’s sister, Julia and her mother in separate phone calls to Canada yesterday. Her father is returning to Montreal from France where he works.

On Monday evening, at 6.15 Canadian time, Jessica was involved in a traffic accident in Montreal, in which she was killed instantly. She pushed her little ten-year-old brother, PL out of the way of an oncoming snow-removal vehicle and, in so doing, saved his life but was unable to save her own.
Jessica was born in Canada and had decided to study there after obtaining her GCSEs and A levels here at the Royal. She joined the 4th form in the Royal in the year 2000. She came from a school in Norway where her father worked in the oil industry.

As any of the boarders, boarding staff or teachers would tell you, anybody who met Jessica remembered her because she had an extrovert and vibrant personality. She had a bubbly enthusiasm that left an indelible impression. She arrived at the school with a sense of fun and a sense of mischief. The first note on her interview record from Miss Campbell shortly after she arrived in the Fourth Form reads:

“Spoke to Jessica about pinching boys bottoms and not attending class” She soon settled down. She found a natural niche in the boarding community. For one so young, she had travelled widely and this had made her highly adaptable and resilient. She was courageous, not just physically, as her skydiving exploits proved, but also morally, in standing up for what she felt was right. She would also speak out for those she felt had been wronged. It was these caring qualities that propelled Jessica to her position of Head of Boarding. She proved to be an extremely popular choice and her natural caring instincts were evident especially with the younger boarders. When John McCall passed away, Jessica was in boarding when the news broke and she was a tower of strength in the way she helped the younger ones in.

It is a sad irony that it was her own natural reflexes which are the product of her caring instincts that led Jessica to instinctively push her little brother out of the way of the snow plough; saving his life and sacrificing her own.

Clearly, The Holman-Price family are absolutely devastated by this news. They have asked me to ask those of you that knew Jessica well and who have fond memories of her to write to send them these memories. Although she has had such a short life they, they know it has been well-lived and they know that some of her happiest moments were in this school community and they would urge you to share what you know of her with them.

A book of condolence in memory of Jessica will be set up in the school concourse area and the book will be sent to Jessica’s family. Her family would welcome letters and e-mails from those who knew Jessica and correspondence details for that will also be posted in the concourse.

Let us pray

Dear Lord

We ask you to watch over the Holman-Price family in these dark hours and help them through their grief at this sad time. Help us to help them come to terms with the loss of Jessica by recalling for them the joy and care that she gave to so many in our community here. We give thanks for the life of Jessica.

Amen

Memorial Assembly - Wednesday, 21 December 2005

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