111coryphotoSince getting home from my retreat I looked at the DVR and saw that the Glee tribute episode to Cory Monteith “Finn” had been recorded. Immediately upon seeing the title my eyes filled up with tears and my heart ached. Yes, as a chorus girl I was a glee fan since season one and losing cast member Cory Monteith was a terrible tragedy. However for me personally it hit way closer to home than that. Just months before Cory Monteith died I lost my little brother Jonathan Hart. Jon & Cory were about the same age. They were both good looking, healthy, talented young men with so much going for them in life. Sadly, they both also battled a very serious addiction and ultimately lost battle. Losing my brother has been the most painful experience of my life. I still have moments when I can’t even believe that it’s true. It is just too much for my heart to imagine that he is gone from this world and I won’t see him, talk to him or hug him again. He was the first person in this world I knew since his birth. He was my first friend. Going on in life without him seems impossible at times. The hardest part is that they didn’t have to die. This evil drug and horrible disease of addiction stole them from us way too soon. I wish more than anything there was something I could do now to change it all. It feels so helpless that I can’t.
The one thing that I can do each day is spread the word of hope. So many of us are struggling with different things. Sometimes we feel so alone. Life is beautiful but also incredibly difficult. No matter what your struggle is please know if there is HOPE. People care. People love you. Reach out. Let someone you trust help you through this. Cherish your life, your dreams, and the people you love every single day. Fight for your life because it is precious. Your life is more valuable than you can even imagine. You can’t change the past. You can learn from the past and change the way you live in the future.

Much love to all of you my friends. Thank you for being here and being a part of my life. I am so grateful. 

To Cory Monteith’s friends and family: You are still on my heart and in my prayers daily. My heart mourns with you. There are no words.

To My baby brother Jonathan Paul Hart: There is a hole in our hearts without you here. You are eternally loved and always remembered always.



  1. Jeanne Avsenew says

    God bless and keep you beautiful lady. I know what your heart is feeling it will be 20 years this month, since my Jennifer was taken away from us and it feels like yesterday. Life is a difficult thing to get through sometimes and loosing the ones you love make it a real trial. Love Aunt Jeanne

  2. Sallie says

    What a beautiful tribute Jacqui! I only met Jon a few times, but he was an amazing person! You could see the light in his eyes and how much he loved his family was reflected in them and his smile!

  3. says

    I am so sorry for your loss. My family has also had to live through a death due to addiction, although I was not as close as you were with your brother. It is very sad and you said very well how horrible this disease is. I continuously educate myself about addiction, I don’t know why. I think I’m searching for answers. I feel so helpless and wish there was something I could do to help with this rampant problem and tragic loss of life. I think you did the right thing to share your story because you never know who you may touch and help. I’m sure it was very healing for you to share. You are brave and I’m so sorry for what you’ve been going through. In spite of it, you are still an amazing inspiration to so many with your weight loss story and continuing work in that area. Thank you.

  4. Margaret says

    So sorry to read of your loss. My two daughters lost their little brother seven years ago, to suicide. Just two days ago I was asked “How do you get over that?”. You don’t. His death has become a part of our lives. We mourn, however, we have learned to be more aware of others, and, yes, we offer and encourage hope. And, yes, we live a little more fully, knowing that life is so precious and also so delicate. God bless. Thank you for your story of hope!

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