On September 2, the Hess family lost two family members in one day. One, Jason Hess, 35, died of an overdose, while the other, Barbara Fultz, his mother, committed suicide only hours after learning of her son’s death. It was Fultz’s 60th birthday.
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USA Today shares the final words of the devastated mother, which she scrawled in one of three suicide letters she left behind.
“Life is no longer enjoyable; I have been like Samson holding up the pillars too long. Today, Delilah cut my hair.”
The father of Jason, John Hess, and the ex-husband to Fultz, found his son’s body in the home they shared in Richland County, Ohio. The publication relays that it had been an ongoing battle for Jason and was the “end of a long road.” Jason had been addicted to heroin for nearly 15 years. John Hess shared that he had tried to revive his son from an overdose only a couple of weeks prior and stated that the incident was one of the most horrible experiences of his life. He even noted that in ways it was almost worse than finding Jason dead.
“I did two tours in Vietnam; I’ve seen a lot of stuff. You can’t describe it (finding his son in that state). I literally had to breathe life into him. I told him not to do that to me no more.”
Hess then stated that he felt Jason seemed to want to try to comply with the request, but it was short lived, seeing as he overdosed again in a hotel room a couple of days before his death. John Hess believes that his son was almost trying to end it all and overdosed purposely.
“We had him for two days. I think he was just tired. He said, ‘I’m going to make it right tonight. I almost knew what he was going to do.”
The night before his death, Jason had asked to borrow his father’s car, but Hess said no, knowing his son was trying to make a drug run. Jason took the car without permission anyway. John confronted his son following his return, and he said he just went to get soda. John knew it was a lie. The following morning Hess found Jason dead.
“As soon as I looked at him, I knew he was gone,” Hess said. “I sat back in the chair and said my goodbyes.”
— Dale Carlin, N.D. (@mrcleansedotcom) September 14, 2016
Only 11 hours following discovering his son’s body, his ex-wife was gone also. Fultz left a number of notes for her daughters and grandchildren and letters that were more general. Her suicide shocked the family. John Hess and Fultz had been married for 15 years and even following their divorce they remained on good terms. Amy Hess, a daughter of the former couple, spoke about the sadness and surprise over the suicide.
“She was the last person on this Earth that I thought would kill herself. She was so strong.”
She described the actions by her mom that night when she took a pillow and a blanket to a cemetery behind the house, lay down by a headstone and swallowed the contents of a bottle of Valium. One of her letters shared that she was ready to go.
“Please don’t weep for me. I am ready for this rest. Thanks, heroin, another victim.”
Jason Hess worked hard and most recently held a factory job, yet John Hess claims that the heroin dealers got all of his money. His father remembers Jason as a talented musician in a band until the drugs took hold and he couldn’t get his son back. For 15 years he tried.
[Featured Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]