Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 17, 2013

Learning to live again after tragedy

BLUEFIELD — During the 1980s when Jaletta Albright first appeared as a reporter on the channel 6 news in Bluefield, I recall thinking she was way too pretty to be a broadcast journalist, but then we met and I found her to be a genuine person ... a kindred spirit in a world without end.

When Jaletta and Alan Desmond met and married, it seemed only natural. They were as much different as they were alike and as much alike as they were different. It was a match made in Heaven, and their children — Julia and Jocelyn — appeared to be destined for the same future.

That part of reality came to a crashing halt just one year and two days ago. For a family who truly understands that 3:16 meant more than simply numbers on the tape beneath Tim Tebow’s eyes, 3/15/12 took on new meaning. On that date, they lost their beautiful daughter Jocelyn at the tender age of 17. John 3:16 says that God loved mankind so much that He gave His only son, so that those who believe in Him shall not die, but have life everlasting.

At the end of Jocelyn’s obituary, the family asked for donations to the Pacer Bullying Prevention Center or to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Although Jocelyn was beautiful, popular and loved by family and friends, she suffered through the kind of insensitive youth victimization that always cuts to the quick and takes no prisoners — bullying.

It’s not new. Haters have been around a long, long time and Jocelyn’s tragic death didn’t end bullying. Jaletta Desmond has, however, made it part of her personal mission to help people of all ages, genders, ethnicity, creeds and nationalities understand the consequences that can result from bullying.

As part of her ongoing efforts to combat bullying, Jaletta responded to nine out of 10 questions I sent her on Wednesday afternoon. Most parents — men and women — can’t imagine what the Desmond family has been through. Here are Jaletta’s responses.

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