• Staci Sweet

Jas Waters: What I Know and What I Don't

I was listening to @D-Nice, Tuesday evening (June 9th) when he mentioned that someone by the name of @JasFly had died. I’d never heard of her but after his condolences, I said a quick prayer for her family and went about my day. On June 13th, while scrolling through the Gram, I read a post by @SilenceTheShame that read:

‘Prayers and sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jas Waters. Thank you for your brilliant career in television and film...if you or anyone you know is in crisis please contact the suicide prevention lifeline.’

Immediately I thought, “Wait. What now?” For some reason I thought she died of COVID or cancer, but then I realized she ‘allegedly’ committed suicide. Because she was a Black woman and because I’m in the process of writing a book about depression, I decided I needed to find out more.

More About Jas When I Googled her, an E! News article popped up which read, ‘Waters was a credited writer on the 2019 film What Men Want, Showtime's Kidding and Comedy Central's Hood Adjacent with James Davis, as well as This Is Us in 2017 and 2018.’

After reading her credentials, I must admit, I was impressed. Here was this beautiful and brilliant Black woman; known, loved, and respected in the entertainment industry who’d just killed herself. As an aspiring future bestselling author, playwright and film writer, that just didn’t sit well with me; only because looking from the outside in, her life was perfect. Her words had been visualized and she was recognized for her pen. So what happened? Again, I kept researching. Needless to say, after reading her Tweets, I was surprised.

Jas' Twitter Life

As a writer – today – in the age of racism and COVID, had to have been difficult for Jas. The highs and lows she experienced had to have taken its toll. In fact, she mentioned it in an April 14th tweet which read:

‘The hardest part about writing right now is giving myself over to a fictional story when the biggest, most dramatic story possible is happening in real life.’

But even after that revealing tweet, she continued to press through. On April 16th she tweeted:

“I’m being erased. OK.” “And trolled to death.”

Then on April 19th she asked:

“What makes you feel alive?”

And by April 20th she made an alarming statement:

“Wonder what my next life will be like?”

Twitter Flags

As I read her tweets, I began to wonder if those closest picked up on that April 20th tweet or did they just think it was just Jas being witty? Not to point the finger, but I always ask myself if she had a Bible-reading, scripture-living, tongue-talking, knee-praying family or friend that could pick her up in the spirit. Meaning someone that could pick up on her depression, suicidal thoughts or thoughts of her ‘next life’. Someone that could be like, “Jas tweeted what now?”, and immediately pray, intercede, and check on her. Again, not saying that those closest failed. Nope, I'm not saying that at all because ultimately, this was Jas’ decision. But why did she make it? Why did she decide to take her own life so that she could live in the next? That I don’t know but what I do know is that she didn’t know God.

And please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t know Jas. I’ve never met, heard, or even seen or read any of her work so I don’t know anything personal or firsthand about her. But I do know God. Therefore, I can say that she didn’t. Not saying this to blame, shame, or talk down upon this truly talented Black woman, but if she really knew our Heavenly Father, then she would have known just how much He loved her. She would have known that His love was all she’d ever need. She’d have known the companionship of His Holy Spirit for the many times she felt alone. She’d have known that she was someone of importanceto Him. She’d have known that ‘the author and finisher of our faith’ would have helped her write blockbusting, bestselling works about the ‘real-life dramatic story’ she talked about in her Tweets. But she didn’t know that about God. The good part is that she probably does now. Rest easy Jas. Though you’re no longer here, your life is still impacting those you never knew.

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