Jessica Urekew

Jessica Urekew

I am in American in the US Air Force stationed in the UK for the last 4 years. I met Grace at the Priory when I was going through a difficult time in my life. She got there a few days after I did. I remember meeting her family and always being so happy for her that she had visitors.Her and I were both smokers so we hung out a lot.

People like Grace are the reason why I am still alive today. I was suicidal and felt like I was alone. She helped me feel like I had a purpose in life. Even if it was just putting a smile on someone’s face that I hardly knew. I regret not keeping in touch with her after I left.

I just want you to know that she had a HUGE impact on my life as a complete stranger. We bonded in a way that made me feel stronger.

I am so sorry for your loss. As I prepare to leave the UK I have been thinking about all of the people I met here. She was very special. Thank you for honouring her and helping to raise awareness about mental illness. Grace will forever be a bright memory who helped me get through the toughest time of my life.

Jessica UrekewGrace Dear Trust Logo

Spice Girls

Spice Girls

We met Grace at work, her smile would light up any room including an office! Grace would wear stunning very high heels and walk into the office looking like she worked in fashion not for an accountancy firm. If Grace ever said she liked our hair or top we knew we had done well that morning. Grace was one of the few people that could engage with everyone in the office, she took time to learn about people’s lives and she was without doubt the life and soul on a night out.

We enjoyed many lunches, dinners, afternoon teas, drinks and holidays with Grace. Our first holiday was to Morocco in 2013. On our first night in Morocco Grace asked the piano man at our hotel if he knew any spice girls songs but sadly he didn’t. However, the following evening the 5 of us walked into the bar for our usual pre-dinner drink and Viva Forever was playing, the piano man had learnt a song for us! From that day onwards we were the Spice Girls and would often discuss which Spice Girl we each were.

We feel very lucky to have known Grace.

The Spice Girls; Debbie, Michelle, Sam and Steph xx



Friday 17th February 2017 at 11:09pm is a time that will stay with me forever; yet a time that I try every day to forget. It’s the precise time that I heard the news that my darling friend grace had taken her life. On hearing those words, I collapsed to the floor, my knees giving way to the weight of my body. I sat slumped on the carpet sobbing, in shock, listening to my Mum crying on the other end of the phone. My husband started shouting at me to breathe, because in that split second, my body had forgotten it’s most basic function; to breathe. In that split second, my heart broke.

Gracie and I met at primary school aged 4 and grew up together with our friend Claire. The Three Musketeers. We went on holidays together, went to concerts together, had endless coffee and dinner dates as well as cinema trips although we usually got asked to leave as Grace would often start re-enacting one of the scenes of the film; making us laugh so much that other people complained. She was the life and soul of the party. She was the kindest, most thoughtful person with the biggest smile around and she was one of my very best friends.

Gracie battled so, so hard with her illness and there were days that I felt like she was winning. We would often walk down by the river in Kingston, me with my new-born baby and Grace with her new baby…her puppy Dora. We would often talk about TV programmes we had watched or guys she had been chatting to. We would sometimes talk about how she was feeling. I only wished I had asked more questions, been more insistent that she told me how she was feeling.

If you are supporting a friend or loved one in a similar situation to Grace then please, please encourage them to seek help, encourage them to talk, encourage them to open up. If you’re battling too, then keep fighting, keep talking – really talking because you are loved more than you will ever, ever know.



I have so many but here is one when we were starting at Noddy preschool, I remember Grace asking me for short hair and to cut her ponytail off, the innocence of me picked up a pair of scissors (the zig zag kind that only 3-4 year olds are allowed) and just went in for chop, all I remember hearing was a lady shouting nooooooooooooo in slow motion. I remember getting in so much trouble and Grace coming out the angel!

Grace will be forever treasured and never forgotten!

Love you lots xxx



Grace and I used to be slightly obsessed with Gareth Gates when we went to a Smash Hits concert, we both had Gaz written on our foreheads and stickers of his face on our cheeks. We also made my mum wear a sticker saying “Dunc’s a hunk!” (Duncan from Blue).  When Grace and I went on holiday to LA and Vegas in 2015, we had a lovely meal before deciding to do the zip line over Fremont Street when it got dark.

Grace went from being excited at dinner, to petrified when we got to the top, to screaming when we were doing it and finally so happy and pleased with herself that she managed to do it. We all absolutely loved it and spent the rest of the evening full of adrenaline. I remember giving Gracie the biggest hug after we had done the zip line and telling her how proud I was of her for being so brave and going ahead with it even though she was petrified. It was unforgettable and I’ll always cherish this wonderful memory.



I first met Gracie at the gym. She was doing some intense workout and showing up most other people with how hard she trained plus making some odd noises! We started chatting & just clicked. Became close friends so quickly & went for dinners, cinema, coffee at Costa, where we put the worlds to right. There was always laughter. Not once did we ever argue.

Gracie looked at me as her husband, I gave her advice, reassurance when she needed it or not, hence how I got the name “hubby”. She was my wifey. She also gave me advice, drove me up the wall, nagged me at times, but I loved her for it. She would make me laugh so much. That infectious smile, the energy for life she had.  It was something special.

Gracie was a bad influence when we had nights out. Always trying to get me drunk (I’m sure it was so she could try and kiss me haha)

Gracie loved the theatre and we were planning on going to see some shows in the west end.

Her love for shows, dancing, fashion, and just being around everyone and making everyone smile and laugh was just incredible.

I will and do miss Gracie so so much. She was unique, she was incredible, but most of all, she was brave.

A true hero in my eyes. I know she is always, and will be, by my side.

Sleep well my beautiful angle.

I love you with all my heart.



Mental health. It’s the biggest elephant in the room; yet it’s something we all have. It may be positive. It may be negative. It may fluctuate; but 4 in 4 of us have it. 1 in 4 of us suffer with mental ill health. It doesn’t mean we’re weak, or pathetic, or selfish. I would actually say that I’ve grown into a stronger and more resilient person since I have accepted my illness.

It’s never easy telling someone about your mental health; at times, it can be a struggle to understand it yourself. It’s never easy trying to explain the heavy feeling in your chest, the lack of motivation you have, the heavy head, and the whirlwind of negative thoughts sitting in the back of your mind. I grew up into a loving, close-knit family; I went on wonderful holidays, I had some amazing friends and I did well at school… Mental health, however, does not discriminate. I suffered in silence for too long, because I didn’t know that ‘it’s OK not to be OK’. I was distant, shut off from the world, a shadow of my former self.

Grace was a beautiful, unwaveringly compassionate, hilarious person; the life and soul of the party, with an infectious giggle. She cared deeply for her friends, adored her family, and her gorgeous pup, Dora. Grace suffered with her mental health for a long time, although the stigma she felt about her illness, was such that many people didn’t know.

It’s only in the last couple of years, with a wealth of treatment and therapy behind me, that I have begun to speak openly about my mental illness. It’s not something I am ashamed of anymore. I’ve learned that my struggle, pain, and tears are not a sign of weakness or of failure, that vulnerability is instead a sign of strength and bravery.

So, it’s time to break down the stigma, open doors and show young people that ‘it’s OK not to be OK’. That’s where the wonderful work of the Grace Dear Trust comes in – and it makes me smile to witness the growth of the charity, not least because Grace would be so, so proud. I am excited to be on board; together, we will empower young people, challenge shame and stigma, and most importantly, reinforce that there is hope; there are calmer days ahead.

Fly free, Gracie. You’re the angel on my shoulder – today and every day. Shine bright.



Grace was one of my closest cousins. I have so many memories that all of the family have also had with her and that’s why it is so hard to know that she is no longer with us. It is very hard to lose someone you love so much and it will always be with us. I will get upset when I hear memories, but that shows how much she meant to us and how close we all are.

Grace was such a funny, kind and loving person… it’s no wonder why she had so many friends. When I look back at fun times that I spent with her, it hurts and hurts to know that I will never see her again and that is the hardest part. I like to think to myself that she is gone because God chose her to be with him and I can see why he has done that because I know I would have picked her.

Also, when I get upset I like to think that now she is happy and not in any pain anymore. As much as I love her, I would always want her to be happy, before she makes anyone else happy. I have had so many memories, like when she stayed the night. That’s when her nickname “Flicker” came up, because we were watching a movie and she shouted “Flicker” about a horse. Me, my mum and sister thought we should give her that nickname. She always made sleepovers fun. She said that she never goes to the toilet, because she is like the Queen, so she never needs to go!

On Grace’s instagram, she always looked beautiful, even if she wasnt going anywhere. The morning of the day that Grace went, she posted on her snapchat, “Good morning world”. I thought it was going to be a good day, but it all changed. Later that night, we got the call, first I thought it was about my dog, but then I got told it was about Grace. I kept saying I want to go home, but we had to wait until the next morning.

All I kept saying was , why is she so stupid, but she’s not stupid, it was because I was so shocked and upset. Grace tried a couple of times before, but got stopped. From that day on I felt that my heart will never be complete. If you have lost someone to suicide, just know that they haven’t done it to make you feel sad, it’s to make them feel happy!

Isabelle {Age 13}