Juice Wrld’s Mom Writes Letter to Her Son on What Would’ve Been His 23rd Birthday
In celebration of the late Chicago rhymer's born day, which is today (Dec. 2), Carmela Wallace, Juice's mom, commemorated her son, whom she refers to as the name she gave him, Jarad, in an open letter.
"When you were born 23 years ago, I never expected that you would not be here today celebrating your birthday," Ms. Wallace wrote in the note, which comes nearly two years after Juice died of an accidental overdose at the age of 21 back in 2019. "Although it has been nearly two years since you’ve been gone, I still think about you every day and losing you has changed my life forever. I’m glad that we always made sure that we said goodbye when we left each other because we didn’t know when we would see each other again."
She continued: "I remember when you found your birthday gift the year that you turned nine. It was a white mp3 player that I hid in my closet. When you found it, you were too excited to hide the fact that you found it and proceeded to share with me how much you wanted a white mp3 player for your birthday. I thought about taking it back to the store and surprising you with something else, but I decided to give it to you anyway. As time passed and we talked about it, you realized that you would rather wait for the surprise than find your gifts early."
Carmela Wallace—who launched the Live Free 999 foundation and its accompanying website in honor of her son to bring awareness to challenges young individuals face surrounding mental health and substance dependency—also touched on the impact her son's music had on his fans and music listeners across the world.
"You touched the world through your music with honesty and transparency," she continued. "You shared a message of healing and sincerely desired to make a difference in the lives of others. I still receive messages from fans saying how your music helped them with anxiety and depression. I promise to continue your message of healing and use Live Free 999 as an avenue to normalize the conversation around mental health and substance dependency and help those who suffer in silence."
Juice's mom closed out the letter, writing, "Happy 23rd Birthday Jarad, I love you dearly. I’m thankful for the time that we had and will forever cherish every moment that we shared."
Juice Wrld, whose second posthumous album, Fighting Demons, is set to arrive next Friday (Dec. 10), died on Dec. 8, 2019, after suffering a seizure while at Chicago's Midway International Airport. It was later confirmed by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Officer that Juice's cause of death was "a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity," which presumably caused the seizure. He had just landed in his hometown reportedly to celebrate his 21st birthday after taking a private flight from California.
Happy 23rd Birthday, Juice Wrld.