Three daughters who lost mother to suicide launched kindness campaign

Three daughters who lost their mother to suicide launch kindness campaign and have sent out over 10,000 blankets in their mother’s honor to help ‘heal their hearts’ and let others know they ‘aren’t alone’

  • Annie Varney, 35, took her life in March 2015 while her daughters Angela, now 22, Christina, now 20, and Mia, now 11, were in the house
  • Annie, a nurse, suffered depression throughout life and was seeing therapist
  • Passed away by suicide in basement of family home in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Angela, who was just 15 at the time, discovered her mother’s body
  • Three daughters have sent out over 10,000 blankets in mother’s honor 

Three daughters who lost their mother to suicide launched a kindness campaign and have sent out over 10,000 blankets in their mother’s honor.

Nurse Annie Varney, 35, took her own life in March 2015 while her daughter’s Angela, now 22, Christina, now 20, and Mia, now 11, were in the house.

She had suffered with depression throughout her life and was seeing a therapist but passed away by suicide in the basement of the family home in Boston, Massachusetts.

Angela, who was just 15 at the time, discovered her mother’s body. 

Nurse Annie Varney, 35, took her own life in March 2015 while her daughter’s Angela, now 22, Christina, now 20, and Mia, now 11, were in the house. Pictured, Annie Varney with daughter Mia

Angela, who was just 15 at the time, discovered her mother’s body. Pictured, Annie Varney with daughter Angela

Annie had suffered with depression throughout her life and was seeing a therapist but passed away by suicide in the basement of the family home in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Pictured, Annie Varney with daughter Christina

College student Angela said: ‘For a long time after, I was in shock. I think I was so traumatized that I put off my healing and that made me feel so distanced from her.

‘It was worth going through the pain and the trauma to form a relationship with her even after her death.’

Christina, who was 14 when her mother passed away, said that she thinks of the night Annie died daily.

‘That night plays over in my head over and over again. Suicide is so hard to wrap your head around,’ she explained. ‘We really didn’t have a proper example of how to grieve – we had never been through a death before.’

Six months after the tragedy, Angela, Christina and Mia made 35 blankets with their great aunt Barbara Buckley, 56. 

Annie’s three daughters have since launched a kindness campaign and have sent out over 10,000 blankets in their mother’s honor. Pictured, Mia with some of the blanket bags

Six months after the tragedy, Angela, Christina and Mia made 35 blankets with their great aunt Barbara Buckley, 56. Pictured, Annie Varney and Barbara Buckley

The family delivered the blankets, representing each year that Annie had lived, to patients at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. Pictured, one of the blankets

The family named the blankets ‘Annie’s Kindness Blankets’ and dispatched labels that paid tribute to Annie’s life. Pictured, one of the labels that’s inside one of the blankets

The family delivered the blankets, representing each year that Annie had lived, to patients at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.

Barbara said: ‘We had to get out of the darkness and honor her in some way. We needed to heal our hearts.’  

Christina added: ‘We thought why not hand out 35 blankets to a certain floor just to show people that they are loved and that they are not alone.

‘I remember all the nurses and the staff at the hospital were so grateful and happy. We started visiting more and more hospitals and people started making the blankets on their own in groups.’

The family named the blankets ‘Annie’s Kindness Blankets’ and dispatched labels that paid tribute to Annie’s life.

The labels read: ‘This act of kindness is to honor Annie’s life and to show how quickly kindness can put a smile on anyone’s face. We hope this blanket keeps you wrapped in love and surrounded by kindness.’

The blanket drive took off with people making their own and hosting blanket-making events.

So far over 10,000 ‘Annie’s Kindness Blankets’ have been made and sent to people completely free of charge. Pictured, (L-R) Barbara, Angela, Jack Glynn and Christina

Barbara said that she hoped the blankets gave Annie the voice she did not feel she had in life. Pictured, Annie Varney

One of these events was attended by over 300 people.

So far over 10,000 ‘Annie’s Kindness Blankets’ have been made and sent to people completely free of charge.

‘We never planned to start anything. We were just looking for a way to make sure that her memory wouldn’t fade and let people know that they aren’t alone in their battles. This was a really big step in our healing,’ explained Angela.

‘These blankets have touched so many lives. Kindness is so contagious that it is going to keep on spreading.’

Barbara added that she hoped the blankets gave Annie the voice she did not feel she had in life.

‘We give out these blankets so that people know they are not alone,’ she said. ‘We’ve discovered that it opens up the conversation for people to talk about depression and suicide.

‘We always vowed to be Annie’s voice – maybe she didn’t know she had one then but I think she knows she has one now.’ 

There is now a team of eight women behind Annie’s Kindness Blankets and the family credits the pay-it-forward campaign with helping them come to terms with Annie’s death. Pictured, (L-R) Christina, Barbara, Mia and Angela

The three daughters hope that the blankets inspire people to pay other acts of kindness forward. Pictured, (L-R) Christina, Angela, Annie with Mia on her lap, and Barbara Buckley

Annie’s daughters added that they want to pay tribute to their departed mother.

‘I loved her so much, she was an amazing mother,’ Angela said. ‘I still see her as the strongest woman I’ve ever met.’

The blanket drive caught the attention of a first responder who was there the night of Annie’s death.

Jack Glynn reached out to the family after watching the progress of Annie’s Kindness Blankets and has even delivered the blankets himself.

‘He was a first responder at the house that night,’ explained Barbara. ‘He got hold of me a year later and said he had been watching Annie’s Kindness Blankets. He has been a big part of our lives and he helps deliver the blankets.’

There is now a team of eight women behind Annie’s Kindness Blankets and the family credits the pay-it-forward campaign with helping them come to terms with Annie’s death.

Angela said: ‘Every time I hear that this has helped someone, it’s like coming up for air.’ 

They hope that the blankets inspire people to pay other acts of kindness forward.

‘I once read that one act of kindness creates 12 others so if we are kind to one person, the pay-it-forward can be endless. People who receive the blankets often make a blanket for someone else.’

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