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Personal Reflections on the Death of Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak

Smiling Skye McCole Bartuskiak

The death of American actress Skye McCole Bartusiak at age 21 is, simply put, tragic. So young and full of life, McCole had a blossoming acting career. On Saturday, her body was found in her Houston, Texas home by her boyfriend. It is possible that her death was related to the epileptic seizures she had been having in the days leading up to the weekend.

Biography of Skye McCole Bartusiak

While you may not recognize her by name, you’ve likely seen Bartusiak in movies or television. She has appeared in TV shows that include 24, Frasier, and House. In the famous film The Patriot, she played the youngest daughter of lead actor Mel Gibson. She was in the TV movie Love Comes Softly, amongst other projects.

The young woman was born in Houston, and that is where she lived for her short 21 years. Her part in The Patriot was her first big acting role, and it came in the year 2000. In 2001, she received a nomination for a Young Artist Award, as part of The Patriot cast, for “Best Ensemble in a Feature Film.”

Bartusiak’s mother spoke with CNN and explained that she tried CPR on her daughter before paramedics came. As she said to CNN, “I’ve done CPR on that kid more than one time and it just didn’t work this time.”

The Shortness of Life: Lessons to Learn

The sudden death of Bartusiak serves as a reminder of the shortness of life. To have a life ended barely after reaching 20 is hard to imagine for many people. Personally, I find the loss of this young woman leaves me pondering my own past.

I survived a suicide attempt in my early 30s at a point when I suffered from depression and PTSD, which stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I did not know at the time that I had those conditions as I hadn’t seen a doctor and had become somehow used to feel “off,” to put it mildly.

Why do I bring this all up? I do so because I had decided to end my life willingly.

Today, I cannot imagine making that decision and am thankful that a higher power than myself saved me. I want to enjoy my days – truly – here on Earth to their fullest.

But, Skye McCole Bartusiak did not have that choice. Life was taken so quickly from her, without her approval, taken from her before she had the opportunity to rise to her potential personally or professionally. That saddens me as I selfishly wanted to end my life and here she did not have that want yet has now passed away.

Turning to Gratitude

How to turn such a loss into something we can learn from is not always easy. My thoughts and prayers go to her family and friends who are in the mourning process.

Personally, I will take away from this tragedy deep gratitude for the day I have today. After all, we do not know what tomorrow brings, and being alive today is truly something to appreciate.

The event is also a reminder to reach for one’s goals. At age 21, this actress had already taken on roles in big films.

She was working on her career already, at such a young age. I admire that and will do my best to remain focused on being true to my own path in life, both personally and professionally. Rest in peace, Skye McCole Bartusiak.


Top image: Still from Skye McCole Bartusiak Video. Source: G-News, YouTube

23 thoughts on “Personal Reflections on the Death of Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak”

  1. A beautiful tribute to Skye McCole Bartusiak. It is tragic that she lost her life at young age. My
    prayers are with her family. I have wondered if it is predetermined from the day we are born the way are life will end.

    I am happy that you chose life Christy.


    1. Christy Birmingham

      HUGS, Susan! Thanks for taking time to comment and appreciate the messages in this post, as it was a difficult one to write. I personally believe there is a path we’re destined to follow but that its length will be lengthened if we add richness to the world in a meaningful way… Choosing life is the best decision I have made. xo

  2. Lovely Christy. A reminder of what can be lost in a blink of an eye and what we should all turn to each day. Thank you for opening yourself up, thank you for staying focused and remaining here, on the ground and with us.

  3. This is a beautiful tribute to a young, tragic death, Christy, and also a vital message for all to read. Thanks for sharing a part of you from the past and how precious life really is. It’s a gift, not a guarantee and we all should be grateful. I know it’s difficult, though, because we all travel down different roads, some bumpier than others…sending hugs and blessings…

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hugs and blessings to you as well, Lauren. Thanks for leaving a comment on what was a difficult post. I really appreciate the words. Just when I think I can’t love you any more than I do xoxo

    2. Aww…thanks, Christy, love you, too, and I can imagine how difficult this post was…Changing the subject, I know we should be grateful for each day, but Cheers to Fridays! :D Hope yours has been good and I hope it continues throughout your weekend! Hugs again, my friend! ♥

    3. Christy Birmingham

      Thanks, Lauren! Hugs and yes it has been a nice weekend here too. Beautiful weather and your beautiful message here :)

  4. Thank you for sharing Christy. I was not familiar with Skye, but that’s not the point. Life is so short and we need to appreciate what time we have here, it passes so quickly. Thank you for being open about your own struggles. Thank God your suicide attempt was unsuccessful and that you made it through that dark period in your life. I am sure this post has lifted some hearts up out there :)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      I thank higher powers for keeping me safe, I truly do. Thank-you, Syl. If I only helped one person by writing this post then it is more than worth it. Your comment is amazing. Thank-you.

    2. You’re welcome Christy. I believe you are inspiring many people with each post. You are helping others see there way through the darkness.

  5. Oh man. Such a huge loss. It is a reminder that life is fragile…fleeting, even.
    And that not one of us knows if there will truly be a tomorrow.
    Thank you for sharing about your own past. I didn’t know this. Whatever those experiences are, and however much a part of you that they are now, they indeed, do contribute to your wonderful soul and spirit. We all go through bad times and what we do in the aftermath is a testament to our character. You, my friend, have true grit. (hhaha…I feel a blog post coming on…lol). But really, you’ve been there. And your words have helped to uplift and encourage so many. I want to be like you when I grow up. :)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Awe, thank-you Cyndi! I am at a loss for words and truly honored by what you wrote here. Thanks, dear you. xo

  6. May her soul rest in peace. It’s really bad and sad to see people loosing faith and courage to live life. Life is the biggest gift almighty has given us. None of the small things can make us to loose this valuable life. I hope, pray and encourage all out there that not to loose hope on life, no matter what the condition is.

    Very postive message, thanks Christy for such remarkable post.

    Swetank (from Being Bettr) :)

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