Gentle spirit, humble, loving, compassionate
Jillian was a kind, empathetic, and loving woman, whose conflicts in life taught her to be selfless in her relationships with others. “Whenever Jillian would go into rehab, she would arrive with suitcases of clothing and whatever else she might need. When I would pick her up upon discharge, she would come out with only the shirt on her back telling me she gave her things to those there who had nothing,” recalls her mother. Wherever she went, she left an impact on those around her. Jillian loved making people laugh and had a beautiful smile and magnetic personality.
In her younger years Jillian studied cosmetology in PA and makeup artistry in Boston, MA. She was deeply passionate about fashion, cosmetology, and beauty. In her professional life, she was a talented hairstylist and makeup artist. She also possessed a love of photography and enjoyed capturing the beauty of nature. Another one of her hobbies was writing; as she filled up many journals with her thoughts, dreams, and struggles. She had plans of one day writing a book about addiction, in hopes of helping others, and had also been considering becoming an addiction counselor.
More than anything Jillian loved her daughter Lily Rose, claiming that her greatest accomplishment in life was being given the opportunity to be her mother. “Jillian had a creative spirit which Lily Rose inherited, the two of them loved drawing, painting and doing crafts,” says her mother. Jillian also appreciated being outdoors, going running or walking, and enjoying the nature and fresh air.
Though Jillian was a skilled artist and a wonderful mother, she also suffered from and fought the disease of addiction her entire adult life. This caused her to feel intense amounts of shame and guilt. She also suffered from bipolar disorder and depression, which intensified Jillian’s struggle with addiction. “Some people believe that those who suffer from addiction are weak. I believe they are the strongest people I know. To get up each day and not only fight to maintain one’s sobriety but also to stay alive, requires a strength that most people cannot understand. To say my daughter suffered, is an understatement. I miss everything about my Jill, especially her beautiful face, her beautiful smile, and her infectious laugh. But I know I will see her again and that helps me get through each day,” said her mother.
Jillian truly left an impression on the hearts and memories of those who loved her. And those memories will live on through the efforts of her beautiful daughter and mother, who now share Jillian’s kindness and compassion for those less fortunate through a charity they created called Jillian’s Heart.
Jillian’s mother, Annmarie Angelicola, provided the information for this narrative.
August 18, 1985–July 22, 2017
Age 31-Lived with the disease of addiction 16 years.