The stars shine a little less bright this week as the family of Toddlers & Tiaras star Kailia Posey has confirmed her death - at the age of 16.
When her death was first shared, the cause of death was not confirmed, and rumors began spreading online about what caused the young star's untimely passing. Now, the family has confirmed her cause of death and the heartbreaking story of one of the internet's favorite meme faces has come to a close much too soon.
Kailia Dies at 16
When a young person dies and the cause of death is not confirmed, the internet immediately assumes the worse: suicide.
Unfortunately, in this case, their worst prediction came true. Although reports initially left out details, her family has now come forward with the truth.
The Sun reports, "The former reality star died by suicide, her family later told TMZ.
'Although she was an accomplished teenager with a bright future ahead of her, unfortunately in one impetuous moment, she made the rash decision to end her earthly life,' her family told the outlet.
Kailia's mother confirmed her daughter's shocking death on Facebook and wrote: '... I don’t have words or any thoughts. A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever.'"
Kailia's Brief but Brilliant Life
She may have only lived for 16 years, but Posey left her mark on the world in the few years she was granted.
Posey aspired to a career in aviation, attended Lynden High School and had made the Dean's list for the 2020-2021 school year.
The young star was known for her time on Toddlers & Tiaras, and was a shining light in the lives of those who knew her best.
Posey had recently graduated from pageants - where she was immensely successful - to acting.
Per The Sun, "Kailia had just started her career as a budding actress with 2019's horror film Eli, starring Kelly Reilly and Sadie Sink.
The movie is about a boy who becomes trapped in a haunted house while undergoing a mysterious treatment for a rare disease.
In the film, Kailia stars as Agnes Thorne - a devil/human hybrid.
She plays the titular character Eli's older half-sister.
Eli is available to stream on Netflix."
But Posey was perhaps best known for a meme. 10 years after she appeared on Toddlers & Tiaras, a gif and meme of sweet apple-cheeked little Kailia grinning and looking to the side went mega-viral. Even to this day, Posey's face is an oft-used reaction meme and gif, and her legacy of smiles and playful mischief will live on.
Unfortunately, even if someone is a brilliant, talented, and loving person - depression can take their life. Teens are struggling more with suicidal ideation than ever in the wake of the pandemic and the disruptions to normal life it caused.
With mental health services stretched to their limits - and limited resources available for children to begin with - a crisis of epic proportions is arising in the under-18 crowd as they grapple with trauma.
The heartbreaking and tragic loss of Posey so young in life is a reminder that no matter how put together and successful someone seems - depression can touch every life.
The Sun adds, "Kailia Posey tagged a girl named Biancha on her final Instagram post, and Biancha shared a sad message about Kailia's passing on her own social media page.
'To my beautiful best friend, I’ll love you forever and ever. You were an amazing, beautiful person inside and out,' she began the post.
'Words cannot explain how painful this is, not only to me but all of the people that love you.'
'From the first day I met you I knew we were going to be best friends. You were such a bright and happy soul.'
'I’m so thankful for you Kailia, you truly brought out the happiest side of me. You reminded me to always be kind no matter how hard it was,' she added."
Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Posey.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, help is available. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24 hours a day by calling 800-273-8255.
For more information, visit the website.