Friends and family of Kellie Pickler’s late husband, Kyle Jacobs, gathered to celebrate his life seven months after his death.
Franklin First United Methodist Church uploaded a recording of the private ceremony via YouTube on Monday, September 25, where hundreds of people came together to pay their respects.
“While this celebration was long in coming, it was necessary for us, his parents, to cope with the shock of his passing, and to work through adjusting to this life without our beloved son,” Jacobs’ family said in a press release. “Thus, Kyle’s Celebration of Life was created and presented in a thoughtful and thorough way to best honor how Kyle lived his life.”
The statement continued: “Kyle was a Lover of Life! He loved his family and his friends, and he earnestly showed love and brought joy to countless others he did not even know. Remembrances continue to come to us daily. He was known for his genuine, humble spirit and an ability to touch another person’s life in a moment.”
The gathering included musical performances as well as personal stories from Jacobs’ loved ones. Curb Records founder Mike Curb opened the ceremony, and Jacobs’ song “You Are with Me” played at the end of the service. Pickler, 37, for her part, did not appear to take part in the celebration based on the footage.
“We would like to thank all of you who helped with the celebration, starting with the counsel, love, prayer and professionalism of our church family,” the family concluded. “Second, we wish to thank everyone who helped with putting this event together. The stories told, the songs sung, and the love shared were a testament to Kyle and to how he was able to draw people together in friendship, work, and fun!”
Jacobs died at age 49 in February due to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found at his and Pickler’s home in Tennessee.
“Mr. Jacobs’ wife, Kellie Pickler, reported that she awoke a short time earlier, did not see her husband, and began looking for him. After she and her personal assistant were unable to open the door to the upstairs bedroom/office, the assistant telephoned 911,” the Metropolitan Nashville Police said in a statement at the time.
The Davidson Country Medical Examiner confirmed in May that Jacobs died by suicide. According to an autopsy report, he had a history of “pseudoseizures, gastrointestinal bleeding, elevated liver enzymes and chronic alcohol use.” However, a toxicology report concluded that there were no signs of drugs in Jacobs’ system at the time of his death.
Pickler broke her silence on her loss in August, revealing plans for a memorial service. “I am planning an intimate memorial for my husband, which will happen later this fall, that is what Kyle would have wanted,” the actress said in a statement. “One of the most beautiful lessons my husband taught me was in a moment of a crisis, if you don’t know what to do, ‘do nothing, just be still.’ I have chosen to heed his advice.”
She concluded: “Thank you to my family, friends, and supporters, for the countless letters, calls, and messages that you have sent my way. It has truly touched my soul and it’s helping me get through the darkest time in my life. As many of you have told me, you are all in my prayers.”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.