Kerry Kennedy, Other Family Members Mourn Saoirse Kennedy Hill: ‘Our Hearts Are Shattered’

Hill wrote about depression years before death
August 2, 2019 Updated: August 2, 2019

Mary Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, posted a tribute to her niece after she died of a suspected overdose.

Kerry posted four family photos of Saoirse Kennedy Hill, who was found dead her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and issued a statement about her death.

“Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse,” Kerry wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo with the student. “Her life was filled with hope, promise, and love.”

Kerry is the sister of Saoirse’s mother Courtney Kennedy Hill, and she is also one of Ethel and Robert F. Kennedy’s 11 children. Kerry, a human rights activist and writer, is also the ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Wrote About Depression

Hill wrote about her battle with depression and taking her own life in a high-school newspaper, it was reported.

“My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life,” Saoirse wrote in a 2016 piece for  Deerfield Scroll.

“Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest,” she said. “These bouts would come and go, but they did not outwardly affect me until I was a new sophomore at Deerfield.”

In the paper, Hill said she began “isolating” herself in her room and began “pulling away” from her relationships with friends and family.

“We all know that some people find winter at Deerfield lonely, dark, and long,” she added. “During the last few weeks of spring term, my sadness surrounded me constantly. But that summer after my sophomore year, my friend depression rarely came around anymore, and I was thankful for her absence.”

Later, she said the sadness came back.

“I went to treatment for my depression and returned to the valley for my senior year,” she explained. “I didn’t care that students thought that I had left because of an eating disorder, or that I had been bullied, but it concerned me that my teachers and advisors didn’t know what I had been going through. Even though it was helpful for me to discuss my struggles with all of those important people in my life, it was still uncomfortable, and it was hard for me to take the initiative.”

Other Family Members React

Other Kennedy family members issued statements about her death.

“The world is a little less beautiful today,” Ethel Kennedy, 91, was quoted as saying in a statement, according to Fox News.

A Barnstable Police cruiser sits near the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port
A Barnstable Police cruiser sits at the top of Marchant Avenue as police investigate the death of Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the granddaughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, Aug. 1, 2019. (Reuters/Faith Ninivaggi)

“Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse,” the Kennedy family said in a statement about Hill. “Her life was filled with hope, promise and love. She cared deeply about friends and family, especially her mother Courtney, her father Paul, her stepmother Stephanie, and her grandmother Ethel.”

One of Hill’s relatives, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy tweeted in tribute to her on Friday.

“Saoirse will always remain in our hearts. She is loved and will be deeply missed,” he wrote.