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“A Thank-you Note to My Son for Living”

Several years ago, my son was holding onto his life with a great deal of effort. Some days he just wanted to give up. But he promised me that when things got tough he would call me and give me one last chance to hear him and talk with him. Those conversations terrified me. I felt helpless and sad and frightened and discouraged and, sometimes, mad. But at the end of our long talks, when it was clear he was in a safe place, and had a good plan for making it to the next day (that included how he would follow up our call with his doctors), I would hang up the phone and feel an overwhelming rush of gratitude. I knew he was fighting for his life, and I felt grateful that he trusted me enough to allow me to help, and I wanted to let him know that.

— A Thank-you Note to My Son for Living, April 2014 —

Dear Son,

Thank you for living.

I do not understand the depression you experience, but I know that your depression isn’t a matter of a poor will, or of a weak mind, or of an ungrateful heart.

I marvel at what you sacrifice to stay in this life. I want you to know that I appreciate your weariness, and your courage, and your effort.

Thank you for how you experience your pain and your sadness, and yet, continue not to give into them.

Thank you for getting help on the really dark days.

Thank you for allowing me into this most difficult part of your life. Know that I often feel scared, and sad, and helpless. But also know that I overwhelmingly feel love, and hope, and gratitude. Love for you and the way you bless my life. Hope for a future with you beyond your turmoil. And gratitude for your willingness to fight for life.

Please know that I will fight tirelessly along with you for you and your life. I see in you beauty, and strength, and possibility. I realize that you may not see those things–and I don’t fault you for that. I only thank you.




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