4 thoughts on “How to find hope”
Six years ago from today, my husband of 43 years, died by suicide. Kevin was a kind, compassionate, hardworking and intelligent man. He hid his lifelong depression for years. He had a PHD in biology and an MD from Thomas Jefferson Medical School where he graduated at the top of his class. He became a beloved pediatrician. After attempting suicide at the age of 47, he finally sought help for his severe depression and anxiety. He went to a psychiatrist for years, had ECT (shock therapy), went to NIMH for 11 months for treatment, took too many medications to count- and nothing worked. In his suicide note, he said that he no longer wanted to suffer the unrelenting pain, and he felt the world would be better without him. So many people loved and respected Kevin, but he could not feel it.
The reason I am writing this post is to encourage people to reach out to family and friends who suffer from depression and anxiety. I recently read an article about a young woman in Philadelphia who is suffering from cancer, and how her family and friends made a video for her called “A Message of Hope”. Words of inspiration from over 200 people from every corner of her life came pouring forth from her cellphone screen telling her how much she meant to them. She responded, “I was like, look at all these people giving me hope. In that moment, I saw how much I impacted others. It was a dose of medicine, strength, hope and faith.
Unfortunately, depression and anxiety are often invisible, so many people do not see these afflictions as they see the more visible ravages of cancer and other physical conditions. But if you know anyone who seems “down” or sad, please reach out to them. If you knew Kevin, do it in his memory. Call that person, invite them for tea or coffee, to go for a walk, or just tell him or her how much they mean to you. How I wish I knew then what I know now about depression and anxiety.
If I had attempted to make Kevin a video of support, I know so many of his family and friends and
colleagues would have gladly responded. We miss him everyday.
Ann- Thank you for sharing that story. You have a post here, the start of one if you wanted to publish your story. If you are ready. But either way, thank you for this on his death anniversary. Always a hard day. My heard is with you.
Hope is such a powerful force. Thanks for the reminder!
It is. And I can remember holding onto it with the edges of my fingernails