“To Whom It May Concern,
“The hate that rages within me rages not for those I love so dearly or those who have crossed my path. This hate rages full force towards me and only me. I have long forgiven those who’ve hurt me, but I have not and cannot come to terms to forgive myself for the things I have done to myself and the things I have done to others. Please forgive me for taking my own life so early. I tried so hard to fight against this strong battle. I know that being who I am has only brought myself and others pain. I love you all and will forever live within the memories we created. Forgive me. Forever, Tania.”
“I just need it to be over. I’ve tried to be good and go on, but I’m tired. I’m sorry for my children. You will be better off without a crazy, mixed-up mother. You are great kids, this is something in me. You deserve better. I can’t live without you, and I know you will just get mixed-up with me. Sorry, Mom.”
“I am depressed. A lot of people knew that already. It is a chemical imbalance. I have a nervous tick that many people may not notice. I have been raped three times. My wonderful boyfriend is in jail for murder. My mom has colon cancer. I quit school at 14. I have no job. I have no future to give my son. Mom and Dad, please do not blame yourselves. It was nothing that you did or did not do. You were always the greatest parents. I could not have asked for a better mom or dad. Please do not mourn my death too much. Shed a tear, maybe two. Then, go on about your lives. Take care of my baby boy. Never let him forget me. I love you all. May God be with you. To the other people that loved me and cared about me, thank you. You were all wonderful. I love you all. I will never forget you. Keep me in your hearts. With all my love, Jaley.”
Above are three actual heartrending suicide letters from people who felt there was no hope to continue. They committed suicide for different reasons, but it all boiled down to one major factor—they lost hope! They could not see a better tomorrow. They convinced themselves they where worthless and no one could love them or they could not rise above the circumstances they were in. They were simply overwhelmed, lonely, exhausted and felt they did not have the strength to fight anymore.
Each person’s suicide note reflects what one in five of us will feel sometime in our life. The depression rate is especially high in single parents. Anger, guilt, stress and financial difficulties help contribute to the high depression rate. Depressed parents usually have a hard time functioning in life and as parents. Unemployment, relationship breakdown, loss of health and grief are often followed by a period of depression. (Source on depression: http://www.fastrac.net.au/~kbird/emotions/depress.htm.)
So why do some end up killing themselves while others rise above the depression?
Homeless to Harvard
I watched an inspiring story recently on Lifetime titled From Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story. Liz’s parents were both drug addicts and she spent most of her young life growing up in shelters. Liz’s mother died of AIDS, which changed Liz’s whole way of looking at things. She knew she had to do something, or else she would end up on the same path as her parents.
When Liz was 17, while still homeless, she decided to not let life defeat her but, rather, to make decisions to bring her out of the lowest of circumstances. While still sleeping wherever she could, sometimes in shelters or on subways, and eating out of the dumpsters, she enrolled in an alternative school. While most teens her age were graduating, she was just beginning. She studied hard and graduated in two years.
She was determined to go to college. She looked for scholarships and found one The New York Times was offering. Liz wrote an essay and won a four-year scholarship to Harvard. Liz now travels and talks to groups about her life. She has also written a book called Breaking Night, which will be published this year. Liz’s main goal is to reach out and help others to understand they can rise above the obstacles in their life. (Source: http://www.washingtonspeakers.com/speakers/Speaker.cfm?SpeakerID=3821.)
Many of us have been dealt some pretty bad blows in our life. But it is how we take them and deal with them that will either make us or break us. We have access to the greatest hope restorer—our Creator, who knows us, understands us and loves us more than anyone else does. Consider the example of how God encouraged Elijah.
When Elijah feared for his life, he fled (1 Kings 19). He was exhausted; he felt alone, afraid for his life and forgotten. He had a sense of futility, which we all feel sometimes. So he went and hid in a cave. God listened to Elijah; He fed him and gave him the opportunity to rest. He stayed with Elijah and then encouraged him to get up and going again. “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place and also with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15). God is the greatest encourager of all.
Ask God for help
If you get down and depressed, ask God for help. Ask others for help. Liz had a great mentor who encouraged her all the way when she started school at 17. She did not get to the place she is today without people around to encourage her. But she had to take the first step—she had to seek help.
When we get down, we also have to seek help, especially if we have thoughts of suicide. Get help from a minister, parents, trusted friends or call a support hotline. You can rise above any situation! Nothing is impossible with God!
“To Whom it May Concern” concerns all of us and we must reach out and help one another. It must concern us all!