My mom was an avid Catholic who was moved to tears at Mass and prayed fervently for the health and conversion of her loved ones. When my grandmother miraculously bounced back from her many near-death ailments, my mom took to calling herself Saint Jan. Her devotion to Christ was unwavering, which is why her decision to take her own life was so shocking.
Depression, insurmountable physical pain, a poorly managed regimen of medications, feelings of isolation and rejection from loved ones, financial hardship...her reasons for leaving us were many. Most of all, she lost hope. The same day she left this Earth was the first time I heard my son's heartbeat; if she had known a grandchild was on the way, would hope have saved her?
"Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope.
With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream.
If you have hope, you have everything."
Saint Jan often said that when you have children, your heart forever walks outside your body. Though her heart beats no longer, I live on, and desperately seek to find meaning through her tragic death. I pray the work of AFSP gives hope to those who need it most, and empowers those close to desperate souls to recognize and act to prevent suicides.
About my mom
- Saint Jan never met a stranger. I recall the dismay of her lawyer upon seeing her hugging and giving spiritual advice to opposing counsel during an important trial.
- Saint Jan was generous to a fault. She opened her heart and home to all my friends regardless of creed, color, or circumstance, and freely gave her money and time.
- Saint Jan had many passions, including her work and the many hobbies she perfected.
- Saint Jan believed in family first, and her close circle of friends were akin to family.
"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." -Abe Lincoln