As I read the words, my heart was pounding, my ears were burning, my mind was spinning.
Our adopted daughter had asked to come over because she had something to give us. It had been a stressful week for her in the middle of a stressful year, in the middle of a distressed life. After she arrived and settled in, she handed us a letter.
My eyes scanned the pages; I was trying to stay my usual cool and unconventional self while internally feeling totally overwhelmed and inadequate for what was happening. My mouth went dry, my hands tingled, adrenaline was rushing through me.
She had given us her suicide letter.
We thanked her for sharing and then asked what did it mean that she was giving it to us. She said she didn’t need it anymore.
And what did that mean we asked. It felt like we were holding our breath all this time. Scenarios were running through our heads at lightning speed. No shame, no judgment, support, love, safe right now.
She said, “Because I want to live.” And with that declaration, her tears came rushing forward as if a dam was bursting. We just sat with her, cared for her. It’s all we know to do.
That was Spring 2016. Thankfully, as I write this, she is still alive. We count every new day as a victory. The journey isn’t easy, in fact, it’s downright crushing sometimes but she is a warrior.
If you’re reading this, dear Velveteen Rabbit, our hope and prayer with all the love we can send through the distance between us, is that you keep fighting. Remember your supports, ignore the crap that comes your way, and when you relapse – regroup and press forward. Hang on. No matter what, you can survive and thrive.
And when you’re feeling overwhelmed, rest in what you know to be true: you remain, unquestionably lovely, intrinsically love-worthy, and unconditionally loved.