A letter to my daughters on the bigness of feelings

To my darling daughters –

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding and most challenging jobs I have ever experienced. I have been through hell and back in various jobs along the way in my life. In high school, I worked for a banquet hall and there would days I would spend hours on end in a walk in cooler making salads dressed in artificially colored green ranch dressing. I have worked for wretched people. I have spent hours on a trade show floor, touting the benefits of various automotive parts. None of that has been as great a blessing or as big a struggle as motherhood.

This is not a post about that really.

It’s about how sometimes I know I should say something and I don’t know how to say it. It’s about how I have all these words in my head all the time, words I try to share with you, words I hope are sinking in – but I have no guarantee that the words are. I have no guarantee that you are remembering. That these words have taken root and are as much a part of you as your marrow, your cells, your you.

Recently, a teenager in our community committed suicide. A terrible thing made even more terrible because it was someone that you knew, Princess, someone that you spent time with in gymnastics. This was already so awful, and it was made even more awful because for the first time, this awful thing wasn’t entirely outside our orbit. This required that you be faced with the mourning and the explanations and the aftermath of what happens when someone who was there suddenly is not there.

It’s devastating to me to think of anyone feeling the kind of pain she must have been feeling in order to take her life and I realize that I must be so blessed to be unfamiliar with the kind of sadness and hurt that leads to the kind of thinking that results in suicide.

This is not a letter to pass judgment.

I think of what her parents must be feeling and my heart, it breaks in half. I wonder what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling. They must be recounting these last weeks, months, wondering what they did or did not see.

You, my children – you are my world. And I want to take this moment to make sure you know that I am always here. I am on your team and I am your biggest cheerleader, and I am your strongest supporter. There is nothing you could tell me that could ever make me turn my back on you. There is no emotion too big that we cannot tackle it together. There is no sadness so great that I would not be there for you with open arms. There is no problem so big that we can’t figure it out together.

Suicide is a permanent action for temporary feelings.

And that comes from that naive place – that place that has never known pain like that, that place that hasn’t felt mired in despair – I cannot know what drives someone to take their own life because I’ve never been there.

But I guarantee you, I will always be there for you. Please know that you can come to me if you feel hurt, or sad, or if you feel despair. If you feel depressed or alone, please know that you’re not alone, and I will do what I can to find help and to find answers.

And please know that this extends not just to you – but to your friends. If you see your friends hurting and you don’t know what to do, please come to me. Please talk to me. Don’t shoulder this on your own. You don’t have to have all the answers, you don’t have to carry the weight alone. If a friend is hurting, if they talk about despair, if they are making plans to do anything to harm themselves or others, please know that I will do everything in my power to help you help your friend.

Growing up is hard, I know. But we can get through this all together.

I promise you. Never forget that I am here for you. Never forget that you are loved. And never forget that you are not alone – and that together we are stronger than each of us alone.

I love you very much, and I’m so very lucky to be your momma.





This week is Suicide Prevention Week and September 10 is Suicide Prevention Day. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)

Please. If you need help, know that there are people you can talk to, people that can help.


About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.

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