from my heart to your heart
This website is not so much about me and my story as it is about our story – our family’s story of losing our oldest child, Matt, our daughter’s older brother. It is our family story because we grieved so deeply together to find a way to live without Matt's bright smile and loving presence. It is the story of our extended family of friends who have helped us to remember and cherish the years we had with him. And it is one of the stories within the support group that held me in its embrace as I grew into this new identity of a bereaving parent.
Our Matt was 35 years old when he died from depression on April 19, 2007. Suicide seemed the only answer to the struggles he found insurmountable. For most of his life, he was happily engaged as a golf professional and later as a wildlife biologist. Matt was always in love with the out of doors, with cooking, his family and his two devoted dogs. He was a man with many gifts and many friends. For depression to shackle his spirit and energy seemed utterly impossible.
Knowing the enormous compassionate help that family and friends are during dark and difficult times has made me aware of how critical it is for grieving parents to know they are not alone. So that is my hope . . . that in these pages, people whose hearts are broken like mine was will know that they are not alone. I hope the compassion behind the articles and messages here will be the touch needed to make it through one more day. I hope the shared experience will give light to the darkness that this type of deep grief can create. I hope that a word, an idea, a resource or a similar story will encourage and uplift you. And you are warmly invited to share any questions, concerns, feelings and comments from your own story.
photographs by Ashley Unbehagen and Laurie Cook Heffron
articles by Catherine Morris and Vicki Heise
poetry by Judy Myers