Letters to My Son in Heaven – A Blog

Oh hey. When Deegan died, our therapist suggested journaling as a way to work through my grief.  I couldn’t help but think of the journals I’d kept as a teenage girl, and how I’d laughed at myself reading those words as a grown woman.  It’s funny how the things that were monumental as a 17-year-old girl, become things you’d all but forgotten when you settle into your adult life.  If only your teenage self could get a playbook from your adult self.  Maybe then my son would still be here.  

I did start journaling, fully intending to someday write a book.  Maybe someday I still will, but for now my focus has shifted.  I began sharing Deegan’s story on social media three and a half months ago.  Over 7,000 people follow me now, and our posts have been viewed over 7 million times.  We are so honored to hear from people from all over the world, letting us know how Deegan’s story has impacted them.  Parents tell us that Deegan’s story has encouraged them to talk to their own kids about mental health and suicide, kids thank us for helping their parents to take them seriously, and both teens and adults have thanked us for reminding them that there’s always hope in tomorrow.

When we began hearing that people decided against taking their own lives because of Deegan’s story, we knew we had to do more.  I remember when my husband asked me if I wanted to start a non-profit in Deegan’s memory.  I said, “I’d love to, also I have no idea how to make that happen.”  My husband, who has supported me in everything I’ve ever wanted to do for more than 20 years, shrugged his shoulders and said, “You had no idea how to do any of this.  We’ll figure it out.”  And so it began.

Instead of a book, I’ve decided to start a blog as part of The Deegan Project.  I’m doing this for two reasons.  I’m doing this in the spirit of normalizing talking about your mental health.  I don’t think there’s anything  a human being can experience that causes grief equivalent to what one experiences when they lose a child.  Parents just aren’t meant to outlive their children.  I’m sad.  And I think that’s pretty normal.  So I’m gonna talk about it so other people know that feeling sad sometimes, even feeling REALLY sad sometimes – that’s normal.  More importantly, so they know that no matter how hopeless today might feel, there’s always hope in tomorrow. 

The second reason I’m starting this blog is because I think it’s important for those that come after me to know that they’re not alone.  We’re absolutely stunned by the number of people that have reached out to share their own stories about loved ones they’ve lost to suicide. I’ve been very fortunate to have found a couple of moms who have walked this road already. I’ve found myself listening to these women tell their stories and thinking, “YES! Exactly that!”  They’ve made me feel validated, and that what I was feeling was normal.  I hope that I can make someone else feel the same way.

So maybe you or someone you know struggles with mental health, or maybe you just want to learn how to make the world a little easier for the next guy.  Maybe you’ve lost someone you love, and you want to feel like you’re not alone.  Or maybe you just want to follow my grief journey for your own reasons.  Whatever your reason,  I’m grateful for all of you.  

3 thoughts on “Letters to My Son in Heaven – A Blog”

  1. Impressed with Deegan’s website. I’m guessing Chris was the designer. It reminded me of the birthday videos Chris did. Mom:(

    1. Thanks! It’s a work in progress and we’ve definitely had a ton of help as we learn. No way we could of done it without some great friends!

  2. You and Chris, the bravery and courage to share at this level in hopes of helping others is unrivaled. Selfless and loving. God bless you and this journey.

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