Remembering Crystal

Lauren, over at Sharing the Journey  brought this to my attention.  She asked that other bloggers would spread the word about the story of this beautiful young Mom whose life was cut tragically short, and about her father and family, who are grieving the second anniversary of her death this weekend.  To Joseph and his family I want to say:  I care.  I will remember Crystal even though I never had the privilege of knowing her myself, and I will tell her story.  This video was made my Crystal’s Dad in her memory.  It’s a photo montage telling her story.

Two years ago this weekend a beautiful woman named Crystal took her own life in the midst of a struggle with Postpartum Depression.  She was like many of us who struggle with the disease–she didn’t… couldn’t ask for help.  The changes that family saw in her were easily explained as just the worries that she was prone to have.  I don’t fault this family at all.  PPD is so tempting to hide.  Having a baby is an overwhelming experience anyway…  Of course we’re not always going to be looking or feeling our best.  And it feels so scary and hard and hopeless that asking for help just feels impossible.

But oh…  If she could have only reached out for help.  Postpartum Depression so often tells a woman that her family would be better off without her.  But that’s a lie.  The truth is this:  Your family NEEDS you.  There is HOPE.  It won’t always feel like this. 

And that’s something that I want people to understand about PPD, and about ALL depression.  So many people, when they hear of a suicide, wrinkle up their noses in disgust and say, “How selfish!”  But what they can’t understand is that from the inside looking out suicide isn’t selfish.  When your diseased mind tells you that you aren’t the best thing for your  baby or for your family, when lies whisper all day long that you aren’t good enough to do this job, strong enough to be a mother, and that if you continue in the job your child and family will come to great harm, when those are the lies that you hear, the thought of suicide isn’t so much about sparing YOU pain, it’s about sparing them.  That’s how twisted your thoughts can become when dealing with PPD. 

BUT…  Those thoughts are LIES.  You WILL NOT be sparing them.  Because YOU MATTER.  And YOU ARE a good Mom, or can be with help, and the strongest thing, and the best thing you can do for your family is to get HELP.  Your baby and your family NEED you. 

I wish it wasn’t so scary.  I wish it wasn’t so threatening.  We think our kids will be taken away.  We think we will forever be branded.  We think that there is no hope (more lies).  We have to reach out for help.  And we desperately need the people in our lives to see past our masks and our assurances that everything is ok, and to empower us to seek that help.

I wish Crystal could have.  I wish she could have gotten help.  I wish she could have found her voice.  I wish this video could be about how she overcame Postpartum Depression.

Watch this video.  Honor Crystal.  And then, ask the tough questions to the Mom’s in your life.  Let them know that they aren’t alone when the task seems impossible.  You might just be their lifeline. 

As Lauren says on her blog: 

“If you, a loved one, or a friend are coping with the recent loss of a loved one to suicide, please read this from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

If you are contemplating suicide, there IS hope. There are people who love you. People who care and want to help you heal. Need someone to talk to right now? Click here for a comprehensive list of resources in the US.

If you are struggling with a Postpartum Mood Disorder, contact Postpartum Support International’s warmline at 1.800.944.4PPD. (I may just be one of the people to return your call – I’m a volunteer for the warmline in addition to providing support in my home state of Georgia)

Bottom Line here? There is hope. There is help. And above all, you are absolutely NOT to blame. And above that? You WILL be well.”

Read more at Lauren’s Blog.

Read more of Joseph’s story in his own words, here.


3 thoughts on “Remembering Crystal

  1. Pingback: Reclaiming the Anniversary: One Father’s Journey «

  2. As I was reading this, I was thinking of my cousin who killed herself after having a micropreemie back in 1988. She killed herself in May of 1990 right before Mother’s Day. She had tried once before, so the family thought taking her to visit out of town family would help.I thought she was being selfish when she killed herself, but now I understand. There were no drugs on the market at the time besides MAIO? inhibitors and Lithium. As you and I know, medication is often a lifesaver.
    She was an only child. Even though it has been almost 20 years, her parents are still suffering, particularly her mother who often doesn’t even get out of bed in the AM. I am glad we can talk about PPD now. No one did back then. Thank you for posting what you did; for saying how people with PPD feel about losing their kids if they tell they need help.
    Thank you for taking the shame out of PPD. I only hoipe others will follow.

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