Dear Mom,

Dear Mom,

In two days I turn 40. In two days it will be 21 year since the last time I saw you. I have now lived more time without you than I did with you… and so much has happened…. I have lived so much life without you around. One of the biggest things is my son, Keaton.

He asks about you so much. He knows he is left-handed just like you. He knows you had a kind heart. He knows I miss you. He has also helped me view you and your death in a completely new way. A few months ago he was asking about you and how much I miss you. I told him I do and that you died the day after my birthday….

He gasped and said “That is why your birthday is so special.”

I didn’t tell him because he is five and doesn’t need to know all the details at this point in life… but my mind didn’t go to how special my birthday is… instead it went to how much I have dreaded or more like hated my birthday since the year you took your life… the day after I celebrated my 19th year.

I only could get out a small “yes”.

He continued with his thinking… “That was the best thing she could give you! She knew you would want to see her for your birthday!!”

In one sentence your grandson completely reframed your death for me. For years I have been mad at you for killing yourself the day after my birthday… but this year I will be thankful you held on one more day so I could see you on my birthday. If you had died by any other disease this would have always been my mindset, but since it was a mental illness, unfairly I held you to a higher standard. So mom thank you for holding on one more day so I could see you on my birthday.

I miss you so much and I am so sad you have missed out on so much. You really missed knowing the amazing human Keaton is. He has a connection with you I can’t explain but I know it warms my heart and makes me feel more connected to you than I have felt since you died.

I can’t promise I won’t be sad this year on my birthday or the day after… but I have decided instead of anger, I will stick with gratefulness and love. You deserve this… I deserve this and we both have a little five year old to thank.

Love you,

Amy Leigh

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