An Open Letter to Women Gone Because of Postpartum Illness: I've Been There

Sandra Nishihata

Editor’s note: please be aware that this article mentions heavy topics such as suicide and might not be suitable for all audiences.

To the mother who killed herself,

I wish you could still be here. I wish you would have had the chance for a glimpse into the future. The future that you couldn’t imagine positively with you in it.

Maybe thought they were better off without you. That you were a burden to your children and that your love for them wasn’t enough. Anyone can love them, right? They deserve someone who won’t yell at them when she’s overwhelmed. Who won’t hide in her own bedroom, unable to deal with them. They deserve someone who spends time with them. Who goes to the zoo or reads them books. Who holds them when they are scared and protects them from the evils of the world.

I wish you would have held on for just one more day. Because that day your child came home and said you’re the best mommy in the world. And that smile gave you enough strength to call a doctor to get help. That day, you would have found the strength to reach out to a friend who would have told you that your children need YOUR love, because there’s nothing like it.

They will miss your arms forever, and they will always remember that they didn’t get to tell you how much they love you. They will always be wondering if it was their fault. Their love for you hasn’t died, and it never will.

I wish you could still be here and that I could get to know you. I am you. And I am trying to make it one more day. And one more day after that. And one more after that.

Maybe we could have faced each day together. Maybe someone will do it with me.

With love,

A mom who has been there