I Still Believe
by Desiree Woodland
According to the Foundation for Suicide Prevention, every sixteen minutes someone in America dies by suicide. There were more suicide deaths of young Americans in 1995 than deaths from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and lung disease combined. In 2010, it is still the third leading cause of death of young people ages 15-24. Studies suggest that the great majority of them suffered from a diagnosable mental illness, and that most of them received either no treatment or inadequate treatment.
In May 1, 2006, author Desiree Woodland’s son committed suicide. The loss of a child before the parent, the intractable illness, and the added burden of death by suicide weighed upon her heavily. In I Still Believe, she shares her story—a mother’s story about her son and the mental illness that changed him, his subsequent suicide, and what Christian faith means in the light of it all.
For her, the act of writing I Still Believe became a spiritual journey to probe the promise of beauty within the darkness, to seek understanding in mystery, and to believe once again in life after death.