It was just after Thanksgiving 1995 when my son put a shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger. He survived, but the blast obliterated his face. Afterwards, I watched him struggle back to physical and mental health. During the first year, I wrote what I saw and felt in my journals; I recorded what my son lost and what he gained over that year.
Face to Face: A Mother’s Account of Her Son’s Suicide Attempt and Its Aftermath explores the depression and alcohol abuse that nearly ended my son’s life and my desperate efforts to save him.
When my only child, Chris, pulled the trigger that night, he nearly destroyed us both, and we are both still healing. Some parts of this book will be painful to read, but there is joy in this account as well because he ultimately embraced life.
The agonizing lesson for me was that I couldn’t make that decision for him. In the end, I understood that the decision to live or die, to take responsibility for his actions or drown in despair was his alone.