[Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post comes from Tabitha Grassmid. She was a friend and in the same postpartum support group as a mom who recently died due to suicide during her battle with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. -Jenna]
Since the tragic loss of Sasha, I have been doing a lot of soul searching. For two years, I would see Sasha and her three-year-old daughter, Ember, walk into our support group every week. For two years, I have seen what an amazing mother she is. For two years, I have watched her ups and downs, her battle with psychosis. The most important things I learned about Sasha was that she loved her children, and she was amazingly strong.
In Grand Rapids, we have some of the best postpartum depression care in the country. My work with Postpartum Progress lets me tell everyone how great things are here and get women all over the same help we have.
The last few days have been a struggle for me. I have been so convinced that I was meant to help struggling moms; it’s my passion, my purpose.
Then Sasha took her life. All the support, the best care in the country, was not enough to save Sasha.
How do I keep going? How do I open my heart up to another mom?
But here is the truth, we do have amazing care here. Sasha had all the resources in the world right here. Maybe we did fail Sasha. Maybe there was more we could have done. Maybe her death is a lesson. There are things we can do better, more resources that can be added so that we don’t fail another mom.
If I stop, if our community stops, we are not reaching thousands of moms who need us.
So this is the point where I push harder.
This is the point where I run full speed. My dream is we don’t lose one more life to this disease. So I will continue my work helping moms suffering from postpartum depression. In fact I will be leading the brigade. I have my armor on; I’m ready to do battle.
– Tabitha Grassmid
Here are some resources in Grand Rapids:
I was torn up seeing her heartbreaking story on the local news. It happened so close to where I live so it was all over the place and I had to disconnect from social media because of how much it shook me. All I could think of was how alone and in such despair she must have been in, how I felt that at one point too, and wanted to end my life because of it. I didn’t reach out for help when I was suffering and I’m so glad I survived it. Both my children were born in a Grand Rapids hospital and I don’t feel like their little two page pamphlet on PPD did me a lick of good. My heart breaks for her and her family. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear friend.
Tabitha my heart hurts for you. I’m a Grand Rapids mom too and I was getting dinner around when I heard the news station talking about Sasha’s story. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Words cannot describe what you’re feeling, but you are in my thoughts.
I think anyone suffering psychosis ailments without being a mom us hard enough reality is so distorted a comin theme is there better off if I was dead
Wonderful don’t back up stand firm and push forward harder more prayer behind you !
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Tabitha. I had the opportunity to met Sasha and her wonderful kids Ember and Gus brieftly and “what if” keeps bouncing in my head. It is daunting. Was something I could do? No answers. I am learning about PPD and I hope I can help somehow. Sasha was an amazing human bein!!
I lost a client once. It was so hard. I went to our local hospice and talked to a friend who is a counselor there. She told me stories that made me feel less alone. It’s important for us to take care of ourselves when we lose someone to mental illness.
Tabitha you are in my heart and prayers as are Sasha and her family. Take time for you and as you said we all must put our armor back on and continue the fight against this together. You are making a difference and you did make a big difference in Sasha’s life too. Love hugs and prayers!