Wife asks that husbandís loving qualities be remembered
Thank you for spending time with us in our grief and memories of Daniel Livingston. This letter is for all of you who have shared in my husband's life.
Dan was a wonderful man who had so many great qualities along with very human and common problems dealing with day-to-day life as a husband and father. Dan was handsome, personable, always willing to help and a lover of his family, his trade, sports and hunting. Nonetheless, quietly and in his own way, Dan had struggled with pain and despair for many years. A lot of the time Dan was the wonderful person you all knew when alone with us, but routinely his inner torments would show up to his family. To be clear, in his last days and hours Dan was not the person we knew and loved.
In his torment he couldn't recognize his many strengths, only his weaknesses. Perhaps out of love for us, he pushed us further away at these times. During these storms Dan could not find a single positive aspect that he liked about himself. In recent days, and too late for Dan, we learned a little more of what the terrible disease of depression was doing to his point of view. Dan didn't commit his final act to hurt his family and friends. He did this to ease his own pain and find shelter from the storm.
Suicide is not a topic to be swept under the rug. We want to be honest and clear. Dan was depressed, a disease in the same way as diabetes. Please remember my Dan and learn the signs of depression and anxiety. For men in particular it can be so hard to ask for help for something that becomes such a part of your life. We as his family and friends will learn from this situation and work to become better listeners and spend more quality time with one another. If you feel depressed and hurting, please reach out to family and friends. As a result of the last week, we will either become better families or bitter individuals. For Dan's sake I hope better families are the outcome.
We may have our own opinions about Dan's decision, but please know that my husband is at peace now and rid of the confusion and anger that took control of his mind. Please remember the father and friend who lived before March 19, 2008. Remind people who speak of his death about his life. Remind my son and daughters. Let them tell you about their dad. He was a very good man and father who made a poor choice. We need to be able to ask for help when we are desperate. Please honor Daniel Livingston this way.
We love you Dan. We love you Dad. We miss you so much.
P.S. Please take time to look at the literature about depression. Take a yellow ribbon and tell people about the dangers of depression when they ask about it. There is help and love for this terrible disease.