Latter-day Saint Life

Viral, Touching Letter: To the Strangers in Whole Foods Who Surrounded Me After News of My Father’s Suicide


"No matter how many times my mind takes me back to that horrible life altering moment, it is not all darkness. Because you reached out to help, you offered a ray of light in the bleakest moment I’ve ever endured," Deborah Greene wrote in a letter to the strangers at Whole Foods who surrounded her, supported her, and loved her after she learned of her father's suicide.

Though Jewish, Greene recalls a Christian asking if she could pray for her and her father, praying right there in the middle of the grocery store.

In an article by Jason F. Wright, Greene gave more of the details behind this powerful moment and the letter it inspired. “We have got to talk more about suicide,” Greene said. “Grief is grief, no matter why we’re living it, but suicide is uniquely complicated. And more than any topic, it silences a room."

She also admits that the experience of losing her father shook her faith in God. “The casualty of loss makes faith difficult. It’s not a question of do I believe — I believe strongly in my faith — but I’m trying to learn how to talk God again,” she admitted, adding, “He will patiently wait for me to find my way back."

Read part of Greene's incredibly touching, viral letter below or read the story behind this letter here.

Dear Strangers,

I remember you. 10 months ago, when my cell phone rang with news of my father’s suicide, you were walking into Whole Foods, prepared to go about your food shopping, just as I had done only minutes before.

But I had already abandoned my cart full of groceries and I stood in the entryway of the store. My brother was on the other end of the line. He was telling me my father was dead, that he had taken his own life early that morning and through his own sobs, I remember my brother kept saying, “I’m sorry Deborah,  I’m so sorry.” I can’t imagine how it must have felt for him to make that call.

And as we hung up the phone, I started to cry and scream as my whole body trembled. 

Lead image from Jason F. Wright.
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