It is almost my birthday and with all the birthday cards, why am I so sad? My husband always makes me feel as if my birthday is a big celebration and I have two amazing daughters who try to make this day very special for me. Cindy always makes her own cards and Carrie always finds the perfect card, meant just for me. But something is missing, a card from my son, Keith.

Our son Keith died in 1999.

I remember one card from Keith. Keith was in his senior year at UCLA and was recovering from a fall, from which we thought he would not recover. During this time I was living in Europe with my husband and youngest daughter Carrie.

I flew to California, to be by his side, and spent 3 months with him as he recovered from many surgeries. He was in a rehabilitation hospital for almost 4 months and I can still remember how difficult these days were for him; being his mom, I felt his pain.

However, on my birthday that year, he sent a card that made me laugh. It had a baby in a high chair smoking a cigar. Keith always had a way of reminding me, he was all boy!
However, the one thing I always cherished, more that the card, was what he wrote on the card. Keith, usually had a hard time talking about his feelings but when he was able to write, his feelings surfaced and oh how I loved reading those cards!

Yes, I will miss Keith’s card on my birthday but I am so thankful for having a son and my son was Keith. Keith continues to send me spiritual messages, especially on my birthday.

Carol Loehr 2012


Carol Loehr

Carol Loehr is the author of My Uncle Keith Died (Trafford), which addresses children’s questions about suicide and depression. Carol’s only son, Keith Loehr, died at the age of 29 by suicide in 1999. Carol has been an elementary and special-education teacher. She created and continues to maintain, a web site to help comfort and educate survivors of suicide, as well as clergy, health care professionals, and counselors. Carol appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing “Honoring a Child Who Died By Suicide.” To hear Carol being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link:

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