How We Survived Our Son’s Suicide Attempt

During Kevin Amundson’s long recovery after a suicide attempt, his parents, Dave and Amy, and his sister, Jessica, found strength and peace in prayer.

In September 2014, undiagnosed depression led our son, Kevin, who was 20 at the time, to attempt suicide. It was a very serious attempt, that involved a gunshot wound. He was hospitalized in intensive care for about 25 days. Multiple brain surgeries followed, and Kevin spent approximately 2.5 months in the hospital before he came home. His recovery continued, and Kevin required a lot of care for quite some time.

We Could Not Answer the Question, ‘Why’

When we were in the ICU that very first night, we decided to start a CaringBridge site. And we said right away that we were going to be very upfront and honest about exactly what had happened.

Here is what I wrote in Kevin’s CaringBridge Journal: “We will not attempt to answer the question you will all be asking, which is, ‘Why?’ There is no answer we can offer that will satisfy that question for any of us. We can tell you he is a charming, funny, compassionate, and deeply loved young man, and we believe that neither God nor we are done with him yet.”

Our Family Depended on Prayer

Looking back, it is hard to believe what our family went through. At the start of the journey, we were really unsure if Kevin would survive. Then we hoped only that he might be able to go home with us, rather than stay in the hospital.

All through this time, my husband, daughter and I depended on prayer. We communicated with thousands of people through CaringBridge, and every day I asked for specific prayers. There were days that it was for no seizures. There were days that it was for no blood clots. There were days that it was to control Kevin’s temperature.

Depression May Always be Present

And today, Kevin is back. It is nothing short of a miracle. He is 24 now, and except for losing his sense of smell, and sometimes processing things more slowly when he is tired, he is whole again. We have been so very blessed. Words will never express how grateful we are to still have Kevin.

Of course, neither Kevin nor anyone in our family will ever overlook that Kevin will always be working toward having depression control less of his life. But he is purposely and consciously on a path toward healing. And four years later, it continues.

Kevin’s Hope is to Help Others

Kevin often shares his story publicly, with the hope of helping others. Our family feels that if being open and talking about how Kevin felt, and what he struggled with, and the things he went through, has the ability to save another person, then the struggle and the pain all had a purpose.

May no other mother ever go through anything like this with a child. It was the worst time of my life, but with the support and prayers that came through CaringBridge, I never felt alone. And for that, I will always be grateful.

We Can All Help Prevent Suicide

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Dial 1-800-273-8255. The Amundson Family also supports SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), founded in Minnesota in 1979.

Amy Amundson is the proud and grateful mom of Kevin and Jessica Amundson.

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  • Deb

    Courage to face severe depression is often found in the love of family and friends. So often it is difficult to face the beast alone. Your son is one of the lucky ones…he has you.