Below is a response to our "string video" by a seasoned psychiatric nurse practictioner. Nothing has been changed and below this email we received is my response. It's so nice when someone takes time out of their life to be kind and considerate. Joanne did.
Dear Mr. Johnson,
I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and a psychoanalyst for some 25+ years. I live in NJ, have a private practice and I also teach psychiatric nursing. I am at the point in my doctoral studies of needing to develop a project for completion of my program. I was Youtube surfing to get some ideas, and I came across your touching video about your experience in the service and working on a psychiatric ward.
After looking up your foundation, and realizing how it came to be, I wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your loss. Since working with suicidal individuals and teaching about it has been one of my specialties for decades, I don't know how I got side-tracked into thinking about another topic for my capstone.
In 2000, When my (then 7 and 9 year old) children's 100 year old grandmother died, less than a year after a 50 year old cousin, they posed the kind of question that makes parents think on their feet. "Why did grandma live to be 100 and cousin Michael only to 50?" I took them over to a needlepoint rug. I pointed out how some threads go the entire length, and some only have a single stitch - usually to add a sparkle to an eye, or a twinkle to a star. I told them that in God's plan, every thread has a purpose, regardless of it's length, and that if it wasn't there, God's picture for the world wouldn't be complete. And then I turned the rug over and showed them the tangles threads. "We live on this side, where it's messy and doesn't make sense. When we get to the other side, we will be able to see the beauty of the whole picture, and understand his plan."
Graham clearly had a positive impact on the world, and the pain of his loss must still be grabbing, especially because it was by his own doing. I am sorry that his string was so short, something no parent should ever have to deal with. I think that your foundation in his honor and memory is a wonderful way to extend the length of his string and help bring light into the world. I hope it has brought more light into your family's, as well.
Thank you for sharing your story. It helped me regain my perspective on the course I will choose.
"To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks, but a special heart that listens...."
Shaman Medicine Woman
Thank you Joanne,
So very nice of you to take the time to write such a nice email. I appreciate very much your sharing and am now sharing with my wife and two daughters and our friend Kathryn. I also like the way you explained the rug and the lengths in it.
I am glad the video was helpful. I also like your tag line below your signature which is so indicative of what you practice for a living. Would you mind if I put your email on the GJCAE site and share the story about the rug? I will not put up your last name and/or if necessary only initials or change the name if that makes you uncomfortable.
Again so kind of you to take the time to be nice and it is much appreciated. Yes Graham’s string was short but the colors were vibrant.