Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Letter of Hope to Laura


A healthy 24-year-old Belgian woman, known only as "Laura" has been scheduled to die by euthanasia based on her psychological pain. 

Laura has been living with suicidal thoughts for many years.

Laura's story has received more response than any previous story of a person seeking a lethal death Link to her story.


Dear Laura:
Since we first read your story on June 19 in a Belgian newspaper, our hearts have been broken over the prospect of your possible death by lethal injection.

We have received many messages from people who want to contact you to share their story of living through similar psychological pain. These messages told us of their experience with suicidal thoughts and how they also wanted to die. These people shared their stories of hope and of how they lived through the suffering and have found happiness in living.

They expressed how your story was a reflection of their story.

They want you to live. We want you to live.

At this moment, your life may seem dark and without a future, but we want you to know that there is help and there are people who want to care for you.

Everyone who has signed this letter wants you to know that they care about you. They also want you to know that your death may shatter the hope that many others, who suffer like you, are seeking.

We, the undersigned, ask you "Laura" to choose to live and by living you can offer hope to others.
Alex Schadenberg
International Chair
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

32 comments:

tony zandl said...

Hi Laura.
My heart cries out for you. I hope and pray that you will not take your life . When all else fails you please seek God. Let someone tell you about his mercy and grace. My Daughters name is Laura and she to wanted to take her life at one time many years ago. She is now 33 years old and has a loving husband and 6 beautiful children that ador her. If you just seek god like she did you will see that God has a beautiful life planned for you. I am just a simple truck driver that loves God and the life he has given me. I also have a beautiful wife and Two loving children as i was saying my daughter is Laura also and i just cant wait to see her and her family every day. I came from a very harsh family where my dad beat me as often as he could. and my mother even went as far as hitting me on the head with a rolling pin. You want to talk about child abuse.Man have i gone through a lot. I gave my life to God and so did my Family. I will continue to pray for you and would love for you to meet my family one day.
Tony Zandl Chilliwack B.C.

Jule Koch said...

Hello Laura
Last September I took in a friend who was suicidal because she had no hope. She had no money, was estranged from her family, isolated and in despair. Today she has a new boyfriend, a new life and is so glad to be alive. I shudder to think what would have happened if that had all happened to her after February 6, 2016 in Canada - if, instead of reaching out for help, she had merely gone to a doctor and asked to die. God help us all

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura

I have suffered in a way that is similar to you having depression and suicidal thoughts come upon me for seemingly no reason. I however have found that the reasons to live far outweigh the reasons to die. I believe that the only real hope man has is in Jesus Christ and I believe that he can calm your troubled spirit.

Please don't die but instead find new life.

Best wishes
Jared

jared said...

Hi Laura

I have suffered in a way that is similar to you having depression and suicidal thoughts come upon me for seemingly no reason. I however have found that the reasons to live far outweigh the reasons to die. I believe that the only real hope man has is in Jesus Christ and I believe that he can calm your troubled spirit.

Please don't die but instead find new life.

Best wishes
Jared

Maria from Doral said...

Please for the sake of others in your situation, keep on living. I have suffered since I was 19 with various forms of OCD, anxiety and depression. But after all these decades of ups and downs, I have appreciated the good times, even small ones, much more than other people I think who have suffered. When you find something, no matter how small, that is beautiful or makes you laugh, appreciate it. Go on living. You don’t know how many people will see your example of an heroic life. I pray to God and try to remember that the bad times that I feared often never arrived. I thank God for the times I can smile despite my worries. Never let your problems have the last word. Don't surrender your life because of them. Just one last thjng:recently, my sister and nephew brought home a kitten. I'm not a cat person--I like dogs! But she has brought me joys and smiles in the few weeks now that we have had her. Do you think having a pet, though it sounds silly, might help? It helps me. And were something to happen to her I would get another pet because of the comfort they give and how joyful they are. Please pray and live. That is how we can get along. Enjoy the small things that come your way, be aware of beauty and kindnesses, and pray. God bless you. Laura, continue to live. Be our hero.


Anonymous said...

Hi Laura I have been through thick and thin,I cab tell you that life will get better! Please trust that you have something better ahead of you. It is worth living for the moments that are in store for you. Que Dieu te bénisse et te garde! Louise

irene gill said...

Hello laura--
I read your decision re ending your life---and I know you must have given tremendous thought to come to this decision---we can all send you messages as to why you should rethink your decision -but in the end it will be your decision-I have reached the age of 89 this past April---and I can tell you that in those 89 years --I also thought firstly I was not worthy a person to remain in this world---As the years past i found out why it changed---it was many things---people I met -some I liked ---some I did not-- but even with all those friends I felt I was missing something--so I was always lonely---and wondered what am I even here for---I will tell you that ending my life was not my top priority---but something kept telling me---someone or something would finally fill my heart to carry on---and be happy--and it did _I never married -so I do not have any Children---but I will tell you that the void i felt for many years was finally filled with people I loved -even animals---I loved my dog---and he too died and left me--But when some one leaves this earth I knew I was not left alone--all have been with me and I am sure In God's hands---I have just read the Email sent to you By Tony Zandl-I would ask you reread his message---We both love you-even though we do not know you---Just remember when everything looks at its worst---God will never abandon you.. So please rethink this --come visit me In America--- send me your photo-I will send you mine--AND give a thought to this---Is it not amazing we=Tony and his family---Me and my family and friends--are now connected ---So from this day forward -YOU will never be alone---we may be miles apart -but will always be there for each other---You have my prayers---and I just know you are a very strong person-you can do this ---we want you in our lives...send me a photo -I will send you mine---We are going to be a great family as well as friends---LOVE AND HUGS IRENE GILL

Patricia Cooper said...

Please reconsider Laura, you are loved.
Patricia Cooper , Canada.

Kathryn Happell said...

Dearest Laura,
Sometimes our lives are overcome by pain no medication can stop... In those moments I reach for the One Who created me, the One Who knows my pain intimately. The Lord knew me, my every thought before He ever made me, yet He made me anyway. I believe - I choose to believe that there is a purpose for my life, even my pain. When I call out to my Creator He is always there, waiting for me, ready to hold me, comfort me, until I can raise my head again for a season. It is when I lay my head on His chest and rest in His loving arms that I know... I don't want to die.
I just want the pain to stop.
For that Moment I can choose to help someone else. To do everything in my power to stop someone else's pain and that gives me purpose for my own.
Time and again I run to my Lord for comfort and replenishment. He is ever ready and able to hold me close, to give me rest.
I pray you will reach for Him, and reach for someone else who is hurting.
I will share your pain.
I ask the Lord to give me part of your burden. Give the rest to Jesus.
I know you don't want to die - you just want the pain to stop.
I love you, Laura. WE love you. And Jesus loves you.
Give hope to someone else. Choose life.

lorrie sale said...

Hi Laura,
My heart aches for you as you have endeavored to take this step in order to put an end to all that has concerned you. I feel you are a young beautiful lady who has lost her hope in living the life you have. My experience is limited in this area but enough to have my heart and eyes opened to how a person can be convinced that their choice is the best choice. May I Laura, present to you that there will never be another Laura.Your very existence at this time is noticed,there is no one who sings just like you, thinks and creates just like you, smiles and laughs just like you and I believe loves and cares for others just like you! From the tip of your cute little nose to the little wiggle of your toes you are truly a beautiful creation. I believe that! Because God says that about you. (Psalm 139 paraphrased verse 15 says) That you were wonderfully and fearfully made in your mother's womb. Verse 17. That His thoughts about Laura are precious and are more numbered than the sand of the sea.God is trying through people,friends and loved ones to speak to you to let yourself embrace your life and let it count through living not death. I have read that you have only considered taking your own life because all other avenues are not condusive choices for you. I marvel that God has given every human being a free will to choose to love Him and get to know Him or to turn away and reject Him. His grace can cover every hurt and pain. Laura, it takes the same strength and determination to choose life as it does to choose death. I am praying for your mind and heart to be convinced of your worth and to be impregnated with hope, that you would Choose life to live as God has intended you to, from the very beginning of your conception. To be that young girl who instead of ending it, will begin to entertain the ideation of living again until you are convinced that your life is unique and you have much to give. I will be praying for you Laura.Love Lorrie

Anonymous said...

DEAR LAURA,
JUST BE AWARE THAT GOD LOVES YOUR DEARLY AND IS VERY CLOSE TO YOU. HE WISHES FOR YOU TO LIVE AND TO THRIVE. WE DO GO THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES IN OUR LIVES, BUT THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE FOR US. JESUS SAID,"I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU. I WILL BE WITH YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH." I PRAY THAT THE PEACE OF GOD WILL INFILTRATE YOUR SOUL AND THAT YOU AGAIN WILL FIND PEACE AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. YOU ARE YOUNG, AND YOU DO HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE.

LOVE AND GOD BLESS, BARBARA

Bertha Bustillo said...

Hello Laura
Laura I do not know you but I pray for you. Laura my heart is broken when I saw your story in the news, I know life can be harder but sweetie try a little more please I ask you to take a time to think that your life is precious the only thing you have is to see with different eyes. Laura my daughter I called you that because I have daughter almost at your age, take another look I ask you this because as you I try once to kill myself thanks to my lord I fail. Laura I just want you give to yourself other opportunity and start holding our Lord hand, take it little one and trust in him please Laura. Little baby please hold His hand, wait an a year and in the year give to JESUS. He will open your eyes and your beatiful heart, and He will make you see how beautiful you are and how beautiful is your life. Laura I will pray even harder for you my love I promess, little one God love you and me too He will put everything in order. This is my email Laura if you want to tell me anything bib8177@ yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

hi Laura
please don't die
Sarah, new zealand

Anna said...

Dear Laura,
The night is the darkest just before the dawn. Do you believe in God? He sends us challenges to strengthen us - no, it's not easy, it's not fun and sometimes it breaks our heart. But God asks us to walk with Him, and trust in Him and in return He will carry us through the flames - If we ask Him. Please, allow God to love you - Pray - "Jesus I Trust in You" several times, then quiet your mind and allow God to love you, and He will carry you through. GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU. He will not leave you orphaned, He will carry you in the palm of His hand.
Love from Anna,
Canada

Anonymous said...

Dear Laura,
I am praying for you and will get many others to pray for you. May our Lord strengthen you and give you courage to bear this seemingly too big of a cross.
Love,
Eva

Anonymous said...

Laura I cannot add anything to what has been written but consider well and live.. Bless you, Jane

Georgina said...

Laura:
Please wait. Your days will brighten. You will receive the help you need. I will say a prayer for you each day.

Mir said...


I know this is hopeless but please please please don't send this letter to her!!!!!!

I understand your point on being against euthanasia and I respect that but I'm trying to stop you from hurting this obviously suffering person. This will make her feel more guilty and doubt her right to express her pain and anxiety.

You have absolutely no idea what her illness is like and what she has gone through. You seem to think that little bit of positive thinking and support will help her beat this thing. This is totally naive and also pretty insulting. She has been fighting this disease for her entire life. Assuming that this big get well card would make a difference is a slap in her face and in the face of all her loved ones and medical staff who have been working years on finding help for her.

Depression, especially chronic, is really not something you can get over with positive thinking. Some people get better and some people don't. It doesn't mean that some people fought less. A really severe depression can be like a incurable disease because sometimes a mind can't get to the right tracks despite all the care, edication, help, support and love. Depression isn't just a psychological disease as many people also suffer from neural and hormonal problems. She has been in a psychiatric ward for over 3 years which means that at least for the past 3 years she has been so sick that she can't live in a normal home. She has also tried suicide multiple times. Does that sound like a person who just needs a bit of help to get them out of bed and out into the fresh air?

If you were in a battle against cancer how much would it help you to hear that someone on the other side of the world is giving you thumbs up? Someone how had been surfing the internet and had come across this petition and thought "Oh, that's a shame, a young girl and everything. I think I'll sign". Who do you think you are when you think that your support will make an impact even though you don't even know her real name or anything else about her life? If you're not gonna fly to her and be a real shoulder to cry on, this will be pointless.

And all the formerly depressed people who have been sending her messages please stop. Hearing how you dealt with your illness won't help her. It will only make her feel worse. You are parading your recovery like showing your new running shoes to a legless man. Your tips could have helped few years back but not anymore.

I'm sorry because I know that everyone is simply thinking about her best but you don't have any clue what it is. Most things on that letter and what you are writing are really hurtful to a person who is depressed. It makes you feel worse about yourself by making it seem like the cure is so simple but you still can't reach it. And that you are being inconsiderate towards your friend and family when you don't see how much they are supporting you. I'm ready to fight any person who has been depressed and says that they didn't feel like that.

We can discuss about the euthanasia and it's justification as much as we like but don't punish this person by sending this.




To the blog author: I hope you will publish this :)

Marie Andrée - Canada said...

Bonjour Laura,

Je viens de lire que tu veux en finir avec la vie, Je ne te dirai pas que je t'aime ou que je sais que tu es forte, car je te connais pas. Par contre, je sais que Dieu lui, il t'aime. Je vis avec un mari qui est bipolaire et qui est souvent suicidaire. Je remercie Dieu pour tous les jours où il est encore avec moi car je l'aime tellement. Je suis presque certaine de comprendre ce qui se passe dans ta tête car avec le temps mon mari a été capable de me parler de ce qui se passe dans la sienne. Lorsqu'il sort de ses phases suicidaires, il apprécie la vie et au fil des ans, il y a plus de beaux moments que de moments brumeux. Il s'est tourné vers Dieu et a appris a accepter son amour. Demande à Dieu de te montrer son amour. Donnes-lui une chance de t'aimer et reçois son amour. Tu verras la vie d'un autre oeil.

Je prie pour toi, Laura. Que Dieu te garde.

Vicki said...

Dear Laura,
I don't know you or the struggles you've gone through, but I do know this: suicide is a lie, & Jesus is the Truth. Call out to Him, & He will answer. I know there are lots of people praying for you right now. Please hold on - life WILL get better, & you WILL be glad you chose to live.

I hope you can feel the love going out to you.

God bless & protect you. Vicki

Carol Parowski said...

Dear Laura,
Depression can feel overwhelming, but it is not all of who you are. Depression can pass. You can talk with many many people who have felt the blackness and come to the other side. All that life offers is before you. Don't give up, you have something to bring to the world that only you have to offer to us. There is a good book called Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It"by Jennifer Michael Hecht who has been there and has also has some of her friends die by suicide.
Blessings,
I hope you stay.

Dan said...

Dearest Laura,
I pray this night that your heart would warm to the Truth that you are special and loved by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I too battled for my entire life with ADHD, depression, OCD, anxiety disorder, and histrionic traits. Then at age 32 while listening to a sermon by Dr. John MacArthur I surrendered my life to Christ and have steadily been healed through the victory God gives us in His Spirit (Psalm 42:11; Galatians 6:14; James 1:25). The Devil wants us to believe otherwise and stuggles to hold us down but we rise above in Jesus' name. You can too! Most importantly, there is a spiritual family of believers who are there to strengthen and encourage you. I pray you come to Christ (if you haven't already) and that you find a solid Bible-teaching church to fellowship with. Only God can call you home to Heaven when He knows the time is right.

Bless You,

Dan
Bobtown, PA

Anonymous said...

Marie : Ik hou van je mijn dochter bent kostbaar in mijn ogen en kom je terug naar me de prijs die ik verwacht dat je om je te redden en laat u Alleen ik , God kan je leven te geven , want ik hou van jou en je leven is kostbaar om u te beurt me en vraagt ​​me dat ik zal komen en bespaart u van uw lijden en je innerlijke kwelling al de gebeden van uw broeders en zusters opstijgen naar mij uw Vader Degene die Slaat houd je hand naar mij, mijn lieve dochter .... uw Vader t ' liefde

Anonymous said...

Sweet child, please do not let your life be taken from you...the world loses if you go. The lies to destroy appear appealing when suffering speaks with its loud voice. But, it is the voice dripping in lies. You would not be better of, the world will not be better off without you. I was told those same lies too, but time has passed and so has the power those lies tried to wield over me. Instead, I strained to hear the Words of Truth Who told me an entirely different story...I strained because inside I knew they were there to be heard, "I love you!" I made you for a reason, even if you don't know what it is yet." "There IS a future and a hope for you, if you will search for it." "You are never alone. Seek Me and dump the junk." "One person, with the Creator is a majority to win." "Illnesses have cures." "You are loved...but, you have to accept It." ~ There is a Way, a Truth and a Life waiting for you to call out. ♥
Judy
Havelock, ONT.

Anonymous said...

Your life is precious. Choose LIFE. Praying you will see that you will leave a hole in this world that only you can fill!! Jeremiah 29:11-14. Love, Stephanie, USA

Anonymous said...

Dear Laura,

My prayers are with you! Please do not give up hope. I suffered with depression and social anxiety for the first forty years of my life. It took time for my doctors to figure out exactly what medications I needed, but after several tries, they found the right combination for me. That was about 25 years ago. My life has changed significantly since then! I am happy, despite injury from a brain aneurysm six years ago. I have lived to see my precious granddaughter about to turn five years old. It's good to be alive!
Kindred Spirit,
USA









A

michael meagher said...

Dear Laura,

I know the pain of depression. But hold on...pray for strength to deal with it and you will get the strength.


Also medications are getting better and better, and even DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION is now becoming more hopeful as an alternative to meds.


Please keep going. One step in front of the other.

Yours with love,

Mike

Anna said...

Dear Laura,

We found out about you from the news, and your story couldn't leave us indifferent. Through this letter we would like to extend to you our helping hand and offer our support in your complicated situation. You know, when somebody is in trouble those who care come to visit and cheer her up. We don't have the pleasure of being your friends, but we want you to know: we care about you and we want you to live!
If only we had an opportunity to meet with you in person we would say something like this:

We know that you have been feeling down for many years now, and that it seems like the suffering will never come to an end. Many of us have been through a similar calamity and we want to share with you our experience, in many cases it is an experience of people coming through depression.

Dear Laura, we wish to cry it out to you: LIFE IS WORTH LIVING AND SOMETIMES IT TAKES SUFFERING TO REALISE HOW BEAUTIFUL LIFE IS!

Very fortunately, those of us who have dipped into the very bottom of depression were not presented with the solution called "euthanasia" as in that vulnerable state of mind many might have taken this fatal choice and would never have been able to write this letter to you.

Dear Laura, it's thanks to difficult times and suffering that people become stronger, discover hidden resources, meet real friends, find their way in life and start appreciating the beauty of ordinary things. Suffering is like the sculptor's knife which creates a wonderful masterpiece from a block of marble. Knowing how it is to feel bad we become human, start understanding other people and help them! Nothing in life is given in vain, each thing is like a dish with a unique taste to make the table called Life complete.

Dear Laura, so far Life has served you very bitter dishes. But this does not at all mean that nothing good remains on the menu. And if you quit now you will never discover what was prepared for you. Maybe it's a caring and loving partner whom you will meet in a couple of months. Maybe it's an unborn child who is waiting to stretch his warm little hands to you and call you "mama" looking hopefully into your eyes. Maybe it’s a person who is waiting for help that only you can offer. Maybe it's a little puppy, whom you will save from hunger.

Dear Laura, if you don't change your decision before it is too late you will never know all the beautiful things that will happen to you. Give Life a chance! Even if your sufferings feels unbearably long, you have not seen most of what Life has to offer simply because you are still so young.

You're young, healthy and beautiful, and depression cannot last forever. Do not listen to those who don't believe that you can manage, who suggest that you surrender (even doctors can be soooo terribly wrong sometimes), to hypochondriacs outside and inside you smile emoticon. Please, take the side of your heart that remains open to life. Believe us, it's truly important for so many people! What would you feel if you saw an entire blossoming tree being chopped down only because one branch had dried up? Or if you witnessed an animal being slaughtered just for fun? Pain, a sense of absurdity, the urge to protest? These are the feelings we have when we think of euthanasia being approved in your case. And as a Human Being with an immortal soul, you're hundreds of times more important than flowers and animals!

Life is on your side Laura, please trust it!

We would be happy for you to contact any of us for support, or just for a chat, at the following email addresses:

Marina at marinakrasenkova@yahoo.com
Anna at annasabadash@yahoo.com
Stefaan at stefaan.pelgrim@gmail.com
Maria at peresvet17@yandex.ru
Andro at androrogava@yahoo.com
Ken at kenguy@me.com
Andriy at zabily@gmail.com
Irina at irina-gorlovich@yandex.ru

John Collins said...

Dear Laura,

I have worked with many people who were suicidal and I live in a country where the majority of young people consider suicide throughout their adolescence and into early adulthood. In 34 years of working with individuals in various levels of distress and "depression", I have come to know that wanting (this) life to end is not the same as wanting to die. I noted that you even said this yourself. Losing hope that one can have another life is what leads to having only one option. From the vast majority of people I have met who were seriously considering, and attemtping, suicide, I can tell you that they found another life and got out of the one that was causing them so much suffering and pain. Though I do not know it, you seem to be close to that point. As many here have said, your life is precious and our world will be so much poorer without you. Of course, you are the only one who can change your situation and make decisions. It will take a great effort. You now know that there are many people willing to be with you in that journey. That is already a change from where you were before.

Just another person who cares,
John

lesa said...

chère Laura nous sommes a bordeaux si tu veux viens nous nous occuperons de toi et peut etre pourrons nous te faire vivre. nous ne sommes que des gens avec pas grand chose mais beaucoup d'amour et de rire nous entoure, alors n'hésite pas. nous avons faillit mourir mon mari et moi et meme si il a fallut deux ans pour se reparer physiquement, aujourd'hui nous vivons avec joie, alors tu peux compter sur nous pour te soutenir.
Cédric et Stéphanie.

Bobbi Jo Steele said...

Laura,

I saw the look in your eyes, how terribly deep they went, past whatever human emotions normally end at. It was almost like your mind was opened up to something deeper than anyone could handle, and I couldn´t help but to empathize with you. When I was growing up, I ended up cutting myself to get the same feelings you described in the Economist video. I remember sitting alone on the cold tile floor of the bathroom, looking at the drops of blood running down my arm and feeling blank, almost like nothing was there. I felt like there was no point to living, and you probably are used to people saying you have everything to live for, but where does someone find inspiration? Where does someone find empathy? Laura, I ended up having someone else pull me out of the same situation you are in, so I want you to know that I will help in any way possible. No one deserves to live that way, and it´s more than tragic. You are worth something, if not to yourself, then you are worth something to me. You´re beautiful.

Bobbi

love2listen2love said...

I'm glad that Emily changed her mind. There is always hope and Love.

Printfriendly