As part of his treatment for depression, Will was asked by his Support Worker to fill in this booklet. To complete an exercise in week 5 he chose to speed-write a letter to his mother, almost without thinking and almost without lifting his pen from the page. This is the letter, unedited and in its entirety:
Dear Mother I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything I did and didn’t do. For everything I said and didn’t say. For the times in my childhood when I thought I knew it all, and for being a child when I grew up.
I’m sorry for not picking you up when you slipped on the icy pavement and cracked your hip. I’m sorry for going to live in America when you were dying, and for not being at your bedside when you gasped your final breaths.
I’m sorry for hating you for naming me Simeon for which I was teased and bullied at school – you told me to fight back but I was too weak.
I was so selfishly wrapped up in my own worries that I forgot the woman who gave me everything – the succour when I needed succour, the wisdom for my ignorance and the belly-laughs when I was down and you were mad.
Now, when I’m depressed I think of you, the wonderful things you gave me and the memories you left me. So even though you’re dead you’re still breathing life into me and still giving me laughs. The other day I put flowers on your grave and trod in a pile of dogshit.
“Serves you bloody well right!” I heard you say.
“That’s the bloody thanks I get!” I replied out loud, and remembered your raucous laugh.
We all become just memories till the last of us perishes and photos till the last of them decomposes. But for now, what I must remember most is that when I am down, when I am depressed or feel there’s nothing left to live for, I should believe in myself like you believed in me.
So to hell with the black dog, fuck the bullies, I am me, I am Simeon, and together we are stronger.
Love forever and rest in peace,
William Simeon Aston xxx