I Wished to be a Sparrow (Reflections on depression & faith)



I stood in the field alone, looking out to the western foothills. The sun was starting its descent from day to night, but it wasn’t quite sunset.

Not quite.

It was the magical time just before. The window through which everything is more vibrant in color, more alive, rimmed with gold. My favorite time of the day.

“This is when they should bury me,” I thought.

This is when they should lower my body into the ground, when the sun turns the world golden before its arc into night.

When the leaves on the trees flash a bright spring green. And the cottonwood floating in the air looks electric. When the long grass glows warm, its tips a blur of undulating white.

When everything is just a little too bright, just a little too beautiful, just a little too intense.

Just like me.

I was out in that field looking for God, not for salvation but for some sign that things would be okay after I died. For me and for the people who would miss me so, so much.

Depression is like being dead in a world that is cruelly alive. Cold and hollowed out like a corpse, you try to connect with the living, try to feel the warmth of their hope, but you can’t.

My only tether to this life was my love. For my mom, my brother, my friends. For the dreams of what my life was supposed to be. For my children who had yet to be born.

But the pain was becoming greater than my love, and so I was preparing to die. I didn’t know how exactly. That was for later, after I’d made peace with myself and with God in this field.

After I knew I’d done my very best to live. Because I wanted them to say at my funeral,

“She did her very best to live.”

I noticed sparrows darting back and forth across the field. As the sun began to set, they emerged.

Dozens and dozens of them flew about, only a few inches above the glowing grass, catching bugs in the last light of the day. A few of the braver ones flew close enough that I could hear their chirping and the swish of their wings.

They were exuberant and joyful. And I contemplated why they were not afraid. Their minds could not comprehend that the setting sun would rise again the next day, but they flew like it would.

They had faith that it would.

I wished to have that kind of faith.

I wished to be a sparrow.


236 thoughts on “I Wished to be a Sparrow (Reflections on depression & faith)

  1. bridgesoverwalls says:

    Written like a seasoned writer! Thoroughly enjoyed reading your captivating post.

    Amidst the pain and sorrow, what’s wonderful is that there are pearls of wisdom in your words, which is like that strong arm reaching out to you to pull you out of this devouring abyss.

    Holding on to the little good moments is worthwhile. I can say, because I’ve tread this path and at that time I couldn’t even imagine the light at the end of the tunnel. I had very little courage left in me to face another day I had no appetite for, but there were these little moments of love I craved for, and got by with heavenly grace.

    Thank you for sharing your inner turmoil. Keep faith, like the sparrows do.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Isha Choudhary says:

    Taking your own life. Interesting expression, taking it from who? Once it’s over, it’s not you who’ll miss it. Your own death is something that happens to everyone else. Your life is not your own, keep your hands off it.


    Your work is ineffable. “Depression is like being dead in a world that is cruelly alive.” So true. I cannot even imagine how to contradict that line but as always I’m one of those stay positive person because “when the smoke clears”, you will find why you needed the courage to live.
    Think about the above quote. Now, think deep. Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • AKO Collective says:

      Absolutely a great perspective. And really, my love for others (and their love for me) was the tether because I knew at some fundamental level that this was not just about me. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan says:

    What a beautifully accurate representation of Depression.
    “Depression is like being dead in a world that is cruelly alive. Cold and hollowed out like a corpse, you try to connect with the living, try to feel the warmth of their hope, but you can’t.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. omarportfolio360 says:

    This is beautiful and I can relate on every level. I am bipolar and my depression and OCD can get out of hand sometimes. I have tried to commit suicide on multiple occasions and failed every single time. I do not know why I threw up in my sleep after I took that entire bottle of sleeping pills or when I stabbed myself in the chest and missed my heart by an inch? I survived for a reason. Those days are behind me now. I do not believe on God or anything, but I understand you. Keep your head up and do not give up. True happiness may be brief, but those are the moments worth living for.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. jobansandhu1999 says:

    All the love and hope.
    Hate and hopelessness
    Delighted and excited
    Afraid and doubtful ..Every kind of emotional feeling is there somewhere In ur lines.. I could feel them all while reading it.. It was Beautiful.. U took me away from my world into yours for a Minute.. It was Great

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Quinn says:

    Sometimes I watch my dog and the way she is so happily, blisfully present; nothing exists for her outside of this moment. If she is unhappy (if the vet gives her a booster shot), as soon as the unhappiness passes it is forgotten, and if she’s happy then that is an all-encompassing happiness. She loves everything and everyone with all her heart. She is curious and her default setting is ‘content.’

    She doesn’t have room in her life for self-doubt or judgment. Sometimes I watch her sitting outside, her eyes half-closed, nose in the air sniffing the breeze, and I think that she has the important things in life figured out. She knows how to enjoy life completely and whole-heartedly, in an uncomplicated way that I probably haven’t felt since I was a child. I envy that.


  7. agiftoffaithandavon says:

    You are so blessed with such a gift for writing and a soul like yours is meant for so much more.
    Keep writing, but don’t you dare leave us. There is a God who loves you so deeply you could never imagine the magnitude of it. But He’s not ready for you yet. This sorrow you suffer is itself a gift. (I know for I share it). Through it, we learn the beauty which others will never see.. not the way we do.
    You are meant for something very special. On your good days, reach out to good people, connect with a good church, people of faith. We can’t maintain ours on our own without community.
    Please always hold on. My brother remained always by himself. He didn’t make it.
    Please use that beautiful, precious heart we all see in and through your writing for the good of all of us. Don’t think about yourself… think about us!!

    My prayers are with you..
    God holds you close to His Heart.

    Please writing. It is cathartic, and God will speak to you through it.


  8. sahityadonic says:

    Thank you for this beautifully written verses & message. It’s extremely incomprehensible for people to understand that depression is a symptom & not a crime. Having hope in those moments of darkeness is a challenge so great like the birth of a baby. Thank you for the sensitive message.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Joyce says:

    This is beautiful.

    I’ve been in the same field many times. I think “she did her very best to live” is going to be my new motto.

    Thank you so much. This helps a great deal

    Liked by 1 person

  10. KimberlyAGeorge says:

    It is a battle, isn’t it?
    And to find the words to express it, well done.
    I have a ring I wear daily that has a stanza from an emily dickinson’s poem engraved on it. I wear it as a constant visual reminder to keep hope alive. It fits this.
    “hope is the thing with feathers
    that perches in the soul
    and sings the tune without the words
    and never stops at all”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jamaicatradingnetwork says:

    As somebody who also struggles with depression, I totally relate. What I have learned is that one must find productive ways of channeling one’s pain. I have found healing in doing the things that bring me joy.


  12. Diana says:

    I love taking the time to look at nature when I’m experiencing moments of despair. Something about watching the stars by a bonfire or watching the sunset on a hill makes me feel so whole yet so little. I love the feeling of knowing that there’s something much bigger than me out there – it makes me feel like my depression is a small part of something much much grander.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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