Matt Anderson appeared to have it all. Matt had graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1990, married his wife Nancy in 1993 and started a family in 1995. Matt and Nancy were busy raising three children in Dunwoody, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta where Matt grew up. Matt was friendly, outgoing and always willing to help a friend. He was involved in his kids’ sporting activities, his church, and his community. By all accounts, things looked like they were going well for Matt. Appearances can be deceiving though. Matt was suffering silently with deep depression, unbeknownst to most people.
For many years, Matt had struggled to reach his own definition of “success.” He felt the societal pressures to provide for his family, be a great father, and take his career further. Always optimistic and hopeful, he would dream of great things to come. Eventually his optimism and hope faded as job opportunities fell apart in a dismal economy, financial obligations increased, and feelings of inadequacy overwhelmed him.
One Monday morning in January, Matt kissed his wife and kids goodbye and headed off to work as usual. He never made it to work. Instead he did the unthinkable. He took his own life. Left behind with unimaginable grief, Nancy and the three children are trying to put the pieces of their lives back together again.
During this difficult period, the Dunwoody community has embraced the family and supported them. From the family’s church, to friends and neighbors, to local schools and businesses, people have pulled together to offer to help get the family on their feet financially, emotionally and spiritually. At a time when Nancy didn’t even know how to ask for help, a team of friends and neighbors started collaborating to help the family. They seemed to know of the numerous struggles Nancy and the kids would face and wanted to smooth the way for her as much as possible. Nancy is extremely grateful for their love, generosity and expertise. While Nancy realizes that there is a long road ahead of them, she feels surrounded by people who sincerely care and realizes her faith is stronger than ever.
Nancy wanted to use this website as a way to reach out to others. To thank them for their support, keep them up-to-date on the family’s healing progress, and share her dreams to one day help someone else who finds themselves in this unfortunate circumstance. Her mission includes creating a heightened awareness about depression its potential consequences, and creating a network of resources to help others who survive this type of loss. Matt’s story is not just one of sadness and loss, but one of hope and inspiration.