A 21-year old single father’s moving letter of thanks to a support group for single dads recently went viral. Richard Johnson expressed his thanks to an online group called “Life of Dad” for information and support he had received while raising his infant daughter, Persephone, alone.
Born in January, 2015, Persephone’s arrival proved very challenging for her parents. Although he now believes his wife suffered from postpartum depression following Persephone’s birth, Richard Johnson did not know the reason for his wife’s actions at the time. Within a month of giving birth, she took Persephone and relocated to California. Then she contacted him and he said that she informed him she would place their child for adoption unless he claimed her. The young father quickly went to California and collected Persephone.
At first, the single dad found his life caring for his infant daughter exceedingly challenging. When he stumbled across a Facebook group for single fathers, he discovered useful information that made their lives much easier. His online letter expresses his gratitude for the support he received from the group, “Life of Dad”. He sent his letter of thanks to the Facebook group when Persephone was just 10-months old.
According to the Mayo Clinic, postpartum depression afflicts some new mothers and the impacts of this condition may also affect husbands and children. During former generations, people widely referred to the condition as “the baby blues”. Today, many medical experts believe that no single cause exists for postpartum depression. They surmise several factors may all play a role: hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, stress and anxiety. The condition can arise in a mother following the birth of any child, even in cases in which previous births did not cause any postpartum depression symptoms.
Richard Johnson in his letter to “Life of Dad” explained that he has suffered extreme stress after becoming a single dad. He scoured YouTube for instructional videos, and spent a lot of time reading books for new parents. He reported that the information he received from the group’s pages convinced him he was not alone in his efforts to raise a daughter by himself. The information he received gave him confidence, he wrote. His letter to the single dad’s group went viral soon after he posted it.