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Remembering Garrett: One Family's Battle with a Child's Depression
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Remembering Garrett: One Family's Battle with a Child's Depression

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United States Senator Gordon H. Smith tells the heartbreaking but inspiring story of his son's embattled life, his death by suicide at age twenty-two, and how the Smiths finally carried on — fighting the growing problem of youth suicide with the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 28th 2007 by Basic Books (first published March 23rd 2006)
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Sarah Ferraro
Jan 22, 2016 Sarah Ferraro rated it it was amazing
Honest and touching tribute. As a civil servant, Senator Smith had to endure a private tragedy in the public eye and did everything in his power to ensure that some greater good came from his son's illness and death.
Jun 05, 2009 Tracy rated it liked it
Senator Smith's painfully honest look at his son's struggle with bipolar disorder and eventual suicide. As he makes clear, without the right tools and information even the most caring parents or friends have a hard time helping someone with mental health problems. I read the book because I work in Washington, DC, and I remember the news of Garrett's death, as well as how poignant the report about Senator Smith's words about it later were on the Senate floor. I never thought a Congressional Quart ...more
Sep 23, 2007 Tori rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who has lost someone to suicide
10 - This book is about a father who went through the terrible loss of his son to suicide and he is trying to do something positive by working on mental health legislation as a U.S. Senator. I think this book offers a lot of hope to suicide survivors.

Grief is teaching me how alike people really are and that our differences matter less and less. I could not have had less in common with the author....he is male, wealthy, from the West, Morman, a parent, a Republican Senator, etc. while I am a ver
Heather Dine Carter
Dec 30, 2008 Heather Dine Carter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-dont-own
This book should not have been called Remembering Garrett, it should have been called "How I Made it to the Top and Oh by the way, my Son Battled Depression". I know it's harsh, but the majority of this book was about Gordon Smith's career path and how he made it to the Senate. 15 pages of the book actually talk about his son. His wife should have written the book, because she was the parent who raised Garrett and helped him get where he was in life. Between all the name dropping and reminscing ...more
Jul 31, 2007 Karen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who lost someone to suicide
Senator Gordon Smith (of Oregon) lost his son, Garrett, to suicide after suffering from depression most of his life. This book was good when it stuck to the story of Garrett, his silent suffering, his parents feelings of guilt and having to go on with life. Unfortunately, Sen. Smith spent too much time talking about himself, his work and his life. To me this felt much more like an autobiography of Sen. Smith's life and not the topic at hand...Garrett's suffering of depression and bipolar disorde ...more
Jul 10, 2013 Francesca rated it did not like it
I read this book for summer reading for my AP Psychology class. I went in expecting more of an analysis on the causes of depression because of this. Instead, I got a book almost completely about the senator's career choices. He barely went into how Garret felt. I suspect that this is because he didn't spend much time with him. He says that his memories with Garret weren't as many as he hoped but his wife replied that she had many. So maybe she should have written this book, so that we could trul ...more
Jul 17, 2011 David rated it really liked it
A sad book. I grew up with many challenges and could empathize with Garrett. He obviously came from a loving family. I learned of the love of his parents and how they appreciated his idiosyncracies in addition to everything else.

I wish the book would have told how Garrett's family is doing today, and how they remember Garrett (in addition to the legislation). I would have also wanted to know why others opposed to the legislation for more strident mental health testing of teens/college students.
Sep 13, 2012 Fritz rated it it was amazing
I met Gordon Smith this past weekend at a series of Church meetings. His messages moved me, and made me want to learn more about his challenges with his son.

I couldn't put this book down. He really bares his soul, and asks brutally honest questions of himself as he tries to deal with the loss of his son.

Having read this book, I have some thoughts on how I can be a better father. Also, I think I can have more understanding and empathy for others who go through similar loss in their lives.
Jeannie Tremblay
Jun 18, 2013 Jeannie Tremblay rated it liked it
A quick read - could be done in one sitting. I was upset that the first 60 pages or so were about the author and his life. Then I didn't feel that he gave enough history about his son as a child. Then I wished I knew how Garrett's siblings dealt with his death. All in all, I felt this book could have been developed into so much more. I will say, however, that I wished I had known this young man, and I'm saddened that his life was cut short.
Apr 24, 2009 Kristin rated it really liked it
Touching true story told by Senator from Orgegon. It tells of his experiences raising a child with Bi-Polar disorder and his own recovery process after his son committed suicide because of it. My favorite part was hearing how supportive other senators were towards him. I now have a higher opinion Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton as individuals (not necessarily politicians)because of this book.
Mar 05, 2009 Leeann rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
Overall, I liked this book. However, I would have liked Garrett's parents to tell us more about his life: stories of his childhood, his personality etc.
Nonetheless, he sounds like he was a wonderful young man and I commend his parents for using this tragedy to bring about legislation that will help other families and children.
Mar 24, 2008 Emily rated it liked it
You know, I was really dissappointed. I was hoping for a book about bi-polar disorder, but this was more about the senator's career.

Gordon Smith is a senator from Oregon (Washington? I forget) whose son went to UVSC. Because of his manic depression he eventually committed suicide.
Jan 29, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
PHENOMENAL BOOK! It's extremely depressing. It's a journey into one man's (happens to be a Senator) life in dealing with his child's mental health problems.
Jan 07, 2008 Pamela rated it liked it
important read for anyone who has a loved one or friend battling depression. i interviewed the author and was touched by his loss. profoundly sad.
Jun 09, 2009 Janet rated it really liked it
very enlightening all the way around--about depression, life of a politician.
Aug 17, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
This would be horrible to live through. It's a good book though.
Jeff Anderson
Apr 24, 2015 Jeff Anderson rated it it was amazing
I was deeply touched by this wonderful book.
Author Blog Tours
Apr 08, 2011 Author Blog Tours rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one and would recommend it.
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