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About two weeks ago, Kay Warren's anger boiled over. The co-founder of Saddleback church wrote on Facebook, "As the one-year anniversary of Matthew's death approaches, I have been shocked by some subtle and not-so-subtle comments indicating that perhaps I should be ready to 'move on.' … I have to tell you – the old Rick and Kay are gone. They're never coming back. We will never be the same again."

Within seven days, her 800-word missive had gone viral with 3.75 million readers and 10,000 comments. Thousands of individuals shared stories of lost family members due to illness, suicide, or accidents. They recounted the insensitivity of family and friends, and their own shame and guilt about their overwhelming grief.

Mental illness and depression are linked to suicide, and Matthew had borderline personality disorder. Today [March 28], Saddleback senior pastor Rick Warren and Kay will convene one of the largest ever, one-day gatherings of Christian leaders focused on the role of churches in addressing mental illness. The event is sold out. Recently, Kay Warren agreed to her first in-depth interview about her son's suicide with Timothy C. Morgan, CT senior editor, global journalism.

The response to your Facebook post has been staggering. Was it written on the fly or what?

In the last month, there were four instances where I was subtly or not subtly moved along. I was having lunch with a mother younger than I am who was recently bereaved. Her loss was 14 months ago. I said, "Before the one-year mark was up, did you have people telling you, hinting or saying to you that you should move on?" I asked other people who had lost children. I was hearing the same story. ...

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March 2014

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