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A special request for our mom's 80th birthday

We have a direct ask: please go to this site and leave a message of love and happy 80th birthday for our mom, Paulette Cochrane. Her birthday is February 15th. It is free and easy and your message can be as simple as “Happy Birthday. I love you.”

Why it’s extraordinarily time sensitive: our mom is committing slow suicide. These are extraordinarily painful words to put on the page. We do not come to them lightly. Paulette has been battling bipolar depression for at least thirty years. It is a strange and confounding disease, in her case, transforming her from the social butterfly on steroids many of you knew into a fading, crumbling and montone wallflower. In practical terms, she’s not eating as much as she needs to, she frequently skips doctor’s visits, she avoids almost all social interaction and she lies in bed, frequently, for 23 of the 24 hours in the day. Because of her sedentary choices, medically, she’s nearing kidney failure. This is her disease driving to death. 

NOTE: We respectfully request you avoid giving our dad or us ANY advice or suggestions on how to handle or inspire Paulette. Also, please do not ask us to pass something along to her. No matter how well-meaning, it comes across hurtfully - as if to say we haven’t tried or thought of something, or you’re, for whatever reason, unable to let her know, personally, via this specific platform, how you feel. Again, we ask that you directly engage with her by creating a free video via this link. Let her see your face. Let her hear your voice. Speak your truth. Tell her you love her. Share a favorite story. Again, it can be as simple as “Paulette, I love you. Happy Birthday!” Please do not let the search to find the perfect words stop you from delivering words today.

Emails, phone calls, texts, and social media messages (including all the well meaning emoji thumbs up, hearts and cares) DO NOT reach her. A video from you via this platform WILL reach her. 

A quick and painful story. Last year, our dad wanted to have a party for our mom to cheer her up at their assisted living facility with their friends/fellow residents. He arranged it in their apartment - which is an extraordinary effort considering everything he’s dealing with 23 years into his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Many said they would be there with great enthusiasm. NO ONE showed up. This was heartbreaking. I’m pleading with you all: SHOW UP on this video platform and show my mom love. This isn’t to save her. This isn’t to cure her of bipolar disease. This is to let her know, at a time when she can still hear it, how loved she is, and how many lives she’s touched. 

Please DO NOT reply to this until you have sent a video. DO NOT tell us you’re going to do it. PLEASE DO submit a video, then, if you wish, come back and note in the comments that you have. 

With love and tremendous gratitude,

Robert and Christine Cochrane

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