The world has lost a Mother of Perpetual Determination (MOPED), a fierce advocate for people with serious mental illness (SMI), and a mother who lost her son, Farron, through neglect in prison. SMI is often criminalized and, in 2007, Farron was suffering SMI which resulted in his tragic, avoidable death.
As Farron's mom above all else, Mary's love and pain were channelled into successfully advocating for SMI in Alabama and nationally. Mary was truly one of the best. My experiences with Mary came well after I had witnessed her greatness and had grown a deep respect for her work.
One day, out of the blue, Mary sent me a message. She said she saw a lot of herself in me, perhaps with more grace, as she witnessed me taking on the anti-psychiatry people. Huge compliments came from this great woman and she grew my confidence enough for me to join in the national fight for decriminalization of and better treatment for people with SMI.
I will forever work in honor of you, Mary. I, as you, will never give up, will never give in, and will always use my mama emotions to motivate my advocacy. You are now reunited with Farron which is all that eases my pain. I miss you beautiful warrior mama. Rest easy now.
Mary Barksdale's family has requested donations be made to Parents for Care, in memory of this beautiful spirit.
See Mary Barksdale's posts on this blog:
Losing Farron - October 26, 2016
My Holiday Story - November 22, 2017