Upon the death of his wife, Thomas Jefferson went into a deep depression. In crushing words, he described his state of mind to his sister-in-law, in a sentence that could be placed in psychiatric manuals next to a definition of depression:
“All my plans of comfort and happiness reversed by a single event and nothing answering in prospect before me but a gloom unbrightened with one cheerful expectation.”
Nothing to look forward to. No hope for the future. And yet Jefferson would not consider ending his life. He had things to do:
“This miserable kind of existence is really too burdensome to be borne, and were it not for the infidelity of deserting the sacred charge left me, I could not wish its continuance a moment.”
That sacred charge? He had children to raise. Thank God!