Nothing Left Unsaid

Nothing Left Unsaid

"There is something gratifying to have people in our life who know ‘the before’. When everyone knows only ‘the now’ they lack the broad panorama and deeper appreciation for the decades long struggle and metamorphosis."

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Nothing Left Unsaid is a memoir beautifully told in letters, revealing what it is like to have lived a life rich in authenticity and vulnerability. I decided to write this 50,000-word book as a collection of forty-seven letters written to all the instrumental people in my life. I wanted to provide inspiration to mentors, those seeking mentors, and anyone connected to the process of adoption.

Nothing Left Unsaid traces my journey through adoption as a child, profound depression and psychiatric hospitalizations, spiritual faith development, psychological recovery, and later professional formation as an esteemed clinical and forensic psychologist. It offers a rare and beautiful glimpse into the phenomenon of mentorship.

Imagine you are fifty-five years old and have one month left to live. You decide to write a letter to all the key people in your life and provide them with an update, a thank you or a thought-provoking insight. They are the most significant people in your personal or professional life. Each letter is nothing short of just the raw and basic essentials that need to be shared. After writing all the letters you realize something profound. All of these important people spread over decades in your life were in cahoots with one another. Their voices, while separated by geography or decades, were really one integrated chorus of love, influence, or wisdom. Most of the people in this arc have never met each other but the synergy they create certainly inspires a belief that God is watching over us. There is no such thing as a singular letter. Each letter represents another person that is part of the same interconnected story. When we stack up the letters, it’s all so simple in hindsight.

Nothing Left Unsaid inspires us to follow the arc of our own lives - everything else is a distraction. The arc never lies. Life only makes sense when we take the time to examine the trajectory that led us along the path and the people we met there.

"Yes, it’s a memoir but the core message concerns many other people. It’s about highlighting the power of encouragement and the celebration of mentors. The letters show the “pile-on effect” of many mentors over time."

Nothing Left Unsaid addresses the common human struggle of how to make sense of the brokenness in our lives. The format of writing letters provides profound reflections and insights. It is a book that goes beyond the trite twelve steps to know how to improve your life relative to a specific domain, instead it demonstrates the real way a life bends toward meaning and wholeness.

Nothing Left Unsaid is one of those rare memoirs where readers are left feeling the book connects to parts of their own story. It will inspire the reader to experience all the major people of their life as part of one singular narrative. Every event and person in the reader’s life will be re-conceptualized as part of the whole arc of the reader’s life. This work will inspire the reader to view all the key people in their past life as foundational for all future events. Pain will never have as great of a reputation as this vulnerable account will demonstrate.

Nothing Left Unsaid delivers a compelling message of hope and affirmation that our investment in the lives of others can become part of a web of influence that can literally change the world. Living through a worldwide pandemic creating increased isolation and social unrest combined with a national crisis of identity and agitation is surely a context that screams for soothing - even just the solace that can come from a mere book. But books have always changed the world, one book at a time. The concept of writing letters to tell your life story is not common. The storyline from the carnage of mental illness to the role of esteemed clinical and forensic psychologist is exceptionally rare. With utmost vulnerability Nothing Left Unsaid will reveal how I became a noted forensic psychologist who decides the fate of psychiatric patients in their quest to escape involuntary psychiatric commitment and show how I was once many years prior a chronic psychiatric patient. In addition, my memoir is much more than a personal storyline but includes a vast collection of wisdom and one liners to really inspire and soothe. It will cause you to stare at the arc of your own life much differently. It will cause you to embrace vulnerability and authenticity. It will cause you to live more fully as both mentor and mentee.

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The Book

Coming of age

This section of sixteen letters outlines the story of a young man coming of age. There are twelve letters in this section written to family members. The first four letters are written to each of his birthparents and adoptive parents. This section also includes a letter to his sixth grade teacher and two high school friends.


This section of five letters outlines his story of experiencing severe depression as an eighteen-year-old and attempting suicide by drug overdose. It includes a letter to his family member that was involved in transporting him to a hospital emergency room. Included in this section is a letter to a priest that was providing counseling to him and later drove him to a hospital due to his severe depression and suicidality. Three letters are written to psychiatrists related to his psychiatric treatment process.

Coming Through Recovery

This section of four letters outlines the story of a man recovering from severe depression. These letters are written to a psychologist, pastor, mentor, and friend.

Coming Into Career

This section of ten letters outlines the story of a man advancing through career. Letters included are the following: first boss out of college, graduate school role model, graduate school professor, friend, work mentor, psychologist, doctoral dissertation committee, clinical supervisor, forensic mentor and medical director (boss).

Coming Into Wisdom

This section of five letters outlines the story of a man coming into wisdom. Letters included are the following: Lutheran pastor in the community, psychologist, book group, men’s group, and surgeon.

Coming Into Gratefulness

This section of seven letters outlines the story of a man coming into gratefulness. Letters included are the following: three children, wife, readers of the book, self, and Jesus.

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