Shakopee author recounts his life struggle in poetry: By Kristin Holtz

Posted: May 3, 2010 in Blog, Blogging, Books, Community, Coping, Depression, Journal, Life, Misc, miscellaneous, Motivation, Mourning, Opinion, Personal, Poems, Poetry, Poetry Books, Published Author, Sadness, Uncategorized, Writing
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Shakopee author recounts his life struggle in poetry

By Kristin Holtz

Shakopee Valley News

Staff Writer

Tim Lundmark was living his darkest days.

Unhappy with his life accomplishments, he was frustrated he wasn’t achieving his dreams. Struggling with mental illness, he chose a date – Feb. 8, 2010 – to end it all.

But what started as his goodbye to his family became the net he needed to pull him out of his depression.

Lundmark, 30, of Shakopee recently published his first book of poetry, “My Descent Into Madness,” a dark, emotional look into his inner struggle to live.

“It’s very personal. It’s very emotional,” he said. “Not only was it tough to write but sometimes going back to read it, it’s hard to even remember writing it.”

Lundmark, who grew up in Eden Prairie and moved to Shakopee five years ago, has lived with mental illness for more than a decade. Last August, he hit a deep low.

Married with three children, Lundmark began writing poetry as a suicide note to explain the pain and hopelessness he was experiencing. He thought death was the only way out, and even though he knew it would cause his family pain, he truly thought they would be better off without him.

“My Descent Into Madness” chronicles the raw emotions Lundmark felt as he contemplated suicide. The poem, “Lie,” sums up much of its author’s struggle:

Fall Begins and everything dies/No more time to live a lie/If you think you can save me/With one last note or plea/You’d be wrong/I lack the will to be strong

Lundmark’s final poem, “To My Children,” has an especially powerful impact; it was to be his final entry, dated Feb. 8, not only saying goodbye but asking for forgiveness, too.

Lundmark said his wife, Nicole, knew he was journaling but had no idea of the struggles going on inside his head. It was her encouragement, however, which helped him emerge from the darkness. She suggested he publish his poetry.

“My wife pulled me out of the darkness by turning that writing into something I would attempt to get published. That realization I would live out a dream I had since fifth grade to be a published author snapped me out of the low I was in,” Lundmark said.

“Lundmark’s book reads as an ode to the American Dream gone wrong. Most of his poems are dark reflections on mental illness and a man struggling to cope with the society in which he lives,” wrote author Karen Mason in an Internet review on “My Descent.” “The poems are harrowing and stark in places.”

Lundmark said he was slightly scared about putting his personal struggles into such a public arena. He hopes the book generates empathy – and comfort – for those living with mental illness.

“I hope that reading my pain and my suffering and reading these things that it’s moving to people,” he said. “At the same time I hope that people going through the same thing might be able to identity with the things that I’m going through.”

Lundmark intends to use proceeds from the book toward creating the Bucket List Foundation to improve the lives of people living in nursing homes. The foundation would unite volunteers and elderly, possibly helping them to finish off their “bucket lists.”

“I’d like to do something to help those people out and make their last days happy days,” said Lundmark, who works as a staffing coordinator at Mission Nursing Home in Plymouth.

Lundmark’s days are better today, too, with a renewed purpose as a published author. He said while that dream gave him hope when he needed it, it was his wife and children which pulled him from the darkest depths of despair.

“If it wasn’t for [Nicole] and her caring, who knows where I would [have been] Feb. 8,” he said.

Kristin Holtz can be reached at (952) 345-6678 or

 “My Descent Into Madness”

By Tim Lundmark

Available: E-mail Lundmark at

Learn more about the book at Lundmark’s blog


  1. johanna says:

    Thank goodness you’re still around. You definitely have a purpose. Your pain is not in vain.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Since I have started writing in a public forum and receiving feedback I have found myself coping better. Just knowing my words are being read by others makes the pain worth it.

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