Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Out of the Darkness

I tried to think of a clever opening line here.

I tried to compose a sentence to grab your attention and hold it -- to keep you here long enough to read what I have to talk about tonight. But I can't think of anything but the straight forward truth to write about a very difficult subject: suicide.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states that every sixteen minutes in the United States, someone dies by suicide, and every seventeen minutes someone is left to make sense of it.

And therein lies the Hell of it -- there is no sense. There is no acceptable explanation.

We all know someone, or know of someone, who has chosen to end their own life. I can't, and won't, speculate on the fate of the souls of these individuals, that's not my purpose. But I do know the fate of the loved ones they leave behind:




Unfathomable grief.


This last spring, Emily, one of my oldest and dearest friends, lost her brother Jed to suicide. I knew Jed, but not well. However, I know his little sister and his parents very well. I know of their love for Jed and I know of the void in their lives. I saw the pain in their eyes, I feel it in talking to Emily now. Jed's death is like an overhanging shroud in their lives. His passing influences nearly every thought.

In memory of her brother, Emily has registered a team to walk in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I'll let Emily tell you more:

"As you know I lost my brother, Jed, this past March. My family and I have been forever changed by this tragic event. In his memory I have registered a team to walk in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Salt Lake City walk is on September 26th, at 10am, at Wheeler Farm. It is a 3-5 mile scenic walk and proceeds from this event will fund research, education, survivor, and awareness programs - both to prevent suicide and to assist those affected by suicide.

My hope is that through education and awareness, those suffering from mental illness will be prompted to seek help so that other families don't have to suffer through this same nightmare.

The link is http://www.outofthedarkness.org
and my team name is "Remembering Jed". You can register to walk, create your own team, or donate from that link.

Let me know if you have any questions and if you are willing to help me spread the word.

Thanks so much!

I'm going to keep this link up here on my blog through September 26. I hope it will be a benefit to some of you.

The human spirit is quite a thing, isn't it? We long to make things better. We want to cope. We want to tell our story.

We fight the helplessness by helping others.


Cecily R said...

Oh, I hope it brings your friend and her family a little bit of peace.

Diane said...

my teenage daughter suffers from mental illness and has attempted suicide on several occasions. i know how just her attempts made me feel and can't imagine the pain your friend's family is going through.

i'll be looking more into this walk.

Kelly Deneen Raymond said...

What a wonderful cause for a walk. I am so sorry to hear about your friend's brother. I can't even begin to imagine the pain her family is going through. *hugs to them and you*

Heidi said...

I am at a loss for words. I've rewritten my comment several times. I have known several people that have taken their own lives and I have also seen what happens when they do. Their families are left to pick up the pieces and they still have to carry on. I've begun to think of suicide as a very selfish act. I hope that this walk will raise enough money to benefit those that need it.

AFSP SLC said...

Thank you for such a wonderful Tribute to Emily & Jed, Marylou & family... I have the opportunity of working with and learning from them to create awareness and prevent suicide and they inspire my and hundreds of other survivors with the work they do. God bless.