Today I participated in Nashville’s 6th Out of the Darkness community walk. This was the 3rd time I’ve walked the walk. Two times in Virginia Beach and now here in Nashville. It was special because I got to support and walk with someone who had lost a sibling to suicide. We both looked at it from different angles. Me having tried to kill myself. Him losing his best friend/sibling and grieving over that loss.
There were a few great speakers. There was a memory circle with photos of loved ones gone with notes beside them. He couldn’t handle that so we skipped that part. I read a note from someone about missing someone who had died by suicide. I cried. I always do.
Everyone wore beaded necklaces of different colors to indicate how suicide has affected you – loss of a parent, loss of a friend, etc. I wore green indicating that I had tried to kill myself. I did not wear it out of shame, I wore it with a feeling of hope. My life has only gotten better since my attempts. I would have never found my way to Nashville if I died nearly 7 years ago. My life is so full.
There was a beautiful moment right before the thousand of us began to walk. We were all given tiny bottles of bubbles. The played a very moving song and over a thousand people blew bubbles into the air. It was gorgeous and heartbreaking and hopeful.
I raised $260. Combined, we raised a total of $80,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Not bad. 🙂
I encourage you to find out if there is a Out of the Darkness Walk in your community. Raise some money. Meet some people who understand you. Find hope again.
Photo credit: Elaina J. Martin