Last weekend I walked with our alumni in the Out of The Darkness Walk hosted by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Santa Monica. As we gathered by the Pier, I wondered who would show up. I mean…it takes a brave soul to take a stand and show up to walk in honor of someone you love who committed/attempted suicide or that you yourself have attempted. One by one these warriors showed up! Some that knew none of us, some with their loved ones. We began to create a tribe as we strolled the booths together, knowing we all had a common bond. We were supporting one another, unconditionally. No judgment. I brought everyone to the booth that had the different colored beads representing why we walked.
White- Lost a child
Red-Lost a spouse or partner
Gold-Lost a parent
Orange-Lost a sibling
Sliver-Lost first responder/military
Blue-Support the cause
Teal-Friend & family of someone who struggles
This was a powerful moment for all of us as we walked through the event before the actual walk wearing our beads. As others took the stage and shared about their advocacy, there came a time where we (1,200+) were to raise our colored beads when called and look around to see that we are not alone. This was an emotional moment for all of us. we teared up in memory. I personally was affected by the tribe that held up their beads that I hold so dear to my heart—along with my father who committed suicide 20+ years ago.
Having a tribe that understands and reaching when you need help is everything. You are not alone.
Alumni Coordinator-Rosewood Santa Monica, Lynne
I was 13 when I learned what suicide was. I couldn’t fully grasp the reality of what happened and didn’t understand why my best friend did what she did until years later when I attempted to take my own life.
Just last month, at the beginning of September, I lost another friend to suicide.
I participated in the Out of the Darkness walk to help bring awareness to people that suicide is not the way “out”. That they are not alone and people do love and care for you. We all had very different, yet very similar stories and it was powerful to see so many people come together to raise awareness for such tragedy, while loving and comforting each other.
I felt that the walk was a reminder of how connected we all really are. There were so many different types of people. When we did the bead ceremony, I felt a connection to every single person realizing that we all had such a profound struggle in common. The walk was a reminder to me that even though I’m standing next to someone that I believe I have nothing in common with, that I need to constantly realize, we are all connected and we have something in common with everyone.
It was a day of healing, hope, love and remembrance!
National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: 741741