For my close friends and family who know me by my potty mouth…it’s NOT that “s” word. Although one day, I’d love to write about all of the benefits (at least in my case) of using four-letter-words. :o) This word has seven letters and, just like many four-letter-words, it’s part of my every day vocabulary.
The “s” word is SUICIDE.
I used to cringe every single time I heard that word. It was usually delivered in hushed tones, a whisper almost, like a deep, dark secret. That’s not to say that the word doesn’t bother me – it does. But it’s different now.
While we still have a long way to go with suicide awareness, prevention, education and advocacy, we are making significant progress by saying the word out loud. By taking away the shame often associated with the word itself, we are opening up a whole new dialogue that just didn’t exist when I first encountered it back ’93-94 when my brother died by suicide.
Some of the most powerful dialogue comes from people who have survived a suicide attempt. These individuals can describe in vivid and heartbreaking detail what they were feeling just before their attempts. These accounts provide critical information for physicians, psychologists, researchers, families, friends, etc., so that they (we) can not only assist the person in pain, but also analyze the details and make new recommendations and discoveries for mental health and suicide prevention.
I feel honored to have been put in touch with one such person. A survivor. Her name is Sara and she is this year’s Mrs. Montana International. Her platform is H.O.P.E. for Suicide Prevention and she is raising funds for the AFSP|American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. On May 21st, she is running a half marathon and calling it “Running for Angels” as she will be wearing the names of friends, family and complete strangers who have died by suicide. I have asked her to add Brian, John and Patrick’s names to her list.
I am so grateful for people like Sara.
You can click on the following link to see her page and all of her courageous efforts:
I just realized another seven-letter “s” word that is part of my every day vocabulary: SURVIVE.
#79. Made a donation to AFSP (RAK of the Week): https://www.crowdrise.com/afspfargo2016/fundraiser/saradukart (RAK of the Week)
#78. Delivered St. Patrick’s Day treats to friends, neighbors and teachers.
#77. Sent St. Patrick’s Day cards to a couple of friends.
#76. Helped a neighbor who was struggling with an online form.
#75. Donated gently used toys to Goodwill. (I always have such a difficult time letting go of the kids’ things.)