For 24 hours, I have been trying to write this post. But like so many of the things that need to be said, it has seemed nearly impossible to say this thing.
Yesterday was International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, and for the second year in a row, I found myself at an event put on by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The $2,000+ I have raised for AFSP over the last 15 months is used for four different purposes: Research, Advocacy, Education, and Support for Survivors. In the greater LA area alone, there were 3 different locations hosting Survivor Day events, all free to attendees because of donations to AFSP. At these events, survivors can find comfort in community, sharing stories of healing and hope. Although we all wish that our loved ones had not felt so alone in their struggles, we often overlook how alone we feel in our own healing journeys. At Survivor Day, we get to come together in groups as siblings, as parents, as children, or as spouses, to share our stories and build a community that we may not otherwise have access to.
I remember and honor my brother every single day. Every day, I continue to work for Suicide prevention in his honor, and every other day I ask that people support AFSP for those three other areas they focus on: research, advocacy, and education. But today, in honor of yesterday's celebration of Survivor Day, I ask that you donate to my walk page to help fund support for survivors, because that cause matters too, that support keeps us surviving.
I'm sure it's no coincidence that the message on my tea yesterday was, "May this day be the day to lead us to peace, to happiness, and to joy." After reading that message before I left for my Survivor Day event, I made it my intention for the day, and shared it with my group. The peace, happiness, and joy may not all come at once, they may take time and redefinition after a loss like this. But the community that I found at Survivor Day is the group who best understands that, and that may be why yesterday was going to lead to those things, because we could redefine them so much better together.