Every once in a while I say something to myself like, "I am so over suicide." Or, "The problem with suicide is..."
And then I have to laugh at myself. Yes, duh, Lisa.
It's like when I said to my dad, "Hang in there." And he responded with a twinkle in his eye that perhaps that wasn't such a great thing to say to someone like him.
And then, you know, he did.
The hilarity, it abounds.
Anyway. Suicide. Suicide is a heavy topic. It's soul-sucking. It's dreadful. Talking about suicide will pull you down every time. So, you know, hang in there.
Really, without any protective humor or sarcasm, I will say that what shocks and saddens me is that when I open up about my dad's suicide, I hear so many stories from people I know, although not well enough to know, if that makes sense. And blogging, I've gotten quite a number of private messages about it.
It is everywhere, and nobody talks about it. And people feel better when they feel like they can talk about it. When they do not feel alone.
Once you start talking, you learn that so many people know the crushing pain of suicide in their lives; even if they haven't experienced the tsunami of the loss of a loved one, they have felt the far-reaching ripples caused by the death of a colleague, acquaintance, neighbor...I hate that this is the case. And yet, it is.
Which brings me to the point of this little missive.
Once again I will be walking all night long (all night) to raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This year it's going to be in Philadelphia, a city I love. I don't know it well, but I suppose I'll know it a whole lot better after June 28.
This year I've set a goal of $5,000 - to commemorate five years of loss. It is sometimes hard to believe that next month, my dad will have been gone for five years. I have almost reached my goal. And honestly, I'd like to surpass it. But symbolically, the number five felt right.
A number of you so kindly supported me last year, and in fact have already done so this year. Thank you thank you.
If you have the resources, I would be so grateful if you would donate to this cause that is so terribly near to my heart. Here is the link to my page and my story.
Most importantly, though, resources or no, would you spread the message that mental illness is no cause for shame? That silence and shame are killers, and that everyone deserves the love and support they need?