I went by your grave this afternoon. As I sat there, talking to you, all the memories flooded back. The sheriff’s visit, the few days following the news, the funeral planning meeting, the wake, the day of the funeral, standing graveside….it all came back in a flood of tears with none left to shed. How is that even possible? How can one cry that hard and not have tears!?!
As I sat there graveside for the thousandth time since you passed away, I thought of the first graveside moment. I thought of the devastation prior to that. And I thought, I still can’t believe your gone. How can it be true?
It’s been 111 days since you took your life, 111 emotional, tear-jerking, heart-stopping days. And it’s not getting easier. Oh, the tears may be less and sleep might come a little easier, but the memories linger and the emotional roller-coaster is just as unpredictable as it has been since I received the news that left me and everyone else with a broken heart. Remember, I was visited your grave and while sitting there, the one feeling that came back was anger. I am angry about so many things revolving around your life, your death. And as I sat there, that first day by your grave, the burial flashed through my mind. I don’t remember much of that first week after you passed away, but I remember feeling anger, not at you….at everything else, everything that led up to your last day. Some of the biggest thoughts that ran through my head include questions such as:
- Who did she think she was trying to plan your funeral because you are my son?
- Who did they think they were trying to exclude me from any of your funeral?
- Who tries to keep children from other parent?
- Who tries to walk around as if the other parent doesn’t exist? Who does that shit?
- Who ignores such devastating information that was ignored and then turn around to point fingers? Who does that shit?
But, I don’t want to stay there in that place. Rather than let someone else’s hatred be my focus, I’d rather focus on helping others with our story, Darren’s story. It’s National Suicide Prevention Month and fighting suicide is a story I want to invest in. The statistics for suicide are insane! North Dakota alone has had a 58% increase in suicide rates, the biggest increase in the country, since 1999 (NDDoH). Insane! With such an increase, we need to pay attention. Suicide is there! We need to recognize it. We need to address it. We need to PREVENT it.
And everyone can contribute to that!
Ahh, there it is. How can you help?
In plenty of ways!
- Talk about it! Talk about whether you have been there. Talk to others who may be there now. Just talk about it. Learn the warning signs so you can reach out to someone who’s in that place of darkness.
- Contribute your time. Help spread awareness through social media, email, phone conversation, face-to-face contact, etc.
- Be a friend! This one is actually very simple and is something we learn as children.
- Donate to the cause: walks, cycling programs, etc. The money goes to funding research and prevention efforts.
- Take part in the activities that raise money for the cause: Out of the Darkness walk (available across the nation), Cycle Around the Globe, advocate for suicide prevention to local congress leaders, state senators, other state leaders.
We can all prevent suicide. Join the cause. Support the cause. Everyone’s life is precious. Suicide should never be the answer because every life matters. This life is for everyone so Let’s Prevent Suicide.
I invite you to support my team as we walk to #FightSuicide. The upcoming walk in our area is September 14. My team goal is $500 and we are a little less than half way there. I ask you to contribute something. I’m not kidding, even something as little as $5 will help us meet our goal. If you can’t donate, then please share. I walk for my son, Darren. He was seventeen years old and took his life in May. The truth is it could be your son, your daughter, your wife, husband, grandparent, uncle, aunt, cousin or friend. It could be anyone you know. I didn’t think it would ever happen to my family, but it did. Please be a life-saver.