BENEFITING: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
EVENT DATE: Oct 06, 2013
I am choosing to participate in the Tucson Out Of the Darkness Walk, because I want to make a difference in the lives of anyone who has ever contemplated suicide. By raising money to bring awareness to our communities, I am making a difference.
This is my story:
My little brother, Joel, took his life at the age of 17. It was Valentine's Day, 11:00 p.m. when my dad woke me telling me he had just found my baby brother barely alive. He had shot himself in the head as he saw my dad pulling into the drive way. He was rushed to the hospital and I met them there. I was not prepared for what I was about to witness, he was slowly dying in the bed, head wrapped so that I could not see his full face, but there was blood, and I knew then that this would be the last time I would see him. I held his hand and placed a picture of my 4 year old son on his chest. They were best friends. My son looked up to him, wanted to be just like his Uncle Joel. Joel loved him so much, I cry just thinking about how important they were to each other. I held Joel's hand and said I love you for the first time in years. Regreting that I had not said it the day prior when I saw him last, thinking I could have saved him with those 3 little words.
The doctors/surgeons came out to tell us, his organs were slowly shutting down, but his heart just wouldn't stop. He was a fighter, no doubt, but it was too late. My dad made the decision no parent should ever have to make, enough is enough. He died in that hospital bed, while his family fell apart, we all died a little inside that night. How could we not have seen? He was in need of help, and we had no idea. He was one of the most popular kids at school, played varsity basketball, and one of the most devoted friends/person I had ever met. Yet, he saw no alternative, things were so bad in his mind that ending his life was his only option. This event has forever changed my life, the lives of my family. I would never wish the pain we have felt on anyone, it is the most devasting thing I have had to go through.
Last year our good friends lost their 15 year old son to suicide as well. I felt so helpless when I received that call, for a second time in my life. Nobody should have to hear those words, "He killed himself."
This cannot continue. Our loved ones need to know that there is help for them. They need to know there are resources and people who are available any time of day. In order to get this help recognized we need to raise funds, and it needs to be done by those of us who care. We CAN make a difference, we must change the stigma that is attached to our loved ones who struggle with depression.
I myself have struggled for years with depression. I have hit my lowest times and thought of suicide as well, but thankfully have reached out for help.