As you can imagine, last week was an emotional week for me. It began with the death of Robin Williams and the unhealed wounds associated with suicide and it ended with a walk to raise suicide awareness and hopefully prevent future deaths. My mind and my heart were heavy most of the week, remembering that fateful day more than two years ago that changed my life. However, I am happy to say that despite the weight of everything, my week did end on a positive note.
The Out of the Darkness Walk took place yesterday (Sunday) morning. A group of individuals came together, some of them representing teams honoring someone they lost and others were walking individually for the same cause. It took place lakeside in a small community, and the response completely blew me away. We had more than 200 registered walkers that raised more than $13,000 . . . and the money is still coming in! For a community that has less than 1000 people in the entire county, that is beyond all expectations for the first annual event. I loved seeing the sea of colors from everyone's personalized t-shirts. I loved seeing everyone coming together, greeting each other with hugs, even as strangers. I loved to see everyone band together, and begin openly talking about this very difficult topic, and leave excited for the event to occur again next year.
I may have had an emotional week, but it was completely worth it in the end. The love that was uniting everyone as the light reflected off the lake was a beautiful scene that I will cherish. And, I look forward to going back again next year, to continue to spread the love of my father and the life he led, to destroy the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide, and to contribute even more to this cause that is so near and dear to my heart.
I leave you with a picture that I shared on Instagram last night as I lay in bed reflecting on my day, barely able to hold my eyes open from exhaustion.
For more information on Out of the Darkness Walks and where you can find one near you, I encourage you to check out their information through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
I promise to return to bookish chatter in next week's maunderings.