Yesterday I went with my parents on a suicide to awareness walk to honor my brother, other members of my family and a friend/coworker that took his life on the anniversary of my brother’s death. I was so anxious about this walk;it has been on my mind since I registered over a month ago. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d react or how emotionally I would be. My brother died over 20 years but the pain is still there and I have been effected greatly by it; I often write about and reach out to my friends who knew my brother. I was a little sad because none of my friends live in the area and it would have meant so if they could have walked with me ( although I am not sure if they’d be comfortable with that). Sometimes I feel so alone because I’m so far away from them but by the grace of God I communicate with them online and that makes a huge difference in my healing; I know they loved my brother and they love me as well; I am blessed to have that support.
It was a cold and rainy day and I was worried; it might impact the walk. But I decided rain or shine we going to go on that walk to honor my brother. So we got to the walk site and I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be. My sleep has not been good lately and I was really tired and sort of out of it. But there were so many people there; with a loud speaker directing people where to go. There were a lot of booths; one to register; one with different beads; relating to my relationship to the person that took their lives. They were selling t-shirts and armbands. I even noticed a lot of people with dogs stating “I’m walking for____”; it was a big crowd.
We made a walk around the city; we passed by the baseball and football stadium. My dad noticed a woman with a t-shirt that had a quote about mental illness and that there was no shame in it. I asked her about her shirt and she said she had a blog; I couldn’t believe it; a fellow writer. We talked for a bit and I told her I had a blog as well; it was incredible; she seemed really nice. I told my dad that I was sad because there were so many people there; he didn’t get it at first. I explained it was sad that this huge crowd were affected by suicide; all these years I thought we were the only ones because no one talks about it and people seem uncomfortable when I bring it up; so I feel uneasy when I talk about my brother and almost ashamed as well. Overall it was a nice walk and I knew my brother would be happy that we were honoring. When we got back to the site; I put up a poem I made for my brother. As we were heading for the parking the deck; the sun came back out and it warmed up again. I knew it was my brother smiling and giving us a sign that he was ok. It was a touching moment. I am hurt he is not here but at least I know he is safe and with God. I am so happy I went on this walk despite the preceding anxiety and the fact I feel disappointed that no one could show up; it worked out well in the end. Things always work out for the best when we have faith.