Yesterday, we got Munchie nice and bundled up and headed out to the local Out of the Darkness Community Walk, raising awareness about suicide and funding education and prevention efforts. Unfortunately, the topic of suicide hits all too close to home for us. I have lost a family member and three friends to suicide. Everyone at the walk was there for a different reason. I walked, and will walk again, in hopes of eliminating the stigma that is associated with suicide. Having Munchie there was important to me. I hope to continue to include him in this walk annually. I think doing so is important. I want Munchie to learn that we should be kind to people and help people. We don’t ever know what the people around us might be struggling with. We just need to offer to be a friend… someone people feel they can talk to. I want Munchie to know that people don’t commit suicide… they die of suicide. I want him to know that mental health issues are serious medical conditions that require the help of doctors.
One day, Munchie will learn about death. He will learn that death is a natural part of life. I will explain that those of us left behind hurt so much, because we loved so deeply. Years from now, Munchie will ask about our loved ones who have gone to live in heaven. Inevitably, I will get a question about how they left this world. When that day comes, I will be honest. While the stories I tell may be painful for me to relive, I want to be sure Munchie understands how much those we lost to suicide loved us… how much we loved them… and how painful their passing was for those who were left behind.
As I sit here writing this, I feel a little sad that I can’t share Munchie with those we have already lost. At the same time, I am comforted to know that one day I will get to share Munchie with them in Heaven… for eternity… and that is a whole lot longer than any amount of time we could share together in this world.
If you want to learn more about our walk, click here. Our donations link will remain active through December 2013… at which time we will start raising funds for next year’s walk. A big thank you to everyone who has donated and those who were able to walk with us… in body, or spirit. We also thank you for your love and prayers.