On Sunday, I will be heading down the highway for a seven hour drive to attend the third Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Awareness in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This year I am bringing two of my sons with me. The experience will be good for them and they actually seem interested in it. I will once again have a booth with my books available and give away some poetry as well.
On May the 9th, I am organizing Red Lake’s Walk. This year we will be walking to the park where we previously tossed a flower into the water to remember a loved one lost to suicide; this year, we will be throwing the flowers onto the ice. The lake is still frozen! But the Walk will go on. Last year we walked in torrential rains… at least the weather is supposed to be nice and warm. After the walk we will return to my house for a hot dog BBQ and some sharing.
I’m hoping that hot dogs will lure people out to participate. It is not easy to get people out to participate to a suicide walk in a small town. There is still a stigma surrounding it. The “S” word is still whispered quietly. We don’t want to talk about it. It might happen to us. We don’t want to think that our children might be thinking about it. Our parents might be thinking about it. Our spouses might be thinking about it.
Hey, I’ve thought about it. I have felt the way my son felt on the night he ended his life. I know that it had nothing to do with his love for me. It had to do with the pain and hopelessness he felt right at that moment.