Today was the Dover out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention walk. What an experience. When I signed up for the walk, I decided this would be an opportunity for me to connect with others in the area and share my story. Since there was a resource fair, I decided to have a table for the blog. Recently, we were invited to bring a pair of shoes to commemorate our loved ones. They were to be placed along the path of the walk, then donated to a homeless shelter. I picked out a pair of Alex’s shoes to bring with me.
I prepared and prepared yesterday… I got my shirt ready, packed everything for the table, got Alex’s shoes ready, packed for Alexa etc. I knew I was forgetting something. Suddenly, I realized that I volunteered to donate a raffle item. I had not planned a thing. Ahhhh! My mom and I pondered what I could donate on short notice. I went through my origami owl inventory and quickly put together a suicide prevention / in memory locket. Not quite “widow next door” related but still… It was appropriate. I woke up early today and got there to set up my table. I met a lot of amazing people today. What hit me the most was looking around and realizing that all of these people had been affected by suicide in some way. We all have the same goal… To prevent this from happening to someone else and to end the silence! Talk about your experience! Open up and get the stigma removed. These are all amazing people that just needed some help. Help is out there and we need to make that known. This blog is my way of doing that.
The beginning was hard and I cried my way through the first few blocks. I’m not sure what hit me, but I had to get it out. Seeing his shoes along the path brought such an indescribable feeling. I wanted to just stop there and stand there with “him.” I wanted to steal them back. I have gotten rid of so many of his things, why were these shoes different? Today they had meaning. They represented his presence. I took photos and moved on. It was a beautiful walk. Alexa did great! I think she had fun! When we arrived at the finish, she was asleep in the stroller. I think the excitement got to her. I am so thankful for my friends and family who walked with me and for those who donated. I raised $500 and the walk raised $36,000! Today was great… Today was hard. But… I did it, and I’m glad I did. Here are the photos from the day.
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