Capital Region Walk for R.I.T.A. Suicide Prevention
Suicide is one of the most difficult ways in which to lose a loved one, and often times that is because there is always some lingering sense that when someone chooses to take their own life that it was somehow preventable. The emotional burden on those left in the wake of losing a friend or loved one to suicide is astronomical and not quantifiable. Our lives are so completely invested in the people we love and when we lose them we lose a valuable and irreplaceable part of ourselves.
Let's not let the lives that have been lost before be lives lost in vain. It may be difficult to put a number on "lives saved" when it comes to suicide prevention, but people are doing research, creating facilities and working towards the goal of providing life saving resources for people who have lost the will to live. Suicide does not discriminate between races, sexes, religions or beliefs, there is no demographic that it does not touch. As such it's something we have the responsibility to try and do our best to reduce. If we save one life, show one person how worth while their life is to us and how worth while the gift of life they were given is, well the value of that reaches far beyond dollars, far beyond any tangible measure. It's invaluable.
I have been blessed in that I have not lost anyone I have been extremely close to to suicide. But I have had a peek into the effects losing a loved one to suicide has on those whom have lost someone, and it's devastating. My friend Barb where I work has told me the story of how she lost her brother several years ago to suicide. My former boss Jeanne at my first job lost her son to suicide. My brother-in-law, David, lost a cousin he was very close to to suicide. And as a San Diego Chargers American football fan, my heart was broken this past summer when Junior Seau, the player I idolized as an adolescent, took his own life. I know the real emotional toll that hearing of Junior Seau's death took on me, and he was someone I never met personally, never spoke to, never shared a laugh with. I can't begin to comprehend the immensity of loss suffered when a friend or sibling or child or parent takes their own life. Just the thought of that pain brings tears to my eyes as I type this.
Barb was telling me at work about a walk she does every year in memory of her brother, in the effort to raise money for suicide prevention. I feel honored that she would ask me to be a part of that walk, and I agreed to sign up for and join her team, Team Bootz, as they walk in The Capital Region's Suicide Prevention walk this coming weekend in Saratoga, New York. If any of our readers have understood that kind of loss, having had a friend or family member commit suicide, my heart goes out to you. I implore everyone when they get an opportunity to try and do something to help prevent these unneccesary tragadies, to seize that opportunity. This is a small step I take in agreeing to be part of this walk, but hopefully it's just the first of many steps I will take on the road to helping someone choose life. God Bless.
- Jon Bear