One morning this week as I was rushing around the house trying to get ready for work, mom stopped me and had a serious look on her face. Concerned I asked what was wrong and she pulled out a yellow band bracelet and told me "I'm supposed to give this to you if you're ready - September is suicide prevention month and this is their bracelet."
Of course I was ready! From the moment I knew I was going to make it out of this tragedy alive, I wanted nothing more than to share Ryan's story with the world through my eyes so that people may see the effects of such a sudden decision. He left behind so many amazing people, and although we would all love to have him here to tell a joke, or offer one of his amazing hugs to help us heal from this loss - he is gone and I have a feeling that he's no longer happy with his decison. I could never watch my mom cry, the mere thought of seeing her in pain brings tears to my eyes and for him to watch his family go through this pain...I know he had the kind of heart that he's not glad to be gone.
In the process of writing a short tid-bit of our story, I'm hoping that this Sunday I will get to share with my congregation at church the song I wrote and a bit about the man I lost. There aren't many young people in our church, but I hope that by sharing my story the few that are there will decide to find a lifeline when they feel they can't handle life anymore -- because my list of lifelines were so incredible in the months after losing him.
People who saw me in my "zombie state" tell me now that seeing the aftermath in such a 'close to home' way has opened their eyes to the way they deal with their depression. I know in my heart that Ry's death will not be in vain - through this loss, and sharing the crazy story he left as his legacy, I know he will save a life.
It's almost over, and I wish that I'd known the whole month so I could be involved in events that support groups specializing in suicide prevention -- but I know now, and I am doing my part to bring awareness to this permanent solution to temporary problems. Wish me luck & prayers blogger world, I'm already nervous! I know this message is meant to be told though, and I know he'll be right there with me for support.
So as the month comes to a close - hug your family, friends, loved ones, everyone who means something to you. Reach out and tell them you love them, and never be afraid to make that first step of offering a hand. It may sound awkard, and you may not know what to say, but trust me from experience -- people just sitting with me while I cried were some of the most amazing friends through this all. You don't know how much that could impact someones life, and maybe someday even save it.