I participated in the Overnight Walk to Prevent Suicide. The stories were compelling and heartbreaking but at the same time hopeful. My SpringPark Community carried me through the Walk, with strength and encouragement.
Every color of beaded necklace was available, but I wore the white color beaded necklace which signifies the loss of a child. That’s when I almost broke down. I looked around to see who had a white beaded necklace, but I could not find one. My friends hugged me and smiled, the sun shinning in their faces gave me the hope that I needed to stay strong. One of my friends said “See? There’s one with a white beaded necklace! Look! Another one!”
The pain in my body after the first 5 miles came nowhere near the pain in my heart and soul of having lost my first born child. The cheering stations were full of wonderful people with signs and high fives, as I looked in their eyes I could see their loss as well, I was not alone. As we came closer to mile 12 and conversations became fewer, this time it felt more like a spiritual journey, one of my lovely friends said it felt like a “pilgrimage,” she was right. As we approached mile 16 and the morning grew near, silence was palpable, no one said a word.
Approaching Dallas City Hall was amazingly beautiful, the luminaries lined one after the other, and my heart and my body stopped to read the stories and see the pictures of each. I wanted to read each one, I wanted to see each picture and look in the eyes of the loved ones passed, I wanted to fall on my knees and break down and cry, but I somehow looked up to see my close friend say, “never forget why we are here, why we did this, this is so important.” Her tears were like my own and they gave me strength. Passing the finish line was somber and so were our pictures.
My other friend M asked me to “take it all in,” “take your time,” “we will be here for as long as you need.” This was 4:00 am and they would still be here for me! I truly have no words for this profound experience. All I can say is that I am grateful, blessed and hopeful.