Out of the Darkness

This morning I awoke before dawn. I popped some Advil and stood under the hot shower for longer than usual to ease my aches and pains. I dressed in black jeans and one of Mike’s shirts over a long-sleeved t-shirt, then threw on my leather jacket because it was drizzly and cold.

I picked up two friends (and one friend’s adorable little dog), and we headed for Santa Monica. The freeways were almost empty at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday.

Today was the Out of the Darkness Walk to raise awareness for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It was moving to see so many people come together for this event, members of a club we never wanted to join.  Lots of us wore signs saying who we were walking for…

Some of the signs had several names on them, which was sobering. I was moved to tears by a little girl whose pink t-shirt had written on it in black magic marker, “I miss you, Uncle Cody.”

They were also giving out strands of beads to wear, with different colors to indicate whether you had lost a parent, child, spouse/partner, sibling or friend/relative to suicide. When I picked up the red beads symbolizing the loss of my husband and hung them around my neck, I couldn’t hold back the tears. My good friend Carrie was right there, wrapping her arms around me, letting me lean on her until I could compose myself.

I put a picture of Mike on the memory board…

… and my friend Jen tacked up a picture of our friend Bella, who we lost just a week before Mike.

There were six in our little team, including the dog, and they were excellent company… providing smiles, hugs and water as needed.  It was a perfect morning once the sun came out, and the route was well planned, bringing us back with gorgeous views down the bluffs to the ocean.

When the walk was over, three of us went down to the Santa Monica Pier for burgers and fries.

It was a little exhausting, both physically and emotionally, but I’m glad I did it. I expect I’ll be walking again next year.


~ by hourbeforedawn on October 23, 2010.

9 Responses to “Out of the Darkness”

  1. It looked like a bittersweet day! I can only imagine! The one here in Charleston is in a few weeks and I am dreading/ looking forward to walking in my husbands honor… as well as the other people out there who have lost a loved one to this silent killer. Thank you for posting and letting everyone know what to expect! I always enjoy reading your posts and knowing that I am not alone with my feelings of grief!

    • Tanya, I’m glad you’re doing the walk in your area. I think you’ll find it’s a good experience, though emotionally difficult at times. I hope you’ll share your experiences after.

  2. Sending you love.

  3. just wrapping big love around you from afar.

  4. John and I walked in September in memory of Michael and several hundreds of others. It was emotionally draining, but something we will not miss in subsequent years. At the end of the walk, names of those who had completed suicide were read and while a local musician sang “Why” by Rascal Flatts doves were released into the air. It was a moving experience. Next year our walk here in Kansas City will be held on September 11th – what a meaningful day for rememberance.

  5. Brave and beautiful post…solviture ambulando Latin for “you can solve it by walking”…sending you love and the courage to keep walking.

  6. I think its wonderful that you walked for this event, I also walked for my husband. I just glad that mthis organization exists. It has been wonderful for me.
    I want to personally thank you for your posts, they are wonderful to know that someone( although I wish you didn’t ) had the same feelings as me. What beautiful scenery to also energize your walk.
    Take care of you,

  7. HUGS to you and your team. Such courage and braveness.

  8. That’s great. I wanted to do something about preventing & raising awareness about suicide, so I wrote a song. But I would like to do something more practical like this as well.

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