Julie Justicz

Race AFSP 2017

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"If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon."  Katherine Switzer

Dear Friends --

This summer I will train for the Chicago Marathon and raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an organization dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.

In 1979, my brother Clive, age 19, killed himself. He reached onto the shelf in my parents' closet, uncovered the handgun Dad kept for protection, and shot himself through the temple. The bullet shredded his brain then shattered the window; glass rained over the carpet and on his fallen body. I was 16, home at the time. The last time I saw Clive alive, he was on the phone downstairs. Then, a crash, glass breaking. Some moments are seared into memory.

For every family that has lost a family member to suicide, there is the last time they saw their loved one. There is the "What if . . .."  For years I wondered if I could have done more, tried harder, listened better. All of my family was haunted by these the thoughts, but we never talked about them together. Somehow silence somehow seemed easier than grieving. It was only years later, as adults, that my siblings and I first dared to talk . . . to grieve together.

Since 1987, AFSP has offered resources to help loss survivors cope, connect and heal. AFSP also conducts research to help find better ways to prevent suicide. And the organization conducts advocacy and education so that schools, workplaces, and communities make mental health a priority.

By running this year, I will remember Clive and I will think of my family and of the friends in my life and my community who have been touched in some way by suicide. Please help me reach my fundraising goal. Any contributions will help the work of AFSP and all donations are 100% tax deductible.  Donating online is safe and easy; please click the donate now button at the top of this page.  

Together we can save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.  

Thank you.  Julie

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