In the span of two months, I unexpectedly lost two amazing and inspiring men: my father and father-in-law. My husband lost two of the most important men in his life. My young children lost two of their grandfathers.
My father did not commit suicide. But my father-in-law did.
One evening shortly after my father's death, my father-in-law, who was in the midst of a difficult divorce sent me a text message that read, "I want to be with your father."
In 2014, my father-in-law committed suicide.
What I didn't recognize then, in part because I was trying to cope with the fresh loss of my father, but can now see thanks to hindsight and the important message of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, was the communicated suicide warning sign.
In 2015, my children and I set off on a
50 State RV Tour of the USA. We've come to see a national landscape marked with suicide toll-free help signs on bridges and roads. These markers are a reminder that suicide is a tragedy that touches even the smallest corners of the country.
Nearly 10,000 miles into the tour, after reflecting at the end of many days on how much my father-in-law, a teacher and driver's education instructor, would have loved to listen to us recount our road trip adventures, my children and I decided to launch what we're calling a
'Miles of Light' campaign to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in his memory.
Suicide isn't the only option.
Suicide is a tragedy that doesn't hurt just one person. It hurts those left behind--who will wonder what they could have done differently.
Please join with me in the fight to help people contemplating suicide to see the 'Miles of Light' ahead of the darkness of their pain, to help shed light onto suicide with suicide education, and to support survivors of suicide loss.
I kindly ask you to consider making a donation, no matter the size, directly to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The AFSP is the leader in the fight against suicide. The AFSP funds research, creates educational programs, advocates for public policy, and supports survivors of suicide loss.
The AFSP will direct 50% of the funds raised to the local Vermont AFSP Chapter.