Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wishful Wednesday: AFSP.org

On this wishful Wednesday, I am reminded that a year ago, I walked for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP.org) to bring awareness about the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness.

A couple of years ago I learned about the AFSP organization after I lost someone close to me. AFSP holds a 20 mile overnight walk where each participant commits to raising money for AFSP to support research, education and funding towards suicide and mental illness-related programs.

Last June, the overnight walk was held in Seattle. Our journey began at the Space Needle and we walked with thousands of other strangers who had been touched by loss (This photo was of a woman holding a balloon for her loved one. She let it go when we were near the Space Needle).

The above and below pictures were taken at Pike Place Fish Market of their farmer's market and flower marts.



And so the walk began and we held hands for support.

And we walked and walked and walked...

A couple of hours into our walk, the sun started to set over the water. I felt a sense of calm and peace over me.

It was around midnight when we came to the 10 mile mark. After having three knee surgeries only two years before, I was amazed at how far I had walked.

At the end of the 20 miles, candles were lit at the side of the road symbolizing people that had been lost. Messages were written on each bag. The AFSP walk helped me in my healing and so I wish for others to heal as well. What do you wish for on this wishful Wednesday?

9 comments:

Jules said...

That's a really cool concept, "Out of the darkness." Great that you got involved!

Dollface said...

This is amazing! Im glad you were involved and helped others, xxxooo

Char said...

a beautiful thing - a lot of people never realize how difficult it is to loose a loved one to suicide.

Laura said...

Jules: Thank you so much.

Dollface: We all helped each other. Thanx for your sweet comment.

Char: So glad I could share it with you!

Debbie said...

What a wonderful event that must be. I lost a friend to suicide as well. Such a hard thing.

Laura said...

Debbie: SO sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing with us. xoxo

Unknown Mami said...

Thank you for sharing this story. It was very touching

Elizabeth Marie said...

This is amazing. Suicide prevention/mental health awareness is the cause closest to my heart. I am heavily involved in To Write Love On Her Arms, and definitely need to check AFSP out. Thank you so much for sharing! XO

Vicki said...

Losing a loved one to suicide is one of hardest things anyone can live through. I know, I've been there and it takes years and years just to past the stigma not to mention the guilt.