February 27 marks yet another anniversary in our journey – the 30thanniversary of Tommy’s birth. As I anticipate his birth date, I am overwhelmed by sadness for what could have been and my heart aches. I am also filled with gratitude for the wonderful 17 years he enriched our lives.
A part of Tommy lives on in me – in my heart and on my mind. His death by suicide and the realization of an underlying mental illness has impacted my life in a powerful way. In the 12 plus years since his death, I have dedicated my time and my resources to raising awareness, suicide prevention and understanding the underlying causes of mental illness.
This will be my 13thOut of the Darkness Overnight Walk and I remain committed to the mission and work of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The AFSP is empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death. Please help me raise funds that will allow the AFSP to continue funding scientific research, educating the public about and advocating for mental health and suicide prevention, and supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide.
Many of you knew Tommy. Many of you have also lost a loved one to suicide. Others have a loved one struggling with mental illness and some of you face your own personal struggle. We can’t bring back those we have lost to suicide, but we can prevent the loss of more precious lives.