September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and I marked the occasion this year by participating in a walk sponsored by Georgia Suicide Prevention Action Nework (SPAN-GA) in Newnan. The funds raised for the event support Camp SOS, a camp for families who have lost a loved one to suicide. I know from experience that grief after a suicide can be isolating. Friends and family often run for the hills, not knowing what to do or say. When I read about the event in our local newspaper I felt called to participate. I was glad I did.
I met some wonderful people at the walk, including a little girl (and her grandmother) who had attended Camp SOS. Grandma said the camp had been a blessing to her granddaughter and helped bring her out of her “shell” after her father’s suicide. Her testimony was exactly what I needed to hear.
One of my favorite activities at the event was making a memory tile. They supplied the 4 x 4 tiles and Mod Podge. All we had to bring was a photo. I used a copy of a black and white photo of my mother at 5 or 6 years old. (Walgreens makes 4 x 4 squares. I ordered online and it was ready for pickup in an hour.)
The walk itself was about 2.5 miles. Great for all ages. At the conclusion of the walk, organizers handed out envelopes containing butterflies that were released as part of the closing ceremony. My butterfly took its time circling my head, dipping in between others standing nearby, only to come back to me again before finally flying off for good. A beautiful morning – one I won’t soon forget.