Update: I’ve set up my donations page. To donate, click here.
Though this blog is about dealing with the challenges we face, I started it to raise awareness and bust down stigmas around depression and suicide.
It’s time for me to take that fight to the next level.
I’ve been inspired to do more by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which will hold an overnight walk in Boston June 27-28. My legs work almost as well as my typing fingers, so why not? Words can only do so much.
You can register or donate money to the cause through the organization’s website. I’ll be asking you for donations and walking in honor of my best friend and brother, Sean Marley, who died by suicide on November 15, 1996.
I’ve written a lot about Sean and the effect his death had on me. Having had my own battles with depression, I know how thin a line it is between hope and hopelessness. Though Sean couldn’t be saved, losing him forced me to confront many of the demons at the heart of my own infirmity. That made me stronger.
This event is bigger than me, bigger even than Sean. Every minute of every day, countless people suffer from depression. Once they slip far enough, suicidal instincts take over.
With more awareness, research and support programs, we can save more people. Not everyone, but maybe enough to make a difference in the world.
Money raised is well spent. The organization funds research, creates educational programs, advocates for public policy, and supports survivors of suicide loss.
During this fundraiser, participants will spend the entire night walking the streets of Boston. They will share stories and offer each other comfort and prayers. Each person will be strengthened by friends, family, and colleagues who donate to their cause.
This is an incredibly appropriate way for me to do my part.
Sean and I grew up on Revere Beach, just north of Boston, and we spent much of our young years walking that beach. Sometimes we drank there. Once we got caught up in a fight there. Often we sat on the wall, listening to rock ‘n’ roll from a portable cassette player. But mostly we walked on the sand, talking over the big questions of the day, sharing our hopes, dreams and fears and pushing toward the dawn.
Back then our walking feet gave us strength. May those feet come through again, this time for all who suffer from this insidious disease.