As a nursing major who has been through a mental health class I was taught all of the signs and symptoms of depression. I was taught how to help detect it, I was taught how to treat it, and I was taught how to help others cope with it. What I wasn’t taught and what I didn’t learn was how to cope with the loss of someone from suicide caused by depression.
On February 8, 2016 I got a phone call. A call that I will remember for the rest of my life and the call that informed me my boss and one of best friends had committed suicide. Then ensued the gut punch and pang of “how”, “why”, “what could I have done?,” “how could I have not known?” and the “what ifs.” I asked off work, left school and drove all the way to the place I called home for two summers. There I was met with the reality that Allen was no longer there. I pulled in preparing myself to meet all the solemn faces and tears. I exited my truck and was slapped in the face with dead silence.
The following hours, friends and family gathered and told stories and memories about all the times we shared with Allen. I was then asked to serve as a pallbearer for his funeral. At the ripe young age of 21 I was serving as a pallbearer for someone not so much older than me. This was something I never thought I would have to do until I was much older. I served as one of his pallbearers with pride and dignity as he would have wanted.
Now I’ve spent the last couple of months fundraising and gearing up to walk at the University of Georgia for the Suicide Prevention walk on April 24. I have now made it a goal everyday to make him proud and work just as hard as he did. I recently completed a goal he had set for me years ago when I was under his guidance and will now serve in a lead counselor role. Unfortunately he won’t be here to see me serve, but I do know that he will be looking down on me and guiding me each step of the way this summer as I lead others.
I’ll leave you with a couple of things. The first is lyrics from For King and Country, a contemporary Christian artist .
This song has brought me peace and has encouraged me to help others to continue to fight. No matter what you’re going through you are not alone and there is always someone there to help you. Talk about it! As I mentioned earlier I’m walking and fundraising to help prevent suicide.
The link to my fundraising page is here: http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfmfuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=970939
If you feel led to give or just want to check it out please feel free to do so.
Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”