A bunch of us walked in the first New Orleans, Out of Darkess AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) fundraiser walk yesterday. It was a very moving experience because so many of my husband’s extended family came out to walk with us. Even my sister-in-law’s sister! And it was in the 40’s with a wind chill in the 30’s, which is arctic conditions for New Orleans. I wore a T-shirt with Malcolm’s picture on…showing his wonderful smile. Because people need to know what the face of suicide looks like–it can look like the life of the party! Of course all of us there knew that already, but maybe you didn’t.
Do we ever really know what is going on inside another person? He may seem completely “together” but actually be falling apart. She doesn’t seem to need encouragement but might be suffering in a private darkness and needing desperately to experience a little piece of hope. We may never know it, but a single, small, unexpected act of kindness towards another person may mean the difference between hope and despair, between life and death.