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Every 30 seconds, someone attempts suicide in the United States. 101 people die each day, adding up to over 36,000 suicide deaths every year. And across the globe, 1.1 million people are lost to suicide.
Imagine how many people are left behind. What does that number look like?
How do suicide survivors deal with the shock, anguish and guilt that follows a suicide loss? For each person, the answer is different. Some channel their grief through creative expression. They write. They make art. They compose music or make films.
I am working on a book, And Tomorrow Comes Again, showcasing artistic statements of grief, healing and peace. A traveling exhibit will feature selected pieces from the book and contributions from community members.
This powerful project is important, intending to spark vital dialog about suicide and what it leaves behind. It takes a lot of time, effort and financial resources to build a book.
There’s the outreach to find creatives, compiling and editing the material, book design and layout, social media and publicity expenses, administrative costs, professional fees. It adds up quickly.
I’m asking for your help to finance the production costs through Community Funded, a tool that connects people, ideas and resources in historic new ways, empowers our communities, and promotes “grass-roots economic recovery.” Like KickStarter, Community Funded gives you the opportunity to invest in meaningful projects like And Tomorrow Comes Again.
For as little as $10, you can help make this dream a reality. Please go to the Community Funded web site and pledge to contribute. Every dollar helps. Every dollar makes a difference.
Anything’s possible when it’s Community Funded.
Two young women share their memories of their poet friend, Harrison.
I can still see his tall frame in the moonlight.
I can see his smile in the shade of the trees.
I can feel his embrace, his kindness.
He is one of a kind. He is a deep thinker. He likes to listen.
His laugh. Oh, his laugh lights up a room.
He is a poet. He is so young.
He is gone.
And no one knows why.
No one understands.
We all cry.
And as I lay in the dirt, discussing Harrison,
I look up at the sky. Say his name.
And a star shoots across the sky.
Red, bright, fierce, and present.
The tears roll down my face, as I clutch the hand of the person beside me.
Because he is gone. In the physical sense.
But he is very much alive, in the hearts of those left behind to wonder.
He is in the trees. He is in the summer wind. He is in the stars.
He is where you need him to be.
He is in your heart.
Written by Taryn Gawronski
I have a daily gratitude project on Facebook; it reminds me that life is abundant, even when it feels bleak. It reminds me that I am blessed, and those blessings are everywhere I look.
This is one of the entries.
This Weekend’s Gratitude: Catch and Release
by Michelle Venus on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 10:00am
I have been a fish for these past ten and half months. A fish caught on a line. I’ve had a hook in my mouth; I feel its barbs digging deep into the soft tissue. It’s a big, long hook that also caught my heart. Read the rest of this entry »
They are at the dining table, the office, in the classroom. Empty chairs that were once filled by fathers, sisters, friends – even strangers.
Curated by Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services in Ithaca, New York, The Empty Chairs Project gives new meaning to found-object assemblage art. Please consider the power of these everyday objects—chairs. And then consider the people whose lives graced those seats.
By Sam Lustgarten
Dusk’s afterglow remained on April 6, 2009. I couldn’t see in the car that held an unresponsive man. He reminded me of my resident, but it was too dark. Police were called and people were blocked from the scene. I stood next to my resident director and one of my best friends, a fellow resident assistant. As we ran around the car and tried to see in with our phones, we saw just enough to see how he had died. The police were there seconds later and the first officer shined his light on the body. “He’s dead. He’s been dead for a while.” With the light, I saw everything and knew it was my resident.
I remember turning around and crying for a few seconds. Then it stopped. This wasn’t the time, place. Hell, I didn’t even know what to feel. I’m supposed to cry, right? This is how the movies go.
Today we welcome Australian artist Mic Eales to the project. Thank you, Mic, for sharing your moving and inspiring work.
Mic is a sculptor/mixed media/installation artist. He is currently undertaking a PhD titled, Different Voice, Different Perspective: a visual arts enquiry into understanding suicide through original voice narratives, at Southern Cross University. Read the rest of this entry »
A poem written by 14-year-old Cai Seymour, after the suicide of his Stepfather.
The one I’ll never hear again
Those silky words that floated through the air like a summer breeze
Now stunned silence is all that follows
No one knew your pain
You left and never came back
A normal day for me shattered to pieces
The bricks of my world fell in upon me
The foundations of my life splintered and cracked
And that voice is leaving the bricks and debris in its wake
A year has passed and I am rebuilding
The foundations set
The bricks being laid in place
But there is still silence
God’s Performance Review – Not So Good
by Michelle Venus on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 8:19pm
Hey God, just wanted to let you know that you didn’t do all that well on your most recent performance review. It seems you’re neglecting those who need Hope the most.
I understand that you have a lot on your mind. The Middle East is a mess. Libya is falling apart. You threw a tsunami at Japan when you really haven’t even begun to finish what you started in Haiti. If I did this on a job, I’d be on hold with the Colorado Department of Unemployment, waiting to see if I could qualify for meager unemployment benefits. And they just don’t answer people on hold. So frustrating. Read the rest of this entry »