I did it. Seventeen miles in eight hours and still here.

A few thoughts about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention AFSP San Francisco Out of the Darkness suicide awareness and prevention walk this past Saturday night:

Last year in Boston we felt the pain walking in the cold and rain; this year we felt the pain trudging up hill after hill. Those were just small reminders of the pain our loved ones felt and had to release when they took their lives. It was fitting for us to feel that pain, but we will never know an nth of it.

I also felt so blessed to walk with Team S.O.L.E.S. Everyone took such good care of each other, worrying where the laggers were and waiting so we could all be in the mile-marker photos. And once we were finished at 3:26 am we all held hands, walking along side the luminaria and under the I-did-it-arch. Thank you Keith Alan HamiltonDeborah Lee RoseDebi Hoyles-Girardi and your friend Jen, Joanne Marrazzo FryAaron D. SchwartzChristy Heitger-Ewing and your husband Eric. You all made my night worth while.

Here are a few photos from the event:

Just before the 7:30 pm start.

Team S.o.l.e.s.

We posed together at almost every mile marker.

Mile 1 Mile 6 Mile 13 Mile 16

We actually walked almost seventeen miles, but Mile 16 was the last marker.

Our team came in third out of all, raising over $31,000. We got to wear Top Team buttons during the walk.

Top Team

According to AFSP, this is why we walk, and it never was more ingrained in me than last Saturday night. Everyone who walked had lost someone they loved very much to suicide, and collectively we all want to end the epidemic. We walked to bring suicide and the stigma of mental health out of the darkness.

“Why We Walk

n_2.jpgEvery year suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined, and yet suicide prevention doesn’t get anywhere near the funding given to other leading causes of death. It’s up to Walkers like us to make a difference. Together we can change the conversation about mental health and put a stop to this tragic loss of life.”

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