My 14 year old daughter Reagen and I spoke at the ASPARC (Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resource Coalition) Annual Conference on Friday, June 1st. Our topic was suicide and social media.
I think we have a perspective on that like no other. And I hope that will help someone.
When you write a presentation, you have to consider your audience.
What could I teach them?
I don’t know what to say myself most of the time.
But, Reagen takes after me on a project. She made a slideshow with our story. I wish I knew how to share it. It really tells it well.
I got nervous and she took it over. I have never been so proud. Hearing her tell of how our lives were changed makes me realize how well she has dealt with a lot of public scrutiny.
What we found out though is that this is normal.
We learned that every suicide has an impact called complicated grief.
There are two factors in the aftermath.
Sound familiar to S-Town fans?
It actually put me at ease knowing that what we went through is normal. Ours was just on public display.
I was nominated along with Katie Beaugez and Angela Sullivan to the ASPARC Board. We were all approved and I am so very honored to serve.
I wish everyone knew these special people. Behind the scenes they are working to save lives.
They are overworked and underfunded. They are committed to the most noble of causes.
I never thought I would be among them.
I feel inadequate and untrained.
I gave them all a thank you note.
Our precious librarian Michele Dickey helped me make 35 of them.
We included my normal stamps and stickers and a John B. McLemore business card.
I felt silly passing out my cards to professionals. But I do believe in the power of connection.
I am so thankful to say they were well received. Teachers asked for extra copies to take back to their students.
There were discussions about social media and empathy.
I met Belinda Kock. She is a precious individual who offered her services to our community. You can find her information on my resource page.
We left there with a renewed hope.
I was devastated a week later with the news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
And I know that it may sound silly, but when those seeds bloomed across the road I cried my eyes out.
Never have I needed a flower more.
I want to end this post with a thank you to everyone that has reached out to me.
Sometimes heroes save lives by doing great acts of heroism.
But sometimes they just mailed wildflower seeds.
You are all my heroes and I am so thankful to have you as my friends,