The following is part of a series of “I Walk Because…” posts. To find out about joining one of AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Overnight Walks, click here.
May 3, 2017 – 10 years. It’s hard to believe as I participate in my latest Out of the Darkness Walk that it will be 10 years without my loving boy Rob, who would now, I have no doubt, be an amazing man. I participated in the Overnight walk in 2009, and many community walks, as well. But even after 10 years, I wish there was more I could do.
On May 18th, 2007, my life changed forever, as well as my family’s, and so many others who had loved Rob, knew Rob, and even only heard of Rob. His death touched so many. It rippled through our community and beyond.
Rob was a sweet, funny and talented young man. I knew he’d had some struggles finding his way in high school, but I had no idea he was in pain. Rob kept his pain hidden. He suffered in silence, and felt alone even amongst friends. What I wouldn’t give to have just one of our “Mom and son” talks back, to get the chance to really listen and perhaps see the pain behind his words or eyes. Could I have seen it? Most will tell you no, because those like Rob have learned too well to hide their pain from others. But I would still give anything for the chance.
It’s a vicious cycle with mental illness and depression. Those who suffer are often afraid to tell others: afraid of the shame they think is attached, afraid to ask for the help that could have kept him with us.
So, I’ll walk. I will walk to raise money to help others, walk to raise awareness, and walk to be among those who know, really know, the type of pain I have experienced. Lastly, I walk for Rob, because he would want me to help others.
Knowledge is power. Let’s walk to show others what’s possible.
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