Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper
billroper

Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk

This summer, on July 16th here in Chicago, I’m going to be taking part in a 20 mile overnight walk to raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, because it’s something I need to do. I’ve had two experiences with close friends who attempted suicide, one who succeeded. Neither case could possibly be classified as a “good thing” – in fact, they were among the worst things that have happened in my life.

My best friend from high school committed suicide after my freshman year of college for reasons that I still don’t actually know, although I’ve made some guesses over time. I felt guilty about this for years, despite the fact that there wasn’t any real chance that I might have been able to prevent it. And, of course, what I felt couldn’t possibly have been any worse than what his parents and brother felt.

Many years later, a close friend of Gretchen’s and mine attempted suicide several times over the course of a few years, but – mercifully! – never quite succeeded. (I don’t want to go into the details here, because he is doing much better now and deserves his privacy.) I’m very happy that he failed, not just for his sake, but because of the devastation that he would have left in his wake as a result.

So I’m doing this because I want to help people understand that suicide isn’t a solution and because I really hate what it does to the folks that it leaves behind.

I’ve committed to raise $1000 for this walk. If I have to, I’ll come up with it out of my own pocket. But honestly, it would mean much more if a chunk of that money came from my friends, because it’s going to be a long walk and a long night and I’d like to feel like it matters to you too.

So if you want to, you can donate by going to the website at www.theovernight.org, looking up Bill Roper, and giving a credit card number; or you can give me a check or cash and your name and address and I’ll make sure that it gets to the right place.

Thanks for listening.
Tags: suicide prevention
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