More than four years ago, I saw a PostSecret event, which is kind of like a cross between a book tour and a speech. If you haven’t heard of PostSecret, go look at it and then come back here for a related link, as well as an explanation for why I’m posting about it (again).
Did you look at the site? Okay, welcome back. Now you can go read my old explanation of what it is and the time I saw the author speak at a PostSecret event in October 2010. That was an event at University of the Pacific in Stockton (thanks to Patrick for the ticket, and to David for giving me one of the books), and the auditorium was full. I guess there’s something intriguing about the hundreds of thousands of anonymous postcards people send to a random guy in Maryland. It’s a strange, unique, fascinating mix of humor, sadness, reality and make-believe.
And now we come to the point of this blog post, and what I want you to think about for a few minutes on this Tuesday. The PostSecret project has raised more than $1 million for suicide prevention, and the author’s ongoing hope is that people can feel relief by letting go of their secrets — enough relief that they want to keep living. PostSecret is affiliated with this extensive suicide prevention hotline directory, also with the hope that it will be a place for someone to get relief, rather than taking their own life.
I’m posting this because last Sunday marked one year since a young woman ended her life. And in a few days I will be remembering how it was exactly one year since I drove to the memorial service that was so very beautiful, and which caused a friend to say, “This should have been her wedding.” Her parents have changed forever, that much is painfully and obviously clear. I cannot begin to imagine the torture and agony they still face. I don’t know if PostSecret or a suicide hotline would have helped her at all. But I do know that if somewhere, someday, one person reads this or any other tribute to her and decides to seek help, it will be a ray of hope that she did not die in vain. Her parents may never know, I may never know, but the person who seeks help WILL know. If that person is you, make the anonymous call for help. And know that you can always talk to, text or email me. (I don’t have my number online due to spammers, but I’m happy to give it to you. layla@ thesmudge.com without the space.)