“I still don't know what happened or why,” Liz Karibo said looking back at her husband's suicide three years ago. “In that instant, my world changed forever. I still don't understand what happened or why.”
A person dies by suicide in the United States every 13.7 minutes. That translates into 38,000 lives lost while countless more are left behind as survivors – family members, neighbors, co-workers and other acquaintances.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a national organization that provides opportunities for survivors of suicide loss to get involved through a wide variety of educational, outreach, awareness, advocacy and fundraising programs.
Among these efforts is the Out of the Darkness Community Walks that take place throughout the country every year. These walks help to bring together all of those who have been affected by a suicide.
In Orlando, supporters will gather at Baldwin Park on February 1 to learn more about suicide, meet and talk with others,and to celebrate the lives of those they loved and lost. It is also a common place where people can go and share their stories with others who understand and can personally relate to their loss too.
Booths will be set up with helpful information and resources. There is also a large memory board where family and friends can post photos of those they have lost to suicide.
Karibo joins in the walks to help spread the word about suicide prevention.“I want to do something so that my husband's death isn't in vain,” she said. “I also don't want anyone else to go through the anguish I have over losing a loved one by suicide.”
When you walk in the Out of the Darkness Community Walks, you join the effort with thousands of people to raise funds and awareness for AFSP's vision to create a world without suicide.
To learn more, visit the AFSP Orlando website, contact Vicki Long by email, Juliana Linnehan by email or call 407-646-2227. Registration can be done online through January 31, however, donations can be made until July 1, 2014.
Check in time on February 1 starts at 7:30am and continues through 9:00am when the walk begins. Afterward, there will be a closing ceremony that includes the release of doves commemorating those lost but not forgotten.