Today marks three years since Julie died. I've thought of her so much lately and about what she meant to me and others. One word keeps coming to mind, beloved. The word describes perfectly what she meant to so many. She was beloved in life and she still is in death.
A much loved person.
adjective. dear - darling - favorite - favourite - loved
noun. sweetheart - darling - love - sweetie - lover
Last year I discovered a Facebook page called Putting a Face on Suicide (PAFOS). It was started by a father who lost his 21-year old son to suicide in 2008 while he was serving in the Navy. The page is a suicide awareness project that creates posters and videos to pay tribute to those lost to suicide with dignity and respect. PAFOS humanizes the daunting statistics; lovingly replacing numbers with faces.
Their objective is to gather 99 pictures of people who have died by suicide for each day of the year, i.e., 36,135 faces representing 365 days of loss by suicide in the U.S. Day 16 of the project was dedicated to Julie.
It's a very powerful project. The suicide statistics in the United States are staggering, but even more staggering is that behind every number is a face, a person, a life lost, individuals beloved to so many. Look at the faces. It's hard to not look away, painful to realize the magnitude of the losses to so many left behind. Yes, Julie's death is now part of these statistics, but more importantly she is one of the faces behind suicide.
Look at her face. See her gorgeous blue eyes, her sweet smile, her beautiful curls. See the person she was, the beloved person her family and friends lost. Maybe when you look at her it might help you understand our pain.
Thinking of you today and always Jules...