Today, I learned something new, and I wanted to share it with you. I am the team parent for the boys lacrosse team at our local high school, and have been talking with the captains about the upcoming season. There are no words to capture the emptiness and horror we all feel with our town’s latest loss to suicide. Truly, there are no words. All day, I think about it and simply hang my head, close my eyes, and shake my head back & forth, wishing it weren’t true. The juxtaposition of moving forward with life and mundane tasks like planning for another season of lacrosse while grappling with loss often feels paralyzing. To move forward feels disrespectful, and yet, we have to move forward.
Thinking about this, I asked the captains if they wanted to somehow honor those who have died by suicide in some way. They were 100% on board. I started looking for some kind of patch we could sew onto their uniforms. There are many symbols for suicide awareness: purple and teal ribbons, yellow butterflies, purple hearts, a semicolon. I was aware of purple and yellow, but the semicolon was new to me.
After a bit of googling, I found out about Project ; – a movement dedicated to hope and love for those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury. I haven’t had much luck finding out more about this movement, and plan on looking into it when I have some free time.
I love that a symbol as simple as a semicolon can represent so much love, support, hope and concern. It doesn’t fix anything, or change anything, or bring anyone back. It’s just an understated, quiet detail that may or may not go unnoticed, that may or may not make a difference, that may or may not let the person sitting on the other side of the room by themselves know that they are truly not alone.
What I would love is for semicolons to start showing up all over Acton and Boxborough, and for everyone to start believing that each of us cannot be replaced.
Click HERE for the link if you want to buy a patch.
With deep empathy and love for all who are suffering –