This past August I lost my very best friend. What I haven’t said publicly is how I lost her. Tragically, Louise lost a life-long battle with mental illness and took her life. While I will never understand why this happened and will forever be heartbroken - I have peace knowing she is forever in the arms of Jesus. Although her illness won in this brief moment of her life, there were countless other moments where she was victorious & truly enjoyed life to the fullest. She brought joy to so many, loved children, her family & friends with a love so unconditional it will never be replaced. There aren’t words I can express to truly do her justice. She was a bright spot in my life - always thoughtful, loving and kind. The most beautiful and true friend I’ve ever been blessed with.
The holidays, especially the first round after losing a friend or loved one, can be so difficult. I’m missing her so much and I know her family is even more so. However, those Louise left behind have a special mission. As survivors, we have a duty to shine a bright light on suicide prevention.
An organization doing this well in Chicago is American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
“The grassroots work we do focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide.
As a part of AFSP’s growing nationwide network of chapters, we bring together people from all backgrounds who want to prevent suicide in our communities. Families and friends who have lost someone to suicide, vulnerable individuals, mental health professionals, clergy, educators, students, community/business leaders, and many others energize our chapter.”
I picked up lettering this past summer and Louise was a huge encouragement to me to keep practicing. I designed a shirt that says “Merry & Bright” as a reminder to think of survivors going through their first holiday without their loved one and as a reminder to shine a bright light on the importance of suicide prevention.
100% of all proceeds from shirts purchased will be donated to the AFSP to help fund suicide prevention programming and survivor resources.
Mens/Unisex Tee coming soon!
Thank you!! xoxo - Delaina