Angels in Limbo

Yesterday, Oct. 4 was a saddened but pleasant day. A group of colleges and I went on a small trip to Rochester, N.Y. to participate in “The Out of the Darkness” community walk. The walk was dedicated to those who have lost relatives and friends to suicide, survived attempts and to those who support them. It was a beautiful chance to meet people with the same determination as I have to prevent suicide. There had to be over 200 people at this particular location, and all of them were sporting a rainbow of t-shirts with images and drawings that represented the loved one they were walking for. As we all came together under this humongous gazebo the organizers of the walk began to talk about their experiences with suicide and the affect it has had on them. They gave an explanation for the walk and how important it is for everyone to spread the word about the cause. Days prior to the walk I was browsing through the walk website and stumbled upon some statistics that I found would be helpful to some people who haven’t realized the effects suicide has had.       
  • Over 32,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year.
  • In 2005 (latest available data), there were 32,637 reported suicide deaths.
  • Suicide is fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years in the U.S., with approximately 26,500 suicides.
  • Currently, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • A person dies by suicide about every 16 minutes in the United States. An attempt is estimated to be made once every minute.
  • Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
  • There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but twice as many females as males attempt suicide.
  • Every day, approximately 80 Americans take their own life, and 1,500 more attempt to do so.

As the staff continued to talk, I greatly anticipated the part of the program when they read off the list of names that have passed on. The reason why I had anticipated this portion of the program was due to the fact that I had visited the table where this list was and I gently signed a great friend of mines name. Hearing her name over the load speakers raised every hair on my body and filled my eyes with tears. I was not only there to sport my campaigns t-shirt but also to hold up a poster size picture of my friend. At the end of the list I looked around at my group to see their eyes filled with tears but their faces filled with pride, I could tell that it was worth it to get out of bed that morning. Before walking some of the staff released balloons into the air as a sign to show all our friends and relatives who have passed that we still were thinking of them.

Erikanette was 24 years old when she became God's new angel.

Erikanette was 24 years old when she became God's new angel.

The walk went by quickly and at the end of it everyone was happy to say they had participated. On the way home I had took another glance at the picture of my beautiful friend and realized that today Oct. 5 was her 1st year anniversary. I had to point it out to the group. We continued to have a discussion on how good of a person she was, how her smile brightened up everyone’s day, and how the craziest part about this all was that she committed suicide a week before I had begun my campaign. The whole hour home was filled with tears and laughter about fun times with her.

One thing that really stood in my mind was a comment that one of the girls had made about people who commit suicide stay in “limbo”, a place between Heaven and Hell. I don’t know how much of that is true but it interests enough that I had to write a blog about it.

"Lombo" looks like a peaceful place in this image.

"Lombo" looks like a peaceful place in this image.

I would find it exciting to know what other people taught about this. Is there really a “limbo”? Or do I sound crazy?

I don’t know what this has to do with journalism but I did spend some hours on trying to figure out how to tie suicide prevention to journalism and still I came up with nothing but practice and a good story to cover.

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One response to “Angels in Limbo

  1. Content: 3 This is generous, as clearly your topic had little to do with journalism. But you obviously felt compelled to write about the march and part of the blog are moving. Kudos. Still, you could have found more ways to connect it to journalism. Did any news outlet cover the march? How is suicide dealt with by the media? Is it properly covered? How informed is the general public? What role does/could the media play in this? If you are looking for connections, you can always ask me.

    Your first sentence needs work. A day cannot be saddened. It can be sad. But I wouldn’t even start there. Start with the most moving. Maybe with your realization that your friend died a year ago. Journalists and storytellers often don’t
    start at the beginning and tell a story chronologically. Rather, they start with the most exciting interesting moment and then weave the past back in.
    Links: 3 These links are fine, although you should never link to the same site twice in one post. Also, if you link to a page of stats, you don’t need to list all the stats in the posts. You can include one or two, but not all. Also, try to expand your thinking beyond the organization you know about. Include links to similar organizations, national health sites, medical sites talking about depression and how to treat it etc.
    Grammar: 1 Here, we still need to work, although this is your best post yet. Still, there are lots of errors. Get a good book on punctuation and go through the exercises carefully to review when to use a comma. We’re going to talk about cutting clutter in writing soon. Pay attention. Most of your sentences are far too wordy. Still, a good effort. Keep working.

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