“You are missed”: Indianapolis project offers hope through writing to those lost through suicide

Posted on: April 23, 2018, by :

“If I died nobody would miss me.”

“Everybody would be happier if I were gone.”

During depression your mind “tells you all these lies … when in reality, so many lives are shattered after they lose somebody they care about,” writes the coordinator of a local campaign, “What Happens After Suicide.”

In response to her own loss — the loss of a loved one over the past months to suicide and depression — “Mary” is asking Indianapolis residents and beyond to participate in a project to write letters to those friends or loved ones we ourselves may have lost.

“My hope for this project is to bring awareness to the after effects of suicide and how it has so much of an impact on the people left behind,” says Mary. “I am asking people who have been impacted by suicide write letters to those they lost.” These letters, she says, could start off with “To my best friend,” or “To my father,” or even “To the girl I never got to know.” In the letter, Mary invites, “please feel free to talk about anything and everything, from how much you miss them, to how your life was impacted, to how others lives around you were impacted.”

The project is cathartic, to be certain, but Mary also hopes the words offer love and encouragement for others. “I want this to be something you can show somebody you know who is struggling with these depressive thoughts, or to family and friends who have lost a loved one to suicide, to let them know they aren’t alone in what they are going through.”

No expression is too little, or unimportant, says Mary. “Please don’t think that your words won’t impact somebody’s lives. Maybe what you have to say, no matter how little, is the exact message somebody needs.” Also, for those who have not been directly affected by suicide, the project invites participants to “write a letter to your past self if you ever struggled with mental illness” or even start a letter off with “To somebody who is struggling,” and write positive things you think somebody needs to hear.

All contributions to the project will remain anonymous, ensures Mary. “I am not asking for anybody to sign these letters, so feel free to open up us much as you want. You could send in a picture of a handwritten letter or even just type it on an email and send it to me to be published on the sites, whatever is more convenient for you.”

For those who believe they have something to say to be part of this project, Mary invites any and all notes to be emailed to her at melodyrod99@gmail.com


Additional local resources for anyone struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide include the following:

Teen Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1

Text Line for Suicide Prevention: text HELPNOW to 20121

Mental Health America of Indiana


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