I haven’t been able to compose myself enough to write much over the last couple weeks… and I don’t feel I’m ready to write as much as I’d like to just yet. On June 15, I received a call that devastated me and left me heartbroken. A lifelong dear friend of mine, Amber, had succumbed to mental illness and taken her own life. Sadly, she had hidden her demons from the world and while many of us knew she struggled in different aspects of her life, none of us could have predicted it would end this way.
I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for all of the love and support through calls, texts, and messages I have received over the last two weeks. While nothing can take away the pain and heartache, I will continue to remember Amber for all that she was… beautiful, gracious, passionate, kind, loving, generous, sincere, genuine, and one of the most amazing people I feel so blessed to have had in my life. I will forever be grateful for the frequent visits I had with her over the last couple years. To her sweet daughter… her love… her family, friends, loved ones, and our classmates… my heart goes out to all as we mourn the loss of an incredible bright light in our lives that faded far too soon.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide, please… I beg you… do not give up. Seek help… talk to a friend… call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline… and ALWAYS remember, you do not have to fight this battle alone. For more information on how to help, visit Stop A Suicide Today!
June 16: “Just two months ago, you were here… we watched the sunset and had an evening filled with fun and laughter. I looked forward to each and every visit from you… to see what little gift of Minnesota home you would bring. It’s hard to believe I’ll never again run out my front door to hug you as soon as you get out of the car. I had hoped I would wake this morning and understand. Instead I tossed and turned all night… I’m no closer now than I was yesterday. You were a beacon of light with a heart that seemed to never close… yet it seems you were hurting far more on the inside than anyone could have known. Looking back to your last visit here… watching the sun fade into the ocean seems fitting as I try to figure out how to say goodbye… all the while, my heart is breaking. I love you, Amber.”