Suicide affects 800,000 people a year and the effects are devastating. Paul lost his step dad Adrian last year, and since then has been finding ways to remember him positively.
On October 26th, CALM is uniting against suicide at the Lost Hours Walk. It’s a chance to deal with grief differently and defiantly by taking up space, talking about loss, and supporting each other through life’s tough times. Paul is taking on the Lost Hours Walk in Adrian’s memory.
“We can’t bring Ade back or change what has happened but we can do something positive in his memory to help others, and remember and honour his life.”
“I remember my mum saying she did not want Ade to be defined by the way he died but by the way he lived his life. The week of the walk would have been my mum and Ade’s 20th wedding anniversary and so the timing seems perfect to me. I’m walking to remember Ade and to do something positive in his memory. If we can help support one person and one family then that’s our purpose.”
Positivity is a huge part of why Paul’s walking. By joining with hundreds of others walking to raise awareness around suicide, he hopes to help change things.
“Ade’s funeral was attended by so many people. He could have picked up the phone to any one of them and they would have helped him. That is the truly heartbreaking thing. He couldn’t see all of the love that was there for him.
“I wish that whatever it was that had taken him to such a dark place , we could have worked through but he clearly couldn’t see that.”
As well as walking in his memory, Paul has found talking about Ade and his own experiences and feelings, has been important.
“We’ve had Ade’s birthday and Christmas without him and they were used to celebrate his life. I have made a conscious decision to still talk about him , especially when something reminds me of him. I want to keep his memory alive and that’s sometimes a challenge because sometimes people don’t know what to say. In my role as an HR Manager we are focusing on male mental health ( we are 80% male environment) and just by talking about it that has helped me as well.”
And it’s talking and walking alongside hundreds of others to unite against suicide that Paul’s looking forward to.
“I think it will feel very emotional walking with everyone else. I suspect there will be a range of emotions from sadness to inspiration , excitement and togetherness. I think it will feel that I am a very small part in something very special and very worthy, and so I would add pride to that list too. Pride that we are all part of something positive, even after all that we have been through.”
Join us this October to unite against suicide. We’ll be walking side by side, shoulder to shoulder, to campaign against feeling rubbish, against struggling in silence, against being alone, against living miserably.
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