one-eight. 18. eighteen. Today, January 23, is my cousin Emily’s 18th birthday. She should be here, but she is not and our world is missing her.
My heart breaks for her parents (my cousins) and her siblings and her grandparents and all of our family. It has broken every day since we lost her on June 7, but oh does it hurt today.
No matter how many times I look back at the photos or watch videos of her singing, no matter how many times I remember saying goodbye at the funeral home, I just can’t fathom this is reality.
Today, on what is her 18th birthday, I refuse to forget her laugh, her songs, her eye rolls, her sass.
Today, I’m struggling with words so I went for a run and wore yellow – the color of the Suicide Prevention program which aims to “reduce stigma and help save lives”.
Today I want to remember the love she brought to our lives. Tonight we will be taking the kids to breakfast for dinner, wearing pajamas, in her memory. If you knew Emily or want to support her family, please consider doing the same. If we’re Facebook friends, please let me know and I’ll add you to a group where you can share photos and stories of the way you remembered her today. If you leave a comment on this post, I’ll be sure to share it with her family, too.
let’s break stigmas together
Today I am going to share another 2020 goal with you – a goal to raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention of Western PA. As part of my goal to run the 2020 Pittsburgh Half Marathon, I’m also running in memory of Emily (+ my Uncle Jim) with this team to raise funds to help fight their goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025.
If you are able, please consider donating to help provide funding for research, education, advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide. Click this link here: DONATE.