Written by Ann Louise in Delray Beach, Florida who will be participating virtually in the 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention on September 26!
Our Bianca Isabella was born on September 25, 1991 in Miami. She grew up there and in Nicaragua. Bianca took her life in April of 2020. She lived in Delray Beach with us, her family, and worked at a fitness center. She was working towards her goal to earn her personal fitness trainer certification. Bianca taught our family how to take care of our health through fitness, natural medicine, and meditation. She was and will always be our counselor with her constant words of encouragement.
When Bianca passed, I desperately needed to speak with people who understood. My brother told me about the Samaritans and I wrote to them to find out about support groups. I joined a virtual SafePlace meeting of suicide loss survivors, facilitated by trained volunteers. I also met with two trained volunteers in a smaller meeting of survivors who had lost a child to suicide. I asked the parents questions and listened to their stories.
It was such a relief for my mind, body, and soul to speak to and listen to other survivors. I realized I was not alone in my grief. I felt that if other moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and children could survive this terrible loss then maybe I could too. The SafePlace meetings inspire hope in me when I was feeling hopeless.
In the meetings, I feel empathy and understanding. Maria, who had lost her son, inspired me to do the 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention and make a unique memorial bracelet about my Bianca for our family and friends who will participate.
While organizing for the 5K, I feel I am making a difference and helping others, and I think Bianca would like that. The virtual 5K, where all of her loved ones and friends can participate, is a great way to honor her memory while also raising awareness of mental health issues. We are empowered by the hope that we can encourage somebody to seek help.