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Memorial aims to promote healing, bring awareness

By Jeri Borst

Healing after losing a loved one to suicide can be challenging, which is why Jordan Leigh Dodds is organizing a community event.

On Sept. 17 there will be a suicide awareness gathering and memorial at McMillan Park. A candlelight vigil service will be held at 7 p.m.

Ron Tilley will speak and a “heart string” memorial tribute will be set up for those lost to suicide.

People attending are welcome to bring pictures to be placed along the heart string. If you are not able to attend send pictures of your loved one lost to suicide to doddsj276@gmail.com and photos will be added to the memorial.

Dodds lost her step-father to suicide Nov. 23 2019.

“It was right before Thanksgiving and it was a very difficult time for me,” Dodds said. “I kept thinking I should have seen the signs, but I learned I can’t blame myself.”

Dodds said with recent suicides, especially of younger individuals, she felt it was important to do something during Suicide Awareness Month.

“When I lost my step-dad it was a different type of loss,” Dodds explained. “It was sudden. He was mentally sick. It created this different type of grief and heartache. I kept thinking, what could I have done. Car accidents and cancer are not like someone taking the conscious decision to take their own life. Hopefully this memorial will help bring awareness as well as help people heal.”

According to the CDC, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages and every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide.

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