Everyone has a cause that matters to them. Suicide prevention is mine.
I am putting together a team in remembrance of my identical twin sister, Christina. She was my best friend, the one I played Barbies with, read “Sweet Valley Twins” books with, beat at Monopoly, rode bikes through the neighborhood with, went skating with, walked the mall and shared a room with.
I knew Tina had her struggles, but I never believed she would commit suicide at the age of 15.
Now 23 years later, I still deal with the aftermath of her decision. I miss her. We all do. She left behind my mom and dad and her older sister, Heather. We all loved her more than words.
It’s taken a long time for me to forgive her. But I have. Selfishly, I say, she should have been in my life today. But it wasn’t meant to be.
Today I joined with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to put together a team to walk in Christina’s honor. The Staunton Community Walk is being held on October 10 at 10 a.m. at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton. My mom and I have set a goal to get 50 people to walk in Tina’s honor and to raise funds for AFSP to invest in new research, educational programs, public policy and to support survivors of suicide loss.
Christina died on September 23, 1992. The timing of this event makes it an opportunity for us all to remember Tina or support her family and friends. Who knows, maybe we can all walk annually as an excuse to get together, share memories and remember Tina together.
You may not have known Tina. But you may know someone who did. Or know someone else who committed suicide. Please consider joining our team and supporting this worthwhile cause.
– Column by Crystal Graham