Blog

Sep11
2013

Remembering Those We’ve Lost.

By Jessica Haley

If I could change one thing about my job, it would be receiving memorial donations. Each time I open an envelope containing a donation sent in memory of someone, I am always aware that it represents the loss of of an individual’s life. I wish I could return the money and bring back whoever has passed away. But I also know the person sending the donation is grieving the loss of a loved one—possibly their child, their best friend, an uncle, or parent. And in the midst of that heartache and loss, they have turned to TWLOHA. They turn to us to continue fighting, to continue battling the stigma that surrounds mental health. They trust us and believe in us.

Sometimes the loss of that person comes from something unexpected—a car accident or a sickness that came on suddenly—but often, it is related to the issues we speak about: depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. When someone’s death is a result of a mental health issue, I catch myself feeling defeated, feeling guilty for this life that has been lost. I wonder if my team has ever met this individual, if and what they knew about TWLOHA, and if we could’ve done something different at some point. However, I know I don’t carry these burdens alone. When someone loses a loved one to something as difficult as addiction or suicide, we are all left with unanswered questions. We want to know why, struggle with knowing if we said enough, or blame ourselves for not noticing their struggles to begin with.

Moving forward seems impossible—but inside these same donation envelopes, I find a hope and strength I admire. Families and friends are honoring their deceased, sharing their stories with us, letting our team learn about the quirks and characteristics that were unique to their loved one alone. They know the depth of what National Suicide Prevention Week means, the hardest parts of it, the reasons it even exists. Yet, they use their pain to help those still fighting. Knowing it might be too late for their loved one to believe the words, “You cannot be replaced,” they hope and pray others begin to believe it for themselves.

Today—which also happens to be 9/11, a day our nation will always mark and mourn—we remember those we’ve lost. We remember your mother, your father, your little sister, your best friend, your big brother, your child, your favorite aunt, your co-worker. As a team, we want to use this time to specifically remember the lives of all those we have received memorial donations in honor of. We also take this moment to remind you that YOU CANNOT BE REPLACED.

Say it.

“I cannot be replaced.”
Say it five more times. Say it until you believe it.
It is true for me; it is true for you.

With Hope,
Jessica Haley

The names listed below represent the people TWLOHA has received donations in memory of. We ask that you take a moment and read through these names and remember that each name symbolizes a person who will never be replaced. We honor them in our work each day and continue to support their friends and family.

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Daniel Atsenath Vincent Keller
Ryan Ahrens Dillon Kelley
Keith Aldous Alexandra Kindya
Khaled Al- Hamdani Shon Lancaster
Kirsten Adler Darryl Lawrie
Matthew Allen Anna Lago
Dominic Amodeo Gail Lewis
Stanley Anderson Cote Laramie
Kathleen Archer Dayton Lauderdale
Russell Baldwin Clayton Law
Sarah Billian Kyle Larson
Lynn Birdsey Jonathan Lemery
Chad Brickerson Michael May
Riley B. Morgan McInnis
Alex Bain Marcie McMann
Paul Brisbane Martin Mercer
David Bakchelor Randy Miller
Matthew Bolger David Murray
Kerry Boisson Shannon McFadden
Amber Bible Tim Mueller
Adele Bitler Savanah Moore
Timothy Blackmore Erin Moore
Tracy Brierton Jared Mann
Will Cadogn Andy Moore
Samantha Chapman Ryan McCarthy
Jessica Canazzi Cheyenne Mason
Craig Carroll Evelyn McDermott
Gary Carroll Annalee Marshall
Jeremy Coonradt William McDermott
Lawrence Cunningham David McKenna
Jordan Craig Akshay Menon
Emily “Cristina” Coker Kyle Meisenheimer
Casey Calvert Jensen Merriam
Caitlin Campbell Peter John Merrick
Tim Carrigan Amanda Morris
Joseph Chmielewski Jacob Myers
Emma Duhamel Tanya Nickol
Donna Deckard Richard Nelson
Julia DiGiovanni Tonya Nicholson
Jan Deuser Lewis O’Driscoll
Stephanie Derefinko Monique Ortiz
Sean Davis Heather Osborne
Durinda Deem Marvin Pierson
Damien Descourtieux Beth Ponte
Jackson Dale Shawn Purkey
Erin Dennington Kyle Priebe
Roland Davidson Ana Marie Percia
Tim Downs Brittany Petrocca
Matthew Elvidge Sarah Plumer
Erin Ernst Cade Poulos
Brittany Estes Lisa Ann Prewitt
Eric Eide Roger Price
Courtney Eaker Andy Richter
James Falls Hunter Roberts
Lina Fatton Katrina Roberts
Marianne Fischer Sharon Reilly
Michelle Fortin Elizabeth Ronneberg
Kerry Friesen Ryan Rader
Kate Fritz Peter Ramo
Sarah Fasano Justin Ripley
Daniel Freedman Elizabeth Rohlwing
Sharon Finn Evan Rosenstock
Jason Falardeau Samantha Baldwin Sewell
Corbin Filpansick Nicholas Smith
Robert “Jeff” Fowler Elizabeth Steingass
Justin Fried Kerelia Summers
Ernesto Gardner Nicole Sutherland
Emily Gedert Seth Schmedeberg
Connie Galina Don Schobert
Lou Gaglione Stefan Scholfield
Carly Gannon Caitlin Smith
Jason Green James Shaw
Jennifer Garvey Zeke Sanders
Michael Gannon Timothy Saubers
Barbara Graf Lydia Sim
Hardee Steven Henderson III Sam Shapiro
Emily Holtzmann Jennifer Schulze
Liz Habermann Teresa Steenburgh
Logan Herr Robert “Rob” Stephenson
Byron Hunt Alan Stuart
Iris Hubbard Charlotte “Charlie” Sweet
Nancy Hammond Joshua Sultzbaugh
JoAnn Hamer Cathy Hill Swirbul
Sean Haviland Stacey Tuchman
Joey Hummer George Thomas
Kenneth Higgam Victoria Thompson
Maggie Harny Billy Truesdale
Farid Hussien Amanda Todd
Donna Holiday Steven Tanner
Kevin Hanrahan Ashley Taylor
Ezgi Hamamci Jacob Tinkoff
Faith Hillaker Britney Tyson
Wesley Hoover Philip Turetsky
Jeremy Huffstetler Kayla Venneman
Christopher Lee Hodge Brian Scott Webb
Rebecca Jo Howard Kevin Lawade Webb
Julissa Howe Erich Winters
Wesley Hoover Edric Walker
Isaac Hayden Ryan Wolsfeld
Edison Ibarra Frankie Wintrol
Peter Jackson Billy Wintrol
Peggy Jimenez Bruce Withers
Hilary Johnson John Taylor Weber
John “JJ” Scott Jennings Steve Watchorn
Elizabeth “Betty” Johnson Stephen Weidler
Lauren Johnson Daryll A. Wilkes
Jared Kellner Dalton Walker
Richard Kidder Chucky Yesalusky
Brad Kolman Christopher Yohe
Jean Kain Matthew Yohe
Chris Keane Lesley Zetko
Zackary Kallem Matthew Zdinak

 

**After launching our World Suicide Prevention Day / National Suicide Prevention Week campaign, we came across the organizations You Can NOT Be Replaced ® . You Can NOT Be Replaced, a charitable organization located in Manasquan, NJ, is the owner of the trademark YOU CAN NOT BE REPLACED ® . You Can NOT Be Replaced ® grew out of a desire to inspire the youth in their area, where there have been several student suicides. You can learn more about You Can NOT Be Replaced ® at www.youcannotbereplaced.com. Emily Dayton, whose family founded You Can NOT Be Replaced ®, shared here how this work has impacted her community for the better.

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Comments (24)

  1. Frankie Laursen

    I made a $50 donation on Aug. 18, but I didn’t remember to list who I was donating in honor of.

    Albert Poon (my father, who committed suicide last October)
    Eric Poon (his brother, who committed suicide in 1991)

    I blogged about NSPW here:
    http://t.co/WPla503XCk

    Thank you for the work that you do. Thank you for still caring instead of desensitizing to the large volume of pain you are witness to.

    Reply  |  
  2. Shelby

    I’m thinking of my friend Robbie today. We lost him last July after an unknown battle with depression. He is missed more than he’ll ever know.

    Reply  |  
  3. chrissy

    2 months ago yesterday I lost a very good friend janine jakob to suicide. It hurts everyday to know shes not here. I too have attempted suicide… I can only hope ill find the strength to go on

    Reply  |  
  4. Lorraine Edmiston

    In reading this blog I remember my friend Rick Foster.A man who touched so many people’s lives.Lost to suicide.He is missed.He cannot be replaced.
    Beautiful blog,Jess.

    Reply  |  
  5. Rebecca sloan

    Thank you for having a heart to care. My husband took his life one year ago Aug, and I know all to well the emotions. It’s my mission to fight for others, and share his story. Thanks for not allowing me to bear this pain alone.

    Reply  |  
  6. Lynn

    Thank you for inspiring me to hold on and fight for myself and others who fight…and to remember those who are no longer able to fight! Orange has a whole new impact on me 😉

    Reply  |  
  7. Daniel Clark

    Twenty Four years ago my father committed suicide. Needless to say it impacted the family in many ways and all of us developed addiction issues. Mine took me to attempting twice. I now KNOW I cannot be replaced. Thank you. You guys were at Orion Fest in Detroit and truthfully the guy in the TWLOHA booth gave me a safe haven to go to all weekend and I used it. 4 years clean but know the importance of back up plans. Thanks TWLOHA

    Reply  |  
  8. Suzella Ahrens

    I lost my husband to suicide July 15, 1997. He was only 24 years old. The kindest, smartest and most loving person I have ever met. He made me know real love and left a special mark on everyone’s heart, forever. I miss his hugs. He was my soul mate and lives on forever in my heart. I will always love you baby!!

    Reply  |  
  9. Michael

    One of TWOLOHA’s former interns, Brendan Schaller, penned a post for my blog today in honor of World Suicide Prevention Week. Check it out!
    http://hopeandpositivity.blogspot.com/

    Reply  |  
  10. Nicole Derby-Moore

    Remembering him today and everyday. He was a big brother, father figure, Air Force crew Chief, husband, son, step-dad and friend. Your gone but not forgotten brother. You live on in my heart and memories. It has been 21 years too long and though I was just 12 it has impacted my life forever. I am thankful for TWLOHA and other suicide prevention programs that are making a drastic impact through their education and prevention programs. RIP Eddie I love you always and forever.

    Reply  |  
  11. Chelsea Merkley

    As I read his name I knew it was him, our neighbor who was also our home teacher. He played marvelous piano. He seemed like the happiest person I’d ever met. Always so playful and telling jokes, his wife was in our neighborhood and ward too. She was beautiful. She worked in Occupational Therapy. We loved their family so much. I can still remember his smiles and jokes. How he’d play games with our baby son in church- and what a fun time he had with kids and music. He loved the outdoors and was often found hiking and biking with his lovely wife Stephanie Stephenson. They were both amazing pianists and at church once they played a magnificent duet. He will never be replaced, God loves him and his family. I pray their suffering will be eased by the knowledge of God’s love and hope for Rob. He is a good man.

    This hit me close to home, when I heard about his passing. I have had a personal experience with suicide. I also have deep depression and anxiety issues. During the time I tried and thought about carrying out suicide I was 15 years old. I didn’t enjoy much in life anymore. My singing and acting didn’t seem to be as fun and they were before. Everything seemed dark and meloncholy. I was lucky, a teacher noticed this in me. I stopped myself from the actual attempt. But, this is real. Struggling with self-worth is real. Finding value in yourself is hard. Finding your identity as a teenager and young adult is exceptionally challenging.

    No one can be replaced. They are always loved and honored by their family and friends.

    Reply  |  
  12. Kimi

    2010 was a terrible year.
    My 18 year-old cousin, from my Dad’s side, took his own life on March 3rd.
    My dad took his own life on July 19th.

    My family still hasn’t fully recovered. I don’t think we ever will. The years seem to get tougher as they go by. We are still full of questions that will never be answered.

    My sisters and I all have a DON’T PANIC! tattoo. It serves as a memory of our sci-fi loving Dad and as a daily reminder when things get rough.

    I just learned about TWLOHA. I am hoping that with your help I can learn how to help my family and other families that are experiencing the same thing.

    Please keep on doing what you’re doing. I know that I cannot be replaced.

    Reply  |  
  13. DrPanda

    Reading through this list of names fills my heart with sadness, knowing that each one represents a life gone too soon and survivors who are left with a piece missing in their lives. Even one person is too many, but the number of folks on this list (which represents just a portion of those lost) shows how much more work we still have to do to help others to see their value and worth in this life and to truly know they cannot be replaced. I will be thinking of them all and keeping those missing them close to my heart.

    Reply  |  
  14. Anonymous

    Rip morgan tuck

    Reply  |  
  15. Bri

    I’m so blessed for all this support.

    Reply  |  
  16. Michelle

    I lost my brother Bob 21 months ago to suicide. 6 Months ago I lost my mother. She had many heath problems but after Bobs passing she gave up. The loss of my brother tore my family apart. He knew how much he was loved but I believe he forgot how much he was needed. He had no idea how much he could not be replaced.

    Reply  |  
  17. Jen

    Dan died 12 years ago (9/10/01) and I have finally decided that I need to focus on his birthday, his life, rather than his tragic death. I will always miss him and will still have some hard days, but he would want me to remember the happy times in his life, his smile, his laugh. I know he is up there looking down on us all. Love always.

    Reply  |  
  18. essu

    I had a friend, back in my teenagers days, he save me from madness so many times.. now he is gone, for him I’ll always carry on. Thank you gustav de trevielle. you’ll be always in my heart.

    Reply  |  
  19. Broken hearted

    I’ve now realized that when people leave us suddenly, when they choose to leave this world that they are not abandoning us or leaving us behind but they are choosing to be with us at all times. We are not alone in this world, all of us mourners. We do not walk alone. We do not carry on without them.

    Reply  |  
  20. Beth

    On Sep. 11, two years ago, I lost David King. Friend to everyone. The hardest thing for me is he died at 17. I wonder where he could have gone with college and preparing for his future. I miss him.

    Reply  |  
  21. Alex Valliere

    On August 23, 2001, I lost my best friend, Mark Scott, when he died by suicide in his parents’ home. He was only 17 years old. I was 15. This loss jarred me and sent me reeling for a moment, but it also saved my life. Because of this loss, because I knew that Mark COULD NOT BE REPLACED, I knew I could never allow my family and friends to lose me in the same way. The day I realized that, I made the brave decision to ask my mom for help. She got me help, thanked me for asking her to let me get it, even. I was saved.

    Cut to five years later.

    On November 23, 2006, my mother, Julia Valliere, died by suicide alone in her apartment on Thanksgiving Day. I found her. Alone and scared, I found her. This amazing woman who had given me life, who had thanked me for asking her to help me save mine, who had been my first friend and my best friend for 20 years, had taken her own life. She had taken herself from me. This had been a long struggle, she had been fighting depression and addiction since before I was ever born. The struggle with both had gotten the best of her and I had fought to save her for four years at that point.

    More than the loss of Mark, the loss of my mother was what made me truly understand what it’s like to truly lose someone, to truly have a void in your life and to feel the guilt that comes with losing someone to suicide. You wonder if you could have done more, if things would have been different if you had known to have called the moment they took their life, if they needed a hug that time you just walked away, you have so many questions.

    When I saw that the shirts this year said “You Cannot Be Replaced” it hit home. It hurt and it felt liberating. Liberating because I know there are other people out there who understand, who have lost, and who know the meaning behind this simple phrase.

    TWLOHA, thank you for always being a positive influence. I have been buying shirts, hoodies, stickers, etc from you since the very first black t-shirt was released. I will continue to do so. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

    If you’re feeling alone, please listen to the message that has been spread this year. Every word is true.

    Reply  |  
  22. Missy C

    TJ McNair, 7th grade student, beautiful smile, always happy, I remember you. Riding piggy back around the stage during our schools production of school house rock. I remember i could carry you around like a little baby you were so tiny. you where a wonderful friend with a beautiful soul. Fly High sweet boy

    TWLOHA i thank you for the opportunity to share his story and my story alike, to show people that healing is real! and that I am irreplaceable and that I make a difference everyday… my only regret was not being able to hear TJ and his story and why he was hurting.His passing was so sudden…

    Reply  |  
  23. Pingback: Give Well (and Live Well) This Season. « TWLOHA

  24. Shannon

    Clayton Law was my older brother who was 23 when he left us. TWLOHA sent us flowers after our donations in his name were recieved. Then a couple weeks after, a card. We have recieved flowers from TWLOHA for 2 years now as we remember his passing on May 5th, 2013. My family and I can’t say thank you enough! It means so much to us and we couldn’t appreciate TWLOHA remembering him anymore than we already do! Knowing that the donations are put toward such acts of kindness is amazing! Thank you TWLOHA!

    Reply  |  
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