Over The Rainbow

"Rainbow" - Google Images

Rainbow - Google Images

I went to the vigil in Washington Square Park last night, with my friend Sam. It started to rain as soon as we got to the park, a few light drops at first, then a deluge.
Undeterred, the young and not so young, kept filing into the park. Oblivious to the rain, Sam and I gave out the Suicide Prevention wallet cards left over from the Fair. When we ran out of those we gave out my personal cards with the blog address.

“Help break the silence on suicide, please sign the petition,” I said with each card I gave out.
“I’ve run out of cards,” Sam said, coming back for more, again and again.

“This girl wants to meet you, she is a student from NYU” Sam said at one point, coming to me with a young woman.
“This is Esmeralda, Andrew’s mother,” he said to the NYU student.

“Did you know my son?” I asked, hoping she’d say yes. Hoping that here was someone who could talk to me about my son, but, “No, I didn’t know him,” she said. “But I was at NYU when it happened and I wanted to tell you how sorry I am.”
“Thank you,” I said. “You can help break the silence on suicide. You can help by signing the petition and sending it to your friends.”
“I will,” she promised and I hugged her before moving on.

As I gave out my last card, starting in the middle of the crowd and spreading outward like a ripple, louder and louder people sang “sometime, somewhere, over the rainbow…”

I burst into sobs. I thought I could hear Andrew calling to me in anguish as he fell to his death.

“Mummy, Mummy…” the voice was young, a child calling to his mother.

Sam put his arm around my shoulder and his small umbrella over my head.

Andrew… don’t do it. Oh my baby, I am here, Mummy’s here.

We walked to Bobst.

“FUCKING LIBRARY,” I said out loud.

“That’s where he jumped from,” I said, pointing to the tenth floor as soon as we came through Bobst’s revolving door.

I stared at the void into which Andrew had jumped. I thought of desperate Tyler Clementi jumping into the dark, cold waters of the Hudson, Cameron Dabaghi plunging from the heights of the Empire State Building, I thought of all the other suicide victims…. shards of pain stubbing my heart…

But now, just now, a bird is flying straight at my window…


12 thoughts on “Over The Rainbow

  1. Just wanted to share something I happened upon today. Today is National Day Without Stigma 2010.

    See http://www.activeminds.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=94&Itemid=132

    What is Active MInds?
    Active Minds is the only organization working to utilize the student voice to change the conversation about mental health on college campuses.  By developing and supporting chapters of a student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy group on campuses, the organization works to increase students’ awareness of mental health issues, provide information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness, encourage students to seek help as soon as it is needed, and serve as liaison between students and the mental health community.
    Through campus-wide events and national programs, Active Minds aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health issues on campuses throughout North America. (source: Active Minds website)

    This link is about how Active Minds started: http://www.activeminds.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=43

    • I had hoped to have their send silence packing exhibit at the Fair, but they couldn’t. By the way, they are not very good at responding

      • That’s too bad about their lack of follow through and response. Was that an NYU chapter of Active Minds?

  2. Seems like they don’t display except for their planned tours…Still would be amazing if GYWO could work out something for next year. Were you the one making the contacts with them?

    The Spring 2010 Send Silence Packing Tour

    Tuesday, April 6 – James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA)
    Friday, April 9 – St. Louis University (St. Louis, MO)
    Monday, April 12 – Oklahoma City, OK
    Friday, April 16 – University of Nebraska at Kearney (Kearney, NE)
    Monday, April 19 – University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY)
    Wednesday, April 21 – Montana State University (Bozeman, MT)
    Monday, April 26 – University of Minnesota Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN)
    Wednesday, April 28 – Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)
    Thursday, April 29 – Daley Plaza, Chicago, IL
    Wednesday, May 5* – The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) (display will be held on one day the week of May 3, date not yet finalized).

    • Yes, I personally contacted them. When Andrew first died their board chairman wrote to me. He had read about the money I had raised for SIDS and thought that maybe I could do the same again. Anyway, One of those backpacks has Andrew’s picture and details and I would love to see them at the Fair. And anyway, shouldn’t New York be a priority?

      • Yes, NY should be a priority. And I looked online to note that NYU has an active chapter, not the most active “5 star” chapter but at least not “inactive”.

        Maybe working through the chapter…
        Maybe contacting them now while they are planning their 2011 tour…

        Can you tell I’m off work and doing nothing but what I want to do?! 🙂 But it’s October…and next month is November. It’s what I’m newly accostomed to doing, now…year 2. I came across new websites to share with you for your October…which I will post shortly. Be well…

      • Thanks for the info. You know… I am a bit annoyed, I had asked Active Minds to put us in touch with their students… either it is the whole NYU thing whatever that is, or they are not as active as they claim

  3. First website (#1):
    Some poetry for October:

    Two volumes…but the website has 2 that you can read and two that you can listen to.

    “Passing Reflections is the narrative of my journey of discovery over the first two years after Colby died [Note: Dec 31, 2000]. My intention in sharing these poems is to help other suicide survivors see they are not alone and help those who would be of service to survivors begin to fathom what it is to suffer traumatic loss. It is my greatest hope to help people learn how to transform suffering into healing, holding all with compassion.

    May it be of benefit. — Kristen Spexarth”

    Next website (#2):


    • Oops clicked “Submit” before I was done!

      And website (#3):

      And a poem from that website:


      another day for you to wonder, another day for you to mourn

      it wasn’t my intention to go before the coming dawn

      my pain was deep within my heart and troubled head

      it wasn’t my intention to go without words said

      my frame of mind seemed normal, or so i heard them say

      it wasn’t my intention not to see another day

      i did not mean to make you suffer or cause you so much pain

      it wasn’t my intention to never see you again

      despair and confusion left my aching mind unsure

      it wasn’t my intention to suddenly close life’s door

      if only i could give you reasons and brush the tears away

      it wasn’t my intention to leave you and not stay

      i did not mean for you to grieve, now left alone to cry

      it wasn’t my intention to leave you, forever asking why

      as the burden of life’s worries slowly ebb from my heart

      it wasn’t my intention to tear your soul apart
      – Y. Docherty

      I think I have my “Title” for year three…As you know, Year 1 was Year of Tears and Year 2 was Healing Action. The Title for Year 3 came to me today and I wrote it down…but I need to live some of year three to know for sure. So I’ll leave you wondering…well, I’m still wondering too. 🙂
      ~Aloha, time for a walk upon the beach….

  4. That is a good title…I will remember it. 🙂 I think the time will come at some future time when as a family we will break through our own individual silences to truely come through on the other side of our grief, guilt, shame, regret, and whatever else is hiding in our collective hearts in order to be able to function as a one to Break the Silence.

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