so they will know that he lived

so they will know that he lived
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  • LOVE LETTERS to those loved and lost to suicide

    Buried deep inside one of Kerry's journals, scrolled across the top of an earmarked page, was the headline BURNING MAN. Below it he drew a bold stick like figure. and beneath that, in fine red -felt tipped pen, were the words "LIVE AND BURN" .

    And so, in a desperate attempt to feel connected to him, I made a conscious decision to journey over 2,700 miles to a sterile wasteland deep in the Black Rock desert of Nevada; home to an annual free spirited event known as Burning Man.

    Each year over 45,000 people travel from all over the world to establish a temporary city that exists for one week. The city is based on the principles of radical self reliance, self expression and civic responsibility. Among a vast array of interactive art installations, a Temple is constructed to honor those who have passed on. The center alter is reserved for victims of suicide.

    Here amongst the burden of a bleak, barren desert, I discovered a lightness laced in grace and ease. It is here that my healing began.

    As time passed, I began to focus on the pain that penetrated outside of myself. I compiled a book of letters, stories and photos that were given to me by people that had also lost someone they loved to suicide. The book was called LOVE LETTERS. It was placed at the Temples center alter at Burning Man 2006 and was burned, along with the Temple on the closing night. A second edition was compiled the following year and it too was burned along with the Temple.

    For me, it's important that people understand the daily struggle and intense pain these kind, sensitive, loving spirits endured. My hope is that their stories planted seeds of compassion, forgiveness and understanding.

    Depression is a disease. Suicide is NOT painless.
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