Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012 - 3 Years and 7 Months Later

Once again, another month has gone by and it appears that my blog posts will be relegated to the frequency of these anniversaries.   There are times that I sit down to write, but nothing comes to mind.  I don't find it appropriate to share about mundane daily activities that fill my days.  For example, outside of my full-time job and working out several times a week, what is the significance of my sudden interest in WWI and WWII after reading the two tomes from Ken Follett: Fall of Giants and Winter of the World, then watching HBO's Band of Brothers and now reading the book from Stephen Ambrose?

And what does it matter that I am so disappointed in the Red Sox that I stopped paying attention in August; was hoping the Nationals would move on in the playoffs so baseball would hold some interest; wish the Patriots would play 60 minutes of football; am loving a new show (for me), The Voice; have lost interest in Glee and continue to like Homeland, The Good Wife and Blue Bloods?

Is this a sign that life has somewhat normalized for me?  That while I think about Josh every day, it is more in the vein of my other three kids, which means that his death is no longer front and center?  Could it be that I am "moving on"?  And if so, how do I feel about this?  The cursor keeps blinking while pondering.  I am not sure, so make a note-to-self; write about this in my next journal entry.  Whether I do or not, who knows, but at least the question is in my conscious.

In the meantime, Lauren's work with the Josh Anderson Foundation (JAF) is picking up.  We co-sponsored the powerful Active Mind's Send Silence Packing display on the University of Virginia's lawn" on October 4th.  Click here to see their blog post of the event.

Lauren had an opportunity to share with other students about that fateful day, when as a 4th year student at UVA, she learned of the devastating news that would change her life and work.  Click here to see the video.

We continue to make in-roads at local high schools and are being asked to fund a number of programs that will reach teens, our foundation's target audience; so much so, that we are considering an "emergency" bar fundraiser this fall so that we have enough money to last until the annual half/full marathon run fundraiser in March, 2013.   A good problem to have.

All in memory of Josh - whom we love and miss more than ever.

1 comment:

AWIV said...

I want to help Woodson High School to prevent another suicide there - after two in 20 months and possibly one more recently that has not yet been ruled a suicide. I sent you another note with my email address. I found the Fairfax County Prevention Toolkit and have written to them for help. I will present my offer of assistance to Woodson tomorrow. I am a military wife/mother and am particularly worried about the military youth, as the last two boys who died were military brats. I understand that statistics show that once teens start doing this in a small community like a local High School, this increases the ideas of suicide in those already at risk.

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your blog with the community at large. You just might be saving lives. I LOVE the "Send Silence Packing" campaign - how clever and appropriate.

My father committed suicide when I was young - found by my two older teenager siblings. Depression runs in my family. Neither of these subjects is taboo in our household - I believe denial is part of the problem. I contribute annually to the "Out of the Darkness" walk and am considering sponsoring some sort of event like this locally.

The defensive response of the Washington Post recently has me particularly alarmed. The author said "For many years, the mainstream news media have had an unwritten but widely respected rule: We do not cover suicides unless they involve a particularly noteworthy person or happen in a very public way. We do not want to glorify or encourage suicide, and also there are a surprisingly large number of them. In Virginia in 2010, there were 41 suicides of kids ages 10-19, and another 63 suicides by people ages 20-24. In Fairfax County alone, from 1996 to 2005, there were 107 suicides of people ages 10-24, or nearly 11 per year."

What bothers me is that the Washington Post thinks reporting on suicides will glorify or encourage them. Wouldn't reporting on suicide help parents, educators, clergy, coaches, trainers, etc be more aware of the signs/risk factors involving the youth they love?

While I don't think it is wise or respectful to the family to report details about a particular individual, I do think it is important a community be alerted when a pattern is developing in a community, as this has been shown to increase suicide incidents.

I respect your thoughts on this matter.