Overnight Walk San Francisco

I have been thinking about this post for weeks, and I have wanted to write something organized and transformative about suicide, but sometimes life and stories don’t work that way.

 (bryan farley)

Earlier this month I attended the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in San Francisco. I volunteered to photograph the event this time. Three years ago I walked with my two children.

 (bryan farley)

I don’t know if the camera helps me connect or if it keeps me isolated.

 (bryan farley)

There are two national walks each year. This year the walks were in San Francisco and Boston. Father’s Day was on the weekend between the two walks. I lost my father to suicide the year I became a father. The last several weeks, I thought about him often, and I thought about what it means to be a father..

 (bryan farley)

I was surprised this year that I struggled. I struggled to write. I struggled to be grateful on Father’s Day. I probably started struggling in May. Because I did not know why I struggled, I struggled more… but I am not sure if that is the real reason.

 (bryan farley)

I have met many friends through this journey. I can often connect quickly with people who have experienced this type of loss. I am more comfortable when I am in the company of fellow travelers, even though it reminds me that I often live in a culture that does not deal well with all of the stages of grief.

 (bryan farley)

I took some good photos, but the connections were more important… as much for me for the other people.

 (bryan farley)

Ten years after my father died, I spent the day mindful of the anniversary. When I wrote about the experience, I became grateful. I wanted to write something similar this time.

 (bryan farley)

On May 10th, I wanted to attend a concert in San Francisco, but I was afraid. I was afraid to walk the same streets that I walked when I wrote this post in 2013. I wasn’t afraid of the streets. More recently, I became afraid to express myself. I thought that I would be reminded of being too vulnerable.

 (bryan farley)

A few years ago, I had been more brave, but I also had more to say.

 (bryan farley)

One of these days, I will have more to say again. Maybe it will be something profound. Until then, I will keep showing up. I will find safe people and be a safe person for others.

 (bryan farley)

… and leave some things unfinished.

 (bryan farley)

and here is the photo gallery from the overnight.

 (bryan farley)

NOTE: I edited this post in July. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but it wasn’t that good either.

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply