“Out of Darkness” Walk in Salt Lake City For Suicide Prevention and Awareness
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It’s one of the biggest crowds you’ll ever see in Liberty Park. Nearly 8,000 people came together Saturday for the “Out of Darkness” walk, all with the goal of raising money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
But for those out making laps around the park, it wasn’t just about raising money, or raising awareness; it was an intensely personal act of remembrance they shared with complete strangers.
“I actually met him on an online dating website,” Hannah Kammerer said about her boyfriend, 26-year-old Daniel Grine, who took his own life.
In a sea of thousands, it’s easy to forget that every face has a story.
“We talked about spending the rest of our lives together,” she said.
It’s easy to forget the size of this crowd may be more notable for who’s not here.
“Really one of the most outwardly happy people that I’ve met in my entire life,” Kammerer said. “It’s…it’s hard to imagine what he must have been going through that he hid from everyone in his life.”
Grine sent out a group text, it was the last time anyone heard from him.
“Basically just saying goodbye, apologizing for anything,” Kammerer said. “Seen him the day before, he was in good spirits…”
His cell phone was tracked up a canyon in Utah County. Those who loved him searched frantically.
“We checked every campground we possibly could. We found his car, and then looked around the campsite he had set up, and then found him,” Kammerer said.
And while many of these faces are here to remember someone who’s been gone for years, or even decades, the loss of Grine is a little more recent.
“August 27th, so almost three weeks,” Kammerer said.
It’s left Kammerer and Grine’s family struggling for answers. Remembering every conversation. Contemplating every word. Wondering if there was something they hadn’t seen.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever know why, exactly,” Kammerer said. “A sign or a cry for help that in the moment didn’t seem to be a big deal, but all combined form a bigger picture and a big puzzle that it seems like everyone kind of has their own piece of, but Daniel has most of the pieces of that puzzle and that’s something that I think we’re all going to kind of live with forever, because we don’t have him to ask those questions to and get answers from,” Kammerer said.
Grine’s family and friends may only be taking the first steps without him, but to them, being here, surrounded by a sea of strangers, is helping them realize no one is ever truly alone.
“Just to see the amount of people that suicide affects was mind-blowing,” Kammerer said. “It also makes me realize how much love there is and how much compassion people have for other people. Complete strangers, or family members.”
If you or someone you know needs help there are resources available 24 hours a day seven days a week. The number for help is 1-800-273-TALK or visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Website.
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