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Midland woman honors loved one at “Out of the Darkness” Experience

Each year, the foundation holds an annual community walk called “Out of the Darkness Experience” to bring suicide prevention awareness and allowing people to honor loved ones they have lost.
Published: Oct. 11, 2020 at 9:12 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - October 10th marked the beginning of mental health awareness week. A week many people use to join together to walk in the ‘out of the darkness experience’ with the American Foundation for suicide prevention

"Um this is hard,' said Kathy Burdette.

The topic of suicide is a difficult one to discuss, and it’s more difficult when you’ve been personally affected by it.

Kathy Burdette lost her husband, lane, last June after a twenty-two-year struggle with bipolar disorder.

“I hear things like it was selfish or cowardly, it’s neither one of those things,” Burdette said. “It’s true, true mental illness and they can’t do anything about it. if they could, they would stop.”

To cope with the loss of her husband, she found the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention soon after his passing.

Each year, the foundation holds an annual community walk called “Out of the Darkness Experience” to bring suicide prevention awareness and allowing people to honor loved ones they have lost.

To celebrate Lane’s life, the Burdette family and friends walk and release butterflies in Lane’s honor.

“He loved to be around the people that he loved and he would absolutely want us to celebrate his life,” said Burdette.

Chairperson, Amanda Provence, joined the organization after losing her brother to suicide in 2011.

The mission to bring suicide prevention awareness to light is a personal one for her.

“I made a promise to him that I would do what I could to fight in any way that I can. this was before I even knew that AFSP existed. That I would do what I could do to make sure that another family didn’t have to go through this and if I even stopped one then the fight was worth it,” said Provence.

Kathy Burdette said she’s grateful that the foundation was not only able to help her cope with her grief but it has also allowed her to meet new people who share similar experiences.

Burdette added, “This group lets you know that it’s okay to have the joy that goes along with the grief.”

Copyright 2020 KOSA. All rights reserved.

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