The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Loved ones join SE walk to honor suicide victims

By Mathew Shaw/se news editor

Students and families gather on SE Campus April 19 to participate in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness walk, which was organized by the SE Gay-Straight Alliance.  Photo by Jason Floyd/The Collegian
Students and families gather on SE Campus April 19 to participate in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness walk, which was organized by the SE Gay-Straight Alliance. Photo by Jason Floyd/The Collegian

Nine-year-old Jace Roberts rode his scooter around the track behind SE Campus April 19.

He was not there to play, however. He was there in memory of his grandfather, who lost his life to suicide.

“I’m here for my mom’s dad, Roy Caudle,” he said.

Roy Caudle was SE student Jessica Caudle’s father, who died in 1990.

Jace and about 200 others walked in memory of loved ones lost to suicide as part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness walk, organized by the SE Gay-Straight Alliance.

Jessica Caudle told those who gathered she had the vision to organize the walk on campus after participating in a Dallas walk last October, where she met SE counselor Carisa Givens and SE English instructor Sarah Hope and learned of their losses to suicide.

“It was just heartbreaking to see how many lives had been shattered by suicide,” Caudle said. “There’s so much we can do. We can prevent this from happening again.

The event raised $6,429, according to official foundation figures.

On the track were names of loved ones lost to suicide written in chalk. One message in particular read: “Always in our Hearts, Roy Lynn Caudle (Dad).”

Coming from Missouri was Hayden Simmons, who walked in memory of Sam.

“Sam is my brother. He was in the Marines,” he said. “Ten months and one day ago, he shot himself.

Kathy Dunn, an elementary physical education teacher from Arlington, walked with four people on her mind.

“One is Lucas, one is my cousin Bruce, one is my friend’s son Andrew and one is my friend Sarah,” she said.

Her cousin, Bruce, was 9 years old.

The foundation’s chair, Peggy Marshall, related to the walkers the grief she felt when she lost her husband to suicide nearly nine years ago.

“I was there, and I struggled for years, and still to this day I’m not over it,” she said. “You never get over it.”

Nevertheless, Marshall said help and hope is available not just for those who have lost loved ones to suicide but also for those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide.

“I want you to know that it’s there in a big way, and I want you to know from a personal perspective that healing does happen,” she said.

The windy weather was perfect for releasing multitudes of yellow and dove-shaped balloons, each one bearing the name of a loved one lost to suicide. On one of the yellow balloons were the names Russ III and Danny, printed by Kaitlyn Lozano, a University of Texas at Tyler sophomore. Danny was her uncle, and Russ was her cousin.

“It’s like giving them a sign that we still love them, we still remember them,” she said. “I still love them.”

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