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Leaving the shadows of suicide behind

Standing on the southern end of Main Beach, Evans Head and remembering those we've lost to suicide.
Standing on the southern end of Main Beach, Evans Head and remembering those we've lost to suicide. Samantha Elley

THE first rays of the promise of a beautiful day hit Main Beach at Evans Head as a small knot of dedicated people watch the sun rise on Sunday morning.

 

 

Rose petals in the surf in remembrance.
Rose petals in the surf in remembrance. Samantha Elley

For the past five years Kylie Roche has lived and struggled with the knowledge that her father Beau took his own life.

So in his memory the Evans Head resident has organised a Lifeline-sponsored "Out of the Shadows and into the Light" walk each year on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10.

 

 

Rose petals for remembrance.
Rose petals for remembrance. Samantha Elley

"The first year we did it, we held it over the south side of Evans Head at Shark Bay," Ms Roche said.

"Last year we had a barbeque and did some fund-raising, but this year I just wanted to concentrate on remembering those we've lost."

Eleven people walked to the end of the north wall at 5.30am and were greeted with the sight of dolphins, surfers and a gorgeous red sunrise.

 

Throwing rose petals into the surf, in remembrance.
Throwing rose petals into the surf, in remembrance. Samantha Elley

As the shadows fell away and the sun took over, Ms Roche read out a poem and many of the group stopped and contemplated.

They then headed to the beach where they threw rose petals into the surf.

"The rose petals were donated by the florist in Casino," Ms Roche said.

 

 

Remembering those we've lost through suicide.
Remembering those we've lost through suicide. Samantha Elley

Ms Roche found her father on that fateful day when he took his own life and went into shock.

Organising the walk each year has been therapy for her and her children.

"Other places hold their walks later in the day on World Suicide Prevention Day," Ms Roche said.

"But I don't see the point when it is "Out of the Shadows".

 

 

Out of the shadows and into the light as sunrise hits Main Beach, Evans Head.
Out of the shadows and into the light as sunrise hits Main Beach, Evans Head. Samantha Elley

For Ms Roche, seeing the sun come up adds to the healing nature of the whole walk.

Supported by her family and friends Ms Roche knows her father will never come back, but if it helps others to work through the pain of suicide from loved ones, she knows she has helped in some small way.

A small plaque has been dedicated to Kylie's father and drilled onto one of the rocks along the North Wall walk.

Help available

If you or someone you know needs to talk, Lifeline is only a phone call away on 13 11 14.

Topics:  lifeline out of the shadows and into the light prevention suicide



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