Out of Darkness walk aims to prevent suicide, support survivors

Daily Herald | Marie Wilson

Anne Gulotta of Barrington has participated in the Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Community Walk since 2005 in honor of her husband. GEORGE LECLAIRE | Staff Photographer, DECEMBER 2010

In some ways, a suicide is like any other death.

It's permanent, final, irrevocable, and the family of the deceased is left to grieve and move forward.

But in other ways, it is in a class all its own.

It's shrouded in stigma, misunderstanding and silence, and the families of those who die often feel shame and guilt in addition to their sadness.

Reducing suicide is the root goal of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which sponsors the Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Community Walk on Saturday, Sept. 26, at Arvey Field in Grant Park.

But decreasing stigma also is an important part of the organization's work as it strives to advance research, education and public policy about suicide, as well as to support survivors.

The Chicago walk is just one of many across the country, and it aims to raise $765,000 to assist in its work.

Suburban walkers, including Anne Gulotta of Barrington and Dimple Patel of West Chicago, know the pain that stings and never truly subsides.

Today, they tell the stories of their husband and mother -- the people they were, the things they loved, the pressures they faced and the memories they leave behind.

Anne Gulotta, Barrington

Time stopped the day my husband died. Every fiber of my being was frozen in a cell of grief. It wasn't only the loss, but how he died, and I felt like Jackie Kennedy at my own husband's funeral wearing black, grieving, knowing I was now a single parent. Continue reading