Friends and Family,
On Saturday, September 29th I will be walking for someone else’s life at Artesani Parkin Brighton. I am participating in the 5K to raise funds and awareness for Samaritans, a suicide prevention organization serving Greater Boston and Metro west. This is a cause that is very close to my heart and I am asking for your support.
Most that are close to me know how hard this story is for me to tell. There are most times when I can’t even get through telling it. I’m asking you to please read this with an open heart.
November 14, 2009 is the saddest day of my life. My life was forever changed when my best friend, my cousin who I considered my brother, Jonathan D’Ampolo had taken his own life.
November 13, 2009 was a typical Friday for me. I planned on leaving work to go get Jonathan in the city so we could spend the weekend together, like we usually did almost every weekend. Jonathan had reached out to me the night before asking for help. He was scared and going through a very difficult period in his life. Naturally, like any friend, cousin or big sister, I assured Jonathan that I was there for him and that we would get through this together. I received an instant message from him stating that after we spoke on the phone the night prior he had tried to take his own life and was unsuccessful. Jonathan and I had traveled this road before so I was trying to stay calm. I told him I was glad he was still with us and that I was happy his attempt was unsuccessful. I also told him that I wanted to immediately come and get him from work. He assured me that he was ok and that we would meet up after work as planned. He quickly dismissed me and logged off. I had tried reaching him at work a few times after that and the operator just kept saying his line was busy and that he was busy. Jonathan had called me back around lunch and said “I’m fine; I’ll see you after work”. At 3:30 in the afternoon Jonathan left this post on Facebook telling everyone in his network “To all of those I love, I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore.” I called his work again and they had informed me that he left for the day, I called the police and anyone I knew that could help me find him. I even contacted his landlord to look in his apartment and gave instructions that if he wasn’t there to notify me if he was seen. I was out with the South Boston police department until 3:00 AM looking for Jonathan. I’ll never forget it was so windy and cold that night. I remember being on the phone with his best friends Annie and Angie most of the night. We checked every emergency room in Boston, his usually hang outs and the police were tracking his cell phone activity. We even had police officers posted outside his apartment. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I called the police station ever hour starting at 5:00 AM looking for an update and kept in contact with his friends. Everyone was looking for him and trying to reach him. I received a phone call at 12:14PM from the South Boston Police Department that changed my life forever.
After I lost Jonathan, I didn’t know how to deal with it. I was riddled with guilt and the “what if’s”. I was angry. I felt lost. I lost the person who knew me best. I lost my best friend and I lost a big piece of my heart. A friend reached out to me and encouraged me to go to a meeting supported by the Samaritans called “Safe Place” in Medford. I refused at first. I had all these emotions and how would these people understand what I was feeling. I felt like they would judge me. Suicide can be such a taboo subject. Two weeks later I reluctantly went. It was one of the best things I ever did. Everyone there was a survivor of suicide. They listened to me, cried with me, supported me, and shared their own stories with me. They helped me realize that suicide is not about wanting to die, but about a powerful need for pain to end.
The Samaritans are a wonderful organization with 24 hour help lines available to anyone who may feel the need to end their life or in need of grief support for surviving suicide. They have the Samariteens specifically for the young. I don’t know if you haven’t noticed but teen suicide has been on the rise. Maybe, just maybe if someone knows that they can make a phone call and that someone will stay on the line and listen to them they will realize that they are not alone and they will be here with us just one more day.
The 5K is a wonderful event for the entire Samaritans community. Each year over 2,500 runners, walkers, volunteers and spectators flock to Artesani Park to raise both funds for Samaritans and increase awareness about suicide which is the third leading cause of death for Massachusetts’s youth and the nation's tenth leading cause of death for all ages.
Jonathan was 29 years young when he took his own life.
I want more and more people to become aware of this organization because I would hate for anyone to have to endure what I went through when I lost Jonathan. I would hate to lose one more person in this world to suicide. I want everyone to know that this organization is out there and your support can make that happen. I know money is tight for everyone now, but no donation is too small.
We would love you to join us and walk in his memory that day.
Please be a part of something bigger and be part of Team Jonathan.
Captain of Team Jonathan D’Ampolo
|Tanner Tavern Group, LLC||10/9/2012||$100.00|
|Lori and Mark Andersen||10/9/2012||$20.00|
|Kristine Keohan-Kress||10/5/2012||$25.00||Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery...|
|Bacall & Conniff, PC||10/2/2012||$200.00|