January's Charity: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

We’ve celebrated five wild years and nothing but tremendous support from all of our wonderful customers along the way. This year, we want to dig deeper into our mission to spread light and begin donating 5% of our retail profits to a different charity every month. So now, when you purchase your next new everyday candle or a gift for a loved one, you are also directly spreading light to others who need it most.

For January, we’ve chosen The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). AFSP is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death. The mission of AFSP is to Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide.  

AFSP uses donations to fund the extensive research of suicide prevention, training in mental health and suicide prevention for schools, and help in achieving healing for survivors of a suicide loss. Our newest team member, Kat, was personally affected by Suicide and knows the benefits of AFSP first hand.

Kat was courageous enough to share her story:

I lost my brother to Suicide on January 19th, 2014. He was 22 years old. That was the day my world came crashing down and the days, weeks and months that followed are now an incredibly dark blur in my mind.  I became an infant, having to relearn even the most mundane tasks and having to set reminders to brush my teeth and wash my clothes. How does life continue normally after your favorite person in the world decides to end it for himself?  The answer is, it doesn’t. The complexity of the grief I was experiencing (and still experience) was overwhelming and the questions never stopped. Why did this happen? Why couldn’t I help my brother? Why didn’t I realize how gravely serious his pain was?  How will I ever go on or move on from this? What’s next? I had counted on forever with him and was left in some twisted version of adjusting to my forever without him. Every second of every day felt like my worst nightmare and yet the world kept spinning. It didn’t seem to me that healing from this was a possibility.

When my life demanded I return to some sense of normalcy; a job that was waiting for me, school obligations, etc., I knew I needed help finding solid ground in my grief journey. In addition to seeking counseling, I started researching resources for those left behind in the aftermath of a suicide and what I found was pretty limited.  I kept coming back to the AFSP website and finally decided to check out whether or not they had a support group chapter in my area. It turns out they did and just under a month after losing my brother, I found myself in a quiet room full of people who didn’t know me but seemed to understand me better than I could understand myself at the time.  They had all lost siblings to suicide and in a way, they saved me. Their understanding is what I needed to realize that somehow everything was going to be okay. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it would be okay.

I’m genuinely grateful that AFSP is able to provide funding to train facilitators for support groups just like mine all around the nation because, for two years, that group is what kept me hanging onto the light.

Today, I am okay. I miss my brother fiercely and I will never experience a day where I don’t wish that he was here with us, but I found healing. I found a way to balance joy and pain. AFSP helped to give me that gift.

My passion for suicide prevention and awareness will never stop. It is fueled by my grief and the memory of my sweet brother and all of the other countless lives that have been lost to suicide.

I would be honored if you purchase a candle in his honor or maybe in honor of someone you lost and love deeply. We also highly encourage donating directly, which can be done by following this link here: https://afsp.org/take-action/give-a-gift/donate-to-afsp/.

Has your life been impacted by suicide?  Feel free to share what you’re comfortable with below, I would love to connect with you.


  • Posted by Molly Meeves on

    My daughter is able to put MY feelings into words when she writes about her grief. That is something I am not good at…but she is. What a perfect description of what those left behind experience. The day I lost my son was the most horrifying day of my life. But here I am…here we all are….five years later. I miss him terribly, but we did survive…we are surviving. AFSP was a part of that so I am eternally greatful.

  • Posted by Jennifer Vogel on

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I lost my brother to suicide on 8/19/2016.
    I also lost my husband 2 months later.
    I don’t think I’ve fully processed it all, even two years.
    Today, we bury my brother in law. My late husband’s brother.
    I wonder how much can 2 families take??
    Again, thank you, and God Bless you and your brother.

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