|Dear Friends and Supporters,
As we approach the end of our third full year at the Brian Dagle Foundation, I am reminded of the Dr. Seuss book, "Oh the Places You'll Go". The book is written for anyone entering a new chapter in their lives. Our new chapter was not one of excitement and adventure, but instead a chapter of survival, a struggle to live life after loss. We needed to make sense or give purpose to the loss of Brian. Now the pages are turning, The Brian Dagle Foundation continues to evolve and is a respected organization with many chapters still to write.
Believe me, getting to this point is due to your unwavering emotional and financial support, sprinkled with a little help from above. You have propelled us forward and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
"Project Brian" began in 2014 as a way to honor and carry out our love for Brian in our hearts. Never could we have imagined the places we have traveled, the lives we touched and the friendships that were created in a few short years.
The Suicide Prevention Education and Grief Support Programs are and will always be free of charge to anyone through the Brian Dagle Foundation. The Lax2Live Games have reached over 600 athletes, students and fans as we teach the players about suicide awareness and mental health, encouraging them to start and keep this difficult but necessary conversation going with friends.
For the past four years we have collaborated with East Lyme on the Community Forum for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. A panel of speakers discusses their experience with mental health and suicide loss. There have also been countless opportunities to open my heart and share my story of grief, loss and hope with therapists, suicide loss survivors and grieving parents. Additionally, as a QPR Trainer, I have the opportunity to educate teachers, medical professionals, parents and the larger community on suicide risk factors and warning signs. Maybe if I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't be writing this.
Supporting and "companioning" people in the early days and weeks of their loss for me has been the most humbling experience. Each week, I am honored to be asked to walk with someone wherever they are on their path of grief and loss.
Oh, the places we have been. I've traveled to Colorado and Arizona to for trainings completing my Certification in Grief and Death Studies. Paul and I have been to Leadership Conferences with the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and the chapter continues. We write this new chapter with wider eyes and a softer heart knowing the fragility of the people we love.
How this chapter ends, no one really knows. But what we know for sure is that there is much more work to be done to support someone in their darkest moments of grief or to educate and reduce to stigma surrounding suicide prevention to save lives.
Thank you for your continued support.
Ann, Paul, AJ and Matt