South Beloit cemetery event hopes to bring people together on Suicide Awareness Day

Local News

SOUTH BELOIT, Ill. (WTVO) — One person dies every 40 seconds to suicide, but one local cemetery is trying to change that statistic by raising awareness to the issue.

On Suicide Awareness Day, Floral Lawn Cemetery invited the public to come and paint rocks, with the idea of bringing families together to write inspirational messages on the stones.

Ami Falk, Floral Lawn’s family service manager, says she hopes it could provide some positivity for someone who has lost someone to suicide.

“We really wanted to create, just, safe space for families to come and if they want to open up to us and share their stories, and we’re providing them that opportunity to do so,” she said.

“I’ve lost family and friends to suicide, and I’ve had family and friends who are suicidal. So, it’s important for me to be there for them, but also be there for their entire community as well,” she said.

Jill Jacobson and her grandkids, who attended the rock painting event, said its a very personal subject.

“My son, Devin Densin, died by suicide August 18th, 2014, and my cousin Peter died by suicide in 1999,” Jacobson said. “I was that mom that said ‘that will never happen to me,’ until the things started happening. You need to make yourself aware about what’s going on.”

The pandemic has brought on some difficult times. Falk says calls to the National Suicide Hotline has gone up drastically.

“It’s so important right now, because a lot of us are feeling isolated right now. We’re not feeling that direct community support that we normally feel other times, away from the pandemic,” she said.

Jacobson says in a time of darkness, it’s important for the community to come together.

“Just being there is the best thing you can do, just lending an ear. Sometimes, not saying anything is the best thing you can say,” she said.

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