I will honor you with every breath that I take.
That is my promise to you, my sweet angel."
I want to walk 800 miles on the Arizona Trail in April/May for my grief, for my family's grief, and for my sister.
Despite a strong faith and hope and gratitude in the beauty of this life, I feel lost. Sometimes I don't know how to live without my sister. I ask my self every day: Where is she? Where can I go that she will be beside me?
I ask her to join me, to share the days with me. And I've been choosing a path based off of where I believe she’ll be closest. I like to think of her smiling when she sees my life.
This spring, I would like to spend time on land that she felt close to, so I’m gonna walk for a while! The Arizona Trail travels from Mexico to Utah, passing through the Grand Canyon along the way. Megan took and 18 day kayaking trip down the Colorado River and told me that she had never felt so free and so full of joy as she did in that canyon.
I haven't been able to firmly make a decision about this trek because I have to pay $450 a month in student loan payments. It is very hard to save up enough money to walk for 7 weeks without any income. So, I've decided to let the decision out of my hands. If my friends and family believe in this trip as well, then I think we can raise the money together for the walk. And that will make the decision for me.
This walk is my pilgrimage. It is a symbol of the healing path that I have committed my self to. It is one of the many ways in my life that I will continue to learn about and be close to my sweet sister.
It is also a walk for my parents, and for any one of my family or friends struggling to find joy amidst this grief. In the time leading up to her death, all we can think about is those days of the previous year. We think of our last trips and laughs with Megan as she prepared for the retreat. And then we think of what she was going through in those ten days where deep meditation led to her terrified awakening. Then there’s the hospital and her intense struggle to heal for two months. Then it’s the final days, the final moment we would ever see her.
It’s hard in these memories to not let darkness cover the light. So I’m going to a place that knew her joy. I hope that my family will be inspired to do the same. June 6 will not only be an anniversary of the greatest tragedy I will ever know, it will be a celebration of rebirth.
I also hope, in the larger sense, that this walk will contribute to suicide awareness. I hope it will send a message to anyone that needs it, and I hope it will continue to spread Megan's word to "Follow your dreams and be brave. Time is too precious—don't waste it. "
For anyone that isn't familiar with my sister's story, follow these links...
- Anonymous Anonymous
- Julia Leckrone
- Travis Parrino
- BriAnne Hutchinson
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