My brother would laugh if he knew I was taking to the streets to run the Boston Marathon. Me, his lazy, couch potato sister, who would rather bury her nose in a book than get up and move. I am honored to say I have been awarded a charity bib to run for the Samaritans in honor of my baby brother Jonathan, a.k.a. Trippy, who took his own life in 2012. My baby brother was a fashion designer in New York City who loved music, food, and, of course, fashion. He was innovate, talented, and ahead of his time.
He and I were always close - our favorite holiday was Christmas and as kids, our favorite part of the holiday was Christmas Eve. Jonathan and I each had small trees in our rooms that we would decorate together. Every Christmas Eve, we would have a sleepover, so we could wake up in the morning and exchage presents with each other before our parents got up. Jonathan was one of the most kind and generous people I have ever known.
Jonathan was close with my mom, too. She talked to him on the phone the day before we lost him. He was so excited to be starting a new job. His excitement and positive attitude in that moment were palpable. My mother went to bed that night, happy for her son, not knowing the next day she would learn that he was gone.
Suicide is a topic not many people like to talk about. I get it, it’s not pleasant. And people think it won’t happen to someone they know. I thought the same thing. I learned a lot from losing my brother. Most importantly, I learned that life is precious and worth living. That’s why I’ve started volunteering with the Samaritans. If one person I talk to on that hotline reconsiders killing himself or herself, I’ve made a difference.
I have never been an athlete. Far from it. But after Jonathan’s death, I began to run. It was something to take my mind off things, to give me an escape. I am so excited to have this opportunity to run this race in his honor. I'm gonna do you proud, Trippy!
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If you have secured your own bib for the Boston Marathon and are interested in joining the Samaritans Team, please contact Sarah Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org.