Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rick Lives On

I spent the morning talking to Social Security, answering a million questions for a one time payment of $255 in death benefits, then visited Rick's mom. We did our usual crying, talked about Rick, and held hands.

I spent the rest of the day with my good friend Jennifer. She made me laugh on more than one occasion and our travels found us eating frozen yogurt and trying on sunglasses. Her husband Matthew joined us for dinner, which he brought with him to my house. It feels good to be among people who know what I need and in what quantities I need it.

I had moral support from Jennifer when I opened my mail today - but nothing scary or frustrating was in it.

Jennifer and Matthew both text me daily on their phones. Sometimes I have conversations with both of them at once and I imagine them sitting side by side in their home, talking to me separately. It makes me smile.

I think about how Rick and I were supposed to have dinner with them on May 26th. We were looking forward to it. By the time May 26th rolled around, Rick was dead and I went alone. Sometimes I like to imagine what our dinner date would have been like if Rick had been there. It's strange the things that go through my mind. If Rick had only been alive one more week, I might have had more great memories to add to my list.

After Jennifer and Matthew left my house (knowing and understanding how vital my blog time is to my healing process right now), I began to think about the ways in which Rick lives on. On a whim, I visited The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website and noticed the tab labeled "News and Events." Then, "Out of Darkness Walks."

I found myself praying as I scrolled that there would be a walk this year in my area. It won't bring Rick back, but it felt right. I did a search for PA and there it was: Greater Lehigh Valley Walk, October 5th, 2014. 

Before 2 minutes passed, I had registered myself and started a team. When asked to name my team, I typed the first thing that came to my heart: Rick Lives On.

The walk is from 12:00pm to 3:00pm that Sunday. It's less than 4 months away. It's also the week before my birthday. Instead of sending me a card or buying me a gift this year, join my team. Walk with me to honor Rick and help me heal. If you aren't local, be a virtual walker on my team. If that's too much, just donate a couple bucks online.

My page is up.  (Arielle Bair for Rick Lives On)

My team is open. (Rick Lives On)

All contributions help the work of the AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

As an MSW, LSW and as a surviving spouse, this cause is important to me. Help me help Rick live on.


  1. I sent you a message on Rick's email. I hope that it gets to you. I think that if Rick could send you a message from the beyond it would be something like "Keep writing and doing what you love to do. I love you and really appreciate the time that I got to spend with you." Here is an article that I have on writing called The Incredible, Magical Art of Writing ►◄ Writers are artists of real magic that can change the world.

  2. I work as a nurse every weekend, so I will not be able to walk with you, but I will be happy to make a donation. You are in my thoughts everyday.

  3. Hi Arielle - I am not sure how I came upon your blog today....but I am a trainer of suicide intervention trainings (ASIST, safeTALK). I live in Phoenix, but am originally from Philly. I am so very sorry for your loss...but so admire your courage and your strength in your writing. A wonderful outlet but I am certain that it only 'scratches the surface' of your pain. I am planning to attend several of the AFSP walks this year and also to distribute the resources about my workshops. I have a website, but it is currently under construction. My twitter handle is @eotbhope and I have a Facebook page (Education Outside the Box, Inc.) If I can, I will join your team and come to Lehigh Valley and I will also put in a donation for your team. Please stay in touch (my gmail is Take care....and you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hilary Cummings

    1. Hi Hilary, thank you for your thoughtful message. I appreciate your kind words so much. As a mental health professional myself, I know so much about suicide and have helped people, but when it happens to you, it's still all about the grief. Writing is part of how I self-care. Thank you again.

  4. Arielle, I know we haven't known each other long but I truly think of you and Rick every day. I think about your pain and anything that I can do to possibly lessen it even the tiniest bit, despite knowing that isn't possible. Since I don't know what else to do, I wrote an email to a bunch of my friends and family telling them your story, about your blog, and your Rick Lives On team. I asked them to donate or forward the message to those who would feel compelled to donate.

    I am hoping to be at the walk, but definitely plan to donate and pass the word to many others so it will spread and spread. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

    1. Cheyenne,
      Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate the kind words and all the thoughts coming my way. Thank you for spreading the word about the walk and of course I would love it if you can walk beside me or in spirit.

  5. I really was hoping to find the date of the walk on here because I would love to walk with you. Sadly, that's a week before my due date and will be unable. If you need help getting the word out there, I will more than gladly share it for you so that you have the utmost support walking for Rick. I have been a big supporter of AFSP and am very passionate about suicide prevention, so anything I can do to help a team of walkers this year the better!


Help me feel less alone.