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Alive on Purpose or Being Survivors

A few months back I wrote a blog post about suicide. It was right after the death of Robin Williams which, inexplicably, triggered a lot of feelings, memories, and emotions for me. I’ve since taken it off my blog, but if you’re interested in reading it or reading it again hit me up at derricklweston@gmail.com. A lot of people thanked me for sharing my story, my own wrestling with suicidal thoughts and the accompanying depression and shame that goes along with it. One of the more surprising responses, however, came from my sister. She told that she was not yet ready to share her own story of suicide survival. I was shocked. I shouldn’t have been. Her story is her’s to tell, but knowing the things that were happening in our home, I should have known. I felt another level of connection with that I hadn’t experienced before. She was no longer just my sister (as if that were some small thing!), she was a fellow survivor. We were more alike than I realized. That made me both sad and proud.

My real pride comes in what Cybil is doing with her survival story. She turns forty this year. I can’t believe she’s turning forty! I don’t mean this to sound creepy at all, but if you look(ed) half as good as my sister when you turn(ed) forty you should thank Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, and Superman. 1898136_10206146601161213_2570511114224657035_n


Anyway, Cybil is having a fundraiser for her fortieth birthday. She is raising money for an organization called Alive on Purpose. AOP’s mission is “a non-profit movement that is dedicated to the promotion of life by finding help for people struggling with depression, trauma, and suicide”. They have a particular focus on serving youth from disadvantaged backgrounds where mental health resources are often few and far between. During the build up to her party on March 7th (her birthday is March 4th), Cybil has been promoting the work of AOP and sharing the stories of the young people they have helped in their short existence as an organization. It’s incredibly inspiring!

So, here’s an ask from yours truly: would you be willing to help my sister raise money for this organization? They have, what seems to me, to be a modest goal of raising $5,000. Can we help with that? If you go here and leave my sister’s name “Cybil Taylor” in the message to sender box when you donate, you can contribute to the tally for the fundraiser. Pretty simple right?

I’m pretty proud of my sister, you guys! She’s always been strong, smart, and beautiful! She taught me how to read. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that she helped raise me. She’s been through a lot and she’s come out on the other side stronger. She’s aging like wine, if you ask me. I am inspired by her faith. I am challenged by her adventurous spirit. I am proud to be her brother.

We are survivors! Help us to help others be alive on purpose. Thanks!


About derricklweston

Father of two. I co-host God Complex Radio, a show highlighting progressive voices in the faith community. (godcomplexradio.com) I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. I like lots of stuff. Sometimes I write about that stuff.


2 thoughts on “Alive on Purpose or Being Survivors

  1. Reblogged this on Improvisations and commented:
    Alive on Purpose. Please support however you can. Treatment for those with depression is so important…

    Posted by Debra Avery | February 25, 2015, 3:36 pm
  2. Reblogged this on News With a Catholic View.

    Posted by deaconmike51907 | February 25, 2015, 4:27 pm

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