Friday, July 29, 2011

60 Days Later...

As we approach 120 days since our son Zach left us, we felt we should re-post our 60 Days Later video.  If you feel this video could help others, please repost it and share it.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, PLEASE reach out for help!

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24.

Reach out for help.
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Be the help your friend or family member needs.

Make that call ~ That call may save a life!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Apartment 8

Apartment 8

As I decide to walk up to the door of Apartment 8 I think about and remember when Zach moved in.
He was so happy to finally have his own apartment.

I remember how messy the apartment was when he moved in.
He spent a lot of time cleaning and vacuuming the apartment to make it his own.

I remember his phone call telling me about his first meal in this apartment...
Gummy worms and a Monster drink....on a plate.
We laughed at what a meal that was.
Zach didn't care
He was just happy to have his own place.

A month later my sister fell ill and I traveled back to MN to see her and Zach
I was excited to see Zach's first apartment and to do some shopping for him

When I walked into his apartment I see the air mattress he had bought me.  He had made it up with blankets and pillows. 
To my surprise his apartment was clean and ready for mom's visit.

That night we went to Walmart and bought a variety of home items.
I had fun putting things away while he set up his DVD player for a night of movies.

As I walked out of the bathroom from taking a shower, there was a bag of my favorite candy (Nibs) lying on my bed.
He was always so thoughtful.

We watched a couple of being one of Zach's favorite childhood movies, "Fern Gully".
His girlfriend had joined us and we were all having a nice time together.

Before going to bed I wrote out several notes to Zach...
All telling him how much I love him and how proud I was of him.
I hid them throughout his apartment.

Leaving Apartment 8 I would have never guessed it'd be the one and only time I'd see Zach in his apartment.

On April 8th, in Apartment 8, my son ended his life.

As I walked up the stairs I thought about the chaos that must have been going on that day.

A teenage boy walks in to find my son.

A call to 911 to take his body.

I thought about the body bag and stretcher that was used to take my son out of his apartment for the last time.

I touched the door handle in hopes of feeling Zach's hand.

I ran my hand down the hand rail hoping I would hear his laugh and feel his presence.

I don't think my son ever imagined the amount of pain that would be left behind when he made that fateful decision.

I cry and I hurt...we all do.

I hope that someone else will read this and reconsider any thoughts of suicide.  The pain left behind is immeasurable.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, PLEASE reach out for help!

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24.

Reach out for help.
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Be the help your friend or family member needs.

Make that call ~ That call may save a life!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

3 months have passed...

I'm not sure where 3 months have gone...
I've never gone an entire week without talking to Zach and now I can talk all I want but I don't hear anything back.

The effects of Zach's suicide run deep in our family.
We all hurt so much.

It seems a Friday can't pass me by without looking at the clock and seeing 11:43 am...the moment I received a text from my sister asking me to call Zach because he wouldn't answer his door.

I think about how my legs went numb...felt as though they were cut off and I couldn't hold myself up when I heard the news that Zach was gone.

I think about the pain and the tears I see in his young sisters eyes.

The anger stage of grief has hit me.
I can't quite explain what I'm mad at...I'm just mad.
I'm mad that Zach is gone.
One day I thought "I wish I could just scream and throw a temper tantrum like a child and get my way...get Zach back."
I know though that no matter how much I kick and scream Zach won't be returned to me on earth.

I think about all of Zach's friends.
There have been so many that have needed professional help since his death.
I know Zach would never had wanted to impose this much pain on so many people.

While I may be rambling in this post...My hope is that these words...these raw feelings can help someone else.  I hope that my openness and honesty will touch your life in a way that inspires you to not only choose life always, but choose to help others.

Friday, July 8, 2011

California Crisis Resources

Riverside County:

This organization is in my city of Riverside, CA. They deal with any and all issues
that teens deal with, including suicide.
I'm sure it's been brought to your attention, but this is also great.

Locally, I've found this number  951-686-HELP (4357)


Minnesota Crisis Resources

Crisis Information for the Willmar, MN area:

Prairie Lakes Youth Services:
Girls group home:
822 Park Avenue Northwest
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-6637

Boys group home:
1013 Lakeland Dr. Northeast
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-6895

Supportive Lifestyles:
Boys group home:
1319 Kandiyohi Avenue Southwest
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 214-8420

Crisis Center:
(320) 231-9158

Children and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services:
1701 Technology Drive Northeast
Willmar, MN 56201


Florida Crisis Resources

Resources in Florida

Pennsylvania Resources

Lehigh Valley, PA:


Texas Resources

If you have any other information that can be helpful for people in Texas, please send it to us.

Crisis Intervention of Houston -

Teen Link Houston

Texas Suicide Prevention

Interesting article about teen suicide in Houston (by Houston Chronicle)

Houston Area Suicide Prevention Coalition on Facebook

Houston Out of Darkness Walk Info


I found this info in the catholic newspaper we receive.  Its for my area of the
woods but it still is helpful..
Survivors after Suicide is a support group for anyone whose family member or friend
has died through suicide; meets at Family Counseling Service 3833 South Staples,
Suite 203 Corpus Christi, Tx  at 6:30pm on the first Monday of the month.  Meeting
is free of charge; call Murray Jones at 361-643-2467, Jeff Schmidt at 361-883-9017
or Margaret Hutchins at 361-852-9665.


The East Texas Crisis Center: 24 hr hotline 1-800-333-0358
It's dedicated to providing safety, shelter and education for victims of family violence, sexual assault and other violent crime. & Crisis Center of North Texas: 24 hr crisis hotline 214-828-1000 Center of Anderson and Cherokee counties: 24 hr hotline 1-800-232-8519

Crisis counseling, information and referral for victims of family violence

Family Crisis Center: 888-311-7755 and 512-303-7755 TTY
Expert resource and service provider in eliminating domestic and sexual violence in Bastrop, Colorado, Fayette and Lee counties.

********************************************** they're also on FB:

Still in need of more crisis resources

Thank you all for all the resources you have sent us.  If you have resources for people in crisis (any type of crisis) please send them to us at (  and be sure to include your city and/or county.