Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Zach's Friends T-Shirt Fundraiser

Zach's 2012 T-Shirt Fundraiser is Up and Running!

Our 2012 t-shirts feature
Zach Jones
as well as his two beloved rib tattoos, one being hot pink lips, the other a pair of dice (dice will not be yellow).

The rear of the t-shirt features his dates as well as website.

T-shirts will be white.

Proceeds from t-shirts sales will benefit ZachsFriends.org to support suicide awareness programs, education, anti-bullying campaigns, etc..

If you are interested in purchasing one of our t-shirts to show support at an upcoming Out of the Darkness walk, a suicide awareness event or just because you knew and loved Zach please contact us at: Zachsfriends@charter.net for ordering information.

T-shirt style #1 for men is a regular style t-shirt, women's features a v neck.
Each is $20 local pick up (Big Bear, CA area) or $25 shipped

T-Shirt style #2 is the popular burnout style.  They are very lightweight and comfortable.
Each is $30 local pick up or $30 shipped.
Please note *The burnout style is lightweight and somewhat see through.

Child sizes available in 2T - youth XL for $15 local pick up or $20 shipped.

Group shipping rates available when ordering 5 t-shirts or more.

We accept Paypal and checks
We can accept credit cards over the phone.

Thank you for your continued support and love.

Melissa Jones
Zach's Mom

Thursday, June 7, 2012

1 year ago...We Published Our Single Take Video, 60 Days Later

One year ago today we published our single shot, no rehearsal video

60 Days Later.

It's a video about the loss of our son Zach and how his suicide has impacted our lives.

I am amazed at how many people have watched our video, the response, the celebrity tweets from Jillian Reynolds (Fox 11 news), Adrienne Maloof, Nate Berkus, Tatum O'Neil and many, many others!

To date it has received nearly 26,000 hits.

I have received letters from those who were most impacted by the video.

One being from an 18 year old girl who wrote that today was going to be the day she ended her life...until she saw our video.

If you haven't seen it, please take a moment to view it and share it with your friends and family.  You never know who it may benefit.

Thank you to those of you who have written us about our video and how it impacted your life.

We may not "know" you, but you are in our thoughts!

Zach's Mom

14 Months Since Zach's Death

                              Zach & I - Feb. 2011 -  2 months before his decision to end his life.

It's been 14 months since Zach's death.

It's strange how grieving wraps it's tight grip around you and different times.

Last month I would have said, "I'm doing okay...I think I'm nearing the acceptance stage."

This month I'd say, "I'm angry.  Very angry!"

This month...only 8 days in has been internal torture for me.
I'm angry, I talk with language like a "truck driver" and everything makes me mad.  This is a very strange emotion for me because by nature, I'm laid back, caring and loving. 

However, so far this month I feel like I need a warning sign that says

"Talk to me at your own risk!"

I'm very open about my therapy and talked to my grief counselor about these feelings.  To my relief she reminded me that this is totally normal, that grief has a funny way of tricking us into thinking we are further along than we are.

Before I lost my son or even in the beginning months of grieving I thought that by the 1 year mark all would be okay.  I'd be through acceptance and only be sad on the anniversary of his death, his birthday and holidays.

WHOA!  Was I wrong!

We are grieving the loss of a FAMILY MEMBER...and not just any family member, our son...my daughter's brother.

This is not the same grief as losing our 90 year old grandpa who died in his sleep.
This is the grief of the sudden suicide of my 18 year old son.
My son...the boy I talked to just a few hours before his death.
The son who told me he would NEVER end his life.

The imagined images of the scene of his death are horrifying and haunt me.
I speak of them to only those closest to me.

The pain I see in not only myself, but my husband and my daughters is that I wouldn't wish upon anyone.

When people say, "I can't imagine..."  It's true.
You can't.
It's worse than you can imagine and I would recommend you don't even allow your mind to go into that deep, dark place.

I write Zach from time to time.
I water his garden and watch the flowers grow.
It reminds me that life continues.

Through all the pain and heartache, I know life continues.
We will continue to grow...even when we're angry.
We will continue to thrive.
We will also continue to hurt and cry and this I have accepted as part of my new "normal".

Today I write to remind those of you who are considering suicide that there IS HOPE!  Even when you feel there is none, there IS!
Don't know where to turn?
Call 1-800-273-8255 and ask!
It's the Suicide Hotline and they are open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.
If you are a friend of someone who is suicidal...make that call.
Find out what you can do to help!
Today, I wish I could see my son...even for a moment.
A moment to remind him how much we love him.
A moment to hug him.
A moment to feel him.
A moment to hear him.
A moment to see him.

I hope and pray that if you are reading this and feeling suicidal you will reach out for help.

Please KNOW that you are loved beyond measure!

You have a purpose...even if you don't know what that purpose is, you have one!
Fulfill your purpose!
Live your life!
Reach out for help!

Please...from a grieving mother, please reach out for help or help someone in need!

My love goes out to each of you reading this,
Zach's Mom

From Huff Post / Military Suicide Rate Surges to Nearly 1 Every Day

                                                      Photo from: Huff Post

WASHINGTON -- Suicides are surging among America's troops, averaging nearly one a day this year – the fastest pace in the nation's decade of war.

The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of the year far outdistance the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan – about 50 percent more – according to Pentagon statistics obtained by The Associated Press...

Read the entire story HERE

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please reach out for help.
If you feel like you aren't receiving the help you need due to insurance coverage or lack of resources, PLEASE DON'T give up!

Fight for your life!
You are LOVED!
You are NEEDED!

Call the Suicide Hotline anytime at: 1-800-273-8255
or call 911.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Seether's Rise Above Fest Aims to Save Lives | Suicide Prevention

                                                Photo from billboard.com

I heard about this on the radio today and couldn't be more pleased that these bands are coming together for a topic so many others don't want to discuss....Suicide Prevention and Awareness!


"Awareness and prevention of teen suicide will be the focus of the first Rise Above Fest, which will be headlined and curated by Seether and take place Sept. 3 at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, N.H.

Taking its name from the Seether song "Rise Above This," which was inspired by the suicide of Seether frontman Shaun Morgan's brother, the festival will also feature Buckcherry, Puddle of Mudd, Black Stone Cherry and Otherwise. A portion of the proceeds will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) New Hampshire, but Morgan tells Billboard.com that "there won't be a lot of preaching or shoving (the issue) down people's throats," though he hopes the event will inspire dialogue about something he feel is becoming "an epidemic."

Continue reading this story here:

Friday, June 1, 2012

What a Grieving Child Wants

1) I want someone who will listen to me when I speak and not tell me that what I’m saying is wrong or that I shouldn’t be feeling what I feel.

2) I want someone who will talk to me, honestly and with compassion. I don’t want to be talked at or ignored.

3) I want people to understand that I, along with my parents and other family members, have lost someone I love very much.

4) I don’t want my pain compared to my mother’s or father’s. You may think they feel worse than I do, but unless you are me today, going through this terrible nightmare, you don’t know how I feel.

5) I want my teachers to understand that even though it may not seem like it, I am doing the best I can. It’s hard for me to focus on schoolwork or anything else right now. But how can I tell you about my sorrow and fears and confusion, when I’m not sure myself what’s going on?

6) I want someone to look me in the eye when they speak to me.

7) I don’t want anyone telling me I have to be strong for my mother, father, sisters, brother, or anyone else. I don’t know what that means. Are you telling me I shouldn’t cry? Are you telling me I shouldn’t feel? When someone so important to me has died, what does being strong mean?

8) I want someone to tell me what it is like to grieve. I want someone who will help me understand what this is and if I will survive.

9) I want to talk to someone my own age so that I will know I am not the only one and that I will survive.

10) And most of all, I want your unconditional love, compassions, understanding, and patience.

-Virginia A. Simpson, Ph.D., CT, 12-12-02