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Ribbons of Remembrance: Comforting Suicide Survivors

Published on November 30, 2019

Ribbons of Remembrance: Comforting Suicide Survivors

Student group Key of She.

Student group Modern Movement.

On Nov. 21, in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library, French Professor Michèle Bacholle of the World Languages and Cultures Department collaborated with the Office of Wellness Education and Promotion to host “Ribbons of Remembrance,” an event in support of suicide-loss survivors. The event also observed International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on Nov. 23.

Bacholle’s 2018 book, “Récits contemporains d’endeuillés après suicide,” focuses on suicide loss and grief and is the result of seven years of research on suicide loss and grief in contemporary French literature.

During “Ribbons of Remembrance,” names of loved ones lost to suicide were written on ribbons tied to a tree and candles were lit in their memory as the names were read aloud. Janet Bannister ’19 and Gerda Walz-Michaels read poems; the student groups Modern Movement and Key of She performed dances and sang acapella songs, respectively; and Father Larry LaPointe offered words of encouragement.

The tree with ribbons will stand next to a book and film display on suicide and suicide loss on the first floor of the library through mid-December.

With this event, I hope to begin helping break the stigma still attached to mental illness, suicide and suicide loss,” said Bacholle. “The idea of tying ribbons comes from the American Association of Suicidology Convention that I attended this year in Denver, where participants tied ribbons to a lattice.”

Bacholle said persons interested in helping to prevent suicide may call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Written by Dwight Bachman