The Lovely Daughter and I spent a big chunk of today at the Out of the Darkness Walk (at which, thanks to many of you, we raised close to $1,000 for suicide prevention). After I introduced myself to the chairwoman of the event, I was invited to offer a closing prayer. It was a little longer than below, but what I remember of it went something like this:
Loving and Gracious God,
You have given us a world of light and life and love, a world for which we are very grateful.
But we are here today because we all have loved ones who lost sight of your light, and life, and love.
We pray in memory of them, and for them; we pray that they now live in your presence, surrounded by the hope and light that eluded them here.
We pray for all affected by this terrible public health crisis, for all who must move forward in the face of unending anguish and mystifying loss, and for all seeking to eradicate suicide from our lives.
We pray for ourselves, that we will have the strength to live beyond this evil of suicide, that we will work toward solutions -- and that we will always remember that those we have lost are defined by the loving, joyous lives they shared with us, and not by the manner in which they died.
Creator God, grant us peace.