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Dozens gather to remember lost loved ones at suicide survivor candlelight ceremony

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – Tuesday night at the Lakeside Rose Garden in Fort Wayne, STOP Suicide of Northeast Indiana hosted a candlelight ceremony for people impacted by a loved one’s suicide.

The event, taking place during Purdue Fort Wayne’s Suicide Prevention Week, featured speakers, music, and a candle lighting. That candle lighting took place at 8:00 pm, the same time as hundreds of other similar events across the country.

Organizers tell us their goal for this event is to encourage people to talk more openly about the issue.

Peg Maginn, a featured speaker at the event, says she lost two of her siblings to suicide. She says sharing her story has allowed herself to heal, and has helped to heal others.

“You wind up with all kinds of emotions. Guilt, shame, despair, sadness,” she says. “And if you have no way to express that, it can really eat at you, and it can destroy you if you let it.”

Colleen Carpenter, a member of the STOP Suicide Coalition, says there’s a stigma surrounding suicide that can leave survivors feeling isolated and unable to seek help. She says she wants those who’ve lost a loved one to know they’re not alone in their struggle.

She says, “Because if we continue to sweep things under the rug as we do across our culture, then we’re going to continue have people slip through our hands when we didn’t even know they were at risk to begin with.”

If you or anyone you know is going through a hard time and needs resources, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always there day or night at 1-800-273-8255.

Luke Secaur

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