Johnny and Gertie Fox, decided to do something to remember their son Fergal, whom they had lost to suicide.
Darkness Into Light, a now international 5km walk for suicide prevention, first took place in Ireland in 2009 when an Irish couple, Johnny and Gertie Fox, decided to do something to remember their son Fergal, whom they had lost to suicide, and to try to help others from having to feel the same pain.
Since then, volunteer committees have come together all across the world to organise the walk in their communities, for their communities. In Luxembourg, the three main organisers of the event found each other by chance in their determination to bring the walk to Luxembourg, a determination driven by a common bond: first-hand experience of the trauma of mental illness and suicide.
The walk is so much more than a fundraiser or an awareness raiser. It is a walk of hope. It is hope. For one morning, we come together as a community.
© Darkness Into Light
We walk shoulder to shoulder to meet the silence with our voices, and with every step we commit to a world of acceptance, one where we can be open about our pain. We remember those we have lost and those who are struggling, and we support friends and family members who we have seen suffer. Because every single person who participates in the walk has either experienced, or seen someone they know struggle to cope with, the despair that suicide or mental health issues bring.
For one morning, we do something positive to create a more accepting world – by coming together, by making a stand, by banishing the shame which has no place in a caring society.
We reach out, we say our loved ones’ names aloud, we discuss our struggles, we connect in those hard-to-have conversations and we do so safe in the knowledge that there is no judgement in this community of hope.
The symbolic walk usually takes place in May, when the hope that spring brings is all around us, with participants walking from the darkness towards the sunrise.
This year’s walk, like so many other events, has been postponed until the new provisional date of 3 October. For more information, visit our Facebook page.
In the meantime, look after your mental health and stay safe.