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Speak their Name

Suicide Memorial Quilt

Each year with great sadness we look at the figures for deaths by suicide and bring to mind that these are not just numbers. All those who died were the child, the partner, the sibling, the parent, the relation, the friend or the dear colleague of someone, or of many, who loved them deeply. For those, like me, life will never be the same. We suffer their loss daily.

In 2020 there was a wonderful exhibition in Manchester that had been created by those who had lost loved ones to suicide. Each small square that formed part of the exhibition represented something meaningful to them about the person they had lost. In 2022 a similar project was undertaken in Yorkshire. Four boards were created each with 48 squares. Not only did the project produce a beautiful and moving tribute, it brought people together in a mutually supportive way through the creative process of making a square. Together they shared their loved one’s stories and their precious memories and “speak their name”.

I have not yet visited the exhibition but a friend who knew our son, Jonathan, has and shared his thoughts with me. He wrote, “It was very, very moving. It seemed such a lovely way in which to openly remember those lost to suicide.”

The exhibition is now in Beverley Minster and will be there until March 28th  2023

Val McCartney

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