MASP started organizing a statewide suicide
memorial or "lifekeeper" quilt in 2007. Twenty-seven survivors each
decorated a 12" x 12" square to honor their loved ones. Ruth Umfleet,
the mother of our former Survivor Chair Glenda Everett-Sznoluch,
lovingly assembled the squares into a beautiful and impactful piece of
art shortly before her own death from natural causes. On March 28, 2009,
the quilt was unveiled to participating families in a private dedication
ceremony held at the Michigan Library and Historical Center in Lansing,
Michigan. Two poems were also read.
The quilt is publicly displayed at events promoting suicide prevention around our state and beyond. It serves as a visual reminder to us all that suicide touches real people every single day, people who were much more than the steps they eventually took to end their pain.
Some one asked me about you today;
It's been so long since anyone has done that.
It felt so good to talk about you,
To share my memories of you.
To simply say your name out loud.
She asked me if I minded talking about what happened to you ...
Or would it be too painful to speak of it?
I told her I think of it every day
And speaking about it helps me release,
The tormented thoughts whirling around in my head.
She said never realized the pain would last this long.
She apologized for not asking sooner.
I told her, "Thanks for asking."
I don't know if it was curiosity or concern that made her ask,
But told her, "Please do it again sometime soon."
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relieve yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I'd say goodbye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today for life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same day
There's no longing for the past.
But you have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things,
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you take my hand
And share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.