I have felt the sting of suicide and know the after taste is vile and hot in the minds of all who this tragedy is visited upon. I hope that anyone who reads this, no matter what side of the divided you are now standing on or have stood upon, will breath in and look for hope.
Peace be with you.
It was my grandfather who, before he took his life, instilled in me a love of adventure and an appreciation for wilderness survival skills. I reflected on those gifts one morning as I climbed the canyon above Unionville while my husband garnered some needed sleep. I had never ascended the canyon before and did not know the area much above the hamlet clumped on the otherwise isolated east end of the West Humboldt Range. My husband and I were camped behind a ridge above that hamlet. We would have bedded further up the canyon but a slender bent alder blocked our Land Rover’s passage.
As I prepared to depart camp that morning, my husband admonished me in a groggy voice to take a walkie-talkie, so I grabbed one along with my camera. I inhaled deeply the air chilled by night. Dawn’s gold light seeped over the canyon walls. Ahead of me our two hounds traversed the trail.
When the dogs and I passed a tall juniper with plump ghostly-gray berries, it roused a memory of my grandfather. Juniper berries…
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