One woman shares the ripple effect of suicide on her family

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One Colorado Springs woman is sharing her difficult story on how the effect of her husband committing almost caused her to lose her children. 

Kristen Christy met her husband Don in college. In five months they were engaged, and two years later they were married. They started a family shortly after. 

“There was something in his eye that caught me off guard,” Christy said.  

Don was in ROTC in college and joined the air force after he graduated. 

“He truly was a leader, there’s a saying that bosses will say go a leader say let’s go,” said Christy.  “He said he just did not feel right asking for volunteers if his name was not the first one on the list. 

Don was the first and only one to be deployed on a mission to the Baghdad airport. Christy recalled that part of his duty was to make sure the human remains had a dignified and respectful transport back stateside. 

When Don came back in 2004 Christy noticed something was different about him.

“That something that was in his eye, that caught my eye when first met was no longer there,” said Christy. 

Don was back home for four years before he committed suicide. He took his own life at the Black Forest Park. Kristen said she did seek help for don but wished she could do more.  

“I have a lot of regrets,” Christy said. “It’s just a rippling effect when suicide happens.”

That ripple reached both of her sons, who in the coming year would attempt suicide themselves. 

One of her sons left her a voicemail on her phone mere moments before he tried to take his own life. Christy keeps that message with her at all times to this day and has shared it nationally in an attempt to save others. 

“So many times we hear about what to look for and that is so important to be prevented we hope that our story of the aftermath and the destruction left behind can be preventative as well,” Christy said.  

She says it starts with a smile.   

“Suicide is contagious,” said Christy. “A smile is contagious.”  

Christy is also working with the second lady’s office to make a survivor’s day, no matter what you’ve been through, from heartbreak to a loss of a close friend, who knows it’s all about marching forth.  

So she hopes that March 4, 2019, will be recognized as survivor’s day.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, there are resources that can help:

You can contact the Colorado Crisis Line at 1-844-493-8255 or text “talk” to 38255.  

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