IRREPLACEABLE aims to remember those who have succumbed to suicide

March 07, 2017

Angie Ainsworth

ahart2@uccs.edu

(Editor’s note: Junior theater major Angie Ainsworth wrote this guest column. Her project is part of the class Art and Activism.)

     Suicide:

     One of the leading causes of death among the college-aged population.

     Second only to accidents.

     It happens so often in Colorado that we have one of the highest occurrence rates in the nation.

     Is committed by someone in the U.S. every 16.2 minutes.

     Is committed by nearly 30,000 Americans each year.

     Hurts almost everyone on some level…

     Suicide is one of the many messages that has been horrifically ignored by our society and is one of immeasurable importance.

     We no longer convey this urgent message of life-giving truth, but the fact of the matter is there is value, beauty and an irreplaceable uniqueness found within every human being, including you.

     With social media and easy access to the world’s skewed version of what people should be and what they should look like, most of us are left feeling incredibly insecure. Families are falling apart; addictions are consuming people left and right, while trying to get ahead feels impossible.

     Life is just plain hard sometimes.

     When factors like these are combined with depression, unhealed traumatic wounds, harsh words from others or other uncountable events, finding a way out can become appealing.

     In a world that is capable of draining hope from our lives, we need to do everything we can to renew life in each other and, perhaps most importantly, we need to see the beauty and value found in everyone.

      I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to work on an artistic project, and because I feel so strongly about these issues of destroyed worth in humanity, I’ve titled it, “IRREPLACEABLE.”

     Through sculpture, I will attempt to capture this enormous idea of people’s worth, and I want students to be a part of it.

     I’m asking for those who want to participate to send me the first name of someone that you’ve lost to suicide. Along with their first name, express through a word, sentence, story, picture or small physical object that you think captures something about them that cannot be replaced.

     I will use your words, pictures and objects to “paint” the sculpture, giving you a chance to express how their loss has affected you. There is no correct way to do this; just let your heart speak.

     Everything will be anonymous. Only the name of the person being remembered and your sentiments will be used.

     It is my hope that this sculpture will be placed in a public area on campus where we can, with one united voice, speak the message of truth to the people who see and experience the piece.

     Loved and lost ones are truly IRREPLACEABLE.

     To participate in the project, send your written submissions to ahart2@uccs.edu.

     Thank you in advance for joining me on this very important mission.