"I am here today for my closest friend, Lisa Saleski. I will never forget the sound of her frantic voice when she called and said:
'Rachel, pick up! This is an emergency.' I remember feeling a sense of panic and worrying—what could it be?
The thought of death by suicide never entered my mind. When she told me, 'Stan committed suicide,' I know I wanted to scream that this was impossible.
All I could do was catch my breath and try not to get hysterical. All I wanted to do was rush over to Lisa and hold her. I knew that she needed me, but it had to be on her terms. I told her that I loved her and Whitney, and that I would be there for them. I gave her space.
Meanwhile, back at home, my husband, Larry, and I were in complete shock. We could only think of the pain and agony Lisa and Whitney were experiencing.
About a week went by, and I did what I do best: I made her a fruit salad and went to see her. It was devastating to see her enduring such torture. I was so angry at Stan for hurting Lisa this much, and I was helpless to do anything but listen to her and try to comfort her.
I would reach out to her via email and let her know that I could help with her finances and taxes. Her taxes are done, but as time has passed, I know that the pain is still there.
It is hard to try to comprehend what would drive an individual to suicide. The people who are left behind also suffer. Depression causes so much pain. It causes people to end their lives and then their loved ones are forced to deal with the aftermath.
I don't know what the answers are, but more has to be done."