The Phone Call No One Wants To Get ~ Sandra Owens

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During the month of May, I’m one of many authors participating in the Keith Milano Memorial Fund at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. When I heard about this 1click4charity event, I didn’t have to think about whether or not it was something I wanted to support.







JohnnieYou see, fourteen years ago, I got the phone call no one wants to get when my only brother, Johnnie, took his own life. He was in the middle of a nasty divorce, and we knew he was having a difficult time. But never did we realize how depressed he was. I lived in Indianapolis then, my sisters and mother in Palm Beach, and Johnnie was living in Charleston. Because we weren’t seeing him every day, we just didn’t know how bad it had gotten for him. I think he was in the ninth grade when this picture was taken, and looking at it now, his eyes seem sad. Was he already having bouts of depression?

Later, we learned that he’d tried to end his life several weeks before by sitting in a car with the engine running in his garage. A friend stopped by to see him and was in time to stop it. I wish that friend had called one of us to let us know how serious the situation had become, but he didn’t. I also wish my brother had reached out to anyone of us, but I’m guessing he didn’t want his family to know how messed up he was. We were left wishing we’d done so many things differently.

I know this isn’t a normal Embracing Romance post and has nothing to do with romance, but I wanted to let you know about the Keith Milano Memorial Fund at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. My favorite word in the name of this charity is “prevention”. If you want to help, all you have to do is buy a book from anyone on the list that I’m going to give you a link to. Each author is donating a portion of their earnings for the month of May for any book on the list, which includes my book, Someone Like Her.

Click here for a list of all the authors and their books.  #1CLICK4CHARITY



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24 Responses

  1. Ki Pha

    Oh Sandra, I’m so sorry. Depression and suicide is one of the most unnoticeable sickness and is most definitely hard to see because it’s hidden in many forms and faces. In my younger days I’ve had some bad days myself and have thought about the negatives in life to the point of actually wondering how it would be like to be gone. But I’ve moved passed it and always try to think smart now days. Though I’ve never been treated and diagnose, I would say I’m self-declared as depressed, but I keep myself moving.

    Thank you for sharing this awareness and sharing something close to your heart with us. It’s a great cause that need to be shared.

    • Sandra Owens

      Thank you Ki. I think—hope and pray—that you have moved passed any thoughts of not being around to see what tomorrow brings. Keeping moving, keeping active certainly helps, and I’m glad you understand that. I don’t know how many friends you personally have, but I do know that you have so many of us who consider you a friend, even though we’ve not met. I think that is one of the marvelous things about sites like Facebook, that unlike years ago, we now have the ability to get to know people we may never meet. The world is a better place with you in it, and I’m glad I know you.

  2. Maggi Andersen

    I’m sorry for your loss, Sandra. We have been touched by something similar. It’s a universal problem which affects so many, and very hard on those left behind.

    • Sandra Owens

      Thank you, Maggi, and I’m sorry you’ve been touched by something similar. Too many people are left wondering what they could have done differently, if they’d only realized.

  3. Ally Broadfield

    I’m sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful cause you are supporting, Sandy. A good friend of mine from high school lost her brother to suicide recently, in a very similar situation to your brother. Thank you for making a difference.

    • Sandra Owens

      Thank you, Ally. The sad things is, too many people have stories like this. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend and her brother.

  4. Alyssa Alexander

    Sandy, it is brave and loving that you bring this cause to our attention. So very, very sorry for your loss. And you are right, prevention is the key word. Many thanks for sharing this with us, though I’m sure it was difficult–I hope that this post and this campaign find it’s way to someone and touches them and makes a difference. Every life is precious!

  5. Sandra Owens

    Alyssa, I hope so, too, so very much. Thank you for the kind words.

  6. ginaconkle2013

    Hi Sandy,
    Thanks for sharing something so personal with us. I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to get that news about your brother, but how great that you’re helping others. And, we’ll share the news about this fundraiser to spread awareness and prevention. Thanks for opening up about this painful loss. You’ve got a big heart!

    • Sandra Owens

      There are still unanswered questions, Gina. Why didn’t he reach out to someone, a family member, a friend? Thank you for sharing news about #1click4charity.

  7. mirandaliasson

    Sandy, I’m sorry for your family’s tragedy, but thankful for your bravery in helping to get the word out for this important cause.

    • Sandra Owens

      Thank you, Miranda. It was a heartbreaking time in our life, and I can only pray that doing my little part will prevent another family from experiencing this kind of loss.

    • Sandra Owens

      I think they raised around $50,000 last year for the foundation, Jess. Hoping it tops that this year.

  8. Barbara Monajem

    What a great cause you’re supporting, Sandra. Thanks for sharing with us — will pass the word on.

  9. Sheridan Jeane

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I received exactly the same phone call about my brother a few years ago and collapsed to the floor in shock. I couldn’t understand it. Maybe I never will. I’m glad you’ve found this charity.

    • Sandra Owens

      I’m so sorry for yours, too, Jeane. I know I will never understand the pain one must feel to decide life isn’t worth living.

  10. Hanny

    Where are my words, when I need them? I thank you for sharing this with us ♡