Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Above Ground Podcast

be well, be safe, be ABOVE

Sep 13, 2023

You will never be the same following the loss of someone you care about to suicide. Loss is part of your history, but it doesn’t have to tell the whole story. Erika Barber,  first lost her older sister, Andrea. Then later on, Erika lost her dad, John. Through those losses came the ability to start having conversations of courage and Erika’s  courageousness to be comfortable talking about the uncomfortable leads to connection. 


Welcome to episode two hundred twenty two of Above Ground Podcast. We continue with our Suicide Prevention and Awareness month episodes, as we have done since 2019, with our guest,  Erika Barber.  


 Erika Barber,  first lost her older sister, Andrea, when Erika was just fifteen to suicide. When Andrea died, Erika wanted to just be a teenager. She couldn’t address her pain like an adult, she  wanted to hang with her friends. Forget the inevitable changes that were ahead for her family and the grief of losing your older sister. Forget her life would be forever touched by suicide. She’d be the that girl who’s sister died by suicide. 


Following the loss of Andrea, Erika’s mother dealt with her pain by drowning it in alcohol, while her dad sought out help. John, went to the groups, took his meds as prescribed, faced the loss of his daughter, Andrea. John lost his battle with depression eight years ago. Once again, Erika was facing a loss by suicide. But, not just any loss. This was the loss of her dad in 2015. The loss of her dad was profound. 


Erika lived with mental health challenges herself. Facing a family of mental health challenges, both figuratively and literally.  Erika did the work to find herself working through her loss courageously. 


Erika found the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention  in 2007, through an Out of the Darkness walk. Her ten year Board of Director’s term  just ended. Erika wanted to be involved as soon as she heard a radio ad that was calling her tribe together. People that would finally get her and understand. 


October 24, 2023 is the Chicagoland AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk in Chicago, Illinois. Erika will be in attendance and if you’re in the Chicagoland area you should be too.  Especially , since you’re more closer than you think to someone who died by suicide. 


Come to Saratoga Spa State Park on Sunday September, 24,2023 at 9am for the Out of the Darkness Walk for R.I.T.A. and remember our loved ones. Stop by the Above Ground Podcast table and not for profits all over Nippertown. As well as a remembrance ceremony and activities to create tributes to celebrate their memory.  


Sunday October 1, 2023 is the next Upstate Punk Rock Flea Market at Empire Live Albany. 11am-5pm.  It is also the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Schenectady Walk at Central Park. Make sure when they ask where you heard about these events, tell them, Above Ground Podcast guided you. Thanks for listening to episode two hundred twenty-two and until next time, get well, be safe, stay above. 

AFSP Chicago