Project Survivor



Project Survivor

Dear readers, 

I am a survivor of suicide.

On May 12, 2012 I lost one of my best friends to suicide.

It was late January 2012 when I met Nathan. The lights in my apartment had gone out and I needed to use a phone to call the electric company. I went over to Shane’s house and his roommate, who I had never met before, answered the door. That is the moment I met him. Nathan let me use his phone and waited patiently as the serviceman fixed the electricity.

We immediately started talking and we became fast friends that night. After I got the electricity turned back on, we decided to go to the movies. He cracked me up and just made me laugh. The next night we went to karaoke with a couple of friends. Karaoke was not his thing, but I got him to sing “Eye of the Tiger” with me that night. It is a memory I treasure.

Within the next month I met Matt, Rachel and Micklane. We all became instant friends. We started to hang out all the time. From going to the Nickel Arcade to the dollar movies to game nights – we had so much fun. We laughed till tears came out of our eyes, stayed up to the late hours and made a lot of memories. The next few months we continued to hang out, have fun and become best friends.

On May 11th we decided to head up to the canyon for a bonfire, but Nathan didn’t want to go. I went to his room to talk to him and he looked sad. Nothing like the Nathan I knew. I asked if he wanted to come and what was wrong, but he didn’t want to talk to me about it. After a few minutes of small talk, I told him I would see him later and I went my way.

The following morning I received a phone call at 8 a.m., a friend told me news that stopped my entire world. Nathan had committed suicide. I broke down immediately and tears started rolling down my face. I physically hurt from the pain of losing him that morning. 

Nothing ever in my life prepared me for losing one of my best friends.

Each day was different as the next days and weeks went by. Some days I broke down, some days I just felt gratitude for Nathan's friendship, some days I just clung to my friends; some days I just tried to ignore the pain.

As those weeks passed by I knew I wanted to help others somehow. I never wanted anyone to feel the pain Nathan did, and I didn't want anyone to feel the pain of losing someone like that. That is when I started to search on the Internet. I discovered the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and read stories of other people who have struggled. I discovered the Provo Chapter and went to support therapy. I was able to relate to others, and different things I struggled with, others did too. I didn't feel so alone. I participated in the Out of Darkness Walk with friends and Nathan’s family members in Salt Lake City, Utah Sept. 2012. We walked in his name. I was able to surround myself with people who strengthened me and together we got through those hard moments.

In April 2015 I walked in memory of Nathan in the Overnight Out of the Darkness Walk in Dallas, TX with my brother, Josh Ault. Walking with thousands who have been affected by suicide was strengthening and was a testament to the power that change is needed.

A week after losing Nathan, I made a promise to him. I promised him that I wouldn't let this world forget him. I let everyone that I meet know about one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I tell of his friendship, his laughter, his faith and the person he was.

As the months and years pass by, I still feel Nathan close by and I still remember him like it was yesterday. He will always hold a place in my heart. As I make goals and move forward, he's right there with me. I will always love him.  He was the person I would call at three in the morning if I was having a bad night and the person I wanted to share my good news with. He taught me friendship, he taught me faith, and he reminded me how to be happy. I miss him in every aspect of my life. But I know more than anything, I will see Nathan again  that will be a day of happiness and reminiscing of our memories. And that will be a good day  the best day.

Now I introduce Project Survivor. This project is about sharing your story of life, loss and hope. It is about the family, friend, or neighbor you have lost, or the personal struggles you have with mental health. It is making sure stories are not lost as the weeks, months and years pass by.

Project Survivor is for those to know you are not alone. As you struggle, we struggle with you too. We are there to help each other  strengthen each other and support each other.

These are our stories.

Will you share your story with me?  


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