LETTER: Mother urges others to walk the bridges

I have been walking the Eighth Street bridges — almost daily — these past three years, so I’ve been more intimate with the solemnity of that walk, but still I prevailed with my walks despite the suicides which have stigmatized the expanse.

Until Ashley [Wishart].

I had avoided the bridges in any up-close sense.

Maybe because I am the mother of an Ashley or that I lost a close friend to suicide here in Port Angeles years ago, but it became a personal call to check my own humanity and how I chose to define that for the rest of my life.

I also lost a son in 1988 and know what it’s like to struggle against a life lived in vain.

Today, I walked the bridges for the first time since Ashley, and it was indeed solemn.

But there was also the presence of hope, with painted stone messages all along the route like tentative shoots of new life:

“Life is changing daily,” “your life matters” and “you are loved.”

There are also numerous painted 1-800-Help Line rocks.

I don’t think it’s necessary to organize on any large scale a walk along this Eighth Street route, but I would call on fellow citizens already pondering their relationship and or understanding of suicide, in light of Ashley, to walk the bridges now.

Sabrina Clark,

Port Angeles