Candlelight vigil remembers those lost to suicide

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Community members who lost someone to suicide gathered in Grand Island on Friday to remember their loved ones as the new year begins.

Community members held candles in memory of loved ones they lost to suicide. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)

The Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosted their second annual candlelight vigil to help keep their spirits alive. The night was all about making sure family members know that they are not alone as they grieve with their losses.

Hailie Baker lost her husband in 2018 to suicide and says events like the candlelight vigil help her connect with people who've been through the same thing.

"There's a different type of love and support that goes on and you just kind of feel safe because you can't really talk about it," Baker told Local4 News.

"When you lose someone to suicide it's really hard," Sandy Manfull, a Board Member with the Nebraska Chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, said. "It's a lot different than any other way of passing away. Some people just feel that they are alone in this and there's not support maybe because of the stigma behind it. So when you find someone who has lost someone to suicide, it's kind of like okay, I'm not alone."

Manfull and Baker hope the more opportunities people have to talk about how they're feeling will encourage them to open up more and help put an end to stigma around suicide.

The two also hoped the night's event would show anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts just how much people love and care about them.