I ... didn't know how to say how deeply thankful I am in just a few words, so I thought I would try to explain what my intention has been in all this time -- for however imperfect I've been at accomplishing it, this is what I've tried to do:
I've tried to make my words and actions on behalf of survivors and on behalf of suicide prevention ... represent my gratitude for the great healing that has come to me over this almost 35 years now since my father killed himself. I've literally tried to carry in my mind and in my heart the entire web of relationships that make up my experience over those many decades ... and that awareness of the web of relationships that we are in has ... shown me how we are truly all connected. I've come to know that whatever happens to one of us, affects us all. So what I have ... tried to do is just to be compassionate toward the person who is in front of me in the moment -- because that's really all I can do. But I've found that that makes all of the difference in the world sometimes, not just to the person in front of me, but sometimes it makes all the world of difference for me -- and truly it is what I believe might change our world.
I also want to thank the fellowship of the American Association of Suicidology -- for all of you collectively and many of you individually have ... contributed to the meaning that I have found from my father's death and made me able to apply it in my own life. In one way or another, I ... do love each and every one of you, and that comes from many, many places, many sources -- but basically I simply believe that we're all in this together ... We are all in this together, and I am so, so grateful for the work we share. The goal that we are striving toward is to alleviate the pain and suffering ... that causes people to die by suicide and that we suffer in the aftermath of suicide -- and what a noble cause.
What was the worst imaginable nightmare -- truly an event that broke not only my heart but my spirit -- from that event has come a fantastically powerful positive force that I cannot explain, but that I am infinitely grateful for.
So I would just like to thank you one and all for this great honor. I will ... cherish this moment for the rest of my life. Thank you so much.