Remembering a friend

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Classmates are mourning the loss of a Southeast High School student who died by suicide on Friday.

Jace Candy, Alec Strouse and Gabby Gestring are friends of the student and are now planning a candlelight vigil for their friend.

“I try so hard not to get emotional because it makes me,” Gestring paused. She continued: “It’s hard, really hard.”

“I try to say I’m handling it better than most, but this is the second person I lost to suicide in my life,” said Candy. 

The student-run vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at College Hill United Methodist Church, located at 2930 E. First Street North.

While planning the vigil, the three are taking the time to remember their friend by sharing stories and inside jokes as a way to cope with the pain.

“I think about who they were, what I learned from them, how they affected me,” said Strouse.

Gestring described her friend as “the most caring and carefree person” she’s ever met in her life.

She and the others are now spreading a simple, yet powerful message.

“No one is alone,” they said.

The group wants others, who may feel that way, to know someone is out there.

“There’s people out there for you that will help you,” Gestring said.

They added that no one should be afraid to find help.

“I’m gonna try even harder to make myself an open space for anybody,” said Strouse.

They’re hoping this call to action prevents the loss of another precious life.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, there are resources out there. Call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or the COMCARE Crisis Center at 316-660-7500.

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