At Age 13, He Met The Woman Who Would One Day Save His Life. Ten Years Later, He Married Her.

"It was a number I didn't recognize, so I picked up and it was her."

Trigger warning: This article contains sensitive material relating to depression and suicidal thoughts.

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When Kevin Walsh, a Quora user, saw the question "What is one moment in your life you thought could only happen in a movie?" posted on the online forum, he knew he had to share the single instance that not only forever changed, but literally saved, his life. 

"I can't not answer this," he began his response. "Once upon a time I was 13 at a summer camp and the prettiest girl I'd ever seen walked right up to me and said 'black is a good color on you.' No idea why." After chatting for a bit, the two exchanged AIM screen names ("It was the time," Walsh explained). Though he and the girl, Blake, "stayed in touch for a while," they eventually fell off each others' radar. "...But I can promise you that not a day went by that I didn't think about that girl," Walsh said in the post. "Even now I'm not sure I can say why — something about her just stayed with me." 

As time went on and Walsh entered into his senior year of high school, he "went through some... high school stuff that seemed earth-shattering at the time, and fell hard into depression." After resolving to take his own life, Walsh prepared a note and was "between 5 and 10 seconds before [he] would have committed suicide," when his phone rang. 

"I checked the caller ID - I couldn't die not knowing," he said. "It was a number I didn't recognize, so I picked up and it was her." Though they hadn't spoken in a year, Blake told Walsh that she'd felt compelled to call him right at that moment. While on the phone, Walsh confessed his plan to end his life, and she talked him out of it. "I mean she literally said 'What? Don't do that.' And that was that," Walsh concluded. "She made me promise to call her the next day, and we hung up. That night I started writing the words which, ten years later, I'd propose with." 

Since Walsh posted his response on August 25, it has received more than 315,000 views and nearly 36,000 "Upvotes." In an update to the original post, Walsh added, "My wife and I are humbled and honored by the response." Besides the unexpected amount of upvotes, Walsh told BuzzFeed, "The comments have been unbelievably kind; most are congratulatory and uplifting."

For Walsh, talking to someone about his suicidal intentions turned out to be exactly what he needed to not go through with them. "There is power in saying it out loud," he added to the publication. "There's a good chance that the moment it comes out of your mouth you'll realize it isn't what you want at all." 

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), 50-75 percent of people who attempt suicide talk about their suicidal thoughts, feelings, and plans before the act. The AFSP further recommends talking with someone who is acting suicidal immediately and openly. Because many people view suicide as a taboo subject, it's even more important to ask someone explicitly, and perhaps repeatedly, about suicide before they admit to thinking about or even planning it. 

"Make sure your friend feels comfortable opening up and communicating with you. Ask questions and avoid judgments," Caroline Fenkel, a psychotherapist at Newport Academy, a treatment center for teens struggling with mental health issues, eating disorders, and substance abuse told Live Science. "Listening is essential to building a bridge between you and a friend. Love and understanding come first. Understanding, compassion, empathy, and setting aside judgment go a long way. Encourage them to speak to someone who can help them address what they're feeling." 

As Walsh's story shows, honest, encouraging communication has the ability to not only change someone's life but save it. 

If you or a loved one are in a crisis, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to speak with a skilled, trained counselor who is ready to listen to you.

(H/T: BuzzFeed)

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