The Elephant's Story & Symbolism
In 2012 my best friend ended her life. Before her death, her family and friends were at a loss of what to do. There was and still is such a stigma about mental illness. We did the best we could at trying to protect her but our hands were really tied. Fast forward to fall of 2015, I was sitting in the Walmart parking lot thinking about my best friend and her love for elephants that not many knew about. She had an elephant in her room that was broken a few days before her death. This spoke to me that day.
I had a light bulb moment that was God speaking to me.
The Elephant in the Room
Everyone knows mental illness is real and suicide is a heartbreaking way out but no one seems to be comfortable enough to talk about it or know how to - there remains an awful stigma attached. People are afraid to seek help for fear of being labeled "crazy" or not taken seriously until it is to late. I drew the elephant that night with intentions of it becoming a decal so people would see it and know they are not alone and that it is okay to talk about it and seek help. I needed and wanted a 10 year old to be able to understand the concept! Why a 10 year old. Because that is the youngest age in statistics of suicide in the United States.
Why an elephant?
The elephant in the room equals the 'stigma' placed around the important discussions we should already be having with our loved ones.
Why is it yellow?
1. John 1:5: "The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it."
2. Yellow = Light Bulb (Shedding light on important topics!)
Why are the tusk semi-colons?
Because your story is not over yet.
Why do you have different color elephants?
Those elephants are for solidarity and show that suicide and mental illness does not discriminate.
Why are there no words with the elephant?
It is meant to get people to talk about what it each elephant they see means in hopes of breaking the stigma attached.