Conspiracy of Hope

It’s often said that certain people come into your life for a reason. Sometimes you’re not sure why you’re so drawn to them, but you are, and you are forever grateful that you’ve met. For me, Suzanne Sagmeister is one such person.

October 8. 2011

October 8. 2011

5 years ago I started seeing photographs of people that were taking my breath away. Often these were engagement or wedding photos. The capture of personalities, the edgy and unique setting, the moods – really just everything about these photos spoke to me. When my eldest son announced he was getting married, I knew what my wedding gift would be. I contacted my future daughter-in-law, asked her to look at Suzanne’s work and on October 8, 2011 the wedding day was beautifully captured by Suzanne.

Last year I discovered that Suzanne had started Conspiracy of Hope – a grassroots photographic movement to create conversation about suicide, inspire hope and save lives. I was drawn to the organization for so many reason – many of which she did not know about when she was in Ottawa to shoot my son’s wedding. She did not know there were survivors in attendance – people whose lives had been forever changed by the loss of loved ones to suicide. I believe she knew about the work I was doing with Voice Found but it was not a conversation we had during the course of wedding festivities. And we certainly never spoke about my personal struggles and the fact that child sexual abuse is a significant risk factor for suicidal behaviour.

Suzanne is now preparing to embark on a cross Canada tour to photograph survivors of suicide for a book to be titled ‘Life After Dark’. Called ‘Architects of Hope’, these survivors are people who have lost a loved one to suicide or have survived an attempt. When I learned of this project, I knew I needed to help in whatever way I could. After all, it is by talking and sharing that we can best help save lives. People need to know they are not alone and that suicide – like child sex abuse – is largely preventable.

My contribution to this project is serving as the Ambassador for Ontario. As such I am looking for people in the Thunder Bay and Ottawa areas who are interested in sharing their stories as ‘Architects of Hope’. If you are interested in participating, please contact me cynthia at Dates for ThunderBay are around June 23rd/24th and in Ottawa June 27th/28th.

Suzanne is a beautiful person embarking on a powerful journey. I know why we met – and I am forever grateful that we did. Down to earth, sincere, super creative and beautiful inside and out – I know you will love her as much as I do!

Contact me today if you would like to be a part of this book. Your story WILL save a life. Your courage will inspire others. Your pain will have purpose.

You are a Gift

We are all precious gifts to the world. Together we learn and we teach.

“While it may be tempting to focus on how awful it is to be abused, it’s important to not lose sight of the reality that survivors are full human beings with many gifts and talents to offer the world. Some of the most sensitive, intuitive, deep, profound, creative, and hopeful people I’ve known are incest/child sexual abuse survivors. They were able to be that way by not losing touch with their humanity–their soulfulness–in the face of others’ inhumanity. We can all learn a great deal from survivors.”

Kali Munro, M.Ed.


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