Sadly, on October 20, 2015 Madison Rae Torres took her own life.
Suddenly that beautiful smile, that silly, generous, selfless and sweet daughter, and friend to all humanity was gone from this world. Having endured bullying, exclusion, humiliation and insensitivity from some she believed to be her friends, she sucummed to the lethal effects of sadness and depression.
Madison's absence has left so many questions, such a permamnent void in the hearts of so many. Madison simply did not fit the stereotype for someone who might have suicidal tendencies. But, true to form, it was never about her. She focused her efforts on helping others, making others smile, not getting absorbed in turning attention toward herself.
As is the case with these situations the grieving and healing process is a lifelong endeavor. But from my own perspective, while we have to endure the pain, the sense of loss, we also have to ask ourselves what Madison would want ? I don't think she would tell us all not to grieve for her , she was smart enough to realize that grieving is a natural reaction to the loss of a family member or dear friend. However, I do feel like she would want us to turn all that energy and emotion into something good, something to help others, to maybe prevent others from feeling the torturous pain that she endured. Well, that time is NOW.
Working closely with our friends Jerri & Jeff Torres, we at Hands of Grace 2017 have created a subsidiary campaign entitled Rae Of Light in honor of Madison, with a focus on fostering kindness, love, selflessness, self-love , anti-bullying and education in the area of mental health and suicide prevention. It is an honor to work with the family to finally take a stand and share their sentiment in saying NO MORE !
We are launching this new initiative in time for International Anti-Bullying Day May 4, 2018.
If you need help, or know somebody that you believe may be at risk for suicide DO NOT WAIT Get help NOW ! CLICK HERE >>
From The Skipper:
Honorary Team Member:
Madison Rae Torres
I was asked recently if I thought that Madi~ would be a good sailor. I was asked this because everyone knows that some of the sailors I happen to admire & respect the most are female sailors, sorry guys. Well, I answered the question , and without missing a beat I said no. After a few seconds of silence I said.... she would make a great sailor. There are likely as many ideas about what makes a good sailor as there are sailors. But for me, there are good sailors, then there are GREAT sailors. I would have Madi as first mate any day, alternatively I would sail as her first mate if she were skipper. That takes a lot of trust in someone and given Madi's lifetime achievements she deserves that level of trust. Yes, I think if she put her mind to it she would be a GREAT sailor. Being athletic is a huge plus. Well, if you're going to utilize athelitcism as a measure then she has that covered. She was involved in softball , volleyball, flag football, tackle football. Yes, this little girl off to your right played full tackle football. People would sometimes comment as she walked by at a games saying "that was a girl" ! Being a smart, intuitive person is also a must for sailing and again Madi has that covered as she was a member of the National Honors Society for Science and Pro Life Club. She was also a member of the school stage club. As a member of the Franciscan Mystery Players, Madison was a participant in the reenactment of the Passion of Christ at various churches. Being in touch with their true spirit and having a good relationship with God at sea is essential to me. Again, Madi has that covered as she served in her church as an Alter Server and later as a Eucharist Minister. All said, you just don't get a more complete pacakge than Madi ~
For anyone who knows Madison (Madi~), they will tell you that she's all about making other people smile. Now, I cannot think of a better way to open this introduction than to share one of my favorite photos of her. I just love this photo because the laughing, silly, sharp witted, loving, kind hearted Madi~ just seems to jump off the page at you. Now, if you add her scheming little companion to mix, well, the hits just keep on coming. :-)
If a person says they are considering SUICIDE
Take the person seriously
Stay with them
Help them remove lethal means
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Text TALK to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Center Text Line for free, 24/7
ESCORT THEM TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES OR AN EMERGENCY ROOM
STAY TUNED AS THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO COME. RAE OF LIGHT, HONORING MADISON RAE TORRES IS ONLY GETTING STARTED. WE HAVE AN ENTIRE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS PLANNED WITH THE GOAL OF PROMOTING LOVE, KINDNESS, TOLERANCE, SELF LOVE AND EDUCATION REGARDING MENTAL ILLNESS AND SUICIDE PREVENTION. THIS IS A GLOBAL EVENT, AS IT IS A GLOBAL PROBLEM. WE INTEND TO TAKE MADISON'S STORY AND HER CAMPAIGN OF KINDNESS AROUND THE WORLD.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY EMAIL US AT : Handsofgrace-Raeoflight.com
PHONE: 615-499-6687 (NON-EMERGENCY)
NOTE: WE ARE NOT COUNSELORS BUT WE WILL GET YOU CONNECTED TO THE RIGHT AGENCY REGARDLESS OF WHAT STATE YOU HAPPEN TO RESIDE IN. FOR EMERGENCIES PLEASE UTILIZE THE TWO NUMBERS LISTED ABOVE. YOU MAY CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS / LOGOS TO BE INSTANTLY REDIRECTED TO THE APPROPRIATE LANDING PAGE.
From The Parents:
Jerri & Jeff Torres
(Honorary Team Members)
YOU ARE NOT ALONE !
I've been at my desk looking out the window and re-reading some of the last things Madison ever wrote. She inspired this as an intro.
There will never be the right words to adequately explain the heartbreak of missing Madison's gentle presence. Her beauty ran far deeper than she was able to realize. Naturally, she experienced some typical teenage angst, namely a lack of self esteem. As her parents, we could never understand this. She seemed to have the "whole package". Kindness, beauty,intelligence, athletics. She had razor sharp wit and always strove to make people smile or laugh.
Then, along came the dark push into a lethal depression. The pain of rejection and humiliation to a sensitive soul like Madi was torturous. Friends do not treat friends in that manner. Be kind, reach out, make someone smile. You may just be saving someones life! This is truth. So....our goal is to see Madison shine her Rae of Hope on those in darkness. Let's provide education, resources, and awareness to end the stigma associated with mental illness, and BEGIN preventing suicide.
Peace Be With You
Jerri & Jeff Torres~
Smart / Charitable / Selfless / Inspiring
The World Is Forever Changed
Being incredibly smart , an honor student and having a sharp wit, combined with her tender heart means that Madison often had to march to her own drum, which she did quite often, and quite well. It is a true blessing in life when you meet someone who truly recognizes what is most important in life. Family, friends and how we treat other people and how we make others feel inside. Charity is a big part of being a fully grounded human being and Madi even found time to volunteer at the local food pantry, choosing to walk herself there and not even ask her parents for their help. There was the one time when a family in need asked for something the pantry just did not have. Madi on that singular occasion went home and asked if they could please go to the store and purchase it for the needy family. I think I can tell you how that conversation went. They looked into those big brown eyes, and without any discussion grabbed the car keys , looked at Madi and said let's go ! It is truly rare in life to find individuals who allow themselves to feel so deeply, to be completley empthetic to others, to become invested in the feelings of others, their needs. When you are trying to describe someone who is smart, charitable, selfless, kind, loving, tolerant, funny, warm, forgiving.....you are describing - Madison Rae Torres~