Rochelle Maya Callen

: Don’t Look Away…


I just watched a video by John Green in the vlogbrothers Nerdfighteria community and he made a series of powerful statements about the need of clean water in Ethiopia. He has partnered with and Bill Gates to fundraise and the project is so worthy of love and support.


Why am I letting John essentially photobomb my post? Because, well, the man rocks and this project is amazing, but beneath all of that is this:


His plea for us to NOT look away. In his video, he admitted that the majority of his filming in Ethiopia was of his shoes, because he felt uncomfortable with filming the personal and tragic moments that were happening all around him. And this—this plea to NOT look away—is what Two Breaths Too Late and the #HoldOn2Hope project are all about.


Ellie Walker, the girl in the book who loses her life to suicide, is forced to SEE all that she had looked away from while she was living. She didn’t see the hope that was tucked away. The hope that glistened on even the sharpest of cuts. The hope that lived secretly in the eyes of those she loved. She didn’t see any of it, because her pain eclipsed it all.


Some of us look away from hope.

Some of us look away from pain.

Both are tragic.


Every 2 seconds a suicide happens in the world. A life is lost. Why? It can be depression, mental illness, chronic pain, abuse—there are so many reasons why a person can feel locked alone and desperate. The issue is that we aren’t talking about it. We let the stigma of mental health and suicide blot out the absolute NEED to speak up about it.


We can’t be blind or silent. We have to sit up, look around and see who might need our help, our encouragement, our hope. We have to stand up and say that seeking help is NOT weak. We have to be there when tragedy strikes. We have to be honest when our hearts are hurting.


When I started writing Two Breaths Too Late, I didn’t know the impact it would make on me. I was nervous about writing it. It dealt with such personal issues and it felt like I was being too vulnerable. I felt like I my heart was bleeding onto the pages.


There wasn’t a day that I was writing this book that I wasn’t crying. I don’t say that to mean that I am an incredible writer or storyteller. I say that because deep down I knew that I was writing something true. Something about pain and suffering and loss and it hurt to know that as I was sitting at my kitchen table, laptop open, coffee steaming, that there were men and women out there that were hurting so badly that they felt that taking their own life was their only option. Desperation drove me forward. I wanted to write faster. I wanted reach through the pages and find each and every one of the people that were hurting and hold them close to me and whisper, “Hold on.”


The HoldOn2Hope project is about you and me. About not looking away. About seeing. About reaching out. About CHANGE.


There are one million suicides every year. One million lives lost. What if we didn’t look away from their pain? What if we didn’t look away from our own? What if the world saw?


We can make them see.


One share, one comment, one donation, one conversation with that person sitting alone in the corner, one event about hope and loss, one walk out of the dark, one call to someone who can help, one bold and brave move to HoldOn when all seems lost.


Yes, we can make the world see and life by life we can change the statistic so that we don’t have to feel this loss…this empty feeling of too much space because we know someone should be there to fill it.


Hold on.

The world needs you in it.







Amazon link


Holdon2hope FB page

Rochelle Maya Callen website

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