Each ride-day the Light the Trail team will #Ride4 a victim of suicide to honor and celebrate their life, and to further healthy conversation about this important topic. If there’s someone you’d like us to #Ride4, please visit the #Ride4 page.

September 30, 2017: #Ride4 Tanner Ray French (by Darla French Duty)

Tell us about them…

Tanner was 19 years old and the light of many lives. He was referred to by many as “the band aid” due to his desire to make everyone happy and keep everyone laughing. He had dancing eyes, eyes that no one could resist and eyes that many times kept him out of trouble from me (his mom), from his school teachers and his bosses at work. He was a charmer.

We didn’t know how much he was suffering inside and his use of prescription pills as well as alcohol & marijuana numbed the pain that he was feeling. He was precious to many and many still fondly share Tanner stories and “Tannerisms”. He now has 2 nieces that he never got the chance to meet and they would have loved him so much. I requested the date of September 30th to remember our Tanner because that is his niece’s 3rd birthday and she is named after her Uncle Tanny. Happy birthday, Raylee Shay Cox.

How has your perspective of depression and suicide shifted over time?

I have unfortunately become more aware of mental illness & depression after losing my son Tanner to suicide. Through all I have learned, I now know that the things I laid off to him being a teenager were actually signs of depression. Through much learning, I understand that the brain can be just as sick and cause as much debilitation as other organs.

A small special way we can celebrate them on the road?

How about, “riding for Tanner” on left wrist.

Is there a particular favorite song or band of theirs, or one you remember them by?

The song I’ll be Missing You by Puff Daddy was played at his funeral and I still think of him everytime I hear this song.

If you appreciate our work and would like to help us bring the conversation to light, please consider donating here to help the Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation continue their efforts.