LEANNE Koehler remembers lying in bed with her daughter Aimee Lea, planning the future if they won the lottery.
“Because of her own challenges and experiences, she wanted to set up a place for young people to go,” Mrs Koehler said.
“She wanted somewhere they could go if they were down, somewhere they could feel comfortable.”
Next Thursday, it will be a year since Aimee, 20, lost her six-year battle with depression.
And on Sunday, March 10, her family will hold a hope service to commemorate the life of a girl who gave “unreal” hugs.
But the service is not only for Aimee.
“It’s for anybody, anyone who would like to come and light a candle for their loved ones,” Mrs Koehler said.
“I know that’s what Aimee would want.”
While coming to terms with a world without Aimee, Mrs Koehler said she had been overwhelmed by support from the community, especially after her family’s involvement with The Border Mail’s Ending the Suicide Silence series.
Encouraged by her daughter’s wish to help others, Mrs Koehler said the “Service of Hope and Sharing the Light” at St Matthew’s Church aimed to continue the momentum of ending the silence.
Father Peter MacLeod-Miller said since the series began last August, people had come to him talking of their own experiences of suicide.
“They have opened up since the series, it’s given them permission to talk about it,” he said.
While the service will be about remembering, Mrs Koehler said it was also about working together for change.
“We’re lighting candles for hope and for the future,” she said.
The service will start at 3pm. Anyone is invited to attend and light a candle in memory of those they love.
People who attend are encouraged to donate to a charity tin at the end of the service in support of a future headspace centre in Albury-Wodonga, the kind of centre Aimee dreamed of building four years ago — if she had won the lottery.