Sangeeta Naidu-Prasad’s father was her best friend. She and Permal Naidu went shopping and fishing and attended air shows together.
“He was a fantastic cook,” says Naidu-Prasad, 29, a former Renton resident who now lives in the Kent/Des Moines area. “If I worked the night shift, I’d come home to a warm meal every day.”
The two spent almost every day together in Permal’s restaurant, the Indo Fiji Rice Hut. Before opening his restaurant, Naidu served more than 20 years as a flight engineer in the U.S. Air Force. He served in missions around the world, including Desert Storm.
“He was a family guy; he enjoyed the company of friends,” Naidu-Prasad says.
Those friends were many.
“He wasn’t just my best friend,” she says. “You could ask anyone, he was everyone’s best friend. A person you went to to talk about your own problems.”
That’s why Naidu’s suicide six years ago was so shocking.
“There were no outward signs of depression,” Naidu-Prasad says. “He was a very jovial person.”
Naidu-Prasad will celebrate her father’s life by participating in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in Seattle from sundown on June 21 until sun-up on June 22. Proceeds from the 20-mile walk benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Naidu-Prasad’s cousin Shay Samy of Seattle’s Capitol Hill will join her on the walk. She also lost her father to suicide.
The two hope the walk prevents others from committing suicide.
“For my cousin and I, it’s really important that no one deals with this situation,” Naidu-Prasad says. “For us — daddy’s little girl — we don’t want any daughter to feel that kind of pain again.”
For more information
• According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than 820 people die by suicide each year in Washington, four times as many who die by homicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in Washington for those between 15 and 34. Nationally, suicide claims a life every 16 minutes.
• To register, donate or learn more about the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk, visit www.theovernight.org or call 888-The-Overnight.