Loved ones gather to spread ‘scattered sunshine’ for man killed in August crash
POCATELLO — Friends and family of Dallin Overmeyer gathered in Pocatello Thursday to honor his life by spreading “scattered sunshine.”
Overmeyer’s nickname among family members was “Sunshine” because he seemed to always provide a ray of light wherever he went. But those closest to him didn’t understand the emotional demons he was waging in a constant battle.
On Aug. 27, those demons won when Dallin was involved in a seemingly intentional crash that took his life.
As a coping mechanism, his family and friends took to the streets in Pocatello and areas of Utah on Dallin’s 26th birthday, posting signs that read “scattered sunshine.” They handed flowers and notes that say:
“Today is our beloved Dallin’s birthday. A month ago, Dallin lost his battle to depression. We miss him dearly, but we know that his story needs to be told. We want you to know that your mental health matters. That you matter. Please don’t give up! We love you! #FightForDallin.”
Dallin’s sister Kayla, brother Austin, brother-in-law Tanner Thomas and friend Kyler Jensen stood outside of Fred Meyer in Pocatello for three hours. They held signs that said, “Fight for Dallin,” “your life matters” and “Don’t give up, call 988.”
The decision to scatter Dallin’s loved ones with his message was spur of the moment.
“I think a lot of the time, someone takes their life and it’s a really hush-hush, kinda quiet thing,” she said. “I really don’t like that. I think it’s important that people know and understand the reality of it and how hard it is.”
She added, “We just wanted to uplift and let people know that they’re loved and that they’re cared about.”
This message connects directly to her late brother. One hour before the crash that ended his life, Dallin penned a long message on Facebook. In it, he apologized to his loved ones for the decision he had made.
“I’ve tried to do small things to try and make people feel little snippets of happiness in case they are somewhere in the same abyss I might be in,” the Facebook post said. “I tell myself maybe I can make the difference for them that I so desperately desire would also happen for me.”
What Dallin apparently didn’t see is the vast and immediate response to that post. Within minutes, dozens of friends and family members commented asking him to answer his phone and telling him they would like to help him through his difficult time.
Kayla agrees that Thursday’s efforts were directed at people who, like her brother, have a support system that they may not be aware of.
Thomas, Kayla’s husband, said he admires the fact that despite his own constant struggles, his late brother-in-law was always out to “make someone’s day — every day.”
“You don’t know what someone is going through. Because he was so happy and cheerful with everyone, you’d never guess that he was struggling this horribly.”
That is the message the Overmeyer family wants Dallin’s name to represent.
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