Tag Archive | loss

OOD Walk 2015

It’s the emotional day again… The AFSP walk day. This day is fun, this day is hard, this day is unifying, this day is hopeful, this day is heavy, this day is exhausting.

LOSS will be there eager to meet new friends and share resources. I will be Mom – not LOSS leader. I will walk quietly with Robbie in remembrance of my son. I will weep and I will smile. I will thank God for my boy and lash out at Him for not saving him from himself. I will silently ask “why, what did I miss, and how was my love not enough to just chose life?” dozens of times. Living without Drey means living with pain. And on this day it’s just best to experience the pain along side fellow survivors. There’s something peaceful and safe about this walk. I am blessed to be part of other survivors lives.  💚💜

This day

I always know I am blessed but I don’t always feel blessed. Today I do. I am grateful for dozens of things and thanking God for every single one of them. 

I got to enjoy time at the Ohio State fair with my Mom and a few of her friends today. 

I got to have a meeting with people who care deeply for suicide postvention today. 

I got a surprise gift of fresh, delicious peaches today. 

I got a surprise cake, ice cream and bottle of champagne in celebration of Drey’s life today. 

I got a wonderful text message today. 

I got a loving voice mail today.

I have a wonderful husband who takes care of me every day. 

I love my job as the LOSS Coordinator every day. 

I have 3 stinky, cuddly dogs I get to love on every day.

I have a mom who spoils me and thinks I’m awesome every day.

I get to sneak away for 4 days and hike, read, canoe, swim and sit in a hot tub all by myself.

I have a good God who showers me with these earthly blessings and with infinitely more heavenly blessings. 

Yes, I am ready to start year 4 of this new life.

Here I go again…

I wish I were just singing a Whitesnake song but that’s not the case…

I’ve decided being the leader of Cornerstone of Hope Grief Counseling Center is in conflict with my passion around suicide awareness advocacy… Specifically LOSS. When I accepted the position of ED at Cornerstone we thought it was clear how I’d support – how I’d lead – both organizations. But questions have been raised.

Better now than 6 months into the role, right? Whatever.

Unfortunately my self-talk platitudes aren’t helpful.

And now I’m reminded all over again that my son is dead. No – I didn’t forget. But something was happening with my grief when I joined Cornerstone. A purpose for the pain? in a visible way? In a worldly way perhaps?

But now I’m back to “just volunteering.” There’s far more to it than that… Anyone who’s talked to me about the LOSS team for more than 1 minute can clearly see my passion. But I guess I just need a day or a week or however long to be sad. Sad that things didn’t play out the way I thought they would. And sad that I’m even in this situation. My son is still dead.

Yesterday – the same day I resigned from Cornerstone – I received a thank you card from a Mom who’s child died by suicide. I was there with another volunteer that day as LOSS team volunteers. Feeling awkward. Answering her questions – the family’s questions. Not sure if our words were helpful. Quietly praying for God’s comfort. And now a thank you card from her that brought me to my knees. The timing of it. A thank you card on the day I resigned. On the day I choose to stick with LOSS. I’m humbled by this precious gift and I am confident that some day I’ll be able to share with this Mom the impact she had on me.

And still through all of it my son is dead. He is still dead. I am sad. I have self doubt. I doubt God. I doubt my ability to discern Gods will for my life. These doubts and feelings seem permanent – but they are not. It’s just for now. One foot in front of the other regardless of my feelings. But still, just damn.

Suicide Postvention

Yesterday was a big milestone – the L.O.S.S. First responder training.
We had just over 40 people attend. What I was most excited about was the diversity of the group… So many organizations were represented. Counselors, a hospital chaplain. A couple of handfuls of suicide hotline volunteers. We had at least 12 survivors of a suicide loss there. 4 law enforcement folks – all homicide departments from both the county and the city. And the coroner & an investigator. Wow wow wow. God is so good.

Being available to people ASAP after a suicide loss is so very important.

During my days, weeks and even months after Drey died, several people reached out to me and many people very sacrificially poured into me. Every single interaction has been important to me. Without knowing it at the time I very much needed those cards, random text messages, FB posts, phone calls, gifts and meals.

The pain I carried for several months was sickening.

The people who could break through – even though it was just for a moment – the thick, heavy despair were the small handful of women who were ahead of me in grieving the sudden loss of their child. Those momentary break throughs gave me hope and over time they joined and became hours – and dare I say days – rather than just moments.

I am quite emotionally tired from the training yesterday. Sadly my mind is not shutting down… no sleep for me. So I lay here in bed considering the flood of feelings I wish I could name. I guess I need more time to digest them.

My thoughts continue to drift to those early days and weeks. To those momentary break throughs. They were so damn brief but so amazingly bright.

Suicide postvention is important. L.O.S.S. Teams are important. I will continue on this path.

Joy and pain can coexist for the survivor of a suicide loss

I hear my breathing. That heavy breath that’s a borderline sigh. It’s the pain speaking. The stomach knots and the flood of painful thoughts aren’t visible. But anyone can tell when the intense rough times are coming by the breathing.

The shaking may come next – need to watch my caffeine.

Continually rubbing my leg with my hand is the scary place to be… The meltdown is close at hand. No that’s not where I am. No that’s not what I want to happen. But I want to be dependent on God as I move forward so if the outward physical response to this trauma I’m still learning to live with is what it takes well… Okay then.

It’s good I can see the outward signs before a meltdown. It’s taken almost two years to proactively notice them.

Do I hibernate? No. Not this time.

I go slow.

I allow myself to say no to plans. Even seemingly simple plans.

I talk to my inner circle. Those select few who sacrificially walk in the pain with me. They know I don’t need rescued. They pray and watch closely.

I pray. And if seconds after beginning to talk to God my mind is drifting somewhere else I bring it back again and then again. I listen. I try to be still so I can hear Him. I love Him in spite of this pain.

I am not weak.

It’s not explainable. Learning to move forward in pain. Choosing to move forward in pain. Addressing it as I go. Crumbling when I need to. Believing a glimpse of joy may be close at hand… But even better standing in His strength regardless of how I feel. I know Him more deeply because of the pain.

This is what it looks like for pain and joy to coexist.

2 Cor 12:9… My grace is sufficient for you Denise. My power is made perfect in weakness.