Throughout this holiday season, we are encouraging people around the world to talk about grief and to support and care for others who are grieving the death of someone close to them. The stories have flooded social media, while many others choose to share in person with their loved ones or send notes directly to our team. Here are four stories that were shared with us to publish on our website and help break down the walls to understanding grief.
“My dad died about 2 years ago from an overdose, i live every day in his honor. I miss swimming with him. He was young when he died and I wish he could see me grow.”
“My mom died when I was nine of Breast Cancer. I spent many years of my childhood hiding my anger and especially my guilt. A lot of my grief is drowned by overwhelming guilt and a fear of never being able to reconcile it without my mother to talk it out with. I found Experience Camps at age 25 and chose to volunteer. In my second year as a camp counselor, during one of our sharing circles a camper bravely opened up about his own guilt surrounding his fathers death. The clinician then proceeded to help our camper disprove that guilt and begin to heal. In that moment, I too realized I could disprove my own misguided guilt surrounding my mothers death. It took me 16 years to even consider that this could be possible and I was lucky enough to learn this lesson from an awesome 11 year old!! Grief has no timeline, I am still working through mine, but Experience Camps is everything I never knew I needed when I was a kid and I’m forever grateful to have found it. Better late than never.”
“My dad was suppose to pick us up from school and never showed up. He didn’t even call my mom to pick us up. He would and had never done that before. My mom says that the day I was born she was dethroned and I became daddies Queen. I was for sure a daddies girl could never do no wrong even when I did. He was mush in my hands,lol. My mom came to get us and was concerned also. We went home only to find my dad unexpectedly passed away in my moms room. With our dog mama sky right beside him. I felt like the sky fell down on me, my heart racing, panicked, a part of me kept saying this is just a dream. But as I hear the crippling shrieks of cries of my mama reality was sinking in. My brother got angry crying and also struggle. Mama eventually explained to me that dead does not mean gone. His body was empty but his spirit is always with us he becomes a part of us, he’s just moved on and one day when it is my time I will be reunited with him. My life at 8yrs old I will always have a whole a missing piece. I can only pray for my families health and safety and talk to my dad as much as I need to. I started playing the piano as a coping skill and I also started my art and design hobbies. I joined 2 bereavement groups and I see a therapist once a week. I still have random episodes of grief sometimes they hit me at school or in the middle of dinner, at strange times not always sure what triggers it. But I acknowledge it feel to and breathe till it passes”
“My mom died suddenly of a heart attack the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2015. I was a sophomore in college at the time. My dad had called saying paramedics were at our home. I was worried, but in my head I thought I would go see my mom at the hospital later, I never thought that my mom would die. A half hour later my dad called with the tragic news. I sunk to my knees in my dorm room. I do not remember a lot of that week, except for random parts during the wake and funeral, and of course all of the texts and love coming in once people had heard. 10 days later, I lost one of my best friends from middle school/high school to suicide. I also felt so isolated, I was the first one of any friends to lose a parent, and then a close friend, both so suddenly. My world was flipped upside down. I started counseling the following January and have been on that journey since. I do not remember a lot of the first year, and after the first year, there was less and less checking in, except for those who I was closest to. It was hard for me to find positive things to look forward to in life when 2 close people in my life were gone and I would never get to experience life with them again. In the summer of 2017 I started volunteering for Annie’s Hope in STL, MO and that changed my life. Meeting other volunteers who lost someone close to them, and getting to work with kids who lost a loved one, I felt connected and like a human being again. I am still on my journey and always will be. It will be the 5 year anniversary on November 20th, 2020 in just 11 days. I have goals of continuing to reduce stigma and to normalize talking about our loved ones and our grief.”
Learn more: visit our Talk About Grief webpage >>