by Alex Kleczewski, survivor and LOSS volunteer

In a gift of vulnerability and community, Alex is sharing her grief and healing journey with us in a 30-day blog series as she responds to “The Mourner’s Book of Hope: 30 Days of Inspiration” by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.  Alex is an OSU student and LOSS volunteer. She lost her dad, Mark, to suicide in June 2017.

When someone you love takes their life, it seems like nothing is possible. In fact, I remember thinking how everything was impossible. My dad and suicide in the same sentence? Impossible. Making it through a funeral and memorial service facing the people I love? Impossible. Going back to work and school by myself hundreds of miles from my mom? Impossible. Feeling like a normal college kid again? Impossible.

I told myself everything was impossible, but here I am today. I survived the impossible, and things may have turned out different than I planned, but they still turned out. It’s easy to get trapped into thinking nothing will go on and life stops; I know this because I was there. I remember being so upset that everyone continued on living like nothing had happened when my whole world and the last 20 years of my life was torn apart. How could no one care? Impossible.

I soon got out of my pity phase, and realized it wasn’t that no one cared, but life would have to go on. It would be different and hard, but I was alive, and things were still possible. I was the one who was making my life impossible, no one else. I started to set little goals for myself every day. They were things that seemed so miniscule, but changed my world. I began to make it through days without crying at work and I began to see a future that wasn’t so hopeless.

Today, my world is full of possibilities. When people ask where I want to be in five years, I shrug my shoulders. I used to have this whole life planned out, and now I realized how much I stressed myself out planning for the uncertain. I am a strong enough person to adapt and go with the opportunities that are in front of me. I am learning the best way to live is with an open mind for not only those around me, but for myself, too.

“The Mourner’s Book of Hope: 30 Days of Inspiration” by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. is available on Amazon. When you log in to Amazon using Amazon Smile and choose Franklin County LOSS as your designated charity, a portion of the sale will be donated to LOSS’s programs for survivors.