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.

I’ve struggled with living in the present my entire life. I used to live in the future, consistently think about what would happen and what was to come. I spent a lot of life living with worry about what was out of my control. I was always ten steps ahead, trying to figure out what I could do to place myself in a better spot. It caused so much unnecessary stress in my life, and I can look back today and tell you it was not worth it.

Starting on June 5, 2017, however, I had the opposite problem. I spent months living in the past trying to piece together any clue or any answer I had missed. I spent months trying to understand what I did wrong or could have done better. I replayed days over and over, reliving it to try to figure out where it went wrong and where my fairy tale life turned into a nightmare. I missed out on people and things that could’ve helped me feel better because I was too consumed with my past.

Today, I am working on living in the present. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, but I am learning to appreciate what is going on around me and not worry about the things I cannot control. I spent so much of life trying to be in control, and suicide has taught me that no matter how hard I try to control the things around me, I can’t. Things will happen, for the good and the bad, and all I have to focus on is how I respond to those changes.

“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.