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.

Change is hard and change is scary. This past year has been full of change—some for the good, and some for the bad—but all out of my control. I find myself being angry sometimes when I think about the change that was forced on me. I didn’t choose the path that I have been led down, and that is the most frustrating part of the entire situation.

Change was hard to swallow in the beginning. Something as dumb as moving college houses when I came back to school in August brought about a lot of stress and emotion. I wondered how I would be able to leave the last place where my life was normal. I wondered how I could leave the last place my dad was and never be able to return again. I wondered how I would balance and survive school, work, and life. I wondered how I would survive.

The physical changes are aided by endless support. Everyone knows what is going on and is there to offer support and help in any way that they can. The emotional changes are a different story. No one understood the pain I felt from losing my best friend. No one understood the ache that would arise when something would happen and I would go to call or text my dad, only to realize that I couldn’t do that anymore. No one understood the change in mindset I had towards life and challenges. The emotional changes began to overwhelm and take over.

With the loss of a loved one to suicide, there is what seems like an endless amount of change. It’s exhausting and can be really discouraging at times. I found that I used to dread the change and was scared of it. Now, I’m not scared anymore. I have learned to appreciate what the change brings me. It might take a few weeks to see some good in a situation, but eventually, it’ll show up.

Grief gets a little easier when you become better at searching for the speck of light in the dark.

“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.