by Alex Kleczewski, survivor and LOSS volunteer

In a gift of vulnerability and community, for the next 30 days Alex will share her grief and healing journey with us 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.

Hope. Day 1: Know That You Will Survive

Whenever things get tough I always think to myself, “If I survived what I have been through, I can survive anything.” I think it is an important lesson to learn, and one that, with time, changes from simply survival to something more.

I began my journey thinking: “I need to make it through this hour, then this day, then this week.” But it wasn’t day by day; it was breath by breath. That is how I survived. And then it moved to hour by hour. And now after nine months, I am surviving day by day.

The part of today’s chapter that resonated with me the most was the bullet about allowing yourself to feel the grief, because that is a lesson that I learned the hard way. Feeling the pain and betrayal is awful and all-consuming, but the build-up of keeping it inside and trying to “stay strong” is a lot worse.

Survival is the first part of the journey, and I can only hope one day my purpose isn’t to simply survive, but to thrive and live each day with purpose again.

“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.