by Alex Kleczewski, survivor and LOSS volunteer

In a gift of vulnerability and community, Alex is sharing 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.

Day 4: “Understand That Time Does Not Heal All Wounds”

Time is an interesting concept. I find myself referring to things in two time frames: Dad and Post-Dad.

It’s like I am living two separate lives that sometimes interact and sometimes are polar opposites. I always used to be someone who was ten steps ahead, and now I constantly feel like I am behind. Occasionally, I get the days where I feel like I am on pace, but then life will throw a curve ball and I am immediately set back. Sometimes the setback is a minute, and sometimes I relive some of the worst days of my life for absolutely no reason.

People who have not been through a large loss, and even some who have, think that with time, things get better. A lot of people think days get easier and life goes back to normal. It may sound discouraging, but the truth is, these past nine months things haven’t gotten “better.” They have changed, and I find myself mourning and missing my dad in different ways, but I would never say things are all the way better. Time can trick you, and mixed with other circumstances it can heal or hurt you.

Time has shown me so many ups and downs, and I imagine it will continue to do so. I have felt loss, love, betrayal, excitement, anxiety, hurt, but most importantly, time has shown me that I can feel happiness again.

With time, I find myself smiling more and acting more like a 21-year-old woman should. I still feel the hurt, but I have learned to carry it differently, and I have learned to channel the pain I feel into a bigger picture. I have learned to take the bad and find a way, no matter how small, to turn it into something good. A simple smile at a stranger, helping a friend out, or even volunteering can turn a really bad day into one that I lived through.

“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.