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 am almost ten months into my journey and the art of silence is something I still have not mastered. I have found that silence still is scary for me. The quiet times are when my mind wanders and goes to places that I don’t want to be. Silence is not safe for me quite yet.

I found that I like background noise; not too much, but just enough to drown out the quiet. Just loud enough for me to not hear the silent thoughts. I have found that I can block out the white noise, and I am able to go to a happy place. A happy, loud place of nothingness that is so refreshing. My favorite time to do this is on a run. I like to let go, feel the sun or the rain, and let the surroundings take me in and get lost in the world around me for an hour or two.

I feel the hope the most when I’m outside. The light breeze or the drizzles of rain. They bring alive my senses and pull me into a world that I forget is so beautiful if you give it the chance to be. I feel free, and I am taken back to a time before my world as I knew it collapsed. For just a small part of the day I go back to the happy, optimistic girl I once was, and the girl I hope to get back to being.

I don’t know what I would do without my “me” time. It keeps me sane and grounded. It allows me to pity myself, be angry, hate the world, laugh, love life, and just be without anyone else telling me how or what I should feel. It’s been one of the parts of my healing that I have learned to love and a practice that I will always hold onto.

“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.