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 spent the first three months after my loss shying away from the feelings. I numbed myself and ignored the hurt that I felt.

I would describe my first three months as “sad;” however, I neglected to allow the frustration, the anger, the betrayal, and the pain to be a part of my days. This worked for those three months, and then it became too much. I let all of the negative emotions take over my life. I spent so much time and effort trying to conceal them, that I ended up losing sight of what was important and making myself hurt more than I needed to.

I’ve learned over the course of the last few months and the guidance of some amazing people to allow myself to feel. When I let the emotions come out in little bursts, I avoid the explosion and I am able to control where I allow those emotions to take me. I still find myself feeling the anger a lot, and that has been a tricky one to curb.

The smallest things bother me, and I immediately know when I wake up in a mood. My mood has nothing to do with those around me, but some days I just need to be in one. I’ve learned to warn my friends and family when I am having one of those days to avoid potential conflicts over nothing.

I pretended to be bubbly and happy for too long, and have found the more I feel my pain when it comes, the more I am back to the happy person I used to be. It is really counterintuitive and seems wrong, but I have found a lot of success with it.

“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.