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.

Sometimes it can be hard to find the good in situations. Hope is around us every day, but sometimes we have to look a little harder for it. I’ve found that my situation doesn’t even have to look hopeful, but if I listen to other people talk about the good in their lives, I feel better, too. I like to hear the good my friends and family have and I like to believe that the good vibes flowing from their happiness will transfer to my life.

Music is a good place to find hope, but then again, it has been a place where I find sadness too. I have about five different playlists for my moods, and each one completely feeds into the happiness, sadness, energy, anger or empty I may be feeling. This sounds depressing, but I actually find hope in knowing that I am not alone and other people have felt the roller coaster I am experiencing and have survived. I find hope after I let out the emotion and eventually move onto happier music. Sometimes, I don’t even have to listen to the words, but I get lost in the melody. Music is a great escape that can fill any void you need it to.

It’s easy to look around and find hope. It can come from something as little as a puppy or seeing a family happily going along with their day. I learned to feed off of the happiness others feel even if I don’t have a clue who they are or why they’re feeling it. There’s a difference between feeding off of the good energy, and taking their good energy.

There isn’t a finite amount of happiness, love or smiles, and there is no reason to take other peoples’ in order to gain your own. If I expect other people to sit in my sadness with me sometimes, then I expect to be able to sit in their happiness.

It can be easy to forget that relationships are a two-way street when you’re experiencing loss. Although I may require some extra effort, I make sure that I am putting everything that I have into the people who mean the world to me.

“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.