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 always have liked learning and have wanted to constantly know more and more. I found myself asking questions and trying to understand. I don’t like gray areas, or at least I didn’t. I spent months reading through old texts, looking at old pictures, and trying to figure out something I will never have the answer to.

I had to hit my version of rock bottom before I reached a phase of acceptance and peace. I am at peace with the fact that there are things I will never understand or know about the situation, but it took a while to get there. I drove myself crazy, and it became what I did when I wasn’t distracted with something else. Grief will do that, but it’s important to tell yourself that you’re not crazy. Ten months out now, I still find myself saying that on my worst days.

I’ve moved to my heart a little more nowadays, but I still find myself trapped in the “whys.” I have a great support system that puts up with it, and sometimes I don’t know why they do, but I am so thankful for their support. The stress that builds up from not being able to answer why gets displaced—unfairly—to other people.

I’m trying to get better at recognizing when I am that kind of a mood, but it is really easy to get trapped in your own mind. It’s terrifying when your own mind isn’t a safe place, but just know, it’ll pass. It comes and goes, the waves get shorter and farther apart, but it’ll pass.

With time, you move from the thinking to the feeling. And then hopefully you move from the broken heart into the open heart phase where you let people in to help you through some of the most vulnerable parts of your life, because you shouldn’t have to face the unknown alone.

 

“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.