“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you’ll learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler, On Grief and Grieving
I have lived the reality of this quote. It has been eleven years since I experienced the death notification for my son, Mark. I have learned to live with his loss, but I still grieve. I have rebuilt my life around the loss. Some of the rebuilding was a direct response to Mark's death. I volunteer as a chaplain for my local police department to support our officers and the community when the death of a loved one occurs. I became a member of the Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition to join with local mental health agencies to help stop suicide. Today also marks the anniversary of launching Love Never Ends. Over the last twelve months we have helped local parents work through their grief and be encouraged through our peer support groups. This year we look to form new peer support groups regionally and nationally.
I am healed and whole again, but I am very different from the person I was eleven years ago. I didn't let Mark's death define me, but it did influence the path my life has taken. I want to help people through their pain, whether it is the pain of suicidal thoughts or the pain of losing a child. What are you doing to rebuild yourself to become whole again?