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The Journey – What I Have Learned Four Years Out

Hello all. I don’t post often but I felt compelled to share tonight, as I find myself in deep thoughts. At almost 4 years out I have seen growth and even healing, and those nuggets of hope should always be shared with others. We learn as we go and I’m so very thankful for the Alliance of Hope (AOH) holding my hand along the way.

My first year was a lot like most, filled with unbearable pain and sadness, barely doing the basics, sleepless nights, isolation, and not seeing a way forward after losing my dear dad.

During my second year, the shock was gone but my pain was not and I was still struggling despite therapy, AOH, self-help, research, faith, and lots of wonderful family and friends encouraging me. I’m thankful for these angels here on earth.

By year three I forced myself to do things again like zoo trips and family meals once a month with our close family members. I went out with friends more. I tried to focus and watch whole movies without my thoughts wandering. I tried to learn to live again beyond my grief. I tried to embrace the love that was still viable in my life with my family and friends.

As I am laying here tonight, I paid close attention to my thoughts – reflecting on this journey I never could have imagined. This is what I have learned …

I choose love – to love myself and others beyond our limitations or our shortcomings in this life. We are all learning. I will not let my grief harden my broken heart. I have to keep moving forward for those still here as well as myself.

I choose healing – this was not about me. This is so much bigger than what we can truly understand. My dad would want this for me.

I choose compassion — for myself and for others. We all deserve this. This life can throw some mean curveballs as we now know.

I choose joy – I’m still a work in progress here, but it’s a start. I wish to be more present in my life and with those that I love that are still here. Never forgetting the love and memories of my sweet dad but learning to release my pain. It is unwarranted and serves no positive purpose in my life.

I choose forgiveness – for myself and for others. My dad does not need my forgiveness, he was silently suffering, and his body failed him. Just as a cancer would. I had to learn to forgive myself for not knowing more.

I choose kindness – we could all use more of this and offer more of this not only to ourselves but to others. We are always stronger in numbers.

I choose hope — this is a big one for me. It is what has gotten me through most days. This is definitely the hardest journey of my life. I hold onto hope for myself and for others. For all those who struggle especially.

Thank you for letting me share my growth and journey here and I am sorry that it is so lengthy. I actually wanted to share more but this was a good start. When I look back at the devastating journey that I had to walk through to get through, sometimes crawl through, I can see that the lessons that have been for me to learn have been to create a better and stronger version of myself. They were not meant to steal my joy or love or hope or compassion, but to help me grow.

My dad is still teaching me and yes, this makes me smile. I miss him every day. I know he is still with me in spirit and still guiding me.

If you read all this … then thank you. Guess I should post more often huh? Wishing you all healing and hope and peace in your journeys.

About the Author

From Our Forum

From Our Forum

The Alliance of Hope online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »