This weekend marks the fifth year since we lost our daughter & sibling, Jewels, by suicide.

I haven’t written in a while, sitting here thinking about what to write, made me realize how much healing has taken place.

I realized that I have learned so many things about myself over the years.  At first, I didn’t think of myself as strong, but simply trying to survive. However indifferent I may have felt, we all have differing levels of strength.

Photograph by: JCW

Strength isn’t only about survival. Most of us can at least force the effort of surviving. What I am referring to in accordance to strength, is a robust power that comes from deep inside our soul, guiding us to turn a travesty into something positive – possibly a purpose.

I also learned that living isn’t merely the existence of breathing. The power of learning to live again is by moving forward and refusing to get “stuck”.  We all can get trapped in the past; however, the past only brings us depression. The future has a tendency of bringing us more anxiety. Subsequently, the present is where we can discover a common ground, where we can strive to find a little bit of happiness in a dark world, filled with so much misery and sadness –

In other words, what my experience with grief has taught me, is that I have learned how to take the most tragic event imaginable by incorporating it into my everyday existence. I do this by remembering the good times, including my love for my daughter, through my memories, photos, and songs. Remembering her as she was and not allowing her suicide to define her. She was a beautiful person, she existed, and her existence made a difference, not only in our lives, but in all those whom she had and continues to touch. I am a better person because I had known and loved her. And for this, I am proud of the progress I have made on my journey called grief. It hasn’t been easy, nor is it even close to being done, but with each day brings progress and that is enough.

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