Carrying the Burden


When I was growing up, I believed in happy endings. If you were a good person then good things would happen to you – you are the image of who you want to be. I did not know that this was only an illusion because one day I would be an expert on grief and carrying the burden.

After losing my youngest daughter to suicide, I was forced to face the reality of what was to become of my existence. I won’t lie, it has been a painful journey and one that I would not wish on anyone; subsequently, I have learned how to survive and as a result of this, I believe I am now a stronger person. As I look back from the past five years, I can see how far I have come.

Portland, OR – photograph by JMW

You may notice that I’ve used the word “learned” several times while writing this blog. This is a very important word to focus on because I had to learn how to live with the pain of grief. I have had to teach myself to be okay. It hasn’t come naturally and if I hadn’t put in the effort to seek help and learn how to help myself to grow, when I wanted to succumb to the pain of sadness & depression, I wouldn’t be here today. I am nobody special, just an average person, with a purpose to never give up.

Some of my tools I’ve learned to use have been in creating the foundation for teens struggling with depression, regular exercise, and journaling. We all have our own interests, but these are a few that have helped me to get up each day. It is also important to be surrounded by positive people who support you. Laughter is another big deal to me; encompass your existence with people who make you laugh, especially when you don’t feel like it.

We all have our own journey in this thing called life – embrace it the best you can!

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