I’ve come a long one since November 26, 2016 – the day my daughter died by suicide. Looking back to the early days, I can honestly admit that I do not know how I survived. There was so much unbearable pain and suffering. I guess it would be a fair analysis to say I was functioning on instinct because I wasn’t living anymore – I was only alive. I too died the day my daughter took her last breath on this earth.

I now see my life as a metaphor – dust to dust. I had to learn how to live again. Everything I had known as MY life was dead. I wasn’t the mother I had once been, not even to my living daughter. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I needed to learn to pull myself up and out of the dust, finding the will to grow into the light of the living. I was like a plant, starting out as nothing but a small seed, an existence, dormant, waiting for the nutrients to give me the strength to find my way out of the darkness and into the light.

Just like a plant, this doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time. It requires patience. Patience from those who love me and most of all patience from myself. I needed to find this love with in, with the desire to fight for my daughters, just as I would, and did. After a couple years of isolation, I sought out to surround myself with those who loved me, gave me positive energy, and protected me from my thoughts, preventing any further destruction.

Looking back now on my journey, I see that a large part of my healing process was contributed to the people I chose to surround myself with. Not everyone is going to understand what we are going through, we all have our own passage to what is healthy for us, but everyone has their struggles. Nonetheless, what we all have is empathy and compassion to want to try to understand, by being there with words of affirmation, caring, and the ability to be still and listen. This is enough because helping teens see that they are not alone with depression and educating on the awareness & prevention of suicide is what matters. This is my purpose and what has helped me to grow through the pain of grief – we all have a purpose.

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