I threw a message in a bottle into the Pacific Ocea

 

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It was one of the most amazing ways to feel free.
A message of self-reflection and hope. I wrote my pain on a piece of paper, my message for my father and my encouragement for the finder. And as I pulled back my arm to gear up for the pitch I felt all the tension pull with it. And as my arm extended I felt the rush of old crappy feelings go with it.

I hope if someone finds it they share their message of pain or hope and ship it back into the Ocean.

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Feed forward versus Feed back

I recently received a comment telling me that I shouldn’t work in “suicide prevention” instead  “Your focus should be helping those who lost others to suicide. They’re the ones left with unanswered questions and overwhelming grief. Don’t get involved in suicide prevention.”

Raise your hand if feedback has ever made you second guess your choices.

Someone once wrote on a feedback form in a class presentation… ” her outfit was not business professional, seemed casual”
I wore a skirt and a grey sweater that day, thanks, your feedback on my presentation is very useful going forward. I’ll make sure to yank my blazer out of the closet next time I wear that outfit. That should do it.

Feedback. It can be crippling, but useful. I like to always think of it as feed forward when useful. But this comment on my work in suicide prevention as a waste and I should instead  be helping those to who are survivors. hmm, funny since I am one who was left with unanswered questions. Grief support is not the solution, education, and prevention saves lives.

For every person who feels it’s their right to die, and hey, I honour your decision. There is someone desperately reaching out for help, begging for someone to recognize they need help. Listen with an open heart, connecting as a coping tool. ( remember when someone finally got you, that feeling that follows. Nice isn’t it. )

How about this:
I was left with unanswered questions
I live in overwhelming grief.
I know it is a mental illness
I know it is a stigma. Men should be strong, support their family, no crying.
I  KNOW that it was not a choice
I know I cannot control people
I have enough validation to know what I’m doing is for both me and others

Going forward:
I will continue to do what I do
I will help people navigate through the grief as much as I can
I will continue to make sure my College encourages mental health well-being
I will not be ashamed of what I do
I will not let stigma make me hide
I will continue to remind myself what a wonderful person I am

Thank you kind commenter for my feed forward.

 

Dead Parent’s Club

I read a lot of post as they show up in my news feed, subscribe to a few newsletters. And one I recently came across was “Dead Dad Club” 

 

Did you unexpectedly receive your membership to the dead parent’s club?

This membership has the perks no other membership has.
Collect points every time some says “Sorry” in any form.
Redeem them to change phrases like ” He’s in a better place now.” for ” We should have done more”
Bank lost important moments in your life such as your graduation, wedding, multiple birthday’s, the birth of your child and later use them use as energy to fight for the cause.
And don’t think about breaking your membership, you have it for life.

When death happens we really don’t know how to approach the first conversation we are gonna have with the grieving person. Usually we start with “I’m sorry” BUT what are you really sorry for? Are you sorry for the memories I’m going to lose out on. Sorry for the long walk down the aisle I’ll have to take without him on my arm? Because you know the years of suffering that follows loss?

When you’re young, your 20 something year old friends are not equipped for that sorta conversation, and they are less likely to pull the sorry card on you. Instead they look you in the eyes and take on the pain cause in that moment they cherish their own dad more than ever, knowing to be in my spot would suck the air right out of their lungs.

It’s the difference between sympathy and empathy. In those precious moments you get to connect with the grieving person  make it a soulful connection if possible. Because when the years pass and their memory take them back to that pain, your small gesture is a simple reminder that someone else understood. Best to make a positive impact than add to the exhaustion created by ” I’m sorry.”

Survivors Guilt

Some days are better than others.
Today is a great day but somewhere between waking up and heading to work I felt a pang of sadness deep in my stomach. Sometimes high stress does that to me. Turning 26 soon, finals this week. Wondering what the heck I’m doing with my life. Sometimes instead of dealing with the stress I convince myself it would all be better if I could call my dad. Then again, he adds to most of my stress.
Continue reading Survivors Guilt