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After nearly seven years of personal experience surrounding loss, I can tell who is going to read, share and comment on this article and it’s not necessarily the audience I’ve intended. Those who have walked the horrific road of loss will shake their collective heads “Yes” at many of my points below and share with pleads for the rest of the Western World to read, learn, evolve and embrace these concepts. Unfortunately, my words will fall short for my intended audience because the premise does not yet apply to their lives...yet.

Four and half years after the death of my oldest son, I finally went to a grief support group for parents who have lost children. I went to support a friend who recently lost her son. I'm not sure I would've gone except that when I was in her shoes, four years ago, I wish I would've had a friend to go with me. Losing a child is the loneliest, most desolate journey a person can take and the only people who can come close to appreciating it are those who share the experience.

 

The relationships children have with their parents are unlike any other. They take care of us when we can’t fend for ourselves and provide encouragement when nothing seems to be going right. Unconditional love knows no bounds.

Relationship and life strategy coach Lisa Schmidt lost her parents and wrote a powerful tribute to what that truly feels like. She tells of how it’s affected her in the long run and in every day life. She also tells us positive thoughts she still takes away from losing her parents. Her vulnerable story and the wisdom within it are truly inspiring.

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Contributor 
I write about Suicide

05/05/16

This is what it’s like to lose a friend to suicide.

There’s shock. It’s obvious to say it, but you’re shocked. Even if they were in a hospital on a mental health ward at the time, even if they were suffering from a multitude of problems including depression. Even if they’ve self-harmed in the past. Even if they’ve tried in the past — it’s still a surprise to find they actually succeeded this time.

Not everyone succeeds.

You didn’t succeed.

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