In Early 2010, I lost my father to suicide. The grief was nothing I’d ever experienced (nor ever want to experience again). It wasn’t the only tragic loss I’ve endured, but it was one that thrust me into a valley of decision, one that required a long and hard look at my faith and everything I’d built my life on to that point. In the throes of grief, I was thrust headlong into the lion’s den to confront death itself. I wasn’t sure I would survive.
In the early days and weeks following my father‘s death, I embraced distraction and pushed through my final semester of school to graduate. The school work kept the deepest pain temporarily at bay. But I was also determined to finish. Nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goal.
After graduation, in the void of activity that followed, I fell apart. I spiraled into depression and nearly gave up. It was the beginning of a long and difficult journey out of the valley of the shadow of death.
There were a few big turning points in the first six to twelve months, but honestly, it took me years to recover. Little by little, trusting God to help me get one foot in front of the other, I moved forward. I’m not sure that “moving on” is realistic in the sense that you can truly get something like this behind you. It is a part of you forever. But I believe you can, and must, move forward.
Over thirteen years later, I am confident that thriving is possible, even if you’ve experienced a great deal of trauma. It’s work. It’s hard. There are no magic formulas. It’s a journey, and often a very long one, but you can overcome the obstacles that grief, loss, and trauma put in front of you.
I hope you’ll join me on the journey.