I was standing in the kitchen of my first apartment I ever had by myself. My three boys were playing outside in the back. I had a newspaper article open reading about a program in the area that provided camps for children who had experienced a significant loss…I saw a lifeline we desperately needed.
I picked up the phone and called. Tina Barrett, Executive Director of Tamarack Grief Resource Center was the one to answer. I started crying and talking all at the same time.
Just weeks ago my best friend of 10 years, my husband, the father of my boys had completed suicide. We were separated at the time because he was refusing to take medication for his mental health issues we were facing. He had the boys with him because I had worked the night before. When I went to get our children that morning before he had to go to work, I found him outside…completely gone. My brain literally separated itself from the reality of what I was seeing. I called his aunt on one phone and 911 on the other and as soon as possible, got the boys in the car and drove down the hill to wait for the events to continue to unfold.
Our lives were irreversibly changed in that second. Jakob, just turning 5, was very young to attend A Camp to Remember but Tina insisted he come. He went twice that summer and continued every summer thereafter. Paiton and Dylan began going several years later and all three continue to go to this day…nearly 13 years later.
I attended Women’s Rendezvous and was able to connect with other women who had experienced a significant loss. Both would not have been possible without the scholarships provided by TGRC. Because of this organization, their programs, and continued support we would not be in the thriving place we are today.
Grief isn’t always about a death…it is, very simply, the feelings of sorrow over any loss. It reaches deeply into us and doesn’t go away…grief just changes with time. We grow around it, through it, despite it, because of it. Sometimes it fundamentally changes who we are. Forever. Tamarack Grief Resource Center is a beacon of light and hope for those of us who have experienced a significant loss and need somewhere to turn for understanding and to walk with us through our pain. Suicide in the state of Montana is the highest in the country and continuing to climb with suicide rates for people who have experienced a loss by suicide being high as well. It is a trigger for others to make that choice.
Providing a donation today guarantees that someone in need of support, will get it…making an impact in the lives of many because of the ripple of care. Consider donating today so children like mine, and people like me have access to the care they need so they have the opportunity to thrive rather than live in despair.