Comments by participants in the...

May 8-11, 2017

"I needed the chance to meet other people who are on my level of grief and loss. Each day without my son is hard so any connection that can be made with other people who understand how I feel is very helpful to me. Information was given to me that I can use to help my other son in his grief."
What shifted? What changed? "My way of communicating with my husband. I will encourage him to talk about our feelings instead of holding our feelings in."

"I’m happy I was allowed and asked to be here. When I arrived I was having a very difficult time with my anger and my ability to control my thoughts. I do feel that I am in better control now. I hope that everyone here benefitted as I have."
What shifted? What changed? "My thoughts."

"There is a great need to continue and keep this program going. It is so very helpful in so many ways. The opportunity to receive so much important, necessary information all by the highest in their fields is amazing. The highest of professionalism and confidentiality is expressed! Job well done!"
What shifted? What changed? "There may be hopelessness, fears, anxiety – and this alters the feelings to hopefulness, help for your fears and anxiety."

"I struggled in my personal life with relationships with my family after my loss. That struggle and pain followed me to work. Being in the place I was – a dark lonely place, was dangerous not only for me but for my fellow brothers and sisters I was working with. My lack of involvement could have been the difference between life and death for me or them. I felt different and separated in how to cope, deal, and move on from my loss. This seminar felt like a piece of my life story puzzle that finally fit. After turning this one piece over, around this way and that, and it never fitting, this seminar finally let that piece fit and allowed me to breathe, laugh, learn, reflect, and know that I am OK and will be OK moving forward. I finally feel like I’m in a place that I can be beneficial to others experiencing a traumatic sudden loss."
What shifted? What changed? "The thing that changed the most was being heard and understood by the counselor. Those discussions helped me to understand where I fit into my loss."

"I appreciate all the assistance that I received these four days. It is heartfelt that there are people who care. Be Blessed."
What shifted? What changed? "What shifted was how I can move forward with the new adventure in my life. The change is now I can talk to people with confidence. Really, really appreciate all."

"I enjoyed the opportunity to meet all the other participants. I enjoyed all the presentations that were given and took something away from each. I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend and for all of those who showed a need for a seminar like this. I realize the hard work and effort that was put into it. But it has truly changed my life."
What shifted? What changed? "Realizing that how I am feeling is normal and it is okay to grieve in different ways. Also, the ability to know how to communicate is vital."

"I would encourage anyone I now that went through a sudden loss to participate, because it will let them know there are other people that stood where they are now standing."

"Enlightening a very sorrowful experience."
What shifted? What changed? "It showed me that others have experienced similar experiences and we all react differently to it."

"STLS offered a time and an environment that was conducive to really think, reflect and be engaged. It offered an opportunity to be open and honest with self. Often times you become so focused on the things that need to be done that you truly forget to grieve, or mourn, or maybe the grief and mourning process has consumed you. This program was able to provide coping skills, resources, and a team of skilled individuals that could show you that you are not alone, crazy, or maybe you need additional help to have a healthy connection with your deceased loved one. THANK YOU!"
What shifted? What changed? "The ability and desire to communicate with those that I still have here on earth and the reminder that I am here and I must take care of self before I can take care of others. It is O.K. to grieve or mourn, but attempt to do it in a healthy manner."

"It helped me talk about things that I never thought I would be able to speak about. It brought me closer to my family, closer than we’ve been in a long time. There were times that I didn’t feel broken anymore."
What shifted? What changed? "My negative emotions have shifted to somewhat positive. I can actually look forward to going on with my life now instead of dreading going through the motions every day."

"Very beneficial to me and my entire family. Provided a forum for open, honest discussion of tragic event. Offered advice that was helpful to process grief and pain."
What shifted? What changed? "I felt comfortable in the setting to discuss feelings and traumatic event. "

"Thank you all so very much for helping me find hope in the future for our family. This has really been an eye-opening experience and I will be forever grateful for your help. Praying you will continue and offer other families the peace we have found. Very nice to meet so many wonderful people. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
What shifted? What changed? "Everything for me. Truly feel blessed for this wonderful experience. Finally laughed again!!"

"Wonderful time. Had a better time than expected. You made it fun and very informative. Thank you."
What shifted? What changed? "My feelings. I have more desire to help others. Thank you."

"This environment with these professionals along with grieving participants gives us all an opportunity to reach out for help and offer help to those who have experienced the unimaginable. To have access to all of this has been life changing and encouraging. I wish my other family members would have been here to benefit as I have. Thank you."
What shifted? What changed? "My understanding of different losses has expanded my compassion. I have seen more of how I am not alone in ANY type of trial I experience."

"I was so nervous about coming and sharing my story. But after seeing how strong the other survivors were, it was like a hand on my shoulder giving me the courage to speak! I knew I needed help, but thought I was alone in some of the things that I was feeling. I was wrong. I am not alone. But now have the tools to help."
What shifted? What changed? "Guilt released. The light at the end of the tunnel is a little brighter."

"I felt heard, understood, respected, cared for and helped. By truly engaging in every process, I received more healing progress. Because I trusted the peers and professionals, I was able to share my thoughts and feelings more honestly and openly. I was exposed to therapeutic techniques that were new to me and specifically for sudden and traumatic loss. Every detail was considered FOR ME. I truly felt cradled like I’ve never felt."
What shifted? What changed? "I learned to take a risk with new people and therapy methods. I learned that it’s the right thing to reject inaccurate labels projected to me that I know to be untrue. I am starting to believe that I can hold more than one belief or thought – I can be sad and happy. I discovered topics or areas of my mental health that need additional work. Truly connection to others can be VERY magical. It has proven to me that I can try to trust some other people with my sensitive past. There are people who will accept me with all of my STL."

"It was a pleasure to be able to communicate with other families that had experienced STL. This was a valuable outlet to share my feelings."
What shifted? What changed? "I feel like I can overcome the pain in due time."

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