by Annie Vorys, Heartstrings Director of Advancement
One of the most laughable things in my life is always the ubiquitous resolution of January 1. Everyone's promising themselves such wonderful things on that first day of the year, and two weeks later will be hard-pressed to remember what those were. But so many of us go through the motions.
However, after the loss of a child, the only resolution you can make for a while is "get up," "breathe," "survive." And I'm here with almost zero authority to tell you--those are plenty! While the rest of the world is signing up for gym memberships they'll use twice, we've got a success rate of 100% on our survival resolution. That's nothing to sneeze at.
Of course, the best way to stick to those annual promises is to buddy up. Find other people in your boat, and agree to survive together. That's what Heartstrings is. A community of support for those days when the last thing you want to do is get out of bed. And whether you're ready to leave the pillow or not, we're here for you, to help make those small, realistic resolutions that will bring you one step closer to your new normal.
1.) Call us. Have you been holding back from calling Heartstrings? It might seem intimidating. But when you call Heartstrings, one of two things will happen. First, you'll get to talk to Cheri. Cheri, our Director of Support Services, is one of the kindest people alive. A licensed clinical social worker, Cheri will talk to you, learn about your story, and help you decide on the next step for you personally. The other thing that might happen? You'll get Cheri's voicemail. She'll call you back as soon as she can and still give you that gentle, personal attention. You're not calling a big, faceless organization. You're calling Cheri. And that's a realistic resolution. 336-335-9931.
2.) Sign up for a program. After that phone call with Cheri, you might have decided it's time for another step. Maybe you've had that phone call and just keep saying "I'm not ready." Promise yourself that this year, you're going to take that step. You're going to try. Maybe you want peer support through the Connections program. Maybe a support group is right for you. Or maybe you need some one-to-one support before you start a Heartstrings program. Whatever support you need, your buddy system is here. Take that step.
3.) Keep coming back. No matter if you're days out or decades from your loss, the grief is still there. There will still be stay-in-bed days. But there are still opportunities for you to step back into our community. Maybe you haven't been to one of our events in years. Put Circle of Hope or the Walk on your calendar now. Giving back can also be extremely healing. Become a Support parent, sign up to volunteer, perhaps even write out your feelings in a newsletter article. However it works for you, come on back. We need each other, always.
New Years Resolutions can feel like silly things. But they can also be the perfect excuse to take a step you've been wanting. And with an entire community of parents here to support you, maybe 2016 is the perfect time for you to resolve to find healing and hope. Resolve to be part of the Heartstrings family this year.
Happy --and hopeful-- New Year!