Today’s blog comes from a friend of Born This Way Foundation. It is an extremely personal narrative about losing a child and contains descriptions and information about suicide which may be triggering to survivors or to the family and/or friends of victims. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day assistance.
October 17, 2006 My entire life as I knew it was forever changed the moment I held Megan in my arms as she took her last breath. I was no longer the person I was before. Everything I thought I knew about the world was no more and I was surrounded by a fog that was so thick and heavy that breathing felt impossible.
Flashes of what might have been that played over and over in my head, and the question of “WHY” that never has an answer are the nightmares that don’t go away. Eleven years ago I didn’t think that I would ever be able to wake up and not feel this deep pain and sadness, let alone being able to smile or laugh again. For anyone that is reading this that has suffered the loss of a child to suicide, I can say from my personal experience:
1) It’s not going to be easy.
2) It takes time, and I mean a lot of time which is so hard when each day feels like an eternity.
3) Find supportive people in your life to listen to you or just be with you.
4) Know that many times after a tragedy that some close people in your life may turn away because of numerous reasons. Sometimes they don’t know how to handle your grief, it may scare them, and they want you and life to go back to the way it used to be.
5) Know that if this happens to you that you will be okay because there will be those few people that stay by your side through your ups and downs: those are your true friends
6) Forgive yourself for all of the things that you think you should have or could have done differently to save your child. (This one was personally one of the hardest things for me to work through.)
7) And finally and this is the most important one of all . . . that you will make it through!
December 12, 2007 the day the Megan Meier Foundation, 501(c)(3) nonprofit was founded. Our mission is to “Support and Inspire Actions to End Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Suicide.” We know that thirteen million youth are bullied every year, and the Megan Meier Foundation makes a significant impact on the lives of those who are impacted by raising awareness, education and providing the appropriate tools and strategies educators and young people need to combat these prevalent issues.
Since 2008, the Megan Meier Foundation has provided:
- Over 900 bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide prevention presentations
- Reaching 302,168 students, parents, educators, and professionals
- Hosting EMPOWER Leadership Workshops to 118 middle and high schools since 2011 in the St. Louis region impacting over 9,600 students and educators
- 562 individuals have received support and resources across the nation from our Resource Center
- 34 youth and their families have received counseling services
Starting the Megan Meier Foundation has been life saving for me. Since I can’t change the past (if I could I would) then changing the future and helping youth, parents and educators around the issues of bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide is my life’s mission. I truly feel blessed that Megan’s life has touched so many around the world in such a positive way!