From the founder:

Jill Batiansila

When I was 16 months old my biological father was killed in a small aircraft.  My mother was 26 years old.  The loss of someone who is there at breakfast and gone by dinnertime is devastating. I was too young to even speak what I was feeling. Slowly, through the years, those emotions have come to the surface.  It’s something that has been a part of my identity.  Some days it breaks me, and other times it’s an example of how strong of a person I have become.  Throughout my entire life, I have struggled with that loss and the loss of other loved ones.  Every single one of us will experience this kind of pain.  None of us will be able to escape it.  It’s a subject we tend to avoid, I know. It’s raw and painful, but very real.

 I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve spent my life in therapy. In fact, I can say I’ve been blessed to have that opportunity.  It continues to be a powerful and positive experience. Connecting with those that have or is currently experiencing loss is a way I know now I can give back. Talking to a counselor and finding others that are experiencing the same emotions is essential to growth and healing. I believe that God had a personal hand in this project with me. My team and I have worked tirelessly to provide helpful and comprehensive information, all in one place. My prayer is that others can find it helpful in their own journey through grief.

 


Meet The team that Made this resource possible

Elisa (2).png

Elisa

My name is Elisa.  I am an Elk Grove mom of three.  I work part- time as a social worker and counselor, focusing mostly on young children who have experienced loss and/or trauma.  For many years I worked with children in the foster care system who had been removed from their birth parents, and Iearned firsthand about loss.  Now in private practice I also work with children of divorce, those grieving a death, and those struggling with mental health issues that result in loss of jobs and relationships.  Loss seems to come to us from so many sources. We experience this loss uniquely and individually, yet there is also something universal about it that binds us all together.

Almost three years ago, I experienced a devastating loss. On June 6 2015 my younger brother Steve died by suicide.  Although not a surprise due to a lifetime of struggles, it took the wind out of me. He was my only sibling; funny, intelligent, loving, and full of life and dreams and potential. I have felt the ache, sometimes panic, other times disbelief every day since.  Sometimes it is acute and washes over me, other times it is more quiet. But it is always there.

I think that suicide is not necessarily harder than other losses, it is simply a unique form of loss.  There are a unique set of challenges that have come with this loss for me; questions of my responsibility and missed opportunities, stigma and misunderstandings from loved ones and society as a whole, decisions about who and when to tell (for me particularly my children);  feelings of anger or disappointment in him, guilt about experiencing my own joy….

I hope that this page of resources will give you a place to start your journey of healing.  It is a long and never ending road but one you do not have to walk alone. My email is nickandelisa@comcast.net and I am here for anyone that needs an understanding ear.


Kristin (2).png

Kristin

My name is Kristin Rose. I live in Elk Grove with my husband and two children. I have been a real estate agent since 2002 with Lyon Real Estate. When I was approached about contributing to this website, I was hesitant at first, but I realized we all have faced grief in various forms and if any research I can contribute can help others in need, I’m all in. Grief is something none of us can avoid, but if we can feel that we are not alone, that is the first step in being able to heal.

crystal.png

Crystal

I live in Elk Grove, California with my husband and our two boys. I am a school psychologist who also has a passion for learning, people, and travel. My first experience with loss came to me at age 30. I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer shortly after I was married and just before finding out I was pregnant with my first child. Although I am very thankful for the years that I had with my mother, her death came at a time when a daughter really needs her own mother. It was a shock to my system that I still relive at moments in my life years later. However, I am so grateful that I was able to use resources that were available to me to navigate my journey of grief and loss. My faith, family, friends, and some wonderful therapists gave me hope, peace, and comfort to see the joy in life. My hope is to give others the gift of resources on their own journey through loss.