As we enter into the holiday season, it is the perfect time for reflection. Time to sit back and think about how this year and the ones before have shaped us and our community. 2020 has undoubtedly been a roller-coaster year, filled with highs and lows beyond imagination. In our community, we experienced a different type of upheaval in 2018. The losses were innumerable. Like 2020, school and safety felt drastically different. During those terrible times, we saw that many families, friends and communities grew closer through sharing stories, inspiration and experiences.
November reminds us of the importance of growing closer through sharing. In fact, November is National Family Stories Month. A time to share stories, preserving our personal history for later generations. Some of those stories are fraught with peril – marching for civil rights or gun control, fleeing war or persecution, pushing back against stereotypes or discrimination in the workplace. Other stories bring smiles to our faces – hearing about meeting the love of their life, the day baby came home, a loyal or unique pet.
“We all die three times. Once is a physical death. Second is when the last person who remembers us forgets or dies. Third is when anything we create is lost or forgotten.” ~ Author Unknown
Through sharing stories over and over again, they get more permanently imprinted in our memories and family traditions. This is all the more important as our families grow older or die. In 2018, our community was stricken with 19 deaths. A year later, more died by suicide. We had to directly face that children and teens in our community were grieving. The third Thursday in November is Children’s Grief Awareness Day. By opening up discussion of family history, people in our lives who have taught us lessons and those that we mourn, we provide a safe space for our youth to grieve.
Throughout this month, we hope that you take the time to share all types of memories – silly, serious, heartfelt, sad, joyful, disheartening, scary and more. As we share our stories, we grow closer together. During these difficult days, the best remedy is loving support. Show those in your circle that you care by following our challenge this month to share memories with friends and family.
You don’t have to do it alone. Professionals United for Parkland has a dedicated cadre of clinicians ready to support your family and the community at large.
Honoring the 17