To decrease the high rate of adolescent suicide, and bullying through creating safe and healthy school environments for all youth, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual and all allies. Donations are used for continued advocacy, sharing resources and promoting kindness.
The purpose of Lily’s Hope, LLC - a social impact company - is threefold.
First purpose is to educate and raise awareness of, the increasing rate of adolescent suicide, the critical connection with “bullying” (violence), and the significantly higher rate of risks faced by LGBTQIA youth. AND to share CRITICAL solutions to this.
The second purpose is to help others who care, to engage in creating positive, lasting change, through advocacy. This site offers resources for how everyone can help in small personal ways - in their daily lives, to larger advocacy in the schools, community, state and nation.
Finally, the third area of focus is to address the visible and documented reduction in empathy seen in our youth and our culture as a whole, which our youth emulate. We advocate that when schools are promoting kindness, mindfulness and emotional intelligence, through policy and curriculum, the result is an increase in empathy and well being and a reduction in bullying and adolescent suicide.
Lily's Hope for Kindness was created in 2017 after my daughter Lily's suicide when she was 13 years old and in the seventh grade. To read more about the incredibly kind and compassionate person Lily was and her story, go to the Lily's Story at the bottom of this page. This site was created to help other parents, teachers, and others who care, to ensure that ALL students are safe in their schools; for those who understand that LGBTQIA youth are at extraordinary risk of bullying in schools and the truly life threatening risk this poses.
The essence of the solution lies in seeing clearly that the social environment in our schools is CRITICAL! Environment is everything. If students do not feel valued, protected, safe, supported, accepted, or appreciated for and allowed to be who they are... the result is a toxic school environment. If the schools aren't asking the students anonymously how they feel about the school culture, it is a guarantee that their voices are not being heard. NO person thrives, learns, grows or succeeds in a toxic environment. MANY of our schools are toxic and truly unsafe. This situation can quite literally swallow them. The negative impacts of social media severely amplify the impact of a toxic situation. Without any hyperbole, this is truly a crisis. However, there are SOLUTIONS! When implemented effectively the NECESSARY COMPONENTS (below) result in schools with lower bullying incidents, higher engagement with students, greater overall academic success, significant reductions in suicide (both attempted and completed) as well as many other mental health issues - increased states of mental health for all students, higher attendance rates, and higher post graduate success rates.
NECESSARY COMPONENTS for SAFE SCHOOLS
*Click here for more specific details of each component*
If your schools don't have these parts in place, the students who are marginalized are not safe. Go to the advocacy page for more info on how to change this.
Surveys: Must be anonymous. Data should be used to guide schools in where change is needed.
Mental Health and Therapists: Licensed therapists must be in schools in addition to guidance counselors. Mental health of students and the impact on that from school environment must be a priority. Effective Restorative Justice Programs include therapists in their process. If your state (like UTAH) won't include therapy as a required part of resorative justice, the programs don't work. Mindfulness programs included in schools have a profoundly positive impact on bullying and mental health issues. TEACHERS can incorporate emotional intelligence into their curriculum to improve mental health and reduce bullying overall.
Policies/Accountability/Transparency: To demonstrate transparency and accountability, surveys, as well as actions taken to address them, should be posted publicly on the school websites. Policies around non discrimination MUST be in place and enforced for students and all staff. *** This is an area most schools are failing.*** Effective tracking systems for incidents of bullying can help schools to appropriately intervene and to protect targets of bullying.
Visibility: When LGBTQIA and all other marginalized students feel they can be visible, be seen, appreciated and accepted for who they are... ALL of them, they feel safe, valued and hopeful. Teachers and staff can post safe zone stickers to visibly demonstrate to all student that they are a safe and accepting person that can be turned to for support or help. Visible diversity in staff also further creates an environment of safety and acceptance.
*** Students in states like Florida with their 'Don't Say Gay' policies are NOT safe. If your state has a similar law (as Utah did when my daughter took her life) this creates a toxic environment which sucks out all hope and will swallow students. Get connected with organizations fighting for safety in your state. See the Resources page for more info.
The Rainbow Horse ~ Lily created this for an art assignment in school. She explained it to me as 'How you see yourself in the world'. This is a powerful image expressing the hopelessness that she felt in her school and in the world. When laws are passed that are discriminatory against the rights of LGBTQIA youth, this fills their view of the future with grey and barren hues. When laws support and protect these youth, they feel their color shine and can allow it to shine out into the world. What kind of environment is your child experiencing at school?
What it reveals about the crisis of toxic school environments.
Swallowed by a toxic school environment
"Lily’s death could have been prevented,”
Lily’s friends shared this with me months after her death.
How do I encapsulate in words, the absolute joy of being Lily's mother and the devastation of losing her? It feels impossible to accomplish through these mere characters on a white page. Nothing can show you or give you an understanding of the complete and utter shattering of all levels of my being, nor the destruction of my life, the lives of my family, friends, and community. Nothing can allow you to feel the depth of pain in my heart, nor the shattering of my being, nor the incredible loudness of her absence. Nothing can truly allow you to feel or understand the unbearable, near impossible work of surviving. Nothing will bring her back...ever...but through trying to speak for her, and for many who suffer as she did, I hope to transform this pain into positive change. Lily’s life mattered, she had incredible value as a human being based on her own amazingly bright and joyful personality, her tolerance, kindness, empathy, and love. Obviously like any parent who has lost a child, I would give anything to bring her back. My greatest wish is that I could go back in time and pull her out of school and protect her… but I cannot. I can only do my best to honor her and her story, and hope that it helps others who continue to struggle and suffer daily because of the hate and cruelty so prevalent in our world and the prevalence of toxic environments in our schools.
From birth, Lily was a joyful, bright, happy, empathic, loving and kind person. Growing up on a small farm, she was always at my side - being my helper - and she adored the many animals outside and inside our home. Lily could always be found with the animals or drawing. Art was her other love which began as soon as she could hold a crayon. This never diminished as she grew. In addition to her innate love of art, her passion for animals was embedded in her blood. She began horse lessons when she was five thanks to the generosity of loving neighbors Dick and Deb Walter. Over the years she developed into a solid enough rider that she had a summer job riding horses for our neighbors. It was her dream job! It was with one of these neighbors - Mel Hare - that she enjoyed riding with the most. He liked to go her speed - fast! Before her death she spoke often about her desire to race with Mel in backcountry trips and her dreams of helping others through equine therapy.
Her general outlook on life was incredibly optimistic and happy. She brought that shining, bright energy with her everywhere - and it impacted people. It was contagious! This was the person she was in her nature. When she realized she was a lesbian, this began to change. She came out to me and a few family members just before her 6th-grade year. She was honored and surrounded by love and support. Although she found a loving response at home, she began to notice more acutely how the world commonly treats those who are queer (I use this as a general term for anyone identifying LGBTQIA or non-binary). This was apparent in her observations of her peers, at school, in our community, our state and on the national level. She fell in love with Trevor Noah of The Daily Show after his episode on the issue of transgender bathroom use. His common sense and perspective on the issue (representing an understanding that the issue was and is about basic human rights) gave her hope. However, she saw daily examples of the opposite of his humanity, through the hate filled vitriol and discrimination, everywhere. This was especially true because we lived in Utah where discrimination is deeply institutionalized, and progress in this area is PAINFULLY slow! While she was alive there was a law in Utah called "No Promo Homo," which promoted discrimination of LGBTQIA youth in schools. This impacted her deeply. For her, it was so clear and simple that this was wrong and that this struggle was about basic human and civil rights. After seeing daily examples of just how hateful many people are toward the group she had realized she was a part of, she began to struggle. She began to see a world without hope - a world that was grey. She suffered and was reminded every day at school when observing her peers and the staff, when observing people in general, or when watching the news, that this suffering was something she would continue to experience because of her identity as a lesbian. The way people acted, spoke and believed, hurt her deeply. Her hopelessness grew as she witnessed continued evidence of people’s judgment, hatred, and discrimination. She was so angry at the world for this cruelty, often justified through their own belief systems. It seemed simple to her - everyone deserves human rights and respect; people should be judged solely by the kind of person they are - by how kind they are - nothing else.
The change in Lily happened fairly quickly...moving her from a bright, joyful and happy young girl to a depressed and self-harming one in just over a year. The shift was more subtle at first and then intensified radically upon entering middle school. When she revealed her cuts to me after the first week or two of school, our household was sent into a whirlwind of panic. I was terrified! I knew from my experience as a teacher with self-harming students, that there was a strong connection between self-harm and suicide. I wanted to protect her, to help her… she was my baby and like most parents, my biggest concern was for her safety and survival. We quickly found a therapist who had experience with these issues. She loved her and seemed to make improvements quickly. This gave me great hope that she would be okay, she would make it, that WE WOULD GET HER THROUGH THIS! Outside of school Lily was surrounded by adults who loved and supported her, and I believed that with that and therapy, we could hold her up and help her find the path of surviving and using her voice to change the world. My own therapist later made the analogy that these supports are like buoys. I like this analogy because you can rebuild a foundation, but if a critical buoy fails, someone drowns. It was not until it was too late, that I realized how truly critical the buoy of social life, peers and school is for adolescents; that it has more power over them and importance than the love flowing from home.
Lily complained often about what she witnessed at school. Her friend who is transgender was often told they were “a girl” and that their name was not their chosen name. Often heckling like this occurred in front of teachers who did nothing to stop it. Thus reinforcing her belief that they agreed with what was being said.
Other teachers were clearly filled with judgement and hate for anyone like her or non-binary. Although I encouraged her to report what she was observing, she adamantly refused. She said “snitches get stitches,” and “I will not get on their bad list.” While these statements created concern about the climate of reporting in the school, I agreed not to report it myself because she stated she would kill herself if I did. I agreed to wait as long as she was communicating and was going to anonymously report the teachers and students she observed discriminating and bullying the most. Like all parents of self- harming youth, I felt powerless and held hostage by the fear of the worst possibility. Even after being chosen as student of the month for her tolerance, she didn’t feel she could safely speak up. Only after her death, did I realize that her experiences of bullying at school, as well as witnessing bullying of others queer and straight, directly created this feeling of a lack of safety and hopelessness she felt would never end. I did not realize how truly toxic the environment was in her school and how it was literally sucking all hope, all faith in people loving her and accepting her as she was out of her. Again, this was heightened by living in Utah, where there are very few examples of open support, love and TRUE acceptance of the queer community. Utah is a state along with many others which are truly in the dark ages when it comes to their humanity.
Prior to her death, although I was terrified, I had a deep and abiding faith we would get her through it. This belief was reinforced by the fact that for the month before her death, Lily was doing a lot of ‘future talk’. She spoke of the upcoming Valentine’s dance she was excited about, and discussed certainty she wanted to help others through art therapy and equine therapy. She had also been teaching herself Farsi, after reading the story of a young Persian girl who realizes she is a lesbian. Dreams of visiting Iran filled her with a light I hadn't seen in awhile. All of these things along with the reduction in cutting filled me with hope and certainty she would make it through this difficult time.
Only a week and a half before her death, I had taken her on a ‘mother-daughter trip’ and although she was still clearly frustrated with things at school, we had fun and she expressed excitement about some upcoming events, such as the dance and that she was going to spend some time with her Auntie and with other friends the next weekend. She hadn’t cut herself for a while and had replaced it with expressing her feelings through her art. While this art was often quite disturbing, through family sessions with her therapist she informed me that it was helping her avoid self-harming. She had found a new outlet for her pain and suffering. Her art was often of wolves or dogs who were lacerated, stabbed and wounded and most notably with their mouths bound and tied. Once she told me angrily, “you don’t like my art anymore!” Yes it scared the hell out of me. I told her it upset me because it looked as though she was glorifying hurting animals. Her response was, “no, they are surviving!!” It was only after her death that I fully understood how much these drawings revealed how she felt...cut up, wounded and suffering while being unable to speak of it. Like many others, she did not feel safe or able to speak of what she was seeing and experiencing at school and wouldn't report it because she feared the repercussions of doing so. This fear was firmly instilled by others who had reported and experienced extremely negative fallout from it. The culture of the school for anyone like her was toxic.
We had established a gauging system for where she was at emotionally. In regular daily check-ins, she gave no indication that she was down at the level of concern. Most days were a four or five (with ten meaning she was doing great - very happy, and 1 meaning she was actively going to attempt suicide). She genuinely seemed like she was improving because she had gone from many days at a 3 to more often a 5, with sometimes even a 7. All the caring adults around her, including her therapist, felt she was doing better. In addition to future talk, she was using new tools to cope with her feelings… instead of cutting, she was releasing them through art. While these images were often disturbing - I was glad that she was using a healthier outlet for her feelings. All of these things gave us hope. In discussing reporting, we were trying to help her find a way to do so without feeling she was risking too much or putting herself in the spotlight.
And then the very fabric of our reality was ripped away at 6:30 the morning of Jan. 26, 2017 when I found her dead. If you have never experienced this horror, you are likely to feel as I did before that moment, concerned but because the thought is too overwhelming to even think about, you push it away. Only those who have experienced this truly unbearable pain understand that it is so much worse than your best possible attempts to perceive what it might be like. The destruction is indescribable. Every aspect of my being was shattered, destroyed… decimated. I was broken in every way. The mental, emotional and physical anguish and obliteration that comes with losing a child to suicide is the experience of annihilation!! We wracked our brains, poured through journals and notes, talked with friends and family trying to understand WHY??? What triggered this? Why didn't she say anything? Why didn't she ask for help? Why that day? Because suicide is such a torment and so complex, we ran through the layers of what we did wrong, how we failed her, how we lost her. Every moment was filled with overwhelming pain and confusion. It is quite literally a hell that consumes every cell of your being. She was my baby… my life, my love, my heart and like her brother - my greatest treasure. Why wasn’t our love enough to save her? What didn’t we see? What did we do wrong? The questions and pain were so great... bigger than it felt possible to endure. Each moment was completely filled with suffering and sorrow. Every basic function, a struggle. Breathing, eating... just staying alive, a struggle. My heart was a shattered landscape of desolation, and so...so heavy. It felt impossible to move through each moment, to do anything, to live.
Although I knew that what Lily witnessed caused her to feel depressed and to feel hopeless, I had no idea until later what she had personally experienced. On the day Lily's death was announced, many students reported to the office what happened to her the day before. For reasons that will never make sense, the Principal chose not to communicate this with me or my family. The mind-shattering agony of trying to understand ‘why’ or what the tipping point was, lifted when I found out. Not the agony of losing her of course, but the mental and emotional torment of struggling to make the pieces we knew fit with her being swallowed by suicide. It was cruel that this information was not shared with us by the school; common decency and basic ethics should have made them ensure that we knew. And it was ethically, and professionally wrong that she did not report it to the investigators, considering they asked for this information and that there was the possibility that there was cyberbullying as well.
Following this, I was bombarded day after day with students, former students, parents, coworkers in the district, community members, all sharing their story of bullying in the middle school. It became extremely clear that there was a problem with how bullying was handled and addressed in that school. I reached out to the principal to discuss what happened and received no response. Then I began reaching out to the school board to discuss the problems and seek solutions. Because they were in the process of hiring a new superintendent, I waited until they had made that decision to proceed. The new superintendent was very concerned and ready to examine this issue in our district. In a presentation for the school board members, I gave information about what was not working and solutions to try to address the problems. The material was based on the experiences shared with me by others, on Lily’s experience and my own personal experience. Because I had taught in the high school for the past three years, I had insight into some underlying policy, reporting, training and accountability issues. Since that meeting, the superintendent and the board have all worked hard to address the problems and adopt policies and practices which will do more to keep ALL students safe at school. Although there is more to be done, they have made a good start!
The community has responded with genuine care and concern, with a deep and heartfelt desire to improve the situation facing the youth in our community. Many groups and individuals are working to address the issues of discrimination, bullying and adolescent suicide. Coalitions have been formed and people are trying to work together to ensure the safety net is strengthened. There are many people who continue to strive to continue to change the culture of the school from one that was toxic and corrosive, to one which is rooted in and conveys love and acceptance for ALL children, especially those most at risk. Although the community has responded with action, the underlying issues in Utah and many other states must be addressed at the legislative level if there is going to be any real, lasting and effective change. Words and action must come into alignment. If the words say we love, value and protect ALL children, this cannot be just nice words, it must include accountability and REAL, visible action!
As you can see from the infographic on the main page, Utah’s adolescent suicide rate (ages 10-17) is more than twice the national average (2014). This is unacceptable. In response to Lily's death and all I've learned from it, I started Lily’s Hope, llc, as a social impact company to help others address these issues locally, statewide and nationally. Originally I intended to visit with school boards throughout the state to encourage them to adopt similar changes. Then after speaking with people working in other districts, it became clear that many were simply sweeping these problems under the rug, blaming them on "high altitude," or were resistant to do anything. Utah suffers (alonh with many other states) with the serious problem of deeply institutionalized discrimination! Change, I realized, would in many areas of the state, have to be mandated. Part of the work of Lily’s Hope, is to advocate that the Necessary Components be mandated and required for all school districts. These components, which are critical elements for shifting the culture of schools from toxic to one where all students can thrive, will indeed save lives. These elements were not present in our district and which if adopted and implemented. They are critical to addressing any bullying, cyberbullying, hazing, school safety, and suicide reduction policies or plans. However, none of us can do this alone. It will take a collective voice to get this into legislation. See the state advocacy page for more info.
We are all exposed daily to bullying and meanness so prevalent in our culture. While this shouldn't be ignored, examples of kindness and empathy need to be celebrated and shared. Kindness, like hate, discrimination and violence, can spread in a contagious way. I hope to honor people like Lily, who could not bear to see the suffering of others and choose instead to spread empathy and kindness in this world. Every person is important and we need to continue to spread love, kindness, value and acceptance to help our society heal from the great suffering that is all too prevalent for so many people. YOU are the ones planting seeds of kindness and change! Please do this every day, in small and large ways.
Overall, I seek to increase reflection, kindness, acceptance, and humanity in our culture to transform the toxic situation Lily faced at school, which is all to common. Our society clearly and horrifically values profit and gain for a small fraction of people over basic human well-being Through this site and through every day of the rest of my life, I will work to change this. It’s all about kindness which is rooted in a fundamental condition of caring about people over profit. And it begins with YOU...please help me create change! None of this work will ever bring my incredible daughter back, but it will hopefully help save yours, or others who struggle and suffer as she did. Lily and her life had the greatest value to me and that value should not be diminished by the fact that she was a lesbian. I loved and will always love her, just as any mother loves their children. Being a lesbian was a part of her, and a part that caused her great suffering...but that is only because of the hate, fear, lack of understanding, and discrimination she witnessed and experienced - not because she was any less valuable as a result of her sexual identity. ALL of our children deserve to feel valued and loved for the kind of person they are, not devalued, or unprotected because of any letter they identify with. Please help the many people, the many mothers crying out, the suffering youth screaming out for us to WAKE UP, and help make the world a safe, healthy and loving place for all - where we can all feel valued!
Why listen to me? My background and how I gathered, processed and created this information.
Tools and information that helped me survive and transform my trauma so that I could continue to live and engage with life.
Prior to Lily's death, I had always been an involved parent in the schools. I volunteered in classrooms, went on field trips and brought our farm animals in for students to experience them first hand. I was also a teacher in the schools and in the middle of my third year teaching when Lily took her life. I knew first hand many of the problems in our schools in many areas. However, I did not know or fully realize how toxic the school environment was for her. As I detailed in Lily's story, we (myself and many others who loved her) were doing all of the things that we thought we should do; getting her the support she needed, connecting her with a therapist experienced with adolescent self harming youth, trying to surround her with people who lifted her up and who were there for her. Yet, we couldn't be there with her at school. At the time, Lily and I were discussing different ways to address bullying she experienced and a great deal she was witnessing. The growing sense of hopelessness was also heightened by the issues in the state and nation regarding LGBTQ+ rights and protections. It all painted a picture for her of a future that was full of hate and struggle.
She was Student of the Month for her Tolerance in January 2017. She resisted sharing what she was seeing and experiencing with the administration when I would encourage this. Her response was always the same; it was either "snitches get stitches Mom" or "NO - if I do then it will only get worse. They don't do anything to help." While the fact that she felt this way was very concerning, I chose not to go speak with them myself because she threatened to take her life if I did. We continued to discuss it and come up with various ways to approach the situation that might help her feel safe to report it. Tragically that opportunity ended when, as a result of many thing but most definitely bullying she experienced that day, she was swallowed by total hopelessness for the future.
There can only be attempts through words to describe the annihilation and total destruction that followed. I spent many months afterwards focused on the schools and addressing the areas where it was failing, because I knew too many students who were walking that razors edge and desperately wanted to protect them. I spent countless hours talking with students, parents, school staff, therapists, specialists, state school board members, lawyers and many others, about the situation LGBTQ+, and other marginalized youth, face in schools. Through those hundreds of hours, I assembled the Necessary Components and compiled the needed resources to demonstrate their need and their effective implementation. They are not just my thoughts, but rather reflect the insights of many people and organizations, from different backgrounds, experience and expertise.
In addition to working with the local school board and the State Office of Education (state level school board) to make critical changes, I tried to help connect various organizations who serve youth in the community, engaged in larger community advocacy and education, and with the incredible help of Isabella Walter created this website as a resource to help others. However, just before a year had passed, I hit a wall of my ability to continue to focus on that work and realized that for my own survival, I had to focus on myself and employ any remaining energy I could muster to tending myself through this inexplicable pain I was in and hell I was living. Throughout, I continued to engage in advocacy in different ways, but I knew with certainty that my focus and first priority had to be my mind and my heart if I was going to survive.
My journey to this place where I have synthesized my Trauma and am engaging with life and the world at large again, took over 5 years. All of it was intensive work. With every cell of my being, I wanted to escape the unbearable pain I had to bear. Yet I was committed to keep the promise I made to my son, and my loved ones, to stay alive. Doing so was the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. I know with absolute certainty that I would not have survived it without my son, my family, my boyfriend at the time - Christopher Beitner, the love and support of many friends, good therapists (CBT, EMDR and Neurofeedback), immersion in Nature and Meditation.
Because I had practiced various styles of meditation since I was 17, I had a good level of ability to listen to myself and feel into which style was best for me at any given moment. Meditation became the only space where I could find a small sense of peace, any small reprieve. It was also the space where I did all of the hardest work of allowing, acceptance and surrender. I spent hours each day immersed in meditation, usually in Nature - my favorite and most impactful place to meditate! Nature was my ICU ward and most powerful medicine as I went through layer after layer of pain and deconstruction, through shattering of identity, purpose and self, through the sense of burning alive and being unable to put myself out, through burning - over and over and over again. Excellent evidence supporting why and how Nature impacts us in such a profound way. Although it has always been my church, my sanctuary, my peace, it became a lifeline, a plasma so that I could live - My Best Hospital. I firmly believe that if I had not spent so much time meditating and in Nature, I would not have come to this place of synthesis and emergence.
In 2020 I read "The Body Keeps the Score," by Bessel Van der Kolk. The book affirmed and validated so much of what I was experiencing. I had already done some EMDR with my therapist which had radically changed the feeling of being tormented by images and the part of me stuck in the moment of finding Lily - what I call the Screaming Woman. That radically changed my experience. The images were still there, the Screaming Woman still part of me, but it was different. The images weren't bombarding me all the time or randomly, and it opened the door so that the Screaming Woman wouldn't be holding me there in that moment so often. However I still struggled with my PTSD, depression and suicidal thoughts and feelings. A friend connected me with the NeuroMeditation Institute and Dr. Jeff Tarrant and Kendra Vita where received neurofeedback treatment. Through this treatment I read Jeff's book "Meditation Interventions to Rewire the Brain." Working with Kendra on neuromeditation while receiving neurofeedback marked a monumental moment in my recovery. Although I could feel into which kind of meditation worked in any moment, sometimes it still felt off or didn't have the effect I wanted. The insights I gained through learning about and practicing neuromeditation (especially with the immediate feedback of NF to validate the effect of certain states of meditation) allowed me to fully take the reins of my mind and take control of my response to my trauma and reduced the activation of the trauma response. THIS WAS LIFE CHANGING!! I was fully empowered to take control so that I could fully synthesize my trauma and emerge into a new life. However, this does not erase the trauma. Trauma never 'goes away'. It is part of us. I will still get activated, I just know exactly what to do to bring it back to calm. I still experience holes of depression, but I know how to climb out. I still at times have the waves of not wanting to feel the pain that will never go away, but again, I know how to respond.
Accepting that there is no END to trauma, is a critical piece for learning to manage it. We can't erase or undo what has been done, but we do have a choice about HOW we live with it and can have more control over how much it impacts us. Once you have tools that work for you to manage your trauma, you are the person who is responsible for using them when needed. All the tools I have learned to respond with have helped me, to put it simply, to LIVE and to begin to THRIVE. I will always hold sorrow and pain in my heart, but I can equally hold joy again. The trauma never disappears but you can free yourself from being at the mercy of it.
I have found my new purpose in this new life, it is to work with others suffering from Trauma and its devastating impacts take the reins of their own mind through neuromeditation, emotional intelligence, personal ceremony, nature and other tools. Freedom from being at the mercy of your trauma is LIFE CHANGING! Helping others to figure out which tools work best for them to do this brings me great joy. As does seeing others feel empowered and HOPEFUL for their future. I am currently building the website for that but until then if you or someone you know might benefit from these tools, please reach out. Go to the Contact Us page for more info. Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I try to keep my rates affordable and am working on getting services covered with some insurance. I will be offering some group classes and individual work through the website when it is ready. If you are someone who wants to support access to these services for those who can't afford it, please send me an email. All donations for this will be used to provide one on one work with someone who is suffering and in need of help.
This site is in honor of my gold, my heart, my Lily. It is also dedicated to those who have lost someone to suicide, those who've had to bear the unbearable, accept the unacceptable, and find a way to survive and work to make the world a more humane place.
I would also like to dedicate this site to my incredible son Rowan. Rowan, you give me hope for the future, which I have so needed to want to live and you bring me so much joy. You are truly a remarkable person. Yes, I know I am biased, but ask anyone who knows you... they will say the same. I am proud and grateful for the honor of being your Mama!
I hold such profound and immense gratitude in my heart for the many people who have helped me to survive this unbearable annihilation and continue to uphold my promise to stay alive and in this world. Many I will never get to thank or hug in person. Regardless, it is my deepest wish that you know how much every gift of kindness, in every form, has sustained me when in the darkest depths of this unfathomable pain. Indescribable gratitude sings from my soul everyday for the gift of human kindness and love... and all of YOU who have touched my life and helped me to fully LIVE again.
Additional thanks to Isabella Walter for helping me create the first website. I couldn't have done it without you!! And to Star Kolb for creating the Lily for the logo design. Also for taking the time for some creative activities with Lily's friends. You are such a creative and beautiful person whom I am grateful for!
Extraordinary gratitude goes to Christopher Beitner, who was my boyfriend when Lily died. I would never have survived this without you being my shelter to the world and always there to just hug me, make me laugh or distract me with leisure games. You have such a big, kind heart. I know that is part of what Lily loved about you. Words will never be enough to convey how grateful I am that you were in Lily's life, in my life and that you are in the world!