posted on April 23rd 2019 in Indiana Donor Network /

The Gift of Life Celebration is a wonderful way to celebrate the lives of our loved ones.

I always look forward to this event and have attended almost every event for the past 10 years to celebrate the life of my daughter, Jennifer. Family and friends truly don’t understand your grief unless they have lost one of their children. Some expect you to get over it and move on in a short period of time. The truth is, you never get over it but find ways to cope with your loss and move forward.

Tears are shed in the confines of your car or home so others won’t see or judge you. You feel so alone. Reality is that those tears you will continue to shed are good in helping us work through our grief. I remember the first Gift of Life Celebration I attended shortly after Jennifer died. It was very emotional. I was amazed that there were so many other people on the same journey to healing that I was. People who had lost a son or daughter, brother or sister, and mom or dad. There were tears in everyone’s eyes. We all had that one thing in common – the loss of a loved one.

This is an event where you can shed your tears and nobody judges you. We all know the pain of the loss. Recognizing that you are not alone in your loss does provide some comfort. The video tribute is a wonderful way to honor your loved one. Each one of our loved one’s pictures brings on tears but also a sense of pride to know that each one of them is a hero. They saved or healed the lives of many people by giving their precious gifts of life.

This event is a wonderful way to help keep their memory alive. Afterward, we all get together for refreshments, meet other families and establish new friendships.

The aftercare support team from Indiana Donor Network are such awesome, caring people. They have a way of helping you through your grief and your journey to healing. I spent a lot of time talking to Courtney Tillotta on the phone during my healing journey. I met her in person for the first time at the Gift of Life Celebration. To this day, she holds a special place in my heart for all the support she continues to give me.

I look forward to celebrating my daughter, Jennifer at the upcoming Gift of Life Celebration on April 27, 2019.