A Jeff’s Place Story
My brother Danny was the funniest, most adventurous, spontaneous person I knew and I expected to have my brother around for me when I needed him the most. But on February 9, 2012, when I was a junior in High School, I lost Danny to suicide at the age of 20. My world was turned upside down and it hit me that he wasn’t going to be there for the milestones in my life.
How could I make it through? Who would be there when I needed a shoulder to cry on? Why did this have to happen to me? I got answers to these questions when I found Jeff’s Place. From there on, my life changed and my eyes were opened to see that I am not alone.
“I am grateful for my time
at Jeff’s Place everyday!”
My first night at Jeff’s Place, I didn’t want to participate in anything, but then our group leader Amy had us go around the table and say our name and who we lost and why. That made me realize that I wasn’t the only one with a sibling loss. This made me feel a lot better and a little bit more at ease with the group. After that, I was excited to go every week and see the other teens in my group.
Being a participant at Jeff’s Place made me realize that talking about my brother’s loss made me a stronger person, and that I would be okay. Jeff’s Place taught me that everyone grieves differently. I only got to be part of the teen group for two years, but it changed my life and I made friends in the group. Now that I was too old to participate in a group, I decided to volunteer at Jeff’s Place.
A few months after my volunteer training, I got the opportunity to start helping with the Kids Club group for kids ages 3-8 who have lost someone in their life. I didn’t know what to expect from the group, but I found that I really enjoyed working with the energetic, yet lovable kids. I also had the opportunity to assist with the sibling loss group and this was a great match for me as I was able to identify with the way the kids felt.
Jeff’s Place motto is “Hope Grows Here” and I believe that it is true because for me, hope did grow at Jeff’s Place. The program helped me grow as a person after losing my brother. Volunteering at Jeff’s Place showed me what an impact I can have on others by giving my time to be there for others who are grieving. I am grateful for my time at Jeff’s Place everyday!