About Light after Loss
We are a trauma focused support system for survivors of suicide loss providing hope for healing through education, resources, and support services surrounding the grief and trauma of losing someone to suicide.
Light after Loss was founded January 1, 2019 by Shannon Ortiz after the loss of her husband in 2016. Having worked in the mental health field and been a suicide prevention advocate within the community, navigating her own journey came with many new lessons learned. Suicide loss is a different kind of grief. Suicide loss is more than just grief. Survivors of suicide loss often have high levels of trauma. Trauma that often goes undiagnosed, untreated. Trauma that makes grief complicated. All things making the journey toward healing, complicated. Some never find healing. Through her own experience of searching and finding hope for healing, Shannon created Light after Loss to show others the way. When we shine light on someone else’s path, it also illuminates our own. Creating a way for survivors to support other survivors gives purpose to the pain that suicide loss leaves with us. We provide a light, then the path, and then walk with survivors on that path. Helping them find healing in hopes that one day, when they’re ready, they will walk with another. Serving others as a true symbol of healing in ourselves.
The sunflower was chosen because of all it represents and all it does during it’s time here. It has been a symbol of loyalty for centuries and is often known as the “happy” flower. It always seeks the light. Hence, it grows to be as tall as it can to get closer to the sun. What is often not known about the sunflower, is what it does in the darkness. When there is no sun, sunflowers lean into one another to share their energy until the sun rises again. As survivors of suicide loss, there are dark days. We, like sunflowers, need to lean into one another until the light shines again. When it does, and it will, we need to stand tall, chins up, and turn our face toward the sun. The sunflower represents everything we seek to be as survivors.
Our specific sunflower logo was designed by artist Sarah Wohlgamuth. Around the center of our sunflower logo, you will notice semicolons. Project Semicolon is a mental health advocacy group focusing on education and anti-suicide efforts. “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life” according to Project Semicolon and it’s efforts. The center of our logo is a script LAL, which we are often referred to by those within our community. The logo takes a beautiful symbol of light and makes it our own symbol for loss survivors that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Our Vision for the Future
Light after Loss is looking toward opening The Hope and Healing Center. A center where seeds of Care, Compassion, and Community are planted, nurtured, and grown. Not to mention, sunflowers too of course. Survivors of suicide loss will continue to receive free treatment through LaL, but The Hope and Healing Center will be an entire facility dedicated to all Traumatic Loss Survivors. Anyone who is dealing with the grief and trauma of suddenly losing someone can come and find hope for healing. Licensed grief and trauma counselors, Survivors supporting Survivors Peer Support, , Mourning Event and Memorial Activities, Grief Retreats, and alternative therapies like horticultural therapy, equine therapy, and eMOTION Mind-Body classes. A place to find hope and heal the mind, body, and soul. If you would like to contribute to our #cuttheribboncampaign, check out the Fundraisers page.
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