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Our Mission:

We are a trauma-focused support system for survivors of suicide and other traumatic loss providing hope for healing through education, resources, and support services surrounding the complicated grief and trauma of losing someone unexpectedly. We are located at The Hope and Healing Center in Canton, Ohio. The HHC is a Grief and Traumatic Loss center where people who have lost someone to homicide, suicide, overdose, accidents, natural disasters including the COVID-19 pandemic, and losses resulting from war and terror can receive free support and services to meet their individual needs.

Our History

Light after Loss was founded on 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 is a true symbol of healing in ourselves. In February of 2022, Light after Loss was able to make their dreams come true and expand its services for all traumatic loss survivors through the purchase of The Hope and Healing Center (HHC) in Canton, Ohio. The HHC will be a place to create community through compassionate care.

Our Logo

The sunflower was chosen because of all it represents and all it does during its 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, chin 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 its 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 who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Our Vision

Light after Loss is continuing to renovate and restore The Hope and Healing Center at 3751 Burrshire Dr in Canton, Ohio. A safe space to create a community of compassionate care through grief and traumatic loss peer support in Stark and surrounding counties.  A place where seeds of Care, Compassion, and Community are planted, nurtured, and grown. Not to mention, sunflowers too of course.  Anyone who is dealing with the Complicated grief and trauma of suddenly losing someone can come and find hope for healing. Mourning Mentors Peer Support, Mourning Events and Memorial Activities, Grief Retreats, and complementary therapies like horticultural therapy, equine therapy, and eMOTION Mind-Body Movement classes. A place to find hope and heal the mind, body, and soul.