Transforming grief

There are no words that can be said or written that can take away the pain.

That’s why I feel uneasy writing anything near Valentine’s Day. I realize that my words may never ease the loss that we all feel as victims of drunk drivers.

My son Dustin was killed by a drunk driver in 2004 at the age of 18.

I miss him terribly. Sometimes, I think I hear the door open, and I hear his voice filling the house. But I wake up to the realization that is was only a dream.

As the National President of MADD, I try my best to be the voice of thousands of victims… mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, families and friends whose loved ones were killed or injured by drunk drivers. I, like every other victim, will carry the burden forever. I take my job seriously and hope that I can, on this Valentine’s Day, bring some comfort to your heart, your soul and to your family.

I came across a quote by author Patti Smith. “Grief starts to become indulgent, and it doesn’t serve anyone, and it’s painful. But if you transform it into remembrance, then you’re magnifying the person you lost and also giving something of that person to other people, so they can experience something of that person.”

I am blessed with the honor of introducing my son Dustin Church to many people. They can’t shake his hand or give him a hug. He’s not here. But they can get a glimpse of his vibrant personality. They also can peer into my world that was, is and could have been. In the words of the group Mercy Me, “I can only imagine”.

I don’t have any magic words or silver bullets… Only suggestions that have helped me. Go through this week slowly… Remember… Cry…  Smile… and Share with others the dear one you lost. Do all of these with the hope and belief that one day there will be No More Victims®!

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