w/ Georgia Harris
A note from Georgia...
"In the year 2018/2019 our statistics showed that we lost 685 of our beautiful loved ones in New Zealand to suicide. A death that happens suddenly, causes a wound in your heart filled to the brim with trauma, and is a loss unimaginably painful for all those left behind.
For over eight years, my family walked a long and winding road with Dad, a road we all hoped reached a beautiful destination. Sadly though, at the age of 53, on the 15th of October 2018, Dad lost his battle with mental illness and died by suicide. I don’t want any family to bury their loved one due to suicide. The never ending trauma and aftershock that comes from such a tragic death is made a lonely isolated journey due to limited resources and loved ones having no hands to hold during this time. I don't want those who are affected by the trauma and grief after a death by suicide to think there is no love and support for them; at this time the risk of another suicide in the family has increased. For this and many other reasons Finding Kowhai would love to shine a light for them.
My dream for Finding Kowhai is to support kiwi families who have been bereaved by suicide, in a simple and loving way. The dream for this initiative is for each bereaved family around our country (initially in Auckland) to receive care packages and specific information. It will connect loved ones to services in their local area that can offer help and support without the family having to search for that information themselves, which is a tiresome and often unfulfilling task . These care packs will be delivered by a Finding Kowhai associate, no matter where the family or loved one is living.
Finding Kowhai will stand by my belief and values which are 'if you know someone that's struggling with a mental illness, please don't be afraid to hold out your hand to show them what hope looks like. After all, it takes a community to get someone back on their feet.' We need help from others to reach out to those struggling with trauma in their communities."
Finding Kowhai plans to use the $2,000 grant to start the Finding Kowhai initiative in the Auckland region, and then nationally. The Finding Kowhai tote bags will be lovingly put together with the essential items needed specifically to help that family and whanau. Toilet paper, tissues, a toothbrush and paste (for the person who drops everything to be there), nappies if needed, cereal, tea and milk. Also, a small portion of this money would help our website go live! This holds vital information such as how we can help bereaved families, what we can provide, how people can get in touch and all about how we can help in communities.
When I think of $2,000 I see hugs, the smiles of families and whanau, the tears being wiped away, the faces of gratitude, the visions of hope, the sights of a clear pathway that leads to the future whilst they are on their long journey of Grief. I see $2,000 and community.