Together, my husband and I have shared many joys in life as a married couple. Particularly, we are the proud parents of some pretty amazing boys. Never in a million years, had we imagined that our lives would encounter losing one of them and other losses simultaneously.
In May of 2018, my mother in love and Langston's mother (Mina Jacobs) passed away after battling several health complications. This was a devastating blow to our family as we laid to rest a matriarch, a beloved mom, and a cherished grandmother. Her passing left such an empty void for us and our children.
Shortly after mom passed, our family received an unexpected blessing. We discovered that we were expecting our third child, another son! This became our families light in the darkness as we journeyed through the loss of who our sons affectionately called Granny. With great anticipation of our growing family, we embraced the joy of new life and it provided a soothing to our hurting souls.
In late September of 2018, that joyous expectation came to a devastating halt. We discovered that the child I was carrying was no longer living and that I would have to deliver him stillborn. I was 5-months gestationally and had no impeding issues. WE were crushed, broken and deeply sorrowed. We could not comprehend this painful loss. Our grief journey became much more complicated experiencing a pregnancy loss right after losing Granny.
Soon after this, we would yet experience another devastating blow. In November, our spiritual niece, BreAnna had unexpectedly passed away and the tender age of 21. The grief was overwhelming and undeniably challenging to grasp at this point. The continuous wave of losses was beyond traumatic. We knew we needed help to walk out this grief journey, so that we could live forward and find purpose in the fragility of life.
After experiencing continuous and compound grief, we reached out for support services and found several barriers to getting the effective grief counseling for our family especially regarding the concurrent losses we endured. We began to talk with family and friends who had suffered traumatic losses as well about normalizing grief and getting support. As a result, we saw up close the need for resources for minority communities and a greater level of awareness for this often-disregarded area of mental health and trauma.
In March of 2019, we coordinating the first Grieve Gracefully Symposium. Our personal grief journey was the impetus of this event. The presenters consisted of a team of qualified speakers and panelists inclusive of active grievers as well as licensed therapists. Our purpose was to raise awareness of grief and encourage the acceptance and need for more support services in the community. Hosting the grief event was our way of empowering our community and gave us purpose to bring help, hope and healing for others coping with grief and traumatic loss. In early 2020, we officially launched Adam’s Purpose to continue in the work of grief awareness, advocacy and support for those suffering from grief and loss. We are imparting Adam's Purpose into the lives of many to inspire them to grieve forward, grieve with purpose and grieve gracefully.
Shay & Langston Jacobs