How Richard lambert foundation began
The loss of our son
Tuesday September 4, 2012 was the day that changed our world and the trajectory of my life forever. Nauseous and on my knees, unable to wrap my head around what the police officers and chaplain were telling me as they stood on our front porch. Weird thing is, I knew the minute I heard the doorbell ring what it was that I was about to encounter. Call it mother's intuition, I don't know. All I knew was the events leading up to this moment had me worried and now Richard wasn't answering his phone, regardless of how many times I hit redial. Nothing can prepare you to hear, "Your son has passed away". A parents worst nightmare.
Where do you begin to restore the broken pieces that the death of a loved one leaves behind? I wondered if I would ever survive losing my son. I couldn't imagine ever finding my way out of what I now know is grief and mourning. It was a dark, scary, hopeless and suffocating place. In all honesty, I wasn't sure that I even wanted to survive. My pain was too great. I clung desperately to God, the support of my amazing husband, attended weekly counseling sessions and through the weekly grief support workshops we attended I connected with other parents that understood my pain because they too had experienced the loss of a child. Working through loss is exhausting!
It was about twelve months into my journey, I had a vision that we should hold an 8 week grief support workshop for families struggling in our community with loss. I wanted others to have immediate resources that weren't available for my family to face this thing called grief. We partnered with a professional counselor and had a successful turnout with 100% retention. I was still on my own path to healing and others questioned "if I was ready for this commitment". The thing is, I wasn't nor am I still steering this ship...God is! He has put this vision and dream into existence and in 2013 we became a 501(c)3 and that initial 8 week workshop grew into a Grief Center named after our late son, which now provides a variety of support services and programs to bereaved children and adults.
Meeting too many families to count that are affected by loss and unable to afford professional support, it is with great passion and a bigger vision to provide access to affordable grief counseling and support services to families in our communities. In 2107 the Estate of Richard Lambert helped Jaime and I in purchasing a permanent home for the Richard Lambert Foundation Family Grief & Healing Center. We are committed to honoring your loved one and walking along side you through your journey.
Today I carry my brokenness, pain and scars that my sons death left behind with me every day as it's woven into my being. It's just different. I still have moments of "grief attacks", however, I have found laughter, happiness and enjoy living. You can too and we will be here to support you. If we never meet, I wish you peace and comfort.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story.
Susan and Jaime Chavez