by Shandi Pace
It’s hard to say the words, “I love you.” There have been several studies done as to why this is a problem many people have. Grappling with Grief founder Jimmy Van can relate to this.
Jimmy grew up in a very loving household, but his family was never great at expressing themselves emotionally. The words “I love you” weren’t often spoken by his family. Mostly, it was birthday cards or Christmas cards that contained those words.
This stayed with Jimmy through his adult years and impacted some relationships. Even today, he struggles to be able to say those words to his wife. With his own children, he’s more comfortable with “daddy loves you” and says that to them multiple times a day.
When Jimmy’s father was diagnosed with cancer, he chose not to visit a therapist to talk about his feelings. Producing a documentary about the lives of his parents became Jimmy’s outlet. This documentary was the way he could show them that he loves them without ever having to say the words.
Jimmy felt at ease being able to produce that documentary. After reconnecting with a friend from high school, Jimmy found that several people experience the same problem. With Sheri now fighting her own battle with cancer, the idea for Grappling with Grief was born.
“That’s what got me thinking. If I’m going to come up with an outlet to help me cope with the grief that I’m dealing with and to help me talk about it and to subsequently help with the healing process, maybe I can do something at the same time to help others,” Jimmy said.
Not a ton of people are comfortable with counselling, which is why Grappling with Grief likes to focus on people’s stories in hopes that others will be able to find comfort in being able to relate. Ultimately, Jimmy is trying to help and trying to inspire others with this organization.
“About Sheri” is a video series about one of the people who inspired the creation of Grappling with Grief, Jimmy Van’s sister Sheri Gill.
Check out the entire About Sheri playlist.
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