Humans of Partnership: Stacey Anderson

Nothing prepares you for the loss of a loved one. The pain never really goes away; it just changes from year to year. In 2011, I lost my boyfriend to suicide. I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with him.  The feelings of grief and sadness were overwhelming. I felt anger, guilt and loss all at the same time. As I struggled to come to terms with the mental illness that led to his death, I had a lot of support from his family and mine. I accessed Kaiser Permanente's Employee Assistance Program and found compassion and insight that helped me come to terms with the loss. I also became more physically active. I joined a gym and started taking Zumba classes which was really fun. I’d ask friends to go on hikes and discovered new parks and trails around town. I also practiced meditation and became more introspective about my feelings. Some of my friends didn’t know what to say to me so they said nothing. I didn’t think they cared, but I realized I was wrong. They were just trying not to upset me. My advice is be kind to yourself, talk to a professional and stay busy. 

If you or someone you know is in distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Telephonic crisis counseling is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employees also can access Kaiser Permanente’s Employee Assistance Program. Visit MyHR for more information.

Stacey Anderson, union partnership representative and improvement advisor, UFCW Local 555 (Northwest)