Losing someone you love is never easy. In fact, it can be devastating and life-altering.
Trisha Koelsch knows how truly devastating it is to experience loss. In July 2020, she received a call no one should ever have to answer. Her younger sister, Denise, had been in a tragic motorcycle accident and was brain dead, one day before her 31st birthday. Due to COVID, Trisha and her brother were the only two members of the family able to be at her bedside as she died.
“I remember not being able to cry until after I left the hospital,” Trisha said. “I was a walking zombie, just going through the motions as I realized this would be the last time I would be with my sister alive.”
Denise left behind a precious 4 year old son named Zayden. Trisha immediately took him home and has been raising him as her own, along with her two other children, ages 13 and 15.
“My sister’s death took a major toll on me,” Trisha said. “But once I brought Zayden into my home, I found myself mourning the loss of the life I had before her death.”
Trisha, a longtime OG&E employee, learned about Calm Waters through their United Way employee giving program and immediately reached out for help after her sister’s death.
“I have friends who have lost a sibling, but I needed more support than they could provide and Calm Waters provided that and so much more."
When families come to Calm Waters, they experience a safe and nonjudgmental space to process their grief, while also learning healthy coping skills for the future.
Trisha and Zayden began attending Calm Waters grief support groups and eventually took advantage of the agency's grief counseling services as well.
Calm Waters is Oklahoma City’s only grief center and exists exclusively to serve families just like Trisha and Zayden, to help them process the emotions caused by death, divorce or other significant loss for FREE. We believe in providing services to children and families at NO COST so they can begin their grief journey and gain tools needed to cope, process and heal without adding additional stress to their devastating situation.
While navigating the loss of her sister, Trisha found herself divorced and without partner support raising the newest member of her family.
“I knew I couldn’t take care of Zayden and my children without helping myself first,” Trisha said. “Mental health is extremely important. Without getting help to process emotions and life events, you’re going to suffer along with everyone else around you.”
You, too, can help children like Zayden and caregivers like Trisha, as they heal from an unimaginable loss. Will you please give $150 this holiday season and make a difference in the life of one family?
Calm Waters has continued to see an alarming increase of grief within our community because of the global pandemic, and need your help to ensure we can keep up with that demand in 2022.
A $150 gift allows a child and their family to begin the grief journey through our support groups at our Center or in schools across the greater metro area. Your gift will directly impact a grieving child and help them heal and find hope again. To make a gift, please fill out the enclosed card or donate online at calmwaters.org/donate by December 31.
THANK YOU for supporting Calm Waters. YOU TRULY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Erin Engelke, Executive Director
P.S. Give before December 31 to sponsor a child and their family! Your gift of $150 will allow a child and their family to attend one of Calm Waters FREE support groups.