Angie's Story

A Life Without Cassie

When someone dies, the ripple effect can be life altering. Angie shares beautifully the ongoing journey of life without her sister.

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Angie Crabtree shares -

Angie with ChildrenMy day starts early. Runs late. Moves fast. Four young boys and a husband fill my world. We are in a good place today but that wasn’t the case a few years ago. My story is our story and we are sharing our hope and joy in a new normal, hoping that if you find yourself at rock bottom you know where to go to–Lory’s Place.

January 2014. The words…sister…accidental overdose…gone…

The words burned a hole in my heart. Can’t breathe...stunned...reeling. Can life go on without Cassie?

It did, though it was never the same. My sister’s death was totally unexpected. Two little boys no longer had their momma. I prayed the phone would ring and it would be her calling to tell me it was a mistake, that it wasn’t her. That call never came. 

The stigma of an overdose shrouded our grief. My two boys became four boys as Cassie’s sons blended into our family. All my children were heavy with grief. We were dealing, coping, moving through the day, but not thriving.

Crabtree KidsIt was time to seek help. I knew about the grief work that Lory’s Place offered for kids, so we began attending group nights. My sons were on a healing journey and I was determined to do anything in my power to get the help they needed. Until the car wouldn’t start. It was a group night session and unfortunately, we were not going anywhere. My husband counseled me that the boys would be okay missing one week–but would I? The fact that Lory’s Place is for the entire community is amazing–if this program didn’t exist, I’m not sure how I would’ve helped my boys through such a traumatic loss. This was also my first glimpse at realizing I had work to do in dealing with my own personal grief.

Without the tools we learned from the Lory’s Place team, I don’t know what we would have done after Cassie’s death. We are now able to talk, smile, laugh and share memories about Cassie. Lory’s Place has helped my entire family and they’re simply amazing!

I am excited to share that Lory’s Place is expanding into the adjacent space next door to provide an adult-centered environment, with a warm coffee house atmosphere. The expansion provides a space tailored for adults, from coffee with a friend to lunch and learns. Most exciting for me is that people will now have additional options for engagement, since not everyone fits the support group model.

I am so very grateful for the help I so desperately needed. Today our family is moving at a lightening pace. Some moments we continue the gut-wrenching work of mourning, others are filled with joy. Our family has embraced our new normal and true healing is taking place. Recently I was trained as a Lory’s Place facilitator and aspire to work with the overdose loss support group.

Good can come from tragic loss. I would not trade my world for anyone else’s. You, one person, can make a real difference. Please help grieving neighbors build a new normal.

Thank you Lory’s Place!

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