The Hope Movement Coalition is here to show support and provide comfort through the difficult times of grieving for those who have experienced a loss due to Substance Use Disorder (SUD), or Fentanyl Poisoning. By uniting together, we become one family that shares experiences and helps each other heal from our pain in order to find hope again. You are not alone; reach out today, be part of this unconditional love found within our movement!
Hope, Healing, and Living
You Have a Purpose
Planning for the Future
We want to help you find your purpose by showing what other families are doing across the nation. Whether it is planning and participating in rallys, coordinating support meetings, speaking with your elected officials, lending your story to make a difference, sharing your loved ones photo, celebrating recovery by providing encouragement and support to all of those that are brave enough to walk away from a life of substance use, commenting on a social media post, or simply praying, there is a place for you. We are here to bridge the gap between life and death. Ours and theirs. Together we will impact. We will educate. We will validate. We will make a difference. And in that we will know that one less precious life is struggling to survive, one less momma is worrying at night, one less face will be added to the “Can You See Me Now” banners, and one less funeral that will be planned.
We hope to show the healing that comes along with carrying our loved ones light into the darkness that took them from us.
There is joy in advocating for others. There IS a future. Your future. Our future.
We've Been There...
Like so many of you, losing my son changed me forever and I saw very quickly that my survival was tethered to one thing – grief. The question was, what to do with it. My son, Hagen, was always most comfortable when he was with his “brothers”, whether on the football field, or later in the U.S. Navy. He believed in unity. He believed in encouragement and he believed in support. For several months I walked the lonely road of grief by myself, and in my solitude began sharing my journey on social media. It was during that solitude that I began to see what was missing for so many. Not being able to actively love my son left me feeling inadequate and lost and I found that taking my immense pain and turning it into something meaningful helped me heal in ways I didn’t quite understand, but the more I encouraged, talked, loved and supported, the less I hurt, and I was once again actively loving. As I watched comment after comment come in from those that blessed me with their attention, I realized that they too were sentenced to solitude by the stigma. It had placed us all in a cell with grief as our cellmate. Over the course of the first year without Hagen, I slowly met others that could not only understand my new found struggles, but also carried within them the key to my cell. Connection. We were created to be part of something bigger than ourselves, whether that is a family, a team, or a unit, so I set my sights on creating a family so big nothing could come against it.
I don’t know that there has been anything as fulfilling and rewarding as discovering a new tribe of brothers and sisters bound by loss. In this tribe I am understood, accepted and loved and stigma has no place. In this tribe I watch grieving parents rise up to become SURVIVING parents who turn their pain into purpose, and I see life come back to them. In this tribe we walk hand-in-hand with all of those affected by substance use disorder, mental illness, and Fentanyl poisoning united in love and hope.
We have formed a growing family with one voice United to change the course of overdose and Fentanyl deaths. Together we work to save lives. Together we show the world what the reality of what substance use disorder and Fentanyl Poisoning looks like. And together we silence stigma.
We are losing almost 300 of our children every single day…every 8 min in the U.S.! We all fought for our children in their battle whether it be years or 1 time. We now continue to fight the stigma of this disease in order to save others! By sharing the photos on these banners of our children lost to this epidemic, they not only are remembered but their faces carry the strong message reminding us all – the 3 most dangerous words – “NOT MY CHILD!”
We want to put our children’s faces in front of politicians, those struggling with addiction, the parents who think “Not My Child!”, the uneducated children in our schools, the cold-hearted or just close minded people that think those struggling are “worthless junkies.” They were people. They mattered! They didn’t wake up one day and choose addiction instead of their future happiness or their children now left behind. We, mamas and daddies, may have lost our own children but we are growing stronger by the minute and we will not sit silent like our politicians or the many who are scared to talk about it. WE are going to move mountains! Like Agatha Christie said, “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” Well I tell you- I know I’m one mama ready to CRUSH! I couldn’t save my own amazing son, nor could many other moms and dads because we were left without so much of the knowledge that is now coming to surface. H-E-A-R ME though!…we are watching, we are listening, we are learning and we are fighting for all of our future.
We are all warriors in the fight to save your child, your brother, your sister, your mama, your daddy or your best friend!
I do these “Can You See Me Now” banners to honor my son, Trey and all of those gone too soon!
We will NOT let their faces be forgotten.
Help if you can to get these banners in the hands of as many groups as possible to advocate for RECOVERY and save a life!
As a mother who lost her only child, Taylor Nicole Thompson (TNT), to an accidental overdose on July 13, 2019, I knew I had to find a way to honor her and help others. Taylor’s birthday came just six painful weeks after her passing and at the last minute, God gave me an idea to throw her a heavenly birthday party and put together gift bags for young women in recovery. Taylor and one of her best friends who has since remained in recovery both had support from their moms and received care packages and letters frequently, but they explained that not all the ladies in sober living did. Many relationships become fractured due to the difficulties while a loved one is in active addiction and sometimes the parents themselves are in active addiction or are no longer living. Taylor’s heart to help others who suffered from mental health and addiction issues came to life as TLC From TNT after her passing.
Although the bags contain material items, they extend far beyond that by sharing the heart of my girl who loved the underdog, the misunderstood, the hurting, and the broken. In these bags, we include scripture verses and a letter encouraging the recipients to continue seeking help and fighting for a brighter future. Spending time with the people in recovery is also a crucial part of TLC From TNT. I want them to feel the love, support and encouragement of those not only delivering the gifts, but also those who helped put them together. I want them to feel special and loved, to know that we see them, and God sees them, and to know that they are amazing and worthy to be loved. It means much more to them when we spend time with them, often having a meal or just sitting and talking. Through the time together, they can see that even parents or loved ones struggle and that love can overcome any mistakes we have made with time, God and a little TLC.
Over the last year, TLC From TNT has been blessed to provide over 200 gift bags for people in recovery, donate games and home décor to two local faith based recovery homes, send/deliver meals to multiple sober living homes, throw a baby shower for a couple in recovery, donate to multiple recovery related programs, and put together an interview/Facebook live post supporting a local men’s faith based recovery program in need of monthly donors. Although COVID 19 may have temporarily slowed us down a little, we are back in the swing of things and have big plans for the holiday season coming up. We can’t wait to share how you can be a part of this important event so stay tuned.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We Are Here to Help
I just lost my loved one and I don't know what to do with myself. Where can I turn for help?
We are truly heartbroken that you have found yourself on this journey. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is find others that know exactly how you are feeling. Support from others that have experienced the same loss is vital! We have included links to several wonderful cause specific grief support groups in our RESOURCES section, and we encourage you to connect with them. Our YOU ARE NOT ALONE initiative was created to offer specialized support for families of Arkansas. More information can be found here.
My loved one is currently struggling with Substance Use Disorder. Is there a support group for my family?
Yes, there’s is! Links to support groups for your family can be found in our RESOURCES section. NEVER lose HOPE!
What is stigma and how does it affect my grieving?
Stigma is defined as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.”
The stigmatized mindset causes people to harshly judge anyone that has lost their life to an illicit substance, whether they were struggling with Substance Use Disorder or experimenting, and has little to no knowledge of the disease or the prevalence of Fentanyl is “party drugs”. This mindset stops people from offering support and makes families feel that they are alone in their suffering. Not being able to openly talk about your pain because of your loved ones cause of death leads to isolation which affects your overall mental and physical health. Please do not allow stigma to silence you. Your loved ones cause of death does not define them or you. They deserve to be remembered for who they were, not how they died, and you deserve to be embraced during the most difficult and traumatic season of your life.
Should I go to counseling?
We strongly encourage you to find a counselor that can not only help you through the grieving process, but also assess whether or not you are experiencing PTSD. Both need to be addressed in order for you to navigate life while you grieve your loss. It may take some time to find the counselor or therapist that is right for you, but please don’t give up! If you live in the state of Arkansas, we can provide a list of certified grief and PTSD counselors through our You Are Not Alone program.
What are the stages of grief?
The seven stages of grief are shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance and hope, processing grief. There is no timetable to move from one stage to the next and you may find yourself going through more than one stage at a time, alternating back and forth, or feel like you should be doing better than you are. The most important things to know are there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and that you are not alone in your grief! Please visit our RESOURCES section for cause specific groups that will walk with you.
How do I turn my pain into purpose?
We all have a purpose, but what that is can only be determined by you! Whether it’s advocacy, offering grief support, attending events, changing laws, speaking in schools, supporting recovery or volunteering, your purpose is waiting! It may not be found in the world of awareness, so don’t limit yourself. It may be providing a need in your community that you’ve been drawn to for years but haven’t explored. It’s important to remember that it is about what helps you heal!
How do I get involved?
We have many opportunities for you! If you’re inclined to make a monetary donation, please visit our donation section to see where you feel your contribution would be best used. If you live in Arkansas, we have monthly family meetings, events throughout the year, and a peer support program. Please contact us for more information!
What is Can You See Me Now and how do I submit a photo?
Please visit our Can You See Me Now section for complete details!