National Day of Mourning for workplace fallen is April 28

Families often are left adrift following the loss of a loved one

To the Expositor:

National Day Of Mourning, April 28, 2015.

This is a day to remember all those who have become a workplace statistic, either killed on the job or living with a life altering injury or occupational disease. While remembering the dead and the injured, we also remember their families, those impacted by these losses.

Yes, life does go on and time heals, as they say, but the scars are deep. The intensity of the pain is diminished but the loss is forever a reality and there are always the many reminders of “what used to be.”

There is a certain finality with death and many challenges that are created by death but for those who are living with a life altering injury or occupational disease they must rise to the many challenges that face them and their families on a daily basis.

As a parent they may no longer be able to engage in play with their children or be the support, either financially or physically, that they used to be. Oftentimes the other parent must assume both roles causing fatigue, decreased quality time for the children, for each other and for themselves. The financial burdens are great. For the injured worker or someone living with occupational disease, the social assistance is limited. They often feel alone, as it is difficult for anyone to understand what they themselves are going through. The adjustments they must make as a family are beyond what anyone can imagine unless you have walked down that similar road.

As a young adult living with possibly one, two, and sometimes three limb amputations, it is incomprehensible as to what their challenges are; the frustrations, anger, loss of independence, loss of the future life they had planned for themselves. The statistics of young workers being killed or injured on the job in the first few months of starting a job is high.

Our workers are the backbone of healthy families and our country.

April 28 is a day to remember all those whose lives have been impacted and drastically changed by workplace tragedies, be it a death or life altering injury or occupational disease.

My prayer is for their strength and courage to meet the challenges ahead of them, to make a new norm and that friends and family are always there beside them as a support and to carry them when needed. Remember they are on a forever journey of loss and our compassion, acknowledgment and understanding can help them move forward and cope. On this day, may the many prayers and recognition of your loss, be felt by you, and may you find some type of comfort in this day.

My heart and understanding goes out to you this day and every day. I lost my son to a workplace fatality at the age of 22, in 1999.

Please join us at the National Day of Mourning ceremony at the Aundeck Omni Kaning band office on Tuesday, April 28 at 11 am.

Joanne Wade