Annual Appeal

The Impact You Can Make

Michael MattsonPlease help us make 2017 a year in which people can grieve in the supportive, understanding environment offered by Lory’s Place. Mike and Debbie Mattson discovered Lory’s Place soon after their son completed suicide a year ago.

Our professional staff and trained volunteer facilitators have helped guide their complex grief journey:

“Losing a loved one to suicide is a grief like no other. Sadness, anger, and suffocating guilt jumble together in your heart from the very first moments. Our son Michael, age 36, died in our backyard from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound on October 21, 2015. Michael was an EMT-Specialist, accomplished musician, intelligent, and funny. From his late teens to his death he battled clinical depression, anxiety, and debilitating migraine headaches. He lived with us, and so his struggles were also ours.

Michael’s suicide has taken us into a darkness that comes in waves; good days, bad days, worse days. Our hearts ache knowing the anguish that let Michael think death was his only choice. We carry guilt, sadness, regret, and tears always just below the surface, along with our memories.

Michael with nephewsThanks to my oldest sister we joined the Suicide Survivors Support Group at Lory’s Place just one week after Michael’s death. Both of my sisters and my niece attended with us and from the beginning we were gathered into an empathetic, matter-of-fact circle. There is a bond of understanding that only another suicide survivor can share. We are encouraged to discuss, talk, share, cry, and laugh.

Our support group provides guidance, insight, tools, and opportunities to help us make the long journey through this devastating grief. We are still riding the roller coaster, but now we’re not alone.

It’s hard to convey everything that we take away from Lory’s Place every other week. We leave feeling comforted, replenished, and most of all hopeful. It’s also good to think that we have helped someone else by sharing ourselves. Lory’s Place is a shining beacon for those of us that are lost, and sadly our numbers are growing. Michael was our wonderful son and a brother, uncle, nephew, and cousin. We have all been left with many questions.

For us there are no answers, but at Lory’s Place we have learned that understanding can be enough and we can smile and laugh with our memories. Over this first year we have been inspired to keep moving forward. We’ve gone from living in a nightmare to seeing the shadows recede, confident there is lightness ahead and we’re smiling. We are forever grateful to the dedicated staff at Lory’s Place, and to all the people whose generosity makes it possible.”

Mike and Debbie Mattson

Debbie and Mike MattsonLory’s Place is respected as the regional leader in grief support services, and in the past year has:

  • Supported more than 2,600 grieving children, teens and adults in southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana
  • Provided innovative, life-affirming programs in the community and business centers, and at 41 schools in three counties, including Camp Lifetimes for children and our first Adult Grief Retreat
  • Presented grief and loss educational sessions at a national symposium and in local venues, and continued to mentor other grief support providers

Since the death of a family member usually brings financial instability among other life-altering changes, Lory’s Place is proud that all of our professional services are provided without charge. Supported solely through private donations from individuals, foundations and organizations, Lory’s Place receives no state, federal, or insurance funding and does not charge a fee for services.

No one should grieve alone, and with your generous support of Lory’s Place, you make the transformational work we do possible! Lory’s Place programs are available to all individuals who are in need of our services. Your compassionate contribution today will help to brighten the tomorrows for those on a grief journey with Lory’s Place.

Special note to those that may have received our appeal letter recently in the mail.  Lory’s Place takes great pride in knowing its wonderful donors by name, and ensuring they are addressed properly in all correspondence. Unfortunately, an error was made in the mailing process that resulted in incorrect or incomplete salutations on the recent annual appeal letter. Please know that Lory’s Place staff has the correct information and cares that complete names are included. We apologize for any upset this may have caused, and ask your forgiveness and continued support.


Your generosity can make a difference.