Our Story

Our Story

I want to start off by introducing myself. My name is Tayler DeLisio and I am 31 years old. I am a mother to a beautiful little girl. She the perfect mix of a free spirit, kind and loving girl. She is a true one-of-a-kind kid who keeps me on my toes, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Anyone who knows us would say that she and I are like 2 peas in a pod. We have been through a lot together, which has made our bond very unique.


In 2018, I married my daughter’s dad Wes. Wes was a wonderful man, full of love, life and kindness. He was always helping others and did it with a smile. Wes was the best dad and was so proud to be a father and husband.


Wes and I met in 2014 and spent 4.5 years building an amazing relationship, which carried into our marriage. We had many similarities, but we also had enough differences to make our relationship work. We had our challenges like any relationship, but together we worked at it.


2 years after getting married, in the summer of 2020, we welcomed our daughter. We were in the thick of Covid as brand-new parents, talk about a way to start parenthood! We navigated this new chapter of our lives the best we could. We had many laughs and just as many cries, but together we figured things out pretty quickly. 


While becoming new parents and raising our daughter, Wes was battling his own health issues. For 2 years Wes was in and out of doctor’s offices and hospital, at times pretty critical. Finally in February 2022 Wes was diagnosed with a rare immune disease called Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). He fought in hospital for 3 months, trying to get strong enough for a stem cell transplant.


Unfortunately, on May 3, 2022 Wes passed away. HLH was too aggressive and his body couldn’t fight any longer. I became a widow at 29 years old, and at the time our daughter was a few months shy of turning 2 years old. I was left alone, forced to face this world.


Pretty quickly after Wes passed away my daughter started showing signs of grief. The first signs were separation anxiety and constant meltdowns. Those were not typical behavious for her, she was generally a happy kid who adapted to new environments and people pretty easily. Following those new behaviours, she also started pulling out her hair as a self soothe mechanism when she was falling asleep. She was doing this so frequently that she lost all the hair on the left side of her head in less than 2 weeks of the behaviour starting.


Here I was, trying to navigate my own grief, trying to make sense of my new world, trying to get my footing, when I had to push that all aside so I could help my daughter. I immediately called every agency, therapist and doctors office that could help her. I called places 2 and 3 hours away from us, desperate for someone to help. But every time I picked up the phone, I got the same dreaded answer. Either she was too young or there was a waitlist ranging from 1-2 years.


I spent hour after hour calling and repeating the same long-winded story, hoping to hear something positive. After a few days of spending what felt like an eternity on the phone, I came to the end of the road of places to call, feeling so defeated and feeling like I was failing my daughter. I was watching my daughter suffer and I couldn’t help her. As a parent, the hardest thing in life is watching your child suffer and there isn’t a thing you can do.


Even though I felt like there was nowhere left to turn, I knew I couldn’t give up. Anyone that knows me personally knows that isn’t who I am, especially when it comes to my baby.


So, I picked up the phone one more time, bracing myself for the dreaded answer but still hopeful. I connected with a child therapist in the area; she was recommended by the funeral home my husband’s services were at. After having a brief conversation, she told me she normally doesn’t help children this young but was willing to come by and see if she could help. I finally could stop holding my breath and breathe for a minute.


2 days later we had our first meeting, we talked about what happened and what my daughter was dealing with. Even though most of the activities were catered for older children, we came up with a plan to support my daughter through her grief. It was the fist stepping stone in helping my daughter navigate her grief.


Immediately I put our plan into action. With my background in early childhood development and social emotional regulation, I was able to adapt the activities to suit my daughter’s age and needs. What went from a desperate situation, turned into the start of my daughters healing journey.


Over the next few months, my daughter and I worked through activities daily. We started redoing our home room by room and we spent a lot of time alone reconnecting. Day by day her meltdowns lessened, her separation anxiety started to disappear and her hair pulling completely stopped. I knew the road ahead was still long, but I finally felt like I had a bit of a handle on her grief. I was starting to understand how to approach her healing journey and sifted through what worked and what didn’t.


As the months ticked by, I came up with new activities and ways of approaching Wes’s death. I was building a tool box of strategies for my daughter to have as we continued on this journey. Those separation anxiety attacks and meltdowns still occur from time to time, but now I have the resources to better support her.


The support for adults is just as hard to find or is so expensive to maintain. Through my own healing journey, I faced a lot of challenging times. I hit my rock bottom after trying to run from my grief for many many months. I was so desperate to stop hurting that I thought the best thing to do was run. But, pretty quickly I found myself at my lowest, I was so desperate to get better. I knew running wasn’t an option anymore, I knew if I wanted to give myself and my daughter the best life possible, I had to start facing my grief and heal it.


So that’s what I did, I faced my grief. As hard as it was, as scary as it was I did it. I slowly worked through my traumas, my guilt, my anger, my fears. I worked through healing the life I lost and started embracing the life I was given. I made changes to my daily routine; and I started putting myself first. Those first few months were hard and lonely at times, but from all that I am where I am today.

I still grieve the loss of Wes; I still miss the life we had. I will forever carry this grief with me. But I am living a life that is full of joy and happiness. I have new hobbies and friends, I found joy in things I had lost joy in, I am trying new things and finding excitement in my life again. I am embracing this life and all that is has for me.


Before Wes died, we have talked about helping others who were in a similar situation as us. We wanted to help families struggling because a family member was sick. We talked about the things we were going to do when Wes came home, we planned all the ways we were going to help others. It was our way of getting through the difficult times, it gave us hope. After Wes died, I knew I still wanted to make our dreams come to life, I wasn’t sure at the time how that was going to look, but I knew Wes would guide me.


Through my journey, I have met many people and other families affected by grief. I have heard the same thing over and over, how the support for grief is next to impossible to find. Then it hit me, one night while I was scrolling on my phone, almost as if Wes was sitting right there talking to me. I got the idea to share our story and create a place for others who are facing a loss not feel so alone.


So, that is why I created this platform and started sharing our story. I wanted to connect with others who feel like they are alone in this, a place where I can help others who are facing similar life events. I wanted to create a place where people can feel seen and heard, a place where people can find resources, information and activities to do themselves or with their families to support them along their journey.


Everyone’s grief journey is different, it impacts us all in different ways. But, having a place where you can find support through your difficult days is my goal. I hope you can find the peace to heal and see the beauty in this beautiful world again.


Together we can walk this road, one step at a time.



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