For Missy Murphy and her family, there are good days and bad days.
Sometimes she is able to think about her 13-year-old son Andrew, whom she lost to suicide earlier this year, and smile. But other times, she said, it's unbearably difficult – like when she drives by his school or now at Halloween, one of the family's favorite holidays.
"I put up my decorations yesterday and I broke into tears because it’s one more thing I have to get through without him," Murphy said. "There’s days that you just want to go back to bed and wake up the following day because you just can’t handle it."
That's why she is seeking the community's support for a national petition to establish a "National Day of Grieving." She said establishing such a day would mean so much to her family.
"People have a right to grieve," she said. "It’s a process that there is no time limit on. Everybody grieves differently and experiences loss differently."
The petition can be found by clicking here. Signing the petition requires a quick log-in process. So far, the petition has fewer than 400 signatures, but it needs 25,000 people to sign by Nov. 2 in order for the Obama administration to consider acting on it.
The petition was started by Angie Cartwright, a Kansas woman who runs a network of support groups for those who are grieving called "Grief the Unspoken," with more than 22,000 members nationwide.
Cartwright lost her mother in 2010 to a drug overdose. Not only did she find that grieving openly was kind of taboo, but she also found that a lot of people didn't know what to say to her and she didn't know what to say either. She said having a national day for grief awareness would have an educational component for dialogue. And some, Cartwright said, are treated for depression but not for grief.
"I think the only time we can really change this is to bring awareness to it," she said. "There’s a lot of untreated grief. It’s kind of a secret thing."