Steve Roberts and Open to Hope’s Executive Director, Dr. Heidi Horsley, became friend in 2006 when they met at The Compassionate Friends. Professionally, Roberts is a bank consultant, but his experience with grief dates back to 2005 when he lost his daughter. “Kelsey was 11 years old, she was killed at her home by her mother, and so my life completely changed as of August 5, 2005.” Roberts started attending The Compassionate Friends support groups in Dallas, and then became involved as a steering committee member. The upcoming July 2015 The Compassionate Friends national conference will be held in Dallas, and Roberts has played a big part in prepping for this event.
Dr. Horsley commends Roberts on his ability to find hope, even after such a tragic loss. “You’ve got a positive way about you,” she says. When asked how he can have such a positive outlook after losing someone to murder, Roberts explains that, “I draw from my daughter’s spirit. I carry her with me wherever I go. And I think that really helps me.” While he can’t be with her physically, knowing his daughter is carried in his heart has helped Robert grieve, heal and reach out to others.
The Hardest of Losses
Losing a child is one of the most heart-wrenching of experiences. Losing a child to murder, by the hands of a co-parent, is even more challenging. “I put together what I consider the five F’s to really help me,” he says. These include faith, family, friends, the future (having something to look forward to) and forgiveness. “That was very difficult for me for a long time,” he says. However, when he learned what forgiveness really meant, he realized holding onto anger would always hold him back.
“We need not walk alone, we are The Compassionate Friends” is part of the creed that’s stated at the end of every support group meeting, and Roberts also carries that with him as comfort.