In June of 2001, I went through a daunting experience. I became a widow at the age of 33. At that time, I had 3 children aged 7 years, 5 years and 2 days old. My husband died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 37. This was completely shocking and life-altering. The face that it happened on the day I brought our third child home from the hospital was almost unheard of, and truly hard to accept. It was tragic, unbelievable and quite honestly the most difficult, heartbreaking situation I have ever experienced in my entire life.
Simply trying to live day to day and raise three children on my own occupied my mind and soul. I was devastated, to say the least, and am grateful beyond measure for God’s protection and for how He surrounded us with family, friends and community to help us through the grieving process. I kept a journal for a little over two years to help me process my thoughts and feelings after being hurled into the abyss that was widowhood. To this day, I still feel as though a part of me died along with my spouse. There is a piece missing in my heart that will not be filled with any worldly thing; just the memories of being deeply loved and cherished reside there.
When you lose a loved one, you see the world a little differently and your heart is broken to pieces. Often, I didn’t think I would make it without my husband to help me along the way. I lost my purpose, as I was no longer part of a couple, but on my own to figure out how to manage life as a single mother. There were long days, and even longer, tear-filled nights, as I navigated this new place I was in. It was lonely, sad, and quite miserable at times.
Over the years, I learned to lean on others for support and guidance. I slowly began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thankful for those who saw a need and responded, I felt so cared for and loved. I was blessed with healing and comfort and soon learned how to live and love again. Finally, I began to make sense of such an absurd occurrence. During my healing process, I was led to write a memoir about my walk through this trying life event. The comfort I received from God now enables me to comfort others as they go through challenging and trying times. It was such a clear message to me to put into a story how one can and will make it through seemingly impossible life challenges.
I was nearing the end of the process when I found myself stuck. Stagnating. Several circumstances contributed to this, so I stopped and set my project aside for a while. It has been calling my name lately, and when I saw an online webinar on writing and publishing a book, I knew it was time. I’ve taken the first steps towards revisiting this project and I am so excited! I am taking action to finally share my story with the world in hopes of reaching lives and encouraging others to be strong and have faith that they will indeed survive their stages of grief. Here’s to jumping in with both feet and making it happen! Time to finish what I started…