Toni and John
My husband, John, passed away suddenly after 43 years of marriage. Together, we raised 5 boys, 2 biological and 3 foster-adopt. Our house was lively, and full of energy (and soccer balls). Once the boys were adults, we continued to have a close and loving relationship, riding our bikes and enjoying being together.
Suddenly, I was thrust into a life I never expected, and the tsunami of grief was unbearable. My grief counselor recommended Heartlight, and I attended my first meeting with much trepidation, but knowing that I had to use every possible resource in order to move forward. I was warmly welcomed by Jennifer McBride and the members of the Widow/Widower Education and Support Group. Members of this group have become my partners on the path of grief and the desire to move forward in our lives. We help each other through the dark moments that come daily, and give each other the strength to face each day while mourning our loved ones. Many of us have formed lifelong friendships.
Jennifer guides the group with gentle understanding and love. My journey is normalized by others sharing their stories and grief. There are resources to help us on our journey: books, websites, candlelight remembrances at holiday time, and many other resources made available and suggested.
Thank you to Jennifer, Emily, Julie (who drives all the way from Cheyenne to be an additional support for all of us) and the mission of Heartlight for helping me to emerge from a grieving caterpillar wanting to permanently hide in my “grief cocoon” into the butterfly I’ve yet to become.