I still remember the day as if it were yesterday. I can recall every little detail from that fateful night. I do not discuss it in great detail as I do not want to relive it, but I will not forget that tragic night. My wife was suffering from severe headaches that were worse than a migraine. She took her medicine and was resting. I let her rest the entire day and I took care of our daughter Kailee who was five at the time. I would check on her from time to time but let her rest.
As we did every night, Kailee and I would turn on her cartoons and watch them right before bed. The lights were out and the only light was from the TV. Kailee gave her mommy a kiss goodnight and covered her head up with the blanket. She said mommy is cold so I covered her up. I said well do not cover her head up silly and went and pulled the blanket off her head. When I did something didn’t seem right and my heart began to sink. I felt her head and she was cold. Granted, it was very cold in the house but this did not feel right. I went to the top of the stairs and turned the lights on and when I checked on her again, my worst nightmare was realized. Jen was gone! I gasped for breath and grabbed Kailee and ran upstairs. I did not want Kailee to see her mommy like that. That image is forever ingrained in my mind and do not want her or anyone else have to live with that.
I immediately called 911 and it seemed like forever for paramedics to arrive although I know it did not take long. Shortly after arriving I still remember the words uttered by one of the paramedics as he knelt down in front of me, “I am so sorry for your loss, she is in a better place now.” My heart shattered. She was only 30 years old and we just got married six months earlier. Our daughter was without her mommy at 5 years old. What do I do now was the sentence I muttered many times. I was completely lost.
The next few months I think I was numb and just went through the motions. My emotions were on a roller coaster. I would be overcome with extreme sadness and just cry out of nowhere. I would get angry, especially when I saw couples or families together. I was somewhat jealous of what they had. I even got mad at God for a while. The days I did have brief moments of happiness I felt guilty like I was not supposed to be happy. It was an extremely hard time and I clang to Kailee as my rock. The first six months is where I experienced God the most. I was scared! I flashbacked from the days when I was depressed and what I went through then. I did not want to go through that again but what I was currently going through now was a million times worse than back then. Kailee needed me but I was afraid. I am blessed to say that I never got depressed and did not fall back into that mess. God had my back.
After about six months it was a little more bearable and as part of my therapy I would post encouraging quotes or phrases from a book I read on social media. People would begin responding, thank you, I needed that. A couple of months later I had an epiphany. I remember one meeting I had with my pastor, which I met with often after Jen’s death, and he told me that although he did not know completely what I was going through, he knows that God can make good out of bad because God is good. My response out of anger was “how the hell can God make good out bad? He can’t bring her back.” His response was “I don’t know, but I know he can.”
That moment came to fruition. My purpose was to help other people get past whatever was holding them back from having the life they desire. Somehow God was going to use my loss to help others. I finished my certification as a life coach and began moving forward trying to help anyone and everyone. I didn’t know the details, I just remembered that I was supposed to move forward and things would fall into place. I could help anyone and everyone. I met some great people along the way that guided me and encouraged me. I could never seem to get a firm ground on the coaching. I kept hearing “you need a niche, but I kept saying but I can help anyone. I had many ups and downs moving forward and I just couldn’t get my coaching practice off the ground. I needed money as I was struggling yet again so I got back in to life insurance and eventually got a full-time job. I began to make excuses why I could not do coaching and got mad at God again. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be a coach. Maybe I was not good enough. I needed “security” of a job because I had a daughter to take care of and needed “steady” income.
Needless to say, the steady income was not enough so I took some more risks to generate more income that back fired yet again. I had some people encourage me to continue with coaching but I continued to make excuses. I would try to do things here and there with coaching but I was not focused heavily on it. I had almost given up on the dream and lost some passion.
Two years after my wife died, I watched my mom die in ICU. For five years she battled illness and her body could not handle it anymore. She was on a respirator and she was of sound mind so we asked if she was ready to go see Jesus. You see, four months prior, she accepted Jesus in her heart. She nodded yes. So we pulled the plug. Watching her die was extremely traumatic and it took over an hour despite the doctor stating it would not take more than ten minutes.
The month prior to my mom passing, my brother had a major heart attack and we almost lost him. My mom was in the hospital at the time so I was going to two different hospitals. My mom knew something was not right with my brother but we never told her what had happened. We still had hope that she would make it out of the hospital. After all, she faced death five times prior to that and made it through. A week prior to my mom passing, my brother came home.
Although I tried to stay strong, the stress took its toll on me and I began having panic attacks. This was not like the anxiety I had before, but rather it felt like I could not breathe and was having a heart attack myself. I went to the doctor to make sure I was ok, and after tests he said I was good and it was stress induced. He wanted to give me a small dose of anti-depressant to help take the edge off but I refused. All I needed to know was that I was ok so that my mind would calm down which it eventually did.
Shortly after my mom passed, I ended up getting remarried but that marriage ended in disaster. I will not say anything bad about her at all. I have since forgiven and wish her the absolute best. I will say that in a nutshell the marriage ended because when two hurt people get together, they hurt each other. I am now very grateful that the marriage ended and I went through the suffering in that. I know it’s crazy to think that someone could be grateful for a failed marriage, but I am. I learned so much about myself and things I needed to change during that time that I am blessed having gone through it.
During that time, my anger came back out. I realized that the majority of my anger was because I tried to control every aspect of my life. I thought that if I could control everything, I was secure. This was deep on the subconscious level due to past failures and pain that I never fully dealt with. Consciously I knew full well that it was impossible to control everything.
I would try so hard not to get angry but ultimately when you keep focusing on something you do not want, it was bound to happen. And it did. I was miserable. I hated the feeling but could not figure out how to get past it. I was also getting angry because I felt like a failure in the eyes of my family. Again, the thoughts of not being good enough would creep back in.
To be continued…..