‘I was the only parent. I was the only one there to discipline my children and raise them. It was difficult, but I survived.’
“My husband passed away in 2016 tragically and unexpectedly. I’ve had to raise four kids on my own, and it’s been difficult. I have three boys and one girl, and they were all very young when it happened. I constantly thought, ‘What’s my next step?’ I was vulnerable, but I had to step up to the plate for my children. I had to get certain things done in order to survive and face whatever I had to face to get through life. At that time, I was a stay-at-home mom, and I couldn’t look for a job because of my busy schedule. By the time I took care of the kids in the morning, I’d come home and do chores, prepare dinner, do the laundry, go grocery shopping and do all these other things, and then it would already be time for them to come home. Then, when they got home, they had to go to these activities, like football and baseball.
Time heals our love and our grief, but there’s no time line on grieving.
“I was the only parent. I was the only one there to discipline my children and raise them. It was difficult, but I survived. I’m so close with my children. My role with them is as their mother and friend. I am their go-to person, and I want to always be that person for them. I had a lot of family support. On weekends, family would step in and offer support or babysit them while I took a break for myself. My friends were also a great help to me. Being able to get dressed up and get out of the house to see my friends for dinner about once a month was great for my mental health.
“I had my own support team, and my kids also had their own. The schools would check in with the kids and make sure they were OK. My kids were on sports teams, and the leagues were supportive and really stepped in by volunteering to drive them to and from practices. All the support was phenomenal. Three years ago, when the kids got a bit older, I decided that I needed to get out, and I looked for a part-time job. I’ve been working part time since then. It’s helped me to get out of the house, and it’s just beneficial to my mental health. My mental health could have drastically declined, but I always kept my head up for my children. I had to push forward. Time heals our love and our grief, but there’s no time line on grieving.”