It has been one year since Jerry died. 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days. It feels like it just happened, yet feels like forever since I last saw him, held him, kissed him. I want to share my knowledge of what it is like to go through a year after losing your spouse. I have learned so much, but the biggest things that I have learned is that every journey is different but yet I feel like the only people that “GET ME” are other widows. It is hard to explain my grief to people that did not lose their husband. If I was speaking to another widow, I would not have to even say a word and she would just know. We are forever bonded by our grief and loss.

Jerry is on my mind and in my heart all the time. I speak his name many times a day and even smile and laugh about fond memories. These are the good days. Then there are times when I am so consumed by moments that we lost, conversations that we did not have, time that was taken away from us. In the beginning it was mostly the latter, but now I have less of those sad days and more of smiles when I think of him.

So it has been a year…do I get a medal for making it a year? I feel like I need one of those sobriety coins. I Googled what the coin looks like. The coin reads:

“To thy own self be true”

I struggle with this. I am very strong, and I outwardly portray that, and people think I am this resilient, strong woman who has remained steadfast in her ability to pull her life together after such a tragedy. But did I really? I question it all the time.

Am I doing the right thing?

Am I grieving the right way?

Is it ok if I go an entire week without crying?

The peaks and valleys of grief for me extend to how I feel about myself. Some days I feel like a superwoman, and others I feel like an evil bitch. I am my own worst critic

The Coin also says:




Unity – This represents the relationships that have changed since he died. I have learned that not everyone means what they say. People that you thought would be there are not, and the ones that you least expect are. I have more unity in my family and also lost unity with his.

Service – To me this means what I can give back. There is so much that I want to do. I have raised money for the Cholangocarcinoma Foundation, I have donated to various charities, and plan on volunteering at a large hospital here in North Carolina at the Cancer center. I also feel like my blog, and my journey helps people that may be on this path. There is so much more to the service I want to give to the world, and I plan on doing just that.

Recovery – I don’t know if you ever recover from losing your spouse. I am still haunted by so many things. I still feel empty and lost. But I guess you can say I have recovered from the deepest depths of grief. It takes you down a very dark hole and its scary as shit there. I have crawled back up and fallen back down many times, but I keep getting to a higher point every time I come back up.

One year has passed. My mom said to me on the one year anniversary of his death, “you have no more firsts after this day” She is right. I have been through a year of firsts. Wow, there were a lot of them. Some were easier than I thought and some felt like a blow to the head.

I miss him, more than ever. I am so scared to forget his smell, and how it feels to put my arms around him or his voice. I think about it often so I can remember the feeling. I still have his cologne, and I often watch videos so that I can still hear his laugh. He was pretty amazing.

One year was really hard.

I want my one year widow coin. I deserve it.


Danielle Thompson was born in New York, and moved to North Carolina in 2009 with her husband and two boys. After an incredible job offer for her husband Jerry, they packed up their boys and relocated to California in the summer of 2015. In 2016 around Thanksgiving, her husband Jerry became sick where they found out very quickly that he had a late stage rare liver cancer. Jerry’s battle was short and he passed away in February of 2017. Danielle quickly moved back to North Carolina with her boys who are now 18 and 9 to grieve and heal. Part of her grieving is to share her journey to all that will hear, in hope that it will help someone going through the same thing. Danielle started her own blog early on and shared on social media to friends and family who encouraged her to keep writing. Danielle has met many other widows along her journey so far through her blog, social media groups, and local support groups. Danielle found hearing similar stories, encouraging and leaning on each other is vital on this path.

Along with blogging, Danielle has a background in accounting and is currently a licensed Real Estate agent.