I’ve been thinking about my healing journey. It is 2.5 years later and my pain can still be so gut wrenching. It has changed and shifted and maybe isn’t as raw as it was in the beginning but there is still an all consuming deep, torrential pain that takes my breath away. I have realized I need to grieve the many changed layers of my life. Recently, I have discovered one of these layers is to be known. It is a special relationship for a husband and wife to intimately know each other.  Marriage sets you apart from others and joins you as one flesh.  Death has taught me a hard lesson.  It is lonely being torn in two.  It is lonely having to physically separate.

Chad knew every part of who I was.  I was safe to be completely vulnerable with him.  He not only knew my insecurities and character struggles but loved me because of them. Where others may criticize my hot-headed nature, he could not only stand with me and lean into those moments but love my tenacity and strength. He loved my adventurous spirit and gentle soul. Chad knew me in every possible physical and emotional level. It was always so clear, even knowing all of me, he adored me and thought of me as his rock and equal partner.

I do devotions most mornings.  A quiet time to sit and reflect with God.  It was during this time recently I realized I miss being known by Chad.  I was feeling empty, lonely and crushed.  I suddenly heard a voice in my head say, “That’s how I love you! I know you even more than that and I adore you. I pick you as my favourite every day. Come to me and rest.” I believe this was God whispering into my soul that He sees me; He knows me.

The bible promises that God will sustain the widow. Psalm 146:9 That He will be a husband to the widow. Isaiah 54:5  I struggle to really understand what this means but I cling to these promises as my life raft. It’s what helps me get through my day to day struggles. I now understand a little more what God means by these promises. His love for me is wider, grander and richer than even Chad’s love was. And so now, I pray to feel God’s love as tangible as I felt Chad’s. That I wake each day surrounded by His peace and comforted to know even in my darkest moments He still choses me and loves me for them. I can be vulnerable and real with Him and He won’t ever turn His back.

The promise of God’s love is helping to get me through these lonely days and nights. COVID 19 has us all isolated and more alone than we usually are yet I am now feeling less lonely. I remind myself I am still known. I am known by my husband who I will see again one day in heaven. More importantly, I am known by a God who can whisper peace and hope into my soul.  For that I am so grateful!


Tanya Christians met her soul mate during her final year of university in Spring 1999. Although she was only 21 at the time it didn’t take long to know that this guy was the one. Chad Christians was charismatic, adventurous, confident, gorgeous and incredibly kind. He was a talented athlete who made everyone feel better the minute he entered a room. Deeply loved by everyone who knew him, Tanya always felt incredibly blessed that he chose her. Chad had a 2-year-old son when Tanya met him so once they moved in together in 2001, Tanya became a part time step mom. They were married July 2004 and then had 3 children together; a daughter in 2006, a son in 2007 and a second daughter in 2010. They built a beautiful life together in a close-knit acreage community.
Chad was a successful business owner and Tanya happily gave up teaching to stay home and raise their kids. They were incredibly happy.

In 2015, Tanya returned to work as a teacher, first part time because their youngest was in kindergarten and then full time when she was in grade one. It was June of this year that everything shattered. The life Tanya thanked God for several times a week came crashing down. Chad had been having severe back pain which led to his gall bladder being removed. After that surgery, Chad’s intense back pain was still more than he could stand. He had
been seeking medical attention for his pain since February but it wasn’t until June 11th, 2017 that the answer to the pain was found. A moment forever etched into Tanya’s mind. Chad had terminal, stage 4 gall bladder cancer. Despite being told the odds, Chad fought this cancer with everything he had, even seeking private treatment out of country, but it was just too aggressive. To everyone’s devastation Chad passed away 3.5 months later at the age of 41. When Chad moved into the different hospitals, shortly after diagnosis, Tanya moved in with him. She was by his side every moment as his health started deteriorating very quickly. Tanya’s strong faith in God gave her peace and hope during this horrendous time. She started a small, private blog telling her story during the endless hours of living in a hospital. Reading other widows blogs during this time gave her hope as well that possibly she could figure out how to live without her beloved Chad.

Chad passed away September 19th, 2017 at the age of 41. Tanya still lives on their small acreage, is working full time as a grade 6 teacher, has three kids in sports and activities and tries to stay connected to her community.
Tanya hopes sharing her story of how she is choosing to build a life where she and her kids thrive, despite her devastation, will give others hope too. How being intentional with her healing, taking steps of self care, adventures with and without her kids, staying connected to those who love them and a deep faith in God is helping them all to live a whole-hearted chapter 2 of their lives.

You can find Tanya on Instagram @christianstanya and her personal blog www.seekingthelightca.wordpress.com