Losing the man you love isn’t for the faint of heart.  It’s H-A-R-D!  You lose your partner, the person you chose to become one with, and quite often the person with whom you created children.  Recovering from that loss takes time, and along the way you will have good moments and bad.

Today I had a good moment.  Tropical Storm Cristobal is wreaking a tad bit of havoc here in the Midwest.  Honestly, it just looks like a lot of wind, rain and gloom, which isn’t unlike most storms in my opinion.  The wind is what provided me with my good moment though.     

Nineteen years ago this month, Jeff and I were married.  We aren’t big topical island people, so for our honeymoon, we went to Mackinac Island, Michigan.  It’s absolutely gorgeous there!  One of the gifts we brought back to our new home was wooden wind chimes.  

I absolutely adored the way they sounded.  They had a deep, soothing clink.  Sadly, they didn’t last too many years.  The rope that tied them together sort of weakened and broke over time.  I wanted to re-string them, but that never happened.  Probably because I had little munchkins running around and that task looked a bit daunting.  

Fast forward a few years.  I don’t remember what year it was, and honestly, I don’t remember if it was Mother’s Day or my birthday, but my guess is Mother’s Day.  My family bought me beautiful wind chimes.  These were small and metal, and they made a high tinkling sound.  My husband said to me, “When you hear them, think of the kids and I.” 

Well, let me tell you, those too broke, and I am on my third set of wind chimes, but whenever I hear them I think of him saying that to me.  There are wooden wind chimes hanging in the tree by his grave at the cemetery, and when the wind kicks up, even they make me think of him.  I could walk through the neighborhood and hear someone else’s wind chimes and still think of him.  I am certain when the kids aren’t around I will think of them too.  Every wind chime I hear will forever make me think of my husband and my children.

As the winds of Cristobal kicked up today, I smiled big and thought to myself, “I love you too, Jeffrey.  Thank you for all the wonderful memories.” 

That is the beauty of life after loss.  You start to realize that even though your loved one is gone they will absolutely never be forgotten.  At first you are just so fearful that you will forget what they sounded like, smelled like, or even forget your memories.  As time moves forward, you realize that the bond between you two will never be broken.  You realize that memories are everywhere…even blowing in the wind.  

In a perfect world, I would still have Jeffrey here with me, but we most definitely don’t live in a perfect world.  After 18 months, I can still hear his voice.  I can still remember what he smelled like, and he left me with a bountiful amount of wonderful memories to get me through until I see him again in Heaven.

Ladies, I hope each of your husband’s left you with wonderful memories too.  I pray that when a pleasant memory pops in your mind you are able to smile and say, “I love you, too, Honey!  Thank you for all the wonderful memories!”  




Dawn’s life was forever altered on December 6, 2018 when she got the call that her husband, Jeffrey, had passed away at his work. She quickly learned that Jeff died from a gunshot wound, and detectives determined that it was self-inflicted. Dawn still struggles to wrap her brain around that fact. She will tell you that most days she doesn’t think about that part of it at all. Her husband is gone. The manner in which he died ultimately doesn’t matter. Gone is gone. He will forever be 46. Jeff and Dawn started out as friends in the Fall of 1997. They started to date in January of 1999. On September 3rd, 2000, in front of a beautiful lake, Jeff asked Dawn to be his wife, lover and friend forever. She excitedly accepted, and on June 30th, 2001, they became husband and wife. Together, Jeff and Dawn had 3 children...Ali, Josh & Meghan. During the majority of their 17 years of marriage, Dawn was a housewife and Jeff ran a fencing company. The kind of fencing that keeps children and animals contained. Not the kind of fencing that uses a sword. After Jeff passed, Dawn went back to school to get her special education endorsement. She is proud to be a special education teacher. In her free time, she can usually be found spending time with family and friends. Reading has been her passion since she was just a little girl, but since Jeff passed, she has found it hard to focus on reading. While that is a negative change that has happened on her journey, one positive change is that she has been writing more. Dawn tries to be very open about her journey with the hopes that it will help even just one other person better understand grief. For years, Dawn has been passionate about spreading joy to those around her. She continues to be that way, and now she is very purposeful about trying to focus on the positive things even during a horrible situation. She moves forward on this journey with her mind focused on continuing to honor Jeffrey, as well as trying to raise their three wonderful children in a way that will make him proud. Her hope is to live a life that will allow her to see Jeff in Heaven. She wants to see his smile again and feel his arms around her. Of course, that will be after she hopefully hears her Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”