As I walk in, I can feel the cold of the room being met with the warmth of the souls entering it. I find a seat and sit down. Staring towards a section of empty seats, I find myself trying to figure out which seat she would sit in.

Beautiful music plays as I watch family and friends decide where they will land. Then back to the empty seats, knowing the sadness that would be filling each seat soon. Holding onto a single piece of paper that shares significant information on a life lived.

My heart begins to race as the family of the son, husband, dad, uncle, and brother starts walking in. Emotions I felt the day I laid my husband to rest begin to fill me. I instantly identify the wife and examine her demeanor. Understanding the pain she is in at that moment, I pray for strength to fill her.

After losing my husband, it took everything out of me to attend a funeral. It was a huge trigger that threw me into a week-long tailspin. Knowing that it did, I did my best to avoid or find an excuse not to have to go.

Years had to pass, along with some grief therapy, for me to willingly attend a service. Triggers usually don’t occur, but if they happen, thankfully, it doesn’t send me into a week-long tailspin.

I now catch myself searching for the “widow’s chair.”

Waiting to view the incredible soul that will occupy it. Catching myself not listening to the services attended but standing with her from my seat. Holding space for her. My eyes begin to tear up, watching her as I silently say a prayer. I notice myself going over everything she will encounter in the following days, months, and years.

The chair she sits in represents the beginning of a new journey we never wanted to be on. A walk without your loved one. It carries silence and noise. There is the anguish felt in the “widow’s chair.” As it draws attention from the crowd, surveying her every move. Solitude fills the chair.

Although the beautiful wife who sits there can’t recognize it, the chair brings unknown wisdom and strength. The wisdom she has never had and strength like nothing before.  One day she will find it.

You may have sat in the “widow’s chair” recently or years ago. Today you may not be feeling the wisdom or strength I speak of. You may be feeling weak and lost with the season. There might be confusion and worry filling you. Give yourself all the time you need to find it. This may take years to gain. At least it did me.

But understand that seeking it must be present within you. If you don’t have it in you, find support and counsel to help get you on the right track.

Sitting in the “widow’s chair” does not mean we lose our life. It just altered the path we were on.


Love and Blessings


Jacki Corta is a motivational speaker, intuitive life, and grief coach along with the founder and CEO of Strength > Struggle™. The brand she discovered after traveling the journey of cancer with her husband. She started the Strength>Struggle™ crusade, helping others find their inner strength during some of the scariest times. In 2014, her husband, Douglas was diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain cancer and 20 months later passed away, giving Jacki a new title… Widow. It is Jacki’s mission to share her story with the world and how it can positively impact others in whatever they may face. It is a story of unexplainable strength in life’s most challenging storms, overcoming adversity and finding hope while traveling the difficult path her life took.

It is her ability to communicate and willingness to be vulnerable that connects with her clients and audiences. Jacki believes her purpose here is to impact as many souls as possible showing them that through even the darkest days there is a glimpse of light to grab onto for them to find their strength. Jacki will empower, challenge, and give you a new outlook on your own story.

She is a mother of three adult girls and a Mimi to two beautiful granddaughters. You can follow more of her story and inspiration on Instagram @jackicorta or listen to her podcast Jacki Has a Voice on Spotify.