The Life That is Waiting for Us

This seems like such a long time ago.

But in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
― Joseph Campbell

Change has been the theme of my life in the one year since I last wrote in this blog.  If you know me “IRL,” then you know how just 365 days has brought me to a completely different place, both physically and emotionally.

But we’ll get back to that in a bit.

I thought about making this a “before and after” type of post, but since I’m revisiting my blog after a whole year I decided to sort of pick up the “before” where I left off and ease into the “after.”

Not one day goes by that I don’t think about Nick and remember what his laugh sounded like and what his neck smelled like.  How he was wildly intense and delightfully light-hearted at the same time.  How he would call or text me at the most random times just to say how much he cared about me, and how much it freaked him out because being in love was risky and scary but he couldn’t deny it.

I was over-the-moon in love with him, too.  But I wasn’t as freaked out as he was because I was confident that we would be good.  We would weather every storm and grow old together and God would keep our bond and our marriage strong.  Why wouldn’t He, right?  So I would usually reply something like, “Hey, I love you too, and we got this.  There’s no reason to be scared.”  I wasn’t sweatin’ it.

But you know what was scary?



Living every day in almost constant, uncontrollable tears because you’re watching your brand new husband get sicker and sicker and you know he’s going to leave this world soon.

That is scary.

Married in October 2020, he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer in March 2021, and dies the following August.  You can’t make this stuff up.  That’s why I wrote a book about it.

Now that my book has been out there for over a year now, I am realizing that a lot of people straight up don’t want to read it.  Because they know it’s a sad story and they know they’ll probably cry and they don’t want to cry.

I challenge that.


Read it in your bedroom with the door closed or on the backyard patio by yourself.  Friends, when a book makes you cry actual tears, that is an extraordinary book.  The best thing about my book, though, is that when your tears are dried up and the Kleenex box is back in its usual place, you’ll start to smile again.

And instead of sadness and pity you’ll feel inspiration and new, fresh perspective that you totally didn’t expect.

Let me give you a taste of what I mean.



Spot.  On.

But that is not where it ends.






What is this madness?  THANKFUL when my loved one dies???

(I shall unapologetically insert a David Rose meme here because Dan Levy still makes me laugh more than just about anyone ever has in the history of ever.  Also, because this is what you’re thinking right this very moment.)



Not so fast.

Of course – I will say it again – of course you hurt SO bitterly when your loved one leaves this earth.  If you’ve read my book you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt how unbearably, how bitterly, how I-cannot-DO-this losing Nick HURT.  Every molecule of my body ached and throbbed and stung with a pain like I had never known before.

But my friend, the pain is not where it ends.  The grief is not where it ends.

That is not all there is.

Practical advice and a new mindset is where the last several pages of my book take your focus.  After the unbearableness and bitterness and indescribable hurt and emptiness, I hold a tissue and ever-so-gently start to dab at the tears streaming down your salt-raw cheek.  I carefully grasp the rusty, creaky wheel of despair and start slowly turning it in a different direction.  Best of all, I boldly but lovingly remind you that God – in the exact, specific ways He knows will help you the most – will bring beauty from your ashes, instill you with strength instead of fear, gladness instead of mourning, and peace instead of despair, that HE may be glorified (paraphrased from Isaiah 61:3).

You need to know that you have more control than you think.  You CAN do specific things to ease the sting, and there is NO shame in that.  You can grieve proactively.  You can do things to get back out there and live your life.  Be open to hope.  LET joy in.  My friend Michelle and I talked about this on her podcast, “Widowed2Soon.”  <—- You can watch or listen to it here.  Some of my best work, if I do say so myself.

Back to my “after.”  Would you believe I am now married to my sweater, we live in a cute, cozy (you knew that!) home in Green Bay, I have an exciting new job at which I am currently training and loving it.  WOWWWW, it has been a whirlwind, but this time – in a very good, happy way!

Let me ask you something.  Do you know someone who recently lost a loved one?  A close loved one – an immediate family member or very close friend?  If you do, please check on them.  Reach out and ask if they have the support they need right now.  Ask if you can stop by and hang out with them for awhile, even it if it’s just once.  Go to where they are and sit next to them.  Watch a TV show with them.  Talk if they want to.  Be silent if they don’t.  Just be with them.

Be with him.

Be with her.



The hardest part of my experience after Nick died was being in our house without him.  For three long, long months I had to live there by myself before I moved out of that house that only held sadness and awful memories for me.  Not even my neighbors checked on me because we had lived there for such a short time that we didn’t even get to know any of them.

Ease that isolation.  Ease that loneliness.  Ease that horrible pit in their gut that only those who are profoundly lonely after loss have felt.

I am determined to do this.  More about how I plan to do it in my next post.  And, of course, I will dish about how I met Jody!

Thank you for reading.  I’ve missed you!



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