Thoughts & News

From Pain to Peace: How Living Intentionally Can Help Heal

From Pain to Peace: How Living Intentionally Can Help Heal

"I stopped looking for others to make me happy. I found the happiness within myself. I found so much gratitude with everything that I still had. Once I did that, I discovered contentment. What a beautiful gift contentment is. I took each challenge and plowed through, making the best choices I could for me and my kids. I listened to my heart and my gut rather than words from people who chose to be involved when it was convenient for them. I let go of toxic people and welcomed loving and supportive people into my life."

Top 10 Things "i understand"

10. Ignorance is okay. I have had some of the most ignorant and hurtful comments made to me after Rob’s death. Such as – how did he “do it”, does h...

Life After Loss: A Letter to Friends Who Have Lost

Life After Loss: A Letter to Friends Who Have Lost

As difficult as it was, we moved forward, one day at a time. The memories we have together and those who share their own fond recollections with us are truly the best gifts ever. Rob lived a fulfilling and happy life; no one more proud of his family than he was. He lived with depression successfully for a long time. Many people were surprised to learn that he even battled depression. On the outside, he was a man that appeared to have it all. After he passed, many people asked me if I saw this coming. How could I see something coming that I knew nothing about?

Life After Loss: Love After Loss

Life After Loss: Love After Loss

I have heard many friends say and have said myself prior to my loss, if I lost my husband, I would never date anyone or get married again. Well, unless you've been there, it's really not a fair statement to make. As time goes on, many realize - they don't want to be alone, yet you wonder - when is the appropriate timing, am I ready, will I be good enough? I believe there is no perfect timing and if someone seems to be a match for you, experience it, enjoy it and welcome it. I've been widowed for 14 years and am still in the process of finding Mr. Right. There are others who've been widowed for less than a year and find much love and happiness early after their loss, that makes me, happy for happy! Yet, when you are older, have children and get pretty comfortable in your own way, new relationships can get complicated as children may find it difficult to see their parent with someone other then their mom/dad, family and friends have strong feelings and opinions and the relationship that should be between two people becomes a relationship with many. It can become very complicated and not having the ability to accept something different than what once was can be challenging.

Life After Loss: Glass Half Full

Life After Loss: Glass Half Full

One of my gifts is having the ability to see the glass always half full. In the darkest of days and the longest of nights, I still saw beauty. I knew that no matter how difficult it got for me, there were always people that had it worse. I reminded myself I needed to be thankful for everything I did have. Gratitude is a gift.

Life After Loss: Allowing the Good

Life After Loss: Allowing the Good

About 8 months after Rob's death, I turned on the TV and oddly it was on a station I rarely watch. As I went to turn the channel, I was stopped as...

Reflections on i understand's 3rd Anniversary

Reflections on i understand's 3rd Anniversary

Today I am 53 years old and i understand officially turns 3!

What a journey it as been and often times throughout I have questioned - why does one have to go through so much pain?  Losing Rob was only the beginning of a domino effect of heartache.

Rob died less than 4 months after my 39th birthday.  The Incredible Hulk was the last material gift I received. A few years later, a friend who witnessed the Hulk gifting said to me, "Vonnie, do you see the message in that gift? The Incredible Hulk has the power of super strength and enhanced healing abilities. Rob knew and wanted you to be reminded of your strength and knew you would heal yourself and the kids."

Life After Loss: Tough Love

Life After Loss: Tough Love

The loss of Rob was truly a domino effect to many other worries and struggles to come. I watched the pain and confusion from the kids and how most friends and family weren't able to relate to this type of loss and couldn't even talk about it. As I sat day after day in the hospital, my kids went through their normal routine of getting up and going to school. It wasn't until the day before Rob was taken off life support that I actually told them, it didn't look like their dad would be coming home.

Life After Loss: A Widowed Parent's Perspective

Life After Loss: A Widowed Parent's Perspective

Life as a widowed parent has been difficult at times. From making decisions alone and questioning whether you're doing the right thing, to wondering whether you're giving your kids too much in order to compensate for the loss of their dad. There have been times where I've been caught in the "feeling sorry for myself mode" as my plate overfills with duties and responsibilities, which leads to worry and lack of sleep. When you add the trauma of a death by suicide into the mix, there is constant worry on how this type of death affects you, your kids, and your family and friends.

Running for Mental Health

Running for Mental Health

One day while I was in bed, I rolled over lazily, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw my neglected, bright pink running shoes. For a brief second there, I felt an emotion akin to missing a friend. “What the heck,” I figured and I put them on. That day I completed a 15-minute walk, outside, in the fresh air. When I returned home, I sort of felt a little bit better.

The next day, I walked further. The day after that, I ran a bit. And so on and so forth. Eventually I found running was more than just a thing you do for the body. It’s something you do for the mind as well. This isn’t a placebo effect thing either. It’s been proven that when you run, or exercise, endorphins in the brain are released that trigger a positive or euphoric feeling (runner’s high, anyone?).

Memorial Day: Veterans & Mental Health

Memorial Day: Veterans & Mental Health

Memorial day is for all veterans, not just those who were lost in combat, but also for those who we lost here at home. Although many veterans pass from natural causes, there is an alarming rate of mental health related deaths among veterans.

Is it 13 Reasons Why or Why Not?

Is it 13 Reasons Why or Why Not? I told my girls I needed to watch this series. Both said to me, "no, Mom don't." With a bombardment of messages a...