Staying Strong After The Death Of A Loved One

I am a widowed mother of three children, ages 12 to 20. The events in my life started as a young child. Everyone tells me that my Daddy loved me liked no other.  He wanted a little girl more than anything and said he would send a little boy back. Daddy died a few days after I turned seven years old, from a car crash with a log truck. The log came through the windshield and hit him in the head. The log went out the trunk and slung his car, a hundred to two hundred yards, off the road, into a Burger King drive through. His brain had major swelling and he was in and out of a coma for a week, before he finally died. His last words were, “Where is Christy?” I get a lump every time I think of this. I have so many questions… I also have regrets. I constantly think, if Daddy was alive… I could stop by his house. I could cook him dinner. I could call him for help with my vehicle, or home, or kids. I could learn so much from him. He worked for a Publishing Company and his hobby at home was rebuilding hot rods and motorcycles and painting them. I have missed out on so much in life because I do not have my Daddy. My children have missed out on so much. My son looks just like him.

There is so much pain and sadness. It hurts that I no longer have him in my life, but it also hurts that it affected my Mom. The love she felt for him is still undeniable, thirty-two years later. His boots sat by the back door, just as if he was home and took them off himself. She no longer listens to rock and roll. She still cries at the thought of him. I never could understand why she could not handle certain things, such as watching old home movies. They comforted me. Why would they not comfort her?

I, now, know exactly why! My husband was murdered, at our home, and I lost a part of myself. I could no longer watch his favorite shows. I could not drink coffee, because he made me coffee every morning. I could not listen to the radio. I could not go to the grocery store because he loved to cook. I could not sleep or eat. I could not visit anyone. I could not go anywhere. I was frozen in time. I was lost and my world was spinning.

Nothing, in my life prepared me for this, nothing. I have dealt with death all my life. My father, three grandfathers, five grandmothers, an aunt, an uncle, and six close friends. Seventeen deaths in a thirty-two year span, should have prepared me for losing my husband. I still go numb, thinking back to his death. I could not shut my eyes for weeks. They were glued wide open. Sleeping pills only made me feel drunk. If I did manage to close my eyes, the sound of a shotgun louder than thunder, would have me sitting straight up in bed. It was as if the gun went off in my room, right next to me. It was torture!

Everyone told me, it would get better after the first year. The first year only felt as if a few months had gone by. Three years later, I’m not physically crying myself to sleep, but the pain is just as real. I still have a hard time going to the store or anywhere public. I do not want to see people. I still cannot watch his favorite shows alone.

I am learning that everyone heals in their own time and in their own special way. No one heals the same. For me, my healing is slowly coming in the form of angels. People are being put in my path, that need help. I believe in my heart, as I help them heal, I am also healing, no matter if I feel it or not. I have faith that God will bring me through this. God is carrying me through this, in His loving arms. I can accomplish all things through Christ, who gives me strength.

Sometimes, I wonder, if I had closure in his death, would I heal quicker. After he was murdered, they kept coming into our home and setting the alarm off. It was a nightmare! Not only did I lose my husband, but I was having to keep my family alive as well. Here I was, supposed to be in mourning, and I’m having to fight to catch my husband’s killer. The investigator on the case was useless. His exact words to me were, “Let me know when you catch them.” I was in complete shock!  How could they not care?! John Doe’s get better treatment than this.  But, that is another story for another time. I will not ever give up! He is a human being and deserves justice, just as much as the next person. I will not sweep him under the rug.

I pray for anyone in pain or suffering, to find your way of healing. It will come in time. You may not recognize it af first, but it will come. Stay strong and know that you are loved. Sometimes we may be surrounded by many people, and still feel alone and lonely. Always remember your loved ones need you, whether they show it or not. My family kept me from lying in the driveway and dying with him. I’m not sure if I ever told them or not, but I held on for them. How selfish that would have been of me. I wanted to be with him more than anything, but I also wanted my family more than anything.

If any of you are thinking of giving up, please stay strong for your loved ones, especially, if you have children who need you or elders who depend on you. That would be completely selfish to leave the ones who love you or need you. It may be harder to stay and deal with the pain, but keep your end goal in mind… meeting them on the other side, finally growing old together. They will be there, waiting on us. What a lovely day that will be!


About Christine Smith-Johnson

I am a widowed mother of three children, ages 11 to 19. I hope to encourage you through my trials and traumatic experiences. All my life, I dealt with heartache, and kept my head held high. Recently, I dealt with a heartache so big, it consumed me. Every part of me was lost and hurting. I never thought I would make it through. I did and I want to help you make it through your heartache, no matter how big or small it may seem to you.

Posted on January 5, 2011, in Dealing With Death, Elderly Issues, Health Issues, Honesty Issues, Parenting Issues, Paying It Forward, Relationship Issues, School Issues, Teen Issues, Victim Abuse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Excellent article it is really. I’ve been waiting for this update.

  2. Dear Christine,

    I did not want to post a comment here until I was ready or simply tick “Like” that is why it took me so long.

    Something like this would have shredded me irrevocably. You are one strong person.

    You have my deep respect and love.


  3. Great to meet you ours english can Staying Strong After The Death Of A Loved One Pullingitupbythebootstraps's Blog

  4. You are so strong and I send you love and light! Blessings to you and your children, Ann

  5. Sending healing angels to you Christine. Your story is heart breaking. The trauma you’ve experienced is tremendous and yet you are turning negative energy into positive energy by sharing and assisting with others. I would like to chat with you privately if you are interested. Maybe I can assist you in your healing. Love and Light, Natalie

    • Hi Natalie. Thank you for your interest. Healing angels sounds wonderful! 🙂

      I would be delighted to speak with you. I am always looking for new methods of healing that can also be used to help others. There are so many who are trapped in their pain and need help.

      Thank you for the love and following.

  6. Candida Abrahamson PhD

    Your story is very painful. To use a clinical term, you have a complicated bereavement, which means the “normal” grieving process–a year, as you mentioned–doesn’t apply. Perhaps you have considered a support group, even an on-line one. There are others going though similar suffering, although, of course, every human being is unique.

    Candida Abrahamson

    • Thank you Candida. You are so right. I have tried to explain this to my family and it sometimes falls on deaf ears. I completely understand the complicated bereavement, the issue with depleted adrenaline (which is the worst part) and the complications it brings. However, they do not understand as they have not experienced it. I have learned to live for myself and my children and not focus or worry about how the rest of the family feels we should function. I find comfort in myself and in helping others. I never realized how many others were silently suffering until my eyes were opened. Thank you so much for your information. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas.

  7. My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog. He used to be entirely right. This put up truly made my day. You can not imagine just how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thanks! Cheers from France!

    • I am glad it made your day. Thank you for your inspiration! I am not sure what you are going through but I have learned that helping others helps you heal. You may not feel it at first, but you will in time. If you would like to share your story and inspire others who are hurting, you can visit I hope to see you there!

  8. Many Blessings to You, Dear One!


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