#howisoar - Kerry Phillips

When my husband died, I was afraid to fall apart. When the reality of his death set in, I still refused to allow myself to fully grieve his passing. I loved him with every fiber of my being. I was afraid of what my grief would look like and worried I wouldn’t be able to get out of the quicksand of grief if I allowed myself to go to this unknown place. I grieved, but it was the “light” version of what I truly felt in my soul. My grief was a rainstorm when inside it felt like a Category 5 hurricane. But I wouldn’t, couldn’t allow myself to truly grieve for who he was to me...what he meant to my life.

Instead, I threw myself into motherhood. I was strong for her and strong for me. Even as I started blogging, I held back. My pain was just too much to put into words. It wasn’t until I met my widow tribe that I learned that it was okay if I had fallen apart back then. It was okay if I had been a mess. It was okay to have been broken.

My experience at Soaring Spirits’ Camp Widow confirmed this. Seeing so many widows sharing their truths and stories of hitting rock bottom was reassuring. There was beauty in knowing that although they had been broken to their core, they were able to rebuild. The cracks and scars that remained were simply a testament to having loved. It was a reminder that our spouses existed.

I continue to be in amazement of the “campers” I met; who bore their soul and were made stronger by the experience. That’s the reason for my book, “The One Thing: 100 Widows Share Lessons on Love, Life, and Loss”. The widows who are featured serve as proof for the next wave of widows that falling apart doesn’t mean being irrevocably broken. Showing others that there is life after loss is #HowISoar.

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