My name is Amanda and this is my story...

07_21_11.jpgI met my soul-mate on February 6, 1993: it was love at first sight. Greg was the fun-loving, farm-boy to my shy, inquisitive city-girl. He was an engineer who loved all things mechanical and I was in the midst of my PhD in eco-botany. We just clicked straight away and seemed always to know what the other was thinking.

We married in 1997 and after living and working in the tropical paradise that is Australia’s north for a few years, we eventually settled down to married life, buying a house and having our precious daughter in 2002 and wonderful son in 2004.

I was so happy and lucky and loved and I took it all for granted.

Now I am someone different: I am a widow. The man I love beyond breath was killed in a car accident whilst carrying out his normal duties at work on March 1, 2010 – the same day I began my new career as a teacher. He was 47 years and 5 days old; I turned 40 a month later. If it wasn’t for my sheer determination to keep going in the weeks and months that followed, the gnawing pit of grief would have swallowed me whole. But I have stubbornly refused to give in to despair, instead pouring my grief into my personal blog.

Today, most of me remains... I am still a Mum to two beautiful children. I am still a teacher. I still am a botanist. I still love Australian native plants and gardens. I still have fantastic friends. My brain still functions on a reasonably good level (short-term memory is a bit wonky though). I still love Holden cars and meat pies and good people everywhere. I still love the beach and the bush and I still love a good laugh.

But I find myself turning into someone new ... I find myself showing more kindness as I have been shown kindness. I find myself seeking out the hearts of others and hearing their story. …and I know one important truth: true love never dies.

Widow’s Voice was one of the first blogs I found in the months after being widowed in 2010 and I am honored to be taking part in this wonderful project. I know I have such big shoes to fill as the wonderful Matt moves on to bigger and better things, and I join with some truly amazing men and women who are also walking this horrible road of widowhood. I hope that I have something useful to say, something worthwhile, something that resonates with other people here and helps us all to feel that little bit less alone. Thank you Michele for inviting me and thank you all for welcoming me here.

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