Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wife to Widow: One year later

One year has come and gone. I’m not sure how this can be? To be honest, I still often wonder how this tragedy, a nightmare I couldn’t have even dreamed possible, became my reality. One year ago I felt as though my world stopped. I quickly learned, though, that despite my brokenness, shock, and heartache, life continues on… Days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and just like that, my year of firsts is complete. If you would have asked me one year ago where I envisioned myself today, I probably would have given you a blank, emotionless stare and simply muttered, “I don’t know.” The element of shock blanketed my entire being—my mind numb & my heart shattered into a million little pieces. Fast forward 365 days and life as a widow proves to be survivable.

While this year has been full of “firsts” and many unknowns, one thing I do know is that I’m in a different place than I was one year ago. I never intended to “blog my way through grief” over this past year, but it seems as though I did just that. I don’t believe this journey, a journey of sorrow & hope, ever completely ends, but I do think you learn how to maneuver the twists & turns, and eventually, pave new paths. Even though I have a long road ahead, I’m proud of where I am today in my journey and couldn’t have done it without all of you, my biggest fans and prayer warriors. I’m not sure of my blogging future from here on out, but wanted to give you some perspective on what I’ve learned going from wife to widow over this past year…

They say time heals, and after one year, I can attest that this theory is somewhat true. However, with that being said, I can also tell you that there is a piece of my heart that still aches just as much today as it did 365 days ago. Some days that pain is roaring with a vengeance bringing me back to my early days of grief, while other days, it’s simply more of an ache, but nonetheless, I continue to feel the pain of losing my husband EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I can also tell you that what is perceived as strength to all of you is merely survival to me… survival of making it through the hour {yes, one hour} in those early days, survival of getting through another week without him, survival of checking that “single” box on paperwork  {where’s the “widow” box?}, survival of getting through church without having a complete breakdown, survival of making every decision by yourself, survival of every tragedy without him to hold me up, survival of every joy that he is not here to share, survival of taking care of a house and 2 dogs without a partner in crime. Widowhood= survival of the fittest… Who knew?

There are a few other things I have determined over the last 12 months… Despite what the outside world thinks, laughing when your world is flipped upside down & your heart is broken, is completely ACCEPTABLE. Not only is it acceptable, it’s necessary. And does the soul wonders! It’s ok to laugh, to cry, and then forget how old you are & where you misplaced your phone that you’re holding in your left hand… That, my friends, is what we call “widow brain.” If you’ve experienced widowhood, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who are blessed to not be part of the ‘hood, trust me when I say that the “widow brain” theory is very real and very true. I’ve also come to the conclusion that widowhood requires more patience with oneself than you could imagine, a deeper faith than you thought was possible, an amount of courage that is beyond measurable, and……..…… an entire village. I would not be where I am today without both of our families, an army of friends, our amazing community, and countless strangers. THANK YOU. No words will ever express my gratitude to all of you who have walked right beside me on this journey over the past year, offering prayers of love, encouragement, and healing.

Since the moment I learned my husband wasn’t coming home to me, I vowed to carry on his legacy and live a life here on Earth that would make him proud. For me, carrying on DJ Fischer’s legacy means living life to it’s very fullest {something he was known to do in his short time}… a life full of fun, adventure, love, spontaneity, and grace. It means moving forward and finding happiness again. It means working hard, being generous, and paying it forward. This is no easy task… Big guy, big shoes, big legacy. However, I couldn’t be more proud that he chose me as his wife and I’m so grateful to be one of many carrying on his touching legacy. I’m heartbroken that we don’t get to live out our dreams together as planned, but I do know the absolute best way I can honor him, is to the live the life he dreamed of on this Earth.

A friend once told me, “to forget is impossible, to grow is inevitable…” After one year of grieving, dreaming new dreams, and sending up a million prayers, I have accepted a job in Sioux Falls, SD and will {finally} begin my career as a nurse anesthetist In June/July. I am excited for this new beginning as one year ago, I wasn’t sure if this dream would be fulfilled. It will be bittersweet leaving behind what was supposed to be, but I am confident this is what he would want me to do. So with that being said, I will be taking a break from blogging this summer as I settle into a new home, a new job, and my new “normal.”

When I started this blog 11 months ago, I never anticipated writing every month. I had zero expectations of myself and simply needed an outlet with all that was taking place in my life. I wasn’t interested in talking at that time, so writing became my therapy. And you all became my lifeline. I entitled this blog “Hitting Rock Bottom & Choosing to Get Back Up” because I did hit rock bottom, but somehow, even amidst my darkest days, I still believed I had choice in how I was going to live my life post-loss. I chose the tough option—the option of getting back up—climbing an endless mountain, with the summit being Heaven someday. I miss my husband dearly every hour of every day. And I will love him always. Two pieces to the puzzle of my life will forever be missing, but will eternally hold a special place in my heart, being carried with me wherever I may go in this crazy, beautiful life.

Thanks for reading & Happy summer.

With love always,


{In loving memory of DJ, Brent, Nick, & Logan}


  1. I am so sorry...stay strong, you are a beautiful person.

  2. Keep strong dear and congratulation on your new job! Something happened for a good reason. After dark there's always been a wonderful sunrise.

  3. I know this is late, but what a beautiful and sweet blog. I hope for you the very best in God's grace.