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How old were you? Were you expecting it?
Are you surprised that you are surviving? Have you thrived yet?


I was 50 when it happened. All day I thought it was just a day, but then it turned out to be the day my husband died. He dropped dead, with no warning whatsoever, while I chopped broccoli.

I unsuccessfully gave him CPR.


We had been smug marrieds for 28 years, living a storybook life, lifting and holding each other up. With him, I could do anything. But then, through a long slog of grief and death details, I realized that I could do anything still, only now, without him. It was lonely on the highest hill of abandonment though, naked and alone. No one to share their jacket or to remind me to put sunscreen on my nose.


On August 7, 2019, we had two kids a week from starting their first full school years in Kansas, one elementary, and one middle school. We had lived in his hometown, Kansas City, for only eight months, having exodused, as I liked to call it, our SoCal rat race lives. We thought we had found the bucolic life we longed for, complete with a pond and four acres. We had only just begun to slow down, enjoy life, and raise kids.

And then I became an only parent.


He was a small business owner and politician in Orange County. I had given up my Fortune 24 vice president position to be a house mom and author. We were floating in comfort.

But then, a week after he died, on the plane back to SoCal for his funeral, I decided I would have to cash out a retirement account and send out resumes because I thought there was only a small life insurance policy and all of our bank accounts were frozen due to a delayed death certificate.

Things were a snarl, my finances a morass.


My priorities changed in an instant. I went from making progress on my romantic comedy novel to giving my kids Benedryl before bed. I had gone from a spoiled rotten (in a good way) wife to a completely broke single mom with an EBT card and free lunches for my kids. I cried all the time, at Target, in church, in the pick-up line, in my bed.


I couldn't stand the looks of curiosity, sympathy, and pity. So, I put my chin up, put on my big girl panties, and empowered myself to come back. That is where things got interesting.


The comeback is where each block of tenaciousness and grit is stacked and held together through tears and laughter, one at a time, building a life. Let’s do it together.


I hope you will join me, having company as you put your life back together again too. We will laugh, cry, and motivate ourselves. Email me and tell me where you are on your journey.

Your life is not over!

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