Your Widow's Voice Blog Writers


Sunday: Sarah Treanor
I lost the love of my life on June 12, 2012. I was 29. He was a helicopter pilot who had just finished flight school and landed the job of his dreams as a commercial pilot. I was a graphic designer – with dreams of being a fine artist. We were at a real pinnacle of our lives together. Having dated for three years almost to-the-day, we were on the cusp of committing to each other for the rest of our lives. On that awful ordinary day, he was riding along with another pilot when they hit power lines and crashed. He was killed almost instantly.

Two months after his death, I quit my office job, left the city, and moved to the country to stay with his family and focus on healing. With a fire to continue in his footsteps and live my own dreams, I am now
devoting much of my time to my art and writing. I am determined that no amount of pain is going to stop me from living life fully each day – the way we did together.

At a glacial pace, I am becoming someone new. An artist and a writer, less innocent, and also less afraid. Kinder and more loving, but also more cynical. In pain, sometimes pretty angry, but also feeling joy deeper than I ever have before. Learning more every day about this thing we call life and the incredibly hard stuff it asks of us. 
Monday: Cassie Deitz
 From the day I met Dave, when I was 20, we were rarely apart. We experienced 15 amazing years together, building a life around our mutual love of the outdoors and each other. We didn’t have kids, lived out in the country and had our summers off so we were unusually close.

He was the hardest working, most reliable, trustworthy and loyal person I’ve ever known. He was my family and my home. On June 4th, 2011, after 6 terrifying days in the hospital with myocarditis, he suffered heart failure and died. I didn’t get to hold his hand or say goodbye as he died. I’d never even heard of myocarditis. 

I’m 35 and starting over. It’s been as though the earth tilted the day I became a widow. Nothing is the same. But I’ve found that writing, Camp Widow, and the love of my friends have helped me cling to this life I’m building now. I feel I owe it to Dave, who loved me beyond reason, to try every day to have hope. I am proving to him that I can do this and do it well. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tuesday: Kerryl Murray McGlennon 

Ian and I met on 11 June 2009 after first contact on an on-line dating site and I knew he was going to be the man I would marry the moment I laid eyes on him. Four months later he came to my office, handed me a cactus, and asked me to marry him (he apparently didn’t see the florist over the road –but did find a cactus!). We married on 4 June 2011, celebrating with our 4 month old son, family and friends.
In February 2012 he had heart surgery for a wonky heart-beat, and he got hit with the rarest complication which showed up on March 17, his 46th birthday. After a roller-coaster three months of battling infection and complications on the complication, he passed away on 14 June, ten days after our first wedding anniversary. We managed to fit a lot into three short years.
I’m now raising our son, who is apparently just like his father was as a child in both looks and temperament, and trying to instil in him what was important to Ian (while sometimes being rather miffed Ian got out of dealing with toddler tantrums). And in part of the soul searching aftermath, at 38 I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up, so am studying accounting part-time at university. Although I have to walk this road, I’m incredibly grateful that road is in the country I live in, and I’m walking it at this time in history.

Wednesday: Alison Miller
I've always thought of myself as a strong woman. It's only now that my husband died that I', finding out how strong I really am. I'm determined to survive, and thrive, beyond this pain. Dying of a broken heart isn't as easy as it sounds, so, since I haven't died I've decided to create a new life for myself that will set the world ablaze. I'm hurling myself into new situations: indeed, my entire life is vastly different from what it was with him. All I have left of him is our love, and that is my guiding force in  life full-time on the road in my Pink Magic rig.



Thursday: Stephanie Vendrell Originally from the Washington, DC area, I  met my husband in Los Angeles in 1999 on set of a TV show. Mike was the stunt coordinator, and I was working as a fabricator for a special FX studio. He never let me forget that Beethoven's Ode to Joy was playing over the sound system in the studio the moment we met; I only wondered who that large, talkative and eccentric man was who seemed to be getting in my way all the time. But only a week or two later, after a whirlwind, magical few days together, he asked me to marry him and I heard myself say yes.

Three months later I found myself the third wife of a man 14 years my senior who had two grown daughters; a man who would guide, nourish, love, and devote himself to me, and I him, for the next nearly fourteen years. We moved to Hawaii together in 2001, where we ran a school teaching martial arts (he was a renowned kung fu master) and yoga (I was obsessed with it at the time).  I have no children of my own, but continue to treasure his daughters and their families as my own.
 On February 17, 2013, I woke up to a dark and silent house.  Thus began the shock and horror of discovering that the unique light and tympani that was my beautiful husband had moved on from my life. He'd had a heart attack in his sleep at age 59.
 A widow at 44, I began the long road of rediscovering myself and recreating my future. I started writing down the stories and tales of this legendary character who was my husband; soon, I also started writing about my experience of grief, and the attempts to move forward with my life. I hope this will someday become a book. You can read more about that journey at stephanievendrell.com. 

Friday: Kelley Lynn
My name is Kelley Lynn. I'm a writer, stand-up comedian, actor, and Adjunct Professor teaching theatre and comedy courses at Adelphi University.  I live just outside NYC, with the 2 kitties my husband and I adopted together years ago.

On July 13, 2011, I woke up, literally, to the reality of my new life. My husband Don had gone to work, and not even an hour later, he was found collapsed on the floor and rushed by ambulance to the hospital. My healthy, 46 year old husband had suffered a sudden and massive heart attack. He was gone, just 3 months shy of our 5 year wedding anniversary, and my 40th birthday. Our time together was just beginning, and in a flash, was done. Don was my best friend, soul mate  and the kindest person I have ever known. He was an Air Force veteran, an E.M.T., animal lover / activist, and the the type of husband that every person deserves to have. Grieving is hard work. It is excruciating and exhausting. Currently, I find moments of comfort, healing, and joy in laughter, being creative, finding ways to honor my husband's life, and writing. I am currently in the middle of writing a book about grief, love, life, and loss. You can find more of our story at www.ripthelifeiknew.com.

Saturday: Rebecca Collins
I met my darling Daniel on 15 November 2011. Single for most of our adult lives and aged 31 (me) and 32 (Dan), it didn't take us long to realize we had found what we'd been searching for - true love.  Life together was blissful, we couldn't have asked for more.  He proposed the night before our ten month anniversary and we were married on 9 June 2013.  However, sadly only six weeks later, I lost him very unexpectedly to suicide.

Dan had been struggling to focus at work and suffering from memory loss for a few months before he was diagnosed with depression the day after our honeymoon.  I still remember sitting next to him in the doctor's office when Dan said 'but I'm not sad?'.  On the morning of 24 July 2013, 45 days after our wedding and less than 5 weeks after starting anti-depressant medication, Dan died from his mental illness when he suffered a psychotic episode and became convinced that he had dementia and didn't want to become a burden. 


Widowed at 33, I couldn't believe I'd waited so long to meet the most wonderful man and he'd been taken from me so tragically.  Everyone who knew him were in deep shock, many still can't stop asking 'why'.  Today I try to focus on how lucky I am to have met this incredible man and am grateful every day for the lessons he taught me and the blessings he brought to my life. 


Editor: Michele Neff Hernandez

On August 31, 2005 I received a phone call from a stranger telling me that my husband had been hit by a car and she thought I should come to the scene of the accident as quickly as possible. I found Phil on the side of the road, unconscious and broken. One hour and thirty minutes later my 39 year old husband was pronounced dead, and the whirlwind of widowhood began. Phil and I were married for five years, and had six kids (three each!) between us. We worked hard to blend our families, make time to nurture our relationship, and to make the most of the time we spent together. He taught me to be brave; to not take the world so seriously; and he epitomized the definition of loyalty and dedication. Now I am honoring our love by embracing the life I have been given, and resting safe in the knowledge that true love never dies.