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I didn't realize how far I've (We've) come!

Posted on July 24, 2018 at 8:10 PM

It has been a little over 2 1/2 years since my husbands death. Life as I knew it is completely different now. I remember after seeing his body at the hospital stating to a friend of mine with tears rolling down my face, “how are my sons and I going to make it without him? We can’t do this without him.” Thinking about that even now makes my heart ache.

After hours of being at the hospital, with my sons, family and friends in the room with his lifeless body, someone had gotten my mother in law on the phone, she was in Dallas, and she told me, “Dannie it’s time for you to go home now. I’m on my way.”

I remember someone drove us home-I think my Brother in law. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t sleep. I was a zombie. Those next days, weeks just kinda crept along. My sons and I were just going through the motions of life. They went back to school and I went back to work. At the beginning I wasn’t able to do anything. Thank God for our support system. My husbands fraternity brother took the boys to school and took me to work everyday for a month. My sister and brother in law picked us up and brought us home. Different people brought food, cleaned the house, and other things that I didn’t have the mind or strength to do. I’m so thankful to those people who stepped in during that time. I had friends who flew in from Memphis and Dallas to help us go through and clean out stuff in the house. When I think about it, my sons and I have been truly blessed.

I can’t tell you when exactly but one day I was able to drive the boys to school and myself to work. I was able to go to Walmart, I started preparing meals again, I started coming out of that haze. Since then we’ve moved from St. Louis back to Dallas. My sons started attending school in a different school district, my oldest son has graduated hgh school and is headed to college next month.

My point is this, we are in a better place than we were 2 1/2 years ago. What I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do, I’m doing it (by the grace of God). Other widows would tell me that it gets better and I’ll be honest, I didn’t believe them. Now I realize they were telling the truth. At some point I realized I had to do this- this new life brought on by unexpected and truth be told unwanted circumstances. It wasn’t what I wanted or what I planned but I had to take what I was given and work with it. I remember looking at my sons (who were 15 and 10 when their Dad died), and saying Danyell, you have to get it together girl, for these boys, you have to do what you have to do. I realized that I was the only living parent they have and they became my motivation. When I didn’t feel like going to work, when I didn’t feel like moving out of the bed, I thought about them. It’s called survival mode.

Everyone says you’re so strong and let me say, grievers don’t like to hear that. We don’t feel strong, we just do what we have to do. Because we don’t have a choice.

But I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I am strong. I was given lemons and I’m making lemonade. One day at a time, life is getting better and sweeter. Only when I sit and think do I realize how far I’ve come. Tears still come at times, my heart gets heavy at times but it’s different. I really can’t explain it other than it’s gotten better. Circumstances (life) happen to us all but we have to make a choice as to what to do with them. I refuse to be bitter. My sons and I have purpose and life ahead of us. Keep going keep moving forward. We will thrive, not just survive.

Danyell Shaw

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Reply Mimi
9:32 AM on July 31, 2018 
I?m so inspired and motivated by your determination to keep going. Wow, I?m sure Mr. Shaw is looking down saying ?that?s my girl, she?s making it happen? .
Reply Cornelia
3:22 PM on July 31, 2018 
Your strength has been such an inspiration. You have and will continue to overcome. You are a great example of what it looks like to put ALL of your trust in God. I love the living word Proverbs 3:5-6.
Reply Elnita Fennell
12:38 AM on August 6, 2018 
Thank you for sharing your story, Danyell. I could definitely relate to everything you said. I'm 7 months into the unexpected event of losing my husband and my whole life changing. I'm taking it day by day. Friday night was tough but God continues to prop me up. I've been staying busy and planning dates with girlfriends like lunch or dinner.
Reply Nancy Gregory
5:50 PM on January 25, 2020 
Hi - Danielle, I am where you were 2.5 years ago except that I donĂ¢??t have any children. I feel so lost and lonely after 45 years of marriage. I cry every day and cannot bear looking at his papers, clothes, and his handwriting.
I am so happy to hear that you are feeling better.
I know I need to make some friends to whom I can talk.
Best wishes for you and your sons.
Reply [email protected]
4:57 PM on January 31, 2020 
Nancy thank you for your comment. I will keep you in my prayers. Can you email me at [email protected]
I tried to email you and it came back as undeliverable. God bless you.