Peace From Telling My Story



It has been twenty seven years now that I have been on this long and winding journey after the loss of my fiancée, Dana. Long, long ago I started repeating the motto “one day at a time” in my head.  One day at a time is how I was able to come to terms with moving through life.   It’s the only way I could see marching on with excruciating pain in my head and a tremendous hole in my heart.

After some years passed I learned to laugh again, I learned to love again and I learned to appreciate life again. But with my ability to laugh, love and live again, I also had anger and rage that I had to combat on a daily basis.  As I discussed in “my story”, my anger and rage subsided after my wife Shelly narrowly escaped death 5 years ago.  Her subsequent life-altering traumatic brain injury and her unbelievably positive outlook on life caused me to reexamine my outlook.  The anger and rage diminished and I then started down a path of gratitude.

As I have begun traveling this path of gratitude I have had a burning desire to help others. I have felt a need to help those that are facing a similar journey to the one that I have had to travel.  As well as helping those who have people in their life that are dealing with the deep despair of loss.  Back when I started this journey the resources to truly help me were not easily found or available.  I want to be the type of resource that I would have appreciated having twenty five years ago.

I have had this story inside of me that was yearning to be told. I knew this for quite some time, but I had no clue how to begin to tell it.  It’s a heartbreaking story of resilience and gratitude that has much to be learned from it.  I had the feeling that once I told it, I could find some healing in the knowledge that it was finally out there.  There’s a quote from Maya Angelou; “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”.  This quote I could relate to so much!

I have had guilt for years that I have not been able to use my story to help others. Guilt that I just kept it all bottled up on the inside, letting it erupt into rage often.  I have always felt I owed Dana more.  I hated that I was not continuing her legacy and living my life the way she lived hers.  Anger and rage never crossed her mind.  Now here I was living my life with so much of it.  Shelly’s grace and courage in handling her new normal finally snapped me out of it.

I started writing a year ago. It took nine months before I was comfortable enough to start publishing what I had written.  I really had no idea what to expect, but the positive reaction from strangers was overwhelming.  I have received messages of thanks and support from all over the world.  I am touching people that are struggling to navigate their own journey of loss.  It took three more months before I finally felt the strength and confidence to share my writing with the circle of people I know.  I nervously put it out there.  The reaction was quick and positive.  I did not expect to find such strong support from my friends and family.  Such a tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I will continue to write as I embark on this new journey of helping others.  The peace I finally feel now, I had been struggling to find for twenty seven years.



21 thoughts on “Peace From Telling My Story

  1. Such a touching and wonderful story!

    God puts us in difficult situations for many different reasons. My heart is so happy that you are able to cherish your wife more intimatly from this experience. I can’t wait to hear more!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Another excellent story Bob. I am so happy that you are getting such positive feedback. Matthew Kelly writes …… “Be the best version of yourself that you can be today……” I don’t believe you should worry about your past issues with rage, not feeling like you have fulfilled Dana’s mission, etc. You can do better today, because day by day you are getting better, and more comfortable sharing your story with all of us. That has become your mission. Now you are reaching out and helping so many others; those that have similar stories and those who may one day, unfortunately, share your story and be better prepared to deal with it because of you. Keep on writing Bob.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you’re writing and sharing your story. I have also experienced how hungry people are for authentic honest sharing of deep vulnerability. It can contain the keys to help unlock others. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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