My husband suddenly became very ill one night and had a seizure. Our lives were never the same. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

After 8 years of the battle, he passed away. The most difficult part of that was waking up every morning not knowing if my husband would still be there.

I’ve used such a variety of coping mechanisms. My thing is being surrounded by people.

I went through this initial celebratory state where I was so happy he wasn’t suffering anymore. You see someone lose the ability to walk, to talk, to eat, to see. Those last few days I was praying he would go and be with his grandparents and family members.

I went through this phase of relief for him. Soon after that, I got really busy.

I broke all the rules and did everything they tell you not to do when you’re a widow. Don’t start a business, don’t start a business, don’t buy a home don’t get into a relationship.

I stayed so busy. I was in denial of it. I was go, go, go.

I hate being alone so much I am constantly surrounding myself with friends and family.

I’ve broken some rules and made up my own.

I realized I needed something more stable. That has helped me so much to take that time.

Being able to share my story with other people because I feel it helps people.

A lot of people just expect you to be done and be over it.

Being a 3rd wheel for me isn’t so bad. It’s worse to sit at home alone than go out and be with couples. I’d sure rather be out with people than sitting home alone.

Everything hit me later. I didn’t start going to bereavement group until 6-months later. You start to remember all the things you miss that aren’t there. Because he was sick for so long everything that year before was so different. Everything happened so slowly.

Where I am now…I’m happy, I have a great business, I’d love to have kids…I’ve thought about adopting…I do still hope to meet someone. I haven’t given up on that. 

A lot of people have pulled away. Friends you thought would always be there have pulled away. But then, the ones you didn’t expect would be there for you have grown closer. The relationships have changed. 

I obviously still miss my husband but it’s a different type of loss when family members and friends pull away from you.

I have heard from fellow widows that people just kind of don’t want to hear about it anymore. 

Losing some relationships for no good reason…that’s hard. That makes you reflect on all the bad stuff that’s happened even more.

I coordinate a walk each year and we walk in honor of my husband. For me family is so important.

I’m really close with my mother and my grandmother who is ninety-nine and a half!

I’ve learned that I’m okay supporting myself and I can do it. I had my husband for so long, we supported each other. We did everything together. I never thought I’d be able to do it after he passed. That was what I feared…being alone, not having him and not being able to support myself. 

I surprised myself. I did everything I never imagined I could do on my own and its worked out really well.

I was in go mode. Pressing forward and taking care of business.

Oh my gosh, I’ve done so much! I’m really proud of myself.

I never would have imagined I would be doing this all on my own. I’ve really come a long way.

I had no regrets because I know we did everything we could. Fighting for his life and living our lives to the fullest.

I had him for 16 years in my life and I know how blessed I am.

Hearing other people’s stories really helped me. Incredibly therapeutic. It’s okay to have a moment and know it’s okay to cry. That helps so much to be able to address that.  It took me a while to get there.

I love to stay busy. I definitely don’t like to stay home.

It’s inspiring and it’s helpful to listen to different reasons people have become single. It’s not easy being single.

I wanted a house full of people and kids and family. You make do and you make the best of it and keep moving forward.

My husband was one of the most positive most amazing people I ever knew. We lived life to the fullest. 

Phone calls, invites, that kind of stuff really helps. Check-in on your friends and family.

I do encourage people to stay busy and make plans. It’s so easy to stay at home in front of the TV or the computer. Get out, be active, join groups, call a friend, meet new friends. People need to be with people. Surround yourself with good people.

We kind of knew the moment we moved in together it wasn’t going to work out.

Whenever it didn’t work out it left me in a state of I couldn’t even remember who I was at the end.

I’m a great person.

I’m a great material here what is going on?

I need to back away from this. I need to stop trying to mold myself to whom I am dating.

I wasn’t quite as self-aware back then.

What about me? What do I really want?

I would always try to make whatever situation I was in work.

It was about tuning into my intuition more.

I had a set of expectations for everyone I dated and it sabotaged me.

I need to be honest about what works for me.

How do I want to refocus my interests?

Where do I feel most alive and like myself?

I went to a bad audition in a basement. The bass player asked about me and started emailing me. We’re coming up on our 14th anniversary.

You kind of have to show up with who you are. That vibe is going to catch the right vibe. I think that makes for the best base of a relationship.

We definitely bring out the best in each other.

There’s something kind of sexy about rock stars. You think you have to fit this certain mold if you do anything in the spotlight.

I wish more people would embrace the parts of themselves they love.

Try to immerse yourself in the things you love. Ultimately that is going to bring you closer to what you really want.

People are going to question your intentions and your expertise.

I love to look for patterns. Dig in and tune into where you feel good about yourself and where you’re having fun and scribble down what those things are.

Surround yourself with people who get you.

What do I need to tell myself or what do I need to believe to make the best of this.

Doing what I love is going to find me love.

I wish it was more of a sudden process. It took about a year and a half.

We dated for two months and then I decided to propose. Four months later we were married.

There was too much that we didn’t know about each other and we hadn’t accounted for that in building our relationship.

I woke up one morning and my wife had taken all her stuff and moved out.

Ultimately we decided that we didn’t belong together. I had to realize that and make peace with that.

It was an opportunity for me to grow and become a better person in the process.

Jamison 2.0 started the day my divorce was finalized.

What was it I was hoping to gain from the marriage that I hadn’t voiced to myself?

I was seeking validation from my social circle and my family.

I made a really bad decision.

A heard a quiet still voice speak to me and it kind of pierced through everything. Why are you still angry? It’s over. That was the most authoritative voice I have ever heard in my life. At that point, it was like I was having an out of body experience.

In that moment I realized just how exhausted I was carrying around that anger.

You have to be congruent with yourself.

I went to therapy and had some sessions that were very impactful.

I had to forgive myself. As a person of faith, I came across some grace-oriented perspectives.

I wanted to become more empathetic. I wanted to have the courage to wait and to respect the pace and natural progression that relationships go through. 

I worked on appreciating alone and single and seeing the value in that.

I live my life as it comes and I enjoy what life gives me.

I started to affirm how good my life was in everyday aspects and take appreciation for the beauty in my life. 

I began to paint and to do art. I turned one of my bedrooms into an art studio.

Marriage was very isolating for me. I did it to myself. I withdrew into the marriage. 

I feel like I’ve grown a lot. I feel like I’m a more emotionally mature man. I have a better appreciation for the wonder and splendor that women are.

I think that being a better man has given me the ability to relate better with not just women but also with family members and coworkers.

I’m happy with where I’m going but I’m humble enough to realize I still have a lot of work to do and life is still a journey that is worth living and worth growing in.

I want to continue to work on myself and become a better person.

You can definitely grow from this. You don’t have to let divorce define you. You aren’t broken. You aren’t a failure.

This marriage is over. I’m in danger, our baby is in danger, and there’s no husband in site.

What was given out was not given back to me and it just kind of eroded. Particularly when I was getting ready to have life and bring life.

Love was being redefined for me in that moment. It opened up my eyes to realize I was not in something that was providing me love. It took time to wake up and realize that.

I was a single mom redoing life all over again.

It was devastating.

All of a sudden, that road map is completely not what you thought it was going to be.

It was not the way this fairytale was supposed to end, and yet it was ending.

I am not one to enjoy the unknown. All of a sudden it was nothing but mystery.

I’m a crybaby so I spent a lot of nights just shedding tears. It was the only way I could express what I was feeling.

I believe it was my faith that brought me to where I am today.

I’m a good girl. Why is this happening to me?

This situation taught me that I could open myself up to people and trust people because people came in droves to be with me.

I had people going to food banks for me. I had people making extra dinner. They would come to my desk and drop off food and clothes for my daughter.

People just came and were there for me. They began to share their story with me. They came out of the woodwork and began to take care of me.

People showed their heart and I didn’t know they cared that much about me.

We went through a terrible battle with custody and getting through the divorce.

Isn’t it funny how your worst moment of your life becomes your best moment of your life?

I’ve fallen in love with so many people and if I hadn’t gone through this I wouldn’t even know.

This is not your end it’s your beginning.

In these little miracles, I found refreshing and renewing. I started to attend to myself.

I began to sit and talk to God about me. How did this girl end up here? How did I get to this place?

I found me. I went on a journey to discover me.

I’m still alive. This means this is not my end.

You are not alone. It feels like a lonely place. It feels like no one else is around but you are not alone.

It’s tough to draw strength from yourself when you don’t have it.


We dated throughout high school for about 5 years.

We’re on the phone the day before Valentine’s Day saying “I love you. I love you too, goodbye” and then I’ve literally never seen or spoken to that person ever again.

Quite suddenly I found myself single. It did take me a while to realize that in fact was what had happened. Just kind of ghosted.

At first, I assumed something was wrong or something came up. That last of my thoughts was that she just didn’t want anything to do with me anymore.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t handle it all that well. I didn’t do anything crazy. I didn’t go to her home or anything like that.

It got to a point where anytime I would leave the house when I would return, I had this pitiful hope that her car would magically be in the driveway. Like she finally decided to show up and explain it and it would all be reasonable.

I called for a long time but the calls would go straight to voicemail.

For a long time, I was confused and waited and hoped that something would come of it. But nothing ever did.

I was confused and sad for a long time and then after several months I just kind of accepted that this was what it was and started trying to deal with that.

I was 20-years old and 6-months before I had lost my father from complications due to alcoholism.

For a while, there was a lot of anger and resentment out of hurt.

We were kids and it was a wild scenario.

Her parents were not big fans of mine.

She was a very sweet and kind person. It wasn’t in her nature to confront people about anything. I think she probably handled it the best way she knew how.

I’ve really never been in a long-term relationship like that again. I like to think that’s because I haven’t encountered the right person, but it’s very possible that there are some scars from that that I use to protect myself and don’t allow myself to be vulnerable in that way.

Dating around but nothing serious.

I lean a lot on my social circle. I get support there.

Finding something creative to do. To have that creative outlet. Something to express yourself that puts a smile on your face.

I’m kind of intimidated by having that kind of commitment to another person. It would take a lot for me to be convinced to forfeit my freedom.

I was so shocked and devastated for those first few months.

I was eventually able to able to operate without that resentment and without that anger.

I’m glad to know I can get over something.

Maybe what happened didn’t happen because that person was trying to hurt me as much as they could maybe that person was just doing the best they could.

It taught me empathy.

Trust me, there’s more than one.

Relationships can take a lot of different forms.

Me telling you to keep your chin up won’t help you in the moment.

Ultimately you have to find ways to make yourself happy.


We were high school sweethearts and ended up being together for eleven years, married for five.

As teenagers, we went through the honeymoon stage on steroids.

She ended up being diagnosed later in life with borderline personality disorder

After college, we ended up moving in together immediately

The episodes of BPD, depression, and manic states continued to increase in their intensity and timing. It ended up she was hospitalized and at that point, she told me to get out and never come back.

I went back to our house, packed six garbage bags of clothing and moved in with my parents.

I promptly ended up blowing out my knee and spent the next 3 months on the couch.

I found myself single, living with my parents and losing the ability to move myself around to interact with people.

The good part about that was it gave me all the time in the world to reflect back on my situation. How I got there, how I felt about it, where I wanted to go from here.

It was honestly probably one of the best things that happened to me.

There are so many distractions in life. While distraction is an invaluable tool, being forced to take your time and reflect on everything that you have just gone through and figure out who you are as a person in this new world.

I had sent so much of my young life, of my personality development, literally every aspect of who I thought of myself as a person involved in this relationship.

Now, who I was as a person was such a huge question that was left to be answered.

The conclusion I came to was I like who I am. I’m very happy with myself with my work ethic, with my drive, with my relationships with my family and my friends, with almost every aspect of who I am as a person I have a positive self-view.

None of that would have happened without that relationship. It was such a huge building block for who I became as a person.

It was such an integral part of my growth as a person.

If they’re not judging you then why should you be judging yourself?

I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine. Everyone has baggage.

It was important for me that I found someone I could be as open with as I was with my family.

I became more open to listening to other people and listening to their situation.

I used to try to solve problems. When somebody had an issue I would offer a solution to discuss the potential fallouts

There are certain problems that don’t have solutions, or at least not easy ones.

They’re looking for a sounding board, an acknowledgment of their feelings, an acknowledgment of their courses of action rather than approval or dismissal.

I realized in my previous relationship that I was constantly trying to solve problems.

I think towards the end that relationship was really unhealthy for both of us.

I wonder if she is better off without me because I was an enabler or making it worse.

Time heals all wounds. It is truly amazing.

Nothing will ever be the same but that doesn’t mean it won’t get better.

There really is life on the other side.

I’ve never been happier in my entire life and that something that is achievable.

In the moment of the breakup, it’s not possible.

What it was for is to make you who you are as a person.


I discovered backpacking.

He had a mild sore throat that wasn’t going away.

He had throat cancer.

If anyone is ever in my shoes, hospice is fantastic.

It was actually one of the more tender and loving parts of my life even though it was traumatic and difficult.

I actually look back with an odd sense of even being closer.

We’d been together almost 30-years.

It’s hard for them to let people take care of them in certain ways.

I found myself in an unfathomable situation. I didn’t have enough money to take care of the day-to-day things.

I knew that I wanted to travel.

I couldn’t find a job, not even at the hardware store. I remember the cold dark fear of that.

I don’t even know how I did it.

I decided to sell the house. That was my dream house.

I’m spending all of my time taking care of my stuff. Everything I need fits on my back. That was a life-changing ah-ha moment for me.

I remember on I had this saying on my computer, “The barn having burned to the ground I can now see the moon.” I kept saying one day. That’s going to be me.

I kept saying, I’m okay for today.

Things always end up okay in our lives.

Don’t dwell about the future what if’s.

Adventure travel empowers you.

I was a late-bloomer to this whole adventure thing.

Even if I didn’t I would have been proud of myself.

It has opened my world.

Always try to say yes.

We all have this bond and this love of the outdoors. People are open. You know when you are on the trail people are your people.

We’re all a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

You’ve got it in you to do this. Just take that one step.

Say yes, you don’t know where this crazy life of ours is going to lead.

Your life is going to have lots of ups and downs.


It was a long moment of silence from my partner.

I thought maybe I should bring her flowers and show her that I care.

Over the course of time she finally messaged me telling me that it’s over.

The immediate feeling was a feeling of relief that I had some closure there.

You start to wonder how deep do those lies go.

I had some panic attacks thinking about how much harm I had done to her.

The more I thought about everything she did tell me it started unraveling.

The thing I blame myself for is not paying as close of attention to the inconsistencies in her behavior.

I am polyamorous.

The way I set up my relationships I don’t have a primary.

I would rather a person be honest with me than to be faithful. The communication has to be there.

It’s kind of selfish to expect one person to be everything for you.

One of the things I like most about polyamory is there are different levels of intimacy. It doesn’t mean I’ve having sex with all of them. In fact, most of them I don’t.

It’s good to remember there’s lots of wonderful people out there in the world. It’s just a matter of you opening your eyes and seeing where they are and seeing how beautiful they are.


I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life.

I met this gentleman on a blind date. I was fairly young and we fell madly in love.

He was in the military.

We’d been married for about 25 years when he handed me divorce papers

He said, “I need to go find myself.”

I’m not even understanding what’s happening at that point.

My pastor said things like this often will trigger people to reevaluate their lives or possibly have a midlife crisis. This is a classic textbook midlife crisis.

You have to pick yourself up at that point. You have two choices, you either accept the circumstances or you accept yourself for who you are and recreate yourself.

At that point, I had spent almost 30 years taking care of someone else or having someone else’s needs in front of mine.

I decided to go ahead and do those things I hadn’t had an opportunity to do, like do a little bit of traveling go and create a new circle of friends.

Mutual friends feel like they have to take a side.

I explored interests I hadn’t been able to do. I bought a house. I wanted a project to rebuild my life. It had potential. I guess in a way, I felt I had potential too.

I took about a year to find myself and start doing things.

The dating situation had changed a lot since when I had my last first date.

I had to also divorce myself from the negativity.

If anything weird could happen it happened to me.

I was fearful.

I got into this meetup group. I was fearful for my safety. They would walk me to my car.

I had broken my leg at work.

I had a conversation with God. I said, “I would really like to fall in love one more time in this world. If it’s Your will let it happen.”

Most people are divorced with baggage…not baggage…steam lockers full of stuff.

Life is really short. In the scheme of things we are really here for a short amount of time.

Life is going to hand you things good or bad. If you can’t accept the bad ones you can’t appreciate the good ones.

You are where you are for a specific time for a specific reason.

Tenacity and resilience are two of the factors that have helped me deal with everything.

I grew up taking care of myself.

My sister died when I was 12 years old. She died and I didn’t even know she was sick.

She got this weird cancer. She had just had a child and her husband said he couldn’t deal with it. They had a 6-month old son.

I kind of feel like my mom died of a broken heart.

I was 16-years old and I left home.

My daughter got sick one night and my son took her to the hospital and dropped her off. He went home. She made it 3 miles before she fell asleep at the wheel and hit a pole Thanksgiving morning.

I got the call a parent never wants to get.

I am now raising her 7-year old.

I had only been married for a year. We had our whole life planned out.

It was supposed to happen this way. It sucks.

You cannot understand the hole that is left in your heart when your child is not with you anymore.

All grieving people and grieving families are eligible for Hospice grief counseling.

You can wonder how and why.

I had to make funeral arrangements for my daughter on my birthday.

People ask how I did it. I ask, “If I didn’t who would?”

I choose to move forward.

The best thing I can tell people is nothing lasts forever.

I have affirmation in my office that I am to focus on today and what I can control.

You have to sit there and know that today is happening for a reason.

You can become your situation or you can rise above your situation.

It’s going to get better.

I am going to rise above my reason for being sad or being depressed.

Keep on pluggin’ on. You just have to have it inside your heart and know it’s true.

I had been in a committed dating relationship since I was 20 years old.

I started to feel like I’m so old but so young.

Do we get married? Do we keep the relationship as is?

It felt like I was being the unfair one in the relationship, which was a really hard thing to admit.

For this immediate moment, it felt like the right decision.

There were a lot of tears. There was a lot of fear.

His initial reaction was anger and confusion.

I’ve been able to dedicate my best self to my work, and spending time with my friends, and travel.

In my gut, I knew what I needed, and I needed some time for myself.

When I’m in a relationship I’m less likely to go out of my way and try to meet random people and strike up conversations and take chances I would have normally shied away from.

I tended to shy away from some of that outreach and relationship building with other people for the sake of not threatening my current relationship.

I’ve had a lot of growth in the past year that I’m incredibly thankful for.

It has given me the ability to be selfish in the way that I need to be.

I don’t have to affect anyone with that decision besides myself.

I think going forward it will make me better equipped to handle my relationship because it has taught me my non-negotiables are.

Lately, I have been feeling so fearless. I just needed to give myself permission to not be afraid to do things.

Stringing a person along for me is just not an option. You have to do what you have to do.

A lot of young women are afraid.

If it’s not a hell yes it’s no in my mind. I had to act on it.

I see so many people in relationships that are admittedly not their happiest. They just think it’s the easy choice.

Why am I thinking through this in the way I am?

I was just really getting inside my head.

For me, the best mindset to have is an open one.

When you’re 20 you don’t know what you want and what your future is going to look like.

People are afraid to be open with what they genuinely want.

There have been tears. Holidays pass. You think about that person when you see something on TV and you’re questioning. Did I make the right choice?

A dating relationship just different. Not having that person and have someone genuinely care and be willing to listen has been really tough for me. I miss having that confidant.

What are those priorities? What do you see for yourself?

If things are meant to be and you’re meant to be with that person then you’ll find your way back to them.

I wrote a letter to myself reminding myself I was strong and I need to trust my gut.

Spend a lot of time self-reflecting and I really recommend writing down your thoughts and then setting them down for a little bit and then going back to them.

You don’t have to sound any alarms but they can be a sounding board for your before it escalates to the next level.