BW 015: Dating after Loss - with Teresa Taylor-Williams

widow interview Jan 03, 2023
 

Watch the video here or on YouTube; listen anywhere podcasts are played (Apple, Spotify, Google…)

The Transcript is below


Teresa is very open, vulnerable, and incredibly brave as she shares about her experience with dating too soon. Being intimate too soon and dealing with this thing that those of us in the industry call Widows Fire. So let me introduce Teresa. Teresa Taylor Williams is a widow, an award-winning newspaper journalist, and a self-proclaimed grief butt kicker first losing her job to downsizing then her husband, Ricky in 2014.

She has found the true meaning of resilience. After her home was foreclosed, she lived in subsidized housing while raising her two teenage sons, worked various jobs to make ends meet and engaged in self-sabotaging behaviors in her attempts to cope with life without Ricky. Her grief journey has been a rocky one, and Theresa deems herself an expert in how not to grieve.

She found comfort in grief groups and therapy. In 2021, she founded Two Become One Grief Support where she hosts a weekly virtual grief support group, as well as a podcast Just a Widow Talk, voices of Spouse and Partner Loss. She is pursuing a master's degree in social work and is currently a diversity director in Higher Education.

She resides in the Kansas heartland. 

We talk about:

  • There is good that can come from our grief journey
  • Our bodies grieve too
  • Following your intuition
  • How grief isn’t talked about enough and needs to be normalized

Quotes-

“I thought I was strong before, like when he was here, but now, I know that I am so much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for.  And that's something that I try to convey to others widows and widowers and partner loss folks, is that, there is good, you gotta look for it, you gotta dig for it.”

“If you had a healthy, intimate life, which we did,  it's like all of a sudden it's not, it's just shut down. And I'm like, I'm still young. I'm human. I have these desires, touch healing. Touch is healing. And it's like, what am I supposed to do?”

“Until we really cope with the loss, and that means sitting in it. And who wants to do that?  We don't wanna do it, but we gotta do it because as you and I know Emily, the only way out is through.”



The Brave Widow Community is a place where you can connect with other widows, find hope and healing, and begin to dream again for the future.  Learn more at bravewidow.com.  

 

Hey guys, I’m Emily Jones

I was widowed at age 37, one month shy of our 20 year wedding anniversary.  Nathan and I have four beautiful children together.  My world was turned completely upside down when I lost him.  With faith, community, and wisdom from others, I’ve been able to find hope, joy, and dream again for the future.  I want to help others do the same, too!

 

FOLLOW me on SOCIAL:

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Transcript:

Emily Jones: [00:00:00] Welcome to today's episode of the Brave Widow Show. I am so excited to introduce you to Teresa. If you have not heard her, seen her, interacted with her, you are definitely missing out. Teresa and I had such a good, fun, open conversation that I looked up. We were almost 15 minutes in and I hadn't even hit record.

Teresa is very open, vulnerable, and incredibly brave as she shares about her experience with dating too soon. Being intimate too soon and dealing with this thing that those of us in the industry call Widows Fire. So let me introduce Teresa. Teresa Taylor Williams is a widow, an award-winning newspaper journalist, and a self-proclaimed grief butt kicker first losing her job to downsizing.

Then her husband, Ricky in 2014. She has found the true meaning of resilience. After her home [00:01:00] was foreclosed, she lived in subsidized housing while raising her two teenage sons, worked various jobs to make ends meet and engaged in self-sabotaging behaviors in her attempts to cope with life. Without Ricky. Her grief journey has been a rocky one, and Theresa deems herself an expert in how not to grieve.

She found comfort in grief groups and therapy. In 2021, she founded two Become One Grief Support where she hosts a weekly virtual grief support group, as well as a podcast Just a Widow Talk, voices of Spouse and Partner Loss. She is pursuing a master's degree in social work and is currently a diversity director in Higher Education.

She resides in the Kansas heartland. All right, let's jump into the show.

Hey guys. Welcome to another episode of the Brave Widow Show. I'm here with Teresa and I already know this is gonna [00:02:00] be a great conversation. We've already been having fun. I wish I would've hit record about 12 minutes ago. She just has so much wisdom and insight to share with you, and she's just got so much going on that, I know that you guys are gonna love this episode.

So Teresa, welcome. I'm so glad to have you here and I can't wait to share and hear more about your story and share that with others.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: Thank you so much for having me. This is great. And I love the name of your show. I just absolutely love it. Cause it's, it's so emphatically true bravery that's, we're doing it every day.

Even if we don't feel it, we are just one step at a time in this widow journey. Yes. So I love that.

Emily Jones: Yes, definitely. Well, thank you. Well, I always associated widows with like, 80 year old grandmas that were just sad and couldn't do much. So when I, I became widowed I thought, well I don't wanna be that.

So, yeah. [00:03:00] But it's so true and some of the most amazing people I've met have been widows. So I would love to dive into your story and let people get to know you cuz you're just a very magnetic person and I think that you've got some great insight to share.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: Thank you. So, okay. Well, my name is Teresa Taylor Williams and I became a widow March 7th, 2014.

My husband Ricky, was larger than life. He was, he was kind of a jerk because he was a law enforcement, but I say that in a good way. I mean, like they're kinda cocky, lot of guys in law enforcement are, and I mean, he just had this, he was a badass, he was a bounty hunter.

He was a former deputy sheriff. He just was, he was just a big papa bear to our sons. I don't even really know where to start, but just to say that my life is so [00:04:00] different now. And it's, it's, I believe, and you touched on this on one of your recent episodes where there is good that can come out of this, out of this devastation.

 You think about the lotus flower and how they emerge out of the muck and the mere and it's just like out of these super horrid conditions and they're so beautiful. And I'm like, that is so me. I'm alone. Cause it's like I had to fight my way to find my strength.

And I, I thought I was strong before, like when he was here, but now, I know that I am so much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. And that's something that I try to convey to others widows and widowers and partner loss folks, is that, there is good, you gotta look for it, you gotta dig for it.

Sometimes bloody knuckled. But there is good it's not gonna [00:05:00] come up in your face, but if we look for it, there is good that can come out of our grief journey. Hmm.

Emily Jones: So I know that there's gonna be a lot of people that wanna know how long were you married and how long has it been since you've been widowed, because I'm, interacting with several folks now that they're still in that first year or two where they just wanna die. Right? Like the pain is so bad they cannot fathom living another 40, 50 years and still feeling that way. Like they're looking at you and saying, well, that could never be me, but that's not true. Share a little bit about maybe the time that you had together, how long it's been since you've been widowed, and how much more perspective that's brought you.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: Okay. Well, we were together 23 years. We met when I was in college and at a party. He was security. He was a deputy sheriff, but, [00:06:00] he was doing security and, and wrote on my arm, wrote his phone number and a sharpie on my arm. Like, wait a minute.

Emily Jones: Now Sharpie's, like permanent. Like, don't you lose this number.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: He was marking me. And, and you know what, it just, it went from there and I mean, it was just such a adventure with him. And here I was in Missouri and, the, the country mouse and the city mouse, cuz he was from St. Louis. He was like this, this cop. And he would take me on ride-alongs and I just felt, just felt like so adventurous with him.

So we were together 23 years. We moved to Michigan, raised our sons there. I was actually a journalist for several years, a newspaper reporter. And I mean, everybody has their issues in their marriage. I'm not gonna lie, we filed for a divorce twice and we did not go through with it.

Thank God. We renewed our vows in our 10 years because we said, you know what? We're gonna [00:07:00] stop filing for divorce. We're gonna stop saying I'm outta here. I don't have to put up with this. And cuz you just get to a point where you're like, okay, we are either in this or we're not. So it was his idea to renew our vows and we did, and that was just so amazing.

But married 19 years together 23. And so around the time when our youngest, we have two sons, Marcus and Terran. They were teenagers, Terran was middle school when he died. Marcus was in high school. And what happened was he was on dialysis for like 13 years. And in fact, when Terran was born, he was, that was his first year on dialysis.

But he was the kind that his whole philosophy of life, and this is what I just wrote a children's book about, well, it's in the works. His whole philosophy was, your diagnosis does not determine your quality of life. And, [00:08:00] other people when they would dialyze, I would, see them sometimes and they just look washed out and they just look tired and weak. And they would unhook him and he'd be like, ok, where are we going? What are we doing? Where are the boys at? I'm not saying he didn't get tired, but he really was a fighter. He was just like, I am not gonna just sit here and let life pass me by. We lived with dialysis, lots of different surgeries. He was like the cat with nine lives, he had kidney cancer. He beat that. And so the doctors would even joke, they'd be like, gosh, this guy is just amazing. Times when I thought we were losing him, he would always rally back. When he was diagnosed with leukemia, I remember my youngest was we were at a hockey game and he was playing, and my husband had been really tired.

 I'd noticed lately he was moving slower and all that. I just, I don't know, I just didn't think much of it. Cause [00:09:00] I was just like, he's just, run down or whatever. And at the hockey game, he was like, at the end of it, he said, why don't you take the boys home?

I'm gonna go to the hospital and see what's going on. And that was so not him. Like, a lot of men don't like doctors and stuff, and he especially didn't like them because, he was in dialysis three days a week. He was like, I see them all the time. But he was like, I'm just gonna kind of, go to ER and see what, and I was like, no, I'm going with you.

And he said, just go get 'em settled, get 'em something to eat and then come. So I did. And he never left the hospital. They transferred him to another hospital, did all this blood work. And when they told him he had leukemia, he didn't know what that was. He just was kind of like, what?

 I was just like, babe. I was like, it's, it's a form of cancer. So he just hung his head and within two weeks he was gone. Two weeks and, and that's like the hugest blind [00:10:00] side because when you hear the C word even knowing that the year before he had beat kidney cancer, I just kind of went on autopilot and I was just like, no, we got this. We get through everything as a family and what have you. But the doctors had described that it was almost like a dam that was springing leaks and they said, we don't even know what to fix first. There's so many things going on. To make a long story short, I am so grateful that we were there when he transitioned meaning my sons and I and were with him because we were such a tight family unit, and I like to think of it as, we were sending him out, with all that love, you know what I mean? And even though it was so, so hard for us. In the big picture, I feel like when people die, it's like, we can be so selfish, because it's like, they're good. In my mind, I'm like, [00:11:00] they're good. Like, he is not suffering. He's not dealing with people poking and prodding and surgeries and everything. He's good, but they leave such an indelible impact on us, and we want them here. That was eight years ago. That began my grief journey. I wanted no part of it because I had these preconceived notions of what grief was.

I thought, okay, I'm gonna be in a corner somewhere in the dark crying. I got these boys to raise and I've got a mortgage and I cannot afford to be like that. I really had no understanding about the trauma and the impact, the devastation. So I launched into dating if you even call it that.

It was just men became therapy for me. And I'm trusting that this is a no judgment zone. [00:12:00] I'm sure there are gonna be people who will, but this is just simply my truth. And it's not me now, but it was, and it was me for a while. The pain was just so overwhelming that anything to help me not feel that pain. But let me go back and say I also sought therapy that helped me tremendously. Prayer, my faith life. But those first couple years, I felt like I was just a zombie. I just was trying to just, as mom and employee and just keep everything going. Try to be as normal as possible, even though this completely, devastating thing happened.

I think when you put out that call, Emily, about, not a call, but when I saw your thing on Twitter, your post on Twitter about like dating too soon that really struck me because like I said, I launched out, and [00:13:00] I don't wanna judge anybody who is in their grief journey and they date. But I know for me, I just lost my junk, you know what I'm saying?

 I did. It became one after the other and I just sought that closeness. It wasn't the sex. I really believe that in my heart of hearts, I just wanted the closeness and I remember it would feel so foreign because I thought, okay, if I'm with this person, I'm gonna get that closeness, but yet my body would be just so tense and I couldn't be with them in my mind, body and spirit.

And my therapist told me, she said, our bodies grieve too. She's like, your body is grieving your husband. And I was just like, what? But it made sense. And like I said, I'm not proud of it, but I share this because I want [00:14:00] people to know that this is a possibility. That some people retreat inward. Especially if you had a healthy, intimate life. You know what I'm saying? Like if you had a healthy, intimate life, which we did, it's like all of a sudden it's not, it's just shut down. And I'm like, I'm still young. I'm human. I have these desires, touch healing. Touch is healing. And it's like, what am I supposed to do?

Just the thought of just being by myself with nothing and no one it just was like, no, I don't want any part of that. I've kind of gone backwards. I did it the backwards way with my healing. I'm in such a better space now and I thank God for that. My faith. Like I said, and you know what?

There might be people that, well, if she's a woman of faith, how could she do this? Excuse me, I'm not perfect.

Emily Jones: What? You're not. I thought you [00:15:00] were right.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: What? You're not. Just because you're a person of faith doesn't mean you can't get attacked. I was not in my right mind. I wasn't, I just was in survival mode. There's so much I could say, but I also need to say we lost our house because I just couldn't keep it up. Foreclosure. We moved into government housing. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, but it was definitely different. Food stamps. I mean, I had never, but I was to the point where I was grateful I was working three part-time jobs.

I was an adjunct professor, which that's a whole other show cuz you get paid peanuts for doing that. I worked at a Domestic violence shelter and third shift. And I also was like a little part-time library shelver. I just got to the point where this was all in Michigan. I got to the point where once my kids graduated a couple years ago, I was like, I can't keep [00:16:00] doing this.

 Everywhere I turned were the memories then I was working these part-time jobs. I was like, I need something more. So I came to Kansas and kind of just reinvented myself. It's just been a blessing and there's so much I can say. I'm in school to be a grief therapist actually.

I'm getting my master's in social work because I want to help people. I know how grief has kicked my ass and dragged me and raked me over the coals. And if there's anything I know it's that if you have a therapist that can somewhat relate, it makes such a difference. I wanna be that. I wanna be a therapist where, if there's spouse and partner loss or job loss and all of that. I wanna be able to help. I wanna be more than just a listening ear. I wanna have the tools to help people. I got a year to go.

Emily Jones: Congratulations. Even just being willing to be that [00:17:00] person that wants to give back and help other people. I'm trying to think how somebody said it to me. It's a place where we can put our pain and put sort of a purpose behind our pain when we help others and we try to give back in some way. And for everybody that might look a little different, but I love that you're directly wanting to help other people that have gone through a similar situation.

 I do wanna talk a little bit more about dating too soon because it is very prominent in a lot of widows community. They call it widows fire. For you newbies out there that may not have ever heard this term, basically, as Theresa mentioned, you have this closeness, this intimacy, this active life of intimacy, and now all of that's gone.

So of course you crave your person, you crave the physical touch, you crave the things that you did together. The general recommendation of groups out [00:18:00] there is a hookup culture. Like this is supposed to be girl empowerment. Just go out and tell people you're not looking for anything permanent.

You're just wanting to satisfy this longing and this need that you have. But Theresa did feel like you just kind of felt empty, like maybe you had that physical closeness, but do you feel that it really satisfied what you were looking for in those moments?

Teresa Taylor-Williams: You hit it on the head. It was a satisfaction, but it was so temporary.

It was, addictive, to be honest. Because you just want more of it. When you're away from your, whoever you're dealing with, then that pain is flooding back and reality sets back in. It's not unlike a substance abuse disorder.

 In studying social work, I've been doing a lot of sitting in on groups and therapy sessions with folks who have substance use disorders and I'm [00:19:00] not that much different than these people. I'm definitely no better than these people. So we have to be so careful.

I'm not saying don't go out there, but just be careful because as I had communicated with you initially, there are so many people who see our vulnerability and they prey on it. And, you don't have to be like a little old lady for somebody to prey on you. I don't know what that is, but people can sense, it's almost like, shark sensing blood in the water. It's like, ooh, they're, not really thinking straight. Let me, get in there and see what I can get. And we do know there's people who may have come into some money or different assets and things and there people who are not for the right thing. Thankfully and I did experience that, but thankfully I did also experience some men who just truly were friends to me and still to this day are just truly friends. Who were [00:20:00] brave enough to say, you know what, honey, you are not ready. And at the time I was kicking and screaming, don't tell me I'm not ready. But they totally did me a favor, and they were looking out for me cuz they knew I was a wreck. I was just a wreck. It's definitely an emptiness because until we really cope with the loss, and that means sitting in it. And who wants to do that? We don't wanna do it, but we gotta do it because as you and I know Emily, the only way out is through.

I know for me, I gotta say I got a really big revelation last year in the middle of the night. I'm a dreamer. I dream 95% of the time, and only this past year, two years, Ricky has makes regular appearances in my dreams and it's so great because I'm like, oh, I get to see him. But anyway one of the things that has been hugely [00:21:00] helpful for me is I started a support. It's a spouse and partner loss group and it's every Friday night. Why Fridays? Because Fridays can be really hard for us. I know for me, I would hate when Friday night, five o'clock, everybody run out of the office to go home and I'd be like, what is wrong with me?

I would just linger or I would go drive cuz you know, the boys were with their friends and, I just was like, my home is not my home, it's not my home anymore. So I started this group and it's just such a blessing. We are a family. We are a family, we get on Zoom, we've been meeting since October of 21. We're a little over a year and a half now, and we just love on each other and we laugh and we cry and so definitely that's something that has been so healing for me. I didn't [00:22:00] realize, I thought it was just kind of a good thing to do, but it's been super healing. Then my podcast, which is where I interview, spouses and partners who have lost someone and just kind of getting them to tell their story kinda like we're doing.

That has been really huge. I'm learning to take the grief bully by the throat and be like, look, I'm not taking this anymore. Almost like learning to walk alongside the grief bully. Not saying that it's gone, but I definitely have so much more peace in my life now.

 I also had to say when my boys grew up and out of the house, that was a whole other grieving because I was like, I loved being a wife and a mother, and when the wife part was gone, I really threw myself even more into the mother role. And then, they flew, , flew the nest, and [00:23:00] I was just like, who am I?

Who am I now? What do I do? These last couple years have just been truly amazing, just learning me and growing and, and so, yeah.

Emily Jones: Well that's awesome. Can people join your Friday night group? Is it open for people to join?

Teresa Taylor-Williams: Yes. And what we can do is maybe I don't know how best how you put your links out there or whatever, or maybe social, but I just use my email and people email me and I send them the link.

 The link is the same every week. We meet at six Central, seven Eastern, five Pacific and we've got people on the different time zones. We even had a guy from England and he was coming a couple of times and he was like, I'm sorry, but it's two in the morning here. I can't be doing this.

But we loved having him and it's just a small group [00:24:00] but I'm really open to folks who just kind of want some fellowship and companionship.

Emily Jones: That's awesome. And I have to give a special shout out to the folks in the UK because their representation on the Twitter grief community is so strong.

There are so many people that are highly active there. Great job to our UK friends, for being there. It's awesome.

 

Teresa Taylor-Williams: I wonder why that is, but you know what? We're gonna have to, we're gonna have to draw them in.

Emily Jones: Yes, definitely. Well, that's awesome. I think from a dating perspective, I would just add, everyone's timeline is different.

Everybody's healing journey is different. I think what I had to realize is the person that I would choose out of loneliness or out of sadness, is not necessarily the person I would choose if I was looking from a state of abundance and looking from a state of I feel complete, I feel happy.

Somebody's really gonna have to add a lot of value. There's [00:25:00] some cons to being married. Let's just be honest, right? Like , you get to do whatever you want for the most part when you're no longer married. So I wanted a life that was so rich and full that anyone would love to join it, and that I wouldn't settle for a relationship that didn't just add value and joy and great things to my life.

So I think for me, that was the realization of when I would be ready to date. But do you have any tips for people of, am I ready today? Am I not? Is it too soon? What would you tell people?

Teresa Taylor-Williams: I got no tips.

Emily Jones: No tip. Yes you do. Oh, know you got some tips? Gimme one.

Teresa Taylor-Williams:  Okay. Intuition. Just follow your intuition and also know that even if you quote unquote slip up and make a bad choice, it's all learning. It's all learning. Again there's good in it. I've been saying I either [00:26:00] win or I learn I never lose .  

Emily Jones: I love that.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: Yeah, cuz you know what, we can beat ourselves up. If you start, with negative self-talk and downing yourself, then that leads to other, self-harming behavior.

And I can say, it was the grace. It is the grace of God. Sometimes I think about different guys and they're just faceless. I don't even know their names or whatever. That's not the legacy I wanna leave. I just thank God for bringing me to my right mind. I was on a mission. I thought I was doing something good for myself to help myself, but it wasn't. I just wanna say that my youngest son is my podcast producer. He has heard some of my stories. I've really had to pray about that before I even started the podcast because I said, I just wanna be real.

I grew up in the show me [00:27:00] state in Missouri, what you see is what you get. And I don't wanna fake the funk for anybody. I mean, widowhood, grief, spouse and partner loss is an ass kicker. I even had a couple of people lately this week say, oh, I don't wanna come on your show. It's just so heavy and I'll cry and I'm like, that's okay. I said, do you think the people who come on my show are exactly thrilled about their situation? No. And I want people to be real. Just be real, because that's the whole reason I started the podcast was because I feel like we are all so misunderstood.

Widows, widowers, partner loss. People don't understand us because we're quirky, we're weird, we are different. We are different. I feel like we're walking PTSD and some of us, put on a brave face. Some of us look really great for what we've been through. Some of us look like we [00:28:00] have been dragged through the mud. And all of us are different and society tries to box us in and say what's best for us. I just feel like we can't have enough spaces like yours, Emily, and like mine and grief groups.

There's so many grievers out there, and not just spouse, but all kinds of grief, we just don't talk about it enough. I feel like we don't talk about it enough. We gotta normalize it. We gotta amplify the voices.

I noticed that we were talking about touch and everything. There's a term called skin hunger. If y'all look that up, that's a thing too. Where you just wanna be held or you wanna hold somebody's hand. Research shows that your body physiologically gets more calm.

There's merit to it, but it's how we handle it. Again, I go back to intuition. What does your intuition say? Maybe it's that you need to journal, maybe you need to get a pet, and like [00:29:00] pet the pet. You know what I'm saying? I don't know what that is because our intuition tells us something different.

If you are out there and you've indulged or even over indulged as I did, please don't beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day and do it different but just don't get on that spiral. You know what I'm saying? That downward spiral of being down on yourself because that I feel like can lead to other destructive behaviors.

 I wanna know Emily. Can you tell me how long you have been widowed?

Emily Jones: Yes. So I lost my husband July of 2021. And so it's been almost a year and a half, not quite. I did hop on the dating apps fairly soon and I wanted to see what a train reck it was because we've been married 20 years and a lot of things had changed. We first connected online and that was kind of a weird thing back then. Now it's more of the norm. But I just wanted to see what was out there and I think to your point out [00:30:00] of loneliness and out of wanting to make a connection. I did date someone for a while and it was a great experience. They were very understanding, made space for my grief and for the person that Nathan was.

But I prayed about it and just ultimately felt like that wasn't the person meant for me. But I very much understand in fact probably about two weeks after Nathan had died, a woman locally in my neighborhood had reached out to me on Facebook. We met for lunch, and she was saying her brother was dating within three months. And she was very upset because, how can you love this person and want to date someone else? And at that time, of course I wasn't even thinking about dating, but I said, I don't know how you do that so quickly, but what I do know is you are so lonely and you miss having a companion who just does life with you so much. That you wanna have a person that you can do life with. It doesn't mean that you don't love that person anymore.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: You simply miss it. Yeah, [00:31:00] and I know people in our community were like, what the? Cause I got out there quick. I think back, and I think I was looking for him. I really do. I assumed another guy who would treat me like he did and was amazing like he was and crazy like he was all that mixed in the one and it's like, no, you will never find somebody just like them. You might find a great guy but you're never gonna find the person that you were with.

Another thing is I was putting all these crazy expectations on guys that I did try to have a relationship. I had history, I had 23 years of history with this man and guys I would date, I'd be like, don't you know this about me? And they'd be like, no, I don't.

Emily Jones: I know the person I dated when he walked through the house looked at this big picture of Nathan and all the pictures of the family and probably in a moment of vulnerability said, [00:32:00] how could I ever compete with someone who has 20 years with you? I can't, can't even come close. And I was like, well, you don't have to. But then I also understand, the pictures and the memories and the things with the kids, that probably is very intimidating. So, yeah, I, I get it.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: It takes a special man, right?

Emily Jones: It does.

It does. It really does. And they're out there. They are, yes. Like those men who very honorably told you no, bless them for helping you out there, but you are doing just some really incredible things and I wanna make sure that people get to hear about all you have going on, your support group, the podcast, just other things even that you're working on that you feel comfortable about sharing and maybe where people can go to connect with you.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: Okay, I do wanna share the grief group. Folks can just reach out. The number two, it's two become one grief at Gmail. So the number two [00:33:00] become, and then the number one [email protected]. And so they can send me an email and I will send them the zoom link and they can join us. I do wanna just say the very special project I'm working on.

I just hired my illustrator for my children's book and it's called D is for Daddy and Dialysis. It is basically written from my son's point of view, both of my sons, and having a parent that was a dialysis patient and how they were still active. And even how, like it can be a little scary, with the machines and things like that.

I am so excited because that was his philosophy, like I said, you're diagnosis does not determine your quality of life. I've just really come to the realization. If his memory is to be kept alive, it's my duty to do that.[00:34:00] This is just kind of one of the things that I wanna do in honor of him.

 I don't know the first thing about book publishing and stuff. I just know that my intuition says, do this. And actually, I had pitched it to a couple places. I wrote it when he was alive and I pitched it to a couple places, got rejected and shelved it. I was just like, oh, well, , I guess I'm not even good.

But really just this year I got it back out. My intuition said, get it back out and try again. And this time really finish it, get those pictures and everything. And I got my first illustration last week and oh, I just got so choked up. I was like, this is so good.

Emily Jones: I am so excited for you and I wanna be part of your book launch party.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: I'll totally invite you.

Emily Jones: That is definitely a [00:35:00] laborer of love.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: I want it to go worldwide, that's my goal. Nothing short of worldwide because dialysis units are everywhere and I know that's c razy, but that's my faith. I have crazy faith.

I want it to be free for families that have a loved one in the dialysis unit. And I just believe. Maybe I'll get grants or sponsors or whatever. But I just want that message out there. I just want that message out there and whatever I gotta do to do it. But but yeah, D is for Daddy and Dialysis.

Emily Jones: I love it. I mean, the title just, that's everything. I loved it.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: And then the podcast is called Just a Widow Talk, so it's a play off of the Christian song called Just a Little Talk With Jesus. And so mine is just called just a Widow Talk. It's also using my little journalism skills just interviewing folks and just talking about their loved ones and their stories and just getting it out there. It's sponsored by the Mental Health News Radio [00:36:00] Network and I'm so excited. These are just things that I'm doing that are healthy for me instead of the men as coping tools.

These are healthier tools that I can do and that'll help me along.

Emily Jones: I love that you're doing this. I'm so excited for you and for those of you listening or driving or mowing your lawn or whatever it is that you're doing, we're gonna make sure we have all the links in the show notes and the post so that you can find Teresa and connect with her.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: Emily, you are such a blessing and I'm so glad that I bumped into you on Twitter and you are so beautiful. I can't believe you were married 20 years. I'm like, you don't look like you are old enough to married for 20 years.

Emily Jones: Oh, thank you. Thank you.

Teresa Taylor-Williams: But this has been so great, thank you for letting me share my story. I appreciate it.

Emily Jones: Well, thank you for being open and vulnerable.

We live in a world of filters and social media and perfection, [00:37:00] and here we are, just two real ladies talking about real life, real life challenges, and also real life successes and what's possible for people. So thank you for joining.

 Hey guys. Thank you so much for listening to the Brave Widow Podcast. I would love to help you take your next step, whether that's healing your heart, finding hope, or achieving your dreams for the future.

Do you need a safe space to connect with other like-minded widows? Do you wish you had how-tos for getting through the next steps in your journey, organizing your life or moving through grief? What about live calls where you get answers to your burning questions? The Brave Widow Membership Community is just what you need.

Inside you'll find courses to help guide you, a community of other widows to connect with, live coaching and q and a calls, and small group coaching where you can work on what matters most to you. [00:38:00]

Learn how to heal your heart, find hope, reclaim joy, and dream again for the future. It is possible. Head on over to brave widow.com to learn more.

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