BW 026 : Building a Marriage, Growing a Family and Then a Diagnosis That Changed Everything - with Alosina Wellington - Advice for Young Widows

widow interview Mar 21, 2023
 

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

The Transcript is below.

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In today's episode I get to talk to an amazing young woman by the name of Alosina Wellington, and Alosina is gonna share with us not only her overall story, but also some of her best tips and advice for other young widows. Alosina has been widowed for about seven years now, so she has more perspective on her experience and time for when she was first widowed and actually came across a post that she made in a mutual Facebook group where she shared some of her best tips and pieces of insights for young widows, and I was just really impressed with how beautifully she articulated them and what she shared from her heart that I just randomly reached out to her and asked her to come on the show, and I'm so glad that she agreed. So let me introduce you to Alosina. She is a widowed mother of three, a full-time legal assistant and a God-fearing woman.

 

We talk about:

~ Memorizing scripture

~ Practising gratitude

~ Feel your feelings

~ Give yourself grace

 

Quotes:

~ "...memorize Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I remember feeling like every time things got hard. I would just recite that in my head. I would repeat it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I just remember that scripture because it didn't say that you can do one thing or two things. It says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

~ "I remember feeling exactly that way in Psalms 91. At the end of that scripture, it talks about how God saves those who loved him. And I was so angry at God. My pastor at the time, he encouraged me, he said, have it out with God. Share your feelings. Just let it out. Don't keep things bundled in your heart because that's just gonna do the opposite of what you need."

 

You can connect with Alosina at:

TikTok- @alosina_206

Instagram- @alosinamw206

Facebook- @Alosina Masaniai


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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:

Twitter @brave_widow

Instagram @brave_widow

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bravewidow

YouTube@bravewidow

 

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 Transcription:

Welcome to episode number 26 of The Brave Widow Show. Today I get to talk to an amazing young woman by the name of Alosina Wellington, and Alosina is gonna share with us not only her overall story, but also some of her best tips and advice for other young widows. Alosina has been widowed for about seven years now, so she has more perspective on her experience and time for when she was first widowed and actually came across a post that she made in a mutual Facebook group where she shared some of her best tips and pieces of insights for young widows, and I was just really impressed with how beautifully she articulated them and what she shared from her heart that I just randomly reached out to her and asked her to come on the show, and I'm so glad that she agreed. So let me introduce you to Alosina. She is a [00:01:00] widowed mother of three, a full-time legal assistant and a God-fearing woman.

If you would like to contact her, you can find her on Instagram and TikTok at malo_Sina206. And she has a Facebook group for Christian widowed parents, and we will have all of the links to her social media and ways that you can find her in the show notes. So don't worry about writing that down.

If you're driving, we'll make sure that it's in the show notes wherever you may find this podcast. All right, let's dive in.

Emily Jones: All right, guys. Welcome back to another episode of The Brave Widow Show. Today I'm here with Alosina and I'm so excited for you all to get to hear her story and some of the insights that she has for other widows.

So without further ado, why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you.[00:02:00]

Alosina Wellington: So my name is Alaina Wellington. On Facebook, I'm Alosina Masaniai.

 Back when I was in my mid twenties, I prayed for a husband. And I remember having this huge list of all these qualities that I wanted in my husband.

And I stopped dating for two and a half, because I was preparing myself for meeting my husband whenever he showed up. And then God just brought him into my life. And back in 2004, we got married and we later we had, not later, like a year later, we ended up having our first child. And then we had our two, our son, and then our two daughters.

In the span of our marriage. And then the last year that he was with us, he was diagnosed with renal failure and due to diabetes. And he ended up passing away in January, 2016. And at that moment we were broken, shatter. So that's pretty much, what brought me [00:03:00] to this widows group. I am Polynesian.

I'm half Simon and half Caucasian. My mom is Caucasian. My dad is Simonean and my husband was full blooded Simonean. So we have a very strong Polynesian culture. You don't really talk about widow hood too much in our culture. So it was kind of hard for me to kind of gain insight from anybody.

And, depression isn't something that you talk openly about in our culture as well. Everyone kind of just tells you to just, get strong and move forward and whatever. But I remember I found this little group on Facebook, and I was finally able to kind of connect somehow to what they were feeling.

But I was still looking for some type of a perspective from a young widow with children. I remember I went to the Christian bookstore, couldn't find anything that was relatable. A lot of the books were [00:04:00] from an elderly perspective. I went to a little support group and I was the youngest person in there.

There were just a lot of things that kind of led me to this and I remember filling back then. I really wish there was a perspective from age with children and I couldn't find it. So that's kinda where it led me to Emily.

Emily Jones: Yeah. And I'm so glad it did, because you really just had shared this beautiful post in the Facebook group, and I knew immediately I had to reach out to you and see if you'd be willing to share your story and share with other young widows.

So how, how old were you at the time that you were widowed? Remind me.

Alosina Wellington: I was 38.

Emily Jones: 38. Okay. Yeah, I was 37. So it is really difficult to find someone who's younger, widowed with, and especially with children. I think the average age now for widowhood is [00:05:00] 59. So yeah, definitely having someone in your twenties or thirties, it is hard to find others that you can make that connection with.

But I was glad to see not only, you must have been able to do that over time through that group to an extent. And then now you're at a position where you're feeling like you're able to share back with others what you've learned or, or what your experience has been. How, how has that felt for you?

Alosina Wellington: It feels kind of like, like I'm giving back, it feels really good.

You're right. A lot of the widows were around that age, around that time. This group actually I was really active in it in the beginning. And then I started to notice that it was, it was starting to bring me down in my spirit, so I kind of like left the group. I also was asked to be part of another podcast through the group and a post that I, I shared there as well.

And that was really a blessing cuz my kids and I got to go to Philadelphia and it was a marriage podcast and they wanted to know the story of how my husband and I came [00:06:00] together. And that was a beautiful podcast. But then I just noticed that a lot of the, the posts that were in the widow group were starting to bring me down spiritually, and I was starting to get, like frustrated.

So then I was like, it was doing the opposite. So then I kind of backed off. But recently I, I went back on and this time I posted things from my perspective, seven years later. To new widows and the response was overwhelming. I was pretty shocked at how many inbox messages I got from widows, like asking me questions on the side and and then when I saw your post to be on the show, I was so excited.

So I'm happy to share.

Emily Jones: Oh, that's so great. And I'm excited to have you too, being seven years down the road, because a lot of people that we talk to, they're really in their first year or two, and they're still in that phase of, I can't survive living every day like this. My life's gonna feel just hopeless and miserable [00:07:00] for eternity.

For some people it's really hard for them to envision, and even for me in the beginning, how would it be possible to have somewhat of a normal life ever again? So I think your, your experience and your ability to be ahead of us having been, seven years out, looking back, it's, it's a great opportunity for us to learn from your experience.

When you started to feel maybe like you had your feet underneath you. And then even some of the insights and wisdom of, of your experience and things that you shared in that post that really resonated with other people. I'd definitely love to give you the opportunity to talk through some of those.

Alosina Wellington: Oh, great. Well, I know one of the things that was really important to me was Dan and I had three children and we were living in Tacoma, Washington at the moment. And when he got sick, we had talked about moving closer to Seattle having our son go to this particular school move closer to his [00:08:00] parents and my parents and all of that.

So I really took a lot of the goals and the dreams that he and I had, and I kept those going even after he passed. And I feel like that kind of fueled me to keep pushing forward. Long story short, my son got into the school that we wanted him to get into. We ended up moving out here and I bought my own house.

And all of those were big deals. Like it was, it was a big goal for us as a married couple, and I was just so blessed and thankful that, we were able to accomplish that even with him not here, but you know, one of the things. I like my number one tip. My first tip that I even put on there was to memorize Philippians 4:13.

And it's I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I remember feeling like every time things got hard. I would just recite that in my head. I would repeat it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I just remember that scripture because [00:09:00] it didn't say that you can do one thing or two things.

It says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I really leaned on God through this whole time, and I still do. I wouldn't know where I would be without him. I remember there, there was an analogy of the way grief is, it's. waves in the water. Like sometimes you feel like they're crashing down on you.

Sometimes they're calm. and I, I really took to that analogy because I was like, man, it's so true. Sometimes you feel like you're suffocating under that water, those the crashing waves that are just pounding on you. Cause I remember at late at night, I would be so heartbroken, I'll be crying. And you, I'm, I'm sure you know that deep, deep, deep cry that it just feels like your heart is breaking and I would just recite the scripture over and over and over again and somehow like that peace would just [00:10:00] overwhelm me and I would be able to sleep.

Another thing that I remember doing with my kids was, I was starting to kind of dip into depression a little bit, and I remember just feeling down about everything.

I was invited to a women's conference and the speaker had just lost her husband and he was on a mission trip in Africa, and I don't know exactly what happened, but I remember her sermon was about Adam and Eve and how they could have from any fruit in the, in, in the garden they could eat from any fruit but they wanted the one that did not.

And her sermon was exactly about that. She said, I have all these blessings, but I want the one thing that I can't have, and that was my husband. And so that really, really spoke to my heart because it made me think like, I still have my help. I still have my kids, I still have my job. You have a roof over our [00:11:00] head.

We have all these different things. So I turned it into an activity with my kids. We had a piece of paper. We all had our own color markers and we took turns writing. And at this time my kids are like 9, 11 and 4. So we took a pen and we started writing. Oh, we're thankful for water. Thank you that we have gas in our car.

Thank you that we have food cups for our lunches. Thank you for the dish soap we have. Like there are people who didn't have things like that. They didn't have the ability to take a shower and they didn't have the ability to go to the store and just buy whatever they wanted. So we counted our blessings and we turned it into like a little activity. And I shared that post on there as.

Emily Jones: Oh, I love, that's so beautiful and I love that you shared that Bible verse and you talked about how you really had to lean into God. I know for me a lot of what I try to tell people, people [00:12:00] love to say, oh, God won't give you any more than you can handle. Or, you're, you're one of God's toughest soldiers because you're strong enough to handle this.

And I'm like, no, there's nothing biblical about that. Actually it says we're supposed to rely on God and we're supposed to trust in him and lean on him when we're in those moments, that life is just incredibly overwhelming. And so I love that you really leaned into that and that you were able even to practice gratitude and work even with your children to say, here we're gonna count our blessings and be grateful for things when, at a period of time, especially where probably a lot of people get angry and bitter and just feel an abandonment by God. I was talking with a lady actually yesterday and she was just openly sharing that she felt.

I thought God and I were good. Like we had this great relationship and we were in service to him. And all of a sudden, he let my spouse die. And I find [00:13:00] myself just really questioning everything that happened. So, I think those are some great insights that you've shared there.

Alosina Wellington: I remember feeling exactly that way in Psalms 91.

At the end of that scripture, it talks about how God saves those who loved him. And I was like so angry at God. And my pastor at the time, he encouraged me, he said, have it out with God. Share your feelings. Just let it out. Like don't keep things bundled in, in your, your heart because that's just gonna, do the opposite of what you need.

And that actually brings me to my third point of it's okay to feel your feelings. It's okay to feel angry and, and upset and like every time I felt like my husband and all of our plans, they're ending. Like, there's nothing else here. It's okay to feel your feelings of being angry and upset and all of that.

Just don't take that on your kids. I just feel like as a parent and as a little parent, you have an opportunity to, or you have a responsibility [00:14:00] to give your kids some positive experiences. And if you ask my kids, yes, it's been tough. Yes, it's been hard, but I also did my best to try to make sure that they were heard and they were provided for, and I tried to take them out on like little trips and make new experiences and things like that. I really feel like they needed to see me strong so they could find their strength because if I was just laying in bed all day. Yes, that's, that's okay when you're a little, that's okay if you're depressed.

But I felt for me, and this is my own perspective. I'm not in a professional or anything. This is just me as a mom, as a children. But I felt like if they saw me strong, they would also be strong. And that actually worked. It really did work. I always encourage them to show their emotions and I would cry in front of them and it was okay to cry because [00:15:00] they can tell that how much I love their dad.

And it also encouraged them to cry and let their feelings out because it would be really tough. Like those late night moments were the worst for me. Like when the kids are sleeping, the house is quiet. , and then it's just you and your memory, you and your thought. And I remember my baby at the time, she was only four years old, and I would lay next to her and we would just hug on each other and I'd just feel this little hand just reaching up to like touch my face to see if it was wet, and then she would wipe it off and then she would just pull my neck in real close and hug me tight and.

It's okay, mommy. It's okay. And like now she's 11 years old, and she's still that nurturing.

Emily Jones: Oh, that's so sweet. How, how did you, because I get this question quite frequently, but how did you find the right balance for you between being open and feeling like it's okay to [00:16:00] grieve, in front of your kids versus trying to be strong for them.

Telling yourself, okay, it's time to pull it together and, move, move forward or, or do new activities or just do daily things. How did, how did you feel like you got into a fairly good balance or rhythm of what that looks like?

Alosina Wellington: I think time did you know, kind of help along the way? In the beginning I couldn't do anything, but I feel like time actually helped us, we would cry a little bit less.

I would have my moments of just breakdowns and stuff like that. I would have more breakdowns at night or in my car. And, and yes, I, they saw me cry. They saw me feel feelings, especially when it came to the anniversaries and the birthdays, and then the thoughts of, wow, you're not gonna walk my daughter down the aisle.

Those kind of things. You're not gonna be there for our kids' graduation. Like, those things would make me cry, like, oh, just [00:17:00] still gets me. But I'm not sure exactly when that changed for me. I feel like it just, everything kind of just worked itself out in a way. I don't know how to explain it.

Emily Jones: Yeah. Well, I think that makes sense. And you probably, in your relationship with God, maybe had a good sense of, okay, today's a day, I need to be there for my kids, versus today's a day I need to be in bed for me. I, and I don't think there's one answer that's right for everyone, but I know that's something that typically people want to know or they're trying to figure out to see if they're doing things, I'm gonna say quote unquote Right. Which is not always the, the perfect answer on, but that's, that's really good. So at what point, if you remember, did you start to feel like okay, I am focusing on trying to build a new future for my family and what that looks like. I know those milestones, like you mentioned, buying a new [00:18:00] house and all of that is very bittersweet cuz you're excited but your person's not there with you to witness that.

But how long would you say it was before you started thinking, okay, I can build a new life, one that I can look forward to and start to get your hands around that.

Alosina Wellington: It's interesting that you mentioned my house because that was actually the pivoting point, was like right when I bought that house, I felt like, well, this is starting a new chapter in my life.

This is something that he and I wanted to do together, and he is not here. But it happened, and when I was able to buy this house, I was very, very blessed. And I felt like, well now this is our new beginning. This is, this is where, they're gonna see that we can do all things through Christ who strength and who strengthens us.

My kids know that's my favorite scripture because I leaned on it. But I really believe that when [00:19:00] I bought the house, and, I got stronger in my walk with God and all of those things. I think that that was where things started to change. I even changed churches within that time cause we were going to church in Tacoma and then we ended up moving to a church closer to home.

And I felt like all of those things were significant in my, this is my new chapter. This is me trying to move forward. I would never forget the past. I would never forget our beautiful marriage and the way that God brought us together. Those things are always gonna be there, but I was ready to like, stop being sad and I just wanted to look forward to some good memories with my kids.

And that's what we did. We just kind of change our perspective and we're like, okay, let's see what we can do here. And, I just really wanted to have something for them, like a legacy.

Emily Jones: Yeah, that's great. And I know you make it, you make it sound somewhat easy. I know that it probably required a lot of just self-reflection [00:20:00] and probably even conversations with the kids, and I know that it's probably much more difficult than it sounds, but I'm really proud of you for doing that and for, not just giving up hope and just saying, well, the rest of my life has ruined now because this has happened to me and my family. But believing that you can still create something beautiful even if you don't know exactly what that looks like in the future.

Alosina Wellington: Yeah. Well, my kids are still young, and I'm like, I don't want them to just see me sad all the time. Like they needed to see me happy too. And so, at the time we bought this house because we're only a minute away from my mom, and when my mom passed away a couple years actually, 2021 I felt like we were going through this whole grief thing all over again, and I'm just trying to find happiness and, and hope, and I'm still dealing with the grief of her loss. And amongst other things, people come into your life and then they leave. And just [00:21:00] that feeling of like all of the important people, all of the people that are important to me are in my life and somehow they either pass away or they leave and it's heartbreaking.

So I, I felt like it was important for me to try to get counseling, which is another tip that I shared. So I recently started getting some, some counseling, grief counseling and it's been very helpful. But one of the things that I wish I would've done for my children back then was to get them counseling, because that was one of the things my sister-in-law told me, right when my husband been passed, she said get the kids counseling. It's something I wish I did, but I didn't do. And now I'm saying the same thing to all the other widows. Like, get counseling for your kids because it's something that I wish I did, but I didn't do. Because I think as they get older, like my kids are teens now, like besides my 11 year old, and they have [00:22:00] emotions and feelings that are just bottled up and they don't know how to deal with their emotions.

And I think had I forced them to do it when they were younger, I think they would've been better off in their teen years. And it would've been beneficial to them in their lives.

Emily Jones: Yeah, that's so important, that opportunity to do counseling or coaching or therapy. And I when I'd lost my husband, I enrolled all of mine in counseling and, one or two are still involved and the others, only attended for a few weeks, but I felt like it was at least important to try that.

Yeah. And it's hard to know what's gonna be helpful for each child. And then you have the pre-teen years and the teen years where they don't wanna talk about their feelings. They don't wanna be vulnerable and open anyway, so those are definitely some, some tricky waters to navigate. Do you feel like, because it, it sounded like early on you had a pretty good relationship with the kids, where you were openly [00:23:00] talking about maybe some of your feelings or that you were willing to cry in front of them.

Is that something that, you know, as a family you guys can still talk about? Or do you think that, now it's more they don't wanna think about it or talk about it and that they start to grieve a little bit differently?

Alosina Wellington: Yeah. We still have, so in my family, one thing that we did when my husband was still alive is we would have family prayer time and we would do our highs and our lows.

So we would sit around the living room, sing a song and they would talk about the high points of our day and the low points of our day. And then we would like read a scripture, like do a little mini Bible study and all of that. So every once in a while when I'm starting to notice, the attitudes are just flaring around here.

I will just be like, you know what? We haven't had time, our family time lately. Let everybody come to the front. And just me pulling them to the front. They're already like mad because they're like, oh gosh, another lecture from mom, and all of that. But [00:24:00] they know that, I mean, well, and when I do that, I'm sensing that we need time with God because we are just attacking each other and we need to be able to talk.

And a lot of times I'm like, so how are you guys doing? The main answer is good. And I'm just like, oh, it's so frustrating. I wish they knew how to speak and communicate well, but you know, when it comes to grief, I'm like, Hey, so how are you feeling? How's school? Can we get counseling for you?

Nope. I don't wanna talk to anybody. I'm like, oh, okay. I get it. Like I should have been this way earlier, but, so now I'm like kicking myself. But you know, I have a beautiful relationship with my kids still, even to this day. My son is about to graduate and it's a lot of excitement surrounding that day for him.

So I just want him to be happy and trying to give him all the parenting tips and tricks I can while he's still listening to me, and my daughters, they're also learning at [00:25:00] the same time, so they'll be well equipped when it's their time as well. But, hopefully I answered your question. But, it is kind of difficult to talk to them about grief when they have, they don't really wanna talk about it. They're just like, I'm good. I'm good. So I'll put them with like a family pastor or their youth pastor or someone to try to, hopefully they like pull it out of them. But my kids are really quiet into themselves and they deal with their feelings on their own, and so far they're still alive. Thank God for that. And everybody's happy.

Emily Jones: Yeah. I, I completely understand. And it's like, if I'll directly ask my kids about it, they don't wanna talk about it. But, if I, I try to share things that their dad liked or we go to places that he liked to go to, or, we just try to talk about him almost like he's still here.

So I think, to your point, maybe it's a combination of those kinds of things. And then also just kind of gauging how their acting or growing or blossoming. And I've definitely experienced [00:26:00] lots of ups and downs as my kids have started to go through those teenage years. And one thing that I learned in my, I've been taking classes to, to be certified in grief coaching, and one of the things that I've learned is especially with teenagers, maybe they're depressed, maybe they're having a, just a really hard time and, it just seems like you're constantly having to be on them for whatever reason is sometimes they just need to be loved really hard to the point where, you're just loving them and validating them and letting them know that you're, you're not gonna be someone who leaves them and you're there for them. And sometimes it's just very counterintuitive cuz we think, oh, well if you're gonna misbehave or not act a certain way, then you need to be, there needs to be a punishment or reciprocity or something that happens. But sometimes, people just almost need the opposite of what we think needs to happen or what we would typically think about.

So it is tough. There's no parenting [00:27:00] manual and I, I don't know if you've had experiences where you've kind of second guessed things that you've done as a parent. I know for me, I kind of miss having that person. I would bounce ideas off of with are we doing the right thing? Are we not? It, it's hard.

Alosina Wellington: Yeah. I, I've had many of those moments, and a lot of the things I'm like, man, did I mess my kids up? Like, did I ruin them because I didn't do this or I didn't do that? Or, they're, am I, am I overly, pouring out on this end and not enough on this end? Like I second guess myself all the time.

I, I miss having that person to bounce my ideas off of, and talk to and let somebody else be the bad guy instead of just me all the time. I miss that. I miss all of it, but I know that, we had our time with him, and even though it was short, it was only 11 years for my son.

We're just grateful and thankful for what we did learn from him, because he was such an amazing man. Even to [00:28:00] this day, people still talk about the way that he ministered and he's saying, and he would just encourage them and all of that. So we look at the positives of what dad used to be like, what he was to us, because, the same thing.

I try to keep the memories alive. And the reason why I do that is because I want them to have something to tell their children growing up. Oh yeah, grandpa used to do this, or Grandpa used to do that, or that was also grandpa's favorite color. Or, I learned how to sing this song, and one of the things that my husband did was he learned to play the keyboard using Lionel Richie's Eating on a Sunday morning. Those were like the, the first keys that he learned to play on the keyboard when my son learned that same way. And when I told him like, that's the same exact way daddy learned how to play the keyboard, and, and my son is pretty much a, a split image of my husband. Like if Glen had no hair, he would look exactly like his dad. And so there's a lot [00:29:00] of like traits and characteristics of their father throughout their lives. And so whenever I see them I'll remind them like, oh my gosh, daddy used to do that.

Or all of those things. So I just want his memory to stay alive. And that was one of the points that I made too in that post was try to keep those memories alive and give yourself grace.

Emily Jones: Yeah. And I think it's, Important for widows out there to, sometimes they have to communicate with their family and friends around them because I love for people to talk about Nathan or to share memories or tell stories.

But those people around you, sometimes they're just hesitant to bring those types of things up because I don't know if they think we just forget or what, but they don't like making us uncomfortable or sad. And the first several times it, it is hard or sometimes it could be unexpected and it's hard.

But if helping to encourage the people around you to talk about your [00:30:00] person and to share memories and stories, I think is an excellent way of keeping them alive. And helping educate your kids and hopefully in the future, grandkids on what kind of a person they were.

Well, what, what other tips or insights do you have to share with us today?

Alosina Wellington: I know that I didn't go through all of them, but one thing that I did with my kids was to make new memories and it was a decision that I made to make new memories because, when somebody passes away, your time with them has an end date and you move forward and you're like, wow, prior to this date, he's no longer with us.

But I, I wanted to make things like, make new memories with my kids. So I took the days that were important to us and I decided to do something different, different with them. So like, just on his birthday we would like go and eat at his favorite restaurant or we [00:31:00] would go visit him at the grave. And one year my kids, they were working on a YouTube video and they took the words of a song and switched it and switched all the words to their dad and it was a really beautiful Father's Day tribute to their dad. And my kids have the gift of singing and playing instruments just like him. So I didn't get, they didn't get any of that from me . But they had the gift of changing music, I mean, even at a young age. And so they changed all the words to reflect their love for their dad.

And that was one thing that they did. On Father's Day, I would make it all about my kids. I would buy them gifts. I would buy them a t-shirt. Yeah, I would, I would do stuff like that for them, and of course I still have my dad in my life, thank God. And I have brothers and brothers-in-law.

But . So we would always have like some kind of a family gathering or whatever, but my kids would be wearing their daddy t-shirt or whatever. And one year for Christmas, I made a t-shirt, I mean made pillows out of my husband's t-shirts. This was their [00:32:00] first Christmas. And I sprayed it with his cologne.

And when they opened it I, I took a quick little one minute video and that video went viral of their dad and they were like, oh my gosh, it smells like daddy. Little things like that for their first Christmas. I think one of the, the biggest things that the, probably the last tip I'll share is to just give yourself grace.

It's a tough time and sometimes we're so hard on ourselves because, thinking that we need to be a certain way. But I, I remember this one time, it was a teacher's appreciation week at my kids' private school, and I had already had a hard time getting there on time. And this time I had to get gifts for the teachers and we forgot them And I just remember being in the stairwell and this one lady told me, Why are you so hard on yourself? And I was like, because I forgot the gifts. Like I'm around all these perfect parents with [00:33:00] their perfect lives, with their perfect marriages. And here I was trying to do it all on my own and still trying to keep up, to that level of perfection, even if I'm doing it all by myself.

And she just stopped me and she prayed for me in the stairwell and she said, you need to give yourself grace. You got your kids. You are doing a great job. You remember that? It was teacher's appreciation week. She goes, I don't even remember that. And I was like, wow. And she was like, teacher's appreciation week is all week.

It's not Monday. So I was like really hard on myself because I didn't have a gift for the parent, the teachers that day. But her telling me to give myself grace and to love myself was my biggest take away from that because sometimes we can be so down on ourselves. . We're, we're also an example to our children.

When you're down on yourself, they're gonna be down on themselves for the littlest things. And that's not the type of example I wanted to be to my kids. So that was my biggest takeaway from that [00:34:00] conversation with her. And I'll never forget it.

Emily Jones: I love that. And there's just so many good things there.

We live a lot on social media, which is always the perfect image of, people's highlights from their life, or at least how they want to you to perceive their life is. And so it's easy to compare to that. And especially when you're grieving, especially, those that first year or two, I mean, my brain still doesn't function at full capacity of what it did before, and so its really difficult to be able to give yourself grace and to minimize expectations for yourself, and it's a very humbling experience for some of us.

Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today and just sharing your experience and sharing some of the tips and insights that you have for other young widows. And would you mind sharing if people wanna follow you on social media or people wanna find you or reach out to you, the best way to do that?

Alosina Wellington: Yeah. So I [00:35:00] have Instagram and my Instagram handle is Malo_Sina so it's malo _sina20 6. That's my Instagram. And then on Facebook, I am Alosina Masaniai. And I also had started a Christian widowed parents group two years ago and that's also on Facebook. So they can search for exactly that and, give a little questionnaire and, and then I can accept them into the group.

But it's called Christian Widowed Parents. And I have some old videos that I shared about giving yourself grace about having enough grits and things like that. And like some old videos that I did just from home . Nothing special , but, oh, one last thing I do wanna share is, on your anniversary, like on our anniversary, our wedding anniversary.

One of the things that I did that I thought was huge [00:36:00] was, cause that's a day that you celebrate just for yourself. I mean, you and your spouse, that's a hard day to celebrate because nobody else cares about it except you. Right? So I remember walking to work one morning and I was just talking.

To like God. And I was like, man, I'm just not happy. I felt so depressed going to work that that first anniversary, and I just kept thinking, what would he have done for me? Like, what would he have done for me? So then, like a Manny Petty or go get your hair done. Like, those were things that I could hear him saying, he just wanted me to be happy.

So on those days, that's your own day to treat yourself if you can do it. And that's what I do. Or I just go spend time with my kids. Cause they love me. They love being around me.

Emily Jones: Yeah. I like, I like the idea of doing something for yourself without the kids, but that's just me. Yeah. Yeah, like that stay.

Alosina Wellington: I feel like I do that all the time. So, because now nobody wants to run, drive around with me. So.

Emily Jones: Yeah. [00:37:00] Yeah. Well thanks again for sharing that and for everyone listening we'll make sure that we have links to how you can find Alosina in the show notes as well. So don't worry about trying to remember that or writing it down.

You can always find links to that in the show notes.

Alosina Wellington: Well, thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.

Emily Jones: 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, binding 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 [00:38:00] 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. 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.

 

 

 

 

BW 085: Widow's Heart: and Tale of Loss, Love, and Liberation

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BW 085: Widow's Heart: and Tale of Loss, Love, and Liberation

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