BW 058: Love, Loss, and Life: Navigating Widowhood and Pregnancy with Cody PriceNov 14, 2023
The Transcript is below
Content warning: Death, Accident
Cody Price, a resilient mother, musician, and educator hailing from the heart of West Tennessee, shares her poignant journey through loss and strength. In July 2016, tragedy struck when her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident, leaving Cody six months pregnant with their first child. Undeterred, she had just embarked on a new chapter, purchasing what seemed to be their forever home. Through the solace of counseling and unwavering support from close friends and family, Cody has not only found the courage to rebuild but has learned to embrace and love the life she has crafted for herself and her child. Her ongoing quest for personal growth and her dedication to being the best mom possible create a powerful narrative of resilience, hope, and the transformative power of love.
- remember what's important right here and right now
- Find support
''I don't regret doing what I had to do to survive, because I did I survived and I am. So incredibly happy with a life that I have built for myself. It might not be the life that I would have chosen 10 years ago. It might not be the life that I would have even chosen five years ago, but it is my life and it's nobody else's.''
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!
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Emily: [00:00:00] Hey, and welcome to episode number 58 of the brave widow show today. I talk with Cody price. Now, Cody was six months pregnant with their very first child when she lost her husband. I can't imagine the emotions and the challenges and. What that would have been like to have been in her situation when she lost her husband.
But I do know it is something that several young widows struggle with. And so I'm excited for you to hear her story, to hear her pieces of advice and insight, and for her to just be very open and vulnerable with you about what her experience was like. Before we dive into Cody's story, I do want to make sure that you know we have The, uh, Widow's Winter Solstice live event coming up on December 21st.
Holidays are just right around the corner [00:01:00] and holidays are often a really tough time for widows and grievers and they bring up a lot of memories of our loved one, as they should, and often that could be a tough time. So, We like to do something that is just meant specifically for widows. This is an annual event that we started last year.
We had music, we did activities, we cried, we laughed, we gave away prizes, we did all kinds of stuff. And... It is an event that people are already reaching out to me asking if I'm going to be doing it again. They're already asking to be a part of it. They want to be on the panel. They want to participate. And so it's something that.
I'm so glad that we started last year and will continue to be an annual event going forward and I would love for you to join me. So if you're not already on my email list, um, then go join it today so that you [00:02:00] can be invited and you can have all the details on where that's going to be, how to attend and, uh, be, be part of that event.
I'm Jade. So excited about it. It's one of the, my most favorite things that I do all year long. So if you want to sign up for the email list and also be in the know, like the VIP you are, know what, what events are coming up and happening and, and the meetups that we have and all kinds of stuff, all of that's totally free.
You go to BraveWidow. com slash free, F R E E, that's BraveWidow. com slash free and sign up. You'll get on the email list. You'll know all the things that are coming up and here very soon There's gonna be specific details on our winter solstice event. It'll be December 21st at 7 p. m Central Time and you can come in your PJs You can [00:03:00] come in your comfy clothes.
It is cold and rainy here today and I know that means that I would really love to be snuggled up under a blanket right now in front of a fire. You don't have to be on camera or you can be on camera. We have people do it either way. It's really meant for you to be super comfortable and connected and just part of an amazing event.
So I hope to see you there again. If you want to be get the details on when and where and how to sign up, then join the email list. If you're not already on it, and you could do that by going to brave photo dot com slash F. R. E. E. All right, let me introduce you to Cody. Cody Price is a mother, musician, educator, and widow residing in West Tennessee.
Her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident July of 2016. At the time, she was six months pregnant with their first child and had just purchased what she thought would be their [00:04:00] forever home only a few months prior. Through counseling and support from close friends and family, she has learned to love the life.
That she has built since the accident, she continues to learn every day and to strive and strives to be the best mom that she can be. All right, let's dive in.
Emily Jones: Welcome to The Brave Widow Podcast. I'm your host, Emily Jones. We help young widows heal their heart, find hope, and dream again for the future.
Hey, everybody. And welcome back to another episode of the brave widow show today. I have with me Cody, and I'm excited for you to hear about Cody's story and the insights that she has to share with us. So Cody, thank you so much for coming on the show and welcome.
Cody Price: Thank you. Thank you very much. Yeah.
So my name is Cody. Um, I met my husband in 2011, like end of 2011, early 2012,
Two [00:05:00] and a half years before we got married. And then I lost him to a motorcycle accident in 2016. Um, at the time that I lost him, I was six months pregnant with our first child. We had just bought our first home, three months prior to the accident., so at the time that it happened, I kind of had this, like everything that I had always dreamed of this picture, perfect life.
And then in 10 minutes, I ripped away, but that was seven years ago now. Um, and oh gosh, was it eight years ago now, seven years ago now. And it's been a whirlwind since then. I've kind of had to reinvent who I am and what I'm doing with my life and what kind of life that I'm building for myself.
So, it's been a lot of growth and a lot of, um, a lot of learning experiences since then, for sure.
Emily: Yeah, and I'm excited to talk to you because a lot of the widows that I talk with or that I interact with, they've really only been widowed, you know, two to three years, which feels like a lifetime for sure.
But having someone that's a [00:06:00] little further down the path that has had more time to reflect on all of that and... Learn and grow as much as you have. I think it will be really interesting for people to hear any advice that
you have or any tips on what was most helpful to you in even just starting to think there could be a life after having lost your spouse.
Cody Price: Yes. And honestly, like the whole life after loss is still something that I am working through and still something that I quite frankly struggle with every single day because it's not the life that I ever asked for. And it's not the life I built for myself. And when that life was stolen from me, I wasn't even there.
So it's, it's one of those moments where you don't realize how fragile what you have is until., the police officers knock on your door and tell you what just happened. And so it's, um, yeah, I, it's take, I have been through years of therapy and counseling to [00:07:00] try and kind of re imagine my whole, everything that I thought defined me.
So yeah, it's been, there's been a lot of growth.
Emily: And, you know, with therapy or maybe other things that you've done, have you found that that's something helpful or is that something that's been more of a struggle for you? It has been both incredibly helpful and a struggle because, it's therapy and counseling to me.
Cody Price: I, I've seen a counselor more often than I've seen an actual therapist. My counselor, um, was amazing. I found her the a week after it happened. And when I say I found her, I mean that my support system, my family found her for me because I was not in the present state to find anything or anybody a week after that happened.
so I think that was absolutely the one thing that
saved me. I don't think that I would still be here were it not for her. Um, and she, can I say her name? [00:08:00] Yeah, sure.
Yeah. So Beth Shelton, um, she currently resides, in Illinois. She is, she was, she is the
reason I'm still here. I saw her for almost a year, maybe a little over a year, um, after the incident happened.
And then I stopped seeing her, um, for, various personal reasons. It was one of those where life got in the way and I didn't have time
anymore and I didn't have time to grieve or focus on myself. I had to be a mom and I didn't have any other choices because I was thrown into single motherhood, which is something that I never wanted.
It's not a choice I would have made for myself. Um, but yeah, no, I mean, that plus postpartum depression, which does run in my family, it all kind of hit me all at once. And so I came back to her. Gosh, it was three years ago now. And then after I came back to seeing her, I started kind of processing my grief and dealing with things that were currently happening in my life that I didn't even realize were subjects of the grief that I was going through that I never got a chance to process because I was too busy and being in survival mode.
So [00:09:00] it was years after the accident happened that I actually got to start processing. And helping myself heal as opposed to just trying to live to see tomorrow or deciding to live to see tomorrow. It was a very adamant choice that I made, to go back to see her again to help process. The grief that I never got a chance to address.
Emily: Well, I'm really glad that you did make the decision to go back and work with that person because so many times it's easy for us to suppress or to numb ourselves or to, it's almost like we're delaying the process of processing grief and, that actually can start to manifest physically or it can start to bubble up and.
Overwhelm us. So, um, and you may have had that experience too. Okay.
Cody Price: Yes. And I think that was one of those things too, where I was noticing that I was starting to, um, it was starting to bubble up and it was starting to come out in places because I had [00:10:00] just. I was in a new relationship that I thought was my, um, what a lot of widows and widowers call their chapter two. I've since learned that that's not necessarily a
term I care to use because I don't want to think about my life in terms of chapters. And when one chapter closes, the next opens because that's not how any of this works. My husband is still very much a part of my every single day life. It's been seven years since I've seen his face.
And yet at the same time, he influences. Everything I do every single day, and I'm no longer ashamed of that fact. I used to think that, um, I was living in the past or I had people say, well, why can't you just let go? Why can't you just move on? But the fact is you never move on. I can move forward and I can walk to tomorrow and I can move on.
I can move forward through my life, but to move on. is not a thing because he never leaves me. I didn't make a choice. I didn't get divorced. I
didn't, we didn't leave each other. He was stolen from me. He was taken from me. And so that's something that I've really, again, years of therapy [00:11:00] has given me the ability to say that sentence out loud and really have it kind of, um, stick to my heart in a way that I was not able to do six years ago or six years and six months ago.
Um, so yeah, no, I think that. Therapy and counseling was by far the only reason that I, I am here where I am today.
Emily: Well, I'm really glad that you made that decision to do that. And you're so right that we just tend to move forward as we're healing and continuing our relationship, but just looks different.
And I'm always intrigued how differently people will.
Communicate or interact or incorporate their person's spirit, you know, into their daily routine and to their traditions and what that looks like. I mean, that was a huge part of your life and ultimately even your identity. And so it's unfathomable to think about, well, I can't just walk away from that.
That was me. That was part of who I am. [00:12:00] So, uh, totally understand that. Um, how old was your.
Cody Price: Um, I was six months pregnant.
Emily: Okay. So do you, then you had to go through the process of, you know, delivering your child and, and raising a newborn baby, um, probably mostly on your own. What, um, what were some of those emotions that you experienced over those next few months and couple of years?
Cody Price: My, this is where it gets tricky because I feel like some, there are some days where if I try and verbalize. What I was feeling immediately after it happened when I was going through the third trimester by myself when I have brand new newborn. I mean, I live this. We moved to our current city, my husband and I for his work and my closest family at the time was about 800 miles away.
And so I had nobody [00:13:00] here and we had only lived here for about two years. Before it all went down and it, like I said, it was I had my only support
system here in Memphis. Again, aside from my friends, I have an awesome group of friends and I have friends who have been here with me. In fact, my very, very best friend Jenna is, um, she's been here with me the whole time and was there when my son was born and his grandparents were a huge part of our lives for such a long time.
I do have a support system here in the town I currently live in, but it's not, I didn't have family to fall back on. I couldn't. Take a break from
being a mom. I couldn't pass off a midnight feed to somebody else in favor of sleep. I went that first year after I lost my husband. I was in straight up survival mode and there's a lot of it that I don't remember because I, my trauma blacked it out.
lost a whole year of my life. And looking back on it, I [00:14:00] am mortified at how much I missed. I missed the first year of my son, like, um, and that's a year that I'm never going to get back because I was in survival mode and there are whole events that people will ask me about now and I am like staring at them like, what are you talking about?
That never happened, what are you talking about? And they'll be like, oh yeah, it was like five, six years ago and I'm like, ah, there it is. I don't remember it. I don't remember that person ever existing. I don't remember ever working with that person. I don't remember sitting this way at the table I don't remember that experience we had that weekend It's not here.
I don't remember it and I was there. I know I was there, but I don't remember it and that kills me because it's a whole year of my life and one of the most important years a year that I I I can't get back because my son is not a baby anymore. And, um, so there was a lot in that first year, especially right after the accident happened.
It happened in July and I had my [00:15:00] son at the end of October and he's my first and so far only child. And so I went through, that third trimester, by myself. And I went through postpartum recovery by myself without anybody there to tell me that my new body is beautiful. I
didn't have that. And so a lot of that first year, like I said, was straight up survival mode, just trying to live from day one to day two and making the choice, to be the best person I could for my son.
And a lot of that meant that I didn't, I spent. Most of my time, especially in that first year, actively trying not to think about what had
happened to us and the life that we no longer had and the life that I needed to continue having without the one person who made it work. I mean, I had a house, a whole house.
to just me and my child and our many pets. My husband was very involved in animal [00:16:00] rescue. So he left me with, at the time I had five dogs, three cats. And I mean, it was, like I said, it wasn't a life that I would have ever chosen for myself. And it was a life that we had built together. And then that keystone piece of that life was just.
Disappeared one day and I never got it back and so it was, um, that first year, like I said, I I would be lying if I said that my son and I bonded instantly, I would be lying if I said that, oh, the newborn phase was a dream. It was awful. The little bits I remember. are, laced with trauma and they are, I wish that I could see that first year in a different light.
look back on like, for example, memories that I posted to Facebook videos of my son in that first year. And I remember him being that age. And I remember, but for the life of me, I do not remember how I got from point A to point B. There are days when I arrived at work and could not remember how [00:17:00] I got there.
I don't remember where I parked my car. I can't tell you how many times. I walked around the school parking lot after school hunting for my car because I had no idea how I got to school that morning because I was probably running on a half hour of sleep all night long. My son was incredibly colicky so he screamed bloody murder for about six months and I did that by myself.
with no help aside from the occasional babysitter or maybe his grandparents stopping over to give me a break in the afternoon or something like that. I mean it was and a lot of that too I think was because of the trauma I had while my son was still developing. Um, it was he, in the time that he was supposed to be learning how to regulate the chemicals in his body, I was forcing pain and sorrow and despair and the worst kind of chemicals to him because I couldn't.
It was, the worst experience imaginable. So, my son, um, he is a[00:18:00] resourceful, he is funny, he is so incredibly smart, but he screamed for the first six months of his life, and he's still, I mean, like any typical six year old, he struggles with
emotional regulation, but for him it's different. Because he was not, for lack of a better phrase, he was not built the same as the other kids his age, because when he was supposed to be developing in utero, the ability to monitor the chemicals coursing through his veins, um, I was giving him all of my sadness.
So yeah, the first year was really, really hard.
Emily: Yeah, I think the first year is hard regardless. And then you have all this added, all these added pressures and responsibility and struggle with just not having a ton of. You know, support around you to give you more breaks and to just really surround you fully.
Cody Price: Yeah. So I named anybody even to tell me I'm doing a good job. I mean, I still struggle with that because I'm doing this by myself. You know, my son [00:19:00] is, is it, I am a solo parent through and through. I mean, I don't have help that I don't pay to be here. And so it's, even now that trauma of not having anybody there to tell me I'm going to get doing a good job or having nobody here present in my house to tell me, yes, you're doing the right thing or I support that decision.
It's all on me and I can't bounce those ideas off of anybody right here, right now. I mean, I could call my mom and I can call my sister and they all live hours away. I can get them on FaceTime calls, but it's not the same as having a partner, you know?
Emily: Yeah, we lose a lot when we lose our partner, more than just who that person is.
And, I actually talked to a widow the other day and, uh, she also, she actually found out she was pregnant, I think two days before her
husband died. And so she, you know, went through pregnancy and childbirth and, was the same thing. That's not something she'd wanted. And, she just shared [00:20:00] that she really struggled to bond with her child, especially those first several months and almost a year.
That was a big struggle, but, um, she had to also let go of the guilt that was bothering her with
feeling like she could, needed to connect, but couldn't. And it was like all of this pressure on her shoulders, um, before she was finally able to form that bond. So I know that struggles. I mean, as you said, having a newborn, I don't know anybody who says it's a dream, but to have one that struggles with colic and you probably also have insomnia and you're also, you know, just dealing with massive waves of grief.
I mean, it's, it's incredible. You're incredibly resilient to be here and to be sharing your story today. So kudos to you.
Cody Price: Thank you very much. Yeah, I mean, it's having that newborn phase, you know, like I hear moms and you read blog posts and you read baby books about how you're supposed to have this wave of love wash over you and that baby is born.
I will tell you [00:21:00] when my son was born and they laid him on my chest. It's, is, it was like an out of body experience in the worst way possible because I wasn't happy about it and I didn't want it to be happening and even with all of the things that had happened to me in the three months prior to that, that moment right there was the hardest I've ever cried in my whole life.
And it's one of those moments where I look back on that and of all the things I don't remember. I remember that, and I will never forget the
sound I made, and I didn't realize it was me, and then when I realized it was me making those, indescribable heart wrenching sounds, um, that's something you never forget.
So, um, yeah, no, the newborn phase was not a dream, and it was not fun, and, um, I... The guilt I feel for understanding that about my situation, and not falling immediately in love with my [00:22:00] child, and
not wanting the life that I was forced into, um, is even now, seven years later, crippling. And so it's something that I have to deal with every single day, because I missed a whole year, and, and I'll never get back.
Emily: You won't, but hopefully you'll have many more years to
come in the future. And the crazy thing about like brain fog and how our brains operate is, is really trying to protect us from fully feeling everything that we felt in that moment. Yes, then it also handicaps us in a way because it's hard to operate.
Like you said, you know, um, I lost all of my car titles. One day I couldn't find where any of them were and I found them a year later in a silverware drawer, like in the back. And I'm like, what? Yes. I don't even
know what was happening.
Cody Price: Yes. And like, [00:23:00] I've had things that I completely forgot even existed.
Don't even, no idea where that came from. And I recently, last December, so about eight, nine months ago now, um, I moved out of that house that my husband and I had bought together into a house that is my house instead of our house. And during that move, I found so many things that I didn't even know existed, like, I had no idea.
So now . It's yeah, so it's a year that I'll never get back. But at the same time, um, my body needed that year to do exactly what it needed to do. And so although I was not the best me that I could be, and there are things that I don't remember, and I feel so sorry for the students I had that year.
But, I don't regret doing what I had to do to survive, because I did I survived and I am. So incredibly happy with a life that I have built for myself. It might not be the life that I would have [00:24:00] chosen 10 years ago. It might not be the life that I would have even chosen five years ago, but it is my life and it's nobody else's.
And I did this. I built it. From scratch. I started over and I have my son and I have a house that I'm absolutely in love with in a neighborhood that is a perfect fit for us. And, um, no, it's, it's a lot of therapy and a lot of counseling.
Emily: It is, but, you know, and I know people get aggravated when people say, oh, you're so strong and oh, you know, you're so resilient and we go, well, I didn't have a choice, but you did have a choice.
Yeah, and I tell people tell me that I tell them I you would be absolutely surprised at the things you can accomplish when you're not given a choice. Yeah, absolutely. And I'm so glad to hear that you've started to rebuild this life and even though in some ways you're still trying to figure out exactly what that looks like, you're taking steps in that direction and being [00:25:00] open to what all that could, you know, include, which I think is great.
What would you say to that young mom that, you know, lost her husband, she's just really struggling, not sure where to start, not sure about raising a, you know, that her child, uh, without their dad, anything that you feel like would, you wish you would have known, or maybe that you wish you would have done differently?
Cody Price: I think the only real valuable advice I can give is to remember what's important right here and right now, not what was what important yesterday, not what was important before the accident or the illness or whatever took place. That person from you, it's about what is important right here and right now.
And so I would repeat to myself because I couldn't be the same teacher that I was before it happened because you can't spend 15 hours at school when you've got an infant and all of these [00:26:00] animals to feed at the house. I mean, I was the sole provider for my family or our family a long time and still am.
And I had to remember what was important. So instead of Worrying about what work thought of me or how many times I had to take off because I had a, uh, colicky baby or if he was running a fever when he got hand, foot and mouth for two weeks straight. I mean, I didn't have anybody else to do that for me.
And so I had to constantly remind myself that I would rather be a bad teacher than a bad mom. And his whole childhood is in my hands. And although that's a lot of pressure, it also kind of helps you reorganize your priorities. And so before the accident happened, I wouldn't have thought twice about staying after school for two hours and then going and teaching some private lessons and, and tutoring.
wouldn't have gotten home. We left at six 30 in the morning and I would have gotten home by seven or eight, and I would have eaten dinner with my husband and spent a lovely evening together and turned around tomorrow and did the exact same [00:27:00] thing. And. That is not a thing anymore. It's just not. And it, and it can't be because I would rather work a nine to five, stay after school with for 10 minutes to help somebody who needs it.
And be home to raise my child and I would rather put him to bed his mom putting him to bed and I would rather and quite frankly, babysitters are expensive and so I mean, it's one thing to pay child care throughout the day so that I can work and it's another thing to pay child care throughout the day so I can work.
And then pay a babysitter at the end of the day so
I can work some more. And I am incredibly grateful. And I recognize the privilege in my voice when I say that I don't have to do that because I can be home after school to raise my son and I can be a mom. And, um, that is coming from an incredibly privileged place.
Cause there are a lot of people who can't afford to do that. But I just repeat the mantra. I would
rather be a bad teacher than a bad mom. I would rather [00:28:00] be a bad neighbor. Then a bad mom. I would rather, put my dog outside for an hour and let him bark at the door for an hour and let my neighbors hear it than be a bad mom to my son because the dog is barking inside and we can't hear ourselves think.
I mean, I, it's, I would rather. Above all else, I wanted to be a good mom, and so even on the
days when I didn't think I was, even on the days when I was failing miserably, even on the days where I lost my temper over, I mean, I can't tell you how many times I lost my temper on an infant. Like, that's gonna do anything.
You know, I mean, it's, um, I would rather, I would rather be a bad everything. Then be a bad mom. And so it's realigning those priorities and realizing what's important right here. And
right now, today, not yesterday, not a year from now, not a year ago, but right here and right now, what do I need to do today to be the best of that?
I need to be.
Emily: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. When you lose your [00:29:00] spouse, your priorities sharpen so tightly and you recognize. Yeah, what's important and it became easier for me to set boundaries with people, with work, with family, with anyone, because I thought I'm focused right now on surviving and for my kids, I'm not worried about offending people and whatever else needs to happen.
So I totally relate to that. Well, Cody, thank you so
much for coming on today and sharing your story and just being so open and vulnerable because I think. People will hear what you had to share and they'll say finally, somebody that I can relate to because I've felt some of those same things, but it's things that people don't necessarily just want to go around and say, right?
It's the hard, tough things that, that we experience and we share.
Cody Price: And it's the things that if you were to talk about some of these things in front of somebody who has never been here before, who has [00:30:00] never felt what we have felt. Some of them sound really harsh and make me sound like a really awful person.
But like, because we've been here and we know what that feels like. To have the carpet literally ripped out from under you and for you to have no consent to the matter. Nobody asked my permission before they ran a red light. Like, it just, nobody consulted me first, knocked on my door and said, Hey, would it be cool if we killed your husband today?
Like, that's not a thing. You know, and so it's, um, I think a lot of the times. We fall into that dark humor phase, or we fall into, um, being open about the fact that it took me a long time to bond with the child that I prayed for. And I wanted so badly, and I had a miscarriage before I had my
son, and so the child that I wanted and that we worked on and we prayed for and we sat together and we, I mean, we asked God for that baby.
And then for them him to give us that baby and then immediately rip my husband from me was like a slap in the face and [00:31:00] it's um, it's something that I have really, really worked hard to come to terms
with and I think a lot of the times when you talk to people who don't understand that feeling, um, they don't understand.
The reaction to that feeling and they think that you're being harsh or unfeeling or you I've I've had I mean, I've gone on dates with people who are like, I just think you talk about that so callously
and the fact is, I'm not callous. I'm just honest. It's my reality. And so I think that these conversations with people who know what we're going through, and then putting these conversations out for other people to hear again is something I wish I had 7 years ago.
And so I'm just really grateful that you allow me to be a part of it. Yeah,
absolutely. And I, I totally agree. We just, we talk about these things because they're normal to us and it's experienced, um, but a lot of people don't get it. So, um, that's why it's so important to have a good community of other widows around you in some capacity.
So thank you [00:32:00] for, um, sharing everything today. I really appreciate it. And I think the audience will get a lot out of that. Thank you so much.
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, 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. Learn how to heal your heart, find hope, [00:33:00] reclaim joy, and dream again for the future. It is possible. Head on over to brave widow.com to learn more