BW-060: From Grief to Glory: A Widow's Journey of Choosing Life, Taking Leaps, and Finding LightNov 16, 2023
The Transcript is below.
Content warning: Death, Accident
Today I talk with Vicki Marcy who lost her husband shortly after their 25th wedding anniversary due to a motorcycle accident where a driver made an illegal u turn and hit her husband. Learn how Vicki navigated anger, bitterness, hostility, and grief, and became a phoenix rising from the ashes of grief to create a beautiful new life full of joy and adventure and excitement.
- Find some way to let it go
- Find support
''I believe that you have got to consciously make the decision that you're going to find the joy.''
''I go to the most amazing places and, and, and I live the joy. I make myself see the beauty. I make myself find the joy. I make myself appreciate all of it. And I try not to dwell on the fact that I know I wouldn't have this life if Andrew was here.''
''feel like I've never said this out loud, but I feel like For everything God got, you know, I'd say took because he didn't what happens happens, but he's really giving me a lot back.''
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: Hey, hey, welcome to episode number 60 of the Brave Widow Show. Today I talk with Vicki Marcy who lost her husband shortly after their 25th wedding anniversary due to a motorcycle accident where a driver made an illegal u turn and hit her husband. Learn how Vicki navigated anger, bitterness, hostility, and grief, and became a phoenix rising from the ashes of grief to create a beautiful new life full of joy and adventure and excitement.
I think you're really going to like Vicki's story and what she has to share as she navigated all of those emotions. Vicki. All right, so let me introduce Vicky. Vicky is a widow who had to find a new life for the last year she worked in production.
She now works in production for live events for companies such as Fortune, GM, and others. She gets to see celebrities, she [00:01:00] gets to see movie sets, just all kinds of things in her new life, so I think you're really going to like her story. All right, before we dive into Vicky's story, I just want to remind you that we have a lot of live events that are happening here in the Brave Widow community and for the public to attend.
So we have here in December, when this podcast episode goes live, we have our Winter Solstice event. That is going to be happening on December 21st. So right around the corner from when you hear this podcast episode, the best way that you can sign up for it, or that you can hear about other live events is by going to brave widow.
com slash free F R E E and signing up for the email list. The email subscribers get the scoop. On the latest and the greatest live events, on free resources, on guides, on checklists, on things that we are coming out with to help you as a widow navigate grief and navigate life after grief and for your friends and family to [00:02:00] help you through those things.
So I would love for you to sign up for the email list and to join us on the live event that's happening on December 21st with the winter solstice event, we have activities, we have music, we have, um. Gifts that we give away. We laugh. We cry. It's a, we have a panel of widows that share their stories and experience.
It's just a really great time. It's my favorite event that we do here at Brave Widow. And I would love for you to be a part of that. Again, to sign up, you go to BraveWidow. com slash free and join the email list. All right, let's dive into Vicki's story.
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.[00:03:00]
Emily: hey, welcome back To another episode of the brave widow show today. I have a special guest, Vicki Marcy, and I'm so excited for you to hear about her story and what insights and tips that she has for you all as our audience. So Vicki, welcome to the show and thank you so much for coming on today.
Vickie Marsee: Thank you for having me, Emily. I'm so excited to be here and get to share a little bit. Um, my name is Vicki. Of course, I, uh, Was married for 25 years and my husband got hit on his motorcycle driving to work two weeks after our 25th wedding anniversary. Um, I got the call when I was going into my office at work and spent six days at the hospital, you know, hoping I never got to.
Speak to him again. ,so he kissed me.
Emily Jones: Yeah. So when you got the call, were you at home or you, I was
Vickie Marsee: at [00:04:00] work. I had just, when I pulled in the parking lot at work, it popped into my head that he had not called. And I'd always heard from him before, you know, I literally got in the parking lot and, but I went on into my office.
And we had these morning briefings at 8 a. m. and it was 8:01 when I was walking away from my desk towards the meeting room. And that's when my phone rang and it said it was the Columbia County Marshals Department. And when I looked at it. I declined the call something inside me just stopped and then immediately the phone started during again and it was the same number and you know my husband's rode motorcycles for 20 30 years he's commuted you know across Atlanta, Tallahassee, he was a great you know driver but as his wife from the moment he first got on it I've had this call a million times and so when it When I saw it, I didn't [00:05:00] even have to answer it.
And, so in answer to the call, they were telling me that he had been in an accident. And when they said, we'll send a police car to pick you up. That's when, I just knew, I knew I've always said that, People call it their gut, their whatever, I call it my line to God. And it, it just really has never in my life led me astray.
And in that moment, I knew, I just knew. And, um, I got to the hospital. They'd already taken him into surgery and he just never, never. Came out of that. But he did make it to the hospital. So I had police officers meeting me at the hospital. I had, E. M. T. S. Who stayed, some doctors. Everybody was telling me every word.
He said from the time they got to the accident site, you know, till the time they took him into surgery and knocked him out. Yeah, I know, but I never made it there [00:06:00] in time to see or speak to him again.
Emily Jones: And so he was there for six days, you said?
Vickie Marsee: Six days. They kept trying to go back into surgery and it was Friday and Easter Sunday was Sunday.
And Fridays when they came to me and said, you know, Saturday morning, I signed the DNR. So I spent all day Saturday just praying to God to take him. Please don't make me have to do this because I can't let him lay there like this, you know? And, um, so I knew Sunday was Easter Sunday and he was going to be.
He was going to be resurrected or he's going to be God one way or another. It was. And, um, so Sunday morning, Easter Sunday morning, I pull us on the paper and pull life support and letting
Emily Jones: with Jesus on a very special day.
Vickie Marsee: And that, that, that makes me see Easter even more than I always ever saw Easter.
But, And then, and then I [00:07:00] died too . You know who I was then? His wife, I died too. And, because I've been with him since I was 22 and I was 48, , you know, so my whole identity, my whole everything was surrounded around him. My whole, you know, I mean, every plan for future and retirement and, you know, just every, what we're gonna do, you know.
Every plan I had for the whole rest of my life was surrounded around him. And in one instance, you know, it was gone. And, the part of my identity, you know, when we got married in his vows, he said I was the end of his Yang. And we always said that where one was weak, the other was strong. And that's how we were able to be so strong together.
You know, he was totally my soulmate. I had what very few people ever find. And I'm blessed for every second that I had him. But I went back to work after the funeral and I only made it to lunch. [00:08:00] I left at lunch and um, I called my sister who went and told my boss I wouldn't be back and packed my office up for me.
And I knew right then that I could not try to live the life I lived with him without him. I couldn't go and punch a time clock and expect to be going home to cook him dinner and sit in recliners and lay on the couch and watch TV. Cause that wasn't my life anymore.
Emily Jones: Yeah. It's amazing, isn't it? How much of who we are.
And what we like and what we do, like how much of that is so closely integrated with,
Vickie Marsee: do you know how long I did not even watch TV because I couldn't think of a show that just I wanted to watch and just. Didn't just, you know, kill me inside because, even if it was a new show, in my mind, oh, Andrew missed this, you know, man, he [00:09:00] would have loved this show.
We would have watched this. So therefore I quit watching it. Music, I couldn't listen to music for like a year. Yeah. Yeah. All those things.
Emily Jones: I think the brain fog her helps, you know, with that too, because you can't it for me, it was just hard to focus, like, to just focus to watch a show or to read a book or
Vickie Marsee: focus on what I said, I think that, we should immediately get to go talk to somebody about schizophrenia.
I felt like I just immediately became a schizophrenic, and I've got 20 people living in my head, none of them make any sense, you know, the person who used to be there is gone, you know, I totally felt like, you know, the brain fog and everything is beyond drill and the inability to focus, but um, the feeling like you've got 20 other people in your head, one of the things I come up with in about months, you know, Three was I [00:10:00] couldn't listen to my head because it was crazy.
I couldn't listen to my heart because it was broken. But even as angry as I was at God, I still had faith in my gut. I still had faith that that's how he was communicating to me. So things that felt right in my gut are what I would pay. And that's how I have pretty much for month three to now, and for the rest of time, most likely, um, I listened to my head a tiny bit more.
I still don't listen to my heart because, yeah, but my gut is really, I can't believe where I am now compared to where I was. It's, it's. And
Emily Jones: how long, how long ago was that I know it was Easter was it
Vickie Marsee: this year? He, he died April 4 2021.
Emily Jones: Okay. So, it's been about 2 and a half years.
Vickie Marsee: Yeah. Okay. I think I'm on 30 months 30 going in 31 months.
Time. Just really doesn't mean the same thing anymore. [00:11:00] I know you know that. The whole time heals wounds and everything. Time has helped me to, learn who I am now and this new creature that I am and what not and how to find joy. That was hard without guilt, especially.
Emily Jones: You're hitting on so many good things.
Okay. You're you're a month 30 here and you were at least at first angry at God and felt like you couldn't trust yourself. Probably felt like you would never be happy again.
Vickie Marsee: Didn't even want to live. The only time I prayed to God was when I woke up in the morning that I wouldn't have to wake up the next morning.
Emily Jones: So how, what was that journey like to get you to a point where you even want to do this podcast?
Vickie Marsee: I was very blessed. I've read stories of a lot of women who hadn't had [00:12:00] nobody, you know, and I tried to push everybody who loved me away. I tried very hard, to push everybody who loved me away, but they wouldn't leave. They wouldn't leave. They'd show up at my house. They'd crawl in my bed. Um, the first Thanksgiving when I never, I did put clothes on and try to leave the house, But I hit the doorknob and just then hit the floor and started crying, put my pajamas on, went back to bed.
You also got to remember I'm dealing with a man who hit him. And, so around the holidays is when the DAs and the courts finally start contacting me saying, Hey, the COVID backlog is the, and we need you to come in and, you know, we're setting court dates and yeah, I'm just trying to get through.
Yeah, the first holidays and all this is happening at the same time. And, uh, my best friend knocked on my door one day with [00:13:00] suitcases
with suitcases, and she just walked in and she said, I'm not leaving. And she didn't leave. And she went to every court appointment with me, every DA meeting. She was right there with me. I had people. Yes, I had, and she's just one. I had people who I was lucky enough to be able to be honest with and tell them that, you know, flat out, I did not want to live, you know, that I didn't know who I was without him.
I didn't want to. Even find out who I was without him. I didn't want, I just wanted to be with him, you know, all I wanted. And, um, then crazy things started coming. I got a call to a crew on a movie and I ended up. I got so much love on that movie. And then when it was over, I got a car to go to Puerto Rico to film a movie.
Well, my husband's [00:14:00] brother passed away the year we got married and his ashes are spread in Puerto Rico for 20 something years, all I've heard from Andrews, he wants to go to Puerto Rico. He wants to see where his brother's ashes is. I got a call out of the blue. To be a crew member on a movie. And I got to take his ashes there and nobody knew.
And the last day before we wrapped the movie, somebody had found out about it. And they all came to me and I'm talking some pretty famous actors too, and a huge movie crew. And they said, we're your family and you're not doing this alone. Let's go. And we went down to the beach and. And I got to scatter his ashes in Puerto Rico.
And that was just, how does that happen? Yeah, it was
Emily Jones: amazing. How does that happen? Wonderful blessing.
Vickie Marsee: I'm the producer asked me when it was over, he said, why here? Why now? And I told him the story about. You know, Andrew and his [00:15:00] brother being there and he said, Are you kidding me? And I said, you thought you were just hiring me for a job and you did God's work and didn't even know it.
I love that. He did too. He did too. And that's really what it's been from then on. Now I'm, uh, working in production. I'm a stage manager with fortune magazine. Uh, they do live events all over the country and I see the most incredible people. I just had Ryan Seacrest in my green room. I mean, and I see, and I go to the most amazing places and, and I live the joy.
I make myself see the beauty. I make myself find the joy. I make myself appreciate all of it. And I try not to dwell on the fact that I know I wouldn't have this life if Andrew was here. And I also know [00:16:00] that I would much rather just be a wife punching a time clock somewhere and going home and cooking dinner and watching TV that night, you know, but I feel like I've never said this out loud, but I feel like For everything God got, you know, I'd say took because he didn't what happens happens, but he's really giving me a lot back.
He's really, really, it's, and I, this was just this past March that I realized that I was the footprints point and all the times that I was so angry at him and just thought that. You know, he had just abandoned me in this world on my own. I realized I was the footprints appointment and he was carrying me that time, all that time, he's carrying me
Emily Jones: Oh, I love that, and I'll, I'll have to reference that poem later for people that don't know what that is, but, um, that's such a beautiful picture, and you're [00:17:00] right, I also have done a lot of things that Nathan didn't like, would never have done, my life would never have looked that way, you know, if we were still together, and it's not that I would Go back in time and happily trade for it.
But I think to your point, it's a relief that we can still have joy in life and we can still have great adventures and do things so much more. I often thought about the story of Job in the Bible and I thought, I felt like I lost everything, but. That person in the Bible lost so much more and God did end up blessing him with way more than he had before.
So I just kept saying, God won't take me backwards and allow me to have less and less and less over life. That's not. The kind of being that, that God is. So I'm so, you're making me teary eyed just, uh, you know, hearing your [00:18:00] story and experience and share with the audience, what people refer to you as, what they call you.
Vickie Marsee: They call me the Phoenix.
And how did that start?
When. At a time when I was at my absolute absolute lowest, you know, and I have a friend who told me that she believed in me so much. And she said, I promise you, you cannot see it now but the day is going to come that you will rise from these ashes just like a phoenix with technicolor wings and you will take flight.
And so that's what they call me. They call me the Phoenix because that day didn't come. And I found, I found joy again. I, I actually, right after the one year mark, talking about time, why do we think that, you know, just a date, you're going to wake up on Sunday and everything's suddenly going to be fine.
But I really felt like when one year hits, you know, Lord, [00:19:00] help me. So I grabbed my little dog and we got in the car and from Augusta, Georgia, we just started driving. I'd never been any further West than like new Orleans. And we went to the green Canyon and I saw things I'd never seen before my whole entire life.
And it's where my eyes first opened up that I could still experience beautiful things. And there was so much I had never seen so much I had never done and that all Andrew would want is for me to jump on every tree. Are we, we took, you know, and for 25 years of marriage, we would make every leap, you know, something come up.
We're going to try it. You know, we call them early leaps of faith. We're going, we're going, we were dreamers and I lost that for a little bit, but I got that back. I got that back. And I think that the worst thing that could have come out of his death would have been for me to have lost being a [00:20:00] dreamer and become a better person.
And I was so close to that. And I'm going to be honest, one of the first things I did, I always thought I could find the answers to everything in a book. You know, I'm Gen X, so I grew up with encyclopedias and dictionaries. If I had a question, they told me to go, go to the bookshelf. Yeah. I always thought I could find the answer in a book.
Until I became a widow and there is there's no book. There's no guideline. There's no They're there and it's different for everybody And, um, when I first started listening to different stories and, um, joining widow's groups, I read stories of people who were seven years out and still couldn't stand to get out of the bed during the day.
And I just prayed and prayed, God, please don't let that be me. I cannot let that be me. You know, what do I have to do? So I believe it's a conscious effort you have to make. I believe [00:21:00] that you have got to consciously make the decision that you're going to find the joy. You're going to find a reason.
You're going to still see beautiful things. And until you do that, I think you probably maybe stay stuck.
Emily Jones: Yeah, you definitely have to make that proactive decision that you want to heal and that you do want to move forward, not to leave your person behind, but that you're never Yeah,
Vickie Marsee: he's right there. I mean, he, he's always going to be people I work with feel like they know him, you know, and, um, and he leaves me sunflowers.
He used to grow sunflowers for me everywhere, and it took me, I don't know, maybe three or four months until I realized that I saw him. I saw just in the craziest of places, and, and it was actually the [00:22:00] same preacher who baptized us. Long, long, long ago, his wife, anyway, she told me, she said, Vicki, I have absolutely no doubt in this world that he leaves those sunflowers for you.
And, um, I'll be somewhere, like, on a big gig or something, you know? And, I can promise you, somewhere, There's just this little thing sitting there that has sunflowers in it. I feel like he's still with me. I feel like he's a part of me. For the longest time, because we were the yin yang, when he first died, I just, how, how do I just live as the yin, you know?
But now through all the metamorphosis and I've been doing these past two years, this new creature that I am, I'm the yin and the yang now, you know, he left me everything I needed to do what he would not be here to [00:23:00] do for me is how I feel.
Emily Jones: I love that. What do you say to the widow who's Um, and I think that's where you were just a few months out, you know, maybe they were in the same situation.
They're angry at the person that hit their spouse in the accident. They're dealing with the D. A. and the lawyer's office and all they want is to be left alone and be angry at the world. What, what words would you share with that person?
Vickie Marsee: A number 1, it's a process that you have to go through. So it's not something that's just going to click off immediately and stop.
Um, I can say for me, it reaches a point where, you know, this is not how you want to wake up every day anymore. And, but. Through some of it, you need that anger and you need to cry. You need to grieve, but you've got to reach the point where you realize that's not the [00:24:00] rest of your life. That's not the rest of your life.
As for the man who hit him, I've never known such hatred and anger. It was scary. It was scary. And then I have the police who's telling me some of Andrew's last words were that he wasn't mad at the man. So, you know, I'm like, yeah, that was so in court.
I was not very nice and I didn't care what he had to say. And I didn't really listen. And that was in February of 2022. And by July of 2022, I realized I wasn't hurting anybody but myself. So I had the police report and I had his address. I don't know if it. Works or not, but I wrote him a letter and I mailed it to that address with no return address.
And I said, I know you think I hate you because I heard you say that in court, but I just don't have room in my heart or my life for hatred anymore. And [00:25:00] forgiveness is not for you forgiveness is for me because I can't move forward with my life if I'm holding on to you. And so I said, but I do hope you wake up every morning you think of him or you think of me.
Thank you. Yeah, but the hatred and the forgiveness was with forgiveness was there. The hatred was gone. And that's probably one of the hardest things I went through in the entire process was, but I wasn't hurting him. He didn't know I was only hurting myself and stunting where I could move to by holding on to all of that.
So I would definitely say, yeah. When it happens, it happens. I was driving. I was driving from Charlotte, North Carolina to Kentucky, and it just hit me like a tidal wave. You have to let it go for you, and you can't accept the blessings that are coming to you while you're holding on to this in your heart.
Emily Jones: [00:26:00] Yeah, it's very counterintuitive, but you're absolutely right.
Vickie Marsee: So that's my, as far as that's concerned, that's my biggest thing is you've got to find some way to let it go. And that's the hardest part. That's really the hardest part because you never let go of your spouse. You know, they're always, they're always with us.
In some way, but letting go of that hatred of that man, that was, he took everything from me because he made an illegal U turn at six o'clock in the morning on a dark road.
Emily Jones: Yeah, that's really tough. Well, Vicki, thank you so much for coming and sharing your story and some of your suggestions for how other people can navigate something. I can't even fathom, uh, the emotions and the pain that. That you've gone through, but thank you for being so open and vulnerable today.
Vickie Marsee: Thank you for having me, [00:27:00] Emily.
Emily Jones: You're welcome.
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.
Emily Jones: 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, reclaim joy, and dream again for the future. It is [00:28:00] possible. Head on over to brave widow.com to learn more.