BW 077: Embracing Life's Tapestry: A Widow's Journey of Love, Loss, and New BeginningsDec 28, 2023
The Transcript is below.
Content warning: heart attack , anxiety, death
Shannon Strawbridge. Shannon is a mother of three. She's 44, almost 45, and became widowed at the age of 42. Her husband Matt was 46 at the time of his sudden death. They were married for 12 years and had two children together and an eight year old daughter when she met him.
He helped to raise her daughter. Her daughter was 18 at the time and she had lost both of her dads. Matt died of a heart attack at home in front of their son. Jameson was 8 at the time and their daughter was 11. He was an amazing husband. Husband and father since his death, she's grown a lot as a person and she decided to start dating about one and a half years later.
And the first person she dated, she fell in love with. He has recently moved in, and things are good and sometimes chaotic between all of them, as he has three daughters too. Life is crazy. She's learned how to carry her grief as a widow, but haven't for her kids. When they hurt, her heart shatters all over again.
I think many of us can relate to that sentiment. She recently found a poem and story her daughter wrote about her dad. It's heartbreaking. She also became a grandma in June, so congratulations. Her granddaughter is the light when Shannon, it feels darkness and she's such a blessing to everyone. She's very excited to share her thoughts with the world.
It can suck the life out of you while holding it in. Well, Shannon, I totally agree with those sentiments and there's so much power in telling your story and processing your feelings and emotions. And I can't wait, can't wait for everyone to hear your story.
- Find support
just live in the moment and be happy because you deserve it
- just live in the moment don't stay in darkness
''just live in the moment and be happy because I deserve it''
''Oh, yeah, absolutely. I, I tried to put myself in the other people's shoes more to now. Um, I'm definitely more patient than I was.''
''You're in this fog, but at least you have something to be like, okay, I accomplished something today.''
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 Jones: [00:00:00] Hey, hey, and welcome to episode number 77 of the brave widow show today. I talk with Shannon Strawbridge as she shares her story. And before we dive into her story, I just want to reflect on the amazing, incredible number of widows who volunteered to tell their story, who volunteered their time, energy, effort, their willingness to bring up some of the Traumatic and hard things that happen to them and to vulnerably share it with all of you to share it, be willing to share it with the world.
I think that's just so amazing and incredible that people who have gone through such a hardship. Are so open and generous to sharing and to sharing their story to help inspire and encourage other people. And we want their story to have the greatest impact possible. [00:01:00] So I would love for you to help get the word out about the Brave Widow show if you've been enjoying that.
If you've been enjoying hearing these stories and seeing how they've. Impacted you or maybe inspired and encouraged you or someone you know. I would love it if you're watching on YouTube, if you would hit that like button. If you would comment, subscribe to the channel, or if you're listening to this on a podcast player, I would love for you to go out and give us a review.
Tell, tell folks what you like about the show.
Leave us your honest review and that will help get the word out about the Brave Widow show and will help others know what to expect when they're listening to the show.
All right, let me introduce Shannon Strawbridge. Shannon is a mother of three. She's 44, almost 45, and became widowed at the age of 42. Her husband Matt was 46 at the time of his sudden death. They were married for 12 years and had two children together and an eight year old daughter when she met him.
[00:02:00] He helped to raise her daughter. Her daughter was 18 at the time and she had lost both of her dads. Matt died of a heart attack at home in front of their son. Jameson was 8 at the time and their daughter was 11. He was an amazing husband. Husband and father since his death, she's grown a lot as a person and she decided to start dating about one and a half years later.
And the first person she dated, she fell in love with. He has recently moved in, and things are good and sometimes chaotic between all of them, as he has three daughters too. Life is crazy. She's learned how to carry her grief as a widow, but haven't for her kids. When they hurt, her heart shatters all over again.
I think many of us can relate to that sentiment. She recently found a poem and story her daughter wrote about her dad. It's heartbreaking. She also became a grandma in June, so [00:03:00] congratulations. Her granddaughter is the light when Shannon, it feels darkness and she's such a blessing to everyone. She's very excited to share her thoughts with the world.
It can suck the life out of you while holding it in. Well, Shannon, I totally agree with those sentiments and there's so much power in telling your story and processing your feelings and emotions. And I can't wait, can't wait for everyone to hear your story. So 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, hey, welcome back to another episode of the brave widow show. I'm here with a special guest, Shannon, and I'm really looking forward to sharing Shannon's [00:04:00] story, letting her share some of her challenges that she's overcome along the way and to see what tips and insights she may have for us other widows that are out there.
So Shannon, welcome to the show and thank you for coming on.
Shannon Strawbridge: Well, thank you for having me. I'm excited.
Emily Jones: Yeah, absolutely. So I know our audience would love to know a little bit about you and your background. And so if you wouldn't mind to share that, I'm sure they'd love to know. And then we can jump into your story wherever you'd like to start.
Shannon Strawbridge: Okay. Um, well, I am going to be 45 this month. Uh, I have three children, a 25 year old, a 14 year old, and a soon to be 11 year old. And I also have a new granddaughter who is four months old. Congratulations. Thank you. I lost my husband when I 40 or he was 46 and I was 42. Um, we met, we were married for 12 [00:05:00] years.
We met probably a couple of years before that dated. And, you know, he was just, it was a really, really, really good person. Very kind, very shy. Like I'm a very outgoing person and he was, he's not. So it was kind of weird at first, but, um, he was an amazing father and he helped raise my oldest daughter.
Because her father really wasn't around in the picture very much , and the day that he died, we were at home. Um, he died of a massive heart attack at the age of 46, which was very strange because he was not a big man. Um, he was actually. Tiny guy, and he ran 5 K's with my daughter. He loved his garden. He grew all kinds of vegetables and, you know, he did eat a lot because he was constantly like, I don't know if he had a blood sugar problem, but he was 1 of the guys that never liked to go to the doctor.
[00:06:00] And he thought if he got his annual physical at work and they checked his eyes and his ears, he was fine. Um, and it came to find out after the autopsy that all three, arteries of his heart were 98 percent blocked.
Emily Jones: And had like And he hadn't had any chest pain? No.
Shannon Strawbridge: Well, that morning he did. Um, where he worked, he used to work a lot of midnights, and when he worked on midnights and he would eat, he would get heartburn, like really, really bad.
But then for like the last year of his life, he didn't work there anymore or he worked at the same place, but he was working Monday through Friday. And he would say like, I, I, you know, I never get heartburn anymore and this is great, blah, blah, blah. And the night. Before he passed away, we had a great night.
We were hanging out in the hot tub and you know, everything was fine. Um, the next morning I woke up and he was sitting on the couch downstairs [00:07:00] and he was like, man, I had like the worst heartburn. I'm like, Oh, you know, did you take anything? And he's like, yeah. He goes, I mean, it even like went down my arm.
And when he said that, I was like, okay, it's you're, are you sure he's like, yeah, I'm fine now. But like, I remember you saying when you have heartburn, you like to sit up on the couch and you know, it helps. So he said he took like some Zantac and over the counter stuff and he was feeling okay. He just seemed very tired that day.
And we had our son's first basketball game and it was on a Saturday. So at like three o'clock we were on our way and he handed me the keys. He's like, why don't you drive? Like, I feel like there's something in my throat and I'm like, well, you need to go to the doctor. Let's just go to the doc. No, no, no.
I'm fine. I took another pill. I'll be fine. And he never, he hated the doctor, despised going to the doctor. So after begging him to go, asking him to go multiple times, he didn't want to. We went to my son's game. We left there. We went up to the [00:08:00] mall. The kids went to the joke park. We bought clothes and then we came home and it was, um, he just sat on the couch and he didn't look, he just seemed tired.
And me and my son and him are sitting on the couch and my daughter was here at the time too and he went downstairs and then my son followed him because I was on the phone talking to my sister in law and my son came running upstairs and he's like, he's like, mom, dad fell asleep. I'm like, oh, okay. I'm like, well, he's not feeling really good.
I'll be down in a minute. And he's like, okay. So he went downstairs. Ran right back up and he's like, dad's sleeping like this. And it was like this moment of, oh my God. Like I know something happened. Like, it just, it just kind of like over your body, you know? Right. Um, so I ran downstairs and he was in his chair and just sweating profusely and he was gone.
Um, so I had to call, I called 9 1 [00:09:00] 1. At the time I was still on the phone with my sister in law. It was just like, I just screamed. I'm like, oh, my God, call 9 1 1. Well, I was telling my daughter to call 9 1 1 and then she called my family. And then the next thing, you know, like, all these people are shown. It was just, it was just mass chaos.
You know, for the kids to see. You give their dad CPR, you fail at it. Um, it was just hard.
Emily Jones: Well, I wouldn't say you failed if he was gone, but, um, I understand your sentiment for sure. And how old were your kids then at the time?
Shannon Strawbridge: Kendall was 11 and Jameson was
Emily Jones: So that had to be really hard, not only for you and for the gravity of that to kind of settle in over you, but then to think about your kids and see how they're reacting.
And that really,
Shannon Strawbridge: really does like I, um. And my daughter's, she holds everything in. She doesn't really talk about [00:10:00] anything. You know, she wanted to go to, he died on a Saturday and she's like, I'm going to school on Monday. I'm like, you're not going to school on Monday. Um, she ended up going to gymnastics.
Like she just had to get out of the house. She had to focus on something else. And she does hold in her feelings a lot. Now, my son, he, he had a really hard time with it. He had panic attacks for probably three months. Where he would run downstairs and be like, Oh my gosh, feel my heart. Am I breathing? Okay.
Am I going to die? Like, and it was hard. And I'd have to say to him, and I'm mentally exhausted, obviously. And I say, Jamison, I'm going to close my eyes and take a rest. I'm okay. Cause if I close my eyes, he'd be like, mom, are you awake? Like, you know, so like the first few months was just a blur of mass chaos.
And then the fog, you know, sets in even more and everyone else goes away and goes back to eating dinner with their families and, you know, watching TV [00:11:00] at night and the loneliness sets in and off. That's a killer. That's the killer.
Emily Jones: Yeah. And I, I imagine you, you seem like you're a pretty social person, so that had to almost be like a double hurt that you notice your whole social social circle typically changes when you lose your person.
Shannon Strawbridge: It does too. I mean, we were when my daughter did soccer, we had the soccer family and we were with them all the time. And then when she did something else, he still kept in touch with a few of them and would talk to them all the time. And, and like, they were kind of like my family and, you know, my good friends too.
And it's just different now when you see them or. You just feel, I don't know, sometimes a little awkward, but, um, I do have a really, really, really good group of friends that I've been friends with since seventh grade, and they have rallied around me and helped me and my family has been amazing. [00:12:00] Um, so it took a while to get to where I am now.
Like, I feel I love, I, I have a new boyfriend and I love him dearly. We get along really well, and he's, he understands, like, he doesn't say, like, are you going to take down these pictures? Like, he encourages me to keep things up. Um, you know, Christmas time, like, putting up Matt's stocking. I'm still going to do it.
I'm still going to put our ornament up. Like, this was not my choice. Um, and I think that's hard for a lot of people to understand too. It's not a choice. I was, we were thrown into this world that we didn't ask for. You know, I was happy in the marriage. Everything was great. And he was my person. And when you have that person that you talk to every day, he's your go to first phone call.
When something happens or you have news to share, you're upset and you just need to like vent. He never judged.[00:13:00] He always had my back even when I was in the wrong. I know it was wrong so many times. And he just, he always just had my back or like would say something to just calm me down or encourage me.
And, um, when that went away, It's devastating. I mean, you lose your best friend.
Emily Jones: Yeah, you do. You lose that person who knows you, who knows how to influence you, who helps you think through problems. And especially being married for the amount of time that you were, I mean, that person's like half of you.
That's like, yeah, truly your other half. And now all of a sudden that's missing. Um, so I'm curious, I know people will be curious, uh, with your boyfriend. I always admire people who date widows or widowers because I think it takes a very special person who's understanding and, uh, accepting of, like you said, it, it wasn't our choice.
So how, how was that as you were thinking about reentering [00:14:00] the dating world or?
Shannon Strawbridge: God, that's a whole chapter in itself. So for, you know, you kind of get curious after a few months cause you're just so lonely. You're just absolutely lonely. Um, but I never wanted to actually date. They always say, wait a year, don't do anything crazy.
So I followed that rule because this is, you know, this is all new to me. I might as well listen to some people who are like, just don't make any crazy decisions in the first year, just relax and give yourself grace, you know? So I really just, um, it was like a year and a half later. Um, I decided like, I'm gonna put myself out there, you know, like I'm not looking, but I'm open to the idea.
And, um, I happened to go to my friend's 4th of July party. And Craig was there. Uh, I didn't know who he was. She had mentioned, like, a couple months [00:15:00] prior to that, like, oh, I met this guy and he's so nice and you should totally meet him. Like, whenever you're ready. I'm like, yeah, and I just kind of went in 1 air and out the other.
Um, so he was there that night and I didn't know that she told him that I was going to be there. Well, he thought that I was someone else at 1st and then. It wasn't until the end of the night that he realized that she was talking about me and it was nice. I mean, there was, it was a huge party, but by the end of the night, there was only like four or five of us just hanging out on our porch.
Um, and I still didn't know that that was the guy she was talking about. And the next day he messaged me on Facebook and we just started talking and come to find out he actually was in a bowling league with my husband's brother. Like he knew And it was just kind of, It was, it was weird. And at the beginning it was hard and it's still hard sometimes when, you know, I feel guilty a little bit.
Guilt is something I know they say don't feel guilty, but you do, you know, you feel a little guilt when you're, [00:16:00] when you're happy, you shouldn't. Right. But you do. It's very common. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but it was hard. Cause I had all these what ifs, what if he has a crazy ex? What if his kids hate me? What if my kids don't get along with his kids?
What if this kid, you know, and it wasn't. Particularly of him, this, these were all the different things that I always would think about. What if he's a serial killer? What if he's this? I mean, I watch a lot of Netflix dateline and 20 twenties. And I mean, my friends were going crazy. They're like, well, you just stop, like, just be open to it.
You know, you'll know. You'll know when you know, and he was the first person that I dated and it's been, it's been great. I mean, little ups and downs here and there. And I think a lot of it has to do with me because, you know, being a widow is, it's just, it's just, have your ups and your downs.
And I still have my days where I [00:17:00] cry. I, they're, they're not as. Much as it used to be. I mean, for like a year and a half, I cried every day, went to sleep, crying, woke up crying, um, it's just nice that like to go to bed with a smile on your face. To be happy. Um, I, I'm not, I don't want to feel guilty for being happy.
You know, Matt would want me to be happy. Matt would want the kids to be happy, Matt, you know, Matt would want me to keep moving forward with my life because for a while there, it was like darkness.
Emily Jones: So yeah. So, so let's talk about that. What helped you shift from. Crying every day, being in this darkness, feeling like life is hopeless and pointless to being able to think, well, okay, maybe I can live again.
Maybe I can laugh again. What was one of the key things that helped you make that transition?
Shannon Strawbridge: I was sick of being tired. I was sick of [00:18:00] crying. I didn't want to cry anymore. Um, It's not fun being sad, you know, like, and there's, you know, I still have days where I, one of my sadness now turns to anger when I'm sad, I get mad.
I get mad at myself. Cause I'm like, why am I like, stop being sad. You can't change it. Look to the future, look to happiness because I am so much happier being happy, like being sad sucks. And I don't, I was just telling my friend this the other day, because there's times where like, you know, Craig and I will get into an argument or something, you know, and I will feel like insecure.
And I'm like, why? Cause he's like, he, he's never done anything for me to think that, um, He treats me well, and I just, I just got to the point where I'm like, you know what I've got to let these insecurities go and just live in the moment and be happy because I deserve it. No, and, [00:19:00] um, I took a lot of time. I still take.
Like, Thursdays and Fridays are kind of like my mental health days and I go to the gym probably 3 to 4 days a week and I go for walks like, now that it's getting cold, it sucks. I'm in Pennsylvania. I don't know where you're at, but. Um, it's kind of starting to get gloomy and it's getting dark at night earlier and my thing is I love to hike.
I put my air pods in. I listen to music. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I run. It doesn't matter. But I kind of get out all of this anxiety and my emotions and then I feel good. But if I keep it all in there and bottled up, it just explodes. And it's not good for anybody in this house. I'll tell you that much.
Emily Jones: Yeah. I'm in Arkansas. So it definitely, the weather's getting cooler, which is nice for us because it was a hundred there for a while, but the getting dark early at night really gets to me. That really makes me tired. And, um,
Shannon Strawbridge: I start climbing [00:20:00] walls and I got to get out. And so even today it's kind of gloomy and nasty, but after this, I'm going to put on my Thick coat and I'm going to go out and hike at the lake just because I love it.
And, you know, I, I think too, I didn't, I mean, I liked being a little outdoorsy before, but I see so much beauty, you know, like when I look at the trees, it's like, it's almost like it's magnified after his death. Like everything is like. Do you
Emily Jones: feel like to, in your relationship now that, you know, you're more patient or you have just a different lens of how you look at things because you know what it's like to have lost someone?
Shannon Strawbridge: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I, I tried to put myself in the other people's shoes more to now. [00:21:00] Um, I'm definitely more patient than I was. Thanks. I have a little bit of an OCD thing all my friends would tell you that, like, and I've taken a step back from having to make sure that everything is perfect in my house all the time and cleaning and, you know, all this stuff to where I'm just taking time for myself because that's what I need.
And. I think anybody going through widowhood and widowers, they need, especially in the beginning, you're so overwhelmed with paperwork and what you need to do. Like I made a list after he died, I made a list and I kept my mind busy too, which kind of helped, um, of. Everyone I needed to contact who, like the mortgage company, the loans, the car stuff, like, and every day I would try to accomplish at least getting two calls in and then I could be done for the day and I could breathe.
Um, [00:22:00] and it kept me focused and it kept me moving forward instead of just, and I get like, some people can just lay in bed and cry in the darkness all day. I know that a lot of people do that, but. I can't do it. Like, I have 2 kids. I still have to get up in the morning. The sun's still going to rise every morning and they still need to eat.
They still need to have clean clothes. You still need to clean your house and you try and make their life as normal as possible, which it's not, you know, um, and I know that I, I told you, like, I, for me, I've learned how to carry my grief. I've learned how to accept it, but when my kids are upset or hurt, that's all out the window, you know, um, I haven't learned how to deal with that.
Emily Jones: It's hard to see your kids hurting, whether they're [00:23:00] sick or they're grieving or something has happened. Like as a mom, especially, I think that really, really just like twists the knife in your heart.
Shannon Strawbridge: Oh, it does. And like, you know, now I have a new granddaughter and she's just the sweetest little thing. Um, and I know Matt would have just like, just doted over her, you know, he, he was such a good dad and, you know, my oldest daughter, Brianna, she lost both her dads, you know, her, her biological father was not, he was kind of in and out of her life and at his own convenience.
Um, and then he passed away. When she was 18, and then Matt passed away in 2021. So it was like a double whammy for her. Um, and I think she still goes through a lot too, you know, you have a new baby and I'm like the only, I'm the only grandmother that the child has. And it's just, [00:24:00] it's sad. Yeah.
Emily Jones: How has she tried to process or deal with the fact that she did lose both of her?
Dads or father figures that has to be really,
Shannon Strawbridge: she's, she has a boyfriend who is, they've been together for years and he kind of went through the same thing with his mother as far as her dad goes. Um, so I think for them, they can relate a lot. I don't know what it's like to lose my dad. My dad's still alive. You know, he's, he's my rock. Um, I don't know what that feeling is like.
And I think too, like with grieving, it's, it's different for everybody. I don't know what it's like to lose a child. Like, I don't know what Matt's. Parents feel like I couldn't, I couldn't even imagine like, that would just be part of your heart gone. And other, and I don't know what it's like to lose my dad, like, especially with my kids at such a young age, that was our best friend.
They [00:25:00] went fishing. He was taking Kendall out hunting like the year before. And, um, we fished, they fished all the time in the backyard. There's a little pond and they would go down there and fish and he would, he was such an advocate for like. Trying to get to her games and helping Jameson out. And, you know, he just, he loved that.
So I don't know how they feel, but I know, and they don't know how it feels to lose a spouse. That's awful. You know, so everyone grieves. Not 1 is worse than the other. I don't think it's just all different, you know, being at home and the loneliness and not having your partner there to talk to it. You know, when you know that everyone else is eating dinner together and they're going out on dates or when you go to a party or graduation party or something and you're leaving by yourself.
It hits every time, you know, but I'm in, I mean, I think I am in a [00:26:00] good place. I, I took time off of work. I did hair at home for like 15 years. Um, cause his schedule used to be crazy. So it was just easier for me to work at home with kids. And then after he died, I took like a month off and then I started having clients come back and I love my clients.
Love them, but it was too much like people coming in and out of the house all the time. And my kids needed me. They didn't want people here all the time. Like, they needed their space. So, I just made the decision that I wasn't going to do it anymore. And I took 2 years off of work. And then I just actually got.
It'll be a year in March. I went back. I work for the hospital now, so I still work from home like three days a week, but I like it. You know, it's, it's a different kind of work, but it keeps me a little bit busy. I still have my Thursdays and Fridays if I have to do like, you know, family's hair or whatever.
But, um, and it gives me my me time where I can, I, you need that me [00:27:00] time. Oh yeah. I don't know how people do it where like they go back to work a week later. I, I don't, I, I give them credit. I could not do it.
Emily Jones: Yeah. I think for some people, including myself, it's more trying to find that sense of normalcy.
Like my life is just imploded and I need something that makes me feel a little bit of normalcy. But I think what's interesting is. A lot of widows I talked to, again, including me, either change careers or change job roles or, uh, I know it's just so interesting how often that happens that people change roles, you know, after they go through this major loss, it's almost like, um, You start developing different interests or, you know, just you need some sort of other change in your life.
So what, what was your thought process in, in working for the hospital and not returning to doing hair there?
Shannon Strawbridge: I like doing [00:28:00] hair. To a certain degree, but after a while, it starts to hurt your arms and, you know, you're doing this all day long. And, um, I just needed to change. I just needed I need a whole life change.
I guess is what it is. And, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm ready to sell my house. Um, I've been ready to sell my house. There's just nothing out there. I just need a new start. Um, but I'm never content anyways. I always like change , so
Emily Jones: Yeah. You seem like an on the go change accepting kind of person, which is awesome.
Yeah. Well, thank you. So what, uh, before we leave, what. Words of advice or encouragement, would you give to other widows who have maybe walked a similar path as you, or maybe they're still in those early days and they're just really struggling.
Shannon Strawbridge: Just remember people keep saying, give yourself grace, give yourself grace.
And I never really understood what that meant until I needed to give myself grace. Like [00:29:00] if I need a day, the best thing I ever saw was grief is not a place to stay. Like, if you need to cry, cry it out, go in the bathroom and cry, scream, cry in the shower, do whatever you got to do and then put it behind you for the day.
Enjoy the rest of what life you have because to be sad and depressed every day is awful. You know, keep moving forward. Um, Oh, what a Facebook. That's what I wanted to say. So after he passed away, I looked, I just Googled, uh, or put in the search bar for Facebook. What else? And so many different groups came up and I joined probably six or seven of them.
And I would sit there and I would read it because there's questions that you have in your head that if you ask somebody else who hasn't gone through it, they're going to think you're crazy, but you read these and someone's saying it, someone's asking that question. Someone's giving great advice.
Someone's telling [00:30:00] you that it's okay if you know, you want to start dating and all the questions that you have that, that helped me tremendously. Um, And since Matt passed away, I, a friend of mine lost her husband 6 months later in a car accident, you know, and her and I got. We got close, um, and she, it was just nice to be able to talk to somebody who could understand what you're going through.
So if there's support groups around you, or if you're lonely, there's this app called meet up. It's not a, it's not like an escort service or anything like that. I downloaded it and I've seen it, but I haven't really done a whole lot with it, but like, I like to go hiking. So there'll be hiking groups in around where I'm at and people join and they just.
They just meet up and they go for a hike, or they go kayaking for the day, or they're doing yoga or somewhere, you know, just something different to get you out of the house. Because just sitting in the house, and when the darkness is starting to come this [00:31:00] winter, you, you climb at the walls.
But that's about all I got to say about
Emily Jones: that. Yeah, I, I totally agree. Giving yourself grace and minimizing the expectations you have on yourself just to function. Yeah. And then having that good community and support group, whether it's Facebook or online or in person, just. Knowing that you're not alone, feeling like you're not crazy, you know?
Oh, yeah. . Yeah. Like you said, even seeing people ask the questions where you're like, Ooh, I, right. Too embarrassed to ask that. But yeah, read
Shannon Strawbridge: all the comments and yeah, you're like, oh, okay. Yeah, I know. I, I, yeah, I did it for months and I still sometimes, you know, come across something. It's different now where the place that I'm at that I feel bad when I read some of these, because it breaks my heart.
Cause I'm like, it just takes you right back to where, when it's the early days, you know, and they just lost their spouse. Then it's just, it's, it's awful. [00:32:00] It's an awful feeling.
Emily Jones: Yeah, it is. Um, It is. And I think those groups like that are just so crucial and helping people feel that they're not alone and that they can move
Shannon Strawbridge: forward.
So in the podcast, I've never listened to a podcast until like a year ago. Um, and I looked up widow podcast, so I'll put it on while I'm getting ready. And just to hear other people's stories. And once again, to know that I'm not as crazy as you know, I think, um, and like little things, you know, get up and make your bed in the morning.
That's the only thing you do. I heard his motivational speaker say that one day, and it made so much sense. Like, if that's the only thing you do, just get up and make your bed, feel like you accomplished something because there's days where you're going to feel like days just run into each other. They're, you know, one after the other, you don't know what day it is.
You're in this fog, but at least you have something to be like, okay, I accomplished something today.
Emily Jones: Yeah, [00:33:00] I, I totally agree that just even one small thing can help you feel accomplished. So Shannon, thank you so much for coming on today
Shannon Strawbridge: and sharing your story.
Thank you for having me.
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 [00:34:00] 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.