BW 088: Navigating Grief: Insights from a Widow's Heart

widow interview Mar 05, 2024
 

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The Transcript is below.


Content warning: massive stroke, RSV Death

Allison Hintz is 41 years old. She has four kids, 16, 14, and 10 year old twins. She lost her husband drew completely unexpectedly to a massive stroke. He had a stroke on December 7th and remained conscience until late that night when he went into a coma and never regained consciousness. He was officially declared brain dead. 

December 9th, they had been married for 17 and a half years and together for almost 20 years. She never, ever thought she would be on a Widow podcast a year ago, and has learned so much about grief that she wants to help pass that on to others in a similar situation. She still struggles knowing that in just a 72 hour period, her entire life and world as she knew it is gone. 

Allison Recommends: Find support, Talk with people who understands, 

 Quote:

''Take one thing during that day, if it's just getting out of bed or taking a shower, call that a win and move on, because you can so easily wrap yourself up and just want to be done and not do anything.''

''Never ever felt guilty about  laughing because you need it.''

''Don't lose hope. It's so hard  because you can't,  those early moments you don't think you're going to make it  and I didn't, but I look back and go.''


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

 

Hey guys, I’m Emily Jones

 

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

 

FOLLOW me on SOCIAL:

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YouTube | @bravewidow


 Transcript:
 

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Emily: [00:00:00] Hey, Hey, welcome to episode number 88 of the brave widow show today. I talked to Allison but before I jump into her story, I just want to remind you that we have. A lot of free tools and resources and even free live events that are happening in the Brave Widow community. And even for our public friends and family of the Brave Widow community.

And the way that you can know when those things are happening, what those things are, how to access those things is by signing up. And you can go to brave widow. com slash free F R E E. Once you sign up for the email list, you are a VIP and you get to know shortly after the members and the membership community, when the live events are happening, how you can sign up for them.

And the latest and greatest of tools and resources that I share with my audience. So. Go sign up and I would love to see you [00:01:00] at one of the live events that we have coming up very shortly. All right. Let me introduce Alison. Alison Hintz is 41 years old. She has four kids, 16, 14, and 10 year old twins. She lost her husband drew completely unexpectedly to a massive stroke.

He had a stroke on December 7th and remained conscience until late that night when he went into a coma and never regained consciousness. He was officially declared brain dead. December 9th, they had been married for 17 and a half years and together for almost 20 years. She never, ever thought she would be on a Widow podcast a year ago, and has learned so much about grief that she wants to help pass that on to others in a similar situation.

She still struggles knowing that in just a 72 hour period, her entire life and world as she knew it is [00:02:00] gone.

Alright, let's dive into Allison's story.

Emily Tanner: Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of the brave widow show. Today. I have a special guest with me, Allison, and I'm really excited for you to hear her story and some of the

insights that she has to share with us today. So Allison welcome to the show and thank you so much for agreeing to come on the podcast.

Allison Hintz: Thank you, Emily. I appreciate the invite and I'm happy to be here. My name is Allison Hintz. I, became a widow, uh, a year ago, December. For me, my husband and I were just going along our merry way. And, um, the morning of December 7th, I woke up to my husband having a stroke. Or what I believed to be a stroke at that time.

It was Gary and just overwhelming. And, you just have all those [00:03:00] thoughts of you got to call parents and family. And, but this is at five 30 in the morning. So who do you call? To also mention, we have. Four kids together. Uh, my son is 16. He was 15 at the time. My daughter was 13 at the time, now 14, and I have twin girls who are 10 years old, and they were 9, almost 10 at the time.

Again, the hardest part for me was the night before we were at a Scout event for my daughter, she was getting a new rank and we were a typical normal family, nothing out of the ordinary. We could have just a few, maybe I could look back and think of just a couple of things that maybe I could have, but nothing that really.

Gave us the idea that anything was going to happen and that morning, he [00:04:00] struggled to even talk and I get questions all the time. Now they're, they asked me, how did I know it was a stroke? And the only question, the only answer I can always come up with is, well, it wasn't a heart attack. So the face droop was not there, but the, he couldn't talk like he normally did.

And he couldn't, move properly. And it was just the strangest, scariest thing. But yet you don't feel the urgency that you would have thought you would have felt. And I just kept thinking, Oh, he had a stroke. We'll get better. And so the ambulance came that morning and then, got him to the hospital. They got him in the room.

I my son wanted to come with me. My daughters were going to come with me because again, it's, it's six in the clock in the morning and thankfully before I knew it, I had two neighbors who I call my family. [00:05:00] They were there before I could even think. And so they stayed with my girls. And then my son and I went on to the hospital that morning.

We kind of watched him struggle, but yeah, it looked like he was getting better. So this is December 7th of last year. So,

Emily Tanner: How did you handle, right? Like all the kids, four kids, I have four kids. I know that's super tough and you know, waking up early in the morning, trying to get, you know, him taken care of and also not scare the kids too much, but let them know what's going on.

Like, how did, how did you do all of that?

Allison Hintz: I don't know. I mean, I just remember thinking I had probably a hundred thoughts in my head. And my parents live about an hour away, so, and they weren't planning on visiting that day. Usually my mom came to visit once a week, and [00:06:00] they weren't planning on it, but I knew that it would take them at least an hour to get there.

And I just remember thinking, I need to call my mom, I need to call, I need to text my neighbors, I need to call 9 1 1, and then I need to talk to my husband, and just, and then, it was just very strange, because all of a sudden, there was just this, Everything kind of went away and then it was just you need to call 911 now and I did and then I went over and my kids were asleep still when I, so I was knocking on the doors and just yelling at them.

They never actually saw my husband before he was in the ambulance. So my daughter, one of my twin girls. Later on that she thought she thought my husband had had a sleepover or they worked late into the night and they had a sleepover and she thought the paramedics who were in my. In my [00:07:00] house where they just slept over and so they needed to come, they were leaving early morning, which it just brings you some insight into a 10 year old, nine year old little brain, what they're thinking, but I honestly don't know.

I think I just, I've come to find in crisis. I get into what I call do mode and I just do. And I don't think I just do without emotion. The emotions all come later. And I think that's what just kicked in. Just. Trying to think of all the different things you had to do. And then once the ambulance got there, I felt a little better because I thought, okay, they'll fix it.

They'll make it better. They just take them to the hospital. We'll get better. And I didn't recognize at that point that that was the beginning of the end. I didn't, it wasn't even a thought in my head. It was, okay, this is serious. We're [00:08:00] gonna, but we'll get through it because he was still conscious at this point.

Just, he couldn't speak. He couldn't talk. But they always say with a stroke, they, if they administer the. I think it's called tpa, which removes the clot within four hours. You've got a really good chance of surviving. So I thought, okay, we'll get better. But just, I don't know. I look back and go, I don't know what I just wanted to do.

I just, just did the things and then we got to the hospital and then, um, it was probably maybe a half an hour later. I was on the phone with my mom and she had, my husband's family lives. far away. They live on the east coast in Savannah, Georgia. So my mom had asked me, she said, have you called his parents?

And I realized I had not. So I [00:09:00] called them, talked to them. At that point there, I knew that they would take 14 hours. So if they were going to come, they needed to get going on the road ASAP. But you look back and it's just a blank. It's just a, you just kind of go on autopilot. What do you need to do? What just minute by minute.

And that's that whole day just was a blur because he was conscious, but not there. It was the strangest thing. Cause my mom came a little later once they were able to get everything situated. And so I was in the room pretty much that whole day and again, he was conscious, but not there. I mean, I even remember looking over at my mom and going, do you even think he knows I'm in the room?

And she said, yes, but it didn't feel like it. He was just

not like him, but then you'd hear glimmers. Because my husband is, was pretty sarcastic and he loved to make people [00:10:00] laugh. And at one point, they put up a picture of his, of, because his vision was all weird. And sometimes he'd see devils. Sometimes he couldn't see out of his right side. Sometimes, I mean, it was just strange just to watch.

And they put up the picture and it said, it was just a woman doing dishes. And two kids kind of climbing into the cabinet and they asked him what he saw. And he goes, well, there's a mom doing dishes and kids soon to be getting in trouble. And he made the whole room laugh. And so I knew he was still there inside somewhere.

You just couldn't get it out. And my husband was a very, go ahead.

Emily Tanner: Was there a general sense of. Okay. He's getting better. Well, not as, as much better was what he thought, or it's taking

Allison Hintz: longer. It was a rollercoaster of emotions there. [00:11:00] Yeah. I thought he should be better by now. But yeah, some things would get better and then other things would not like he could see on they with a stroke, they do these different tests and they do it like every 15 minutes would be beginning at the beginning, then every hour they do it and they back it off slowly as as the day progresses, and he had.

gotten quote unquote better and then other things would get worse so he he wouldn't be able to see but then the next time he maybe see a double and then the next time he couldn't talk but then maybe he could have a sentence and it just was just this odd sense of what do I expect and ironically I had a I have a friend who her husband had had similar ages and her husband had had a stroke within a couple years.

[00:12:00] Ago, he recovered, but I was texting her and asking her, what should I, like, is this normal for him to get better or to act like this? And her response was, Oh yeah, my husband changed personalities for a bit and she said it was scary. So then I thought, Oh, okay, so we'll get through this and it'll be fine.

But then there was one point in the day that just, it's one of those moments, God exists, , we were in the room and one of the questions the nurse was asking him, she had a paper that had. Words that, like, the, dog, cat, just easy words. And at this point, he couldn't say even a sentence, he couldn't see anything, and he kind of looked at the nurse and threw his hand up and said, he couldn't see what was on the words, and then kind of goes, I [00:13:00] don't know, climbing the stairway to heaven.

And it just silenced the room and I didn't know what was on that paper. So I asked the nurse what was on there and she looked, she turned it over and it was just silly words and I know that nurse knew and my mom knew and if I had not been in that room at the time, I would not have believed it. But I think now I look back and think that was his message telling me where, where he was going.

Wow. Yeah, that gave me chills when you said that. It gave us all chills. It was just one of those moments that, yes, we were a godly family, but we're also, my husband and I are engineers, logical, analytical. So for him to say something like that was not [00:14:00] the norm for him. It was not sarcastic. It was

something out of this world, literally, like it was just. One of those moments that I knew this wouldn't be good and so we're going on this whole day and then towards the evening. I hadn't seen my kids since. 5 30 that morning, six o'clock sometime in the morning. And I knew I needed to get home, um, that my son had, I had a neighbor come pick him up because he didn't need to see anymore and I didn't want him to just endure that all day.

He was incredibly close with my husband because he was the only boy and he and my husband shared a lot of common interests. So, he, he really had a hard time watching. What was going on? So I had him sent home, and then [00:15:00] we tried to kind of allow my kids to have a quote unquote normal day. They didn't end up going to school, but I let them go.

Like, my daughter plays softball, my 14 year old. She plays travel softball, and her Christmas party for her softball team was that night. And my son is heavily involved in scouts, which my husband was too. So they, it was things I didn't want to tell them to know. So they went, I had family take him and my daughter and I went and realized I needed to talk to my son first because I knew this was not going to be just a, Oh, we'll, we'll go home tomorrow.

If you talk to my daughter, she thought, Oh, who's fine. He's in the hospital. He'll get badgered. He'll come home tomorrow. Right. And so I left about eight 30 that evening, fully [00:16:00] thinking, that. I'd be back the next morning and the other thing that I just, I know it was him too, because when I was about to leave that room, one of what I'd always told my husband was one of my worst fears.

It's not saying I love you to someone I loved and that not being the last thing I tell them in case something were to ever happen and almost walked out of that room, not saying I love you because I was so scared that that would be the last time, but I did. So I told, I looked over and, um, I looked at my husband.

And he wasn't really looking, he couldn't see, but I said, you know, honey, I'm going to go get. My Cameron from scouts and [00:17:00] then I'll, I'll be back tomorrow morning. And then I said, I love you. And he goes, love you too. And I gave him a kiss and I remember walking out going, please don't want this be the last time I've done anything.

Unfortunately that later on that evening, oh, I also needed to mention that my, um, when I left that night, the nurse. She had switched staff, so this is a new nurse. She was older, but I'll never forget her. She, she said, you know, I've been doing this for 30, 40 years. He's in really good hands, he's young, and trust me to know that if I call you, or I'll call you only if I need you, and I'll take really good care of him.

And that's how I was able to leave, because I, she could tell I didn't want to leave that night, but I [00:18:00] knew I needed to for my kids, and get home, we're, we're all situated, we need to talk, and. I just put my head down. This is probably somewhere around 12, 12 a. m., 12:30, midnight, somewhere in that time frame.

And my phone rings, and it's the hospital. And at that point, I lost it.

My parents were spending the night, and they actually were in the room directly below me, and they said they heard a crash. And they knew I was probably just And they took me back to the hospital. He had, I'm not sure what happened, but it must've been some sort of episode or something. Um, but at that point he was unconscious and that.

They didn't I think I got there [00:19:00] too early. I don't I still don't know to this day what happened because when we got there, my mom said she saw blood on the ground. I did not see that blood. But thank goodness. But she said it wasn't good. So they rushed me into an ICU room. I don't really remember any of that.

I just remember being kind of guided. And from that room, from that time, I'm pretty sure I spent about three or four hours just ugly crying. The longest I've ever cried, ever.

Emily Tanner: Yeah. That's so difficult when, especially you feel like, okay, this, this crazy thing is happening and is going on and my husband is doing all these weird things, but then the ambulance comes and we get them to the hospital and people are

Allison Hintz: [00:20:00] optimistic and Right.

It's crazy. It's crazy. You know, we're

Emily Tanner: seeing some improvement and some progress and you're just wrestling with all of these different emotions of feeling hopeful But then also worry and then getting that final call. It's just it puts you in shock

Allison Hintz: Yeah, it puts you in a total shock Yeah, I mean just I call like there's this Noises come out of you that you never thought would cry.

I mean, there's a cry that only comes out when I think of that time and it, I've never heard it before and don't hear it any other time. I'm not much of a crier I didn't use to be. Now I cry at the drop of a hat. But, um, it's just a weird, you know, and I mean, I just remember [00:21:00] saying, I can't do this. He wasn't supposed to leave me this we weren't this is not right.

He can't leave me.

Emily Tanner: Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, I know that cry that comes from the pit of your stomach. It's like a

Allison Hintz: guttural sound like in yeah, like, I don't even know I can make that

Emily Tanner: sound. Um, but you're right, especially in those first. Initial moments, it's just despair and sadness beyond explanation.

So how, how did you, or did you then have the thought process of not only do you have this information and you've got to even get your feet underneath you, but how you communicate that to your kids and how you explain what happened when you don't even

Allison Hintz: know what happened.

Yeah, well, and that night all I could tell them was. You know, they call him Dada. That was his name for it. And [00:22:00] I said, you know, Dada's really sick. We don't know what's going to happen. We will see in the morning, but at that, that night. So after he had that episode at somewhere around midnight. They, the hospital that he was at could not provide any more surgical or any more services.

They were not at a better, they were trying to get them transferred to a hospital with a better neurological

room or with a, with a neurologist that, that took, oh gosh, four or five hours because we're in December. And there was not a single hospital in the state of Indiana that was not booked. They didn't have a bed for him. So the hospitalist on staff, on the floor, he was calling everywhere, trying to get [00:23:00] him to a better place to maybe It's still in that moment of, okay, well, this next doctor will fix it.

Just get him to the next hospital and then we'll get, we'll get better. We'll fix it. It'll get better. Thinking that it would. But with every moment that passes, you sit there and go, this is the moment that he's not getting help. And why are they taking so long? So, somewhere, oh gosh, five, five o'clock the next morning, They were able to get them transferred to another hospital on the east side of Indianapolis.

So from my house, it's probably. 45 minutes drive, my in laws had finally made it in somewhere around 3 o'clock that morning. And so they were the ones who actually took me over and. Um, then I was told, you know, he's got one of the best [00:24:00] neurologists on staff and they'll, they'll help them. So what they ended up doing is, his brain was starting to swell, so they did a hole, they drilled a hole in his skull, I guess, to try and relieve the pressure, thinking, and I thought, okay, we'll just relieve the pressure and we'll be better.

Unfortunately that didn't do anything. Um, so we spent the next. Two days, just with him unconscious. So that next morning, after they'd done the surgery, to try and relieve all that pressure, was when, and, you know, you look back and I go, I have two sisters that are out, that live out of state, and within 24 hours, we had everybody in the house.

Like, everybody was in town. They all, especially right before Christmas, I mean, I look back and go, wow, that's pretty. That's a lot of love.

Emily Tanner: That's exactly the phrase that popped [00:25:00] into my mind is, wow. Think of all the love and just really selflessness of those people that wanted to surround you with themselves.

Allison Hintz: Right. And they, so my sister, she has a one year old or she had a baby at the time. So I mean, it was hard to, for her to travel with them, but she and her husband were there and they brought my kids to the hospital. And that's when I, because I kept trying to tell my parents, don't tell them, I need to talk to them.

It's my job. I need to be the one to tell them what's going on. Because I didn't want it to come from anybody else. And I didn't want to sugar coat it. Because they thought at that point, that he was coming home tomorrow. You know, the next day. They had no idea the seriousness of it. And I didn't, [00:26:00] I didn't want to,

I didn't want to lie to them. And so when we told them, we all kind of just cried in the hospital room or hospital, not the room, but the, the lobby, because another thing that they also weren't at that point, the hospital was not allowing anybody under the age of 16, to go in because of RSV and the flu.

And so they wouldn't allow my kids to even go in and see him and keep in mind. They hadn't seen him since the night. Before when we'd had just a normal scout thing, this was not something that they were anticipating to ever happen. But I just wanted to make sure I told them and I needed to be, it was my job, it mom.

[00:27:00] So we cried a lot that day and thankfully. I, finally, the nurses, I think they recognized that this was not going anywhere good. I do remember they finally let us, let everybody in, but I don't, the timeline's blurry now. So, he had his stroke on the 7th. He was declared brain dead on the 9th, but somewhere in that period was when I feel like he actually officially passed, but I don't know exactly when.

Because. Once he went unconscious, there was no real telltale official because he was on all the machines and they never actually took him off, which I look back and feel like that was a blessing. I never had to make that call to turn off the machine because, my husband was a [00:28:00] donor and so they kept them all. They kept all the machines going, really the declare declaration of death was literally just they walk in, they do a test, they do a brain scan, and that's it. So I say it was just his time on paper. It was not his actual time of death. It just was formality. But he, with his, him being a donor, I've since found out that he had donated his heart and his kidney.

Um, And his lungs and the gentleman who the heart and the kidney, he did not survive. Unfortunately, we did have a couple months later, however, the lung recipient is, eager to want to meet our family, which we have not done that yet, but it's coming. I just haven't been able to have the strength to be able to do that quite yet, [00:29:00] but it is.

It's

Emily Tanner: understandable and also a beautiful gift for, you know, your husband to have left for another person.

Allison Hintz: So what

Emily Tanner: were those next few weeks and months like for you, you know, being a mom of four trying to

Allison Hintz: process grief for yourself,

Emily Tanner: trying to help the kids with their grief. Just the craziness of day to day.

What did that look like for you?

Allison Hintz: Just numb, a zombie is what I would call myself. I didn't,

I don't really remember. I mean, I know my dad took me to the funeral home. I remember going. I remember saying, I don't know a lot, but I don't, I don't have a lot of memory of doing that. I remember not eating. I didn't want to eat with it being so close to Christmas. It was incredibly hard. I remember thinking, Oh, [00:30:00] my gosh, I don't even have all the Christmas presents yet.

Thankfully, we have so much support that I could do that, but yet somehow everybody was able to take care of things without me. We had, we were heavily involved in our church, and we actually had the funeral services at our church, and we had a visitation that was supposed to be three hours. Which then turned into four and a half hours with them turning people away after those four and a half hours.

And then people still came to the actual funeral the next day. By, you'll see, this was December 18th, 19th, right before Christmas. You know, everybody was out for, for Christmas break at that point, and yet we had so many people. There were people who had dropped [00:31:00] off food on my doorstep the day of. I. And part of that was because when he first had his stroke, I don't love Facebook, but yet I appreciate it for things like this, because I had put on a message on Facebook and just said, I need lots of prayers.

I need a miracle. And people turned up in droves, hundreds of people. I mean, we had donations coming in. My church already had a, had a fund set up for us within days. And I always, I like to call it, it was the most amazing thing in the worst way possible. I mean, I've never felt so much support at that moment.

And that's probably how we got through. I'm sure that's how we got through between our family [00:32:00] and friends and everybody. They just, we had meals up until February, um, of that year. And at that, we were kind of ready to start trying to do it ourselves, but we just, it was just numb. I mean, it just, and for it to be such a shock, I, I had so many friends, you could tell they were so scared because my friend, um, who had her husband had a stroke.

He, you could tell he had survivor's guilt, like they were the same age and he survived. But a lot of people were just shocked and scared and just couldn't believe that this could happen just so suddenly and so out of the blue. And I still don't know why. We never will know why [00:33:00] it was a stroke. There was nothing.

He had high blood pressure, but he took medication regularly. So how do you go from high blood pressure to massive stroke? It's hard to do that. Can't that's not the re how many people have high blood pressure and live, you know, long lives and are just fine.

Emily Tanner: Yeah, you can. I feel like you can almost drive

Allison Hintz: yourself crazy.

I'm trying to ask, well,

Emily Tanner: why and why him and the other person and yeah, it that. And I had to, you shared

Allison Hintz: how people just really

Emily Tanner: surrounded you with so much love and support initially.

I don't get to hear that a whole lot. So I'm really glad that it, that it did happen for you and your family.

Allison Hintz: Right. And that's the one thing that I look back on and go, that's how I was able to get through it this past year.

And I hurt when I hear it. [00:34:00] Others don't get that. So, Yeah. If this has taught me anything, I want to be that first person that I'm like, you don't have anybody, you got me, I'm here because I'm here because other people, because everybody else helped us. And I don't want to, I don't want to not share that with somebody else who needs it more than me.

Um, even now where I'm, we, we went through a grief. I went through grief share this past spring, and it really helped me. The first time, and I started, I went to the same group this fall, and now I find myself helping others who are newer in this journey, and I just can say, yep, been there. I know, I know, I can understand where you're coming from and how you're feeling, and I know I can't fix it, [00:35:00] so I'll just give you a hug and we're good, you know, and that's all we can do, but I mean, it So weird to think we're, I'm here now and been almost a year, some I know are farther along, but I feel like I'm as far as I, I'm farther along than I would have expected because I had so much of those people just coming in and being there for me when we needed it and my family.

So I had that ability to just grieve and do what I needed to do. Because I had all that support around me and

Emily Tanner: So one of the things that I hear a lot from people or one of the, one of the questions I get the most is, you know, what, what can I do to help a widow or somebody who's grieving or has been through a major loss?

So [00:36:00] what were some of the biggest things

Allison Hintz: that stand out to you that

Emily Tanner: people. Just did. And what would you tell someone who, you know, their friend just lost a spouse and they want to help, but they just, they don't want to overstep and, and they don't know what to do. Like what, what advice

would you give those people?

Allison Hintz: I would say don't ask, just do like one of the hardest thing for somebody to come in and ask me and say, Oh, if you need any help. I didn't, I could barely read my name. So I had no mental capacity to be able to even say, Oh, well, I need a meal for my kids. I barely ate myself. So just, just do it. I mean, for like, we had food on the front porch that, you know, within a couple of days and [00:37:00] just keep checking in on them.

Not just in the days. I mean, I had hundreds and hundreds of texts. I think I maybe read 10 of them. Um, it was just too hard to do it right away. I still have them, but I never, I didn't get through hardly any of them. But just keep checking in on them and just ask, give them very simple, yes, no questions.

Can I go mow your lawn on Thursday or Friday? So I could just say yes or no, you know, we're not going to be home or simple. I'm going to bring you a meal. What night's best? Not can I bring you a meal, but I'm going to bring you a meal. Are there any dietary like What's your favorite food? Bring them that favorite food, whatever that is.

Just something. Just simple things that [00:38:00] take as much capacity, mental capacity, away from that person as you can. And don't try and minimize it because nothing's going to fix it. You can't fix it. I can't fix it. And it's just a hug. It's really all they need. Just let them cry. Don't try and make them feel better.

Just let them cry. Because

you need to cry.

Emily Tanner: Yeah, I love that. And, um, that's one of the top recommendations I usually have too is not just offering to do something, but saying, here's what I'm planning to do. Here's what I'm going

Allison Hintz: to do it. Is that okay with you? You know,

Emily Tanner: putting it out as if it's already been decided. And yeah, that really alleviates a lot of the burden for the person.

They don't have to [00:39:00] think as much and they don't feel bad about, you know, having to ask for something. Yeah.

Allison Hintz: Yeah. Cause I'm not one to ask for help. Okay. I was the epitome of, well, I'm going to do it myself, and if I can't do it, my husband will help me with me and we've got it between the two of us, we'll figure it out.

And that's just how we operated. We were a great team. He was heavily involved with my kids, and so for, to lose that, he did all the cooking. I didn't do any of the cooking. I still don't do a lot of it, but. I'm getting there. I'm working on that.

Emily Tanner: I'm laughing because I resonate with that

Allison Hintz: so hard, like I never did cooking.

I hated it. I felt like why would

Emily Tanner: I spend an hour on something that's going to take 10 minutes to consume? But I have embraced it, Allison. So there's hope that one

Allison Hintz: day you may actually enjoy it a [00:40:00] little bit. It's not hopeless. Probably. My mama, it's one way she's always wanted to help, so she's done, she's kind of tried to take over some of that meal planning for me, which I appreciate greatly, but I still, I still need to probably do more, more of it.

I'm, I'm a, all right, kids, what do you want to go out to eat? Where are we going now tonight? Because I just don't. You know, I'll look up and it's 5 o'clock in the evening and people need to leave by 530. So I can't cook anything in 30 minutes. And even while my husband and I were dating, I do, I distinctly remember asking him, do you know how to cook?

Because I don't and I don't like to,

yeah, I, yeah, it was a deal breaker. I'll clean. I said, I'm like, I'll do everything else. I'll do laundry. I hate the dishes, but I'll do the dishes. [00:41:00] Like I'll do the vacuuming. I just don't want to cook. When I stayed home with my kids for almost 10 years. Um, partly because it just didn't make sense for childcare and partly because I wanted to, but when I went back to work, my twins were almost in kindergarten, and when, when that shift happened, it was a, okay, divide and conquer who, who does what, because I was not home to be able to do as much as I normally would, and he.

He took the evening shift and I took the morning so I'd do the drop off and he would do the pickup and it, it kind of logically made sense for him to do the cooking too, so that's how we kind of made it work with the two of us and thankfully we have, we both had very flexible jobs that usually one of us was working from home at least once or twice a week, if not [00:42:00] more, just depending on what activity was going on, because yeah, My kids have lots of things that they're very different, which is good, but it means four different activities, at least for them.

So, yeah, it's just, yeah, it's a huge

Emily Tanner: struggle for me right now because I still have three at home and they're working on their driver's license and it's every day.

Allison Hintz: Yeah. All over the place. My oldest is 16 and he actually had signed up for Driver's Ed that month, that November before everything happened.

So he'd signed up for the online part of it. And his plan was, he's, he's pretty driven when it comes to things like that, but his plan was to be done by Christmas and it didn't happen, obviously he, he struggled the most with. And still does, to some degree, with everything, but he finally [00:43:00] finished his online in May.

His birthday was in June, so we, we got our permit, so now we're working through that driving. Same thing. Oh. It's supposed to be my job. That was absolutely not going to be me. I was like, I don't want any part of it. I am not a good, I, I'm a. I've gotten better at not yelling at him to stop, but I still say it at least once while he's in the car and it doesn't bode well, but yeah, I can fully resonate with trying to drive because I, that was not supposed to be me.

I told that was my, all my husband was supposed to do the driving and. Do the teaching. I just hope maybe I get a little better by the time my daughter comes around. She's 14 now. So, I don't know. We'll see. [00:44:00]

Emily Tanner: Maybe that's when I done post on Facebook, like any safe professional drivers who love

Allison Hintz: teaching children how to drive.

Please, well, my dad is actually helps a lot with that, though, too, because he actually. My mom did the driving, teaching of the driving for me, and we both decided that was not a good idea. And I'm the oldest, so I was the one that, you know, they learned on. And then, so, my dad was a much more calm, calmer teacher.

So, he's helped take over a little bit of that with my son, thankfully. But, there's still been a couple times where I just have to, I just need to let go. Let my son drive with me in the car,

so yeah, I

Emily Tanner: understand that well [00:45:00] in our last few minutes here. Is there any final words of wisdom or something that you would want to tell someone who's currently walking that really tough journey that you did, you know, early on, especially what, what words would you leave them with?

Allison Hintz: Don't lose hope. It's so hard because you can't, those early moments you don't think you're going to make it and I didn't, but I look back and go, it's been almost 11 months and here we are.

And I can, one thing I never ever felt guilty about was laughing because my husband loved to make people laugh in the most corniest, silliest ways. His favorite phrase of his was, he could hear my eyes rolling because he said the same corny jokes thousands of times. But don't stop laughing because you need it.

You [00:46:00] need that. Take one thing during that day, if it's just getting out of bed or taking a shower, call that a win and move on, because you can so easily

wrap yourself up and just want to be done and not do anything. And the only way I remember is just, I made very simple lists on my phone. I would say, okay, I need to take a shower today. So I could check it off. I'm a list maker. So that's what I did. I even did it early on, like things that I'm going, I'm not going to remember this.

Just put it down. If you don't do it, that's fine. If you check it off, it feels really good that day. If you can just check off one thing that day and then you'll look up and realize, hey, I just made it three more days and then it turns into a week [00:47:00] and then maybe a couple weeks and now I'm sitting here going, oh my gosh, it's been We're coming up on a year and I would not have believed that I was, I'd be here in this spot a year ago, but yet we've been able to survive and, and in many ways thrive.

My kids are doing really well. Thankfully, they're all getting A's. We've had our struggles. I mean, I'm not going to lie, doesn't, but yet we're still doing it. And if we can, I don't, I want to make sure that I help anybody who can or who can't, who can't, who don't, who didn't get what we had. I feel very blessed for what we had.

I still get [00:48:00] mad at least I know we have, we still have a, we have a lot to be thankful for even if I've lost my best friend.

Emily Tanner: Well said. And it's amazing that. You know, just under a year later, you're willing to give back and help other people who are earlier on in the journey than you.

Allison Hintz: And you're here sharing your story on a podcast, which is amazing.

Yeah. Probably

Emily Tanner: the first of many. So thank you so much for coming on the show and just being willing to be open and vulnerable and help encourage others who are on that same

Allison Hintz: journey. Absolutely. And I'm always open. I don't have a website or anything or yet, but maybe that's coming. Who knows? Um, but I'm always, I want to be open [00:49:00] and help.

That's the big thing lately is how can I help somebody else? Because so much of that help was given to us that I'm Want to help. I want to give other to others that need it just as much if not more than we did and still do

‚Äč

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 [00:50:00] 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 possible. Head on over to brave widow.com to learn more.

 

 

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