I will never forget the moment that the police told me that my husband was dead.

It stands out as the worst moment of my life and yet within it has been the discovery of so much more. In the days, weeks and months after, as I reached for relief it was hard to let go of what I had had: the love, the life, the story.

I was a happily married 39-year-old woman, mother of four children and my life was good. I loved being a mom and even with the bumps of marriage I knew what it meant to be loved unconditionally. The man I had chosen accepted me fully and I loved the picture he reflected back to me of myself. He loved me as I am and saw the shine in me even when I couldn’t. Being in this life with him felt safe and secure, I knew I was taken care of and good enough. Life felt good.

But then it all came crashing down around me. In losing him I lost myself.

Without the image of myself reflected back to me as seen through his eyes I didn’t know who I was anymore. I felt empty and alone. I longed for him to hold me and soothe me in this time of true heartbreak. After all he was my best friend and after 14 years together, he was the one person that really got me, saw me for who I am and loved me – all of me.

So now what? I felt frozen in place, uncertain what to do. I hated the word widow and the idea of being a single mom literally scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know how to identify myself or how to be in the world without him. I could find no safe haven, no escape from all the angst that seemed to consume me. I reached for what I had had, looking for love in all the wrong places and feeling worse. My kids were hurting, I was hurting and life felt hard. I knew something needed to change. My kids needed me, I felt it and though I was physically present for them I felt so empty and unable to really give them what they needed. Given they had already lost their father I felt their need deeply, wanting with everything in me to be more present and more emotional with them.

I knew that I had to find a way.

Then something shifted. It was like I got tired of feeling so bad all the time, tired of trying so hard.

I felt a whisper call me inward, directing me to feel this loss and all it meant. @TrinaRabideau (Click to Tweet!)

Not just missing him but missing my life that was forever changed, the picture I had of myself and my family that was gone. In between the tears and gasps I knew I would be okay.

I knew that I had within me everything I needed to find my balance again.

I began a quest to myself. I reasoned that in this time of angst and heartbreak I could soothe myself better than anyone.

I went on dates with myself, for lunch or shopping or walks. I decided to go places and do things on my own and to feel the power and control of that. I realized that I was good company and I enjoyed this new relationship I was discovering with myself.

I began to feel lighter. I realized that I wasn’t really alone, as I had myself. With these new feelings within me I was able to open myself up more with my kids. I talked about their dad with them, about how much he loved us, I allowed them to say and express whatever felt good to them. We cried together, played together, even laughed. And when I held them through their tears

I knew we would be okay.

Then one day I had an experience that confirmed that and shifted it fully.

I was playing in the ocean. I was out in the waves and as I stood there I felt the waves crashing over my feet and then as they came back in, I felt the sand come out from under me. I started to feel shaky on my feet as more and more of the sand fell out from under me. Then I stepped onto more solid ground as if by instinct. As I found that solid footing everything made sense, as if a big connection happened within me.

My experience in the ocean was a metaphor for my life.

The ground was pulled out from under me and I was panicking as I attempted to stay standing in the same place, but now the time had come for me to take a step onto the solid ground within me to a new place and into a new life. It was profound.

I know an energetic shift happened that day and I see it as the day I took the first step into my new life.

The metaphor of the sand coming out from under me further reminded me that though I did not choose this experience, I still had a choice about how I would be with it. I could continue the experience of the ground coming out from under me and the scrambling that that required or I could choose to trust that solid ground I had found within me. It felt powerful to acknowledge this choice and from it I gained some perspective to view the situation. I could see how my feelings of “no control” within it had left me feeling so out of control. Now I could see that I did have control, control of how I viewed the experience, the story I told and the way I felt.

I decided that I wanted to feel as good as possible about this experience, that I wanted others to focus on my positivity and that my story would be one of inspiration not tragedy. These three intentions become my doctrine for living, that culminated in my being fully engaged and present in my one wild and precious life.

Now from my new found stance it was possible to look at myself through my own eyes, really see myself and love who I saw.

TrinaThis marked a significant step in Trina’s journey of life re-entry and her on-going journey in love and joy. Trina Rabideau recently launched her new business as The Vibe Coach. She works with others to stimulate them to think in uplifting ways, to release limiting beliefs and to find the best in everything, every one and every experience. It was her own tragic experience of loss that pushed her to embrace all that this one wild and precious life has to offer. She dreams big, reaches high, and is authentic and passionate about showing others how to do the same.  Check out her website and grab Trina’s FREE fun, kickass, creative process to bust outdated limiting beliefs.

*A Note from Christina:
I’m so excited to debut the Life Starter’s Blog Series. I have had the greatest honor and fortune of hearing your powerful stories of personal transformation and I wanted to share them all. Because I know that together we can help support, inspire and lift one another. Every Tuesday, we will proudly feature your stories. If you’d like to submit a post, please go here for guidelines and more info. Happy reading!
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Christina Rasmussen is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur who believes that grief is an evolutionary experience required for launching a life of adventure and creative accomplishment.

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  • anne says:

    THis is great, I am feeling alone, divorced for about 4 years , had a boyfriend but that wasnt the right person, have a wonderful kid who is going to be going off to college in a year so I fear losing that identity as mom as well. I like that the ending of this “story” wasnt “then I found my new husband” Is that always the ending? I worry I may not have that ending but need to believe if it isnt my ending , that it is OK and I have other callings.

  • Trina says:

    Life is full of transitions and I have found that making peace with where I am and whatever I feel brings ease. I refer to it as blessing the now while reaching for more. We are continually growing and expanding and in finding ease with where we sit we can gain perspective and clarity. From there I invite you to imagine what you want your life to look life, to feel like. Allow yourself to sink into that picture and the feelings of it. Know that it is possible!!

    • anne says:

      thanks, I lose the forest for the trees, I have great people in my life (some geographically close but most a phone call away) . I have these moments of clarity. I try to trust in God’s timing as perfect but I am impatient and I have moments every day I feel the need to DO SOMETHING rather than let it be. I need to learn how to get through those moments without making decisions , but wait for the clear moments to decide on actions. I’ve decided today, every relationship that fails teaches the most about myself and my ability to grow and learn about me. Im rambling now, sorry. I follow Christina that is how I found you. I will now follow you as well to help in my growth~!

      • Trina says:

        Thanks for the follow! It takes practice to soothe the need to DO SOMETHING and to trust in the timing and unfolding of it all. I am still working on this one, one moment at a time. I have found when I go within to find ease and connect with myself inspiration becomes more available. I have a mantra they you may find useful, I take a soothing breath and say “the best thing I can do right now is find ease and let the Universe show me the next step”. Use it if it feels good or create your own – have fun with it!!

  • heather says:

    Your story sounds so like me. Life was good. I was married to my teen sweetheart and getting ready to celebrate 15 years of marriage. I was 33. We had 4 kids. The first day of our yearly family vacation turned into tragedy when he downed. I couldnt breathe and I didnt know who i was anymore. I went on walks to relieve stress. Went on trips to run away from my pain. It didnt work. Now its been 5 yrs and I have remarried 4yrs and now I realize I wasnt ready. I am still hurting. I wanna be alone and work thru this. What do you suggest? Book suggestions? I just found second firsts today.. im so glad.

  • Trina says:

    Hello Heather. Even having lived through my experience, hearing about yours still makes me catch my breath. It isn’t an easy path to walk for sure!! So amazing that you have got to 5 yrs, mine will be 4 yrs on August 17. I can so relate with your feelings about your new marriage. I have also had moments when I felt perhaps I rushed in and the fit wasn’t the best. Check out my blog post that address this http://www.trinarabideau.com/2014/07/19/split-energy-confuses-the-universe/#sthash.C8gbev4S.dpbs I will say that I was able to find comfort in him through the grieving I needed to do. If it feels right you can contact me through my website and I can offer you more.

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