Nichole will not be forgotten if we allow her memory to instill within us the energy to fight on. Fight, I say, because only recently have we started developing support for widows of war. By knowing me or reading my personal account you get an idea of where I'm coming from. A long life with little to no support, many years of despair, PTSD, Chronic Depression and yes many years of being suicidal. It is only by the grace of God~I still live.
Nichole, in her much to early departure, is a staggering reminder for us that there is still a lot of work to be done. We must continue to reach out to those who are currently struggling through grief. It is more than being here for them to come to us. It is US who need to throw out a lifeline to them.
The grief tunnel is tricky. Let me try to paint you a word picture. Total darkness, twisted paths made of granite in some places, sand in others, often narrow with cliffs on one side and pits on the other and just when you think you've found your footing the path gets very slippery. Curves block the light at the end of the tunnel and it is easy to get turned around and go the wrong direction because your inner compass is either malfunctioning or crushed beyond repair.
We need to hear voices of truth, encouragement, strength, hope and love that rise above the cries and anguish of despair. There are so many who travel through this tunnel, the sound is deafening.
We need light. Each of us can be a part of that light. By uniting we can increase its outreach. It can grow stronger; strong enough to reach those who not only walk through the tunnel but those who are continuing to battle in the trenches of their own mind.
We are all connected. We understand grief whether it be from a loss of a spouse, a child, a parent or even a pet. When we connect with others who have had a similar loss our path can be made a bit easier. It is like the tunnel itself has different pathways. If I join another widow, my path seems more familiar, or if a parent joins another parent their pathway will seem more familiar to them.
I approach the subject of grief from a military widows point of view only because that is my experience. We need never to compare types of losses, we need only to accept each other and to own our own loss so we can heal. There is no one way to walk this journey. We walk our journey. We walk alone, together, and we can do together what we can not do alone.
By getting beyond the shallowness of our mind and into our heart we can unite and heal like never before. In the last 3-4 years military widows have made great progress. Still...there is more work to be done.
The tragic loss of Nichole Haycock is a serious reminder for us to keep working. Do not become complacent in our effort. The loss of one comrade, is one to many.
R.I.P. Nichole Haycock, your sacrifice will not be forgotten.