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Painful Path to Recovery

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Awful Loss

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Angela’s World Shaken

Angela, the 24 year old wife of Doug Combs, is a lady with a smile that makes you smile when you see it. She has long, light brown hair and blonde highlights, plus vivid green eyes. The Combs had an adorable year old boy named Doug Jr. is in the US Marines and overseas. Angela is six months pregnant and having a little girl. She is hoping Doug’s deployment ends before their daughter is born.

Doug joined the US Marines at 20 years of age, and this is his second deployment to Afghanistan. He wanted to serve his country, but he really wants to get home to his wife, and he has decided not to reenlist. Two days before his scheduled departure to the US his humvee hit a landmine, which killed Doug, although the other 3 US Marines were injured, but lived.

When Angela was officially notified of her husband’s death she fell to her knees. She yelled, “No, No, that can’t be true. Doug was strong. He was a great Marine!”

Her sister and her parents were supportive over the next several weeks, but Angela was consumed by grief. Doug’s parents were also supportive, although grieving of course. After the funeral everyone went home except her sister Penny, but Angela could hardly function.

Doug Jr. would say, “Where is Daddy?”

Angela would answer, “Daddy is with the angels Dougie.” Then, she would turn away as the tears flowed. She made it through the funeral, but now she was dysfunctional for all intents and purposes.

Her sister, Penny stayed close and helped with Doug Jr. Penny was an RN, but she took a leave of absence from work. She decided to spend time with Angela until the new baby was born, and she would say, “You are still young Angela. You can still have a good life. You have a precious little boy and a daughter to come soon.”

“Penny, I am trying but I just can’t believe Doug will never even meet his new daughter.”

Doug Jr.

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New Life

One morning 3 weeks later Angela woke up as her water broke and labor contractions started. She woke up Penny, and Penny called their good neighbor Sally. “Can you watch Doug as I need to take Angela to the hospital?”

“Of course,” Sally said. Sally came over to wait for Doug to wake up, and Penny got Angela to the hospital. About 7 hours later little Jennifer was born. She was named after Doug’s mother.

Angela improved after the birth of Jennifer and got into a routine to care for her 2 children. Penny went home and back to work.

New Baby Girl

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Slowly Recovering

At times the grief was still overwhelming. Finally, after all of Penny’s encouragement she found a support group that had several young widows, and she was able to express her profound grief. She also read a book about grief that Penny had given her. She wanted to find a way to move on with her life, although she missed Doug with all her heart..

As the months went by Angela found the group was helping, and she made some friends. Julie was another young widow that Angela related to, and they became very good friends. They talked on the phone almost daily.

One day she heard from the Towers Foundation, and they were going to build her and her children a new home. She was ecstatic as she was only allowed to stay in her military housing for one year, and it had already been 7 months. The overwhelming burden of paying a house payment or rent would be lifted.

Angela planned to return to college on a part-time basis next year to fulfill her goal of becoming a paralegal. She finally seemed to have one more purpose in life in addition to raising her children. She knew her grief had impacted her ability to care for them, but she was gradually improving.

Her friends, Sally, and her sister, Penny, had helped keep her spirits up, and she didn’t know how she would have survived without their help. She called Penny and thanked her for having made such a difference at an awful time.

Sally and Angela took their children to the park together, and occasionally Sally and Angela would get a babysitter and go to a movie or out to dinner. This seemed to help Angela and probably Sally move forward accepting the fact that they were young widows.

Go Your Own Way

© 2019 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 28, 2020:

I really appreciate the comments of a man that has been in the frces. Young widows in India or the US are hurting and unfortunately that is the nature of war. Young people give their lives and families are sad.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on August 27, 2020:

This is the lot of the soldier; he dies so that others will live. Having been in the forces I can understand the pain of the young widow. We have so many in India but I guess that is part of karma the wheel of Lord Krishna. One has to accept it and move forward with fortitude. You wrote a great article which read like a story and I have been reading it again and again. Blessings to you and the young widow.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 27, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

I am glad you enjoyed the story. I agree with you about life and God willing things get better. Thank you so much for your comments.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 27, 2020:

Life has to move for those living in spite of such a tragedy and there is always a way and God willing help at hand. A moving tale.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 03, 2020:

Hi Peggy,

The story does happen too often. As always, I appreciate your comments, Peggy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 02, 2020:

This story reflects all too often what is happening in real life. It is so beautiful that she and her children would be given a new home. Organizations like that are lovely. At least some of the burden is lifted so the families can more easily get on with their lives.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 14, 2019:

hi Gupi, Thank you so much for your comments.

Gupi on June 13, 2019:

A very moving tale, thank you for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 10, 2019:

Hi maria, I loved reading about what good the Towers Foundation does for these poor widows. Thank you so much for your generous comments. I hope you are having a good week.

Love, Pam

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on June 10, 2019:

Another powerful story rich with inspiration and the belief that life can go on, even after tragedy.

I'm also grateful to have learned about the work of the Towers Foundation.

Love and thanks, Maria

Robert Sacchi on June 09, 2019:

You're welcome.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 09, 2019:

Hi Genna, I very much appreciate your nice comments.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on June 09, 2019:

This is an inspirational, yet poignant story, Pamela. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 09, 2019:

Hi Robert, I like organizations like the Towers Foundation hel give these grieving women with children a bit of their life back. Thank you for your comments.

Robert Sacchi on June 09, 2019:

A story that goes from the grief to putting the life back together. It's good that you mentioned and linked to the Towers Foundation.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 07, 2019:

Hi Ruby, I prefer happy endings, but it takes a long time to get over the loss of a loved one. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 07, 2019:

Hi MG, It is sad for those widows. I appreciate you comments.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 07, 2019:

Your story tells the story of many young couples. It was a sad story but an enjoyable read,

MG Singh emge from Singapore on June 07, 2019:

Dear Pamela, such a loving and moving tale. I can empathize with the young widows who have to face life, having spent quality time in the Air Force. Great of you to have highlighted it. LOL

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 07, 2019:

Hi Linda, I have such compassion for these young widow with small children, so every time I have written some fan fiction I have tried to include a social issue. The foundation is wonderful. Thanks for commenting.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 06, 2019:

Your story is a great way to publicize the Towers Foundation. I've never heard about the foundation before. I'm happy that I've learned about it by reading your story. Thank you for sharing the information, Pamela.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 06, 2019:

Hi Bronwen, Thank your for your comments.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on June 06, 2019:

What a moving story! Thank you for sharing it.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 04, 2019:

Hi Lori, These days being is your 60s is not considered old. Sudden, unexpected death is difficult to deal with for sure. Being young, like the woman in this story is extra hard. Having family support sure helps. Thanks for commenting.

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on June 03, 2019:

Death is just so hard. When my sister's husband died suddenly a couple of years ago it was so hard to watch her struggle. But he was late sixties. Being a young wife and mother can be doubly hard. I love how you bring in Penny for support. It makes a world of difference.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 03, 2019:

I just got angry and my boy told me that I was "only human". I reckon I have not recovered fully from tough stuff. Thank God I have a teacher to help me recover.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 03, 2019:

Hi Alyssa, Yes, even when it is hard we can recover. Thank you so much for your kind comments.

Alyssa from Ohio on June 03, 2019:

A bittersweet story, but also a wonderful reminder that no matter the tragedy, we can recover with the help of family and friends. Well done, Pamela!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 03, 2019:

Hi Ms dora, You clicked right into the emotions of this siruation, but it is life. People lose their mates for many reasons, but it is sad. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 03, 2019:

Hi Jackie, Yes, I have even seen some storie on TV where a deserving family gets a house. Thanks for your kind comments.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 02, 2019:

Pam, your story touched on so many different emotions: hope, disappointment, grief, support, renewal. It's all a part of the movement called life. Stories like this help us cope. Thanks.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 02, 2019:

I have heard of this new program building widows homes. It is the least to be done for their families when they give their loves.

Beautiful heartfelt story of the struggles these widows face.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 02, 2019:

Hi Liz, It is sad but support means the world when you are going throught something so awful. Thank you so much for your comments.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 02, 2019:

This is such a sad story but with a positive outlook, showing how much support can help those grieving.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 02, 2019:

Hi Pop, I couldn't agree more. I give clothing to the Vietnam Vets also as my husband is one of them. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 02, 2019:

Hi Bill, I think losing anyone in your life when you are young is always hard. I think it is so hard for children to grow up when one parent dies also. You are right about the only choice is to move on with your life. I appreciate your comments Bill.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 02, 2019:

Hi Lorna, Losing your husband or a wife at such a young age is so difficult I'm sure. Being pregnant with a toddler makes the loss even more difficult. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind comments.

breakfastpop on June 02, 2019:

There are many heroes in this tragic story. All of us need to support them any way we can. I contribute to Wounded Warriors every month. Those who have served our country and those they left behind deserve our thanks and our help.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2019:

Such a ridiculously young age to suffer that kind of loss.....a painful path for sure, as many of us know when we lose loved ones at an early age, and the only remedy is to go on living.

Lorna Lamon on June 02, 2019:

This is such a poignant story Pamela and one that I am sure plays out all over the world where young men serve their country. This young woman showed immense courage in the face of adversity, and has managed to continue with her life. Her husband would have been so proud of her. Touchingly told.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 02, 2019:

Hi Lora, I can't personally imagine going through this scenerio on a personal basis, as it is horrible. I am glad you totally understood the way she had to make decisions for the sake of her children and to honor her husband, even though emotionally it was very difficult. I appreciate your comments.

Lora Hollings on June 01, 2019:

A tragic story but with a powerful message! Losing someone so dear is always so painful and especially when you have such young children that are so dependent. This young woman had to be very courageous and somehow realize that she had to pull herself together for the sake of her children and to honor her late husband's life and memory. It certainly got to me on an emotional level! The story's message that we have to go on and be the person that our loved one would have wanted is a valuable one! A story that certainly touches the heart and leaves a lasting imprint, Pamela.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 01, 2019:

Hi Flouish, I have worked on this story for a while, as I wanted it to be engaging and not boring. This is surely the real life for some widows, and healing needs to occur for anyone losing a loved one. I certainly appreciate your kind comments.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 01, 2019:

This is sad for its realism. There are many people who are living her life and have been windowed by war. You wrote this sympathetically.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 01, 2019:

Hi Linda, I agree; they are heros. Thank you so much for your sweet comments.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 01, 2019:

Pamela, what a beautiful and tragic story. It's a good reminder that the heroes are not just the ones on the battlefield. The ones left behind to carry on are heroes as well. Bless you for writing this.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 01, 2019:

Hi Eric, I guess you are right about sadness. Losing any loved one is painful. Thank you so much for your comments my friend as they are always appreciated.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on June 01, 2019:

Hi Bill, I can't imagine that grief either for a pregnant woman at that age. I appreciate your comments.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 01, 2019:

Beautiful. Gave me tears. Sadness reminds us to grow.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on June 01, 2019:

Hi Pam. I can’t imagine anyone getting through this kind of loss and being able to function. It’s easy to see how this level of grief can be life altering.