Painful Path to Recovery

Updated on June 3, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

I'm interested in social issues, good relationships, problems of daily living, jobs, exercise and advances for safer living conditions.

Awful Loss

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.

Source

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

Source

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

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    hi Gupi, Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile image

    Gupi 

    5 months ago

    A very moving tale, thank you for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    5 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

    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 profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    5 months ago

    You're welcome.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Genna, I very much appreciate your nice comments.

  • Genna East profile image

    Genna East 

    5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

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

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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 profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    5 months ago

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    5 months ago from Southern Illinois

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

  • emge profile image

    MG Singh 

    5 months ago from Singapore

    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

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bronwen, Thank your for your comments.

  • BlossomSB profile image

    Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

    5 months ago from Victoria, Australia

    What a moving story! Thank you for sharing it.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • lambservant profile image

    Lori Colbo 

    5 months ago from Pacific Northwest

    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.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • Alyssa Nichol profile image

    Alyssa 

    5 months ago from Ohio

    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!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    5 months ago from The Caribbean

    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 profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    5 months ago from UK

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

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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 profile image

    breakfastpop 

    5 months ago

    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.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 months ago from Olympia, WA

    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 profile image

    Lorna Lamon 

    5 months ago

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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 profile image

    Lora Hollings 

    5 months ago

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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 profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    5 months ago from USA

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    5 months ago from Washington State, USA

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 months ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

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

  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 

    5 months ago from Massachusetts

    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.

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