Part 2: I’ve Never Been A Widow Before

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Sadness. It is a useless emotion. I believe that it is necessary and has to be indulged to make it through our grief (and believe me, I indulged) but, it will not help you get anywhere new. Now anger, anger is a motivating emotion.

I was a walking ball of sadness and grief I was devoid of energy especially the first months after Tyler’s death. I could barely function. I was just surviving as a dehydrated, never hungry, zombie with bloodshot, aching eyes. I was lost. I had no power and I let others take care of me. Which is fine, that is what friends are for but at some point, I gave up all of my power to be me and had few opinions on anything or that I could muster the energy to express in contrast with someone else’s when it came to me, my husband, or our life.

This would have some detrimental repercussions in the long run because one day, I would be strong again and the sadness would finally be overtaken. I would finally regain full consciousness and some people weren’t going to like it. It was more change and we had already had quite enough of it by then. They were used to the widowed and broken me. Really I was just a shadow of my real self at the time.

Around 6 months, I woke up. I remember exactly when it happened. I was at the bank talking to them about finally taking his name off the accounts and all of a sudden it was like I snapped into the current time after living the day he died over and over…every, single, day. I would waiver back and forth after that, but never again would I go back to being completely overtaken by grief for months at a time. It was then I realized how much I had let go and how much I wish I wouldn’t have. I then realized that while I had many people supporting me, my weakness had also been taken advantage of by a a few.

Then I was angry. With myself, my situation and those that I allowed to take over. The good thing was I was finally awake and I realized I wanted to live not just exist. I wanted to live my life fully like I knew Tyler would have wanted me to. One thing about him was no one (except maybe me) ever told him what he was going to do. I knew this and knew he would say “who gives a damn what they think!”. I would smile and gain a little more confidence every time I thought of him saying that. He was well known for his bluntness.

I finally wanted to make the most of the time I had and now I wanted to do it in my own way.

Of course, after all this time of being an agreeable pile of moldable clay, obviously, it was going to be a tough transition for those around me to handle my sudden desire for independence. Even more difficult would be the courage for me to speak up and muster the courage to actually DO what I wanted and thought was best for me. Many people wouldn’t give this so much thought or struggle with just doing what they decide to do, but I was too worried about doing what others wanted me to do or thought was what I should be doing. Even with Tyler’s words ringing in my ears, I was struggling.

I would liken that time to a baby deer learning to stand. I was going to give it my best but there was no way around the fact that it was going to be awkward (VERY awkward at times) and I was going to make mistakes.

But hey, I didn’t know what I was doing! I had never been a widow before.

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What I Never Should Have Given Away

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Part 1:

Even before my husband passed away, I was never good at confrontation. Well, he would probably argue that in relation to him like most husbands! Usually, I would have to be pushed to it though and only if I could not find a way to avoid it. I am sure, also, that I can be categorized as a people pleaser. Mix that with some Christian sense of duty and I’ll give you everything I have…well, maybe more like let you take it right in front of me without saying anything….Or while mumbling to my self like Milton in Office Space about my stapler.

At least, that is what I used to be like.

Of all the things that I let go of or let people take without asking when my husband Tyler passed away, the thing I would miss the most would be my power to decide how to live my life. It is one thing I would get back after letting it go, however, I would have to fight for it.

I was so broken, so collapsed inside myself the day he died, I lost all sense of direction. My compass was spinning wildly as I sat surrounded by the ashes of my previous life. I was overwhelmed by the weight of my grief and the reality that my husband, my best friend, the center of my world, was dead. I would never speak to or see him again. I couldn’t imagine a life without him. Everything else lost it’s meaning and no longer mattered to me.

It was so strange, when he died, he was the person I wanted to talk to. He was the one I wanted to comfort me. He was the only one who really could. The reality was that comfort would never come. I would have to rise up on my own and deal with the pain.

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There Is No Such Thing As A Small Act Of Kindness

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One of my new favorite songs is “Do Something” by Matthew West. It got me thinking even more about helping others, non-profits and paying it forward.

 

There are so many great organizations out there doing great things, which is really wonderful! I am so grateful for all those that dedicate themselves to helping others. There are so many worthy causes it is easy to be overwhelmed when you go to look of where to donate or raise money for! 

But that is not really what I have been thinking about the most. What I have been stuck on lately was that it seems that some people think that everything has to be done in a big way and if you aren’t giving or raising a lot of money that you aren’t doing enough and it really isn’t worth noticing.

I think that is sad and not how I look at things at all.

EVERYONE can do something without spending a dollar and the last thing I would ever want to do is discourage someone from making a difference, no matter how small it may SEEM (key word is seem).

EVERY act creates a ripple effect.

Some people mentioned that they couldn’t afford to donate money during Tyler’s Random Act of Kindness event for his birthday. I wanted to make sure everyone understood that is NOT what is was about at all! Picking up that trash that you drive past every day, calling that friend you know is going through a hard time, donating clothes that are just sitting in your closet, donating to a charity or volunteering at the animal shelter, saying a prayer for a stranger, no one kind act is better than another. It ALL makes a difference! Just do whatever you can and what speaks to your heart! Do that and you can’t go wrong.

Just the act of listening or kindness to a stranger done with pure intentions in your heart can change someone’s whole day or even their life! I am blessed to say this from experience.

I remember what I appreciated most when Tyler passed away was people who could just sit with me and only say “this sucks”.

Yep. That pretty much summed it up and their caring presence was the most valuable thing they could have given me. Friends would call and check up on me or stop by and what did that cost them? Their TIME. I would say that it is not money that is the most valuable or helpful thing we can give, really our time and attention is most valuable.

So, where is I am going with this? I guess what I wanted to say was EVERY act of kindness, no matter how big or small, it all matters as long as it is coming from your heart.

If you can’t give money but can go out of your way to listen to someone who really needs it, well my friend, you can’t put a price on that! Don’t ever feel like what you have to offer isn’t good enough, big enough, or important enough. Don’t let anyone discourage you from doing what you can! Just do SOMETHING. 

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Never Give Up!

Chelsey

http://www.facebook.com/chelseystimson

Don’t You Dare Give Up

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Are you struggling today?

Does a dream seem impossible all of a sudden?

Are you facing unwanted changes in your life?

Are you facing another day as you carry the weight of your grief?

I am here to tell you to hang in there! If been in some tough situations myself.

I’ve thought of giving up, settling for less, or sometimes that I wasn’t good enough. If I get really frustrated I have learned to sleep on it and usually the next morning I will have a better mindset. I try to listen to motivating music, read about the great things people are doing to help one another and remember that God is with us even when we feel alone. I look at the blessings I have in this very moment and find contentment, no matter how small, sometimes it is just a good cup of coffee or a trail ride with Gigi. 

Will this stuff fix everything?

Nope!

But it helps me to keep going and sometimes that is all we need to do.

Keep going.

I’ve found that if I hang in there and keep making progress, no matter how small, good things are going to happen. So don’t you DARE give up! It’s not easy to make your big dream come true, it’s not easy to endure consequences from a mistake and I know it is not easy to survive the loss of someone you love dearly. But you CAN do it! And remember to share your struggles and your resulting victories!

Seriously. Comment below!

You never know who needs to hear your story today or the healing you might experience.

#NeverGiveUp and #Never Forget

Chelsey Stimson

http://www.facebook.com/chelseystimson

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My Mission

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For those of you who are new to my FB page and blog, I want to tell you a little more about my mission here. I am a Navy Veteran and Gold Star Wife. I lost my husband, Tyler, in 2010. It has been a long journey to get to where I am today and I couldn’t have done it without the amazing support of my military family.

Currently, I am living out one of my dreams working with horses and competing in barrel racing. An endeavor that has also brought much healing. My heart is still very much with my military community and I want to do more with the amazing opportunity I have to pay it forward. There are so many great non-profits out there I don’t want to start another one. I decided instead to help those that already exist accomplish their mission.

I am striving to be an ambassador for our Veterans and Gold Star Wives in the rodeo and horse community. I travel to races and rodeos I want to share and support the great organizations and Patriots that support these special groups of Americans. I am adding patches of those organizations and memorials to my race shirts. I hope to expand that to stickers/banners on my trailer as well. My goal is to start a dialog and share the many ways to support our Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and Gold Star Families. Of course, honoring the memories of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice is extremely important to me as well.

My Blog and Facebook page is intended to serve as a place to share my journey as a Veteran, Gold Star Wife, and Barrel Racer. I hope that my story will inspire others facing life changing difficulties to #NeverGiveUp and follow their calling.

Please help me with my mission! Follow me here and SHAREthis page http://www.facebook.com/chelseystimson .

If you are an organization or business that supports our Veterans or Gold Star families that would like to work together please contact me on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/chelseystimson

Many thanks and God Bless!

And #NeverGiveUp!

Chelsey

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