Healing After an Unthinkable Tragedy

Nobody is immune from pain, suffering, illness, misery, and hardship—life is a constant rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. While most misfortune can be overcome eventually, there are certain types of loss that are so devastating, so unthinkable, it’s almost impossible to deal with, let alone recover from. This guest post from Theresa James is very difficult to read, let alone imagine happening firsthand (I literally sobbed!). She has lived through the absolute worst tragedy that could strike any mother and made it to the other side. Anyone who is feeling exceptionally low will find hope in her difficult journey.

It’s often said that everyone has a story to tell. My story is different than most, but perhaps others will be able to relate, having dealt with their own hardships. The full account can be found in my book, Healing Tears, but the following will provide an overview:

My nightmare began in the summer of 1998. Just days after my divorce was final, my ex-husband broke into my house and murdered my three children before killing himself. I believe he left me alive to live a “hell on earth,” and truly, that’s what it was—an absolute hell.

During the divorce process, which was exceptionally was ugly, I had journaled daily to cope. After my children’s deaths, I continued to write and express my emotions on paper—my anger, hatred, devastation and grief. I missed them so much it was nearly unbearable!

After almost a year of making notes, I decided to put them into book format, which took another year. Reliving everything that happened forced me to work through those emotions, and I promised myself that I would not give in, nor would I give up. I knew my children would not want me to succumb to the negative thoughts and feelings; they would want me to have love, joy and happiness again. Though I was dealing with tremendous pain and grief, I was fortunate to have unconditional love and support from my family and friends. I also worked with an incredible therapist who helped me keep my sanity.

The healing process is just that: a process. There is no quick fix. In 1999, I made the decision to get remarried, to a wonderful man whom I had known for many years prior. During the next 16 years, I tried to live a “normal” life with Todd and his two children. I changed careers and we moved to another state. I made new friends and only shared my private pain with a select few. 

In 2008, Todd and I moved to the Chicagoland area due to a job change for him. I again sought the assistance of a therapist and continued the sessions  I started years earlier. In the summer of 2016, I decided it was time to release my story to the public. (Publishing my book was always my goal, but I felt that back when it first occurred, I was not ready, mentally and emotionally, to release it.)

Sadly, our society now deals with horrible crimes more frequently and other mothers have experienced the same type of loss. My wish is that anyone who reads my story will find the inspiration to overcome their own struggles, whatever those may be. I want to encourage others to share their own stories, as well. The more we share with others, the more we will develop compassion and understanding. Each one of us is trying to do the best that we can while working through life’s struggles, seeking love. None of us should have to do it alone.

About the Author:

Theresa James is a writer and a proud veteran of the US Air Force. She has triumphed over tragedy by using her experience as a crime victim to create books of hope and healing, inspired and cheered on from above by the memory of her beloved children Sean, Jarod, and Brandi. She and her husband live in Indiana. Connect with Theresa through her website.

5 thoughts on “Healing After an Unthinkable Tragedy

  1. rusthawk (@rusthawk)

    I am overwhelmed in thinking about Theresa’s experience and grief. What an unimaginable thing to have survived, and I am blown away by her efforts and success in continuing to live her life.

Comments are closed.