None of us were very good at keeping our emotions in check at this point. The past seven months were starting to boil over. It was hard to feel all these emotions yet also a sense of pride for the sacrifice my husband had made for his nation at the same time.
At the insistence of the other survivors from Ohio C.O.P.S., I attended the counseling sessions. I was able to process some of my emotions and realize I wasn’t alone. We weren’t the only family allowing our grief to tear us apart. We weren’t alone in our turmoil and drama. I wasn’t the only widow so angry at everything and everyone around me. I wasn’t the only person with pre-trial motions looming back home. I listened to each of these people and finally there were others who knew what I felt.
I wish I could tell you that I magically returned healed and ready to take on the world. However much we wish for that, it just isn’t how grief works.
What I did return with was a sense of hope and feeling less alone in this journey. I signed up for the C.O.P.S. Spouses Retreat as soon as I could. I wanted these connections, I wanted to heal, and I wanted to live again. We went to C.O.P.S. Kids Camp as soon as my kids were old enough. It was a journey that did lead to healing even if it took years.
It was 10 years ago on the hill at C.O.P.S. Kids Camp above the swimming area as we watched my kids swim, where C.O.P.S. Counselor Angie McCown sat down with me and told me I was a good mother. I wasn’t messing up my kid’s lives. I could do this on my own. It took someone just confronting those feelings inside me for me to start believing I could heal my broken life.