Tina’s Story: Healing From The Death Of The Person We Planned To Spend Our Life With

WRT 1 | Death

  Nothing prepares us for the loss of a loved one, especially the one person we plan to spend the rest of our entire life with. We are pushed into this difficult path of grief and sometimes, it can feel like the entire journey through it can swallow us up. Baring her soul and heartache with us to offer hope during this tough period in our lives, our very own Tina Fornwald shares her own story. Her friend, Jerri Newson, takes over and interviews Tina about how she navigated through the grieving process from the death of her husband that she spent 32 years with. She also talks about what prompted her to create a show around widowhood, loss, and death. Being in this dark place can feel lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Let Tina and the stories of many others bring you hope through it. — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Tina’s Story: Healing From The Death Of The Person We Planned To Spend Our Life With Welcome to Widowhood Real Talk with Tina. You’re going to have an opportunity to get to know me better. In that chair is going to be my good friend, Jerri Newson. She’s going to give you an opportunity to know a little bit more about me while we’re here, while we’re doing this. I want you to get your tissue ready because this is not a pretend conversation. This is a real discussion about the death of my husband whom I spent 32 years with. This is an opportunity for you and me to connect on a very organic level and realize I am here for the real talk. I’m looking forward to hearing from you, your friends, your family, and your loved ones as we go on this journey together. — Jerri. Tina, how are you? I’m good, and you? I’m doing great. Good. Thanks for having me over. Thank you, and thank you all for being here with us for the very first episode of Widowhood Real Talk with Tina. This is my dear friend, Jerri Newson, who has agreed to interview me to get a little bit more information to you as far as while we’re here. I want to say I am sorry for your loss. I am sorry for the person that is no longer here in your life and that has driven you to be here with this conversation. You’re doing fine. We are here together. Tell us a little bit about Tina. I was born Tina Beckom in Chicago, Illinois. I am 1 of 5 siblings, 4 girls, and 1 boy. Part of my hood being from Chicago is my family. You will meet many of them in a little bit. Our brother is the last to be born. One of the jokes in our family is that we’re only here because they didn’t have him first because if he would’ve been born first, there would’ve been no reason for my dad to push through all those girls. Thank you, Jesse, for being last. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I went in the Army for 21 years as a logistician and retired as a Warrant Officer in the United States Army. I went on to Civil Service where I currently work full-time now. I was married to Mark Fornwald for 29 years, which is why we’re having this conversation. I have two children, Katherine Alexander Fornwald, and I love people. I love connecting with new people. I could be in a laundromat and start talking to somebody about what may seem the most random situation and people become transparent because I believe that we all want to connect with someone, but we’re afraid of being transparent. We’re afraid of making ourselves vulnerable, and I love when people open up and become who they are and share that. You’ll learn more about me as we go on this journey. I don’t want to give all the tea away right away, so there’s more to come, but that’s a good introduction as far as who I am. I can attest that she does walk up to people or if they come even within any distance of her, she will speak to them and start asking questions. They like it, though. People like that. Tell us why you started the show. Grief is a terrible thing. We have many opportunities and so many books about how to prepare to have a baby, and how to prepare for a wedding, but there is not a lot out there on how to prepare for the loss of the person whom we plan to spend our entire life with. Mark, my husband, passed from a massive heart attack while we were on a lover’s weekend on March 11th, 2017, my entire world was crushed. I did not know how I was going to survive that. Someone I know that was a widow reached out to me immediately and said, “Tina, I cannot attend that funeral but this is the number to my therapist.” I was like, “I understand.” I started meeting with that therapist the day that I viewed my husband’s body for the first time. I reached out to so many widows and widowers, and they embraced me. They shared their story. They shared how they have been surviving this. Five years forward, I am having conversations with other widows or widowers that people are connecting me with. Each one of those conversations is so enriching and helpful, but I know that I cannot talk to everyone one-on-one. My desire, in God’s prompting, is to share my story with people this way, to be able to give hope and encouragement, to let everybody know you are not alone, and this is what grief looks like. For the people in your hood, your family, your friends, your coworkers, to be able to ear hustle into some of these conversations …

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