October 2023

Honoring Our Furry Friends: A Guide To Coping With Pet Loss With Maribeth Decker, MS, MGA

WRT 39 | Pet Loss

  Love transcends the boundaries of time and death, reminding us that our pets’ spirits continue to shine brightly, guiding us with unwavering devotion. In this episode, Maribeth Decker, MS, MGA, the author of Peace in Passing: Comfort for Loving Humans During Animal Transitions, discusses the profound subject of pet loss and its impact on our lives. Discover the myths surrounding animal transitions, including the misconception that death ends the relationship. Maribeth’s experiences shed light on the idea that our pets’ personalities and love continue even after they’ve crossed the rainbow bridge. She explores the concept of saying goodbye to your beloved pet, navigating pet loss, and choosing your next companion. Maribeth offers an intimate and soul-nourishing exploration of the profound bonds we share with our animal companions and how we can find light and healing even in the shadow of loss. Join us on this transformative journey of love, loss, and enduring connection in the world of pet companionship. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Honoring Our Furry Friends: A Guide To Coping With Pet Loss With Maribeth Decker, MS, MGA Our guest is Ms. Maribeth Decker. Maribeth Decker is the Founder of SacredGrove.com, where people and pets heal and connect. She works with animal guardians who dearly love their animals and yet are facing tough animal issues. She uses her intuitive animal communication, medical institution, and energetic healing skills to address animals’ physical, emotional, and behavioral issues. Maribeth’s mission is to bring a greater depth of love, compassion, and comfort into the human-animal relationship. Her rich personal life experiences have enabled her to bring a wealth of heart-centered wisdom to her work with each client. Her unyielding intention is consistently bringing forth the maximum benefit for all connected in the most benevolent manner possible. Maribeth lives near the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, Charlie, dog Stella, Tibor, and cats Mac, Bunny, and Shadow. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Let’s get into the conversation now.       Maribeth, welcome to the show. I never left, so yes. I’m glad to be talking about it. You make a good point. Tell us how you never left. What does that mean? As we were talking about prior, we remembered my first husband’s 25th death anniversary, his passing. The emotions that came up were surprising to me. I thought, “25 years, come on.” It’s still there. There are still times when I feel sadness and I feel like, I’m not sure what the words are, but incompletions with us. That’s where I think that the relationship, however, you call it, lives on in a different way after they have left. There’s still stuff going on. Either it’s within you or maybe within them or both of you. It depends. Thank you for mentioning that, because it’s comforting for someone who has lost a spouse 25 years ago and to hear them say it still impacts you now. It does. I looked at my kids and they said they almost didn’t remember their dad. That’s hard to say. They are not being mean. They were 8 and 10 and it was a very tough experience. Thinking about what they also lost when he passed. You can’t make it pretty. You can’t make it like, “It was all for the greater good.” Maybe it was, but we still lived through it. What was your late husband’s name? Winston. How did you and Winston meet? We met in the Navy. You were in the Navy? Yeah. Thank you for your service. Thank us both, right? Thank you both for your service. I met him in a school in Memphis, Tennessee and I wasn’t sure, like, “Who is a smart aleck?” We got stationed together in Japan and that’s where the romance started. How long did you guys date before you got married? Probably a couple of years, I think. It has been a while. It seems like a lifetime ago. Thinking about being in the military, a previous marriage, but it’s interesting when you are there, it seems bigger than everything. As life continues to live on, those things, like, “I did all of that.” While we were in Japan, we figured out we wanted to do more and decided we would get married. I brought him back to Buffalo, New York, and January of 1981. Buffalo, this snow city. I’m sure he was like, “I must love her because what the heck are we doing?” Where was Winston from? He’s an American citizen. His mom was a Japanese citizen. His dad was a US and he grew up South of Tokyo. He spent time in the US so he could keep his US citizenship. When he was in Southern California, keeping his US citizenship, that’s when he joined the Navy. California, so that was warm. Very warm. Tokyo has cold weather too. It does too but it’s more like here in Virginia, where the winters aren’t 6 feet of snow. The whole state would be set down. I’m in Virginia, too. That would not work at all. We don’t have the infrastructure in Virginia to support that level of snow, so it would probably be a state of emergency. In Buffalo, it’s like, “Okay, get the tractors out, push all the stuff into the stadiums and kids get to school.” I grew up in Chicago, so I can relate to that. It was like, “Why are you not going to school?” “It’s because it got snowed,” I remember one time, my siblings …

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Faith Tested, Faith Restored: The Remarkable Story Of A Widower Through Grief With James Price

WRT 38 | Widow

  Through grief’s darkest night, faith becomes the dawn that guides us to a new day. In this deeply moving episode, we sit down with James Price, a remarkable widower who opens his heart to share the profound story of his loss, healing, and newfound purpose. Life can be heartbreakingly unpredictable, and James knows this all too well. As he candidly recounts the devastating blow of losing his beloved wife, he takes us through the turbulent waves of grief and the weight of loneliness that followed. But this conversation isn’t just about despair; it’s about resilience, faith, and the extraordinary strength that emerges from adversity. James shares how God’s guiding hand helped him navigate the darkest hours and find hope amid despair. His faith in God’s keeping power became a beacon of light during his darkest days. Tune in to find hope in his words, discover the importance of faith, and learn how sharing your experiences can light the path for others seeking solace. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Faith Tested, Faith Restored: The Remarkable Story Of A Widower Through Grief With James Price Our guest is Minister James D. Price. He actually lost his wife the same year that Mark died. We connected, saw him on YouTube, and as you know, I am, unfortunately, always looking for men to be able to share their voices in this conversation. We talked for a long time, and that is the type of conversation I want you to have. I want my conversations with my guests to be like two people sitting in their front room talking about a shared experience so they can find encouragement. Let’s get into the conversation now.     Our guest is Minister James Price. Welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. I appreciate this. Thank you so much. As with everybody else, I’m not a fan that we are having this conversation. You were in the Widowhood before we had this discussion, but now you are connecting with our community. James, where are you now? I’m here in my home in Inkster, Michigan. It’s nice and hot outside. I got finished watering my grass and now I’m in here talking to you guys. I’m excited to be here. You must be cool because that looks like a whole sweatshirt you have on right there. It is a sweatshirt. I’m a huge sweatshirt fan. This is my rapper, actor/entrepreneur because I am an entrepreneur. Doing what? I have a small marketing business. I advertise online for small local businesses. They pay me a fee every single month for advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I do that for them. They pay me for that and I help bring them customers. How did you get into that? Is that something you’ve done for a long time? I got into it because I was looking at videos on YouTube and saw an ad for these two guys, probably around my age, talking about how anybody can do this. They do it and they make all this money. I said, “Whatever. Everybody says they make all this money.” I continued to skip the ad and look at the video I was trying to get to. One day, I looked at the ad and said, “This might be something.” That’s why I decided to get into it. It cost me a lot of money to get into this program, but I did it and it paid off. I took the time to learn everything that I could learn about business and marketing because I wasn’t into marketing. I didn’t know much about it. I knew what the word meant, but I didn’t know much about actually getting into marketing. That’s what I do. It’s paying off. I’m grateful. What did you do before this? I was a Manager at Walmart. That’s a lot of work. It doesn’t seem like it may be a lot, but for people on the outside looking, not on the inside, we couldn’t understand how people can’t understand how much work we have to do because people will come in. Being a manager, I probably got cussed out at least once a day, sometimes more than that. People weren’t happy with certain things that were going on in the store. We all had these walkie-talkies. They would call me. They call me JP at work, and they would say, “JP, there’s a customer up here. They’re upset. They want to talk to a manager.” I would say, “Where’s your team lead manager? They can take care of it.” They say, “No, they want to talk to someone above the team leads. They want to talk to a coach manager.” I would have to go up front and get cussed out. You expect to go for someone to not be happy with us not returning their item. If you don’t have the receipt, we cannot give you a full refund in cash. We have to put it on a gift card. You can only use the gift card in the store. People will be upset with that. I’m thinking it’s because they needed the money so they’ll be upset with that. It happens at times. We got used to it. It is what it is. That’s retail. How did Minister Price reconcile with Walmart customers? How did that go? The minister came in because what happened is, one day, maybe 6 months after my wife passed and 4 months after my third daughter passed, I was working on some videos …

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The Journey To Living As A Healthy And Happy Widow With Sammie Hawkins

WRT 37 | Healthy And Happy Widow

  Losing a life partner can be a very difficult and lonely experience. You lose every bit of hope because a future without them is unimaginable. But life moves forward, and with it, we learn how to cope. More than that, this episode’s guest is letting others in on her own experience so they can find inspiration to start living life again, healthy and happy. Sammie Hawkins joins Tina Fornwald to take us on her journey on how she seeks the path to becoming a healthy and happy widow. She explains the impact of the life-changing event that happened to her life, losing her spouse, and how she managed to face it. Sammie’s experience led her to share hope with people traversing the path of grief and loss. Take this moment with Sammie to find the light in the dark we are dealing with because the future is brighter when we learn to move forward. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others. Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   The Journey To Living As A Healthy And Happy Widow With Sammie Hawkins In this episode, our guest is Ms. Sammie Hawkins from the UK. She has stayed up late to have this conversation because she knows how important it is. I am looking forward and Sammie is too to hearing your feedback. Connect with her on TikTok. She will share that. We will get right into this conversation. Welcome, Sammie. Tina, thanks for inviting me. Thank you for saying yes. Sammie, how are you doing? Not too bad. We are in the middle of a heat wave in the UK so that’s been quite a challenge because we don’t have air-conditioning here so it’s quite warm. We do in some places so in our cars and restaurants but not in our houses. If I’m looking a bit pink, it’s because it’s 90 degrees. Is it 90 degrees at 10:00 PM?     Probably not outside but in my house probably. I wanted to make sure we brought that up because I want them to know how committed you were to this conversation. You did not let that stop you. You are over there looking flawless and happy. I want them to appreciate your commitment to this conversation. That’s why I wanted to make sure to say that. Thank you. I wouldn’t have missed it. How long have you been in the UK? Are you born and raised there? Where other places have you lived? Just in different parts of the UK. Where in the UK do you live? I live in the midlands I suppose it would be called. It’s in the middle part of the country. I’m quite close to Oxford and Cambridge. If you follow the Formula One Grand Prix, I’m extremely close to the Silverstone racing circuit. We have the Mercedes team in our town. Lewis Hamilton’s team is based in our town so lots of people in our town work for Mercedes. I have mostly lived around this area for most of my life. What places have you traveled to in the world? I traveled a lot to the States. I have a timeshare at Disney World so I’m a bit of a Disney freak. I love the whole positivity and ethos of Disney. It is my happy place. I have been there lots of times. I traveled to lots of other places in the States as well and also to Thailand and lots of places in Europe. There are so many places that I can’t even remember. Thailand is probably the most exotic place I have been to. I loved Thailand. It was a very big place. Interestingly, you mentioned Disney World. I went to Disney World with my mom and my sister. It’s a happy place. We went to another amusement park and it seemed that people were not as happy and jovial as they were at Disney in other different places. It’s a big thing about it being the happiest place on earth but I’m starting to believe it in comparison to other people. I’m going to start taking note of that. I do know a lot of people who like to travel to Disney. It’s interesting to be in the UK and have a timeshare to go to Disney World. That’s a serious commitment right there to the happiest place. My son has probably been eighteen times there. That’s the joy of being part of the Disney Vacation Club where we can go whenever we want. It makes it much more affordable to go. You have intrigued me. What is part of the Disney Vacation Club? It’s a Disney timeshare so you buy into it. We bought into it at a time when the pound was very strong against the dollar. We got a bit of a bargain. You get to go to Disney every year for years if you want to. We love it. That was one of the best things I got out of my divorce, which will probably come up later. In my first marriage, I got to keep the Disney timeshare. That was a great thing. Before getting married, what was your life look like? We will get into the first marriage to your late husband. I had a very happy childhood. I went to a convent school, which I loved even though I’m not Catholic. I went on to a boarding school for the last few years. We did what we call A levels. I’m not quite sure what the equivalent is in the USA. I went to York University, which was amazing. I …

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Choosing To Live After The Death Of Two Husbands With Theresa McFadden

WRT 36 | Two Husbands

  Losing the love of your life is indeed a heartbreaking experience, but what if you have to get through it all over again? Tina Fornwald sits down with Theresa McFadden who talks about the death of her two husbands. She looks back on how she married her first husband right out of high school, and how she openly married her second husband despite his illness. Theresa opens up about her bad experience with therapy and why widows should never stop living just because their significant others left this world. She also discusses how to avoid seven years of financial burden when your partner passes away and how she chose to let go of her husbands’ possessions to better manage her grief.  Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide. — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Choosing To Live After The Death Of Two Husbands With Theresa McFadden Our conversation is with Ms. Theresa McFadden. Her sister Laverne and I were friends. When my late husband passed, she connected me with her sister, Theresa. It was an instant match. The conversations we’ve had over the years have been transparent, and I knew that Theresa would be someone to be able to join the Widowhood and be sincere in the things that she shared about her second husband. I came to find out I did not even know that she had been a two-time widow. She held that back from me, but that’s something that she shares with you. She shares about her ability to keep living even after the passing of her second husband. Let’s get into this conversation now.     Let’s welcome Theresa McFadden to the conversation. How are you? I’m good. Who is Theresa McFadden? Theresa McFadden is a mother, grandmother, daughter, all-around Lady of Travel, and an artist. Theresa is a retired widow enjoying her life. There’s a lot right there. I’m not sure what to start with. I’m going to start with the Lady of Travel. What is the lady of travel? What does that mean? In honor of my mother and I’m dealing with some grief issues, I started my own travel company. I named it after her. After retirement, I started to do it full-time. Now I am the lady of travel. I have a full pledge travel company with employees. We are doing great things with our people. We are traveling and showing people how important it is to see the world, and that it’s okay to travel alone. I’m going to unpack a couple of things. How many employees and how long have you been doing the Lady of Travel, and what is it called? I have three employees who are family, my daughter, my goddaughter, and myself. My daughter is our event planner. She handles all the events. She handles it from the beginning to the end, and she travels with groups. I have my goddaughter who handles all of our bookings, as well as myself, and putting everything in place. She’s not able to travel as much as my daughter. We work it out. I’ve been in business for many years. Congratulations. What is the name of the travel business? It is Ruby Red Travel. It was named after my mom. Her name was Ruby, and red is my favorite color. To me, it was perfect. Educate me on the redness. What is your favorite shade of red? My favorite shade of it is bright red. It’s not blinding red, but it’s noticeable. Where does that color show up most in your life and the things you do? When I was younger, it would always show up in my living room. Now that I’m a little more settled, normally, it’s not even in my house. Everyone knows it’s my favorite color because we had a lot. In my new home, we have a centerpiece in my dining room that’s made out of tentacles. It has red and orange in it. I’m going to look forward to decorating it. You talked about being retired. Retired from what, if I may ask? The Attorney General’s office for the State of New Jersey. In what capacity? I worked there as an Adjudicator for Immigration for the Board of Nursing. Before that, I worked for the Department of Immigration. You’ve seen a lot of things change in society you being in that role. Unfortunately, I can’t say for the good. I’m going to save that for another show because that’s a whole conversation. We can probably pick that up next episode. There’s so much more to your journey before we get wrapped up in that. You said, “Be a retired widow.” Tell me a little bit about the love story before we get to the widow part. The love story started many years ago. I was a widow at that time as well. We were both single parents. We considered ourselves to Brady Bunch. He had 3, and I had 3. We combined those 3 and made 6, and the rest was history. We raised our children together and almost were Inseparable as we did everything together. You normally don’t see one without the other unless we’re at work. The retired part comes in. I forced my husband into retirement because he was, in my opinion, a workaholic, and the type of work he did was very dangerous. I was like, “I think you should retire. You have the age and the years. Go ahead and do it.” He made an agreement. I had already started a travel company. I was like, “I will teach you how …

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