Out of nowhere, Allyson’s husband shot himself in their bathroom. She found herself going from planning her pregnancy to planning his funeral and doing “what no 31-year-old should have to do”
“How is this my life? Everything I wanted was gone in a minute”
The first few weeks were a blur filled with practical things:
- turning off his cell phone
- cancelling his credit cards and student loan debt
- picking out a casket
The loneliness was devastating and she recalls her father’s wisdom
“You’re going to go through this, you don’t get to decide that, but you get to decide HOW you go through this.”
This gave her the first sense that she had some choices in a situation that she felt no control over.
Our conversation turned super practical and very honest. We discussed what has to happen when someone commits suicide with a gun and things have to be cleaned. There is a business called Aftermath that specializes in this sort of situation.
Allyson’s grandmother- A badass herself- was the first to enter the bathroom and declare it would not be demonized and it was a working bathroom and should be used.
As her grandmother says…“If it is to be, it’s up to me”
The conversation covered the reality that when crisis hits people are quick to rally and that is awesome, but the truth is that people need support 3-6 months down the road. That people don’t know what to do or say and that your crisis becomes sort of a problem when you aren’t “over it” quick enough.
Allyson’s bottom point after her husband’s suicide was drinking with her dog.
Her turning point came when she realized that she didn’t want to go down with him.
She started journaling and doing art. She left her job and placed her focus on herself. Allyson said that the changes towards her new life “happened all at once and slowly all at the same time.”
She started figuring out who she was without him. She started looking for small little things that could be hers. A year after his passing, she made the decision to take a trip alone which became a powerful catalyst for change. This was the first thing she had done without his memory attached.
- She sold the house
- Moved to a new city
- Found herself…
Today Allyson is helping others through journaling with her business Determined To Shine.