My husband did not wake up on November 16, 2004. Broward Liston was only 47 years old, the adored father of a 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old twins, my best friend and soul mate. As soon as I shook his shoulder for the second time, I knew in that instant that all five of us had crossed over to a new world. Brad, a brilliant and fascinating man, was suddenly and irrevocably gone, out of reach, frozen in time.
For me and the kids, our world was no longer what it had been. Our future was no longer what it would have become. Happiness, ratherthan coming easily, now took work. The innocence of three bright kids was lost. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that today’s kids are so desensitized to violence by the entertainment media that they don’t fully understand the finality of death, because they do.
In the fog of that first day, I remember being told by two different people that there was a place called New Hope for Kids. Two and a half years later, we are still attending. I’m not a psychologist, so I can’t explain exactly how New Hope’s program works, but I am sure part of what we like is the comfort of being in a community with others experiencing similar trauma. I feel supported in the company of other young widows and others who have experienced the death of someone they love. My kids feel less alone connecting with other grieving children. They’ve even discovered classmates and friends on the school bus who go to New Hope for Kids.
This is a place where we get to talk through our grief and our day-to-day difficulties with others who truly understand. We, the survivors, live in a different world, and New Hope for Kids helps us navigate toward a better tomorrow.