“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome,
to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering.”
Those of us with young children are anticipating the coming of spring, summer, baseball, soccer, “no school”, and a myriad of summer activities. Our children are excited, too, and rightfully so.
Now, imagine. . . What if the mother or father of your children was not there to share in it all — to share in the joys of the children, or to help in all that needs to be done? What if you were doing it alone?
This is the very tragedy many young families in our area are dealing with. And it is the same situation I found myself in eight years ago. On January 9, 2004, after battling a very aggressive cancer for only 3 months, my husband, Ted Lindeman, lost his life at the young age of 33. A young widow with two young children, aged 3 and 5, I was thrown into a life of turmoil and uncertainty. The loss of my husband and my children’s daddy was a tragedy we will probably never fully get over.
I simply cannot believe that it has been five years since Ted died. To many, it may seem like time has passed and so things must be better. And thankfully, they are, in many ways. But each day still holds an emptiness that I cannot describe. My children’s father is still not here to see them grow. I miss my best friend and soul-mate. I wish he were here with me through all the trials of parenting. . . and of life. I now have to work more than I ever intended. The fact that I am forced to spend less time with my children than I would like pains me terribly, especially given that my children now have only one parent to rely on, and they need me in their own grief. My worries and concerns are unending: I worry about how the loss of my children’s father will affect them as they grow, I worry about my children if something happens to me. I still have to endure the holidays on my own. These are concerns that are still as overwhelming as the day Ted died. Some of them will never go away.
Sadly, I am not alone in my grief. Young mothers and fathers die every day. When you first lose a spouse, you are dealing with an indescribable shock. For at least the first year after this kind of tragedy, you simply cannot absorb the blow of your loss. Your mind and heart will not allow you to accept that your loved one will never again walk through the door. In addition to your grief, you may find yourself with financial difficulties that you cannot even begin to deal with, not emotionally, intellectually, or financially.
The Ted Lindeman Outreach Foundation was established to help such families. In keeping with that mission, we have supported many families in Bucks and Montgomery County areas over the past eight years. Our hope is to surround such families with love and support, and to also alleviate some of their financial concerns.
Throughout the year the Foundation hosts several fund raising benefits to help further our cause. Your involvement will help your neighbors who find themselves facing such a loss, as well as ensure that the support is there for additional families whenever this kind of tragedy strikes.
Please know that you can make a tremendous difference. . .simply by coming out to dinner, or by providing a donation. Sometimes we don’t realize how fortunate we are – to have a normal day, when all our loved ones are healthy, and everyone comes home safely from work or school – until the unthinkable happens. Ted always gave of himself with utmost energy, laughter, and love. I hope you feel called to give of yourself and to help his light to continue to shine in this world.