Raising Sons After Wife’s Suicide

Dear Mr. David and Mr. Marcus,
I was lucky enough to find your podcast recently and have been digesting all that I can. I have by no means heard all of them yet but before too long I plan to. All of the the episodes I have listened to I can either relate or take something away from them, it’s awesome, thought provoking and puts a ‘pep in my step”. Like most people I have Mr. Marcus’s book and aware of his incredible story. At first I was reluctant to send you my story but after hearing Mrs. Taya’s episode yesterday I felt the need to write in. On March 29, 2015 my wife of 10 years took her life. Leaving behind myself and our 3 boys ages 3,5 &7. She had kept an addiction to Adderall hidden for a number of years. During these tumultuous years I was the primary caregiver to our sons. Not everyday was bad but we certainly had more bad days than good. I live in southwest Georgia and manage 2 privately owned hunting properties. In fact the county I live in does not have a single traffic light. I was always active in my sons lives, came home at 5:30 to play with them, give my wife a break and do what I could. As her disease tightened it’s grip on her I was coming home to do laundry, cook dinner and trying to find “windows” in the day to get groceries. I became stellar at time management and “not wasting steps”. All the while she kept her addiction hidden. I’m not going to lie, I was angry. I work hard, I work in the elements year round to come home to work until midnight and then get up to do it all over again. I did this to try to maintain a routine for my kids and give them stability. After she died I was alone. All of our immediate family live far away. I have great friends and people from church I could ask for help when I needed it but it was up to me, period. Waking up at 5:30 get myself ready, then get my boys up, dressed, fed, start the dishes and start/transfer a load of laundry or even fold a load of laundry before leaving at 7:00 to get the older 2 to school and my youngest to daycare. I could then get back by 8:00 to meet with my guys and start our work day. Then go get them after I got off work, get groceries, come home to cook, feed them, get them showered/bathed and in bed. Then I continued the laundry routine (between me and 3 boys you never “finish” laundry…..). Then take a shower and crash in bed at midnight. I did that for years. I eventually found someone to help pick my sons up from school and daycare. Then when she took another job, which at the time was catastrophic I had started dating a woman named Julia and she helped me find a caretaker who is still with me today and basically a family member now. When I found her I was worn to the nub and needed help to say the least. At times I felt like I was working myself to death, but I kept going; not just for my kids sake but for mine as well. In Al-Anon my support group that I was able to go to once a week (thank goodness for a church friend who kept my kids every Tuesday night for me to go) I heard a great quote my first meeting. Someone in the group quoted Winston Churchill when he was asked about the relentless bombing in England during WWII, he said, “when you are going through hell, keep going”. That spoke to me immediately. I cannot tell you how many times I have told myself that. Well, as Mrs. Taya mentioned when Mr. Chris was killed, she couldn’t quit because not only for Mr. Chris’s memory but for her kids. Quitting is not an option…ever but especially when it comes to your kids, you damn sure cannot quit on them. She also made reference that after time had passed and looked back she sees where God placed the right person in her life at the right time. I can certainly relate and have shared that aspect of my story with people as well. Thanks to the good Lord, a lot prayers, family, friends and a lot of hard work I am happy to say that we are all doing great! Julia and I got married November of 2016. She loves my boys as her own and they love her. She is unable to have kids so it has been a blessing for all of us. We have a great relationship with my late wife’s family and we actively talk about and honor their birth mother. To come out on the other end of this and have the kind of marriage I have now makes all that pain and hard work completely worth it. Don’t get me wrong, my oldest son (especially) will have some tough moments when it comes to his birth mom. I made it clear to my boys that anytime, anywhere they needed to talk or ask questions I was there for them. I have forged such an incredible bond through this tragedy with them. We have our scar tissue but we keep going…… Thank you both for your incredible work, your honor, your openness, your leadership, your love for your country, family, teammates and people like me who find inspiration and resolve in the TNQ lifestyle/mindset. Maybe one day I can host you guys on a quail, dove, deer or turkey hunt. All things you can do in Texas but if you want a change in venue let me know. With the utmost respect, Hunter

Author: Hunter