Happy New Decade, everyone! It has been radio silence from me for a long time, and I just want to say I admire Jessica for taking the reigns of The Haute Life, growing it and keeping the content alive as I was not so much alive these past five years.

The beginning of the decade back in 2010, as some of you may know, I had gone through a divorce with four small children in tow. I decided to leave my marriage, and although I knew I was doing the right thing for me, I wasn’t expecting what the following ten years would bring.

My Four Children and Me Shortly After My Divorce

My ex-husband and I ended up being good at the whole co-parenting thing. We would often drive together to our kid’s sporting and school events and even went on a few family vacations with each other. This relationship absolutely benefited my kids and also prepared us for what was to come.

Four years later, on July 1, 2014, I received a call from a friend that EMTs rushed my ex-husband to the hospital. I quickly found a friend to watch our kids, and another friend came to get me. I knew when he said he would pick me up; it wasn’t a good sign.

All I remember is the awkwardness of sitting with people who hadn’t cared much for me since my divorce, all while nervously waiting for the doctor. When the doctor did arrive, he informed us that Rodney, my ex-husband, had a massive heart attack. Before he could get the second part out, I went numb. Rodney was gone.

My biggest regret that day was not telling everyone to get the hell out and let me be alone with Rodney to say goodbye. I don’t think I had five minutes with him before everyone told me to rush home to the kids. The word was already spreading, and social media would come into play.

Looking at my young children (ages 13, 11-year-old twins, and 8) and having to tell them they would never see their father again in their lifetime is the most heartwrenching thing I have ever endured. It has broken my immune system to pieces, and for the last five years, I have been fighting to get back to myself. Grief attaches itself to every cell in your body, and no amount of therapy, drugs, etc., can cure it. You have to heal yourself.

Finally, being able to write about it is all part of the healing process. It was only last week I was driving in my car, and I thought about that day and how my children reacted. I cried so hard, and I needed to! That pain has to come out; otherwise, it settles into your very core. I have taken on my four children’s grief, as well, as any parent would. You don’t want your kids to hurt, so you take it on for them, or at least you think it helps. My children miss their father so much, but they are also thriving because I won’t let this keep them from building a beautiful life for themselves. I know that is how I can honor their dad because he used to say to me, “I want our kids to become productive members of society.” I know this isn’t poetic, but that was him.

Almost 10 Years After My Divorce at My Daughter Caroline’s Graduation in May 2019

Keeping the kids in all the activities they loved and doing it alone is exhausting and hard. Financially, it has been more than challenging, and with that comes a lot of stress, and that hurts your body. My body aches, and even though it is failing me, so much has gotten stronger. Today my mind, my will power, my perseverance, my knowledge, my faith, my love, and my view of the world are all rock solid. What started in 2010 as a quest to find my place in this world with renewed energy was smashed to pieces when Rodney died. It then became a quest to find my place in this world alone with four children and autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, Hashimotos’s thyroiditis, joint pain, fibromyalgia, blurred vision, inflammation you name it, and I have it.

I have been in survival mode for the past decade and even more so in the last five years. Doctors have been no help at all. Their answer? I am suffering from situational depression. I went to a therapist who told me I should be a life coach, so that ends the situational depression debate. But there is a road I need to find that will help cure me, and that is my new journey. I hope you all can follow along with me. My hopes are I will help someone who is also struggling.

It’s important to know we are never alone.

XOXO, Kimberly