Hi! I’m A. Olivia Nelson.

Writer.

Two-time “widow.”

Grieving Well Advocate.

In 2017, the boyfriend I knew I’d marry died. His death was sudden and entirely unexpected. Since I had recently relocated and my support team wasn’t close by, I tried to seek out additional help but I was at a complete loss. Let me tell you; finding resources for a grieving girlfriend is nearly impossible.

“Can I be a ‘widow’?” I often asked myself. “We weren’t married yet.” I later learned that in losing a partner – dating, engaged, or married – most of us share common feelings.

In the following six months, my uncle, great-aunt, and grandmother died; and I endured other losses when the company I relocated for laid me off after two weeks.

So, when you talk to me about grief and loss, I don’t know everything, but I understand.

Eventually, after years of adjusting, navigating through losses, going through the hardest of grief waves, and bouncing back happily, my best friend and I reconnected. He and I fell in love and embraced each moment. We traveled a ton – 25 places in one year – survived living long distance, relocated twice, built a business, created recipes and loved life together. He even encouraged me to keep pictures of my late boyfriend. Our relationship wasn’t perfect, as none are, but it sure was close.

But then it happened.

Eleven days before the anniversary of my late boyfriend’s passing, and after choosing where we wanted to get married, my fiancé died of an unexplained cardiac arrest. He was young and healthy, and he didn’t have symptoms leading up to his death.

With this surreal and unfathomable loss, I remembered what helped me cope the first time. I also recalled how challenging it was dealing with well-meaning people whose good intentions failed me. This made me question what this new grief journey would look like and how the culture surrounding death and loss could be changed.

Hoping to mend my own tender heart, and graciously aid others in bereavement, I created Learning About Grief. My wish is to let tender hearts know they aren’t alone.

Hope is fragile, but it exist. I never thought I’d see myself happy again, but I am.

Grief isn’t easy. JR is dead. MJ is dead. Yet, I have a pretty good life. I think of them daily, yes; but losing the biggest piece of your life doesn’t mean you’ve lost your life.

You will make it through, I promise, and we will walk this road together.

 

 

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