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The first time I sat at my husbands grave alone without our kids. I only felt happiness that it would bring someone else some happiness and that I had done what I thought my husband would want me to do. I only hoped that wherever he was now……he knew this and was proud of me. It felt happy and joyful just as a child’s birthday should. The roof of my house got damaged by a big hail storm and it was the first time I had to call and make arrangements with insurance, roofers, etc. It was a first that made me proud of myself and how much I can handle alone. I took our kids and 2 dogs camping for the first time. One of the many, many first she will experience in her life without her Dad. I took my first classes since before we had children. Nik Tebbe is a woman who has risen from the ashes of heartbreak and tragedy with grace, love, empathy, deep compassion, and authenticity.

38 things that I had to do on my own or for the very first time. Our son turned 2-years-old just weeks after my husband died. I turned 36-years old without the man that I met when I was 23. I didn’t have the energy and I was so deep into my grief and so depressed and no one, no one understood…….I ran away. I’m not even sure how I made it through this one and even got all the presents wrapped and under the tree in time for Christmas morning for our children. The dark, short, cold days of a Minnesota winter can feel like they multiply your grief by 1,000. I might have cried more that day then I had in all the days since he died. When I told one of my girlfriends about my new sex life, she said, "Good for you for getting back on the horse!" Another friend said something I took to heart: that as women, we can claim our pleasure without shame, that our sexuality is a gift to be proud of.

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