Celebrating The Memory Of My Husband

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April second, twenty-sixteen was the most transformative day that my daughter and I have ever experienced. It is the day that made me a young widow. The day my little girl saw her father pass away suddenly and unexpectedly right in front of her. This is the day that we both learned… really learned… that our reactions to life’s curveballs are everything.

This life experience has provided the ultimate lesson. The ultimate teachable moment in which I got to model one of the most important life skills of all for my daughter: RESILIENCE. Yes, I cried, sobbed, and fell completely apart. Yes, of course I was numb. In shock. I was a complete disaster. But you know what? I kept breathing. I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Because I chose to.

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This trying time was where I learned what I am made of. My own ability to continue to merely exist in the wake of this unspeakable loss was not only surprising to me, but so important for my daughter to witness. Parents really do set an example for how their children will deal with adversity well into adulthood. I knew this, and I was bound and determined to prove to my daughter that she can handle absolutely anything life throws her way. If I couldn’t fix it, I was going to make the best of it. Here are a few ways we chose to celebrate the memory of my my husband and her father:

  • Instead of mourning in sadness on the first anniversary of his death, we decided to eat all of his favorite foods at his favorite spots around town. Just like that, we turned something tragic into a celebratory food tour. We will do the same this year!

  • I purchased Disney World passes for us, and we escaped into another magical world when we couldn’t handle this one. We replaced sad memories and difficult holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries with happy, new traditions at Disney. This distraction proved to be so invaluable to us.

  • We travelled, had unforgettable new experiences on beautiful snowy mountain tops and national parks, and bonded like never before.

  • We ticked some things off of our own personal bucket lists by saying yes to new adventures, and to living life to the fullest.

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Together, my daughter and I created our new normal. It’s weird, but exciting at times. 

Have you ever dealt with personal loss, be it death, heartbreak, divorce or otherwise? How did you manage to keep moving forward with and for your children? What happy new traditions have you made? Leave your story in the comments down below.


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My name is Sheila Hernandez and I am a young widow and a mother to our beautiful daughter. We have been redefining our lives after his loss. We live in Florida and I work as a graphic designer. I love to travel and spend time together with my daughter. You can find me on IG: @the_sheila_diaries