At 42, Andrea Couvillion said the thought of raising her children on her own was never in the cards.
"Acceptance is the hardest," Couvillion said. "It's the reality. Even to this day I pinch myself and think, 'This is my life now.'"
Five years ago in December, Couvillon lost her husband to cancer.
It's something they had time to prepare for, but found that nothing can physically and emotionally prepare a family for a loss that great.
Couvillion said that suddenly she was a single mom trying to pick up the pieces.
"No one else cares."
"No one else cares," Couvillion said. "This is our journey. People may say they're sorry, but you walked through the worst thing in your life. You lost one of the most important people to you. You are stronger; you're going to make it. You experienced one of the worst things and you can tackle any challenge that is out there."
It is that honesty, Couvillion said, that has helped them get through. But it is not the only thing.
While Couvillion tried to help her kids get through the grieving process, she was also grieving, and that was hard.
"I was in that fog."
"Honestly, in the very beginning, being the spouse I lost my husband, I've known him for 22 years, and we had lots of memories," Couvillion explained."I was in that fog. My children, too, were grieving and some days I don't remember what that was like."
The family of three found solace at Healing House. A place that helped them understand their feelings and begin to heal.
"There is never an end to grief," Couvillion said. "It is a process. You will make it and have your struggles. But you will have more better days than bad days to come."
Today, the hurt is still there, but it is not as bad as it was before.
Couvillion said each day is a new stepping stone as they navigate this new life.
For more information visit www.healing-house.org.