An NPR reporter would like to talk with people who have experienced personal tragedy and then lost their religious faith, or had no faith to begin with. How did you cope? Have you found a secular group to help you process your grief? If this is you, or someone you know, and you’d be willing to share your story with our reporter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
hrmmm.. well .. there u go!
I submitted my wife and I's story:
My wife and I have gotten through the last few years by being each others best friend, as always. We will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, and the years have provided some very tough challenges.
Here's what the last few years have been like:
Sometime in spring of 2008 - Our adult daughter, her husband, and two children (and one dog) move in with us due to her husband losing his job (we have three dogs of our own).
July 2008 - One of our dogs is discovered to have cancer, surgery costs $1700.00
October 2008 - My wife is diagnosed with breast cancer, 6 weeks of radiation treatments driving 40 miles each way to and from the hospital in the middle of winter. My wife's grandmother and one aunt died of breast cancer, so we're both scared. She's only 41.
December 2008 - With Christmas just around the corner my truck dies. We have to replace it as the 4-wheel drive is a must to get back and forth to the hospital. Another truck = $2500.00
February 2009 - My adult son and his fiancee move in with us (thankfully we only have two kids).
March 2009 - My wife's best buddy and protector (another of our dogs) develops bloat and I have to drive him 80 miles in the middle of the night for emergency surgery. With one dog surgery and replacing my truck, our savings are depleted. The only way they will do the surgery is if we pay up front. $1800.00 comes out of the 401K fund, plus penalties.
April 2009 - My father dies of a stroke. He is my best friend after my wife, my fishing buddy, and has always been there no matter what.
Sometime 2010 - My wife is diagnosed with Hoshimoto's disease. She has surgery to remove her thyroid and parathyroid and can barely talk for months afterward due to partial vocal chord paralysis.
October 2010 - My son and his fiancee have a baby girl. Three grand-kids in the house!
January 2011 - My wife has a heart attack. Has her first heart catherisation. She has had 3 more since.
November 2011 - My daughter and her husband have their third daughter. Four grand-daughters in the house.
After the heart attack my wife lost her job. We worked for the same company and rode to work together, lonely drives to and from work ensue. There's more, but I don't want to bore you with more details.
Through all of this, my wife and I make sure to spend plenty of time together and just talk. I'm there for her and she's there for me. My daughter has been wonderful in support of her mother, going to appointments when I couldn't take any more time off of work, and being there to lend a shoulder to cry on or a helping hand. My daughter took over most of the cooking duties. I've always shared in the housework, so my daughter and I just divided up the chores and made sure my wife didn't have to worry about the house. My son-in-law, son, and my son's fiancee jumped in and did whatever else needed done.
We still have six adults, four grand-daughters, and four dogs living in the same house.