Tabitha's Story

My Grief Journey with Faith's Lodge

One beautiful summer Saturday morning, my husband left to go to pick his mom up at the hospital as she was getting released after a short stay. I was at home with our youngest daughter, Jacinda, still in my PJs, drinking my coffee, looking at the grocery store ads, making out the shopping list. Mark called me to say he couldn't get through on County Hwy T because they had it blocked off, so he had to choose another route.

Little did we know, our oldest daughter, Tabitha, was the reason it was closed off. I'll never forget when the "3 men" came to my door around 9am. One was a local officer, one was a city of Madison police officer, and the other one was the Medical Examiner. They told us there was a terrible accident & then started asking lots of questions. My youngest daughter was crying. After they left, I was in shock. I went out on the back patio and let out the most animalistic, guttural cry that must've been alarming because my neighbor came running over and asked if everything was okay.

I said, "No, no, it isn't. Tabby's.........gone!" It sounded so foreign coming out of my mouth. I then had to call my husband who was still at the hospital with his mother. I didn't want to deliver the news over the phone and told him he needed to come home immediately. He knew something was wrong and kept at me to tell him what was going on. I finally did. It was so painful to listen to him break down on the phone, 30 minutes away. I was worried for his safety as he drove home, broken.

A co-worker told me about The Compassionate Friends grief group and we started going every month. It was nice to have others who truly understood how you feel deep inside and to be able to voice those feelings and not be judged. Another co-worker told me about Faith's Lodge. Then I saw them as an organization in our Annual Giving Campaign and I decided to check out their website. I booked us for a February stay with other grieving couples.

It was a small group, consisting of us from WI, and three other couples from MN. There were group activities, meals together, massages, crafts, and discussion/therapy. We shared, we laughed (I hadn't done much of that since Tabby passed away), we cried; it was cleansing. I left there feeling so much lighter. It was good for the soul and helped us to turn a corner on our grief journey. The work they do there is life changing and spiritually healing. We were so thankful to have Faith's Lodge available.

One of the couples we met there was Bri's parents, Randy & Tami. Their journey has led them to help others who end up on this path. The sharing & healing that takes place is invaluable. Bri's Lodge will provide a safe place for healing to begin

- Lisa Goldsby