The poignant and searing account of a woman’s tragic loss.
Bell’s marriage was a modern-day fairy tale until the unthinkable happened. Nestled in a tight family with her husband, Matt, and adorable 4-year-old daughter, Ava, Bell lived the busy life of a wife and mother. Matt, a pilot working for UPS, was frequently away on business, flying cargo planes all over the world. The couple of 14 years remained close, however, establishing code words like “olive juice” for “I love you” when on the phone. Each trip began and ended with kisses and was filled with sweet text messages in between, until Matt’s trip to Dubai on Sept. 3, 2010. Bell’s morning rush of getting a fax out, taking Ava to pre-K, and making her doctor’s appointment was punctuated with the usual harried but intimate communication with Matt as he prepared for the final leg of his trip—only this time, he didn’t come home. Hours after her last text message from him, Bell was stunned to receive the tragic news that Matt’s plane caught fire and crashed; he didn’t survive. Overwhelmed with shock, grief, and despair, Bell spent the next year of her life in a haze of tears and suicidal thoughts. But alongside every hard adjustment and painful memory was the equally strong sense that Matt was at Bell’s side, guiding her and Ava as they navigated this difficult time. Both devastating and uplifting, Bell’s story is a tribute to her husband and a comforting tale of working through the stages of grief. Her straightforward prose and candid details make this an engaging read despite the sadness. While Bell writes close to the heart and shares a grief that is profoundly personal, anyone who has mourned a loved one will connect to her bewilderment at losing Matt and the shocking discovery that she can, in fact, survive his absence. Told with grace, sensitivity, and love, this is a worthwhile read sure to touch the heart.
A profound reflection on the years following a spouse’s death.