My dad passed away at the end of 2009 after a year and a half long battle with AML Leukemia. He fought hard for my mom and was hoping by some miracle that he would beat it for her. The reality was that he had been told that he had a very low chance of survival two weeks after being diagnosed. He didn't tell her. She found out a few years ago after she stumbled across copies of his medical records in the basement.
In the beginning she wanted to give up. I know if she could have, she would've been buried along with him that day. Soon after his death, she was hit again. She found out that everything they worked so hard for all those years was being taken from her. Farm families can be horrible to the non-blood surviving spouse. The land must stay within the family at all cost. She was left with the ten acres around the house and the house itself. She was also left with only a small monthly income from a trust that had been set up. She had been a stay-at-home mom for 18 years and after my brother and I grew up my dad didn't want her to work so that they could spend more time together.
She had no idea what she was going to do to support herself since she hadn't taught in years and could barely use a computer. She worked as a checker at a grocery store, a bank teller, and finally a daycare teacher where she is happy.
I recently found out that after he died, she slept on the kitchen floor for two weeks because she couldn't bare to sleep in their bed without him.
I am giving her the Strength key, because after all that's happened to her, she has continued to live. She does it for my dad, for me and my brother, and for the grand children she so desperately wants and keeps pushing me to have.
The pain and the sense of loss doesn't go away and it never will, but each day she's coping with it better and better. She has so much strength, so much more than I would probably have if put in that situation.