Easter was Nate’s favorite. Never have I met a man that was more deeply rooted in his faith than my husband. He was always so grateful for the gift that Jesus is to us, and for the sacrifice made on our behalf. There was never a day that he did not remind me or our children to remember that, to really remember that, and to live like it mattered. We were given something no one can ever take from us, to live like that isn’t huge is not okay, and he made sure we knew that, not just in his words, but in his actions.

The word sacrifice is used a ton in the military community, and in our lives, and while there is a lot of sacrifice made, my husband made sure we knew that it paled in comparison to the sacrifice Jesus made for us. I have a hard time with that, its so big, and I can’t imagine what that had to feel like, what it felt like for God, the love He has for us, its unimaginable. We send our husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, our children to war, and that is a sacrifice, long hours, days, months, years apart, and that is a sacrifice, lives are lost and that is a sacrifice, but to send your son to sacrifice for all of us messy people, I just can’t.even. begin to imagine.

But, He knew, He knew the plan, and he still does. He knew the plan then for Jesus, and He knows the plan now for me and my life, and that is what gives me strength.That is what keeps me waking up every single morning. Every morning I wake to a brand new day, to a day that is full of new grace, and mercies that are un-ending. A day where my sins are still forgiven and no matter how big they feel, He is on my side.

I was going to run away this weekend and not participate in Easter, I didn’t want the Hurt. I wanted to pretend like none of this happened, but it did, and the sacrifice Jesus made happened, and I am selfish for even thinking that I should avoid it, when in reality it is the very thing I should cling to. Helmuth(5of227)

Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope (1 Peter 1:3)

Faith, grief, Hero Missions, Shaken, Truck, Uncategorized, Vulnerability

Spoiler Alert; This wasn’t supposed to happen.

I’m not good at talking, I can’t find the words to say when we sit face to face, probably because I’ll crumble, maybe I fear the reaction, maybe I fear judgement, I don’t know, but I can write. I can write because I can spew, no reactions, and then, I can walk away and be done with it. There is so much of this that can’t be fixed, nothing that anyone can do or say can fix this. I have to work through it on my own. Im angry, everything hurts, everything. Just breathing somedays hurts because I can’t understand why it had to be him and not me. We talked about this, we talked about how I thought he would be stronger than me, and he could live without me, but I could never live without him, and yet, here I am without him. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Simple everyday things were not supposed to feel like this.

The list of things I currently hate includes, but is not limited to;

Restaurants we have been at together

Restaurants we have never been at together

Driving his truck

Not driving his truck

Having his things in the house

Not having his things in the house

Living in the house

Thinking about NOT living in the house

The fact that he is soooooo loved

How prepared he was for this


Not Sleeping

Not being able to have stupid arguments

The fact that we EVER had stupid arguments

Hearing songs that remind me of him, or special moments


The VA

Putting things in JUST my name

Kids activities, this week Dads and doughnuts, we avoided it.

Math- that was his deal, and I am not smart enough to help my kids.

Going to Church

Not Going to Church

Meeting People who will never know him


Not Working

Hanging out with couples without him


Not Traveling

Leaving my kids for even 5 minutes

Not being able to leave my kids

Being far from my siblings

The list is not all inclusive, but that should give you an idea of the plethora of emotions I go through on a daily basis just trying to get through every day tasks.

The one thing though, that I hate more than anything else in the whole world right now is the fact that he knew the real me, the me I am so good at hiding, the me that is not as well put together as you all see. He held that together because when I fell apart he picked me up, he he was my punching bag, my voice of reason, my everything. I keep people at arms distance so I don’t have to let them in, I’m really good at that, always have been, I let him in, and now I’m here, without him, and I don’t know which way is up.


Spoiler Alert; this happened, we are here, and now I’m stuck.





Who am I without you?

Two months, two whole months I have lived, or not, without you. It feels like forever, and it feels like yesterday all at the same time. I still don’t understand how we got here. So many things, so many pieces of this journey that looking back, I feel like prepared me for this, and yet I still feel so lost. I can’t see my future anymore, and that is terrifying. We had big plans for our life, together, and now I just exist. I am doing the best I can to stay true to the things we wanted for this year, and for our future, but I’m dropping balls right and left, I’m not functioning well. You are everything to me, Nate, and now you’re gone.

So many feelings bring me back to the first time I really had to be away from you, the first time I had to say goodbye, stepping into the unknown, feeling so alone, you so far away, and me here. A certain helplessness that overcame me, and at the same time just knowing I had to keep going.  It feels so similar. Except, I got you back. Then, I feel like I lost you, we got lost, and we fought so hard to get to where we are, were, in the last couple years. This was everything we wanted. We were building our new life and it was perfect, and now, now you are gone. Now what? Where do I go, what do I do. Who am I without you, Nate? 38

grief, Loss, Uncategorized, Vulnerability

Tearing Down Walls

I started blogging years ago, as an outlet, some place I could go to word vomit, someplace I could put things and share them, or not. It was more about the physical process of typing the words, getting them out of me and to somewhere. Eventually though, I felt like I ran out of things to say there, so I stopped. In the last few months, I began to feel like I needed that outlet again, but I didn’t feel like what I needed to say was worthy of being read by my friends, family, strangers. Today, I went back and read some of those old posts, and in attempts to share more of our story with you, I am going to share some of them.

This one brought me to my knees this morning, this one…was written by Nate, and I told him that he should write something, so that others could see the other side, so it didn’t seem like this was just about me. He said he didn’t think his words were good enough, HE felt unworthy of sharing his words, and I encouraged him, that even if they helped one other person that it IS worth it, it is ALWAYS worth it. I’m really good at offering up advice and not taking my own.

Lots of things stood out, and I am grateful.

Tearing Down Walls

“Hello, most of you who follow this blog know a decent amount about me. I am the other half or in some cases more like the one quarter compared to Kristle’s three quarters. I would venture to say that a large majority of you have a spouse who is like me and needs at times to be coaxed like an adult child or lead by a leash to get things done and done right, or just you simply decide to do it yourself. For some of us warriors, I guess is the word to call us, it takes a lot of swallowing pride to watch this. I speak for myself here but I believe that I had been a strong, confident and mostly successful soldier and person before my injuries and ailments. I always felt like the best was the only success and that I was always strong enough to do it all, not only perfectly but also with out help. Now skip forward a little to my time after I had returned home from Iraq, early 2008, and on my way into a Warrior Transition Battalion(WTB).

All I wanted was to beat this diagnoses of TBI and PTSD (among other less significant injuries), but it seemed the harder I tried the worse I got. So I reached a point in my life where I had to come to terms with the idea that what I knew best and where I wanted to be was ending, I was medically retired. While this was an honor in some ways to be given the rights and benefits of a soldier who committed their life for 20 or more years to our country, I truly was sad, disappointed and ultimately depressed. The good though in all this was Kristle and our family. I would never have to leave them again to go fight a war, I could be their to help raise them, to watch them grow and be involved in their lives. Boy did I not see the bright flashing signs telling me to get help or things will be worse. Now, I could argue that I did go through “therapy” of many sorts and was on a slew of medicines, 17 or more at one point, so I should be doing good. I also decided I could fix my problems at least on the outside by just saying “I wont be like that anymore” or saying “I changed, look at how good I am”. EHHHH EHEH! In the voice of some crazy sketch comedian on one of those shows…… I truly hadn’t changed nor fixed things at. In fact I had built a pretty thick wall around me that no one could see past or feel my pains issues or burdens, accept of course the one person who I cared most about. That wall was paper thin to her. I still tried to hide behind it but she could feel the pains and see the shadows. No I was not hiding it from her, I was simply denying it. Denying it to the point that it has shredded our marriage, or trust and her personal sanity.

Denial is a powerful thing. While I was busy trying to be perfect and hide from failure, Kristle has been left following behind me picking up the damages. Denying herself along the way, dropping her life so that I could pretend to be Nate.  Until enough was enough. I always swore I would do anything to get better, or help my family or be “normal”. That is anything but what would put me out of my comfort zone; deep intense therapy, in-patient therapy etc. What a croc of bologna, I did just enough to get by, put on just a enough of a front to keep people happy. When inside I was dying, and I was only hurting myself and my family more and more. I guess where I’m going is that us “warriors” try and maintain this perfect, prepared and tough exterior at all costs. But is it worth it? Warriors even wives would you sacrifice the very thing you want to protect and love for the pride of appearing perfect or together? Would you accept, I mean truly accept, the help that is out there to help you cope in a healthy way so that the you that your loved ones need can really be there? Can you give up the pride, break down and say HELP! PLEASE HELP! So those of you closest or that know how to help can help. I know now finally after four years of hiding that this is what I must do.

It is not easy for you or even anyone around you, but it is necessary. Learning when to say enough, learning to accept success even if it’s less than perfect, learning to accept the gifts that your loved ones give to you by their personal sacrifices daily.  I know that’s what I want. I want to be able walk into a busy place and handle my fears, to learn how to communicate effectively when I need a break or just expressing myself with out anger or rage, to learn how to treat my wife so she knows I love her everyday not just the good ones, I want to follow through with my life plans, to pave a path for my son and daughter to follow and be proud of, I want to be the real me for me. I want to learn to be Me so everyone knows who I really am, not just what I what them to see. True change has been a long time coming, trust will be a structure built again with my wife once again, not just patched long enough to stay dry.

Some times breaking down to your most raw vulnerable state is the best, maybe even the only way to begin to build yourself back up. That is where I am finally, fours years later, one badly damaged marriage and family later, one extremely hurt and burdened woman still holding it together.”





Grief is weird

I keep telling people I feel crazy, my emotions are so all over the place it is unreal. One moment I am perfectly fine and I am able to hold a conversation about anything and everything, and the next upset and crying so hard I can’t catch my breath. There is no rhyme or reason for it. It just happens. I’m in a permanent state of exhaustion, I’m just trying my best to keep pushing forward for the kids. This weekend is our daughters 1st dance competition, I’m excited for her, but I know she’ll be missing her Daddy. You should have been there for that, I still can’t believe you are gone. In my moments of insanity, things will come to my mind, things that I know are somewhere in the house and I become preoccupied with finding them and protecting them. I rearranged the whole garage today looking for something, and then I felt really stupid because it probably could have waited, it’s almost as if I think these things are going to make me feel closer to him, but they don’t. He’s gone, and we won’t have him back and no piece of mail, or shirt, or truck is going to change that. Tomorrow is a new day.


My Faith is in you, God.

Finding my comfort in God, giving it ALL to him because I’ve got nothing else to go off of. Nates words were often Gods words, he led his family in a way that he knew he should, but being gentle and kind along the way. Yesterday our pastor talked about having faith, and having faith in something. He used a stool as an example. We have faith that the stool will hold us, but when we put our whole weight on the stool, that is us putting our faith in it. I’ve always had faith, always known there was something bigger, a bigger purpose, but Nate taught me exactly what that mean. He led me to God, gently and kindly by praying for me from day one, by guiding me and encouraging me that I didn’t have to be perfect or know it all to know Him and embrace the fact that I AM a child of God. Nate gave me a lot of amazing gifts, but right now I am most thankful for this one because it is literally the only thing right now that can offer my children and I any kind of peace, and that is because of Nate, all of this is because of Nate Helmuth, I am eternally grateful to you my love for your heart, your love, and our eternity.

Loss, Uncategorized

Living My Nightmare

It still doesn’t feel real when I say it, “My husband passed away on January 6th,” “We lost my husband 19 days ago,” “My husband passed away.” I have to say it over and over and over, it gets old, all the questions, the looks of sadness, the awkward staring, it feels fake, like a dream, or a nightmare rather that I’ll never wake up from. I am so guilty of using the word Die, Dying, Dead, in my vocabulary all the time, if a friend doesn’t respond to a text, I’d ask them did they die, if I almost fell, I’d say, ” I almost died,” if someone else almost fell, I’d say, “Don’t die.” But using the word now makes me want to throw up, using terms like passed away, put to rest, etc. are easy, sugar coated versions of the truth. He died, he’s dead, he’s not coming back and there is no sugar coating that. Its raw, real life, and it hurts, it makes me want to throw up, or pass out, or both. That first night was the worst, I wanted to stay with him at the hospital forever, and if I knew how long it would take for them to actually take him from the hospital I would have stayed. I imagine eventually they would have to ask me to leave, but if I didn’t leave him it wasn’t real, right?? They gave me his wedding ring, I put it on my right ring finger, I lied on his chest, just like I would in our own bed, I held his hand, ran my fingers through his hair and his beard, I kissed his head. It felt like a sick joke, just waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out and surprise me in an old school ” Punked” episode. This couldn’t be happening to us, we had already been through so much, we were on the other side. It was all a haze, I stayed as long as I could, and I walked out of the hospital without my husband, and it wasn’t just for a little while, it was forever. It was just like in a movie, you could hear a pin drop in that hallway, everyone stared at me as I passed, and every step I took became more paralyzing, I wasn’t sure I would even make it down that hall. I did though, I walked out of the hospital and into a world of unknowns, a world where the very breath I breathe, my life, my world, was taken from me in an instant. I don’t know if or how ill get through this, but I have to now, for my babies, for Nate.