Twenty Years Today

I am reflecting today on this 20 year anniversary of the death of my young husband Mike.  It always seems as my body knows when the date is approaching, I get quieter and introspective.  The weather and birds chirping in anticipation for Summer is a memory of that day that changed my life forever.

It feels like yesterday and also a lifetime ago.  I think of how happy we were and seeing photos on how much we did in the 10 years we had together brings me both a smile and tears.  The thoughts I most have today is what Mike did not get to experience and how much I have experienced because of him.  I would most likely not be a therapist if his death had not made me realize I was no longer fulfilled as a television producer and that I wanted to make a difference to others.  My husband was my first big loss, since I have experienced the loss of my grandmother, mentors, my best friend, aunt, and uncles, and my furry babies, it’s never easy to say goodbye. It happens to all of us but nobody prepares us.

The loss of Mike was monumental, none of my friends or family had lost a husband especially so young so it was daunting.  Through the suggestions of friends I went to a Young Widow and Widowers Group that literally helped me breathe again.  For weeks, months I looked forward to Wednesday nights where I could be with other men and women that understood me.  Soon a group of 4 of us women became inseparable, we went to dinners, plays, talked daily, and supported each other with every “loss” that comes from losing a spouse. We have seen each other grow and shared many new beginnings with each other. I am forever grateful to these soul sisters that also later encouraged me to return to school to become a therapist.  They saw that I was an empath and had a natural ability to listen and support others.

I knew I was lucky to be married to a special man, but was in awe hearing stories from so many that knew him and what he meant to them; I wanted and needed to carry his spirit in the renewed way I walked through life.  Mike loved nature, he saw the good in people, and he was generous and kind.  He had life challenges, as I have, we worked hard to better ourselves.  Because of my and Mike’s life experiences I know I bring more to my work as a therapist then just book knowledge and theories.  I see people for them, for what is their story, their pain, their dreams, etc.  

Twenty years is a long time and when I think of all that I have done since, it surprises me.  What I am most proud of is that I was able to grow through my therapy, survive, flourish and mainly make a difference to others. Do I wish Mike was still here, absolutely, but I could not control what happen so I had to figure after a period of being lost, how to move forward and find a purpose.  It was also a lesson, in letting go a bit because I use to be controlling.  I see this issue being huge amongst many of my couples.

I chose to blog today as a journal for me to reflect on this day and help me process my thoughts, (I practice what I preach to clients J).  I am touched and grateful for the thousands of people that have entrusted their deep emotions to me and that I have guided. I have experienced many of the challenges, pains, obstacles, lessons, and fears my clients come to see me about, so I feel their pain and I know there is help, light and joy at the other end.

Life is a journey and we never know where it will take us, but connecting to others always gets us through. Never be afraid to reach out for help, everyone has a story but it’s how we chose to live it out. Sometimes just knowing you are understood and not alone is half the battle.

Thank you for letting me be of service to you.  Thank you Mike, my greatest teacher.

Joanne KoeglComment
Child Abuse May Change Brain Structure

The Following article is on child abuse may change our brain structure…

No surprise with the information this article provides. So many times when couples come into my practice, I end up doing individual therapy on many that have been abused in childhood and never addressed it. Sadly it seems to be more the norm then not. Often its relationship issues that got them to come to therapy but we end up addressing trauma before we can do couples work.


Joanne Koegl