Coping with Difficult Emotions as a Stepparent

The memoir’s scene grabbed my attention.

Taya Kyle, widow of the American sniper, Chris Kyle, describes a fragile setting where her emotions run deep.  At her husband’s funeral, Taya prepares to say a few words about her beloved, fully aware it will be one of the hardest things she’s ever done.

To gain the courage and strength she needs, she reminds herself of her husband’s life-changing words, which get her through.

“When you think you can’t do something, think again. The body will do whatever the mind tells it to.”American Wife

Kyle’s memoir, American Wife, tells a tragic, but brave, story of love and loss amidst war and faith. A decade-long marriage survives long stretches of Chris’s absence while he repeatedly puts his life on the line in major battles of the Iraq war. Finally returning to civilian life, Chris and Taya work hard to rebuild their family.

But one day, the unthinkable occurs. While attempting to help a troubled vet, Chris is murdered. After surviving countless attempts on his life in war, his final breath is taken close to home in a way no one understands. Within moments, Taya becomes a widow and single mom of two.

Raw emotions spill out as she struggles to cope. Her authentic story-telling reveals depression coupled with fatigue and insomnia.

Amidst a heart-breaking backdrop, however, a beautiful story unfolds. Taya refuses to give up and begins to rebuild a life for her and her kids with faith, resilience, and determination to fight against her overwhelming grief.

I’ve heard it said that one never really gets over loss—you simply learn to cope with it. Taya’s story describes how she copes by finding meaning and connection to Chris through a shared mission of honoring those who serve others, especially military and first-responder families.

Stepfamily Grief

The poignant memoir reminds me of the anguish of stepfamily grief. Although not the same as Taya’s grief, it’s real. It’s often overwhelming. And it’s experienced differently in every home.

Maybe you’re grieving the white-picket fence life you yearned for that didn’t come true with remarriage.

Or perhaps your grief stems from a stepchild who chooses not to embrace you as a stepparent.

Maybe your loss comes from a deep place of hurt that your spouse refuses to recognize.

Stepfamilies experience grief. How are you coping with yours?

Will you choose to find joy and rebuild a new life with faith, resilience, and determination? Will you stand on God’s promises that He will walk with you through days that include loneliness, isolation, and grief?

Will you keep trying on days you want to give up?

If you need a lift today, check out Kyle’s memoir for encouraging words on how she coped with incredible grief.

Pick up a copy of our devotional book, Quiet Moments for The Stepmom Soul: Encouragement for the Journey.

Enlist a counselor or stepfamily coach.

Or come to our upcoming stepmom retreat at the beautiful Winshape Retreat Center.

But don’t get stuck in your grief. Reach out. Embrace your faith. Find hope for your journey. There are better days ahead if you don’t quit.

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

How do you cope with stepfamily grief? Will you share your hope with others?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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