A Green Country woman is sharing her husband's story in hopes of giving people who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 a little bit of hope.
Susan Gray is using her love story with her late husband Jim Gray to encourage people in the community, they aren't alone, that there can be a healthy way to grieve, and that vaccines could save a life.
If Jim were here right now, he would probably tell you that life is about choices you make.
"I can choose to be bitter, and I can choose to be angry, and I can choose to be upset or I can choose the good," said Susan.
He would tell you that life is about the way you respond when no one is watching, the way you treat people that come into your life, and the space you make in ordinary moments that makes life extraordinary.
"’I have met the man mom, get the wedding dress out,’" said Susan. "We were married a year and a day after our first date."
Susan and Jim's love story was one of those extraordinary things in life.
"He showed us the world every day," said Susan.
It flourished over 29 years, through beautiful moments of travel and having children and through horrible moments of loss.
"We had our daughter Kathryn, she actually delivered at 20 weeks stillborn," said Susan.
Jim and Susan balanced each other out. He helped her fight through her grief and make something beautiful from what was left behind.
"He really, 20 plus years ago, prepared me for how to deal with his loss," said Susan.
In fall of 2020, Jim was hospitalized with COVID-19. A couple days later, he was released to go home only to go back to the hospital, even sicker. He was put on a ventilator and on December 2, passed away.
"I got to hold his hand. I got to run my hand through his hair and stroke his face," said Susan.
Her son and daughter were afraid they would forget their dad, so Susan started writing journal entries online, sharing the story of Jim's life so the pictures and memories were just a click away.
"Jim has a voice. All of these people who have died from this disease have been taken much too soon whether they were 84 or 61 like Jim," said Susan.
When the awful moments in life come, Jim might just tell you, you have a choice. This family has made theirs.
"Even though they are gone, you don't have to look very hard because they are still with us," said Susan.
To read Susan’s posts on Caring Bridge about Jim, click here.