Bre Hanks

In June of 2015, I was 19 years old and had just married the man of my dreams, just 2 months prior. When you are newlywed you are thinking about your new life, your future together, your future family, and how many fun memories you are going to have together. What you aren't thinking about is how you may not get a chance to do those things. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened on June 5, 2015.

On June 5, 2015, my husband and I were headed from Rexburg Idaho to Utah for a family event. While we were passing through Rigby, we were in a car accident that involved our car hitting a cement pile under an overpass. My husband was driving and was killed on impact. I sustained contusions on my hip and a severe concussion that caused memory loss from the accident. There were two men who stopped to help us, they gave my husband a priesthood blessing, they were told during the blessing that "It is well", my husband's life "was well" and it was his time to go. I was taken to EIRMC while my husband was taken to a funeral home. When I became aware of my surroundings in the hospital I asked my husband I wanted to know where he is, I didn't remember what had happened and I was very confused. My mom was there and she had to tell me that my husband had not made it, that he had died in the car accident. The impact of those words did not hit me all at once, I was still confused from my concussion. Over the next few days, as funeral arrangements were being made and family was arriving, I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. I would have moments with debilitating sadness, numbing emotional pain, and anger. I did not understand why this had happened to me. I had so many thoughts running through my head like; I had just gotten married 2 months before, I was only 19 years old, what about our life together? Why is this happening?? Over the next few months, there were really hard things I had to deal with. Getting out of an apartment contract, medical bills, car insurance, credit card debt. These may not seem like a big deal, but when you are 19 and recently widowed, it was very hard. I was so lucky to live by my parents who helped me with all these things and more.

This experience is something I would never wish on anyone. I was so miserable, sad, depressed, and angry. How do you deal with a sudden change in your life plan? I continued with college 4 months after the car accident. I lived at home and went to school. I poured myself into my studies. I was convinced that I would never be happy again, never marry, never have a family. I was so set on being alone this life until I died. Throughout this trial, I was able to turn to God and rely on him to strengthen me when I didn't have my own strength. I am so grateful for God's love that helped me get through. As I continued to have faith I was able to keep going every day. I held on to the words that were said during my husband’s blessing at the accident, "it is well". I knew that he was done with his mission on this earth and I would need to be okay with that. It didn't happen fast, but over time I was able to accept this and start to move forward. About 8 months after the passing of my husband I started to have experiences that made me want more out of life, was I still grieving yes. Was I still sad and angry? yes. But I had come to realize that I was now 20 years old and I needed to be able to move forward with my life to find happiness again, this is what my husband would want right? I was able to go through my grieving process, and I am still going through it. But I was able to see that I was strong and I needed to be strong for me and the future I wanted. I knew that I wanted to find love again and I wanted a family of my own. I was able to start dating again and found my love, Brody. I was married to Brody in November of 2016. It wasn't an easy decision to move forward with my life in this way, but I knew I had to do it. Brody was very understanding of my past and experiences. I never knew I would love someone so much again, but I am so glad I did.

I have now been married to Brody for 3.5 years and we are so happy. We have a little boy who just turned 1 year old. I miss my first husband all the time, and I can't wait to see him again after this life. This experience has made me very grateful for my own life and I appreciate life so much more. I have remarried but I will always love my first husband, I will always love his family. My parents and siblings miss him and we talk about him often. I know I was given strength from God to help me get through the darkest times and to find the light again. I am so grateful for God's love and the faith I had.

No matter what trials come our way we can get through it. We don't have to do it alone, God is there for us, he loves us and wants us to be happy. Even if we don't understand what is going on or why it is happening we can rely on God to get us through. Having faith in God can give you the strength you didn't know you were capable of.

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