Death is inevitable, and one way or another, we are going to be affected by it. But has anyone ever taught you how to really move forward from it? In this episode, Dr. Kim Grimes engages in an open conversation with Tina R. Fornwald about the grieving and healing process of people who have suffered loss. Through her nonprofit, Widowhood Real Talk with Tina, she tells her own journey and how she found hope and faith to move forward. Tina shares more with us today some honest insights and realizations for those who deal with personal loss or trauma. So tune in to our conversation and learn how people who have suffered so much can still have the strength and march forward in life by being unapologetically them.
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Finding Hope: How To Go Through The Grieving And Healing Process After Loss With Tina R. Fornwald
Welcome back, everyone. It’s so phenomenal, exciting, and a wonderful feeling to be back home. The last time you connected with me, I was offsite traveling. We went to Barcelona, and then we also cruised to Brazil. In between that, I had an opportunity to do at least two episodes. With all that being said, I’m back home. It is such a great feeling to be back home.
Let’s jump into our topic. Before I do that, I want to say real quick, thank you so much for all of the love and support you have given over the entire year. This has been a wonderful experience and I could not have done it without you. Let’s jump into our topics. You have known this over and over again and this is a true fact. The fact is this, the easiest person to deceive is the person in the mirror.
When you look in the mirror, you see you and I need you to know that you are the easiest person to deceive. It will always be that person in the mirror because you are always going to be in the mirror when you are looking at yourself. How many times have you told yourself something that is not true and you made yourself believe that it was true? How many times have you sold yourself on the worst idea or a bad decision that you’ve ever made?
Here’s the thing. During those bad decisions and those horrible ideas, you were there for them all. We have all done more to undermine our own success, prosperity, and progress. We have done more to undermine that more than anyone else on this planet. We deceive ourselves by lying to ourselves. We lie to ourselves and you probably say, “What’s wrong with us? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you?” Why do we do this? Is there anything we can do about it? That’s why we are here. That’s what this episode is about. We are going to have a conversation about the truth about you, facing your truth.
Let’s jump in. I want to define wisdom. For those who read, know, study, and open the Bible, there’s a book in there that’s called the Book of Proverbs. It’s called Proverbs. In that book, you’ll find a lot of definitions. You’ll find a lot of definitions throughout the Bible on the word, a definition for the word wisdom. I found this one, which I thought was cool and I like to share it.
This one was in the book of Proverbs 3:13-18. It reads, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding for the gain from her is better than gain from silver, and her profit is better than gold.” In this book, I want you to understand that the author is identifying wisdom as her if you haven’t gotten it by now. “She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand and in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all of her paths are peace.” That’s what Proverbs 3:13-18 says about wisdom.
A famous pastor shared this about wisdom. He said, “Wisdom is the insight informed by the knowledge that life is connected. What happened yesterday impacts today. What happens today impacts tomorrow.” Therefore, the decision you made yesterday impacts today. The decisions you make today will impact tomorrow. He said that wisdom is the insight of you being informed by the knowledge that life is connected.
When you see that life is connected because today impacts tomorrow, and yesterday impacts today. When we make decisions, they are not done in isolation. We make decisions every day and every single decision we make in some way or another shows up in the future. Wisdom surfaces when we ask ourselves, “How is my decision going to impact me tomorrow?” That’s what wisdom shows up. It comes up when you ask yourself that question.
Today shapes tomorrow and one thing leads to another. Our past will show up in the future. With that in mind, I’m inviting a conversation about facing your truth. Let’s talk about the truth about you. Not running from your truth, but facing your truth. The easiest person to deceive is who? The person in the mirror. Therefore, my ask is this, “Tell yourself the truth more specifically.”
Tell yourself the truth about yourself. Face your truth and tell yourself the truth about yourself. Tell yourself the truth about yourself on why you do what you do. Tell yourself the truth about why you don’t do what you ought to do. Tell yourself the truth about why you won’t stop doing what’s hurting you. Tell yourself the truth about why you won’t stop lying to yourself. Tell yourself the truth about why you keep making excuses. Tell yourself the truth about why you keep going back. Why won’t you leave? Tell yourself the truth. What I have learned is when we lie to someone, it damages that relationship. Think about it.
What do you think? What happens when you lie to yourself? When you lie to yourself, you damage your relationship with yourself. I say time and time again, it’s my responsibility to learn how to love myself and teach others how to love me. When I lie to myself, I’m no longer being true to myself. When you lie to yourself, you are no longer being true to yourself. You are no longer you when you are not telling the truth to yourself. Instead, you are a lie. The question is, “Are you the truth, or are you a lie?” Here’s the thing, you can’t be both.
I’m going to introduce my guest to you. We are going to jump into this conversation and have a discussion. Before I do that, I want to point out to our readers, especially our new readers, how we do this. We select a topic and we invite amazing guests like the one I have now who is waiting for you for this episode to come and share their perspective.
Why do we do this? For diversity. I have my own perspective, and you have yours, but I want to bring people on that will have a different perspective because we are different. Our readers are diverse and we want to be able to reach as many people as possible with our show. With that being said, I will introduce to you our guest. She is so amazing.
“You say that to all your guests.” It’s because they are. I’m not saying that. I look for amazing people who are living and owning who they are because I want you all to learn from them as well. With that being said, I am so honored to know our guest, and I am so grateful for her right to be in my life as well as for me being a part of her life.
In 2017, while preparing to relocate with her husband, Mark Fornwald, the two planned a small getaway for the weekend to enjoy each other’s company and escape into each other for a while. The weekend took an unexpected turn when Mark suddenly passed away from a massive heart attack. Since 2017, Tina has been in a process that she has now described as widowhood. Throughout her journey of widowhood, she has processed the grief of losing her husband, gained hope through the strength of her faith, and found a way to move forward with her new normal. This process has more challenges than could be expected.
While attending widow events, she found the taboo atmosphere centered around death and grieving. Unfortunately, death is inevitable for each and every one of us, and how to move forward is not something we are often taught. Some of us are not taught at all, but Tina is on a path through her nonprofit Widowhood Real Talk with Tina to have candid conversations centered around grief and healing, while also helping those who are going through their own grieving process.
Tina is the 2nd eldest daughter of 5 children, and she also has two loving children of her own. An avid traveler. A lot of her travel experience is due to her serving and retiring from the United States Army after many years. Tina is a civil servant. That’s what she does. As life continues and takes on new adventures, she celebrates each day with her new husband, Fred Jackson, whom she married in February of 2022. Please help me to welcome my friend and my amazing guest, Tina R. Fornwald. Tina, please say hello.
It is so good. Thank you so much for saying yes to being on my show. I’m forever grateful. Let’s share with the readers how we come to know one another.
First of all, thank you for inviting me to be on your show. The topic that you have is important. You don’t take it lightly, the people that you invite to share with your guests and readers. Thank you. I appreciate you giving me this opportunity. Thank you so much. Kim and I went to undergrad at Christopher Newport University when it was Christopher Newport College.
We also were in the military together, and our unit was down in Fort Story in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Virginia Area. I’m not sure when I realized that that’s the same girl from the military that’s in college, and I was like, “I’ve seen that chocolate girl someplace.” I’m not sure, but it was one of those two, but those two places are where we connected. Which one was first? It’s like a chicken and an egg. I’m not quite sure myself.
We still trying to figure it out but what is so amazing and what we love the most is the fact that we are friends. Tina is one of my best friends, and she has always had my back. Not to mention, the two children that I spoke about, Alex and Catherine, are my godchildren as well. We are that close. While we are talking about it now, you know how they say finding a needle in a haystack? I found that needle and that’s Tina. We all know when we talk about friends, they are good ones. Good ones are hard to find. I found that one in a haystack. Tina, I’m so grateful to you and for you, and thank you for being my friend, ride or die through thick and thin. Thank you so very much.
Thank you. Lionel is their godparent, too. It’s just not him. I’m just saying.
My husband is a part of it, too. Knowing the name of my show, You Are YOU, Unapologetically, we go with the acronym YAYU. Share with our readers first, what does it mean to be you unapologetically?
I read the question and it wasn’t a question that you had here. This is a question that you bring up when we are together. This is a conversation that is always resonating in the bottom of any atmosphere that you are in, and I’m waiting for it to percolate up. It’s like some way or another, you’ll find a way to wiggle that into a conversation.
I was not like, “That’s a question she’s going to ask me.” It was like, “How’s it coming and when is it going to be?” I will say that this is not just a show. This is a part of your life mission as far as who you are, and when you are connecting with people. You have felt this need to bring them to a place to be honest, so they can have an honest walk in life. I will start by saying that.
When I think of that question, I think of a situation where my character is tested or something is done where am I going to be true to what I believe resonates with the inside of me? Am I going to yield or buckle to what the culture around me wants me to do? That situation could be in a grocery store. It could be driving down the road. It could be with friends, but it still comes to that same concept. It may be a different scenario, but that process itself. For me, being authentically and true is being honest and what is right with me. My base mark for right dictates to the Bible. It is not a moral or cultural swinging pendulum. It is based on that.
In my relationship with God, in my reading of the Bible, interpreting that, it says, “Reason together.” That reason may take place in talking to other friends that have the same belief. It may be that culture sitting in a congregation where a message is being shared. Not just hearing that person blindly, but taking that word, because I have to seek out my own salvation in fear and trembling to take that seriously and then say, “What does that look like in this situation, Tina?”
It doesn’t mean I’m always going to line up with what the word is. I may still be in a place where like, “I don’t know. I ain’t got that part yet.” God is good enough to be honest with me in that process. That overall is what means to me. I could give a couple of examples, but it’s the same concept. One of the seasons in my life, I owned an accounting business.
A lot of people would come through where I had the business that was in Pennsylvania. A lot of people would come from different places and cities, and people want to refund the biggest one they can get, and that’s all that matters to them. I had to sign my name on that document. Even though that fee that you were going to pay me for that tax return may have been something I wanted, I wouldn’t trade off what was not going to allow me to sleep at night to shift some numbers in a particular way to benefit that person.
Every time I would be challenged, for every ten people that come through my organization, at least two of them would do a little bit of tap dance and a little bit of persuading. You could see them asking me in. The more I said, “No, I can’t do that.” Some of them would leave and say they find somebody else. Those that left would turn around and come back to me and say, “My tax returns got all jacked up because they made up these numbers.” I was like, “Did they?”
When I could do something that I had peace about, that didn’t trouble me, and that didn’t give me a second guess, even though it may have been difficult at that moment to make that decision, the long-term peace far outweighed that situation. It’s not that peace is always the benchmark but it is part of the process for me to identify, “Is the choice I’m going to make in line with who my soul is and who I am as a person? Am I going to make a decision here that I’m going to have to shriek back later in my own head?” A lot of times, the things that we do, only we know about them.
Everything isn’t on Facebook. Everything isn’t on social media. It’s in our own heads. If I don’t have to trouble my soul and myself about the decisions I have made, I’m okay with that. It may not always be easy, but it’s the decision that I know I need to make for myself. I know that decision is going to impact me on this front.
You spoke about my late husband, Mark. When he passed, I had the most horrific experience of my entire life. You were there. When you heard he died, you and Lionel dropped everything and drove three and a half hours to be with me that night in Delaware with Catherine. I needed to make decisions that night. There were decisions that were being made that I didn’t want to make.
As I say that, one decision that I needed to make was whether or not to donate bone marrow or different things. It’s like, “He has gone into heaven. Can somebody else benefit from that?” Everything inside of me was like, “Why would I not want to help somebody else to bring something good out of this horrible experience?” The decision was to do that.
To me, that is what God wants us to do. We will have experiences in this world, but we have the opportunity and that connection with people that we meet in this world to make something out of it, like the nonprofits you mentioned to take the most horrific experience in my life and use that to bring healing and hope to other people and how to manage that.We will have experiences in this world, but we have an opportunity and that connection with people that we meet to make something out of those. Click To Tweet
What I heard you saying is that is what it means to you to be you unapologetically. Even though peace is not the benchmark, it has to be peace. You have to have that peace in you. You have to be able to sleep at night. There are a lot of people that don’t know what peace is. I have shared with some people that once you get a real taste of peace, you will not allow anyone to take it away. That’s why I heard you say about you being you, and yes, it impacts you being you, having to make those decisions.
Our readers know that it’s something that we have in common. We both lost a spouse. I shared with our readers, the loss of Lafayette and how I was bitter, angry, mad, frustrated, and all that stuff. They do know that that’s one thing that we have in common, and that was a gift that I have learned. Like you are saying. You are taking something horrific that occurred in your life and you are making something better out of it that can serve and support others.
I want to believe that that’s exactly what I did when I showed up. After that, whatever that long hour drive to get to you, not only you but also to everyone. As you said, it’s a very hard time in our lives because we experienced it and went through it together, yet look where we are now. We are still wanting to give and serve others. With that, let me ask you this question. Would you say that you are happy with who you are now? Are you still working on becoming the person that you want to be?
I am happy with myself and what I am working on is developing how I can be more of what I am and maybe use it for who I am. It’s made me baseline and go, “What’s important here? What’s not important?” Being a part of that, I have learned to say no to things that if this was my last breath, “Do I want to do that? I’m going to say no to that. I’m going to say yes to this.”
“Do you want to do this? No. thank you. Why? No, thank you, because I have to live this life.” That started when I experienced breast cancer. It came from out of nowhere, going from my regular annual exam to being told that I have breast cancer and then what I need to do. I then had major surgery and lost my late husband. I only have a short amount of time. I got to enjoy this and part of that is coming to peace and contentment with everything about me.
In all of that, I love myself. I’m learning new ways to embrace myself. That’s what I wanted to say. Not more of me. Embracing me, maybe challenging myself, because one of the things you said about being honest, I know I can talk a lot. Sometimes I’m at work, I’m going to go, “Okay. You ain’t got to say nothing in this meeting. I’m going to challenge you to see if you can go through the whole meeting, take a lot of notes, and let other people shine.” I’m like, “I can do that.” I’m the lead team so there are people that I push to speak up. I may be giving them the words in the background, but we are in the media. I’m telling them, “I’m going to ask you to speak because I know I talk a lot.”
I’m being honest with myself and nobody wants a person in every meeting who got something to say because we know what we all do with that. The honest me says,” Tina, shut your mouth. Blow up other people and do that.” When it’s your turn, it’s like, “You’ve heard me.” I still like myself. I like that I talk, but I don’t always have to do it and I can determine when not to do it. That’s part of embracing who I am. I’m good with me. Life’s hardships have brought me there and I’m glad that that’s the way I was able to utilize them in my life. Other people may take hardships in life and they may utilize them differently. That’s how it showed up for me.
It’s loving who we are and I always say I’m madly in love with myself. Did I say madly? For me, it’s always three levels. I’m three levels deep in love with me. I appreciate that and I appreciate it when you share because what we have in common is we both love to talk and we both are loud. I say I’m loud and I’m proud. I own that. It’s a part of who I am. I even remember times in my life when I tried not to be loud and it didn’t serve me at all because that’s not who I am. I’m embracing everything about me, even my idiosyncrasies and my faults, and falling madly in love with that.
That’s what I hear you saying and so, thank you for that. Here’s what I want to ask you, “How has being untruthful to yourself impacted you?” The reason why I’m asking this is that we are standing in our truth now. We are facing our truth. We look in the mirror at ourselves and we say, “This is who I am.” There was a time when we weren’t here. There was a time when I wasn’t honest with myself. I made myself believe things that weren’t true. What I want to share is how being untruthful to yourself has impacted you.
Thank you. That question, that level of transparency, and candor are painful. When you have to start researching in your mind and thinking not just about that one decision, but what was the rippling effect? I wanted to bring something to share that wasn’t just, “That happened and I felt bad about it and moved on.” I am going to talk about something that had a several-year impact on me.
When I purchased a building when I lived in Pennsylvania for rent to a mixed-use property, I had an office space that I was renting, but I had talked myself into a lie that it was better for me to buy a building to run my business out of. If I would have sat down and not been all in my head, gassing myself up, I would have looked at that and said, “Boo-boo, you need to stay right where you at.”
I had convinced myself about buying this building, renting the second floor, and running my business on the first. It was good for all of one year and it plagued me. It ran out our finances. It’s just one experience after another. I was like, “Why didn’t somebody else say something? How did I get myself to a place that I told myself was a good decision? I could have rented the other spot and walked away to when it was done.”
When I closed the business and then took a job in civil service, that thing was hanging over me like a bad penny. Then it was one bad renter tearing up the upstairs. Somebody was not paying the rent, paying money towards the mortgage, doing it, and then moving to Virginia from Pennsylvania, and that property was still not good. I saw God saying, “You’re going to listen to Me next time. You decide to go out there and make you an Ishmael on a situation.”
The basement flooded and the sump pump wasn’t working. I then had to make all these repairs to sell it. I cried and was wet when the realtor called me to tell me that the property was sold. I was like, “I don’t want to buy anything, no more ever.” I was going to be a renter for life. I needed to make sure before I brought another property that that is what I was supposed to do because that I jumped the gun. I got caught up in my own ability to do something, but not what I should have done.
I purchased that because I could, but it wasn’t a good decision to do, and that was a long fifteen years. When that came off of me, you would have thought that someone had taken bricks off of my back because it was like, “It’s finally done.” That taught me to take my time about moving and making decisions because it’s not singular. It is a butterfly effect to whatever else is going to impact, and I don’t need that anymore. I was like, “I’m good. I don’t want to go down that road anymore. That’s a wrap.” It was bad. I don’t even think I shared that with you. Did I ever tell you about that to that extent?
You told me about the property. You told me a lot about that. There was a lot of that. You didn’t tell me that you cried like a baby once you sold it but I knew that was a relief off your shoulder. I knew that was a burden that you were carrying, but what you did not tell me is how you lied to yourself about that. That’s new to me. I knew everything else, but you saying, “I made myself believe this. I looked in the mirror and I wasn’t truthful to myself.” Thanks for sharing that part, but after the fact, I knew that because we have had numerous conversations around it.
We talked about everything.
I’m not surprised by that, but I know those with tears of joy. That’s for sure. I know that much. With that, what advice would you give someone else? Would you give someone who is still lying to themselves? How can you help them be truthful with themself? What can you share?
A few things come to mind to me. One is to have a journal. There is something about releasing your thoughts to paper, going back, and reflecting on them. There’s something about the things that are in your head sound good when they are in your head, but then when you get them out, write them down, and go, “That doesn’t make sense.” I was like, “That does make sense and I can build upon that.” That first part about getting it out of your head and getting in some type of construct, I find that has been helpful for me.Have a journal. There is something about releasing your thoughts to paper and going back and reflecting on them. Click To Tweet
The second thing is that I know my faith is Christianity and I understand that everybody has their own way that they are unpacking and looking at that, but this world is beyond this physical body that we reside in. For me, needing to connect with the God that created this universe and get direction and insight into that challenges what I may feel is right to do versus what is truly correct to do because we have this scenario. We define our truth but what God is telling us and what those lines up with are a challenge in identifying that.
The third thing is, you may not have 65 friends, but you get 1 to 3 solid people that will be honest with you and whom you can confide in. When you are about to experience something, you go, “Do you think this is a good idea?” they are people that are going to check on you. They’re not in your yes-man corner. They are going to pull you aside and say, “I love you, but no, you don’t want to do that,” or, “You should do that and these are two other people I recommend you talk to because I want you to be successful.”
The other thing is there is value in having a good therapist. There is value in having somebody to sit down with that is non-biased and will give you some insight into the world outside of your perspective and to be able to give you good insight. I reached out to friends to say, “This is what I’m thinking about doing.” Sometimes, you may say you want to go buy some swamp land in Florida, and they go, “You don’t want to do that.”
Everybody was like, “I can see that being the birth of this situation.” They gave me some insight. They gave me different things to consider, but by putting that thought out there, it challenged the validity of that. You talked about that ripple effect and what we do is not linear. It has an impact. When we are being honest with ourselves, we get that encouragement from people or that therapist to be able to go back onto a road that’s going to be more beneficial once we open ourselves up to that level of transparency.
I love the idea of a journal. When you said taking the concept or the thoughts out of your head and putting it on paper, I say and I share to people and with people, “We have that head chatter and that head chatter will not tell you the truth.” You have to look at the facts. That head chatter will be saying some things and you’ll fall for it. I like the idea of taking it and writing it down. Find someone who will be honest with you, a friend who loves you, even in your ugly. What I mean by that is when it’s hard to love you because sometimes we all show up like that when it’s hard for people to love us.
That person or 1 or 3 people bounce it off of them so that they can give you some sound advice. Does it line up with the chatter or what’s in your head? Thank you for that third one, a therapist because mental health is off the charts because we don’t talk about it. We don’t have a conversation around it. That’s why I’m an emotional literacy life coach because I teach people how to manage their emotions before we even get to that mental part. On the mental part, there are some that require therapists even more and medication, and all of that is good because it allows you to manage and to be.
I like that and it would encourage people more and more to seek a therapist, coach, or somebody outside of your circle who can look inward without their own opinion coming in or personally being impacted or aligned with you. That is some sound advice. Here’s what I would like you to do. I would like you to share with our readers how can they get in contact with you.
How can they reach you if they have more questions or they want to learn more about what it is that you are doing or about your show? Before you do that, tell them more about your podcast so that they know, and then, tell them how to get in contact with you. What I would like you to do is to leave them with a remark or a takeaway. What do you want them to take away from this episode?
The word widowhood expounds on the concept of that neighborhood, that hood. That widowhood is not a combination of the widow or the widower. It is the family and children of the widow or the widower. It is their friends, neighbors, financial advisors, therapists, or funeral directors because all of those people become part of that experience.
We have an opportunity in this podcast to have a candid conversation with widows that have been for maybe a year to maybe someone that will have been a widow for 21 years. When you have not been down that road, you are perplexed, “How do I engage this person? How do I support them? How do I live in their space and not be awkward and weird? How do I deal with these things that I have heard about but never had an opportunity to?”
Unfortunately, in some way or another, you are going to be impacted by death. You may not be the spouse. It may be a parent. You may be dealing with your own grief of missing your parent and not knowing how to understand and deal with your remaining parent. You, as siblings, may not know how to deal with that. This podcast gives me an opportunity to sit down with many different people in that widowhood because they are a part of that experience and have a candid conversation about their part in that hood of the widow or widower, and listen with the idea that there is hope, you are not alone and there is healing, and for you to have a place to have a discussion about your feelings and people that are alongside you to be able to be part of that discussion by reading.There is hope. You are not alone. There is healing. Click To Tweet
You are ear-hustling into a conversation to know how you can take those jewels and nuggets and show up in somebody else’s life. Maybe your own as you are dealing with your own grief of losing a spouse and wanting to know, “Is it this difficult? Is it this hard? Will I be able to make it through this?” It’s to know that there are people out there that there are resources that we’ll be connecting you to and to be able to give you an opportunity to grieve in the way that is healthy for you and to honor your loved one, and to continue living the life that you have.
The second thing that you asked me is how people would be able to reach out to me. My email address is WidowhoodRealTalk@gmail.com. Widowhood Real Talk with Tina is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). We have a Facebook page that is called Widowhood Real Talk with Tina, and you can also find us on YouTube and TikTok where you are trending. Those are the things that you can find for us.
You said some takeaways. I’m going to go back to one of the questions. You’re opening a statement that you talked about the decisions that we make that are impactful. The sheer fact that you and I are connected and having this conversation is a perfect example of the impact of our decisions. Let’s say you and I never decided to connect, we would not be sitting here right now. You can be in the same space with people and you may have the desire to get to know someone, and you don’t choose to act on it. If neither of us chose to act on that, we would not have the love, friendship, and connectivity that we have now.
I encourage people to reach out to other people because one thing COVID has done, we have shrunken into places where we are afraid to talk to someone. Put on your mask and have a conversation with somebody. There are people that are crossing your path that could be so valuable to you if you reach out and give somebody a smile and say hello. Listen to what’s going on in somebody’s day. You’ll never know where that can take you in life.
I would have never been able to predict where the young lady that I met at Christopher Newport College in the military and I would be right now in life. People matter in our life and they are valuable and we want to keep them. That is a perfect example of a decision that was made a gazillion years ago and how the butterfly effect has taken place to where we are now. I love you and I am so grateful to God to have you and Lionel in my life and my children’s lives, too.
Thank you so much. I like your concept when you say butterfly into what it is now. We have had a marvelous ride and we are in store for something even more phenomenal together. As I said, when I opened, I am so grateful and honored to know you and to be a part of your life and you be a part of my life. I said before about my friend Tina, but I want to emphasize this. Tina is the type of friend that truly nurtures the relationship. You have people in your life and you are friends. You and I have a variety of friends, and I have a small group that I know that are my true friends, and we all are different in our own ways.
What I love so much about my friend Tina is that she’s not only a friend but she’s a nurturer as well. She nurtures the relationship and there are also other women in her life with whom she nurtured the relationship with them as well. She loves us so much that she brings us all together once a year so that she can celebrate us. This is the type of person that I’m sharing with you that I’m so honored to be in her life because she takes the time out and brings me along with her other friends whom I know very well and she celebrates us. She gives us gifts.
It’s like Christmas before Christmas. She’s such a loving and honoring person. If you experienced a loss, this is someone that you want to reach out to as well because she can share. Remember, I also said at the end of the introduction that she’s newly married as well. She’s here to help you for those who feel that that’ll never happen. I get it. I felt that way, as well when I lost my husband. Correct me if I’m wrong, Tina, but I encourage you to go in that direction.
Sometimes we get stuck and think, “That’s not it.” No. We can be loved again and we can love others again as well.” This has been fantastic. Thank you. You are so amazing, and I will continue to tell you that as long as we are in each other’s lives and we don’t have any intentions of getting out of each other’s lives. Thank you for being here. Thank you for saying yes, and thank you for being you unapologetically.
Thank you for having me.
You are welcome. I’m going to say it again. We know that it is easy to lose yourself in these clashing ideas, conflicting beliefs, and the flood of information that overwhelms us every day with society’s rigid expectations and endless opinions. Self-expression and self-appreciation can feel challenging and daunting so much to the point that it pushes you to dumb down, run, and hide who you are, and you go with the flow.
You are not present with what’s going on with the people around you. You are there going with the flow, agreeing and disagreeing when you don’t even know what’s going on. I want you to know that you are you unapologetically, and that means being true to how you were created and not allowing people’s opinions to affect how you show up in life, at work or school with your parents or friends.
Let people talk. They going to talk anyway. It doesn’t matter. You have no time to be intimidated by the presence of others. You have no time to think little of yourself. You don’t have time for that. When you show up without pretense and hesitation, the world can’t or they cannot dull your life. They cannot shun your glamor. They can’t do it when you show up being you, and most importantly, when you show up being you unapologetically, you will be inspired to shine your light. You’ll be inspired to share it with others and help others to tap into their own brilliance.
Let’s put an end to this despairing mindset and begin to own our own authentic selves. Join me here every other week, twice a month. We are here in this safe space where I’m going to initiate an influential conversation about you being you. Why? It’s because you are you. You are you unapologetically, and no one is better at being you than you. Be you. Thank you so much for reading this episode and hanging in here with my show. Know this, I cannot do this. We cannot do it without you. We are so grateful and humbled, and we love you all. Thank you so very much, and I will see you all in the next episode. Take care.
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About Tina R. Fornwald
Originally from Chicago Illinois, she is currently settled in Norfolk Virginia.
In 2017, while preparing to relocate with her then husband Mark Fornwald, the two planned a small getaway for the weekend to enjoy each other’s company and “escape into each other all for a while.” The weekend took an unexpected turn when Mark suddenly passed away from a massive heart attack.
Since 2017 Tina has been in a process that she has now describes as “widowhood”. Throughout her journey of “widowhood” she has processed the grief of losing her husband, gained hope through the strength of her faith, and has found a way to move forward with her new normal. This process has had more challenges than could be expected.
She has been comforted and guided through numerous coping mechanisms, whether it be therapy, leaning on friends and family, or seeking refuge in communing God. While attending widow events she found the taboo atmosphere centered around death and grieving.
Unfortunately, death is inevitable and how to move forward is not something we are often taught.
She is on a path, through her non-profit “Widowhood Real Talk with Tina”, to have candid conversations centered around grief and healing while also helping those who are currently going through their own grieving process.
We welcome her today and acknowledge her experience.
In addition, she is the second eldest daughter of five children and has two loving children of her own Catherine and Alexander.
An avid traveler with a love of new experiences and exploring the world around her. A lot of her travel experience is due in part to being in the U.S. Army with which she served 21 years and retired as Logistics Warrant Officer. She has taken her military experience in logistics and uses it to this day supporting military efforts in planning and preparation as a Civil Servant.
As life continues and Tina take on new adventures, she celebrates each day with her husband Fred whom she married in February 2022. Fred has supported her through the challenges she has faced in the past and is a part of her journey now and into the future.