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The Pain of Loss Different Location: Same Pain

Today’s guest storyteller is Julie Ann Allen. Her story comes courtesy of our partners in the US, StoryDrive and The 315 Project. 

Julie Ann understands the pain that many women in Northern Ireland have had to endure after violence took their life partner from them suddenly. She was in a blissful marriage and had a seven-year-old daughter and a seven-month-old baby boy, when on 22nd February 2002, her husband went off to work one day as usual, but never returned. He lost his life that day in a work-related accident, leaving her devastated and broken. 

For around 30 years, from 1969, more than 3500 people were killed in Northern Ireland due to conflict. Every day of the year, widows and other family members and friends, remember the anniversary of someone’s death. Like Julie Ann, many young mothers were left to raise their children alone, struggling on when they felt like giving up. Understandably, some blamed God and were angry that He would allow that to happen; some, like Julie Ann, turned to Him and drew their comfort and strength from Him.

It’s probably true that only those who have been through the same type of tragic circumstance can fully understand the intensity of pain that sudden bereavement brings, and how life changes in an instant, often bringing fear and anxiety concerning the future.

Julie Ann shares her story, trusting that it might in some way, help others going through pain or post traumatic stress disorder due to an incident in the past. She knows how the course of her own life was abruptly altered in a way she didn’t expect, and as a result she went through dark and difficult days. Nevertheless, she has a special message for people who are going through tough times. Hers is a story of hope and healing as she relates how God was with her through her dark valley, and how He turned her weeping into love and joy, and has used her to bring a message of comfort to others .