A CONVERSATION WITH TARYN
Q: How did your life change when you learned that you had become a military widow?
Q: You’re referring to Glenda Carter, a Vietnam War widow whose story will also be featured in the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT. Though separated by many years, what common bonds do you share with Glenda and what have you learned from her experience?
Q: What’s different about being a widow in the 21st first century than those who lost loved ones in previous wars?
Q: Your story will be featured as part of the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT on PBS this year. What do you hope that other young widows or those who have lost loved ones will take away from hearing your story?
Someone recently asked me if I like that people think “widow” when they think of me. I said that I couldn’t think of a more proud thing to be because when I go to a restaurant with a widow friend, we’re probably the ones smiling the most, laughing the most and enjoying life the most because we do understand the sacrifices that are made to enjoy that life.
Q: After you lost Michael, you traveled the country and found other young women who had experienced a similar loss to yours. What impact did that journey have on your life?
Q: You’ve described this connection with other widows that you’ve met as being like a “band of sisters.” How have some of these friendships helped you?
Q: You started a nonprofit called the American Widow Project as a result of your experiences. What kind of impact do you think this organization has had so far and what do you hope to accomplish in the future?
Fifty years from now if I’m not here, I hope the American Widow Project will still be here and that people will think of it as an organization that isn’t going to tell you how to grieve or how to cry. It’s going to tell you how to live and help you understand that it’s hard to balance carrying a huge legacy of your husband while also trying to learn how to get up every morning and breathe.
If there’s a military widow out there who hears this story, I hope she knows that she’s not alone. I felt alone for four months, my best friend felt alone for two years and I just met a widow who didn’t meet another widow her age for five years!
At one of our events, a widow put it perfectly when she said, “I don’t feel like I came here and made twelve friends. I feel like I made 24 friends because I feel like I know your husbands as well.”