Losing someone we love will never be easy. You can never get over grief, anguish, and heartbreak overnight. The thought of not being able to see, speak with, and touch the people we hold in our hearts brings an intangible pain that may take an indefinite time to heal from.
What makes moving on an even harder process, is the untimely nature of our beloved’s death. Elizabeth Snyder, a widow of a police officer, knows how heartbreaking it is to lose her significant partner in life. Elizabeth’s husband is a police officer in St Louis County who was killed in the line of duty, leaving her and her son Malachi, husband-less and father-less.
Last October 6, 2016, Officer Blake Snyder was responding to an alarming domestic situation, when the 18-year-old Trenton Forster opened fire and shot the dedicated officer dead.
According to the Chief officer, Jon Belmar, the wounds inflicted by the gunshot was fatal that it was able to take the life of Blake in an instant.
It had been two weeks since Elizabeth lost her beloved husband, yet the pain and anguish were still fresh in her heart. In her effort to comfort her grieving heart, Elizabeth shared her painful experience on her Facebook account.
“This pain that hasn’t subsided, that hasn’t alleviated, is unbearable and unending,” Elizabeth shared, “But this child here, he has been the hope in my heartache. He is the reason I get up each day.” The grieving but strong mother shared how her two-year-old son has been keeping her alive.
The mother’s Facebook post garnered thousands of likes and shares. But more than the Facebook figures, Elizabeth had received an overwhelming support from their community.
Hoping to be of help to the grieving mother and son, a compassionate citizen sent two special teddy bears to Malachi. The wife of a police officer in Granite, Illinois, had two bears customized fresh from Thea’s Blessing Bears, in order to help keep the memories of officer Blake alive. In addition, the two words: ‘love you always’ and ‘always with you’ can be seen into the feet of each teddy.
The two teddy bears were made out of the late officer’s old uniform “She wanted us to have a piece of Blake with us, always.” Elizabeth shared in an interview, revealing the touching reason behind Malachi’s special teddy bears.
“These beautiful bears were made for us from Blake’s uniforms” Elizabeth shared on her Facebook account, gracious for the sweet gesture of their ‘neighbor.’
In a separate Facebook post, Elizabeth expressed how thankful she is for the overwhelming support that people have been generous with her.
“These two boys mean everything to me, and I’m thankful I have a bit of Blake still here with me. I am also thankful for every person who has generously helped support Chi and I.”
It takes time and courage to be able to recover from the pain of losing someone. But there is no wound that time could not heal especially when you are surrounded with people who encourage and support you to keep on going.
Just this January, Elizabeth shared on her Facebook account how much she has grown and learned from losing Blake.
“I have learned so many things since Blake was ripped from my life…
I’ve learned to never let persecution and judgment affect my heart and mind.
I’ve learned that there is not one person on this earth that can (or should) tell me how to live my life. Or when to be happy again.
I’ve learned that no one can tell me how to grieve the loss of THE most important person in my life.
I’ve learned how to ignore those who think they know how I should parent my son.
But most importantly-
I’ve learned how to forgive. And how to love unconditionally. For if we hold onto things, if we clutch our anger tight- it affects our hearts. It affects our minds. And it affects our souls.
Remember that we are all human. No one is perfect. Including those closest to us. So forgive. And love. Forgive and love like Jesus forgave and loved us.
-Miss you, babe. Bunches.”
And for the first time after Blake’s untimely demise, Elizabeth finally found the courage to visit Blake’s resting place. With the single mother was the 4-year-old Malachi who was more than excited to hear stories about the greatness of his father.
“Today Malachi and I both took a HUGE step in the healing process. We visited Blake’s place of rest for the first time since October 2016…”
To everyone who knows how it’s like to lose someone you love, we pray that you may get the same support that Elizabeth has been blessed with. Life will never be the same without our deceased loved ones, but may we find healing in our hearts and the courage to brave life even without them by our side.
Facebook | Elizabeth Snyder