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Grieving wife, mother overcoming challenges

Friday January 24, 2014
Grieving wife, mother overcoming challenges

Alice Williams is an inspiring woman, according to the Shelter of Hope.

She was one of 10 women honoured with an award at the Beendigen First Nations Women’s Day in October of 2013 for her efforts in overcoming her personal adversity and making positive changes with her life.

A group of employees at the Shelter of Hope nominated Williams for the award.

Williams has been involved in counselling and help with the staff and residents. “For example, I baby sit for a lot of the women who just need a break,” Williams said. “I’m friends with mostly everyone in the building. It’s just nice to be nice to people. It’s a very simple thing to do.

Williams knows first-hand the struggles people may be facing when staying in a shelter.

To adjust to life and new circumstances after the loss of her husband, Williams moved with her two children to the Shelter of Hope in Atikokan, Ont.

“He died from an accident at work in Beardmore. It was fast. We needed a place; we couldn’t live in the same place where we lived with him. It was very hard for us.”

Memories of their deceased husband and father in the family home became a struggle for the family to continue residing there.

“Every time someone knocked on the door or we opened the door, we assumed it was him. It got very hard,” she said. “So, we had to make a decision. I started packing in January. I didn’t know where we would go. I knew though, I had to take my children out of our home. My children didn’t want to come. Especially, my son because he was very close with his dad.”

The healing process for the Williams family after the loss of their loved one was day by day.

“You have good and bad days. Those bad days take a toll. And I’m learning to be a single mother. My children are learning to be fatherless. It’s a rocky road sometimes to do it on your own. Especially, when you always had help before. I have to continue on by myself.
Sometimes you get lonely because you’re missing your half. Your heart breaks,” she said.

Williams found it difficult to express her grief with others. She is learning to share her grief and has been supportive of others through their grief at the Shelter of Hope.

“My children, friends, and the people at the shelter, my counsellors and everyone you want to talk to. You don’t want to talk to everyone. It’s who you want to talk to, who you want to associate with and share your life with and share that part of you. It’s difficult sometimes,” said Williams.

Williams was both surprised and delighted to be nominated and receive the award. She said she will continue on with her healing journey one step at a time.

“I’m just going to continue on what I am doing. I’m still healing,” she said. “I can’t think way too far ahead because you don’t know what’s going to come next. You really don’t. You live day by day because you don’t know what’s going to be.”

The Williams family planned to leave the Shelter of Hope one day and with the help of the shelter they wwill eventually move into a new home.

“My daughter misses her dad but she has me. My son doesn’t have his dad. He won’t have the fishing and hunting stuff with him anymore. Life is day by day and it changes all the time. Our family is a work in progress,” said Williams.

Williams thinks it’s important to have award ceremonies and nominated people who have overcome adversity and have now become a benefactor to others.

“I think it’s awesome, just for you to tell your story. We all have a story to tell,” she said. “There are reasons why we are in these places. People are in shelters and places like this for a reason. You just don’t walk into them. There something there that is broken.

“Like I said mine was because of the grief we lost and women are in there because they had been abused. They need to be recognized too. I think everybody should be recognized for good things.”


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