Foundation News

Finding Family

Finding Family

Lisa Hampton

By Lisa Hampton
Wife of Daniel Hampton (2015-TX)

When Daniel died on September 18, 2015, my world fell apart. I was completely lost. I felt no one understood. Four and a half years later I still remember sitting in the church hall after the funeral looking around and not knowing anyone but my family. I realized how alone I was.

My own family struggled with how to handle grief and loss when my sister passed away. When Daniel died, they were not able to provide much emotional help, because they did not understand what I was going through. I attempted GriefShare groups, but I did not find people I could connect with. These ladies had been married to their spouses for many years. They had been through life’s major milestones hand in hand. Daniel had passed away less than a month before our four-year wedding anniversary. We had a baby and three other children at home. Three months before he passed away, we had purchased our first home together. We had barely begun our lives together.

For nine months I walked around lost, numb, and feeling completely alone. Then, during the summer of 2016, everything changed. My oldest two boys and I boarded a plane to California to attend our first Comfort Zone Camp. When we were sitting downstairs at the hotel waiting for the bus to take us to camp, our world became not so lonely. Everyone around us was talking and knew each other; just like it had been for the last nine months, we were alone and did not know anyone. This didn’t last long, though. It started with one stranger coming up to us while we waited. She was also a fire widow mom there for camp with her kids. She quickly introduced us to all the other families. We talked, laughed, and had a very enjoyable time. When we left that weekend, I felt relief. We had found others that we could connect with. We were welcomed into their family with open, loving arms. These new friendships are unbreakable.

That October we attended the Memorial Weekend for Daniel to be honored. Many of those new friends were there and helped us through the weekend. They had stayed in touch over the months after camp and helped prepare us for the weekend. The new family we found continues to grow with each retreat, conference, camp, and Memorial Weekend.

During this hard time of uncertainty, it is heartbreaking that we will not be able to be together in person. But I find comfort in knowing that my NFFF family is there for me. Should I need someone to talk to, laugh with, cry, or just listen, there is always someone there. I may talk to some daily, weekly, monthly, or just when we see each other in person, but when we do, it is with open arms and hearts. We may talk about our grief, day-to-day life, our kids, or more personal subjects—things that before finding my NFFF family I felt no one understood. My kids and I found our family that shares a bond and love like no other.

This article originally appeared in Issue 94 of The Journey Newsletter.


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