Widow. Mother. World Traveler. Writer. Adventurer.
May 19th, 2018 I went to bed a happily married woman. I woke up the morning of May 20th and walked my husband, Brian, to the front door where we kissed and said our goodbye's for the day. He was headed out for a training dive with his scuba diving class and I was going to spend the morning with our two young kids, going shopping for baby supplies for our third child who I was currently pregnant with.
We were living on Oahu, Hawaii where my husband had been stationed for his job with the Navy. We had been SO excited to receive orders for this beautiful state as this meant we could do all of the things we loved doing as a couple and as a family; sailing, scuba diving, swimming, hiking.. anything outdoors and adventurous was where you would find us outside of working hours. Our kids have grown up on our sailboat, they've been traveling the world with us since they were about 2 months old and Hawaii was just another incredible opportunity to show our children a different culture and way of life. It was the dream assignment. My job as a training program manager allowed me to travel and work remotely from anywhere in the world which was the perfect fit for our family as we raised two small children.
"Mrs. Bugge? There's been an accident on your husband's dive boat."
The kids were dressed, we had our bags and car keys in hand when I saw a strange number pop up on my phone. I don't typically answer numbers I don't know, but with Brian in the water and being 6 months pregnant - something told me to answer the call. I was not prepared for what I heard on the other end. "Mrs. Bugge? There's been an accident on your husband's dive boat." I froze. I said "No, No, No!!!! STOP!!!" I knew immediately what I was going to hear and I didn't want to hear it. I wasn't prepared to hear it. I was 6 months pregnant with a 1 year old and 3 year old standing inches away from me, waiting for their dad to come home from his morning dive class.The next few hours were a whirlwind of panic, chaos and eventually devastating and heart-wrenching grief. My life changed forever in that very instant. My three kids' lives changed forever.
There is no going back from here, only figuring out how to move forward. In the course of 8 weeks I held hands with the love of my life and the next day I held them again as they turned cold and I said goodbye. I planned, held and attended his funeral, I moved my kids and dog out of our home and coordinated our move off the island. I moved us all into my sister-in-law's house with her family before finding out I was suffering from pre-eclampsia and was admitted to the hospital. Finally, I had our baby, Adeline Makai - born 5 weeks early in Boise, Idaho. Perfectly healthy and warmly welcomed by her big brother, Hudson and big sister, Isabel.
At 34 years old I had already lived through more heartache and adversity than most experience in a lifetime. For now, I am doing the only thing I know how to do which is to write, to share my story of love, passion and loss, and to put on a brave face while I attempt to move forward, honoring my husband's legacy of 'No Bucket Lists!' If you want to do something, do it now. Live a life you will remember.
Thank you for reading and I invite you to join me on this journey. If you're interested, you can read my entire story here.