“At the age of 25 I had a new description added to my list of titles I NEVER would have believed to be possible. WIDOW.
On February 24th, 2019, I lost my husband Travis. My best friend. My business partner. My adventure and travel companion. My home. To sum it up short, I lost my whole entire world.
Travis was the most interesting, funny, charming, adventurous, fearless man I had ever met. I was captivated by him the first night I met him. I knew he was different. He was exactly what I needed in my life. He was a hunting guide and outfitter and in the years we spent together, we were building a worldwide empire. Big things were happening to us, or they were supposed to. We were on the brim of something great, having just purchased our own outfitting business in Alaska which Travis had been ultimately working toward the 12 years of his guiding career.
When the accident happened, we were just a few days out from leaving for our next adventure to New Zealand to stay and work for a few months. I had gone home to visit my parents before we left for our endeavors. Travis stayed home to spend time with his friends and family. Weird thing number one. We usually didn’t spend time apart and would always travel together, that was a part of our lifestyle. I had talked with him in the morning, got my usual good morning greeting. He was enjoying the fresh snow and doing great. I had gotten a cold and he told me, ‘Meg, I need you to take care of yourself sweetheart, I need you for this adventure.’ Shortly after we hung up I sent him a text, which I found out was moments before the accident. I asked him, ‘Do you know how much I love you?’ He never got to read it.
I remember getting a phone call from his sister and then a cousin. I knew something was wrong. I can truthfully tell you, I know what it is to go completely weak at the knees and collapse. Hearing the voice on the other end say, ‘Meg it’s not good, Travis has been in a bad accident.’ A wave of heat flushed through my body as I felt my heart breaking in half. Fear sourced through every piece of me. All I could think of was how I needed to get back to him. I should have never left. It was all my fault. I should have been there! As my parents packed the car to leave, all I could do was pray. I BEGGED and pleaded with God not to take him. I so desperately wanted my prayers to be heard.
As we raced across the state in a blizzard, I learned what happened. Due to the blizzard and snow he had gone into the ditch with our truck. A good Samaritan had stopped to help pull him out with a tow rope. As they were trying, the hitch broke off the good Samaritan’s truck and flew through our topper windows and also the back window of the truck. Somehow, for some Godforsaken way, it hit Travis in the back of the head. It was a total accident. Not anyone’s fault, but it happened. The medics said it was almost instant and he most likely never felt a thing. I struggle with playing the image of what happened over and over in my head. I have so much guilt for not being there next to him. He was just never alone. Whenever we were home from traveling, he was always accompanied by several friends. Weird thing number two. The fact he was alone is something so many of us can’t understand. Something that our mind and hearts will always question, asking the what if’s.
The funeral and the weeks after were a blur. The accident and his legacy was covered by the paper and even made its way to the ears of Minneapolis news stations. They came to our house for an interview and somehow we all managed to share bits and pieces of our beloved Travis. All we knew was that we were going to take his slogan, ‘DON’T TALK ABOUT IT, BE ABOUT IT!’ and share it with the world. Travis had touched the lives of people all around the world. If you knew him, instantly he made a connection with you that would most likely never be broken. He was ALWAYS busy, we call it Pineur time, but he made time for everyone. He was strong and brought out the strength in everyone. He could talk you out on a ledge of adventure, and somehow convince you to jump with him. I may be biased, but he was the best hunting and adventure guide this world has ever seen. His hunters say he had the natural instinct of animals.
In the months that have passed, with the help of others, I am continuing on his dream. In a few days I will be leaving for Alaska for a month. I am running our hunting business and have gotten a quick lesson on how to navigate through a man’s world without my man next to me. There are times I’ve felt completely broken and as though I will never be able to succeed and fulfill our dream. I’ve had men tear me down to nothing. There have been roadblocks so big, that the only choice I had was to figure out a new route. While my heart is filled with sadness and my mind is cluttered with thoughts, I find a strength in being strong. Being strong is my only option. I feel my husband’s presence when I use what he taught me to navigate through this new journey alone. The future without him often looks like a long, dark tunnel that has no end in sight. My heart breaks when I think of everything that would have been for us. I’ve had people make comments, ‘If I were you, I’d be a mess. Never be able to leave the house. Couldn’t continue on.’ Well guess what, I’m still struggling, it hurts every single day, and while there is a hole so big in my heart – I know I have to keep living. It would be a dishonor to him if I gave up. I wake up every day knowing he is still watching over, guiding me, and have the intention to BE ABOUT IT. I can hear his voice saying, ‘Keep going, Meg.’
I have found myself not being able to enjoy some of the things we would do together, because they simply hurt too much without him. It brings up a deep pain inside me, an anger I can’t even explain, a sadness that burrows so far down I’m not even sure where my mind has gone. I hate listening to music, sappy love songs hurt to listen to. The one thing I feel has therapeutically helped me is listening to uplifting podcasts. Recently I came across the term PTG, post traumatic growth. It really has allowed me to do some reflection and ultimately I believe will one day help me continue to heal. Not to move on, but to move forward.
I think when you hit rock bottom all you can do is keep moving, keep going. It is this idea that a person who survives their own traumatic events cannot only heal from their trauma, but may actually grow into a stronger, more driven, and more resilient person because of their trauma. With that while they are dealing with the feelings of loss, anger, and other emotional pain, a person can still reflect and begin to let in opportunities for change and growth.
I don’t know what adventure my story will take me on from here, but I know where it won’t stop. I may be walking through the lowest part of the valley of my life, but for my husband, I will keep climbing to the top of the mountain. Along the way, I will continue to share my story because it just might help someone else heal. Perhaps that someone will be me.
‘DON’T TALK ABOUT IT, BE ABOUT IT.’ – TRAVIS PINEUR.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Megan Pineur. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read more stories from those experiencing grief and loss:
‘Get me off speaker now!’ She hangs up. ‘We have to go, something happened.’ I see ambulances at the river.’: Woman loses husband in boating accident right after micropreemie daughter regains health, family ‘starting to live again’
‘Zac isn’t here. I’m going to look for him. To check the ditches.’ My heart stopped as I let those words ring in my ear.’: 20-year-old widow loses husband in motorcycle accident only 11 months after marriage
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