After his death in May 2014 during a training exercise in Wainwright, AB, Monica Bobbitt took to writing a blog to help herself in dealing with the loss of her husband, Lt.-Col. Daniel Bobbitt. Two years later, in March 2016, Bobbitt did her first speaking event.
“It’s been a very cathartic experience. When you share your story, you help other people who might potentially have gone through something similar,” said Bobbitt. “The more you write about something, the more you talk about something, the better you are to deal with it, the better you are to understand it and yourself. A lot of people find it hard to speak about such intensely felt grief, but I find the more I talk, the better I feel.”
On April 26, Bobbitt will speak in front of a virtual audience for the first time of about 30 people. The Halifax MFRC and Virtual Two Connect have teamed up with the True Patriot Love Foundation to bring you the future of public speaking.
Margaret MacKenzie, Virtual Two Connect’s virtual trainer and program developer, also a military spouse, has been very passionate about the virtual learning world for the last seven years. She understands not everyone has the ability to make it to a physical MFRC and feels this is a great way to reach out to those members of the community.
“We’re bringing our information to everybody, regardless of their posting location. That’s what’s exciting about it,” said MacKenzie. “If you’re living in a rural place, you can access this.”
After the Halifax MFRC approached her about wanting to learn how to give their own virtual classrooms, MacKenzie knew she wanted to team up with Bobbitt in doing a virtual series on resiliency, her experience in dealing with loss and grief and what it means to be a military spouse.
“Monica’s a really dynamic speaker, filled with honesty and she’s authentic, and she tells it like it is. She’s also funny, so it’s quite a full package,” said MacKenzie.
Bobbitt wants to help others learn the things she was never prepared for and had to learn very quickly on her own. She said soldiers are prepped for war, but spouses are never prepped for the possibility of becoming a widow.
“We know we get a notification party, and we get a designated assistant, but we don’t really know what it’s like afterwards. We don’t know what grief is and we don’t know the paperwork and business side of death, we don’t know what it’s like to pick ourselves up and put our lives back together,” said Bobbitt.
She said she will also talk about the judgment she faced with becoming a widow and how it affected her, finding your own way to grieve, embracing a healthier lifestyle and being in charge of your own happiness.
“What I try to tell people is that just because something awful has happened in my life, my life isn’t awful. I didn’t get to choose what happened to me, but I get to choose how I respond to it,” said Bobbitt. “I used his death as a catalyst to rebuild my life into something better and stronger and to use that to help other people, to give back and to help them prepare. My happiness is my responsibility.”
The virtual talk will take place on April 26, 2018, at 8 PM ADT and can be accessed from anywhere there is an internet connection, but it is only open to 30 individuals.