Helping military widows heal - | WBTV Charlotte

Helping military widows heal


As of this Tuesday – 2,112 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan. The majority were men in their early 20s.

Many of those men leave behind wives who never imagined they would find themselves widows at a young age.

27-year-old Elizabeth Berrien felt broken after burying two of her loved ones.

"Back in 2009 I lost my husband overseas," said Elizabeth. "He was on his final deployment. And then prior to losing him only about 18 months beforehand I lost my son to still birth."

Elizabeth was devastated.

"I spent about six weeks in bed after my husband died and I just didn't even want to get out of bed and face the day," said Elizabeth.

Seven months after her husband was killed Elizabeth started looking for others coping with grief.

"I felt I'm not the only one and I think that's a huge thing when you're grieving. You feel very isolated in your own loss."

A couple years later, Elizabeth has written a book and launched her own grief center, especially for military widows, as a way to help herself survive.

"We provide a holistic range of services such as yoga, massage, counseling and support groups," said Elizabeth.

She doesn't have physical wounds to show her pain, but her wounds are real.

"Grief really affects you on every level."

But it's been four years, and she's found a way to move forward.

"Feel like I could function on a normal level and to feel motivation to rejoin the world," said Elizabeth.

Click on the following links for more information on Respite or Elizabeth's new book.

Web sites:, or
Twitter: @The_Respite

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly