‘American Sniper’ widow shares message of hope and healing

Taya Kyle speaks at the Common Bond breakfast.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle shared a message of hope and healing after loss at the Common Bond breakfast Tuesday morning.

Taya Kyle, author of “American Wife” travels the country speaking to groups about love, war, faith and renewal; four words she said could sum up her life. Kyle’s life was depicted in the movie “American Sniper.” He was killed by a troubled vet at a shooting range in Texas in February 2013.

The Common Bond breakfast is a fundraiser for Erin’s House for Grieving Children, which provides support services for children, teens and their families after the death of a loved one.

“We’re not alone in this world and when we know that, we’re so much better in our healing.” Taya Kyle told NewsChannel 15. “That’s what Erin’s House does. It lets them know they aren’t the only ones, that it’s okay. Grief is unpredictable as it is, so to have a network of people they can count on I think is a big deal for them in healing.”

While Kyle usually doesn’t include her children’s grief journeys in her speaking engagements, she shared with the Common Bond attendees some of the emotional struggles and triumphs her family has faced after her husband died.

“The whole family is usually grieving in some way or another and as a parent, having your kids be healthy is vitally important. Everybody is depleted and you can’t be the kind of parent that you normally are. You can try, but usually you’ve got a weight of your own, so to have a place for your kids to go to where they can feel safe, and play if they want to play, cry if they want to cry and talk to other people helps the entire family, not just the kids,” she said.

Kyle also gave advice to a friend or family member of someone who is experiencing grief.

“The best solution is to show up,” she said. If someone is quiet and doesn’t want to talk, then you allow that to be that silence. If they want to laugh about something ridiculous, you laugh. If they want to cry, you cry with them. But you just show up and there’s really no wrong way to do it. Unless you’re trying to fix it. You can’t fix grief, so if you can accept that and just show up, you’re good.”