Taya Kyle Opens Up to Craig Morgan About Finding Joy After Loss
Craig Morgan reached out to Taya Kyle, the widowed wife of American Sniper author Chris Kyle, to ask her how to find joy after losing someone you love.
Morgan is a veteran, and he knew Kyle, a decorated veteran whose book was the subject of the award-winning film. Kyle was killed in 2013, and his widow has gone on to become an advocate for causes related to veterans.
Morgan lost his son Jerry in July, when the 19-year-old drowned in a tubing accident. At a writers round performance in Washington on Thursday (Nov. 10), at which Taya Kyle participated in the storytelling, Morgan asked her an unexpected question.
"We’ve all lost someone -- and I don’t mean to bring us all down,” Morgan said (quote via the Washington Post). "But it’s tough when you lose someone close … and we’ve all experienced it at different points in our lives. When I met you, you had such joy. And I think that’s so important. I’d like to just know, where do you find the inspiration to maintain that joy and that sense of moving forward?"
Kyle's response was powerful.
"I had my worst nightmares and my worst anxieties and they came true, you know? There were things I never wanted to know if I could survive," she acknowledged, adding that she had no choice but to move forward for the sake of her children.
She says there were times she still doubted she could make it, adding that if it wasn't for having learned to juggle military life, "I probably would have ended up in a hole at the loss of Chris, in a hole that I couldn’t get out of. And I was still scared of that after it happened. But I learned somehow that you just keep going. And I learned somehow through all of the things that struck me before, that God was there more and more in my weakest times and I actually could count on it, and I could physically feel God’s strength if I just focused on it enough."
She says she has learned "to have the joy where the joy is, because life is short and it could end tomorrow. And if I’m super, super honest about why I think I’m okay, it’s because I believe that Chris is still with me. And if I really didn’t think I’d ever see him again, I wouldn’t make it ... But I’d be a fool to ignore what’s in front of me, and I’d be a fool to not live this life and see the blessings for what they are and see the beautiful people in this world who are stronger than I am and who do more things than I do and try to give back, pay it forward, keep moving, all of those things."
Morgan recently turned to Facebook to address his fans in person for the first time since Jerry's passing, saying, "His spirit and his attitude and his love continues on through all of us. And I don’t just mean me and my family -- I mean my crew, my friends, his friends and it’s an amazing story. We continue to cherish that in the time we had with him. And I want to share that with you all."
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