A woman from Wexford, Pennsylvania started a nonprofit, so she could help other families who lost their loved ones after her husband died. She says that it helped her move on with life.
Six years ago, Tracy Kovacic's husband, Mike, died after running a ten-mile race. She said the sudden and unexpected death of her husband still feels baffling. She explained that Mike collapsed and died at the finish line after his heart had arrhythmia.
The unexpected death of a young and healthy spouse
Kovacic still feels it was surreal because her husband was just 32 years old at that time. She explained that Mike was in great shape and worked out all the time, so she believed nothing could have possibly caused that.
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Two months after that, Kovacic's friends helped her decorate her home to celebrate Christmas. She had a hard time during that season because she was grieving the loss. Even though she wanted to celebrate the holiday with her children, Calvin and Josie, she felt sad.
Grieving and support systems
The 37-year-old mom said that she would not have wanted to decorate their home due to their loss, but after her friends have helped her with the decor in their home, she and her kids felt better. She later found that not everyone has a strong support system like her.
After her friend's help, the mom-of-two decided to help others who have lost a loved one. Kovacic told TODAY that she called her friends to help a grieving woman after her spouse had died. One day, they went over to give the woman a good overhaul on her yard.
Honoring her loved one's memory
The mom that started the nonprofit believes that helping others is a great way to honor her late husband. She said that Mike was a helpful person and would do anything for anybody. Helping others has helped Kovacic move on with her loss.
Kovacic started an extended group, Angels by Your Side, together with Joseph Guzzetti, the parents of one of Mike's friends. The Pittsburgh community could fill up a form to seek help and get a response within 48 hours.
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The friends would help anyone with a task that they could easily do. Now, the group is hoping that more professionals would donate their services or provide work at a discounted price. Kovacic said they want to form partnerships with other companies to help grieving families.
She explained that if they have more volunteers and partners, they could help more families in need. She also said she feels glad her children would know the importance of helping others. The mom-of-two said that her kids learned that you have to help people when tragedies happen.
Kovacic is thankful to her late husband and Joe's friends for helping others as she does. She said that they have been helping her provide help to others because they have also felt the pain of losing someone.
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