Dear Myeisha Johnson,

October 24, 2017

Dear Myeisha Johnson,

You don’t know me, but like millions of other Americans, I now know your name. All week you’ve been so heavy on my heart. Your overwhelming loss has been publicized, scrutinized and vandalized with untruth. I am so very sorry for all of that. You and your precious children deserve better. Your husband deserves better.

When the shock and numbness begin to wear off and you start to fully realize what has happened, I want you to know you are not alone. You are part of a large sisterhood now. Although it’s a club no one wants to join, there’s powerful support and encouragement here. There’s a multitude of women scarred by the heartache of losing a spouse, who “get it.” Each woman has her own unique story of loss. None, likely as painfully public as yours has become, but still, we know the pain behind your brave face. We saved our agony for the shower or an empty closet while wearing bravery in public, as I imagine you’ve done as well.

Your widow sisters will not tell you how you should feel. We won’t advise you on what choices you should make and when. Instead, we are the women that will circle around you in a protective ring. When people are cruel, either intentionally or not, we are there to defend you. We lift you in powerful prayer several times a day because we remember our own journey on this path. We weep for you even though we’ve never met. Our tears fall as we see ourselves in your grief.

We are the women who understand sorrow. We know what it’s like to look in the eyes of your children and wonder how it will be possible to raise them alone. We understand the fears, the anxieties, the anger and the doubts. We are out there, millions of us, each with our own grief battle wounds and scars, and we feel drawn to you with compassion and love.

We know how important it is for people to remember your husband’s name. Sgt. La David Johnson. We will say his name and we won’t forget. We will remember the stories you share about him. And we will always honor his courageous sacrifice, as well as yours.

We will always remember his Green Beret brothers and their families as well. We will say their names, too. They will not be forgotten. Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson.

I can’t imagine the added agony of having your grief in the forefront of national news. I can’t fathom the betrayal of having your integrity questioned during these first horrific weeks of loss. And I don’t know how terrible it must feel to not have the answers you need. When the news cycle shifts, we will still remember you, Myeisha. You will remain on our hearts.

Your new sisters are gathering into formation right now to protect you as you grieve. We can’t shield you from the pain of insensitivity, the sting of slander or the ache of loss, but we will guard your name as you grieve, because your agony is familiar to us. For every callous public statement made, we will counter with compassion. You’re one of us now. Woman. Mother. Widow. And we have your back. La David fought for us, and now we fight for you.

You deserve extra grace, love, compassion, understanding, support and truth. You don’t know us, but we are out here, fighting for those things on your behalf. Take care of yourself, Myeisha. Rest in the assurance that you are not alone.

Extra grace,

Jodi

© Jodi Whitsitt 2017

photo credit: The National Guard New Jersey National Guard via photopin (license)

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20 Comments

  • Reply Terry October 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Beautifully said❤️

    • Reply Extra Grace Required October 24, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      My heart breaks for her….and for all those mourning the loss of their husbands.

  • Reply Kristi Weaks October 24, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    It is my understanding that Ms. Johnson is the one who is slandering our president.

    • Reply Suzi Lang October 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      I don’t understand why you are laying the blame that is trump’s alone at the feet of this young pregnant widow. She has had to go through one of the most difficult things she’ll ever have to do, all the while being slandered and lied about. Can you even imagine?
      Her husband deploys, does his job for our country and when he dies in combat his Commander in Chief goes golfing instead of honoring his sacrifice? Then has to be shared by the public to even acknowledge the loss? AND THEN lie to the public about the whole bumbling ordeal?
      Horrific. Think of this poor woman. She didn’t ask for the lies of the president to be aimed at her during this time. Please have some compassion.

  • Reply Gail Davis October 24, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Beautiful.

  • Reply Kristi October 24, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Am I missing something here?

    • Reply Suzi Lang October 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Yes, yes you are.

  • Reply Eileen Boggess October 24, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Public grief. I can;t imagine.

  • Reply Barbara McCarthy October 24, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Beautiful, Jodi…simply beautiful …thank you.

  • Reply Kristi October 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    So sad that this whole thing was fabricated and distorted to make it a media thing.

    • Reply Extra grace required October 24, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      What has been fabricated, Kristi?

    • Reply Extra grace required October 24, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      What I find sad is a mother/wife grieving the loss of her soldier husband.

  • Reply Lu October 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you for putting into words what many of us have thought and felt. Grief is so painful but this added pain is beyond my imagination. I apologize for the words of leaders who won’t apologize for their own words. They do not represent all of us. You husband and his 3 comrades paid the ultimate sacrifice and our entire country, Democrats, Republicans and Independents owe them our deepest gratitude and respect.
    I promise to remember their heroism not the words coming out of the White House. I would want the same for my husband’s memory had he served in our military. God Bless You and your children. .

  • Reply Suzi Lang October 24, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Beautiful, Jodi. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your compassion and humanity toward this young widow.

  • Reply Kristi October 24, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    When I listened to her interview on Good Morning America, I also heard her berate our president.

  • Reply Kristi October 24, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I do believe the part about president Trump and how he handled the situation on the phone with the widow was distorted. I feel this has become a liberal political agenda. So sad it seems to always come down to this. Heartbreaking. When my husband was killed in an accident suddenly, the last thing I would have wanted to do, is to have made it a public issue on tv etc I just don’t get that and never will. My heart goes out to the widow; but instead of her husband being honored and lovingly remembered, it’s become more about anger and division. So opposite of what Jesus stands for.

  • Reply Deborah October 25, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Beautiful. My prayers are with Mrs. Johnson, her family and all the families of those fallen soldiers. Her road is not going to be easy and that mountain will be hard to claim, I don’t think we ever reach that top and we question why our loved was taken away so sudden. Just know that there are people hurting for you with you. As a widow myself ( will be 2 years in December) I feel your pain and I pray that you will find the answers that you search for and that you can some how find peace. and I am so sorry your grief has been so openly published…Hugs to you my dear. Thank you Jodi for such beautiful words

  • Reply Laura October 25, 2017 at 8:17 am

    ❤️🙏🏼

  • Reply Jeanie Martin October 25, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    You touched on what was really important.

  • Reply Sandra Sloan October 28, 2017 at 8:38 am

    We thank your husband and all who are in the military for their service to keep our country free from attack. He and so many others have paid the highest price for our freedom.
    Prayerfully, one day they will all be able to come home.
    You and your family are remembered in prayer as you try to go forward with life for you and your children. May God bless you, and your memories of LaDavid warm your heart, until you get to see him again.
    .Temporary separation, until we are all reunited in heaven for all eternity, what a beautiful place welcomed him home.
    Sandra

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