Young Widows and Widowers Open Up About Dating, Remarrying in the Church

Hanging in Tammy Hill’s home are three photographs: one of Tammy and Mark Mulford on their wedding day, one of Jeffrey and Juanita Hill on their wedding day, and one of Jeffrey and Tammy with their combined family of 12 children. Written in vinyl lettering on the wall beside the images are the words “All because four people fell in love.”

Jeffrey and Tammy were both widowed fairly young, Tammy at 37 years old with four children (the youngest only 4 months old) and Jeffrey at 52 with eight children. Five years after Mark’s death and 18 months after Juanita’s, Tammy and Jeff married—a decision they and other young widows and widowers don’t make lightly.

The loss of a spouse introduces widows and widowers into a vastly different world than the one they were in previously, and amidst grieving and adjusting to their new lives, they are faced with the question of whether or not to date again. A question that each person handles differently. 

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Pregnant and Widowed at 21: A Latter-day Saint Woman’s Story

Kyra* knew something was wrong as soon as she turned on the lights and saw her husband, lying still in bed. “That moment is forever ingrained in my head, seeing that he just didn’t look right, that he wasn’t there. Something was wrong,” she says.  “There are no words to describe that moment.”

A Fairytale Gone Wrong

Kyra had just turned 21 years old. She and her husband, Jacob, had bought their first home two months prior, and after a prompting to begin their family earlier than planned, on Christmas day the couple had discovered Kyra was pregnant.

“Everything was exactly the way it should be. Our life was starting the way we wanted it to, we had our dream house that we were going to raise our kids in—we knew exactly what we wanted and where we were going,” Kyra said. 

But on January 11, 2018, when Kyra tried to wake up Jacob, he was unresponsive. After her initial panic, Kyra’s medical emergency training kicked into gear.

Kyra started CPR and called 911. She was put on hold for two and a half minutes before finally speaking with an operator—who then put her on hold again before she finally got through to someone who could help her. She performed CPR for 20 minutes while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. 

Kyra recalls, “I felt if I just focus then everything will be ok.” Because of that focus and the shock that naturally comes with such an unexpected tragedy, when the ambulance arrived, Kyra was able to calmly pack a hospital bag with her and Jacob’s clothes, put their dog in the kennel, call their families to meet them at the hospital, and then move to the front seat of the ambulance.

“Someone got in the front seat with me and said, ‘Are you ok? How are you feeling? Are you going to throw up?’ My brain was so turned off at that point, but the thought went through my head, ‘There’s something I need to remember. Oh, I’m pregnant,’” Kyra says. “That was the moment I [thought]: ‘I am pregnant, and my husband is dead in the back of this ambulance.’”

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Biology professor wanders through madness, fiction, science

Steve Peck remembers his week of horror vividly: the giant insects flying around the hospital, his daughter’s innocently hand-drawn pictures that took life and began speaking to him, the evil clones of his wife and children conversing right outside his door. To Peck, it was all real, and the madness had narrative and twisted explanations.

Almost too late, one doctor discovered Peck had a rare bacterial infection Peck picked up in Vietnam when he was there studying butterflies a year prior.

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Extreme Cammock King: Man Takes Hammocks and Camping to the Extreme

There’s camping, there’s hammocking, and then there’s cammocking—that is, opting for a hammock while camping. Then, of course, there’s extreme cammocking: suspending a 2,000 square foot hammock of weaved rope over a 400-foot canyon.

These woven hammock-like nets are also known as space nets. To Andy Lewis, they’re called thug mansions because, like a 2Pac song, “that’s the only place where thugs get free and you gotta be a G at thug mansion.” And Lewis has every right to call these cammocks “thug mansions”—after all, he invented them.

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The Blind Cafe: The Enlightening Experience of Dining in the Dark

It’s 2007. American songwriter Rosh Rocheleau and his band—then called “Rosh and One Eye-Glass Broken”—were touring in Europe. Rocheleau stumbled upon “Café in the Dark” in Iceland, a restaurant where blind servers brought food to diners, who ate completely in the dark. The experience stuck with Rocheleau.

“The powerful part is I had no idea if these people were black, white, tall, short, blind, wheelchair—I didn’t have that prejudgment of people,” said Rocheleau. “I carried that story with me for several years.”

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BYU chemistry professor trains police on critical thinking

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 7.57.11 PM.pngProvo Police Chief John King never planned on partnering with a chemistry professor to teach critical thinking courses. That is, until BYU’s Brian Woodfield approached King and asked if Woodfield could train Provo City Police.

The idea first came after Woodfield created virtual labs for his chemistry students at BYU, using highly sophisticated graphics that allowed students to participate in experiments and make mistakes without losing hours of work, as would happen in a real lab.

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NASA flight surgeon researches effects of space travel on human body

Blake Chamberlain has one of the most unique jobs in the solar system.

The BYU alumnus is a NASA flight surgeon, a physician who trains with and monitors astronauts’ health both in and out of space.

Keeping an astronaut happy and healthy in space comes with its own unique challenges. Chamberlain said astronauts need to work out at least two hours a day in order to keep muscle from wasting away. Chamberlain gets closer to his patients than most any other physician by working with an astronaut for about two years before takeoff. He also spends months monitoring the astronaut’s health from hundreds of thousands of miles away while his patient is in space. Following landing, Chamberlain works for another few months to help his astronaut acclimate back to earth life.

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Provo museum showcases haunted items

A bronze casting of a liar’s tongue, a doll surrounded by apologetic notes, a vibrant collage of colors and magazine cutouts created as a shrine to an unknown creature — such are the sights at the Museum of Haunted and Mysterious Objects, located above Cat’s Cradle Antiques 168 E. Center Street in Provo.

Those who come to the museum are first greeted by an eerily life-like dummy staring customers down as they walk up old, wood stairs. After paying their way — $5 for adults, $3 for children and students with ID — the curator gives participants a flashlight and sets them loose on the museum.

“The entire ambiance is just creepy. You’re in the dark, you’re given a flashlight and you’re in with all these weird dolls and things,” said BYU freshman Austin Stutz. “It’s kind of like the entire room is staring at you.”

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Study shows LGBT BYU students at higher risk for depression

BYU senior Brenna McGrath was in the process of slowly overdosing herself with medication when her class held a panel for BYU’s unofficial LGBT club, Understanding Same-Gender Attraction.

“USGA saved my life,” said McGrath, who identifies as bisexual. “It’s a pretty common story for us in the club.”

However, another common story for LGBT individuals and their friends is the alternate ending to McGrath’s story: crippling depression and suicide.

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Only at BYU: Two-Week Fake Boyfriend


screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-1-22-32-pm“Only at BYU” would a professor give points for starting a fake relationship. In Professor Tammy Hill’s Marriage Prep class students are given the optional assignment to have a two-week boyfriend or girlfriend. This assignment is called the “14-day challenge” and is part of a larger semester-long experiential assignment.

The 14-day challenge, which requires students to ask a friend to be in an exclusive relationship with them for 14 days has proven to be a great learning experience. Kate and Laura (who’s names have been changed) decided to take on the challenge. Listen to their experience in the podcast below.

*Song by DJ Quads