Finding Jill: How a Boise woman rebuilt her life through grief
It only took an instant on a highway in Italy for Jill Kraft's life to never be the same. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
It only took an instant on a highway in Italy for Jill Kraft's life to never be the same. A semi truck plowed into the Boise family's mini-van killing Jill's husband Bart, her two sons Ben and Sam, her mother Shirly Ann Johnson and niece Sarah Chehey. Somehow Jill and her sister Jody survived. "And then I woke up in the hospital to my sister saying they were all dead," says Jill. "I seriously at that time, did not feel that there was any happiness in my future."
And there wasn't, only physical pain, funerals, a year in seclusion and a suicide attempt. "That particular night happened I had thoughts of wanting to be with my family. I truly felt I was supposed to be with them," says Jill.
She thought wine and handful of pills would get her there. She called a friend to say goodbye and that phone call that saved her life. She came to, ready to live. Jill began the long journey of recovery, one where she realizes full healing is impossible. "I will always have bad days as anybody who goes through grief will have bad days.
You don't stop missing them just because they're gone and you don't stop loving them just because they're gone. But you learn how to honor their life by living your current life and bring them them into your current life," says Jill. Which is exactly what Jill has done.
Four years after the accident she married again. Her second husband John Thompson never asked her to stop loving Bart. He even created their wedding rings to incorporate all of their birthstones. After much discussion and trepidation, the Thompson's added to their family.
Today at four years old Franklin says he's excited to someday meet his brothers in heaven. Jill's two families are now combined, allowing her to freely love her past while still having hope for the future.
"The loss that occurred is horrible. But that was a split second of my life. The love lasts forever," says Jill.