Advice from late NFL player's wife on living life to the fullest after loss

Kelsey Chittick is sharing her own strife to help others grieving, everything from the loss of a loved one to losing anything in life you hoped for that didn't work out.

NFL Super Bowl Champion, Nate Hobgood-Chittick, was known for his boisterous laugh and fun personality. He was the love of Kelsey's life, but then four years ago, tragedy shook-up their family.

42-year-old Nate was at a trampoline park with his children. After only a few jumps, he died right there, in front of their kids.

"He actually died of cardiomyopathy of the left ventricle, which is something that a lot of o-linemen and defensive linemen have. The heart just gets so big, and it's like a muscle that keeps growing because they're athletes, and eventually, that left ventricle couldn't pump anymore," explains Kelsey.


Kelsey admits at first, she cried uncontrollably and relied on prescription medications to get through the hard times, but then she realized how she handled this traumatic situation would forever affect her and her children's lives.

She was determined that her kids were not going to lose her as well. They'd first work through every stage of grief.

"We weren't going to miss any of it. We were going to be miserable but eventually we had our North Star of healing and joy, because I think the best way to honor Nate is to just live the best life. I know that's what he would want, so we work really hard at it, whether it's therapy or counseling or prayer or meditation, and we just keep our eye on the prize that we're still here and it's an honor to be able to be alive," says Kelsey.

Kelsey started releasing her emotions through journaling and is now sharing it through her memoir, Second Half.

There's a lot of meaning in that title, from digging deep and pushing hard through the second half of a football game, as well as through the plights of life.

"He died when I was 40, so it was like my half my second half and at some point was like, I'm not going to just fall apart here, so I'm going to crush the second half. That's what the book is about, the first part is kind of our life and then how we have navigated the last four years," states Kelsey.

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Kelsey is more than willing to share advice. "Just like you get to choose how you define things that happen in your life, and I think that's the biggest thing: you can't control anything, but you can survive everything if you just choose to, and you go to work," says Kelsey.

Kelsey is also using her platform to raise awareness about football injuries. She says her husband did have personality changes toward the end of his young life. She suspected it was from multiple concussions.

"I did send his brain tissue to Boston University that has a concussion foundation and he had stage two, almost three CTE, which is the concussion disease that we're finding in a lot of football players and ex-military, so I think that's probably what I mean is, he wasn't getting good blood to his body because that's what the heart attack was, but I think the changes in his personality, and just kind of the way he walked through the world, were probably due to the lesions that he had from the hits he took," states Kelsey.

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Now Kelsey hopes sharing resilience, from the hits they all took, can somehow help us all.

You can find "Second Half: Surviving Loss and Finding Magic in the Missing" online and in most bookstores. Connect with Kelsey Chittick at her website or her Facebook and Instagram.