How to heal: Two Colbert County women reflect on 2021 adversity

“How to Heal” was one of the most googled phrases in 2021
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 8:39 PM CST
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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - “Have our faith. Have our faith,” said Anne Bumgart.

That’s one thing that four-year-old, Weston Dennis’s family holds onto as they grieve the loss of him and his unborn sister. They both died as a result of a multi-car crash in Muscle Shoals in March.

“He loved life. He was the happiest little fella,” said his grandmother, Bumgart.

“How to heal,” was one of the most googled phrases in 2021. A year many people struggled with loss, grief, and another year living with the effects of COVID-19. Families like Weston’s are still learning how to heal.

“You hang on to the good. I guess for the rest of our life we’ll be healing because we never want to lose his memory,” said Bumgary.

For Helen Keller, COVID ICU nurse, Ruth Wooldridge healing has been through the community.

“My coworkers. We talk a lot. I have good family support,” said Wooldridge.

She’s been on the frontlines fighting the pandemic since it started.

“You never know what the next moment brings. That makes it very challenging,” said Wooldridge.

Another way to cope and heal from the gravity of the day-by-day battles is finding other outlets like knitting and her love for cars.

“Those are my releases. I go home and do my fun stuff and then when it’s time to come back to work, it’s like you put on a whole different persona,” said Wooldridge.

Though their struggles are different, some parts of the road to recovery are the same.

“Day by day. Minute by minute sometimes,” said Bumgart.


“There’s tears, there’s laughter,” said Bumgart.


“Don’t wait for that next day, next week, or next year. Go live it now and don’t wait and that seems to make the difference,” said Wooldridge.

And trying to heal.

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