Losing your husband is never easy but when you lose him at the young age of 28, the unfairness of it all is what hurts more.
Alan Jackson’s daughter became a young widow when she was still in the honeymoon phase of her marriage. But instead of letting grief consume her, she got even closer to her faith which helped her heal.
Alan Jackson’s daughter Mattie Jackson Selecman made a beautiful bride and graced the cover of Southern Bride for their Summer/Fall 2018 issue.
Mattie married Ben Selecman, the man of her dreams who worked as the Davidson County’s Assistant District Attorney. The two met in college and their romance blossomed over the years.
He pursued me until I finally saw the handsome, outgoing, Godly guy I needed,” Mattie recalled the initial days of her relationship with Selecman.
The couple was still in their honeymoon phase while celebrating the labor day holiday on Mattie’s dad Alan Jackson’s boat. But this was the day that changed their lives forever.
Accoring to Mattie, the dock was wet and Ben merely slipped. It was a long fall but she believed her husband would be okay since he was conscious and seemed to be getting his bearings back. However, everything was not fine.
Two off-duty paramedics recommended that Ben be taken to an emergency room. When the family rushed to a nearby hospital, the doctors that examined Ben recommended that he needed to have brain surgery to quell the swelling in his brain. He was conscious but in pain and confused.
Ben underwent surgery and doctors placed him in a medically induced coma to ensure that his condition did not worsen. After 11 days of his coma, doctors planned to wake him up.
Mattie recalls thinking that they would perhaps spend years in physical therapy but knew she would have her husband by her side. But as doctors were waking Ben up, a blood clot in his brain caused him to have multiple strokes which caused major brain damage. A day later, his heart gave up and Mattie Jackson Selecman became a 28 year old widow.
You can’t ever imagine that high of a high and that low of a low within a three-minute window,” she recalled to People magazine.
After losing her new husband so suddenly, Mattie began to question everything including God. She was upset why God took her husband away so young. But just as much anger and sadness she had in her heart, she turned to faith and found answers and healing in it.
We prayed for Ben to be healed and whole and perfect,” she says quietly. “And now he is. He’s healed and he is whole, and he is perfect for eternity now, just not the way that we wanted,” she said about her husband’s passing.
Grief is a rollercoaster and Mattie Jackson Selecman experienced the highs and lows of it for the last four years. In 2021, she released her book Lemons on Friday, in which she chronicled her journey as a young widow and leaning on her faith in her tough times.
“My greatest hope is that people just see my story for what it is. This book is just a vehicle to show that you can hurt honestly with God, but there is a way to not let that hurt overcome you because of the hope of who He is,” Mattie said.
Since then Mattie has been very vocal about her experience as a young widow. She wants to lend support to those who need it and help them get inspiration from her on how to overcome their tough times.
Three and a half years after losing her husband, Mattie has found love again! She has been dating her boyfriend Connor and is grateful at being able to experience love in her life again.
It is so nice to see Mattie happy in life again. Her tragedy is a solid lesson in overcoming your losses in the most beautiful way possible.
Share Mattie Jackson Selecman’s inspirational story on how to overcome grief.