Why I Have Been Gone

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I just barely caught my breath enough to be able to write a few words to let you know what is going on in my life. I'm shaking as I write this and words can't quite express the feelings in my heart. In short, my life has been flipped upside down. My dear, sweet husband, Eric, passed away last Tuesday after fighting for his life for four days.

He sustained catastrophic brain trauma after being hit by a car while on duty as a Utah Highway Patrol trooper. My little boys and I are just trying to get by each day, with the help of many family and friends. I am trying to figure things out, and don't know when I'll be back to the blogging world. But I foresee that I will be back.


You can go here to view Eric's obituary. I just also wanted to say a million THANK YOU's to all of you in the state and around the country that have been extremely supportive in this overwhelming and very heartbreaking time.

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80 thoughts on “Why I Have Been Gone

  1. Cris A says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am grateful for your husbands service to his community and State and will be praying for your little boys and you. I lost my husband 15 years ago yesterday in a car crash. I just want you to know that when I needed him most my heart can feel him near. I know that Jesus has his arms around you and your family and will continue to help hold you up as you go forward.

  2. Cassie says:

    I am sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the heartache you are dealing with. My husband has worked at SLC Jail for 9 years. I thank you for both your public service and support you 100% I know many officers and have a deep appreciation for everything they do. I will keep you in my prayers.

  3. Missy says:

    You don’t know me, but I’ve been praying for you. I hope that the spirit can settle in your heart and eventually give you peace. Your blog, and readers, will still be here when you are ready. Sending so much love. XOXOX

  4. Wendy L says:

    Janica, We don’t know each other personally. But we live in the same community. And I wanted to send you our sincere condolences for you and your families loss. Our thoughts are with you as you journey through this heartbreaking time. I wish to give your husband and you both our thanks for his time and service to our community and all of Box Elder county. He was and will forever be a hero.

  5. Lindsay P says:

    Janica, my thoughts and prayers have been with you a million times a day. As I drive through town and see blue ribbons everywhere. As I broken-heartedly gaze at the flags at half-mast, including a neighbor’s Thin Blue Line flag. When I drive down your street and see the constant UHP presence keeping watch at your home and the patriotic support displayed. Although we’ve never met, my heart aches for you, your boys, your families and all those who mourn with you. My husband, children and I pray for you all in our nightly family prayers. May the Lord comfort and bless you.

  6. Cheryl Lewis says:

    Our hearts are full of love for you and your sweet family. Eric and you have been in our prayers. May Heavenly Father and the love of our Savior lift you and bless you through most this unbelievably difficult time❤️

  7. CJ says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Words can’t cover how I feel. I have know Amber and Amy for years via Westside Medical. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless. Hugs too

  8. Lynne Crabb says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! I heard about your husband’s accident and immediately said a little prayer for his family. I had no idea you were his family. You and your boys will continue to be in my prayers.

  9. Lee says:

    From a Utah law enforcement family to yours, we are so very sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts have been with you and your boys since we first saw the news of this tragic accident, and even more so when we learned of his passing. Please know we are here for you and we will continue to keep your little family in our prayers. Love, a WVCPD wife.

  10. Angie says:

    I am so sorry. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. Although I don’t know you in real life I feel as if I do because I’ve been following your blog and instagram. May you find peace and comfort in the days ahead <3

  11. KM says:

    My heart is aching for you! I live in Utah and have been following Eric’s story closely – I’ve only been following your blog for a couple of months and had no idea he was your sweet husband. I have good friends in law enforcement and it makes me physically ill to hear any time they are hurt or killed – especially in the line of duty. They are hero’s that are all too often overlooked and taken for granted. I want you to know that you are not alone!! People – known and unknown to you – are praying to give you strength and comfort and I know it will come through the Holy Ghost. Hold tight to Christ and the eternal covenants you have made and take it day by day, moment by moment. You will see Eric again – what am amazing thing to know families can be together forever! I wish I was better at knowing what to say… just know you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  12. Ana says:

    You posted the perfect picture of you and your family by the temple. There is peace in knowing that you will be with him again and he is on the other side to make sure you and your family make it back to him.

  13. TC says:

    I also don’t know you personally; however, you, your children and your family have been in my daily prayers and thoughts. I wish I could do more to help ease the pain of your loss.
    I pray you find comfort in knowing “Families are Forever” and the promised blessings of eternity. God will help carry you through this difficult time even though it is so hard to understand. Sending Love…

  14. Erica says:

    Janica, I am so heart sick for you and your boys. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers constantly. Please, if you need anything at all, let me know. Love you!!! Xoxo

  15. Andee says:

    You don’t know me and I’ve never met you. My husband Lars worked with Eric when he was in Green River. We ache for you and your sweet boys. I don’t know if this saves my email, but keep my email address. There is an unspoken sisterhood between us, and you will always be an LEOW and we will be sisters that way. I know that I don’t know what you are going through but I understand some of the pain more than you know. Hugs love and prayers.

  16. Ashley Baird says:

    Couldn’t read for a second without crying. My heart hurts for you Janica. I am so so sorry. I can only imagine what an incredible husband and father Eric was. So relieved you have family gathered around you, and so many friends.

  17. Maggie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! My whole family has been mourning the loss of your husband with the community. We live in Brigham city also and as I have watched folks tie Blue ribbons on each tree on Main St., It is hard to hold back the tears! I have stopped by and talked to the Troopers that have been at your house to see if they needed anything and have been touched by the love that they share for Eric and you and your boys. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and our little community will do all it can to help you through this with the help of your family and friends!

  18. A Braegger says:

    You take all the time you need to heal. You have been in my thoughts and prayers so much this week. Words can’t express the heartache I feel for you. I will continue to pray for you and your boys to find comfort and peace!

  19. Christy says:

    I’ve been thinking about you and praying for your family all week. It’s not enough, but I hope the support and love of thousands all over Utah can bring you a small amount of peace and comfort.

  20. Karrie Vincent says:

    Not only are you a fellow LEO wife but also a warrior mama (mom of all boys, we are the best!). I am so sorry for your loss!! You are in my thoughts and prayers daily. May you feel the love of the Lord and the peace only He can provide. Love and hugs, a BCPD wife

  21. Camille says:

    As a mother of a trooper, your family is living my worst nightmare. Our prayers have been with you and your family throughout the past few weeks. There are no words to take the pain away and sorry feels so trite. We pray the Lord will carry you, your sons, and family as you walk this journey.

  22. Chavah says:

    Oh Janica! My heart hurts for you! I am praying for you today. I had been following Eric’s story through the news and had no idea he was your husband. You are loved by all of us! I am so so sorry. Words cannot express, but just know I am thinking about you and will be praying for you and your little sweet family!

  23. Patrice says:

    I am so heartbroken. I had no idea Eric was your husband. I follow your blog faithfully and I noticed you were gone — and to learn of your tragedy has broken my heart for you and your family. I am so grateful for the service your husband has rendered to protect our community. May you find love and peace through this time and please know many of us out here love you!

  24. Brieanne says:

    My heart broke for your family when I heard the news of Eric’s passing. I cannot comprehend what anguish you must be feeling, but I did want you to know you are in my thoughts and I grieve for you and with you as a fellow mother of little boys.

  25. Dorothy Zesiger says:

    Janica..I have wanted to text you but did not want to invade your privacy until you posted something. On thanksgiving we had dinner at our sons home (Major Mark Zesiger, UHP). He has along with all of UHP been deeply effected by this tragedy. As we were eating dinner he expressed how difficult it was for him to watch you and felt so devastated he could do nothing to help you. He mentioned your name, “Janica”. immediately I said I follow a blog … He interrupted me with, “Utah deal diva”. I was totally devastated when we made this connection. From our family we love you and your boys and you are in our prayers and will be for a long time.

  26. Chad Wixom says:

    Janica although we’ve never met I wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. Eric was my second cousin, his mother Margie is my dad’s cousin. I too am law enforcement here in Utah and was at the mortuary Friday for a few hours with the honor guard. Although I didn’t know him well and haven’t seen him in a very long time I am deeply saddened by his loss. As a fellow law enforcement officer I not only lost a cousin but a brother in arms as well. Please if you ever need anything don’t hesitate to contact me and I will make myself available for you and your family. I hope to introduce myself at the funeral and may God bless you guys.

  27. Ata says:

    May God comfort you Janica and your children at this very sad and challenging time of your lives. Believe in the words of the Savior as He promised…”…peace I leave with you…”. Families can be together forever! My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for all you have done for us…in the coupon and savings world. God bless you and family. ALOHA!

  28. Susan Johnson says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss. Like others have said, I don’t know you personally, but I will be praying for you and your sweet boys in the hopes that you can find some measure of comfort and strength. From reading your husband’s obituary it is clear that he was a remarkable person with a remarkable family, and that he lived his life for others. Much love and prayers your way!

  29. August Teuscher says:

    You don’t know me but, I have been praying for you, your precious boys and your family. My heart breaks for the loss of an amazing man…. Much love to you 💓💓💓

  30. Liz says:

    You have all been in my thoughts and prayers daily since the accident. I haven’t met you, but worked with Eric some in the past through my job. I’m still praying for you daily and I’m so sorry for your loss.

  31. Preethi says:

    Janica, looking at the news, I was struck by how your family forgave the driver, inspite of the catastrophic event, you are great. May God bless you!

  32. Debbie says:

    There are just no words that will heal your heart, and make you not miss Eric every hour. Why did the Lord need to take him to heaven right now? None of us know the answer to that. My family is praying for your family several times a day. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this.

  33. Ashlyn says:

    Love and prayers your way! Hang in there and take the time you need! I am so glad you can have eternity as a family! God’s time is eternal and very different from our mortal time.

  34. Cori Connors says:

    I’ve often wondered who this Utah Deal Diva is. I’d see your blog, the evidence of a multifaceted talent pool and a brilliant brain, and wonder how you could possibly hold all that information in your head and still have your bright outlook and sense of humor and graciousness to share. Now, with your willingness to share even the depth of sorrow, you have won me over completely and I’m sort of wishing you were my next door neighbor. Then I would come do your dishes or vacuum your car or read you poetry or sing you songs, whatever might bring you some sort of comfort or sense of normalcy. I do know this, even though I don’t know the whole of you…you are obviously a capable, insightful, intelligent, faith-driven woman and you will triumph. More than survive, I foresee you as triumphant, though maybe a little bruised. Here’s to good rest and renewed energy and laughter through tears. Condolences from Farmington.

  35. Amanda says:

    I am so sorry for your tragic loss. I have seen the reports on tv and had not made the connection. What an honorable and brave man your husband was. My thought and prayers are with your family.

  36. Wendy T says:

    I don’t know you personally but am a longtime follower and this post breaks my heart! Please know I am praying for you and your sweet boys, and wishing you Heavenly Fathers love and comfort during this intensely difficult time. 8 wish I could hug you! I am so sorry for your loss.

  37. Elisabeth says:

    Oh my gosh, I had no idea that was your husband. I am speechless. So so very sorry for your loss. We will be praying so hard for your dear family. Sending our love your way. So very sorry.

  38. Audra says:

    Have been there, in another way. I’m just finding my way back to blogging, a year later. If all you can do is feed yourself and your kiddos and snuggle in bed, do that. Two songs in particular have helped me, at different times: https://youtu.be/zS0KTt5__MY and https://youtu.be/Dp4WC_YZAuw — but it took some time, because I was heartbroken and angry and confused and hopeful all at the same time. You are so loved. SO loved. Lean on the strong arm of those who swoop in and love on you during this incredibly heartbreaking and difficult time. Some days, the only thing that carried me through the day was the hope that there was One who knew PERFECTLY what I was going through.

  39. Ellen says:

    You don’t know me but a dear friend in Utah sent me your link. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. I know exactly what you are feeling right now. I too lost my to brain trauma but it was from a bullitt shot by a complete stranger who took out his anger at his wife on my husband. He was in ICU for 3 days before passing away. I truly wish I could tell you it gets easier and in some ways it does with time. But there is a huge hole in your heart that will never be filled again. I am older and did not have young children to worry about but I know how hard it is to make decisions for them and be their sole support. Reading the comments on here it sounds like you have a lot of people who love you. Let them. Let them be there for you and help you through this. They are God’s angels. I pray you will find peace and comfort. I KNOW you have the strength to move forward. You CAN do this.

  40. Vannia says:

    I wish we could say or do something else to make the pain go away but I know we can’t, I know that Heavenly Father can help you and I pray that you and your sons can find peace knowing that death is not the end. Take your time we’ll be here when you’re ready

  41. Chuck Hoffman says:

    Let your badge so shine

    He was the calm before the storm.
    He was different from the norm.

    On his chest was a badge that he wore.
    This badge would give him super power.

    But this badge would not protect him every hour.

    This badge would be his fate.
    No matter how great.

    No matter how tall,
    even this great man can fall.
    Not every man stands so tall.
    Wearing the badge that protects us all.

    Many have fallen from its grace.
    With someone to fill his or her place.

    Only Certain men and women make this badge shine so bright.
    Binding us and blinding from its light.

    And then one night,
    in the pale twilight.
    Even with all His might.

    God will call you home again.
    And in time all things will mend.
    Because it’s in God’s hands, that you are in.

    He will comfort those left behind.
    Even though it will take some time.
    So I say to those who are left behind,
    To mourn the loss of a special friend…

    And as his name suggests, He has great worth to all of those left behind…


    We Love You Trooper Ellsworth UHP 395

    Deputy Chuck Hoffman 1C8 BESO
    11/22/2016 EOW

  42. Amy Bryant says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart broke for you and your boys when I read this post. I hope you can find the peace and comfort you need at this time and moving forward. Thank you for your blog! It has helped my family so much. I always looked forward to seeing your posts on great deals! May God bless you and surround you with loving people to lift you up.

  43. Carolyn says:

    I cried when I read your post. I don’t know you, but I appreciate you. You have worked hard to establish a very useful blog. Perhaps you could post links on your page to sites that you get a commission from. We could show our support and appreciation for the job that you have been doing. We could pop over to your page when we shop at Amazon or other sites. I am sure that many of us would be willing to contribute our sales to help while you take time for your family. Can you post a list of links to places that we might be shopping? Please know that there are many of us that are saddened for your loss. We appreciate the service that your husband gave to our state. Hugs!

  44. april says:

    I have been following the story on the news and had no idea it was your sweet husband!! My thoughts are with you at this very difficult time! When you do come back to blogging, your followers will support you and your family 110! Take Care!

  45. Tory says:

    Your sweet family has been on my mind since hearing about this terrible accident! I am so glad to know that families are forever and that your will see your sweetheart again. Please know that we will be here and waiting for you, when YOU are ready to come back (there is no rush)! You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  46. Jolayne says:

    Just wanted to offer my condolences on the passing of your husband. My prayers are with
    you and your children as you go through this transition in your life. I do know that families are
    forever. May you find peace and comfort during this difficult time.

  47. Heidi says:

    My heart breaks for you and your boys. I pray for heart, soul, and mind to be comforted and strengthened in the days ahead. Your husbands service to the community is greatly appreciated. May the Lord’s watchful hand guide you continually! XOXO

  48. Heidi Naylor says:

    Wow….I had no idea that you were that beautiful wife that spoke at his funeral the other day. You are so strong and it felt so real how you spoke. I hope and pray for you and your family everyday. I just had no idea that it was you our little Utah Deal Diva. Please feel all our love and prayers. Thank you for all that you have done for me and my family. I am disabled and some weeks your deals all that gets us through to the next paycheck. I sure have a broken heart for you. Just keep swimming!

  49. Karen says:

    I read your post this morning and have been thinking of you all day. I am so very sorry for your unimaginably painful loss. I’m thankful that you are surrounded by loving family and friends. Praying for your strength and comfort at this time. I know and feel that God will be with you.

  50. Lindsey Wells says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your kind husband. I responded on accident calls on the freeway with him. He was such a kind trooper and gentle giant. My heart and prayers are with you and your sweet little boys.

  51. J M says:

    I don’t know you personally but am a longtime follower and absolutely love your blog. you are amazing at what you do! my heart broke into a million pieces as I made the connection as I read your post. I am so so sorry! I am praying for you and your sweet little family, and wishing you much peace and comfort during this very difficult time. Families are Forever! we followers will be here when you are ready! sending much love!

  52. Alicia says:

    Saying I’m sorry seems so trite at a time like this. But I wanted to share a neat experience I had this morning. I am currently confined to the hospital in the midst of a complicated pregnancy. On Sunday mornings a small army of volunteers come to the hospital to give the sacrament to patients and visitors. Before they head out to the individual rooms, they host a short sacrament meeting of their own. I’ve been going to that Sacrament the last few weeks and those volunteers bring such a great spirit! One of them told an amazing story today. He said that a couple of weeks ago he was assigned to the floor your husband was on, and there were about 20 visitors that wanted the sacrament. He only had one piece of bread and just enough water cups. But then 6 more people showed up. He borrowed some small medicine cups from a nurse and split the bread a little more. Then 6 more people showed up. He did the same thing. People kept showing up until there were 50 people wanting the sacrament. The nurses were kind to help, but he said the miracle came that just one piece of bread provided the sacrament for 50 people. He said he’s never seen that happen before and he knew that if more people would have showed up, the Lord would have made that piece of bread sufficient for everyone’s needs. Just thought you would like to hear about that miracle. Love and prayers to your family.

  53. Crista C. says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. We were praying for your sweet husband that he would make it. Now our prayers are turned to you and your little boys. Hugs

  54. Kendra says:

    I’ve been thinking about your family every day since the accident. My heart aches for you. You are in our prayers. I’m so grateful for your husband’s service to our state. I’m grateful you have family and friends (both on Earth and in heaven) surrounding you at this time.

  55. Jamie Ormsby says:

    Janica, I am so sorry for your loss. Your husbands sounds like a truly amazing man. He leaves an incredible legacy. I hope for future joy for you and your boys. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Sometimes life is just way too hard.

  56. Nicole H says:

    I know nothing that any of us can say will take away your hurt. Please know that we (your followers) love you. I feel like we get to know you by following you on this site. My heart hurts as I imagine your family hurting. I am so sorry for your loss. You have been and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

  57. Dianne says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. We know it’s just temporary but it hurts so bad nonetheless. My family and I thank you and your dear husband for his service and sacrifice. You and your family will be in our prayers. Try to remember how much he loves to see you smile.

  58. Melisa says:

    Janica, I wanted to let you know I think of you and your family often. Continued prayers and thoughts are still with you and your family.

  59. Jenny says:

    Janica, You don’t know me either. Around Black Friday I noticed your absence on your blog and then I read one of the news stories on KSL about your husband where they mentioned your name and I put two and two together. Words seem trite at times like these but just know that I and many other people are still praying for you and your sweet family and thinking about you.

  60. Tracy says:

    Oh my gosh!! I am soo sorry to hear that this was your lil family. We had been watching the updates on tv. May the blessings of your temple sealing and eternal family hold, hug and sustain all of you. When your up and ready to answer coupon questions please let us all know.
    FB hugs to you all.

  61. Brittney Misener says:

    Janica, you still have people visiting your site and praying for you and your family. I am another one of those. I love your family for all the good you stand for in public service from your husband and in the service you give by offering others the ability to save money for their family. Thank you. I will pray earnestly for your family’s peace and comfort.

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