Nik Bonkoski is a woman who has risen from the ashes of heartbreak and tragedy with grace, love, empathy, deep compassion, and authenticity.
In 2015, her first husband of 9 years died by suicide, leaving her a widow with two young children. Nik has been writing about her journey through grief since November of 2015. This tragedy brought her to her purpose and higher calling. She found the deep spirituality that always resided within her soul. She found God within her storm. Nik is a writer, spiritual mentor, and grief counselor who is on an eternal quest for knowledge and aspires to guide others in their own self-discovery, healing, spiritual, and life journeys.
She and her children, including their two spunky german shorthair pointer dogs, are nature enthusiasts whom are always finding ways to rewild their hearts. Together they have aspirations of inspiring children and their parents to wholly care for the earth and to get out in nature to play, hike, learn, and explore.
In her 20's Nik traveled the world including Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka, Amsterdam, London, Canada, and all of the USA: as a flight attendant for Northwest (now Delta) airline. This career taught her many lessons and insights into different people and cultures. When her intuition told her that this career wasn't in alignment with her purpose anymore, she said goodbye to the airline and created her own wedding florist & design business, Something Blue Design, out of her own home studio in 2006. Nik has designed and created fresh florals for over 200 weddings and has been a personal assistant to many brides; organizing, decorating, and executing their special days. In 2013 her business, Something Blue Design, was featured in Minnesota Bride magazine. For years she has placed a piece of her heart into hundreds of brides hands. Nik closed her business in 2018. She is following new artistic avenues via her writing to fuel and feed her creative heart.
Nik is the founder of Rewilding She. Rewilding She is a women's Facebook page built to teach women the healing power of Mother Nature. Nik healed parts of her own grief and calmed her anxiety, depression, and trauma in nature and she can teach you to do the same. Mental wellness is very important to Nik and nature is a great healer.
Nik created and is the founder of the private Facebook support group, The Brave Ladies Club. This is a private club for women who have lost a spouse/partner to suicide.
Nik created an online grief support group on Facebook called, Grief Untamed. Grief is universal but we often try to tame it. We try to tie it down, to box it up, to pack it away. How wild it is to just let it be. How healing it is to let our grief out and go straight through it with the love and support of others. A natural journey of grief is a journey straight through your heart. In this group you will find support, inspiration, learning, and human connection.
Within her own healing, she developed a vast desire to guide others while they move through the pain, remoteness, and loneliness caused by grief. In 2017, Nik became a Certified Grief Support Specialist. Daily Nik answers letters she receives via email and messenger. Letters from around the globe about heartbreak, trauma, loss, grief, mental illness, widowhood, and more. The 'Dear, Nik' letters continue to pour in week by week and Nik answers them all personally.
On a beautiful, sunny Minnesota morning you will find her hiking the local woods & naturally wild places with her children, writing with her dogs at her feet, reading wonderful books to her children, creating messy & fun art projects, cooking, studying grief, mental health, and spirituality, spending time with her husband-James (Nik remarried in 2019) and connecting with people who are looking for guidance and companionship on their healing and spiritual journeys.
"Astounding. But, I am not surprised. I have just fallen upon your fabulous presence, via whatever mechanisms that seem to conspire such things. Your experience is the gift, ultimately to us all. Thank you for seeing the gift, and thank you so much for being one who understands the duty to share. The beauty is that you know what I mean."
"You are so profoundly eloquent.
The beauty of how you shape such words is moving in and of itself."
"I want you to know your page has been the biggest eye opener to my life. I look forward to seeing your page and reading your uplifting posts. It's reminds me to keep on keeping on. I truly respect you and your ability to be vulnerable with strangers. It's inspiring to see you use your pain and suffering, to reach out to others. I aspire to be half the person you are one day."
"You help me to fight the demons inside... Thank you!
Your strength is inspirational and courageous!"
"I am a very loving person. But your writing challenges me on a new level. Wow! I adore you!!"
Certainly we don’t know one another, yet I feel like I know you.
I admire the strength and courage you put forth in every word that you write. I admire the dedication and effort you put forth to help others. I admire the conviction you exhibit toward your cause... helping others.
You are truly a gift. Thank you for putting yourself out there as a beacon of light... of hope... of strength... to others. People that you will never know and faces that you will never see are being helped every day by your words.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Sending love and great big hugs from Buffalo, NY."
"Beautiful testimony. It took me over 15 years to stop and listen to God after we lost my brother. I was on a rollercoaster of angry, upset, confused, hurt... for a LONG time. Your words have far reaching consequences Nik that you will probably not ever learn about in this lifetime and I’m so grateful for your ministry."
"Wow. This is beautiful. Nik, thank you for telling your story, because of you, millions are able to share stories just like this one. I got the chills reading this. I hope you know how important you are in this world, and I don’t even know you and I can see that from afar."
"What a true legacy and a public service you are doing, Nik..unfortunately out of your own pain you have found strength and have placed in the mind of others to seek help . I applaud you . Well done. What you do is not easy but you do it anyway."
"If there were more Nik Tebbe's in the world, it would be such a serene place."
"I just want to say how incredible and inspirational you are. Your strength and courage is something I admire so much and the quotes and advice you post is amazing and something that helps me on bad days. I suffer with anxiety, depression and ptsd and your page is such a blessing on my life. Your experiences and the way you’ve coped with them is something you should be proud of dealing with. I look up to you and will continue to follow your journey and thrive from your super inspiration daily."
"The most powerful thing I have ever read. Thank you Nik ❤ This world is so much better, because you're in it. You are literally saving lives, I guarantee it."
First off, I want to let you know that I consider you a best friend, because that’s how much I connect with you and your writing. My husband died by suicide almost 3 months ago, making me a widow at 20 years old. Over those past 3 months, your words have been there for me when others haven’t and comforted me in ways others couldn’t. I’ve read every single one of your Facebook posts about 5 times over, and I even have some memorized. To know that the thoughts and feelings I’m experiencing are normal is so comforting in the most painful yet beautiful way. Painful because I wish that none of us would have to endure this loss, but beautiful because none of us are alone in the fight. So thank you, for giving me hope, for changing my life, and for inspiring me to do the same for others.
All the love."
"Hi my name is mike...i want you to know that your post has reached Ireland..its one of the most profound honest and sobering personal accounts ive ever read. it should be mandatory reading for all men."
"Thank you for opening up. Thank you for being more than just a video of a pretty girl getting ready- you’re human and you feel, and right now it’s comforting."
"So thank you Nik. Your courageous & strong willed spirit doesn’t go unnoticed. God bless you & your family. My love & prayers to you all."
"After already having sat through two “suicide prevention” talks at USAFA this year, I wish they would’ve said anything even remotely related to the truth that this woman is sharing. All I’ve gotten out of these hour-long talks is more guilt and regret, but this post, which only took a couple of minutes to read, has provided me with more peace of mind than any advice I’ve received at my school."
"Hi Nik, I wanted to thank you for saving the life of my daughter ( the young girl who is struggling and has twins) we didn’t know how much she was suffering but you gave her the will to live and the knowledge that she is very, very loved and needed by her babies and her family. Your words have saved a life but also gave her the will to get through this and to know much she is loved. I will be forever in your debt. Thank you Nik."
I'm not even sure that this message will reach you but I thought I would write to you anyways..
My name is ****** and I'm from a small country town in Australia..
I have continually thought about taking my life since my marriage ended in March this year that was until I read your post (the one with your beautiful little girl at her first ballet night). I first read it roughly 2 weeks ago it just happened to come onto my Facebook page and it gave me a complete different picture of everything. My son is 4 years old and I always thought to myself he wont remember me but after reading how hard it has been for you guys it completely opened my eyes to the other side of it. I'm not a crying person but everytime I read it...it breaks my heart.
I want to thank you for basically saving my life through your words. For me it wasn't a case of if I was going to end my life but when I was going to.
So from me and my beautiful son we thank you.
Much love from my boy and I to you and your family."
"Hi Nik. I recently saw your post along with the picture of your 4 year old daughter, one of my friends shared it. The story really hit home with me, you see almost 20 years ago, when I was 7 years old I received a phone call from my father; where he prepped me for what was about to come and then told me he loved me for the last time. It couldn’t have been too long after that that we found out he was gone. My mom tried very hard to sugar coat what happened and lie to protect me, but to no avail because I already knew. I respect the way you approached the conversation with your daughter with so much honesty, it’s incredible how much young children can actually understand. I also find it so brave that you are able to share your story, it took me several years to be honest about mine. What you have done and what you are doing is going to help so many people, not just suicidal parents but the kids that are survivors. Thank you"
Things Nik has started....
The Brave Ladies Club
"You are already radiating light for others to accept, to see by. Proof that this journey is THE journey for you. It's not supposed to be easy. It's in the 'digging deep' that we grow, and eventually realize enlightenment. You are strong, serene, brimming with compassion for others, and most importantly, yourself. There's no stopping now!"
"Nik, Your miracle is anything but small.
The miracle in your story took place within you, essentially making you the miracle.
Don’t mistake this for a charismatic attempt for strategically complimenting you for an alternate purpose.
I’m simply pointing out the truth that the details of your miracle manifest in and through you.
In your loving and encouraging words that speak life into the grimmest or circumstances.
You and all you do so selflessly for others is proof positive...
You are a miracle."
"You are so awesome at what you do. I have never seen a person with such depth of caring and compassionate feelings towards others with this entire subject of grieving and loss. You are a gem in a dark world for many and you are blessed with the gifts of wisdom and understanding to help spread hope publicly like you do."
" Hi Nik, I have to admit, I first saw a re-post of what you shared on April 17th just the other day, and it brought me to tears, not only because of the loss that you and your family experienced but because your words were so gracious, so careful, so inspiring. Thank you for shedding a light that some of us cannot because we feel nothing positive from our own father's choice to commit suicide. It has been 11 years since my father committed suicide, and I wasn't 4 years old when he did it, I was 34, but for my sister and I, well, I won't speak for my sister, but for me, when people ask me about my dad, because perhaps they don't know he's gone, or they don't know the circumstances, I have nothing positive to report. It has felt from then until this day like he simply gave us all the finger. Permanently. He may have rationalized he was doing us all a favor by taking his life, but I would give up any of the imagined favours he's done us by having even one more day with him. I'm not able to count all the times I have broken down sobbing in front of my own little girls because they will never know my parents, their paternal grandparents. I don't know how to frame things about what he did in a positive light. For anyone. I am also captivated by how you can plead with others graciously to not do what my dad or your late husband have done because when someone muses about committing suicide, I become livid. I find myself only able to muster rage about whatever I assume they must be romanticizing about the notion of suicide. I am not a gracious person in that respect, and yet I am an ordained minister who is supposed to be like Jesus, and yet you are far more like Him than I am. I mourn for your loss. And the loss to your little girl and boy. But I am also so glad you have been able to walk away from the ashes with a gift that I cannot seem to glean from all the ways I have attempted to process my own trauma. Thank you for your example, your courage, and your openness. Best regards and blessings."
"Your post just now about what happens after could not have come at any more of a perfect moment. I have been trying to find the strength not to die today. I was crying as I read it and still am. I am tired. I am in physical and emotional pain. I have always fought but I really felt like today was time to stop it all. Your post made me understand how much pain I would cause others. I'm not ok but it made me pause and think. Please don't stop doing what you do. You saved my family from pain with your post. I'll keep fighting. I won't quit. Thank you."
"I commend you on what a truly motivating and inspirational woman you are. How you get up every day with a positive attitude and a smile and raise your kids is overwhelming. You radiate love, positivity, and kindness and you will have helped so many people through your posts. People you don’t know and will never meet but some people reading here will owe their life to you and for others, you will have turned their life around. You are an incredible woman."
"Hi Nik, I have just come across your amazing post, I'm guessing you probably get a lot of messages every day in response to this. And don't worry, I'm not expecting a reply! I just wanted to say that really resonated with me. More than anything I have read regarding the suicide of a parent. Like your daughter, I was 4 when my father hung himself outside my bedroom door (luckily I slept through it) and the approach you took with your daughter with the openness and honesty is honestly something I could have done with, let me tell you, you made the right choice. I didn't find out the truth until I was 18. And my relationship with my mother has suffered greatly because of this. But I am 34 years old and in Ireland, this was the thing to do so I don't blame her. It's just when I read your post I want to send it to everyone I know. It says everything. Thank you.
I wish you and your kids all the best, you deserve it. Thank you so much."
"Nikki...you are a blessing to so many of us!!! Your words are so powerful and have helped and are helping so many.....
PLEASE MAY I BE IN LINE TO HAVE AN autographed copy of your book that will be published someday."
"I'm trying so hard to find self-love. I still think about death every day. And life keeps throwing it at me... Maybe one day I'll catch a break. But until then my beautiful daughters and siblings I do have are enough. I read and reread your posts. I need them as fuel. You are beautiful and I just wanted to let you know your words mean more than you could ever know."
"THANK YOU for ALL you do!! At a low point now.... your promising words mean everything!"
There is always a light within us that is free from all sorrow and grief,
no matter how much we may be experiencing suffering.