Taya Kyle now: Her life after Chris’s death

Taya Kyle couldn’t believe it when she received news that her husband, Chris Kyle, the author of the New York Times Bestseller American Sniper, had passed away. Chris’s death resulted from six gunshot wounds to the back inflicted by former Marine Eddie Ray Routh at Rough Creek Lodge in Texas. 

“He was a survivor and a fighter, and honestly, I didn’t know how many times he had been shot,” Taya told ABC News. “He had been in so many close calls that it didn’t seem real.” 

Taya instantly became the most famous widow in the United States as patriots mourned the death of the country’s most lethal sniper. Kyle later wrote American Wife, detailing the couple’s love story, her life as a military spouse, and the aftermath of Chris’s death. 

Taya works as the Executive Director of the Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation

Taya serves as the Executive Director of the Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation, which supports military and first responder marriages. Kyle started the foundation, originally called the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, to honor her late husband’s memory. “In the foundation, started on Veterans Day 2014, Chris’s legacy as a husband and father lives on,” the foundation’s website reads. 

Kyle uses her knowledge and experience to help strengthen the marriages of people with military or first responder spouses. Taya told Military.com that she has regrets about her marriage, including her reluctance to spend time with Chris doing things he loved. 

For instance, one of Chris’s favorite activities was hunting, and Taya regrets she didn’t do it with him. Taya said she learned after Chris’s death that she didn’t respect him enough. She explained:

“I thought I did respect him. I think I misunderstood where the real power comes from. I think I thought our respect was through dialogue and through shared decision making, but I think the real power was in trusting him. It’s such a hard thing to wrap your head around.”

Kyle wants the couples she mentors not to experience regret like she did. It sometimes forces her to broach uncomfortable topics like sex and acknowledging that military marriage is difficult. She said:

“It’s OK for it to be hard – it doesn’t mean it can’t be amazing. And sometimes we’re so busy surviving it and getting through, we’re forgetting to make time for each other to just be together.”

In mid-August 2022, Taya posted a photo of herself headed to an event for her foundation. “Headed to an event for our foundation with first responder and military couples yesterday,” she wrote. “Their presence and bravery in showing up for each other and with us – learning and forging ahead – inspired by warrior spirit.”

Taya and entrepreneur Angela Blair own the Warrior Collections jewelry line

In the post, Taya also flaunted her Warrior Collections jewelry line, which she started alongside Angela Blair. On 1st August 2022, Blair announced an exclusive collection designed by the pair dubbed Koadan jewelry. She wrote on Instagram:

“A dream to create pieces that bring intention, beauty and a reminder that through life’s battles, God is with us and we each have a warrior spirit to overcome anything.”

Taya told extratv that the pair came up with the idea for a jewelry line an hour into their first meeting. Blair added: “I just was so inspired by her story, so inspired by her strength, and really taking that warrior spirit and helping it resonate with everyone.”

Kyle told the outlet that the jewelry can help someone cope with any number of life’s problems: “For me, that helps with all kinds of anxiety, all kinds of fear in life, because you have this kind of grounding technique where you can touch something and remember, ‘You know what? We are not in this alone.”

Kyle said she started feeling joy in her life after letting go of Chris

In late March 2022, Kyle appeared on Life Today to discuss her journey after Chris’s death. Taya said her refusal to let go of Chris had led to a lot of unhappiness in her life. She described one instance when she felt free from grief but couldn’t handle the guilt of letting go of someone she loved so deeply. 

“I woke up and I had this happiness,” Kyle said. “I guess joy. I felt this weightlessness of something that was like Chris’s murder never happened and the missing of him wasn’t there. I had such lightness and joy.”

However, the feeling didn’t last long because she didn’t think she deserved to feel such happiness. “I was like, ‘I’m not ready. I’m not ready,’” Taya said. “I felt like I wanted that pain back. As weird as it sounds, I was like, ‘Please don’t leave me.’ The weight just came right back.”

Kyle remembered when her aunt told her that she would find peace and happiness one day. “She said, ‘I want you to wake up every morning and put your feet on the floor in excited anticipation of what’s coming,’” Taya said. The motivational speaker believed in her aunt’s message but knew that overcoming the grief would take time. 

Nearly a decade after Chris’s death, Taya said she stopped viewing letting go of Chris as a betrayal. She realized that to experience joy again, she would have to unlink herself from her late husband. 

“There’s this moment where I realized I have to let him go,” Taya said. “I think he was like, ‘Man, baby, if you want it, I’ll stay but this is not the best for you.’ So, I got the courage a couple of months ago to say, ‘I’m gonna let you go now. I’m gonna let you go.’”

Kyle hasn’t ruled out dating but is content with life as it is

For a long time after Chris’s death, Kyle was adamant she wouldn’t date again. “I felt like it would be a betrayal,” Taya told People. “I was stubborn and hard-headed about it. I thought, ‘No. It’s Chris and me for the long haul. I don’t care. This is what I’m doing.”

In American Wife, Kyle wrote that one of Chris’s SEAL friends told her that a military man’s biggest fear is ‘that he’ll die and his wife will never let herself be loved again.’ 

Taya continued: “Still, the idea of ‘moving on’ breaks my heart. I still love him. I still feel married to him.” She wrote that she didn’t feel a strong desire to date and that her kids had many role models to emulate:

“The blessing is that my kids have a lot of strong men and strong marriages around them, so I feel like they are getting what they need as far as role modeling. So I don’t feel pressure for them. They are like me. They have this intense loyalty and they don’t have any desire for anybody else.”

Kyle told People that she’d left it to God to decide whether her heart would open up to another romance. “There’s no road map,” she said. “If it’s supposed to happen, it will happen, and if it’s not supposed to happen, then I’m good with that, too.”

Taya continues raising her children, Bubba and Angel, as a single mom. On 31st July 2022, she wrote on Instagram that she cherishes every moment she spends with her children: 

“Every time I hear it, my heart is filled with my kids – I know tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for any of us. I just know that every minute and every day I’ve gotten to spend with them is proof to me that God loves me. I’m so grateful to have gotten any time at all with them!”

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