When Kimberly’s husband Rasheed died suddenly, she had his sperm extracted from his body (Image: WBOC TV)
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On a Saturday night in 2016, Rasheed Wiggins walked across the street in his block of flats to pick up some snacks – but he never made it home.
Just metres from his front gate, Rasheed was struck down by three cars in a suspected hit-and-run. He died in the middle of the road, with a stranger holding his hand.
Rasheed left behind his wife, Kimberley, who had become a widow at just 35 years old.
After his tragic killing, which police believed was deliberate, Kimberly says she wanted her friends to leave her "in the darkness."
In a heartfelt essay for Love What Matters, Kimberly wrote: "All I had were ashes. And I didn’t want to figure out how to keep going."
Kimberly Holmes-Iverson was devastated when her husband Rasheed was killed in a suspected hit-and-run and was desperate to keep his memory alive
(Image: WBOC TV)
She added: "I asked my loved ones to simply sit in the dark with me.
"And even though it was not a pretty place and I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience this pain, those who did venture into this world are responsible for my healing."
The widow says her friends helped her pick out an outfit for Rasheed's funeral and organised a 5k race to fund scholarships in his memory – and they also supported her through one of the biggest decisions she'd ever make.
She wrote: "Hours after Rasheed was killed, I asked my friends to help me figure out if you could extract life from a dead man. Turns out, you can."
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Kimberly described how her friends sat with her in the fertility clinic and held her hand while she decided to extract and freeze Rasheed's sperm, with the plan to have his child.
In a twist she didn't see coming, Kimberly reconnected with an old friend, Darian Iverson – who is now her husband.
"Darian is incredibly kind, intelligent, and loving," she wrote.
The pair married in June 2020 – and Kimberly believes her new husband is someone Rasheed "prepared" for her.
Years after Rasheed died, Kimberly remarried her husband Darian
(Image: WBOC TV)
"Darian’s walking me through the darkness I never imagined I’d have the strength to shut out. Darian’s standing by my side in a manner I never would have had the guts to ask anyone to do."
Kimberly's new husband supported her on her fertility journey, even driving her to the clinic to have her eggs harvested to create embryos with Rasheed's sperm.
After supporting her through pregnancy and labour, Darian was overjoyed to welcome their daughter, Kiran, into the world.
Kimberly explained: "Darian and I decided to name our child Kiran, which is both a combination of our names and means light."
The pair are now raising Kiran, who was conceived with Rasheed's sperm, and muddling through parenting together.
She wrote: "Darian Iverson loves me exactly how my heart needs to be loved right now. He’s also so perfectly himself he makes me laugh and smile by just being… him. My husband. My 'chapter two'."