Thank you for taking the time to read Charlie's story. I started this page because I wanted to honor Charlie and the sacrifice he made for his community but I also wanted to share who he was as a person, not just a cop.
I wanted to share the life we had with our family, friends, community, and brothers and sisters in blue so that his name never fell silent. I owe him that.
Over the last few years, I had to find a way to deal with my loss and the roller coaster ride my life was taking me on. I realized I had to let some things go and teach myself to move forward instead of moving on. I wanted to find something positive after Charlie’s sacrifice, and I desperately wanted to keep his memory alive. So on bad days that were filled with tears, anger, and grief, I started to write.
Writing became my outlet. Reading my own words seemed to help me when I needed to be reminded of how far I had come. I can call myself a survivor now, but I’m also okay being called Charlie’s wife or widow. I have accepted all three of those words as a description of the new me.
I’m still learning how to handle grief and the constant change it brings because it will always be a part of this new life I didn't ask for.
After a few long years of being mad at God and feeling broken, I have accepted the challenge of finding a good balance for myself and getting back on my feet. I'm no longer mad at God, and I am still a little broken, but I'm moving forward in MY OWN time.
Honoring my husband at the State Memorial in Tallahassee
Teresa Kondek is a mother of five, writer, and an advocate for law enforcement. Teresa became a widow on December 21, 2014 when her husband, Officer Charles Kondek, Jr., was violently killed in the line of duty. After her loss, Teresa began working tirelessly with local, state, and elected officials to raise awareness and provide support for law enforcement families struggling with loss.
While publicly sharing her grief to help others, Teresa began speaking at events and memorials to honor her husband's sacrifice. In 2016 she completed the Florida State University Certified Public Management program following her sixteen years serving the Pasco County Clerk and Comptroller’s Office as an operations supervisor. In 2018 she completed the Victim Services Practitioner Designation program from the Florida Crime Prevention Training Institute through the Office of Attorney General. Teresa is honored to support and honor those left behind, retired, and still serving.