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I am so sorry...

I lost my husband at 55 4 miles in on a hiking trail in Aspen in 2014.  He died in my arms of the widowmaker heart attack.  No one but us, no phone service, hellicopter..It was like a movie.  

The support group that met me at the bottom of the mountain 5 hours later said "Welcome to the club no one wants to be a member of".   

It is quite a journey you have begun but you will survive, no one grieves or handles this the same but one thing I am sure of  is that you will be forced to come to terms with many challenges that will present themselves.  And you won't believe it now but you will evolve so much from this experience.

There is clarity in death.  You can't fix it, You can't explain it, You can't understand it.  You simply must accept it.   AND ITS REALLY REALLY HARD.

My experience was that the early grief is physical it hurts .  The later grief is emotional.   And eventually it becomes just a part of you.  

Truly the best advice  I was given was to think of it as a wave in the ocean.  You can try to out swim it , fight it and be swallowed by it or you can dive through the wave to the other side.

I remember so many times and even now that I think I am fine...and I am not.  But I have also learned to accept that reality.  And keep stepping forward.  

And as another member here noted...many nay, most people do not know how to handle death and even worse a life cut short.  That insensitivty or ignorance or fear has been without a doubt the most hurtful part of this journey for me. 

But because of  this experience I have found a strength inside me I did not know existed.  There is peace in death,  There is peace and hope in being the survivor.  My trick is not to think too far out.  I started with minutes, hours , days, months...I have learned not to push myself to the next phase...the body knows.  Trust it.

There is without a doubt HOPE,  you will be writing to help someone else someday, your life will change but your might be surprised at the strange evolution of you that will come out of this hell.   Gods speed    

wow... just wow. thank you so much SnG. VERY very wise words of wisdom. This website has been a god send. 

yes, it is hour by hour now and you nailed it: thinking too far out is overwhelming beyond belief. It has certainly 

slowed me down! lol. I am more mindful than ever and practicing being mentally tough- not getting caught in 

the fantasy that isn't going to happen.... I am so so so fortunate that I met my love and shared a truly amazing 

11 years and I thank GOD that I can say I have no regrets, no what ifs... We just needed more time. I am leaning on 

my faith and it has carried thus far. 

Thank you again. 


It doesn't seem to make any sense when the love of your life departs at a young age. My wife was 51 when she passed in July of 2014. She had retired at 48 and when I asked her what she wanted to do next, her reply was, "All I want to do is ski in the winter and hike in the summer." She did just that for three years. In June of 2014 she had a seizure while hiking and she departed 6 weeks later at home surrounded by family and friends. The cause of death was brain cancer. Fortunately for everyone involved, it wasn't a long drawn out affair.

One of my most difficult moments was coming home in the evening in the fall when it was cold and dark; opening the front door to a cold and quiet house. I used to cry coming through the was so painful!  In past years, the house would be warm with the smell of food cooking and I would be greeted with a hug and a kiss. Now I come into a cold silent house and have to figure out what I was going to eat...alone. I found that the best therapy for me was to tell the story over and over. I participated in the local hospice sessions where we gather in a circle and talk about our situations. To hear other people's experiences was extremely helpful. I still stop in to the hospice sessions once in a while.

The question is, "When will I get over this?" The answer is never, but over time the pain eases and the beautiful pleasant memories of our lives together fill my heart with warmth. Human beings are adaptable and we can accept new and different circumstances. We find opportunities to recognize beauty in life, engage in interesting activities and continue on our journey. I still talk to Laura in my house frequently. I tell her, "Good morning" when I awake and at night before I go off to sleep I say, "I love you immensely and I miss you greatly. Good night." In the first year or two of her passing, she often came to me in dreams with a big beaming smile. Sometimes the dream would occur right before awakening in the morning and it would be extremely vivid. I kept a diary and recorded all of these experiences. I knew she was in a pleasant state of contentment. Her dream presence was telling me that...and over the months and years I continued to heal.


Please accept my condolences on the loss of your husband.  I lost my own husband 2 days before Valentine's Day in 2014.  I received a call at about 10pm and thought it was him calling to let me know he was on his way home from work.  Unfortunately, it was a paramedic asking me if I was his Mrs. and informing me that he'd suffered a massive cardiac arrest and that they were working on him.  I awoke next to my husband that morning and his eyes were closed, as he started work later and was still sleeping.  The next time I saw him was on a gurney, behind a curtain in the emergency room of a hospital.  His eyes were closed, but he was gone.  He expired just minutes before I was able to get to him less than an hour later.  My husband had just turned 51 a couple of weeks before his last day.  I was still 50 when he passed.

There is a saying that goes, "You don't get over grief, you distract yourself from it."  From my own experience, I have found that to be the case.  You never really get over it but simply learn to function better and keep the grief in a safe place inside of you so that you can function and keep going with your own life.  Just as no two births are exactly the same, no two deaths are either.  There are similarities and pieces that we can relate to and that blessing enables us to understand and lend support to those who have suffered a loss such as ours.

Many will offer advice and speculate on what they perceive to be best for you but, trust yourself as your own best resource.  My own two or more cents are to keep hydrated, cry when you need to and seek out healing individuals who are willing to listen and offer genuine help with the minutiae of life.  This journey is not an easy one and there is no manual or map.  Some days/moments will be better than others and this path is anything but a straight line.  Just when you think you are feeling better about things, something may take hold of you unexpectedly and you may feel like you are back at day one.

A lot of people don't necessarily know how to act or what to say when it comes to communicating with someone whom has experienced the loss of a spouse and/or loved one.  Fair warning, some comments and actions may come across as callous and downright stupid.

Wishing you strength and courage in your journey.  

wow, Thank you. so much. Reading your response oddly makes me less alone. 

It's also comforting to know that others have survived this- I know millions have 

but it's nice to hear it first hand. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I just 

feel exhausted and empty. I keep thinking the sadness will just consume me. 

I am continuing on in my life as normal as possible but the evenings get very 

difficult. Thank you again for giving me a moment of hope today, bless you 

Please feel free to post what is on your mind and heart.  In the beginning, each step was like taking a bullet for me.  You don't realize how strong you can be until you have to prove it.  I can honestly say that my own journey has made me stronger and I have learned things about myself and others - good, bad or indifferent, along the way.  I continue to learn, as my journey is not over.  The day we stop learning is the day we stop breathing.  As someone once said to me, "There is no way out - only a way through."  

I will send you a friend invite but there is no pressure for you to accept.  I am but one of many that are here for you.

Wishing you peace and a virtual hug.

GTG, So so sorry for the loss of your husband. I lost Helen 30th June and I now seem to be at the point where the pain is still there but the heartwhrenching, stomach churning grief seems to be a little in abeyance. Its 5am here (UK) been awake for a couple of hours but was able to just lay in bed without the huge distress I was feeling in the first 4 or 5 months. The past weeks have been difficult over the Christmas period and had another first on the 14th January which was Helen's birthday. It was the first birthday in 50 years that she wasn't with me.  I have been exceptionally lucky with a group of friends who have been and are still supportive which helps considerably.  If you have such groups please let them help. It is a day at a time existence, some days are OK (some but not many are quite good), but others are down right awful, but I do feel that I am currently on a slight (quite slight) upward curve.

Two days ago I thought I would look at booking a few days away in Spain, one our favorite places.  Looked at flights, looked at hotels and then went into panic mode - the though of going without Helen just overwhelmed me - thought I would just leave that for another good day!!!

The lack of sleep was the main thing that exhausted me in the first few months, I did take to sleep aid tablets to get me through that period and still do now a day or two a week but I now try not to be reliant on them.

GTG, please stay safe on this difficult difficult journey that you have found yourself on and as Nieta said, post what is on your mind.  That is one of the main thing that has helped me so far.  Get that worm out of your head and on to the paper it really does help. Feel the embrace of us like minded and equally desperate friends.  Ray 


Thank you so much Ray- and I am so so sorry to hear about Helen. 50 years together- I can't imagine your pain and the feeling of losing yourself with her. Kevin and I spent 11 glorious years together- and we were truly madly in love with each other. I feel it is a gift that I can say I have no regrets and no what ifs... we just needed more time to complete our journey together. We traveled a lot- like you and Helen. We had a trip booked- leaving Feb 7 to go to Germany and Austria returning on Feb 15... We were planning on Spain in the spring. My best memories of us are traveling and I (like you) can not imagine what it will be like traveling without him. 

I am continuing on in the business we shared so I am busy most of the day. I have found in these 19 days - the best cure for my grief is MOTION... I am trying to walk the dog as much as possible and hit the gym to see friends. I am flooding myself with books at night. I realize there is nothing I can do to bring him back... all I can do at this point is honor him and honor his death and I want to do so by living the best life I can. I am only 47........... uggg... I am happy you said hello. It HELPS to hear of others journeys and know they have literally survived. 

hugs, Dena 

Dena, I have had so much help from WV and it helps me to give support to others.  You are so strong to carry on with your business after such agonizing and dreadful experience.  I am surviving and each day is hopefully one more day to better times.  But I wake each morning say good morning to Helen and kiss her picture, at night I say goodnight and kiss her picture and that makes it easier for me.  Have sent you a message.  Best wishes, Ray

thank you! 

I sent you a message also- but I did not see one from you. Sorry 

Good morning all, my name is Donna I'm from the UK originally but one day in 04 I meet my soulmate on line, we married in 05 and in 06 I packed myself and my son up and moved to NY. My husband JJ was everything I wanted but never thought I would get. We were blessed to have a child together Henry. My husband was a farmer he worked every day, he was never sick, but last December I noticed him getting tired quicker and out of breath . On January 4th of this year he went to work I told him to be home early as we had dinner plans. I'm an office manager  and work incredibly long hours but I had a double disc replacement in my neck in the beginning of December so I was home (I was to go back to work on the 8th), anyway JJ walked in walked up stairs and laid on the bed. I asked him if he wanted coffee he said No (I knew something was wrong ) he then jumped up and collapsed. My mother in law and our son heard me scream , I tried CPR for 40 minutes till our emergency service people could get to us (bear in mind the fire house is 2 mins from my house, but that's a different story that my attorney is handling). They tried to shock him but the defib machine wouldn't hold a charge. My son watches his Daddy die because I couldn't save him. How I have managed to make it through the past 5 weeks I have no idea. I can't bury him till spring because the ground is frozen in N.Y. till then, all my family are in England I feel so alone, my heart aches every day but I know I have to carry on because my son's and my mother in law need me (JJ was an only child and I hurt for my ma so much). Jac my eldest son is 25 and is doing ok. Henry our 10 year old has adhd,ocd and is on the spectrum won't talk about his Daddy because if he does that means he really is dead (he is in counselling), but my little boy has decided no other child should watch his mum fight to save her soul mate and has made a team to walk in this year's Heart Walk and Run with the American Heart Association, it's his way of helping and his way of dealing and he has surprised me with just how committed he is to it. My heart feels that JJ isn't far away and that we will be together again but it just seems so unfair we are only 46 we were supposed to grow old together. 

Thank you for reading this 


hugs and welcome, Donna


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