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I am new to this forum, but not new to this journey. My husband died suddenly in 2013. He had talked about back pain for a few days and never went to have it seen to. He was upstairs marking test papers for his students and was found dead at his desk by his son, who wondered why he hadn't come in to say goodnight to him. The autopsy revealed that he died from an aortic dissection. Obvious to me afterwards, the back pain was a symptom of what was going on. He was 56 years old. 

So of course I regret so much. Why didn't I take a cup of tea up to him, when I had made one for myself? Why wasn't I kinder with my words that evening, that day? Why did I assume that he would be around for so much longer? Because we get caught up in life and the stresses it brings. We forget the important stuff.

My heart breaks for my four children. They are adults now. They lost their Dad way too early. 

It is a new life for me. Some good, some bad. I appear strong and ok on my own, but sometimes the loneliness is so painful. We only have ourselves to look after people say, so why does it seem so difficult sometimes?

Thank you for having this forum.


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Replies to This Discussion

Carry any guilt  no  farther.  When  it  happened  you were  a busy  mom  with  four  children  undoubtedly tired at the close of the day.  You had every  right to sit and sip a cup of tea.  We  all  look  back  and  wonder  what  we  could have done differently.  If it was  their  time to die  it was their time.  No  answer  to the questions  here  on  earth- as  we are  limited  in  our  understanding!  My husband  died  unexpectedly  and suddenly.  He was  not sick nor did  he die  from all common  reasons. I'm  past seven  years...and  I  witnessed  his burial..yet…..because  it  was  so  unexpected...were  he to come home and walk in the  door I would    be  thrilled  but would ask him  why  it took  so long  to get  home  and ask  him  why  he did  not  call  to  let me  know he would be late... we just move forward day by day... doing  our best  with  the gift  of life and carrying  wonder  at both  the  losses  and gains that fill our lives.

 My husband, too, died of an aortic dissection in 2016.  He collapsed in the airport about to board a short flight for a quick business trip.  He was still talking when they brought him into the ER and he was surrounded by every specialist ever needed for something like this.  And he still died.  I don’t have any regrets about things left unsaid or undone.  I just want him back.  I want our life back and I want our future back.  My sons are grown, 26 and 29.  I don’t want them to worry about me but some days and evenings are pretty bad.  I’m doing what I can, I see friends, read, exercise, work part time, travel etc.  But my life often feels hollow.  Thank you for writing.

I am sure that your husband, like mine, would have thought that of course they had to go on that trip or mine, teach the next day. It certainly is a lesson to us that we can be replaced in our work or many situations. My husband was so dedicated to his work, that if he had known the chaos that his dying suddenly would have caused, he would have felt terrible. I am sure that your husband not going on the business trip, would have also caused much rearranging. Things work out. I also keep busy like you. Have some good women friends and am constantly going here and there, but some days and evenings, the intense loneliness hits..

Yes, Elizabeth, thank you for writing. My husband, Gary, died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2014, and it is a comfort, somehow, to know that I am not the only one still struggling some years out. While the old adage says to live each day as if it were our—or our loved one’s—last, real life just doesn’t go that way else my last words to my husband would have been something more meaningful than telling him not to recycle the newspaper as I went off to take my shower. He no doubt finds that humorous; I try to take comfort in remembering that time really isn’t linear and that this is part of a kaleidoscope of thousands of things I said to him during our many years of marriage. May it bring you comfort to know you are not alone.

Thank you for your kind words. I do like that term....a kaleidoscope of thousand of things...So very true. I have often heard discussion of which is worse...watching our loved ones suffer for months or days, but being able to say all the things we want to say to them, or the sudden death that leaves so much unsaid. I am sure that one is no better than another.

Suffering when  dying  is  worse  for  the  one  dying  because of  the  pain.  Sudden  unexpected  death  is  worse  for  the  survivor  because of  the  shock and  no  chance  for  any  kind of goodbye.   My  husband  died  suddenly  and without  explanation....I  don't  think  much  was  left  unsaid  as  we  discussed  nearly  everything  in  our  44yr  of  marriage  but the  abrupt  death  left  great  shock...7 yr later  still  feels  that way.   Grief  is   grief   and  all  losses  feel  the  same  to  some  degree.  Lesson  learned  that  every  day we  need  to  express  our  love  to  those  closest  to  us  because  we  do  not  know  how long  they  will  be  on  earth  with  us.

So very true. For some reason we assume that they will be around for a long time. Life is full of so many surprises. Many are good and others not so good. Certainly a lesson.

Absolutely. My love passed away suddenly, in his sleep. No warning. No preexisting condition. He just didn't wake up. There is soooooo much I want to say!!! SO much I wish i said. I expressed my love, gratitude and appreciation often, but wish I did so even more. It just doesn't seem like it was enough. Wish I had tried harder. Wish I had not allowed the stresses of daily life work kids bills etc to take center stage so much. I want to apologize for so much. I try to convince myself that he loves me and that our time together was good. But its so hard. Its been 5 months for me. The yo-yo of emotions is exhausting. The biggest lesson I learned is that life is short, and like you said, we need to tell those we love how we feel. Don't hold grudges. Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't put off for tomorrow what can be said or done today. Such a painful lesson. I wish I had learned this before meeting my husband....

I cry daily from wanting one last chance to tell my love how much I love him, how lucky a wife I was, how proud I was to be his wife, how much his presence lit up my life.  I wish I hadn't been so tired so I could have cooked for him a little more often, gotten up & grabbed an address that he didn't have handy for mailing, etc.  There's never enough time.  Sending sympathy & knowing what you are feeling, MrsHill2015.  

Its so heartbreaking! I cry many times a day as well. Regret is the absolute worst. I belong to a widows group that is phenomenal. One of the things they stress is not to penalize yourself for not knowing what you didn't know. Of course had we each known when our loves would pass, we surely would have done some things differently. I try to tell myself this. And that I was good to my husband! I supported him, I was there for him, I carried and birthed his children, we had a love unlike any he'd ever had (by his own admission). It hurts sooooo bad, because it was sooooo good. A friend told me that people go their entire lives without experiencing the kind of love that we had, that we still have. I remind myself this whenever I can. Some advice that works for me (it only works sometimes, like everything else) is talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend. That way you'll go much easier on yourself, and be  much more understanding. I am sure that you were good to your husband when he was here physically. You cooked for him when you could. You helped him out with daily things most of the time, I'm sure. And if you could talk to him, all he would say to you is I love you. So much! The rest doesn't even matter. He chose you for a reason. He loved you and he still does. As I'm typing this, I know that any  minute I'm going to feel terrible and guilty again, and yearn to talk to him and apologize and express my undying deep love to him. But while I'm feeling more positive I wanted to reply to you. I really really really hope this helps, and I'm sending you healing vibes and peace to aid you on this painful journey that none of us want to be a part of....much love....

That is such a great post!!  Thank you for that❤️

Laurajay i can relate very much to what you have said.In that i do believe true the quote "luck is the spouse who dies first".  Also my husband and i were very close and we tslked about everything and told each other very often how much the other ment and how lucky we were to have found each other or had been able to become closer and stronger together in anything life threw at us, at us, us.  My husband didnt complete me he did something better we compliment each other like different foods or colors.  We enhance the goodness and encouraged each other and i looked my whole life for someone like him and when i found him we never spent more than 24hrs apart from each other even when my son was in the hospital and he had to stay in our hometown and continue to work we would make plans for him to come to the hospital during the weekend but we would never even make it past 24 hrs without one going to see the other. And now he is gone and nothing feel right in life and that is just made that much worse since i have a mild form of OCD call just right but nothing right now seems right and feels like never will be how can it be he will never be with me and the kids it doesnt feel right or fair and it makes me fear everything that is to come now in life. My motivation and self esteem i feel like was so intertwined with my husband presence . i feel like a child who has lost there way home and my husband was that feeling of home. I.m homesick for my husband and heartbroken for my kids for every glance at a father with there child my kids look longingly at and then at me and then they look down in shame and sadness. And no matter how great i tell them they are or how much me and daddy love them i can never give them what they truely long for or want which is the same as me there dad back with us here on earth in this life that was custom made for us .Nothing is right about this situation how can it be when our worlds dont make sense without him in it.  I hate that i cant fix this because like my son once said mom you can fix anything.but not this no one can. Hard to accept .


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