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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

A little over a month ago, on September 16, my life changed forever. My husband and I were on a camping trip in the Smokey Mountains. He suffered a heart attack and died on a Friday evening, as we were getting ready to sleep in our pop-up trailer.

I have been in shock ever since. We had only been married 9 years, but it was long enough for me to realize that I had found the love of my life and the one that I would want to stay with and grow old with. After one miserable marriage, it was fantastic to find love on the second time around.  Now I am widowed at 46 years old.  I am a single mom now to my sons (from a previous marriage) who are 13 and 17, and my stepdaughter (from my husband’s previous marriage) who is 20 and autistic.

He was only 56, seemingly healthy and strong. He had an active job, was normal weight, but didn’t have the greatest diet.  But it wasn’t the worst, either. It doesn’t seem fair that he would be taken from this earth so soon, and after he and I had found such love. He had said frequently that he was looking for me all his life, and finally found me when he was 46. It was such a short time. I feel the loss so deeply.

I don’t know how I can live without him now. Every moment of every day, even when I am sleeping, I am thinking of him and wishing he was with me. His toothbrush and razor are still where he left them, as if waiting for him to come back and use them. I still look backward much of the time – two months ago at this time I was doing X with him… the last time I went here I was with him…

Every day that I wake up, I am devastated that I am moving further and further away from the time when he and I were together. I wish so much that I could hold him again. Everything reminds me of him, and I wonder how I can go on living without him. The pain is all-encompassing. I feel it all the time. Sometimes I can focus on other things and push the pain into the background. I have to work full time, take care of my kids, and try to take care of myself and all the paperwork that has fallen into my lap, so I have plenty to focus on. But every time I stop to take a breath, the pain overwhelms me.  I don’t know how to live this way. So I am writing to try to process it. This is my blog. I hope it will help me to move along this unwelcome journey.

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Comment by Hope on November 28, 2016 at 1:28pm

My husband died very suddenly in bed one morning of a heart attack...a complete shock. Its so hard when they are here one moment and gone the next. So very difficult to comprehend. I especially send you prayers as you have a lot on your plate with the children. May you find some peace as you move along. This is a rough road

Comment by YogaGirl on November 12, 2016 at 6:59pm

I understand your pain but I wanted to tell you that it will get better.  Right now it is so new. 

My late husband died at age 49 of a heart attack four years ago.  The first year you will be in shock just getting up, making your bed and doing what needs to be done helps. You feel "how am I going to do this alone"  but you can!

Your pain will always be there but you learn how to deal with it through keeping busy and time does help. Make sure you do something for yourself daily as well, whether it be going for a walk or making a cup of tea or just talking with a friend.   Do the best you can each day and be proud you did it!  All the best and peace.

Comment by Callie2 on October 27, 2016 at 9:23pm
How sad for you and your family, I'm very sorry for your loss. I can understand your shock, believe me. When someone is stripped away at a time when not expected, it just doesn't seem real or possible to us. I hope you have a support system--counseling or bereavement group, friends and family. This is an excellent site with caring people that understand what you are experiencing and may be in various stages of grief. Some are new like you, others like myself have gone through the grief process and many more are somewhere in between. Try to be patient with yourself as grieving takes time. Hoping peace finds you soon. Sending you a hug!

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