12 Days of Happily Ever After
Honeymoon in Maui (November 2009)
My husband died on the last day of our honeymoon in Maui, Hawaii on Thanksgiving Day November 26, 2009. We were married for only 12 days. He drowned in the ocean while he was snorkeling. It was just 2 days after we celebrated my 40th birthday.
We met late in life, in February 2007. We were thrilled to have finally found each other after all these years. What was supposed to be the start of our wonderful, new life together turned out to be a tragic ending. I was devastated. It all seemed so surreal.
I had to return home to New Jersey without my husband; but thankfully, I did not fly home alone. My husband and I met a woman who was traveling alone from Reno, Nevada during a day trip that we took earlier in the week. Her name was Zhanna and she was staying at the same hotel. She was going to the airport on the same day we were leaving, and we offered to give her a ride to the airport with us.
After she found out what happened to my husband that morning, Zhanna came right down to the beach to be with me by my side and later sat with me in my hotel room all day. When the police and the chaplain came to help me make the travel arrangements to go home the following day, I told them that I am dreading that long and awful flight home all by myself. Without hesitation, Zhanna offered to travel to NJ with me to keep me company and she would go home to Reno the next day. She was already away from home for 9 days, and she gave up going home to see her husband and her baby.
Zhanna sat next to me on the plane, held my hand and wiped away my tears. It was the kindest and most selfless thing that any stranger has ever done for me in my life. I will always remember her and her kindness. She was there for me during the worst moment of my life. She was my angel. We continue to keep in touch today.
It has been one year now and what a tough journey it has been. The pain and the loneliness can be so unbearable at times. I cried every single day for the first 9 months. I miss and think about my husband all the time.
I feel a lot of anger that I waited all my life for my true love only to have him taken away from me like this. All the hopes and dreams of our future and starting a family together were ripped away from me. Life is so unfair. Now, without any hopes or dreams, I struggle to make it through each day - just one day at a time.