12 Days of Happily Ever After

by Alice
(New Jersey)

Honeymoon in Maui (November 2009)

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.

Comments for 12 Days of Happily Ever After

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Nov 29, 2010
Is he here with me?
by: Alice

Thanks for sharing your story with me, Bobbie. I really don't feel that my husband is here with me that much. Once in awhile I do, but I feel more anger than anything that my life with my husband was cut short. We had a little less than 3 years together. You are lucky to feel that your husband is still with you in some ways.

I feel like a lot of my memories of him are slipping away already, but I can remember very vividly the events from the day he died. I keep re-living that day over and over in my head.

I do look at our wedding photos and remember the fabulous day that we had when we got married. It's so hard to believe that it was only a year ago and so much has happened since then...

Nov 26, 2010
Thanksgiving Day
by: Bobbie

I have known my husband for 24 years, I knew him and his childrens mother many years. I actually rented from them for 3 years when our children were small. I moved away and married, the two of them separated and she married someone else. I too ended up in divorce.

I always thought back them years ago if I could have a man like him in my life, I would be a lucky woman. He treated his kids and mine so good, I would actually ask him to help me with them. I thought about him a lot and one day decided I would pay him a visit, it was a challenge getting out of the car to go up and knock. I was very single, he was very single and we have been together ever since.

That has been since sept 2006. On Thanksgiving Day 2009 the 26th we got up and made a wonderful dinner and had most of our kids here, i have 4 he has 2 we ate dinner, cleaned everything up, got changed and got married by a JP that was willing to come to our home. It was so wonderfully romantic.

On Aug 13th of this year I kissed him before I left for work in the morning and came home to find a note from him saying Gone to WCA, our local hospital. He was not breathing by the time I got there and they had to intubate him. (You see he served in the army, drafted as a young man, he was involved in a land mine explosion where there were several casualties his comrades were quickly swooped in by helicopter and literally thrown on top of each other.

Around 10 years ago the Gov enacted a law that all viet ERA vets be tested for hep C. He did indeed have hep C. That is what killed my husband. That and the Va does not take care of it's own the way they say they are doing. he had emergency surgery and told me he would probably not make it through the night, his liver was destroyed, he had no white blood cells and he died at 8:11pm on the 14th.

He never left me, he is with me daily, at night, in the morning, i don't want to lose that feeling, I am afraid to lose that feeling, but it feels like our relationship is exactly the same as it was when we were together. It is 12:06 here on the 26th, a horrible day for you and a horrible day for me, but can't you feel him with you?

Nov 24, 2010
The anguish of a new unwanted life
by: Anonymous


When I first read your story I thought my god what can I tell this poor woman? And truthfully I have not come up with an answer to ease your pain. I in fact cannot ease anyone's pain from this awful grief that strangles our hopes and dreams and forces us into a new life.

I can hope that perhaps you can one day see the beauty that surrounds you and view it for the both of you knowing that all he wanted was your happiness. It is a day by day process this passing of time that is called life. Some good days mixed in with the bad and hopefully the good days will outnumber the bad, the tears will lessen and he will become a sweet memory that you will be grateful that you had.
My very best to you...

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