And his heart stopped beating...

22 September 2012, the day my life ended. The great love of my life literally fell off his bike with a massive heart attack.

We only knew each other for 6 wonderful years and we were never able to live together fulltime, but we loved each other dearly, each and every day. For the final year I knew him we were able to be together halftime, and from the end of 2013 we were finally going to be together fulltime.

What regrets! I could have been with him fulltime from the beginning of 2010, but I let my fears and lack of self-confidence stand in our way. I thought we had another 10 or 15 years in front of us -- he was youthful for his age, active, fit, healthy, very positive outlook on life. No-one knew he had heart troubles, although the post-mortem found evidence of a previous, healed heart attack. He went to the doctor regularly, had blood tests, visited a cardiologist yearly (a left-over of the health benefits from his old job), even did heart stress tests. He wasn't even taking statins -- there was just no concern about his heart.

I adored him and he adored me. He taught me so much about love and life, about happiness and contentment, about the joy of being with the right person. Now I have to try and find a life without him. Everything is dark and painful. I'm so lonely. I am just lost without him. I find it horrifying that I could be alive another 40 or 50 years (I was much younger than him). I don't want to live at all! I'm only here right now because I couldn't find it in me to commit suicide. It feels like I am shouldering the pain of grief so that those who love me don't have to do so. It feels very selfish to me when they ask me not to die.

He was my world, and my world ended when his heart stopped beating.

His family were all in another country when he died, so I had to organise everything, the funeral, cremation, taking the ashes home, the whole nine yards. I even had to "do" the entire funeral, since there was no-one else there who had known him. I had to be strong, to honour him and what we had meant to each other and to do what was necessary for the family. I was so busy that first week, I hardly had time to cry. The first time I saw the funeral video I burst into tears -- the tears I should have been crying on the day itself.

As soon as the funeral was over I shut myself away for 40 hours, fasting, crying, talking to him, sleeping fitfully. I needed to "mark" the event and the beginning of my life without him.

I cried every opportunity I had during that first month. I learned things about tears that I never knew, that I could cry so hard that my facial muscles hurt from the contortions, that my tummy muscles could ache, that the tears could be so big that they rolled down my face and completely wet the front of whatever I was wearing, that I could cry for half an hour at a time till I was so wound-up that I had trouble breathing. The foetal position became a too-common companion. I couldn't believe the intensity of the pain, but I felt strongly that if I didn't enter into it, I would be dishonouring his memory and our love. I simply had to go through it and hope that I would come out on the other side of it one day.

Now it's almost 4 months since he left me, and I'm trying to pick up the threads of my former life. I have no desire for any of it, but I'm sick of mooching around not achieving anything with my days. I'm not that sort of person. It still hurts just as keenly as it did in the very beginning, but I'm trying not to cry any more. (Though I still do -- right now, for example) There has to be an end to this! I can't do this for much longer.

I've asked him twice now to come to me in my dreams. The first time was the very first night. I said to him, If you're out there, please come to me in my dreams tonight, tell me something that I will know to be true but which will surprise me (to confirm I'm not making it all up), then answer the questions you know I have about your death. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Two nights ago I asked him to come in a dream and comfort me. Nothing, again. Is he really not out there? I can't bear the thought of never seeing him again. I've had dreams that he's been in, but not on either of the times I've asked him to come to me.

I feel like, despite all that I have done to try and grieve him as fully as I can, nothing is working. This just isn't getting any better. I am still just as lost, it still hurts just as much and I'm still just as desperate to go and join him. All that's changed is that now I know suicide is not an option for me -- much as I would love it to be. I'm no further along the path to getting over this than I was at the beginning. I doubt I will ever be OK again.

The mere idea of being happy strikes me as bizarre. I'm a black hole for happiness. I once asked him what was the difference between pleasure and happiness -- he said, pleasure is what you get during the event, happiness is what remains after the event has finished. Well I have pleasurable experiences now, but nothing ever leads to happiness, I'm so unhappy that pleasure just never translates into happiness.

I know he would want me to get through this, to be happy again, I know he would want me to live my life to the full. But I also know that if the tables were turned, he would be just as lost without me!

Nothing matters any more. My world ended last September.

It's so good to find a site where there are other people going through the same hell as me. I have fantastic support from friends but it's not the same. Just to be able to read other peoples' stories is so amazing.

Comments for And his heart stopped beating...

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Apr 22, 2013
Seven Months Today
by: SansCoeur

Three months later, life looks different, things are going better. Today it's seven months since he left his earthly form. I still have bad days, but I also have good ones too. Now dreams of being with him don't upset me, they make me happy. Last night we were together and even had a little kiss. I'm still sad and even a bit angry that this is the only way I can be with him now. But it's where I find myself. I had life before him, I have to find out what life after him is. I have to pick up the threads and carry on. Life wraps itself around us and refuses to let us go. To be honest I still yearn for a doctor to tell me I have cancer or heart disease. I won't be getting it fixed, if that ever happens. It's my exit strategy. But until then I'm trying to do the best I can with what I have.

Feb 07, 2013
My soulmate suddenly died
by: Anonymous

SansCoeur - thank you so much for your message which gave me some very much needed hope. I guess this is something we're all just going to have to get through somehow, taking baby steps and as you say just follow the grief.....I wish you well on your journey and thank you again xxx

Feb 06, 2013
My soulmate suddenly died
by: SansCoeur

I feel your pain. I know everything you write of. I too am facing 40+ years without my soulmate. I spent the first 6 weeks after his death convinced that I was going to kill myself, I had it all planned out. I was determined I was NOT going to live without him.

I still don't really understand what happened, but one night about five weeks after he died, Life / the Universe / whatever you want to call it, simply took that option off the menu for me. I went to bed still intending to die in only a few days' time, and I woke up knowing I would not. It felt like a fever that had passed in the night.

I won't pretend that the change made things easy -- in fact, initially, it made the grief MORE difficult to bear. I had been so intent on my suicide preparations that actually I had only been feeling part of the grief. The intensity of the pain after that night was unimaginable. I didn't know that I could hurt that badly.

I can tell you though that it WILL get better. You are still so early in the process -- I am only just past the 4 month stage, very early too, from what I have read, and I can see so many changes in me, already an evolution, a following of the grief process. I am very fortunate in that I have been able to withdraw from "normal life" and concentrate almost exclusively on my grief. It seems to have sped things up, from what I can see.

I still miss my darling very much at times, but I can see that life is starting to pick itself up. I see now that life goes on, and this is right and proper. We don't WANT to live without them, but for myself at least, having been shown that suicide is simply not an option I therefore have to somehow come to terms with remaining here without him.

You WILL get there, if you let the grief do what it needs to do. We are so used, in this modern world, to "driving" things, directing them, deciding where they should go and how. The grief knows what it needs to do and it will do it, all on its own, at the right pace for you, if you let it. I KNOW how painful it is! I know how hard it is to go with the grief. There have been many times that I deeply wished that suicide was still an option for me. But I see now that those times get less and less frequent, and little patches of sunlight return to life, bit by bit.

I wish you the very best of luck -- and courage! It takes courage to go through grief, fully experience it and come out the other side. We all have days when that courage is lacking in us, but we get through them one hour at a time and then pick ourselves up the next day and try again. It does get better.

Feb 05, 2013
My soulmate suddenly died
by: Anonymous

My fiancé died 5 weeks ago and if anything the pain is getting worse. I just want to die. Reading all your stories is so moving but it also makes me think there really is no real end to this pain.... Just that with time the acuteness of the agony passes, just leaving sadness and ways to survive. I don't want to live for the next 40 years just surviving and existing. I want my best friend back. I truly cannot bear the thought of my whole life without my baby. He was ripped from me so suddenly and so young. How does anyone really live again when your soul has been taken from you?? I just want to die

Jan 16, 2013
Pat J & Anonymous
by: SansCoeur

Thank you so much, Anonymous, for your words about how our loved ones come and go. I thought I must have been doing something wrong, because there are times when I feel my darling very strongly and then days and days pass with nothing. I like so much your idea that they are just off somewhere doing something else! I will hold onto that.

But I too have noticed that it is the times of light when I feel his presence. It's really a b*tch isn't it, when we really need to feel them, in the darkness, they're not there! They come to us when we're feeling better. But at least they do come to us.

The week after he was cremated, I took some of his ashes and had them put inside a heart which I wear around my neck every day (I even sleep in it). So, he does everything with me now -- much more than he was able to when he was alive! Some days I feel him very strongly, thanks to that, and other days I don't.

I talk to him often and I imagine him watching over me and worrying like he used to about every little thing.

Pat J, I love the way you put it, they are tucked safely in our hearts. I will love my darling for as long as I live. There is no reason for me to stop and I can't wait till the day I see him again.

It's amazing how important it seems to be to have support from others who are going through grief right now. I have very good friends who have each lost important people (one was even a miscarriage/still birth (not sure which) -- at least my darling was able to live his life, at least I was able to know him), and they are trying to support me through this, but just finding this site has been so amazing for me.

Jan 16, 2013
Thank you so much!
by: SansCoeur

Thank you Doreen, Kristina and Pat so much for reading my story and for your warm thoughts. I'm so sorry for your losses too! I read somewhere, about grief, that we are all members of a club none of us wanted to join. How true! Kristina, how amazing that we each lost our true love on the same day and in the same way. I just can't get over that. That really speaks to me. I wish you all the very best in dealing with the loss of your husband. Life can be so ugly, so very very cruel.

Frankly, the day after he died, when he hadn't come to me in the night, I concluded that there isn't any afterlife, but I have changed my mind since, from hearing stories from other people. I now look out for feathers which "speak" to me, as signs from him. The first one I found at his house, when I was there with the ashes and his family, for their funeral (memorial service I guess). Just a tiny little white downy one, but I knew it was from him. I don't find them very often (I only have two so far), but they are very special when I do.

I went to the library yesterday and got out some books on grieving. I have also ordered one through an online bookstore: Seven Choices, by Elizabeth Harper Neeld. The quotes from it that I've seen online are very good. Yesterday one of the books that I got from the library was Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery. It's a series of stories, like YourSpace here. Maybe it might help you ladies? I read a few in the library and was in tears (but good tears).

I think perhaps writing my story here helped me, although it sure didn't feel like it at the time. I wrote it in the evening and the morning after, I woke up feeling more like my old self than I have since my love died. I know there will be more dark periods ahead for me, but it's so good to feel "me" again!

One thing that I forgot to mention in my post is that I have been struggling with issues of NOT wanting to get through this grief, of wanting to stay "broken" for the rest of my life. In part it's anger at Life for taking him from me so early (and yes, I know it would only hurt me: Life doesn't care), in part it's a sort of "memorial" to how much he meant to me and how special he was, but there are other parts that I still don't understand.

I've had other "light" patches (none as light as this one though) and I've always felt as if I was doing something "wrong": that I shouldn't be feeling good, I should remain "broken". But this time I am enjoying the light and making the most of it, because I know there will be more darkness ahead and for the first time, I am actually at peace with the idea that I will come out the other side of this grieving process.

Thank you again ladies, I send warm hugs to you all, may you each have the strength to get through this terrible period in your lives.

Jan 16, 2013
Signs
by: Anonymous

I know the desperation you feel wanting to have a sign, a dream, anything.
My most significant sign was the night after my partner passed.
I was lying in bed drifting in and out of sleep when all of a sudden I felt his arms around me. It was as if he was actually physically there holding me. It was just a knowing he was there and I could feel him. I didn't move, it felt so wonderful and then he was gone.
That was his sign. He asked if I wanted a sign before he passed and I said don't talk about that sort of stuff and he laughed.
I didn't realise that when they have gone the desperate feeling that overwhelms you is where are they? Have they continued in spirit? Can they feel my sorrow and greif? Do they know how desperately I loved them?
I was holding my partner as he passed. He talked right up until the last 15 mins and then just kept squeazing my hand until his last breath. It was peaceful and serene.
I realised at that moment that it was impossible for him to have just turned into nothing. He must have gone somewhere.
15 months has now passed and little things like the lights in the car come on and go off while I'm driving. The car was his new car he bought 6 months before and he loved it. The CD player switches between radio and CD by itself. The cab light sometimes will be on when I'm walking towards the car. The car door will lock and unlock while I'm driving. I take all of this as his signs. I always call out now and say I know your there and I miss you!
At other times I feel like he is nowhere around and assume he is off doing other stuff. Then something always happens and I feel a strong pesence around me. And I say oh your back!
I keep this mostly to myself as I know others who have never experienced these sort of things think your just grieving and imagining things.
I now have a new relationship with him. It's a spiritual relationship full of love still.
He said to me that after he was gone to imagine he is just away somewhere and eventually we will see each other again. In a way that is true. I truly believe we will be reunited again. Meanwhile I have to continue until my turn comes too. Oddly as time has passed and I have become more accepting I feel closer to him. Closer than in the first 12 months.
Anyway we all have different experiences and hope mine helps you in some way.
Cry if you feel you want to, don't ever hold back your tears. I find my crying and grief is my way of a personal tribute to the person I loved and cherished. Now he truly is my SOUL mate.

Jan 16, 2013
His heart stopped beating,,,
by: Pat J.Green Bay,WI

I too lost my husband of 46 years to a massive heart attack. My husband is gone 18 1/2 months. People say things get easier and better. I for myself, feel I will always have this ache in my heart for him. When we lose someone we love, we never truly get over it. We just slowly learn to go on without them, always keeping them tucked safely in our heart.
In the beginning I felt just as you do and alot of my thoughts were comparable to yours. We were blessed with 5 children, now all adults with families of their own. I am blessed as we are are a very close family. I also have a close relationship with my husbands siblings. They include me in family functions. Just because my husband died, doesn't mean I am not a part of his family anymore. Their support helps also. I joined a grief support group through my church and have developed a friendship with other widows. We do things together. A support system is very important. We can't go through this grief alone. We could drown in our sorrow, it is that awful.
I have lost both of my parents, but their loss doesn't even come close to the loss of my husband. I miss him everyday. I miss everything about him. We all miss our loved ones. Only someone who has experienced our loss truly understands. Everyone deals with their grief differently and there isn't a time limit on our grief. It is what it is, but we just have to go on. Our loving God; I am a true beleiver there is one; is guiding us.
My husband visited me and our children after his death. One of my sons told me it has been awhile since his dad visited him, as it has been for me. I talk to him everyday. I feel his presence in our home as he died in our bedroom. I feel he is watching over us. His body died, but his soul will live forever. The same is true for all of our loved ones. It is just so very difficult to go on without them, but we will always carry them in our heart. Cherish your memories, nothing can take them away from us.
Take it one day at a time; sometimes a moment at a time. God Bless You! I keep everyone on this site in my prayers. We have to go on; and I feel my God is guiding me along with my husband.

Jan 16, 2013
And his heart stopped beating.....
by: Doreen U.K.

I am sorry for your loss. I lost my husband of 44yrs. 8 months ago to lung cancer. I nursed him during the 3yrs. cancer. This a long horrendous story and I won't take time up.
I want to tell you that I feel the same as you. Wanted to die. Didn't want to live another day. I am still struggling. I do have a heart condition and under a cardiologist. But I don't concern myself with this. It is my daughter I am living for now. The 2 older ones are married and settled. If you died your family and friends would feel the way you do now losing your life. I couldn't inflict on my family a death that I had to face. I must die naturally. They will still feel it as I do. But everyone's intensity of grief is different.
I urge you to go and see a grief counsellor. You will feel so much better about life. You will come out of the depression of losing a loved one. It is an amazing experience. Painful to start with but then FREE. HOPEFULL. I can't explain the change. You will feel it. Healing from loss is long and a tedious journey but one we have to take. You are not feeling anything we are not feeling who has lost a life partner. We all think the same way. Grief does this. I too thought I had years of living with my husband in his retirement. It is like a dream as if it didn't happen. If I think of my husband I feel PANIC. So many people in our family has dreamt of my husband. I have also had many dreams.
Don't try too hard. It will come. You will have dreams and comforting things happen. I got a load of white feathers fall at different times. Still do. The white fan tailed bird (stunning) visited us one day before my husband was diagnosed. I knew this was a sign all was not well. It was the most devastating news ever. THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE. That white bird is still with us almost 4yrs. He is a frequent visitor just like my GUARDIAN ANGEL. I feel Comforted when I see him. You will recover in time. The early days are the worst. In time the pain gets less. If it doesn't it is time to go and see a grief counsellor. I can't bear life without my husband. But I have no choice but to live on till I die, so I have to make the most of each day. None of us likes this journey of Grief but it is a part of life. We live. We die. I just didn't know it could hurt so much.
I hope that in the days ahead you will be well supported in your grief and sorrow. You will go on to be happy again. Grief does not last forever otherwise the pain would kill us.

Jan 15, 2013
I understand
by: Kristina

I'm so sorry. I understand -- my partner of nearly 13 years, husband of literally one week, also died of a completely unexpected heart attack, also on September 22, 2012.

Almost everything you said in your post, I also feel. No happiness. No desire for life. Always crying. Wishing to be dead, to be with him, but not sure if there is an afterlife. Horrified by the idea that he might not exist.

I am agnostic. i don't know if there's a God or an afterlife. I can tell you that I have had some signs that I believe may be from my husband, some of them very strongly. I have not yet had a visitation dream from him either. I also haven't seen/heard him for real, though i have begged and prayed to. all i can suggest is to keep a lookout for other possible signs, other than dreams. i hope it gets easier for you.

Jan 15, 2013
Dear Heart Stopped......
by: Pat

I read your post from Sept., 2012 and my heart stopped (not literally). I am also grieving 3 deaths of very close loved ones. They all died within 5 months in 2011. I am still lost. I feel your pain. Everyone grieves differently. What caught my attention was your statement that you feel you have to do all the grieving for your loved one. You had to set up everything, after his death, and his family was not available. I had the same experience with my fiancee. He had no available family either. I had to set up his funeral, burial, etc. all just 3 months after my father died and 5 months after my brother died. Still sick from their losses, I also felt I had to be super woman to get through taking care of all the final details for my lost fiancee. I was even mad because he left nothing in writing about his final wishes and there was no will. He was also a veteran and I thought it was important to honor him with a veteran's burial. He had no money for any kind of burial and no family came forward to help. After a week, with his body in cold storage (which really left me cringing and crying buckets), I finally found an agency that would take care of everything for veterans who have no other way to pay for a funeral, casket, or burial. They covered it all and it was a beautiful service and burial. He is at peace now. What I wanted to say to you is that it is not your responsibility to do "all the grieving" for your loved one just because no one else is there to do it. I know he would have wanted you to go on with your life and find happiness again. He would not want you to bury yourself forever in buckets of tears. I did it too, but have gotten past the place of "buckets." I had a friend read a poem at my fiancee's service that really touched my heart. In summary, it said, "cry for me, but not too long, for I am at peace, I have been set free." That feels so right for me, as he was seriously ill for 10 weeks before he finally died. His heart actually stopped twice, but the doctors brought him back and he survived 2 episodes on a ventilator. It was horrible to watch, but when he finally passed, he looked so at peace. I know your loved one was not ill and his death was so sudden. It must have been horrible for you. I wish I could reach out and hug you. In moving on, I think we both have to remind ourselves that life is a journey for all of us. We are born, live on this earth, then the body dies, but the spirit lives on. The beauty of the spirit is that our loved ones are with us always, everywhere. It's the experience of love that we have, when they were alive, but love does not die, with death. Your loved one will always be a part of you and what a treasure! Take care.

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