Carolyn...Love of My Life

by Tom Lackey
(London, KY)



Today, March 25th, would have been our 37th wedding anniversary. My wife Carolyn drowned in a rafting accident in New Zealand on Jan 17, 2010. I miss my wife more than I could have ever imagined. The first few weeks after the accident I cried some, but I think I was in such shock that my mind and body would not let me mourn. For the past few weeks all I want to do is be home alone and cry. Now I am just growing cold inside. I hurt so bad.

I have family...parents, two sons, grandchildren, but I just cannot open up and talk and grieve with them. I met my wife when I was 15 and I married her when I was 22. She was the only person I could be open with and show my emotions without reservation.. What I would give right now to put my head in her lap and just cry my heart out.

How could I have been so lucky to meet a 15 year old girl and 45 years later look at her and know that she was all that I wanted in the world. Sometimes I would wake up in the morning and just lay in bed and watch her sleep and listen to her breathe. I knew I was so blessed.

I think our oldest son best described his mother at the funeral. What made my mom a beautiful mother? Her RECIPES. Not only in cooking but the recipes of life: Love, Faith, Family, Nurturing, Passion, Knowledge, and Dreams. She truly understood people. She taught us, and when I say us, I mean everyone in this church, in this town, anyone that she came in contact with. She showed what LOVE is. She never offered a handshake......she offered hugs. Mom taught me to express emotion, to let someone know that I loved them. She taught me how to love.

That was my wife. We shared a life together and I do not know how it could have been any better. In the movie, Seven Pounds, Will Smith says, “God created the world in seven days, and I destroyed mine in seven seconds.” That is the way I feel.

The day of the accident, we were rafting down a wilderness river in New Zealand. My son and daughter-in-law were in the front of the raft, I was sitting in the middle rowing the raft, and my wife was sitting behind me in the back of the raft. We were having a wonderful day. We had gone thru several challenging rapids and we only had one remaining rapid. Halfway thru the rapid, the raft flipped and we were tossed into the water. Three of us got out of the river safely but Carolyn was tossed to the left side of the river and was immediately swept under a rock by the current. She had on a life jacket but it did not help. She drowned immediately. A rope had to be tied to her life jacket and a rescue helicopter was used to pull her out of the water.

The nightmare plays every day in my mind and I feel responsible for my wife’s death. At times the two emotions of loss and guilt are overwhelming.

My love is gone and I feel lost. I just cannot imagine my life without Carolyn and her smile.

Comments for Carolyn...Love of My Life

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 02, 2010
Words can never describe the pain..
by: Deanna

I lost my husband Jan,9 2010. I know how you feel, I feel the same way also. My husband was my soulmate, my best friend, my everything. I feel lost without him. I don't know what to do with myself. I understand your pain also. People really what to help but they do not understand. What really upsets me is when they say your young and one day you will meet someone else. I know that gods 2nd coming is real soon and I will be with him again. God bless you and you will be in my prayers. Deanna from MS

Mar 31, 2010
I am sorry your heart hurts
by: Kris

I am so sorry about your wife. I am married to a man that feel similarly about. He is part of me and I am part of him.

We are going through another kind of grief that can threaten to pull me into a void. Our 12 year old son was in a pellet gun accident, where a neighbor boy shot him in the head. He has survived the traumatic brain injury but is very injured. It has almost been a year now and I still feel the suffering as soon as I wake up. I wanted to respond because, it was the result of a terrible accident that my whole family was there for too. We have always been careful, loving parents and to have this crazy thing happen, just rips us up.

The things that have helped me are throwing myself out into the world, realizing that everybody has pain...we had just been blessed for a long time. I feel much more empathy for everyone I meet these days. I haven't gone to a support group but do have a friend going thru cancer treatment that understands "being in the hole" and we find a lot of similarities in facing our sadness and fear...we actually laugh a lot.

You need to have someone who has been there...only they can truly understand where you are and help you through the tunnel. Grief support groups really are a good idea. Walk every day until you are exhausted...I find that fresh air and exertion are still the best medicine.

We also both went to a psychologist and I finally got some medicine after going to a depression website and realizing that I had most of the symptoms. It hasn't gotten rid of my emotions but has helped temper the beast. We have always been upbeat, positive people and this has been very trying. I know your grief is so fresh that all of this may sound too overwhelming right now. I think I was in shock for 6 months...

The other thing is to let people know if you feel needy. That is a word I would never have used to describe myself before. But I really needed to have people and life around me, so I let my family and friends know this and it has been the best thing ...real companionship...

Be gentle and compassionate to yourself, OK?

Mar 25, 2010
I feel your loss
by: Tracey

I know how you feel I lost 3 family member in 3 month, all separate illness. January 17 2010 was the 1st anniversary of my Grandfather's death. Next month on the 4th will be 1 year that my Mother passed away. On the 13th 1 Year that my Father passed away.

The pain does get easier to handle. I have come to the understanding that grief has no time line. I feel for your lose and wish you all the strength you need to get through it. Always know your wife is never far away from you.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Lost Spouse/ True Love.

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines

RSS Feed Widget


Tap into the compassion, support and wisdom of the


Essential Healing Guide

Grief Relief

Free Griefwork

Free Stress

SBI Video Tour!