by Dale Metcalfe
(Welland Ontario Canada)

My husband passed away 12 weeks ago, he died in his sleep. I cannot put into words the trauma of finding him gone. Then having to call my sons and tell them. I feel so lost and alone and empty. We were together 41 years, married 38 and he died two weeks before our anniversary. How do you remember such a happy day when he is not there and never will be again. My kids have gone on with their lives, my daughter in law tells me I am ok and will get over it, and I tell her that my life as I know it is gone and will never be again and I don't know how to deal with that. I don't know how or what to feel or think or do. I tried going away for a while and it helped while I was gone but as soon as I come home again its here, the emptiness and loneliness and memories. I just want to feel normal again but I am thinking there will never be normal again, just some type of new normal, but when?

Comments for Dale

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Sep 06, 2013
by: Doreen U.K.

Alan you were a good protector of your wife. But you are not responsible for your wife's death. Don't say you failed her. The truth is you didn't fail her. You may be her strong man. But you have your limitations. What you are probably feeling is helpless that you could do nothing to save her. I felt this also. This is part of your grief. Just make sure that you don't let this thought take root in your mind otherwise it will pull you down. We have to process our lives in a different way now. Lying next to your wife whilst she died is not your fault. Don't feel guilty. Change this thinking around to the fact she died the perfect way like we all wish to go. My husband died in severe cancer pain. I went through so much pain with him that I feel scarred.
Alan try nurturing yourself back to health from grief. Do special things for yourself each day that your wife would have done for you. It doesn't have to stop. Build on this. Treat yourself with honour and care. You will heal much faster from your grief. It will build you up and not tear you down. It is not easy to change our thinking. So do it with actions and then your thinking will change. Think of yourself as the Special man in your wife's life who she loved and learn to LOVE YOURSELF. It is in loving yourself that you will find the freedom you need to go on each day. Remember one day at a time. No use worrying about tomorrow in case God decides differently. I wish you Peace and Comfort in your grief and the strength to go on each day. Best wishes.

Sep 05, 2013
by: Alan

Dale, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved husband.
My life was shattered on January 31st 2013 when I woke and found my darling wife of 40 years had passed away,right next to me. How do you explain the feelings you have at that moment. I was convinced I could bring her back. I would not accept that I let her die right next to me. I was her protector, her strong man. Nothing could hurt her when I was around. But I couldn't save her, neither could the paramedics. I failed her. I slept while she died. I will never get over it and neither will you. I found this site and found many new friends that have gone through what we have and I am grateful for all their kind words and prayers. It's only been 7 months and I find it so hard. Many people say just remember the love you two had, remember the good times. I do but it makes me so sad that she is not here with me. I feel for you Dale and so do our friends especially Doreen, Pat, Silver, Lawrence and others. My prayers and best wishes to you.

Sep 04, 2013
by: silver

My heart and prayers will be with you tomorrow.My father died in 2009 and the 12th would have been his 86.I know he is at peace finally.He lived a good life and finally has no pain.GOD send you strength and peace.

Sep 04, 2013
Support to June for 5th Sept 2013
by: Doreen U.K.

June Tomorrow will be your wedding anniversary. This will be such a difficult time for you as you ponder yet another year without your precious husband Mike. Anniversaries, Birthdays, Christmas ( coming up )are all difficult times for us and will be for some time. I want you to know that I will be thinking of you tomorrow 5th Sept. and I send you prayers for comfort and strength to get through this day. Feel the hugs of everyone around you this day.
You are doing a good job volunteering with the homeless. I have volunteered in the past for 8yrs. and felt such fulfilment in doing this work. But my husband was alive then. I would like to go back into voluntary work. But it will be different. I will have a diversion. But like you I will have to go back to loneliness and emptiness. This is the difference. You can't help focus on YOU. This is part of grief and how we have to work through this. Thinking of what we had and have lost now is not going to disappear soon. For me it is now 16 months tomorrow to the day. 5th of each month that I lost my husband Steve. I also find myself having worse days of grief. I don't have to think of anything. IT IS JUST THERE. Almost as if our memory bank like a tape is slowly unwinding and we have no control over this. You are not alone. I go through much the same as you. There is not much fun in doing life on our own. But again we have no CHOICE. But my secret is TAKING ONE DAY AT A TIME. This is how I get through life. I research the internet on different things. At the moment for me it is changing my diet. I am finding that grief leaves me worn out. Don't feel like eating some days. Then I feel tired and weak. So discovering Flaxseeds (also known as linseeds) and Hemp and Chia seeds good to add to my diet. In a drink. Getting this daily will help to keep strength up on the days I don't want to eat a meal. it has excellent health benefits and should give me the energy boost whilst coping with grief. Try and nurture yourself this way, also doing some special things for YOU. By nurturing yourself you will be healing also from grief. Life will never be the same for any of us again. But just doing special things for ourselves each day will make our days better. Comfort and strength for 5th Sept. (tomorrow) May your days ahead get easier with time. Best wishes. Doreen.

Sep 03, 2013
by: June

It is so hard to go through this part of our life. My husband, Mike, passed away 18 months ago and I am missing him more now than in the first year. I guess it is realizing he really isn't coming back and this is a very different life for me. We would have been married 43 years this September 5th.

The advice on this web site is so helpful...Doreen, Lawrence, Silver, etc. It really has helped me.

There seems to be no satisfaction in doing anything anymore, I do volunteer at a homeless shelter and that does seem to help. I guess the thing is to get your mind off yourself and help others....I'm trying.

My children and grandchildren are helpful but it isn't the same without Mike. I don't want to be a burden to them.

Hugs to you, and as has been said before, you will not get over this but it will become a little easier.
Western Canada

Sep 02, 2013
thank you
by: Dale

thank you all for your comments, they are encouraging and help me to feel as if I am normal in this, if there is such a thing as normal. You all have blessed me greatly and reading your responses help, thank you and God bless each of you

Sep 02, 2013
by: silver

Dear Dale:I first want to comment on a couple of things:#1--You WILL NOT get over it.If you love someone so completely that they are part of you,it will always hurt.You WILL get to the point you can handle it and it WILL get easier over time.#2--Your daughter-in-law,although she probably thinks her comment helps,it doesn't. Let me tell you I know.I did the same thing. My mother followed my dad after 7 months.I couldn't understand why she didn't get up and go out again.She had many friends and bowled(she was 81)once a week right up until the last 2 wks of his life.Instead she sat in a chair and died of a blood clot.I DID NOT understand until it happened to me 11 months later.Nothing prepares you for that loss.Even though both my parents died not long before my husband--it was so much worse.You lose a part of yourself.You feel as if someone came and tore out your heart.#3--My husband died one week after our 33rd anniversary.The next one I went to our favorite restaurant and asked the waiter to put a glass of unsweetened tea on the other side of the table.I cried off and on throughout the meal.I'm not sure if it was wise to go there but later I was glad I did.I felt as if I celebrated the time we had.----I also went away on the 1st anniversary of his death.I shopped,saw sights,and went swimming.You are so right.When I came home the house was still empty..He was still gone..and I had to face that he wasn't coming back....Don't let anyone tell you that you "will get over it"..You WILL get better at handling it.It WILL get easier..It has been 2 yrs for me and although I'm still lonely most of the time..I am beginning to go out and do things.I don't cry as much or as long or as hard.Grief is different for each of us.The time period is different for all of us.There is some beautiful poetry on this site.There is one called "Three Steps Forward" that a lady on this site who is going through what we are that says it well.I wrote one called "How Long Does It Take" & one called "Peace" that I wrote for my husband's funeral. There's another that I found called Rememberance. Maybe if your dau-in-law read some of the poetry here she might begin to get a little idea of how this particular loss is greater than others.GOD bless you and send you strength and peace.I keep us all in my prayers.

Sep 02, 2013
by: Doreen U.K.

Dale I have now read all the other posts to you here. They are so very encouraging. I remember especially the day that Lawrence was in the early days of his grief and my heart broke for him because I felt his awful Pain and knew how bad his grief was even though this is personal to ourselves. I felt very helpless but also desperate to support him. The pain of loss is the same but for some the pain overflows and we can't cope. This was Lawrence. To see this man come through this journey and support other's so well with encouragement as the others also do. Is nothing short of a miracle. It gives me HOPE to go on each day just observing the journey of others and to behold how they are coping each day. Their language and expression has changed. Hold onto this as WE ALL will be able to feel this type of HEALING from Grief. thank you all who shared to Dale. I myself was encouraged by your journey of Healing. Best wishes to everyone.

Sep 02, 2013
by: Doreen U.K.

Dale I am sorry for your loss of your husband. 12 weeks is not a long time to start feeling better from grief. Your daughter-in-law doesn't know what to say or how to comfort you. But what she says is only true further down the line. You will make it and life will get better. BUT NOT RIGHT NOW. Just like you were together over 40yrs. how can you recover from grief in any such time as weeks. The best you can do is to take only one day at a time. Don't overstretch yourself to feel anything but crying and sorrow on and off for months. Days you may not feel like doing anything. Your children you say have moved on. This is a common story I have heard often.
My husband died of lung cancer almost 16 months ago. We were married 44yrs. together 47yrs. He died slowly over 3yrs.39days. His cancer was terminal caused by chemicals in the workplace from Asbestos. It was a horrible cancer journey with so much pain, sorrow, and neglect from the medical profession. I was so busy with the funeral arrangements, administration around cancelling his pension and benefits. So much paperwork to sort out. I then took to the couch for months and only moved when I had to. I only cooked oven food. I nurtured my sorrow with TV. I then took one or two jobs a day. Scaled back if I couldn't do this. Part of healing is being able to nurture yourself back into life. With you taking yourself away for a break was good. You were nurturing yourself. Do this often. You will soon find yourself healing. You have the FREEDOM now to do what you want when you want to. Restructuring our lives is not going to be easy. Don't look at the mountain ahead. The years alone will swallow you up. Just one day at a time. You will get there in time.
My Adult children have moved on with their lives. somehow losing a Dad is not as hard as losing a husband/partner. Which is why your daughter-in-law won't know what this pain is like unless she goes through it. So don't fret about what people say. they don't know any different.
16 months on I still have difficult days. Anniversaries, birthday, Christmas, vacation times are all hard to process as they add to our grief. They were significant family times being together. It is only in Time that we will be able to move on. But it won't be easy. I have a strong Faith in God, so this helps me move on better each day. Find what works for you.

Sep 01, 2013
Your Grief
by: Lawrence

Hi Dale,
My heart is aching with the sorrow you are feeling.
To lose someone you love more than life itself is the most devastating experience you will ever go through, your life will never be the same again and ignore these people who say you will get over it because you never will; it will get easier as the months go by but there is no time limit on grief.
I lost a very precious and beloved wife just eight months ago after being together for nearly seventy years and the tears still flow daily, even when I am driving the thought I will never see her again still breaks me up.
I so wish I could give you some words to ease your pain but unfortunately there are none, except to say be grateful for the wonderful love you had, and as I keep repeating time after time “GRIEF IS THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR LOVE “so many people never experience such intense passion.
Everybody on this website is either going, or has been through the heartache you are feeling, I know it is no consolation except to say we are all here perhaps still deep in mourning but we are surviving.
There is no way of dealing with it except to cry and seek whatever help you can.
There are no happy endings in life and in every loving relationship sooner or later one of you will die, it was just his time, it’s called fate.
We are all praying for you from all over the world..

Sep 01, 2013
by: Anonymous

Dear Dale,

I am sorry to hear about your husband. I lost my father suddenly eight months ago from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and my mother is in the same boat. They were together almost 50 years. I cannot offer any great advice, because I am still in the depths of my grief for my Dad and still reeling from the shock of it all. It has been a long, hard journey, and I find that keeping myself busy helps me a lot. I have two children who are still in school, so they are a great distraction. My mom is so, so sad. We live close to each other, and I try to see her every day, but there are days when I can tell that she just wants to be alone. She has gone out a few times with friends who are also widows, but I think she forces herself to go. She has returned to church and slowly she is adapting to her new normal. Be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to grieve - as long as takes. Visit this website often-the posts are very encouraging, and all of the people here are so supportive, and you will find that sadly, you are not alone on this journey. I hope you find comfort here as you heal.

Aug 31, 2013
by: Anonymous---MI

I am sorry for the loss of your husband. I know your grief and how you are feeling as my husband died 9 months ago from SCA. While your family mean well they cannot tell you that you are 'ok' and you 'will get over it'. I am still going through the grief and lonely days and nights without my dear husband. All grief sites and grief counselors tell us not to deny our grief; we must face it and go through it. This means memories that make us sad; the knowledge that we are now changed forever and we must cry, be angry and some of us question God as to how this could possibly be happening. With each episode of pain and tears and sorrow it helps to release the hurt, the anger and the sorrow. For myself, I must keep very busy every day. Work is my therapy. I am retired but I do yard work, help others and try to pass the hours doing some good for someone else. I cry every day; my journey on this road of grief has been and is very hard and sad for me. But, I believe in the grace and mercy of God to help me each day. God Bless you and show you the way.

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