Gerard Theuns: January 15, 1948-November 19 2011

by Exiene Lofgren
(Brooklyn, NY. USA)

Gerard Theuns (on right)

Gerard Theuns (on right)

No writer has ever fully explained love to those who has never experienced it to full capacity. Nor, have they ever wrote about grief and all of it's mess. Gerard and I were together for 6 years, he died of Bladder Cancer four days after our anniversary in our home.
I have good days and bad days, one great day but most days are just "eh'. But, even on good days, I have anxiety, lack of energy, my sleep and eating patterns are off and I get paranoid about my own health after 2 1/2 years of dealing with my husband's illness. And just when I think I'm going to die and/or go crazy, I cry...hard. Then, my body calms down and I am exhausted. I read as much as I can about grief to help me know this is common, I go to support meetings and talk to friends. But there are days when I wonder when the physical and emotional pain will end.
I'm not a patient person to begin with so being that it's been less than three months since his death, I know I'm just beginning to process , but, it still is aggravating at times as I can pay the bills and go to work, but I have no focus to expand myself with all the time I have to myself since he died.
He was the love of my life and now he is not here. I know I will be happy again, but the process is painful, surreal and inconvenient. I miss him, but know he had to leave. Our home feels bigger and emptier and not having the one person who made me feel safe above all else raises my anxiety as I figure out how to live in the now and future.
Today is a low day, but I know these days have been fewer and farther between as time goes on.
Even with the world by your side, grief is solitary. I know it's necessary and hope that I come out of the other side a better human being. Today however, feels like a step back, and that's OK because the fact I can write at all tells me that tomorrow will be different and reminds me that yesterday was not the same as today.
"You mourn as hard as you loved" is the best description I've heard about this process. It has no timeframe and keeps the process personal, allowing yourself to guide your spirit as others, out of love, give advice that contradicts how you feel. I loved my husband, but he is gone, I let him go willingly when the time came as it would have been selfish of me to do otherwise, I'm not clinically depressed, I am sad and at times, angry, But if someone tells me a joke I can laugh. It's the process. This horrible and needed process that reminds the living they are alive. And I want to live as it is the best tribute to the man who taught me about life and love more than any human on earth.

Comments for Gerard Theuns: January 15, 1948-November 19 2011

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Aug 17, 2014
by: sandy ward

I am soooo saddened to hear this news and sorry that I am just learning that Gerard was ill. I only knew him on a professional basis and he had no peers. He was wise and expert with so much style and whimsy. He was also lucky to have found such a loving and caring partner as yourself. I wish you much happiness and know that the love you had with Gerard will carry you through and lift you up.

Nov 07, 2013
Love and grief
by: Gloria

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I did not know Gerard Theuns personally, but I often admired his work. I lived in Cobble Hill near Atlantic Avenue, and would frequently stop in front of his store to admire his artistry. He had great skill and beautiful taste.

I cannot say, from my own experience, that your grief will subside. I am sure his passing has changed you forever. You can only be grateful for what you once had. Some people never experience love at all.

Feb 14, 2012
I understand
by: Luke ( Australia)

Sorry for the loss of your husband.
I totally understand your pain and anxiety. I lost my partner of 20 years on October 18 2011 to cancer. He only had 8 weeks from diagnosis.
He was my soul mate, best friend and he too made me feel safe, loved and complete.
I am shattered beyond belief, but I manage to wake up and do all the things that need to be done. Go to work clean the house mow the lawn and do all that is necessary. I find eating almost impossible and have lost a lot of weight, no appetite at all. I'm working on that.
All that keeps me going is that all he was concerned about in the lead up too his passing was that I was going to be OK without him.
I promised to him I would be and he didn't need to worry about that. This makes me determined to keep it together as best I can and to keep my promise to him that I would be able to cope.
It's 4 months on Saturday and there are days that I still just can't seem to accept he will never come back. These days are unbearable and the pain is suffocating. The loneliness lives deep in my heart, the yearning for his conversation and laughter eat at me often. I find at times like this I get some comfort from writing letters to him and tell him what I've been doing and how much I love and miss him. Grief is your own.
But these days are not as often and the intensity seems to have lessened just a little which gives me hope I can continue.
I tend not to share my grief with friends too much, as I know they don't completely "get it".
I also wouldn't "get it" if I hadn't lost my partner. So to them I fake it until I can make it.
Just remember you are not alone, I too feel the same pain of unbearable grief you are feeling.
This is a great site to come to when you feel alone. Others here are also feeling the pain of grief.

Feb 14, 2012
Gerard Theuns:January 15, 1948-November19,2011
by: jules

Your post struck a chord in me - you have put into words a lot of what has happened to me over the last two years, since my husband passed in 2009.
Only someone who has experienced love,can explain it to those who haven't felt love.
No-one can explain grief, unless they have experienced it -
My husband passed on November 20, 2009, and I am a different person to the one I was before that date - I like the new me - but some of my old friends don't - they just don't understand that I have to be a different person -
Thank you for sharing with us - every day one step, one breath - take care

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