My dearest Hugo,

I write to you, talk to you, but you are no longer here to hug to see you enjoying a meal, the TV, your surround sound, to do projects around here but most of all I miss being with you--I miss you every single second. I could be talking to someone, writing this, driving, cooking, but that doesn't mean you are not right there with me, every second of every day since you passed.

I exist. That's it. I eat because I have to, I take care of the inside and some of the outside of the house because you and I always did, and I want to keep it nice the way you liked it. I pay the bills. But I cry, I scream, and as you know (I hope you know)--I keep asking God to send you back home.

Life will never be the same; I am very lonely, I have been disappointed in people, but I try to remember what you told me, "Don't have high expectations, you will be disappointed."
Life will go on, though I hope I don't last much longer. I am desperately trying to feel, hear, recognize any kind of message from you. I hope you remember me, love me, and know how sad and guilty I feel that maybe I could have done something to stop that cancer that took you from me.
I went with you that night--not my body, but my heart and soul. I hope you know how much I want you back home, and how proud I was of you -- I was proud of everything about you.
Please kiss Mom, Dad, Aunt Mary, Gigi, Jason, and all our relatives in Heaven with you, and your Dad and your sister, Dolores. Please watch over me, as you did when you were here.
I love you forever. Your Babe, Elisa


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Jan 18, 2014
Thank you for your response
by: Bruce

Thanks Doreen, I can't say just how much your response meant to me. I was in the Air Force between '62 and '66 but never got over to Nam but have several old friends that were there and who are to this day suffering from cancer due to AO. The bad thing is that our vet clinics aren't doing much if anything to help them. Seems to me that they just want them to all pass away and forget what was done. When Holly and celebrated our 45th anniversary back in 2011 I was able to have dear friends of ours put me in contact with a lovely lady who sings and makes Country Western/Blue Grass music. She wrote 2 special songs for Holly and me and I put them into a musical/slide presentation for Holly. The songs described everything from the day we met until our children and grandchildren were of age. I played that video during Holly's wake and funeral. It wasn't until I found this site (thanks to my sister-in-law) that I was able to play it again...only a few days ago. I still wear my wedding band because Holly and I vowed (even though at our wedding the minister in 1966 had us say “until death we do part”) back in 1964 (when I proposed to her) we promised to each other to love each other until forever and ever. Our son called me a short while ago (his normal time is on Sunday) and it was so great to talk with him even though I only saw him 2 weeks ago. It's so amazing how our Lord Jesus works. I needed his call just like last night I spent with 2 dear neighbor friends (she is from the UK also) but we knew them from when when we moved here back in 1976. Her son died in a car accident about 14 years ago and she still has times when she mourns his passing if you know what I mean. She and her husband and I comforted each other last night and it was a beautiful experience. I needed it and so did they. Just the thoughts, words and tears and friendship..well we all needed to share our grief together. May Jesus bless you and all who may read this. We need each other to say the least just so that we can get through all of this one day at time.

Jan 17, 2014
I know your feelings
by: Doreen UK

Bruce I am so sorry for your loss of Holly. I found your post so very sad. You went through so much in Holly's illness. My husband worked with asbestos in his 20's. Not known then as a deadly substance. He cut asbestos and the fibres lodged in his lungs and he developed MESOTHELIOMA. (Lung cancer) inoperable, incurable, aggressive, and always terminal. It takes 40yrs to develop. He was spot on for 40yrs. although it can take between 40-60yrs. in total. Many wives died before their husbands as they shook their husband's clothes before putting into the washer. I nursed my husband for just over 3yrs. and watched him die a slow painful death. He had everything from shingles in the eye, to pneumonia, blood clots and more. 1t has been the worst experience of my life to lose the love of my life I was married to for 44yrs. Lung cancer is the one cancer that is hard to diagnose. Some people who don't smoke still get cancer or inhale a substance that claims their life. This is such a painful journey for all of us.
Before my husband was diagnosed with one of the worst cancer's a white fan tailed pigeon perched on our fence. I knew the diagnoses was going to be bad and I feared the worst and felt this bird was sent to comfort us. But I didn't expect the diagnosis would be as bad as it was. That white bird stayed with us over the 3yrs.39days of my husband's cancer. I looked out for him daily. He perched himself on the feeder and didn't fly away. I talked to him and he listened as if he was an angel. I spoke lovingly to him. He stayed after my husband died 20 months ago and after to comfort me. In total that bird was with us for over 4yrs. and now he has gone. Never returned. I feel this bird was on a mission to comfort us. I then saw white feather's everywhere all the time. Little reminders of my beloved gone home to God. I do believe in God's comfort and the signs He sends to us to comfort us through our loss. Hold onto HOPE you will see HOLLY again. Take one day at a time and know that God is with all of us in our sorrow and loss. God comforts us so that we can be a comfort to other's. I do believe God will Bless you through life and Holly's death and allow you to Heal from helping other's. We have no control over our death. How we live on will determine where we will spend eternity. May God comfort you in your loss and sorrow and give you His Peace.

Jan 16, 2014
I know your feelings
by: Bruce

I know your feelings. I lost my precious bride of 47 years, Holly, on September 28th. In April of last year she had spine realignment surgery and was doing great in her rehab. She got to using a cane and even went back to work. In August she insisted that I go down to Texas and visit our son for two weeks. I only agreed to doing it on the condition that she would be alright alone. I got home on a Wednesday and she still in the shape as when I left her. Thursday was the same. On that Friday I got a call from her employer and was told that she was driving herself home because all of a sudden she couldn't use her left leg. I took her right to the emergency room. They found a slight fracture in her left hip. That Monday I took her to our doctor and he gave her a shot of cortisone to relieve her pain. The next week she didn't get better both of her feet swelled up to where she could hardly move. I took her back to our doctor and after a very quick exam had me take her to our hospitals emergency room where they had a room set up for her. That night they did MRI's and CAT scans. The next morning when I got there she was in tears and told me that they had found lung cancer and liver cancer which was confirmed in a biopsy. The next week she started chemotherapy. Four days later at 4:00 am I received a call and was told that she was in ICU. She bled profusely and she got 7 blood transfusions. Two days later she was back in her room. It was downhill all the way. Holly never left the hospital and after 3 weeks she went home to be with the Lord. Holly hadn't smoked in close to 40 years and this was so sudden. I still find it hard to believe. What I share next is something only my relatives and a few dear and close friends know so maybe you will find some peace in it. An hour before Holly passed away she had her eyes shut and was breathing heavily. She had a firm grip on my left hand and I stood up from my chair next to her bed and whispered in her ear that “I loved her.” I saw her mouth the words “I love you too.” About 15 minutes later I stood up again and while she tightly gripped my hand I whispered in her ear “See only Jesus' face.” She again smiled and I saw her mouth “I do.” Ten minutes later she lost grip of my hand and I knew that she was with Him. How do I know for sure? At about 2:00 am as I was just getting to sleep I felt my left hand rise up and I felt a soft and gentle kiss blow over it. All I can say is that His River Jordan must be large. But I know for sure that His angels carried her across because she couldn't walk. I apologize to all reading this that it so long, but writing this tonight has helped me immensely and I hope it does all who read it. These weeks have been so tough and at times excruciating. Not a day goes by that I don't talk or get an email from family or friends. That has helped. Someday, the Lord willing, I'll maybe get to the point where I can help others in their loss. Jesus bless you all. Bruce

Jan 15, 2014
I feel the same way
by: Anonymous

I understand how lost and alone you feel. My husband died suddenly 2 months and 15 days ago. We were hit by a drunk driver and my love was killed instantly. I often wish I would have died that night beside him. Everywhere I look life is going on around me while I feel nothing but emptiness. I am 34 and many people keep telling I'll eventually move on an most likely find someone. But I did find someone already...and now he is gone. Events have happened recently that should make me feel happy but it all seems meaningless without someone to share it with. I feel completely disconnected from my friends and family. There is no way they can truly understand how difficult it is to go on each day with him. I often put on a brave face but inside I am faling apart.

Jan 14, 2014
by: Anonymous

I look at the photo posted of your Hugo and see a keenly intelligent man, clear thinking, insightful. This kind of loss is like no other I have ever experienced for I lost my dear love earlier last year--already? Time gives no form or passage to this, in fact for me personally, it seems to have become a void. I feel like I have stepped into a dimension whose portal is only a sheet of paper thick. I had no idea men and women were experiencing this special kind of pain while I was still at peace and happiness with my now deceased spouse. My husband too, offered sage advice to my life and he also warned "have no expectations" so be prepared for many surprises--the biggest one is we wake up everyday after such a tragedy, rudderless.

Jan 12, 2014
Just existing without Joy in anything
by: Doreen UK

Elisa I am so sorry to hear the in depth report of how Hugo died of his cancer. It makes grief harder when our government also lets us down by not taking responsibility for these toxins inhaled. I can't begin to tell you how cruel an experience this has been. Steve was even let down badly by his cancer care due to a lack of funding and resources in the U.K. when he didn't even get the right pain killing injections for his cancer. He died in terrible pain. watching him die slowly killed me inside. Steve felt abandoned in his care.
The army is being evasive and not taking responsibility for this toxin. It should be listed as a dangerous substance, same as an Industrial Injury disease. It is such an INJUSTICE. Hugo must have had to have an inquest from the Coroner before his body could be released for burial/cremation.
It seems to be a common problem of friends and family going on with their lives and forget how you feel all alone. This hurts so much to be left so ALONE. After Steve died the support was so good for me, I would not have coped without this immense support. Now just like you I am indoors 24hrs. a day and due to arthritis cannot go out much. My daughter takes me light shopping once a week. In England we can do Supermarket Internet shopping. So I shop for my food online and get it delivered once a week or fortnightly. I can also shop for large items once a month and not pay a delivery charge. This is convenient. I could have done with this facility when Steve was dying of cancer. He had to take me shopping when he was so ill, since I don't drive. Life will never be the same for any of us again. This Christmas must have been a very tough one for you. You are in a very hard place right now with no supportive family/friends to walk with you on this journey of grief. WE ARE HERE! write as often as you need to. We will support you for as long as you need this. When you live in isolation and all ALONE it makes one feel worse and we can lose the motivation to go on in life. I know how you feel. Perhaps a dog or other pet may help you at this time of grief. I am processing this. I have owned pets before and know the immense comfort they can be, when we have no one. My 3 Children are all grown up Adults and living their own independent lives. I still find myself not wanting to be around people at times of grief. I hope this will change in time. I wish you easier days ahead and hope that people will enter your life and make your life better and more fulfilled. I wish you comfort, Peace and Love. Best wishes. Doreen

Jan 12, 2014
Doreen K (UK) Thank you for replying to I just exist
by: Hugo's Elisa

Dear Doreen

Hugo, too, died from a lethal toxin,Agent Orange, when he, at only 18 served in the Vietnam War.
It takes 40 or so years to show up-- he had pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer and spread to his liver, etc., all caused by a damaged dna which can be damaged by that lethal toxin, just as mesothelioma hurt your husband.

I am so sorry.

I too, fight about this with the army, but his cancer is not on their list of presumptive illnesses caused by agent orange. Who are they kidding? I fight for Hugo's honor.

Hugo and I too would look at people and say to each other I wonder how they feel if we heard about a car accident on tv news, or something, and then we were the "ones" who got hit with this lousy future of sickness, heartache, and then death. I miss him so much.
We hurt the same way and will until we die. Two good husbands, gone for what they did in life.

Love, Elisa (Hugo's wife)

Jan 12, 2014
I Just exist....thank you for your replies to me
by: From Hugo's Elisa

To Heidi, Lawrence, and everyone who responded to my post about me just existing since my husband, Hugo, died. All of you are writing the same thing; so I am not crazy. My family doesn't even call me for days, why? Hugo and I were good -- no extra good to all of them. It hurts that they do not understand that I stay in the house alone 24 hours a day unless I have to go out to buy food or pay bills, etc.

Heidi, Until his diagnosis, it never cross our minds. Hugo got out of the army, never looked back, never spoke about that despicable war, and moved on to get a good job, move up, and we went on with our lives.

Agent Orange poisons you and it takes 40 years to show up. Hugo had pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer (a rare form), and it IS NOT ON THE ARMY'S LIST OF PRESUMPTIVE ILLNESSES LIKE LEUKEMIA,
DIABETES, ETC. WELL, THE PANCREAS AND LIVER FILTER TOXINS, AND AGENT ORANGE, LIKE ASBESTOS, IS A LETHAL TOXIN. So, I pursue this, but I am getting no where. I do it for Hugo's honor, little did we know the day he was drafted at 18 during that lousy war that he would eventually die (I believe it with all my heart) from Agent Orange. His dreams for us shattered. I blame the poison my husband got fighting as a young boy for this country.

I miss him to the point where I think a lot of how to just get out of this world too.

Everything hurts, and my family not calling me hurts a lot. They have left me alone for the first holiday after his death, and for subsequent holidays, they have made me travel alone on Christmas eve which I never did before in my life--I spent it with Hugo and my parents, etc., and they don't get the stabbing feeling of dragging a suitcase through a major transportation on Christmas when you should be home with your husband.

I hate life without him.
Your comments meant so much.

Jan 11, 2014
merely existing
by: Anonymous----MI

Heidi---your words could be my words. My husband---the only love of my life---died 13 months ago from SCA and I understand and feel every thing that you wrote about. It is normal, I think, for us to isolate ourselves. People we once talked with easily and freely now make us realize just what we have lost and how alone we feel. Couples now make me want to turn away and go off to nurse my wounds. Their happiness and total ignorance of what we are going through is a reminder of our pain. My husband and I were best friends as well as in love forever and devoted to each other. How I miss every thing about him; he was such a good person and like many others feel--'gone too soon'. I read recently that we have these things to consider: We can't go back; we can't stay where we are; we must move forward. We cannot have what we once had. Oh grief!! how cruel you are and yet you have become our constant companions--you are always there. But, along with my grief there is God--a great and mighty God who will never leave us; never turn away from us and promises to give us joy again. One day, I too, will leave this earth in death and I will see my husband again. To see Jesus and worship Him and reunite with my husband is what keeps me going---one day at a time. May God help us all.

Jan 11, 2014
Your Grief
by: Lawrence

Your anguish and heartache scream out for Hugo and every word you wrote applies to all us widows and widowers, the loneliness, all the things you did together no longer there, eating, sleeping, in fact doing everything alone is sheer hell and something I will never get used to.
I was with my beloved sweetheart for nearly seventy years I cherished, loved and cared for her until her last moment on this earth, I kissed her, closed her eyes and thanked her for our wonderful life together on her deathbed, and I know I have no need to tell you how empty my life is now, I am bereft like yourself, and it’s just over a year since she died, it feels like an eternity.
There are no words of consolation I can give you except to repeat my mantra “GRIEF IS THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR LOVE “and like me you experienced such an exquisite, passionate marriage we must consider ourselves so very lucky, so few people find such love.

Jan 11, 2014
dear just exist
by: Anonymous

Your Hugo was very handsome. Such a terrible loss. I lost my husband this year and I cried a lot after reading your post because it sounds exactly as if I had written it down to the last detail. Life stinks now for there is no joy found in anything without him. We too, were together forever and I never dreamed of being here, could not have imagined going on without him. I no longer fear death just life without him.

Jan 11, 2014
merely exist
by: Heidi

I feel that way too. The day my true love and best friend died is the day I stopped living. I merely exist now. I have no joy, no happiness. I haven’t even been able to listen to music since the day he died 3 months ago. I have pushed family and friends away. It depresses me even more to hear about their significant others, their plans, their togetherness.

Mickey and I were together every single day for over 15 years. It just seems unreal that he’s not here with me. It crushes me even more to think that I have to now have to go on without him for days, months, years(?). I don’t know how people are able to cope with this massive feeling of loss. I don’t know why it had to happen this way. Mickey had a long time illness but it was a hospital error for something unrelated that caused his death. I’m pursuing every avenue I can think of to try and understand how it happened. Reading his medical records each night takes a further toll on me, but somehow keeps him close to me too.

This site and everyone's caring postings has helped me with my grief. I think it will help you too in trying to exist without your Hugo. This site shows me that I am not the only one truly devastated in losing my significant other. No one in my world seems to understand how deep the pain in my soul is- except for others that have had to go through the same loss.

Jan 11, 2014
by: Doreen UK

Elisa I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved husband Hugo. I like the way you addressed Hugo in your post. You expressed a lot of the essence of feelings I have.
I lost my husband Steve to Lung cancer (caused by working with asbestos) 20 months ago. I nursed him for 3yrs.39days before he died. His cancer tumour took 40yrs. to develop from cutting asbestos as a young man in his 20's. A substance not known years ago as a killer. The cancer that develops is incurable, inoperable, aggressive, and always terminal. There is never any remission from this type of cancer. As wives we watch in the distance caring whilst our hearts are breaking daily for what we had and lost in our men. Today is Saturday the day of the week he died. Every Saturday is a bad day. I have never had a good Saturday in 20 months. I am feeling the sadness more today and now as if my grieving is just starting. I started grieving the day of diagnosis on March 28th 2009 when we got the diagnosis. My world fell apart then. I feel so lost and lonely without my Steve. He was the love of my life and I am finding it hard to live without him. I get through each day but with no quality of life, to speak of. Your Hugo was right. People will disappoint us all the time and I feel better not having high expectations. I then don't get disappointed. I have also learned not to hold people, pets, and material things tightly. I hold them loosely knowing I will lose them all one day. For us all we can do is enjoy the journey of life we have no choice to live out. Cancer is the scourge of life, as many more are diagnosed with this disease that crushes families and destroys the family unit. One day I was in the car with my husband. As we stopped in traffic my eyes roamed around all the people on the sidewalk (pavement) and said to Steve. "Just think. of all these people. I wonder what their story is, and some may even be walking around with cancer and not know it. Little did I know. A few months later we got our devastating news. The worst ever from a deadly cancer there was no way back from. All we can do is live ONE DAY AT A TIME. This is how I have survived up till now. Each day is different. Having something to do, to occupy one's day and pampering one's self I find helps pick me up and makes my days better. The work around the house and outside becomes harder when one person is doing this. Steve used to love cooking and I miss this also. I enjoyed swapping jobs and doing some of the manly chores. Now I do it all. But I pace myself. Weekly jobs, and monthly jobs. Working to a timetable helps. I wish you better days ahead as we journey together with our loss.

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