I lost my husband unexpectedly going on 8 months

by Sondra

I never thought in a million years that i would lose my husband at such a young age, he was 53 and i am 50. He passed away December 1, 2013 it is now going to be 8 months. We were together 33 years! He wasn't just my husband he was my best friend. We have 4 children together and 2 grandchildren. Between the months of August-September 2013 he had changed personality wise, being bitter and not getting any better. He took care of me since we were together he always said i will take care of you and after having the children which they are the ages of 26, 23, 20, 14 he said you stay home and let me worry about making the money. He was a man of his word, he was one of the hardest working men i have and will ever know he can outwork a 20 something year old. He was a jack of all trades master of them all. Now i want to say that my husband did what he had to do to make ends meet he did work for the union, and was self-employed with a great business. But business of course wasn't surviving we started to deplete our savings to make ends meet because of how we were getting paid, he was completely self-employed. But we both had made a decision that he would go to work for someone else as much as he hated that thought but he would do it and we would fix our home and sell everything and move. But he wasn't looking like himself he had high Blood Pressure and he wasn't one for taking medications nor seeing a doctor but he did and was on the medication but when he got that reading his BP was pretty good he tossed the pills he couldn't handle the way he felt from the BP pills making him tired as well. I had noticed his color wasn't right and i told him you need to go back to the doctor and find out what's going on with you, he was sick more sick then he led on to me i begged him to please go to the doctor he had told me after the Thanksgiving Holiday he was to have a test and I would go with him for this but he was complaining two weeks prior to his death he was cold but still managed to get up to go to work all through this period where he should have been in the hospital. The day before Thanksgiving he had a doctor's appt he cancelled it now i know he would have been in the ER if he kept the appt but i didn't know what was going on till after he passed. The day after Thanksgiving he came home from work he sat on the couch put a blanket on watching TV im making leftovers feeding my gran-daughter asking him if he wanted anything he said he would pick later no appetite he asked me to give him a some cold medicine he wasn't feeling well after i gave him this medicine he went to lay back got up off the couch suddenly went into the laundry room and within seconds i didn't see him i ran over to the laundry room he was unresponsive i was screaming call 911 they were there within 4 minutes i couldn't take watching what was happening to him he was brought up to the ER and when i was able to see him he was all hooked up to machines his body temp was cold they had him on every type of medication they were putting units and units of blood into him he went into the hospital with total blood loss he had none. Every time they would take him off of a medication to see what his reaction would be he would go back into the same condition not good. His body was shutting down i never ever could imagine that this man i have been with this could happen to him he never was sick rarely did he even get colds and here he was dying. The doctor told me at this point he was Brain Death no blood reaching his brain, he was gone.I told my children enough is enough i can't take watching his body filing up with fluid no longer we need to call the family get them up to the hospital, we needed to take him off the machine i stood there with everyone with the priest praying for him as everyone said their good-byes to him,we all walked out of the room while they took him off of all machines. I came in the room and laid on top of his chest listening to his heart stopping it stopped and i couldn't let go of him i laid there for a half hour holding his hand i knew i had to walk out of there knowing that this would be the last time i would ever see him again. I had him cremated he is next to me on my living room table with an angel that has been lit since his passing..Everyday i struggle and cry we had such a special relationship with each other, he is all i knew he is the one that took care of me, and i ask the question why didn't he let me help him. I will never know why ever. I fall into depression where i do not want to see no one talk to no one i just want to be left alone. Now that it will be 8 months on August 1st there are days i can go without feeling this way but now for some reason i am going backwards like it just happened. We were supposed to do so many things together now i will never be able to do these things ever..I try so hard to fight this feeling, but when i wake up every morning i can tell the day i am going to have immediately. I know this is going to take a long time as my heart has been crushed into millions of pieces to put them back together will be a long time. I will never understand what he was thinking his family, his youngest his son 14 grandchildren his gran-daughter who he loved and cherished never met his grandson he was just born 8 weeks ago but knew he was going to be a gran-father again. I am surrounded by my family but it's not helping all i can think of is not having my husband by my side walking in the door from work making dinner for him i am at a point where i sometimes cannot stand be around people no matter who they are..I want to start feeling where i can wake up feeling better knowing my day will be okay but right now it's not happening. I have lost a good man he is all i knew from the time i was 19 years old. I feel some days i can be okay but a lot of the days i feel awful, lonely, like i am totally alone especially more throughout the day is my worst time of the day because it just gives me more time to think about him and he isn't ever coming home all day long and the day just drags on, and in the evening's we used to watch TV together now that would be the shorter of the time we spent together of the day because he would have to get up early to go to work so we would spend that time in the evening sitting with each other watching shows or just being together. But that was also another problem being intimate with each other, he lost complete interest in that and i will not go into detail about that but i saw why he didn't want to be intimate when he was in the hospital. All i know is that I miss him so much I cannot believe that I am without the man I've been with for all these years. Some people handle loss differently but I am telling you my story of our life together and gain i always say why didn't he just pass out on the job and be taken up to the hospital and then get testing done i can keep asking myself that but I know at the end of the day I will never know why this happened.. I am bitter, angry, sad, lonely, depressed and confused I pray and hope that I will be able to come to terms with losing him accept it; I do not have that closure not by a long shot. I can keep writing about my life with my husband from day 1 with him to the day he paased but i will do that on my own..Maybe if I wrote a book about our life together It could make me feel better but I know that a lot of emotions would pour out of me writing it..I will end this with I am in a total struggle with this great loss in my life I have to take one day at a time to accept this. Right now I am in between accepting and not accepting this.

Comments for I lost my husband unexpectedly going on 8 months

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Aug 30, 2014
My Wife
by: Ronnie

Sorry for your loss, I also lost my wife 9 months ago to a brain haemorrhage, she was 54 years old. I to had to switch off her life support, the hardest thing I have ever had to do, I hope and pray I never have to go through that ever again. I stood there and held her hand and whispered in her ear that I promise to look after our son, minutes later she was gone. 9 months on I am still stunned and sometimes wonder did that really happen. So I know exactly how you feel. This site has been a life saver, you just don't realise how many people are going through the same thing. We just have to continue on our journey through life and see where it leads us, we all know where it ends. My heart goes out to you and everyone on this website.

Aug 08, 2014
A lot like me
by: Mark

I lost my wife of 13 years on Decenber 3. I feel the same as I you. I just wrote a piece called My Renee- maybe it will post soon. I know what you mean; I thought by 8 months I would be a little better but at times I feel like I am in a total panic. At times I just want to hide. Try and stay strong. I believe we are still here for a reason. *amned if I know what it is. When she first left I thought maybe I wanted to follow her; I never really considered it but kinda just felt like it would be okay to follow her. That passed but you know what I mean- the searing pain you just don't know what to do. She was everything to me and I don't have any idea what to do now. We had no kids but I have 2 from a previous marriage. I am 44, she was 49 when she died. These holidays and birthdays and anniversaries are about to kill me. I feel like there is always an anniversary of something we shared. Everything good I ever did she was by my side, it's really hard. God bless you- I really relate to your story. I couldn't believe it when I saw "8 months." That's how long it has been for me and I have been thinking about it a lot. I wish you the very best and am so sorry for your loss. Your husband sounds like he was a very good man, and you sound like a caring person. My heart goes out to you but it is comforting to know I am not alone in this thing but other people are going through it as well.. Almost the exact same thing. God bless you.

Aug 03, 2014
We are here
by: Netty

I lost my husband the same day. December 1st 2013. Yes it is eight months later. YES we still cry.
Do it, let it cry, let it out when ever that wave of pain comes over you. You are the one here that is living life now, so if you hold in the pain it could possibly harm you. You shared you had a beautiful life with your best friend, do you think he would want you to be in this much pain, I would think no. I know how my best friend were, he would not. We hate it, it makes us sick, the pain is unbearable but if you can embrace the pain and not deny it, we heal, slowly, daily and for us with God and all his words in the bible we move closer towards recovery of the loss.
Every one griefs in their own personal way, it is a road that many have survived down, just seek and listen to God, you can hear him to assist with this pain. I do it daily with all of what I stated, this is how I make it here today. My prayers with you.

Jul 29, 2014
I feel your pain
by: Lizzie - Australia

Dear Sondra, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my beautiful Pete suddenly, just one week before you lost your beloved husband. I just want to add that I understand that urgent wave of panic that Doreen mentioned. I was trying to put that feeling into words to a friend. The best way I can describe it is "an immediate intense desperate, despairing longing for their physical presence". Whenever this terrible wave hits me, I have to grab something of Pete's, a piece of his clothing or jewellery, something that he wore regularly. It truly sucks. My heartfelt sympathy to all of us on this site.

Jul 28, 2014
I feel the same
by: Anonymous

Reading the details of your husbands death sounds so much like what I experienced and I am sure many others have similar experiences. Medicine is only a stopgap measure for most of the things that happen to our bodies. Our bodys cells in most cases have other instructions that seem to take over and play out despite the best efforts we engage.
Our spouses become the very nucleus of our life and the way we grow together in time, we never imagine what it would be like without them. I wish I had some answers for you but I have been seeking them myself for a year and a half . The only thing I can say it is the hurt from losing my husband manifests itself differently than at the beginning and has changed but it has not gone away. My crying is so deep now. Not as often but unfortunately every day still. Something always triggers it. I have days that are horrendous. I cry even as much as it pains me because I do not want to take any pills. In that way I think we all decide how we treat our feelings. Our bodys chemistry is so complex and medicine only has some of the answers, not all.
The feelings we have for our spouse has become so intertwined with our reason for living it is impossible to separate it. I can’t speak for anyone else but I struggle with my desire to continue. You said so much of what we all feel. Time is like an enemy now. Without the person who we loved we are adrfit with no land in sight. You wrote about all the feelings that each of us carries every day in our hearts and while we try to carry on pretending we can see better days the pain is always there as a shadow you never lose.
I wanted to respond not to provide hope or answers or counsel but to thank you for writing down exactly how I feel too. Maybe its true, misery loves company. I just know I have been catapulted into a different dimension never to return to the life that most people live and you captured those feelings I share perfectly.

Jul 27, 2014
Losing a partner unexpectedly
by: Anonymous

This piece follows a message I posted a few minutes ago in which I gave the story of my late wife's unexpected passing from cancer.

A friend who is a Bardic Poet and is one of only two such persons alive today who have won a chair, crown and literary medal at a National Eisteddfod ( a week long literary even in our country) wrote eulogies for her. They are best read in my native language (Welsh) and express how my wife's courage and vitality in facing up to her illness were a source of strength at the time, continue to be so now and in the future will inspire us to remember her love for life and fun. They are translated as follows:

Her bravery challenged us.
Her spirit and vivacity exhilarated us.
Her unyielding sweetness
Persists and fires the memory.

The fire in her eyes is the light
That shines through the grief
And her tear-less energy inspires us
Instilling strength in us.

In us, she will not grow old
In us, she will come back again
To claim a piece of sunshine
With her warm smile's embrace


Susan Cody(reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for this post, Anon. What a beautiful poem.

Men do tend to look for a new relationship soon after a spouse's death. It doesn't mean they didn't love their wives but many men's social networks are through their wives - they need wives for companionship and don't cope as well alone as women do. That's why I often laugh at the notion of men hating marriage or being dragged up the aisle when men in reality are happier when married and do better and live longer!

You were a wonderful husband and you are not losing any memory of your wife if you find someone new down the line. You did all you could and I know that being a caregiver can be exhausting. Treat yourself now? Of course you should. And your wife would have wanted you to.

Stay in touch with us and stay strong.

June 10, 2014 - 10:50amreply

Anonymous(reply to Susan Cody)

Thanks for your kind words. Your comments mirror my exact views which , incidentally, were recently imparted to some friends when we reflecetd on the events of the first month of 2014.

I have added the welsh version of the eulogies (called "englynion" in Wales and you will see the repeating pattern in the end of each line which is lost in the literal translation although the meaning is clear in either language..

Best wishes

Gwyn Jones
West Wales

Ei dewrder fu’n ein herio-ei hysbrwyd
ai’n hasbri’n gloefreiddio
a’i hanwyldeb di-ildio
sy’n parhau, sy’n cynnau co’.

Y tan yn ei llygaid hi -yw’r golau
trwy’r galar, a’i hynni
di-wylo’n ysbrydioli,
yn ennyn nerth ynon ni.

Ynon ni, nid aiff yn hen,-ynon ni
fe ddaw’n ol yn llawen
i hawlio darn o heulwen
ag anwes gynnes ei gwen

Jul 27, 2014
losting partners unexpectedly
by: Anonymous

Tears came to my eyes as I read your story and you are indeed a brave lady and family. There is no easy answer and the proverbial passage of time will undoubtedly help with the healing and to manage in a strong way as I am sure your late husband would have wanted. I set out below my own story of losing my late wife to cancer on last Christmas Day of all days.

My wife was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in December 2012 after being told by a different specialist a month previoulsy that it was non cancerous and went on chemotherapy in March 2013 for palliative care. They changed the cocktail from a strong one to a weaker version in September 2013 and in between those months had three sessions in hospital dealing with high temperatures or bowel blockages put down to the mass growth or the treatment itself or even the drugs taken while on the chemotherapy. She went in to hospital on the 22nd December with a high tempetature and I received a phone call on the 22nd December to call in at the hospital on the 23rd when I was told that she had peritonitis which was not operable and would end her life in 2-3 days. They effectively gave up because of this and the fact that they did not know the exact origin of the peritonitis and considered that she would not survive an operation. I think that they were also mindful that she was in month 12 after diagnosis whereas most inoperable cases dont go beyond 6 months.

Had they killed a nerve carrying pain from the back to the front instead of trying different pain killers over and above the morphine which worked to manage most of the pain I guess she would not have had any major pain issues until the outbreak of the peritonitis. It was a step by step approach on the UK Health service and the medicine solution had to be tried before the nerve removal procedure.

Had to battle the medics for 1.5 hours to agree for her to return home to pass away in line with her wishes. A line driver delivering diamorphine controlled the pain and we managed to have eye communication only for the last 30 hours of her life.Beyond a certain point she lost consciousness and sadly passed away on the morning of 25 December 2013. The worse Christmas for the family ever but at least she is no longer in pain.

She had 7 cancellations and for a meeting with a consultant in the period March 2011 - December 2011 when pain first started but was never given explanations and a critical MRI scan was conveniently lost at some stage (probably when they looked back and found that a growth was apparent well before December 2012) The wife was not the type to make a fuss or chase for appointments and we miss her terribly.
June 6, 2014 - 9:40amreply


Hi Anon

It looks like there was definitely some negligence here. We are so sorry to learn of your wife's death. How are you coping day to day? Did you ever get to talk to her medical personnel after she died?

June 9, 2014 - 12:21pmreply

Anonymous(reply to Susan Cody)

Thanks for your comment.

I may take up matters with the medics in due course as the trauma of it all is still painful and too much to think in a focused way.

On a day to day basis there are occasional negative thoughts and periods where it all comes back and the well of tears and emotions surcharges.Fortunately these are just fleeting moments and I try to avoid them taking over the life in the same way as the illness did for the last two years.

Friends and the family are supportive but can only do so much
as they have their own lives to lead and I have to work it out myself. It sometimes feel that one is being severely punished for having overly devoted oneself to a single partner for such a large part of one's life but I would not have it any other way and guess I would have done it all over again with her if our life was back on square one.

When I am out in a crowd with friends I make an effort to go in the first place and to join in but occasionally it feels as if one is sitting on one side of a double glazed window that blocks out the noise and sounds and that society ( that is everyone else ) is on the other side where they exist mainly as couples and I am the odd one out by virtue of being single.

When my wife was alive and arranging her funeral I asked her once for tips on my future survival and she replied by telling me to be happy. On the day before she went back to hospital with a high temperature after infection I had gone out to meet former work collegaues for a christmas meal at an event that had been arranged two months previously. We kept in contact by phone during the day and when I got back early evening I found that my late wife had been redecorating the kitchen.

When talking about my day and asking about who was at the meal she was surprised that a particular ex collegaue was missing. He had moved from the area we live in to a large city 3 hours away after re marrying about 6 months previously. His own wife had died from breast cancer about 3 years beforehand. On hearing this my wife pounced like a tiger and out of the blue asked me if I was harbouring thoughts of re marrying someday myself. On pointing out that this had only been raised to explain the absence of a particular work colleage I asked her what she thought about the subject now that it had been raised. She replied by saying that the happiness which she had mentioned before is what was paramount and that this does not arrive on a plate so one has to go out searching for it. She said that she would not be surprised if it passed by my very eyes so full alert would be needed but she also said that she would not tell me how to find the happiness or how not to. Words of wisdom I guess and it was the only time we ever spoke about the possibility of me re marrying.

The silence at night is erie and often I go to bed far earlier than I used to.I miss the companionship far more than I had envisaged and frankly now understand why some men re-engage with a new partner soon after the loss something that I had always been surprised about and frowned upon . Having given my all to her during the past 18 months and seen the illness take over our lives I feel that it should now be my time and harbour dreams of someone spoiling and pampering myself which I admit takes away from the memory of my late wife and it feels as if I am letting her down although I guess this could also be part of the happiness she mentioned as a tip for my survival.

Before she died I assured my late wife ,without any prompting or request on her behalf , that after the end I would take direct charge of the caring she had been providing for her 87 year old mother who lives independently and has her own health problems. This promise was made in the presence of my own minister which I wanted to do as it was the equivalent of the contract I felt she should have to give her the peace of mind before leaving us.

Several persons have since said I have placed a stick on my own back and I always tell them that this is the least I could have done as my wife gave 40 years of her own life to myself including the 32 years when we were legally married. I also mentioned that the caring would not stop if my regained happiness ever involved another female and that if any new partner could not understand that then no relationship would ever get off the ground.

A week before she died my wife had been out with the village elderly person's association for their Christmas lunch and also to a concert in the church so she was active right up to the last 2-3 days.

My wife wrote a letter to be read out at the funeral thanking for her life, thanking her friends for the good times had during her last year and setting out who she would like to see keeping a distant eye on myself and our son. She also set out her hopes for everyone that she would be leaving behind and ended by reminding the best friends to never forget the fun and enjoyment received during that time.

Jul 26, 2014
Deepest sympathy
by: Lawrence

Hi Sondra,
I don’t know about all the other readers on this web site but your eloquent story made my eyes fill with tears,
It revived horrible memories of also telling the doctors to stop CPR when I was told my beautiful wife would be brain dead. If they could get her heart beating again
I am tormented with guilt for having to make a life or death decision and I ask myself repeatedly “What if they were wrong”
My family gathered around and kissed her goodbye as I closed her eyes and thanked her for seventy wonderful years, and that was that. I walked away from the only girl I had ever loved.
It is now nineteen months since that terrible Christmas Day and I have finally accepted she has gone and I will never see her again, but I am still tormented with grief and intense sadness.
It is a very lonely life although my days are packed with various activities which keep me occupied nearly all the time. But I still come back in the evening to an empty house.
You say that you are bitter, angry, sad, lonely, depressed and confused,
Well, we all were on losing the person we loved so deeply, but as the months pass by you will find it easing slightly.
I know you will find it hard to believe, the fact I am writing this comment to you must show you that there is light at the end of the tunnel of grief, I never thought I could live without her, nor did I want to.
Writing a book about your love affair is a wonderful idea; I am a writer and have written dozens of books, it is a great therapy.
Take it a day at a time and let the world pass you by, and don’t be annoyed when people say they know what you’re going through” because they never can until it happens to them, so be patient with them, and of course with yourself.
With my deepest Sympathy

Jul 25, 2014
I lost my husband unexpectedly going on 8 months.
by: Doreen UK

Sondra I am so sorry for your loss of your husband. It is the worst experience in life. Everything you expressed is how I felt and most people on this site has expressed. Grief is so unbearably painful, and crushing. You don't know how bad it is till you go through it. It feels as if this pain will last forever.
I lost my beloved husband of 44yrs. to a deadly cancer growing inside of him for 40yrs. He cut asbestos in the workplace as a carpenter. The fibres lodged in his lungs and takes 40yrs. to develop. I nursed him with the worst horrendous cancer for 3yrs.39days and he died 2yrs. ago. I could not function for 6 months. I could do nothing and I bathed my sorrows with TV. I nurtured myself back into life and I still lose my motivation often. I can still only take one day at a time. Every Saturday is the worst day of the week He died. Friday he was buried so the weekends are still hard to go through. My husband died just before retirement and I do this alone now. He felt disappointed working almost 7 days a week for 47yrs. and just when he was looking forward to his retirement. HE DIES. I miss watching TV together, Shopping, cooking together, working together on the home. everything is gone now. Nothing can fill the VOID. I have so many memories coming back and I feel hurt more. He was my heartbeat. I feel a wave of panic every now and then with an URGENCY that I need to see him. It is such a very CRUEL way to have to live now. Children are a Blessing, but they grow up and live their own lives. Your husband I think belongs to the category of the typical man who doesn't like going to the doctors till it is almost too late. It is a MAN THING. One day we will recover from our grief. But till then it is a Lonely SOLO journey. My heart still HURTS.

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