I lost my wife of 39 years.

by John

In the space of one month I lost my mother and then my beautiful loving wife of almost 39 years. Its been a bad year thus far and right now I am having so much difficulty coping with the grief and anxiety .My mother lived in Europe and even though I went to see her now and then (I have been in Canada 40 years.)Her death was much easier to deal with than that of my wife. I am beside myself with anger,denial, stress, anxiety and the list goes on. My grief is unreal. I loved her so much and nursed her through Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.She was taking the best meds money could buy but she was diagnosed when it was severe and the drugs only work on mild to moderate patients and even then they only slow down the inevitable. There is no cure for this disease and they do not know what causes it. I watched my wife slowly lose her ability to breath and I had gone home from hospital to get washed and changed . I was called at home and on my way back to the hospital the love of my life passed away. My sons were there when she passed and I had made sure they would be there otherwise I would not have left.I feel so guilty for not being there for her . Its like she waited until I left to slip away. I have had to take care of everything after her death as I am the only one who can sign, pay and do the necessary things that are required. It has only been one month and even though I know its early days yet in this grief situation ,I get the feeling I will never get over this. She was so brave and even though we knew what was going to happen it did not make it easier. She was in no pain and morphine made it easier for her to get over the anxiety of shortness of breath. She was 62 and it was our 39th anniversary yesterday. The doctors told us that this disease can last five years and as early as two years, in my wifes case it was just one year. I have never felt such sadness. John.

Comments for I lost my wife of 39 years.

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Jun 26, 2014
To BIll
by: Anonymous

So sorry for your loss Bill I lost my husband of 21yrs in February this year and find it really hard. I have to push myself to move every day it would be so easy to give in but I have to try and be positive. I walk the dog every day at least I meet people even if it is just to have a little chat rather than talk to four walls. My husband was more than just a husband he was my best friend. I am going to do some travelling later this year so looking forward to that. Hope things soon get a little easier for you I can feel your pain it's a long road to walk on your own. Try think positive some days will be easier than others.

Jun 23, 2014
My Thereza/and your loss
by: Bill

I lost my wife of pneumonia after a 3 week battle at the hosp.
She could not fight off the infection due to her other problems. The lungs were white out and the infection got into her bloodstream. Words do nothing to express my sadness and grief. I am so broken and crushed what does one do.

I am so sorry for your loss I certainly know the pain. My wife was the apple of my eye my best friend and love after 34 years.
This pain is so bad I do not know what I am going to do but with God Ill make it. Im a Christian so I know she is with Him now beholding His face and walking with the saints there in heaven. This is clear from scripture. But the loss is killing me.

My loss her gain. We must all face this in our life I just wish it wasn't her first.
Thanks for allowing me to share and I am so so sorry for your loss, so sorry. Bill

May 27, 2014
Pat J
by: John

hi Pat thank you for sharing.I can understand you not wanting another relationship and wanting only your husband back. I feel that another relationship for me is totally out of the question at least at the moment it is. Friendship maybe but my marriage was a one of a kind and thats what hurts the most. I look up at her Picture on the wall and cannot believe it all happened. We knew the writing was on the wall but you never really believe the day will come. Right now I cannot see anything but a pressure fog.Getting over this will take some time and I can foresee me being like you and being alone.I do have family here and not too far away but at the end of the day I will be alone. I have some friends but the phone does not ring. I have thought about future support groups if needs be.
I am trying to understand this grief. I am trying to trouble shoot it. It has me baffled because its underlying and it lurks and it creeps up when your are not expecting it. It comes as anxiety. It comes as stress. It stops us from making good decisions and gives us memory loss. I believe that the initial shock is so devastating that the grief it creates lies just out of reach and its going to take time to reach it. Until we reach it and control it it will continue to terrorize us. Obviously I have never felt anything like it and I have lost some close relatives. This is so different, this was my love , my wife and I know shes gone, shes not coming back and I have to accept that. Time will tell if grief will abate.
Thank you Pat , I wish you well and hope your days are better. Bless you John.

May 27, 2014
I lost my wife of 39 years.
by: Pat J.Green Bay,WI

Dear John,
I have already posted to you once before. You are so right about being able to talk to someone face-to-face that is going through what you are. After the death of my husband, about 3 months later; our church was offering a Grief Support Group. My oldest daughter encouraged me to go. She actually went to the first meeting with me. After that I went alone for 6 weeks. I connected with three other widows who also lost their husbands. We would usually go someplace afterward for coffee and dessert and conversation. We so related to each other. Two of them have now found someone else in their lives. Another wants another man in her life and then there is me. I want my husband in my life. That isn't ever going to happen in this life; so I have found three different groups of lady friends to do things with; some are widows and some are still married. I am still envious of anyone married, because I come home to an empty bed and tell my husband, I am doing these things because he isn't here at home for me. I would so like my old life back, but I want my husband healthy and he was not. God spared him alot of suffering and God spared me the heartache of watching my husband deteriorate into someone else. I will always love and miss him.
Being with others who understand our grief in the early days is very helpful. God bless you and guide you.

May 27, 2014
I lost my husband.
by: John

Dear anonymous I am so sorry you lost your husband to this terrible disease. Oxygen can only help for so long .I think if my wife had had Oxygen here at home for the times when she exerted it might have helped. You seem to have a good outlook and you want to make it . So do I. I have 2 sons and a great little granddaughter and they will keep an eye on me . I plan on doing some travelling this year with my sons on seperate trips. Not too far but a nice run out to be sure. I do hope your days improve but the loneliness is horrible. I try to keep busy but its always there in my mind even when I am thinking of something else.
I believe the only way to come to grips with this grief is to sit down face to face with somebody who has a similar problem or has a sympathetic ear. WE can read all we want and listen to others stories and woes but there is nothing like the real thing . I have learned a lot about grief in the short time since my wife passed and its not until you experience it that you fully begin to realize what a monster it is. So many people every day with similar symptoms. It makes little problems massive , anxiety strikes at the silliest thought.Thank you for posting here and my thoughts are with you as you battle this grief. May God bless you . John.

May 26, 2014
I lost my husband
by: Anonymous

Hi John I am really sorry to hear about your wife I too lost a loving husband of 21 years in February this year 2014 he was 58. miss him so much . My husband also had pulmonary fibrosis which is a terrible disease and like you say no cure. He was on oxygen 24hrs a day so not much of a life for him. I cry most days but try my best to stay strong . I keep myself busy walking when I am not working. Like you it's very early days and sometimes I don't know how I can carry on . I think the best thing to do is pick yourself up, get out with friends and family they will keep you going. love to you keep going you can do it I will xx

May 20, 2014
by: John.

Donna your words are so profound, I keep reading your letter over and over again. Grief is a road that almost all of us will take. Death is a road we all will take. My wife and I discussed the eventuality of the outcome of her disease over and over. The times were all wrong , we had hope with Perfenidone the wonder drug that would possibly lengthen her life and possibly halt the progression of IPF. It was a terrible shock.
I would like to offer my condolences to you and I know by reading your words that you will get through this grief.I read the other day that 155,000 people leave this world every single day. Thats a possible 155,000 grieving people let alone the ones from the day before or months and years before. You are correct we are not alone and the path of grief is beaten down heavily.
I will continue to read and contribute here on these pages and I thank you Donna for your deeply moving words. You have me humbled .Thank you so much. And the same love and regards go out to you wherever you are. John.

May 20, 2014
Sympathy and hope.
by: Lawrence

Every one of your feelings of agony and heart-breaking sadness has been felt by everyone on this web site.
We have all walked on the road of grief and will be beside you as you take your first faltering steps.
To lose someone you have loved and cherished for many years will stand out in your life as the beginning of a nightmare with no seemingly end.
But please, do not feel any guilt; I’m totally sure she knew how much you loved her, sharing her pain and fear as she suffered this horrendous illness.
It must have been agonizing for you to watch your beloved wife drift away,.
There are no words of consolation anyone can give you.
Like you, I lost a very precious wife on Christmas Day 2012 so it is seventeen months since she died, we were together for nearly seventy years, but I can almost say I was lucky as she died in the blink of an eye,.

So as you can see, nobody escapes, it’s just called LIFE and although people say “IT ISN’T FAIR” really it’s not meant to be.
I speak as a mourning widower.
I can say, and I know it is so difficult to believe me now, that the pain and anguish gets that little bit easier as the weeks and months pass.
I don’t have to tell you to cry and cry because I’m sure you are doing that already
Now some more advise, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, don’t sit and grieve, fill your day with things, go to the library and read the newspapers, join a social club where you will meet people like yourself grieving for a special person, do anything, anything at all to help you cope with your sadness, you will literally have to force yourself..
I myself do all those things and many more; I’m learning to play bridge which is an incredibly difficult game to play.
I am having violin lessons again which I stopped when I was fifteen and saw this beautiful girl in a youth club and put my violin away for the next seventy years as I knew I would rather hold her than my fiddle, it was probably the best decision of my life.
After she died I took it out of the case, dusted it down and started playing again even though I am 85 years old, age doesn’t mean a thing, it’s all in the head, think young and you will be young.
Thank God for the wonderful forty years you had of passion and love together and reluctantly start getting on with your life
It’s very early days, I know but your body and spirit can only grieve for so long and then the healing starts
After seventeen months the pain of her leaving me is still here, as I know it always will be, but I am writing novels and children’s books again and composing music. I am keeping my brain active and strongly suggest you do the same
With deepest sympathy

May 20, 2014
by: John.

Thank you so much for your words of comfort , support and understanding.You have me very emotional at this moment. My granddaughter is sleeping on my couch as I type this.I have just returned from yet another trip to the Bank to sort out more paperwork.
I have found myself feeling quite selfish in my grief .I have two good sons who are grieving also and I find myself caught up in only me and my thoughts. Its not by design its a reminder that we all have our own grief and deal with it our own way. I have moved forward quickly and could have taken care of things at a slower pace but thats not me and thats not the way I do things. I was wrong I should have slowed down and it might have been easier. Thank you so much all of you who have posted you have given me something to think about and consider. My heart goes out to all of you in your time of grief , you are all wonderful caring people. Thank you John.

May 20, 2014
I lost my wife of 39 years.
by: Pat J.Green Bay,WI

Dear John,
Your words spell out how we all felt at the time of our spouses death. It becomes so overwhelming at times-how am I to go on without my spouse? By the grace of God, we do go on. I feel many times my Loving God carried me. With time and alot of tears. Cry as often as you need, tears are healing, they say.
It will be 3 years for me that my husband died. He died on June 27, 2011. Our 46th wedding anniversary was the 26th of June. On the 25th of June it will be 38 years my mom died. She died the day before my 11th anniversary. I was 29 with 5 small children; 8 years-3 months. At that time, I thought I would never get over her death; but in time I learned to go on. We never quite get over it.
The loss pf my husband is the worst experience of my life. Only one who has lost a spouse truly understands. Take it one day at a time. I often told myself; I was faking it until I can make it. I can honestly say I am making it. I can tell you though, for me, I will never completely get over the death of my husband. I miss him everyday. I miss the little things we so often take for granted.
My husband died from a massive heart attack; it was quick. I was standing right next to him. He was sitting on the side of the bed. I remember it like it was yesterday. We all will remember that awful day for the rest of our lives. I can honestly say; I no longer fear death.

May 20, 2014
Sending My Thoughts and Prayers
by: E.A.B.

Dear John,
I am so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort and peace during this difficult time.

My father passed away due to complications from a stroke, and my brother passed away a few years after of a heart attack. I lived with the guilt of not being there for them. Over time, I have come to realize that my father and brother would not have wanted me to live a life of guilt. They would want me to live my life without regrets. I have slowly let go of the guilt.

Your wife will forever be in the hearts of you and your children. There are no words to take away the pain of your wife's passing. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


May 20, 2014
I lost my wife of 39 years
by: Doreen UK

John I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved wife. To lose a spouse is THE worst experience of one's life. You can't even imagine how it feels like. I lost my husband of 44yrs. to a deadly cancer 2yrs. ago. I was his carer for 3yrs.39days and it was a horrendous cancer journey and my husband did die in severe pain. I had a battle to get him pain medication. Either way losing our loved one causes us to feel our world will never be the same again. WE do feel as if we will never recover. The best way forward is ONE DAY AT A TIME. Before you know it you will get through each day. 2yrs. on I still don't look forward but one day at a time. My husband was 65yrs. of age and missed out on his retirement. WE did feel cheated. Just when a couple work hard all their lives and look forward to this time of their lives it is cut short and one person has to suffer such immense LONELINESS and EMPTINESS for PERHAPS EVER. It is impossible to change one's life so soon. One has to tie up the paperwork after death and this can be on going for a long time and become very tiring and tedious. I gave the death certificate to our bank 3 times and they still put my husband name on the monthly statement sent out. I told them about this and this has only now stopped since I closed the account. But I still couldn't close the account because his name was still there. This caused me a lot of inconvenience and stress having to go back and forth and make endless telephone calls. Then the Tax office kept saying my husband owed tax. They still didn't get it that He died. He wasn't earning. How could he owe tax. I had to go through this for these last 2yrs. This loss and death has left me needing to now put things in place for my daughter so she does have it easier. I have closed up accounts so she has less paperwork to do. I have also put a book in place of all the instructions upon my death. Telephone numbers of the pension dept. my national insurance number. So she doesn't have to search for this. The grave plot I will be buried in with my husband in the same plot. the casket has to be of a certain size. These are just the details one has to struggle with and I don't want her to have to do this if I can make things easier. I am making sure she writes a WILL so that her older sister will inherit the house and her children so that Probate does not become an issue. There is so much to do in life and even in death. It has given me a REALITY CHECK. It still hurts. I miss my husband more now. I am having to do all the jobs he did. He was a carpenter and I worked with him as wife/labourer for 47yrs. so I can cope with some things. You are in a very hard place right now. But hold on to the HOPE life will get easier in time. You won't feel such RAW GRIEF.

May 19, 2014
Myheart grieves with yours
by: Anonymous

Dear John,
Yes, though I don't know you, I know the depth of your pain.
I too lost my beloved 24 days ago today and the earth under my feet is now slanted. Every moment is about trying not to fall into the pit-of-no- return despair that lies in wait at the bottom of this slant.
The best comfort, what keeps me hanging on..is knowing I am not alone. You are not alone.
This terrible grief binds us all. Not just all of us here now, but all human beings who ever lived on this planet and loved and lost. We are connected to the deepest emotion anyone can ever feel. This road is well worn. We are not alone on this path.
And while all of us of course, wish we could wake up from the nightmare, and discover our loves beside us still...it helps to consider the alternatives; how even sadder it would be if our loves passed away and no one cared enough to grieve for them, to miss them every second. This is not the case. I can tell by your words and I know what I feel. We honor them by feeling like this now.
Yes, maybe it get's "easier" someday, that's what people say...but all you and I and others walking this path now KNOW is that "someday" is unimaginable and all we can live in is right now. Please know we are connected. Bearing this pain. Please know I care and consider it an honor to have read your words tonight. I wish all of us moments of peace and grace and even though you and I have never met, I am sending you love wherever you are.

May 19, 2014
The loss of your wife of 39 years
by: Anonymous----MI

John, I read your post and am very sad for your loss of your wonderful wife. She sounds like a very brave and good person and she fought an enormous battle. I lost my husband 18 months ago; he died from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. He was only 65 years old and he died so suddenly that from onset to the end, the time was 4 minutes. We were married 43 wonderful years and I miss him with every breath I take. I am still grieving so very much for him and I think of him constantly. We all go through the grief process differently and you will find it to be a roller coaster with your emotions. I have great faith in God; I know that He is giving me strength to face one day at a time. Try not to look too far ahead. Concentrate on the day you are in and get through that; asking God to give you strength and courage. The sad times remain for me as with all who have lost a loved one but we do get stronger in our ability to not let sorrow be what we are all about. As time passes we go about creating a different way of living. It is so hard to let go of what was so amazing and lovely but God helps me and gives me a way to think of what I am grateful for. My husband was a good man; smart and giving of himself to others all his life and I will see him again when I join him in heaven. I hope that you will lean on God to get you through these early days of grief and beyond. May God Bless you and your family.

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