I Lost The Reason For Being

by Mark Oborn
(Rickmansworth, UK)

The beautiful Claire and I on our wedding day 22 years ago

The beautiful Claire and I on our wedding day 22 years ago

The beautiful Claire and I on our wedding day 22 years ago
Just the two of us, how it was meant to be.

I am an organised person.

I run my own business helping dentists with their marketing and I have trained as a business and life coach so I have (correction 'had') a great big life goal.

We were going to grow old together, we were going to live in a house by the sea working only two days a week each and spending the remainder of the time travelling the UK & Europe in our campervan with our little dog.

The house was on the market, we have found a new one 15- minute walk from the beach, we'd been to look at some campervans and last year we bought our little dog - it was all slowly coming together after the years we have dedicated to bringing up our children now aged 14, 16, 16 & 18.

And then she died.

My name is Mark Oborn and I had been married to the wonderful Claire for 22 years, we had even been dating six years before that, since we were 16 years old. We only ever had each other and we were the love of each other's lives.

Claire who was 43 had been in good health, so we thought, but on 17 April 2013 she woke up with a headache and mild sickness, we'd been for a curry the night before to celebrate my birthday and so weren't overly concerned. By 10:30 she was vomiting heavily and I took to her bed. When I got home from work at 17:30 she was so ill that her sister, who was visiting, decided to take her to the local hospital accident and emergency.

By 18:30 she had had a cardiac arrest and was on a ventilator, they sedated her and took her for a CT scan for her head and stomach to find out what the problem was.

She never made it to the scan as she had another cardiac arrest, and by 19:30 she was gone. The doctors fought to save her but because she deteriorated so rapidly they have absolutely no idea what was wrong with her and so had no way of treating her.

She was my life, my reason for living, my passion, my love and my everything.

It's now August 2013 and it's been three months since Claire died, I started to write my own blog (http://lost-without-her.com) as a personal diary and a way to express how I was feeling. Here's what I wrote yesterday.

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
Alfred D’Souza

I read those words yesterday and they hit home, they hit home pretty hard.

I enjoyed lunch yesterday with a good friend (thanks Emma) and we were talking about the ‘when/then’ game. When the kids have left home then it would be better. When I’ve moved house then I can relax. When/then.

Claire and I used to joke that we would write a book called “It’ll be better when…” and then make jokes about all of the times that we had used that expression or heard other people use it, perhaps that’s a project of the future, but thinking about it now really does make me stop and consider things.

What has opened up for me now is a completely new chapter in my life, I thought I knew where the story was going until I turned the page on 17 April and the great author in the sky decided to take the story in a different direction. I can see now that those early chapters were leading me in a direction and I had made up my own ending, I was pinning all of my hopes on chapters I was yet to read, life was going to begin in those chapters.

But as I sit here writing this down I can see the entire book, it’s closed so I’ve no idea where the story goes, but I can see that this IS my life. It doesn’t begin over the page, it began at the beginning of the book and I’m in it now, this is it, these obstacles ARE my life.

There is a lot to be said for writing the end of the book ourselves and creating our future as we go, and there is also a lot to be said for reading the words of the page that we are on, reading them slowly, reading them with meaning and most of all enjoying them.

I’ve no idea what is over the page, at the moment I have no idea what the next paragraph says, but I do know that for the time being at least, I’m going to read those words very slowly.

Comments for I Lost The Reason For Being

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Aug 19, 2013
I lost the reason for being
by: silver

Dear Mark,I know how you feel.My soul mate went home on May 29,2011.It's been a little over 2 yrs and I can't say how I made it.My faith in GOD and this site have saved me.I admire you for writing.My poetry has helped me state my grief.I wrote one called "How long does it take?" because I don't know.My love used to say(his mother died one yr before we got married),"It never goes away,but it does get easier." I'm just recently finding that to be true.I still cry and get depressed some but not as often or as hard.There are still triggers and probably will always be.I saw a commercial on TV the other day about a couple going on a vacation together now that the kids were grown.I turned the channel and cried because that's what we were going to do when I retired at 62.He didn't make my birthday.I think the hardest part is those few micro seconds every now and then when you look up and expect to still see them there.You get used to having a mate and suddenly you don't.My children tell me to get out and meet people.It's so hard to even want to.I go to church when I can.Keep writing and if you finish the book let us know.It does help to keep your mind occupied part of the time.I pray for you and others like us.GOD send you strength and peace.

Aug 15, 2013
I too lost the reason for being
by: Alan

Mark, I am so sorry you lost your love, Claire. I too lost my lovely Phyllis suddenly in January 2013. We were married 40 years, she was only 58 years old. I ask myself what is the meaning of life now. Why did God give us this powerful emotion called love, to be so crushed by this other powerful emotion - grief. A lot of people say remember the love you two had, celebrate Phyllis's life and the good times we had together. I do, all the time but it doesn't make the pain go away. I have now moved from non acceptance to depression and I don't know what to do. You say our lives have different chapters. You never know what's coming next, do you.
I too find solace in writing to and about my darling. I truly believe I will see her again in the afterlife and the only advice I can give you Mark is to keep doing what you are doing. Finding this site and finding people who are going through the same heartache has helped immensely. There are people all over the world who will be thinking of you and your kids and praying for you Mark. Good luck.

Aug 12, 2013
I hear you
by: Anonymous

Mark, I am so sorry for your loss. I hear what you are saying...the chapters in our lives change and then it is a new "book". I was married for 29 years and raised four children. Our youngest went off to college in August 2011. We were empty nesters, adjusting yet excited about our new life together. Then October 2011, my husband did not come home. He died of a massive heart attack in route to home. What happened to all our plans? No longer plans...just where do I go from here. Almost two years and I am still struggling. One sermon I heard at church...you are really excited about your vacation to Italy, you plan, map out and are all set for a fantastic vacation. You board the plane with your plans, maps, highlighted spots to visit, etc. and you land in Holland. What happens then?...do you embrace the beauty of Holland and all that Holland has to offer or do you just focus on Italy and what your plans were? Food for thought but food for thought that I am still trying to figure out.

Aug 10, 2013
I Lost The Reason for Being
by: Doreen U.K.

Mark I am sorry for your loss of your beloved wife to a sudden death 3 months ago. It is so early days for you to start to feel like moving forward. As a life coach you will have had the training to know the stages of grief and what to expect. But all your training won't prepare you for this loss. It is proper for us to enjoy life and not even think of death. Thinking of death would spoil life, but yet we know in the back of our minds it will happen one day, but now when life is good and going well. So sad for the children who have to cope with the loss of a mum/dad and have to go through life feeling so alone.
I like your perspective on life being our obstacles because in reality we have a lot of them and when you piece them together they also can become the building blocks of our everyday life. Our obstacles shape us into the people we become in life. We learn a lot from them but it would be good if we had less of them at times, because it makes us so busy trying to resolve them and work through them that it takes up a lot of time and energy we wish we could be doing something else with FUN in it.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. 15 months ago to lung cancer caused by working with ASBESTOS. I live in the U.K. (just down the road from you.) So you will know how much this disease is in our faces in the newspapers like an epidemic. This is because the 40yrs. is up for this disease to develop and people are dying faster of this disease. My husband was due to retire and enjoy the life he earned from his 47yrs. working life. But he died before he could even have one day that he could be happy with. A man looks forward to the end of his working life and go into retirement and this is when many men die.
Planning for our retirement is a fun thing to do. One never for a minute thinks this will not happen. Sometimes I think we are born for sorrow and not fun. Only because our government is robbing us of years when we could have a better quality of life but have to work on longer and so many people are being robbed of their dreams. This is not me being negative but a harsh reality. Which is why everyone should make the most of every day and take time out and do the fun things now. Don't put off life. If you are able, try and live it to the full. Perhaps you can have that campervan and still make the journey. Take your children and continue the nurturing and bonding experience and have fun whilst you have the time to do this. Each day will unfold and you will find yourself nearer putting your life back again to restructure as you want to. Something that won't die is your FREEDOM. I am sorry for your loss.

Aug 09, 2013
New Life
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my 29yr daughter in Feb. 18 ,2013. We do have a son that is 30 and he has a 2yr girl.
My husband and I have been married for 31 years, We met at age 18.
Anyway without my husband I couldn't have made it this far after loosing my only daughter who died in a single car accident. We are raising her two daughters one is 11yr and the other is 2yrs old. We fought for 5 months to get custody of them because her husband was violent and used drugs. Well anyway our life has changed so much and I had to accept life would never be the same. I would never be the same again. Sometimes I feel like my body is just living life and I act all happy and funny for my granddaughters. When I am alone then I think that I just can't believe she is gone. I know that I just don't feel like the same person as when my daughter was alive. I also learned just how thin the line was between life and death. I never thought this tragedy would happen in my family. I think of all the things my daughter use to worry about weather it be her hair or weight and realized none of it really even mattered. Sometime I feel mad just like that comment I just made.
Well anyway I feel that my life isn't just a new chapter now ,but a new book. My life and me then is not who or what my life is now.
Didn't mean to bring you down. I just have realized that I have to go on for everyone that is still here. I will never stop missing Brigitte and will alway think about her until we meet again.
It is nice that you have all those children. They are a part of your wife and a reflection of who she was. You gotta love that!

Aug 09, 2013
Lost Reason
by: Judith in California

Mark, you have a wonderful way with words..a writer in process. I'm so sorry for your loss of the lovely Claire. I always like the saying that "Someday is not a day of the week". We all say it and have no idea what the future holds. So when we plan make it a day of the week that counts and make every minute of it count. It's been 3 years for me since my love passed and I can't tell you how I got here. I make no plans, ever, not for even a minute from now , not even a day away. I've learned that we just have but one day at a time and we best make the most of it.
It's rough going through life solo when you are used to having a co-pilot for so many years.

God bless you on this grief journey to peace and acceptance.

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