John, my husband of 24 yrs walked out of our house and never returned….

by Kathryn Knauer
(Catonsville, Maryland)

Molly and John

Molly and John

Molly and John
Myself and John
Maggie and John
Matt and John

On January 21, 2013, my husband of 24 yrs and at the age of 51 went for his usual 4 mile walk/run and never returned. He literally WALKED out of our lives forever, never to return! After several hours of searching with my youngest daughter, I decided to call the hospital to see if anyone fitting his description had been brought in. The nurse in the ER took my information and told me to "sit tight" and that she would send the police out to our house. I assumed they were going to take a missing persons report but when they arrived they unexpectedly spewed the words…your husband is dead. My 16 yr old daughter just screamed the words…NO, my mom can't handle this. She just can't handle this! At that moment our world as we knew it ceased to exist. We were just in total and complete shock. John died of a blood clot in his artery. He died in mid stride. I remember thinking that they made a mistake…but in my heart I knew it was true. They say your "new normal" begins but after 10 months, I'm not sure what my "new normal" is. There are days that I feel I can't go on. Just getting out of bed is a good day. I do it for my children. My 23 yr old daughter came to me one day and said " Mom I want to thank you" and I said "what for"…her response…"for getting out of bed every day. If it wasn't for you having the courage to do so, I'm not sure where I'd be right now". The water works just flowed.

We were on the cusps of exploring new horizons, new freedoms, and reigniting our relationship. My youngest was just shy of getting her license, how we couldn't wait for that day! He wasn't there to see her pass.

My grief is never ending. The tears flow constantly. My life feels so surreal and unbelievably awkward. My grief seems to keep me connected to my husband so I hang onto this grief as if it's my life line. I feel like a helium balloon bobbing around without that weight to hold me in place. My anchor is gone and I don't know how to manage without him; decision making, love making, date nights, laughing, talking together and so much more…We were literally best friends. All this was ripped out of my life in a brief moment on jan. 21, 2013. Memories flood my mind every day, things that John will never see or experience constantly cloud my mind. My oldest is expecting a baby boy (Austin John) Feb. 8, 2014 and is getting married next Nov. 1st. My youngest will graduate this May from high school and my son has grown into this amazing young man that I know his father would be so proud.

It's all so bitter sweet!! Life is so bitter sweet!

Peace to all,

Comments for John, my husband of 24 yrs walked out of our house and never returned….

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 30, 2013
John, my husband of 24 yrs. walked out of our house and never returned....
by: Doreen UK

Kathryn I am sorry for your loss of your husband to a sudden death. This is one of our worst nightmares that we should lose our spouse. I lost my husband of 44yrs. 18 months ago to lung cancer caused by working with asbestos. It took me the first six months to sit on the couch and opt out of life till I was able to nurture myself back to some normality, whatever that was. I bathed my sorrow in T.V. and God T.V. and found myself slowly getting back my motivation. I took the time to opt out because that was how I coped or wasn't coping. It worked for me along with taking ONE DAY AT A TIME, which I learned on this site. I still only take one day at a time. I am more vulnerable to death. I talk about it all the time so my daughter is aware of what she has to do. She doesn't like to hear it. I never realised how she will feel when I die. But I am worried about her living in this house all by herself. My thought is "Who is going to look after my daughter". She is my youngest and 33yrs. of age. But as a Mom we will always worry about our children. Adults or not. I have to think and plan for my leaving this world due to age. It is the right and proper thing to do. I plan to write a book with all the details in of what my daughter has to do and how to close off my pension so she is not floundering for phone numbers and information of the pensions dept. and my National Insurance Number. These are things that will make life easier for her. Making a Will which is done, I even have my grave plot paid for in the same grave for 2 with my husband. I must be prepared even if I don't know when I will die. I know I am going to die. Because none of us knows when we will die suddenly by stroke, blood clot, aneurysm, heart attack. All medical problems which could claim our lives instantly.
As a mom we still have a responsibility to our children even if they are not dependent on us anymore. They give us a reason to live and keep going if only to be here for them. But going on alone is not much fun. I structure my day on that day only. I don't think ahead. I can't even if I tried. this is what death has done to me. But I am content for now with how I approach each day. I wish you better days ahead and every comfort and support on those difficult days when nothing makes sense.

Nov 27, 2013
My Husband suddenly died ...
by: Anonymous

He had a massive stroke, was on life support,then I had to tell our beautiful 7 and 10 year old daughters that Daddy was going to die. This happened 10 weeks ago. I am a devastated mess, I am barely functioning,my friends and family have been holding me upright. I just wish I could lay in bed all day drink vodka and watch escapist telly. The only reason I get out of bed every day is the beautiful light in my girls eyes and knowing that I am everything to them and I can't let them and my husband down.
My whole life has been swept aside and I am scrabbling around just trying to keep it together.
This blog brings me comfort, I feel so much empathy and compassion to anyone out there who is going through the death of a loved one and experiencing the grieving process.
My loving kindness goes out to you all.

Nov 27, 2013
by: Anonymous

I am only nine months out. very similar incident happened to my husband who was my life. he literally walked out of the door and out of my life with so much yet to live for. I cannot express in words my sorrow for you. You have the reflection of love in your family but nothing can replace that special man and nothing ever will. All that you feel, all that you are going through and will face tears me apart and I cry with you because I truly know what this is like and none of us want or expected to be here.

Nov 26, 2013
John, my husband of 24 yrs
by: Kathryn


My heart goes out to all these lovely individuals who have all lost a dear loved one. Just like your wife, my husband for the past couple of months prior to his passing felt God was going to call him home in a very short time. We had just laid his mother to rest on Nov. 12, 2013. Who would have thought that within 2 months I would be doing the same with my husband. It's just crazy to think!! I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would be a widow at my age.

I know that he is watching and taking care of us from above. As hard and difficult as it has been losing my husband, so many things that have happened that are weird and crazy. In God's world there are no coincidences; I believe God has a path for our lives and his will is most definitely different from our will. John knew he was going home….and I have to have faith that in his heart he believed this. I never question why..I'm just curious as to know what God's plan is for my life..what does God have in store for me that I couldn't accomplish with my husband by my side. I literally saw our lives SHIFT on Jan. 21, 2013. We are all on a different course then we were just moments before John passed away. It's a very difficult road to travel and I hope I have the strength to continue without my LOVE.

I look at my 3 children and my heart breaks into a million pieces. I don't know how to fix them or how to ease their pain. I can't relate with their loss. I lost my father in Jan. 2011, I was devastated, I was 51 at the time; I can only imagine their pain and loss loosing their dad at such a young age.

I know in my head that life goes on and my pain will ease with time but for now…I take one moment at a time. I started swimming again and that helps release some of my stress and anxiety. But with every stroke my thoughts are with John. I love you, Babe!

Forever and Always,

Nov 25, 2013
I wept
by: Lawrence


I wept reading the description of your loss.
Sudden death is so terribly hard to accept, one minute life is normal and you expect it to go like thousands have before, the next you start living a nightmare as you find the person you love more than life itself has left you without saying goodbye, the pain is overwhelming and devastating.
I was talking to my wife when she died almost in mid-sentence, no warning, no alarm bells ringing; she just passed from this world to the next in the blink of an eye, I can’t describe the intense shock.
I must admit I was perturbed by something she said two days before she died, she took me in her arms kissed me and said “I’m so glad I married you and thank you for looking after me”, it was as if she knew her time was coming to an end.
We had been together for nearly seventy years, married for sixty two and courted for eight years before that and it was a love affair of exquisite joy and happiness, I am desolate still with grief even after eleven months and the tears still flow, she died on Christmas Day, the turkey was cooking in the oven, vegetables and roast potatoes warming, the family were all here and she quietly passed away.
I must admit I too wanted to die, facing life without her after all these years was something I couldn’t imagine, but there I am eleven months later, lonely and sad, offering you some consolation.
You will know by now that the awful pain does lessen as the months pass, although the mind accepts the loss your heart never will, but we are reluctantly try to get on with our lives..
I am a musician and our happiest times were with her on the I PAD and me singing and playing the guitar or organ to her but there are some songs I still can’t play without crying, like “SEND IN THE CLOWNS, SEPTEMBER SONG, or DANNY BOY” I composed dozens of love songs to her but the impetus has gone and I have written nothing since that terrible day.
My granddaughter passed her driving test today and I wept as I realized my beautiful wife wasn’t here to join in the celebrations, she would have been so happy.
Whoever said that “new normal” begins after eleven months has never suffered the loss of a partner, I know I will never get over get over my grief, nor would I want to.
The only consolation for both of us is that they died instantly.
I have lovely daughters and many grandchildren and they are a great blessing but nothing can replace our deeply missed loved ones.
You have my deepest sympathy.

Nov 24, 2013
Such a great Mom
by: Anonymous

Your love for your family shines through the pain my God help you and your family celebrate that great guy you spent your life with

Nov 24, 2013
Dear Kathryn
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry to read about your husband, and sadly I can ompletely relate to your grief. On January 14, 2013, my sweet father left his house to go play golf on an unusually warm winter day. He collapsed on the course and died. He suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest. By the time my mother and I got to the hospital, we knew he was gone, but the doctors tried everything to bring him back to life. It was not to be. He and my mother had lunch plans later in the day, and then were to continue on to the grocery store - a typical day for them. But, my Dad had said at breakfast that "It is just too nice of a day to pass up, and I'd love to play 9 holes." He called his buddies and told them how great he felt, and he wanted to get out there while it was so warm. How ironic. Even though he was 81, he was a seemingly healthy man, and this has been an absolute shock to us. How did this happen? What happened to him? He was fine! Even after all of this time, we cannot come to terms with it. I am a grown woman, with two school aged children, and I saw my parents daily. Our lives will never be the same, and I still break down very often. My mother is just lost. She manages to get up and function, but I see such a change in her, and it hurts me so much. All I can do is be there for her, and comfort her, but I know her loss is so profound that I can't heal her. They would have celebrated 50 years together in October. I hope you can find some strength and comfort on this site. Even though our circumstances may be different, we have all arrived here with broken hearts and broken spirits, and we all understand your pain. There are so many wonderful, supportive people who post here, and I have gained a lot of strength from this site. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you strength, comfort and peace in the days ahead. Barb

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Lost Spouse/ True Love.

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines

RSS Feed Widget


Tap into the compassion, support and wisdom of the


Essential Healing Guide

Grief Relief

Free Griefwork

Free Stress

SBI Video Tour!