Missing Mike

by Lisa
(Minneapolis, MN)

My husband Mike and I were in FL - I left to return to Minneapolis on Jan 7. On Monday Mike called to tell me he was in the ER - maybe having a heart attack. He was rushed to an Orlando hospital and had emergency surgery for an aortic dissection.

He spent a bad week in CV-ICU, then was transferred to a pulmonary ICU after receiving a trach tube. I am not going to go into all the details of the hospital stay - but by the 24th, Mike had made remarkable progress.
Mike's brother and I visited on the 25th - when we arrived, Mike was standing and was so happy, he had been walking the halls. He wanted out of the hospital that day!

Around midnight, the hospital called - this is a long story so the short version - there was a missing hour when no one checked on Mike - he was found face down on the floor, non responsive. The medical team was able to shock him back but neurologically he was gone. At around 3:20 AM we stopped life support.

Mike and I were married 20+ years - he took care of me and so many mundane things. So I am in day 2 of my 3 bereavement days from work and go from numb to making myself take care of all the paperwork that goes with dying.

I have run the gamut of emotions - he was to come home, why didn't he take better care of himself, how did I come to be the one telling this story?

I need to tell this story but I also hope you will share with me the ways you found to cope and move on.
Thanks, Lisa

Comments for Missing Mike

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Apr 22, 2011
3 months
by: Lisa

Just about since Mike died. I am definitely better than I was when I made my first post but I am not fooling myself... for every set of good days there is always one horrendous day (typically Sunday) where the tears seem bottomless.
90 days later and I try to hold on to that past life, where there were two people not one - Mike and Lisa - but maybe time is already blurring that. Today it seems like an eternity since it's been just me - but grief seems to have warped my sense of time.
Taking it one day at a time.

Feb 12, 2011
hello Lisa
by: Eunice

It's funny that there are always those people who during your most vulnerable time going through grief, always manage to act like they have the answer, but have never faced losing a spouse or loved one. They act like after the funeral, you should be able to return to a normal life. Well, the "old" normal of your life has dramatically changed, and somehow you know you have to in time deal with starting a new life. That's where it gets tricky. Even after several weeks of grief counceling, I'm still no closer to finding a way to even begin to start a new life. I loved my husband so much and we were always part of each other's lives, I lost him in November of last year. There were weeks that I couldn't even function, and still are some days like that. To see and watch his family is amazing to me, they go on with their daily lives as if nothing happened, that they didn't lose a son and father. They would come to the house and want this and that, when an aunt of my husband's from out of state heard this, she told me to just start telling them all that he and I had an agreement and if something should happen to one of us, that nothing would be gotten rid of for at least 1 yr. His dad still does not understand that, and I've had to go hire an attorney to try and deal with the legal technicalities of his will. I told her at times I was afraid to even leave my house because of the possibility of having my door kicked in again. I know I need to look into getting some kind of security system set up. I was undecided what to do with my husband's clothes, until I read a section on this site and it said you could use clothes and make a security comforter, which I thought was an excellent idea. There are some things I want to check into about it, but have some good ideas.
My heart goes out to you for your loss, I would suggest finding grief counseling such as through hospice. Good luck and God Bless you
1 step~1 breath~1 day

Feb 10, 2011
for Lisa
by: Mari

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your husband, Lisa. I realize this is a sad time for you. Please accept my condolences. May God be with you at this time.
There is a grieving process to go through and it is different for everyone. You will experience a lot of different emotions. It just takes time, a day at a time.
At this time you will need the support of friends and family.There a lot of wonderful people on this board who are always here for you. Someday you will look back on the memories you shared and the happy times.
My husband passed away on Nov 22 2009. I am doing well but sure miss him. I have come a long ways though and am redoing the house and keeping busy. I manage the condos here and will be also working outside the home as soon as the live scan comes in.
I know how much my husband would have loved our new great grandaughter. She is 5 weeks old and she smiles now. He adored the kids and grandkids.
So I have many memories.
There will be difficult days. I recall one day while passing the local donut shop shortly after my husband died. I knew a lady who works there, also named Lisa, was working and I felt so sad and I went in and cried in her arms.This morning one of the sisters at church and I had donuts and coffee and I had the chance to let Lisa know how much she meant to me and still does.
God will bring people like that into your life. Take care of yourself and keep posting. God bless you.

Feb 10, 2011
Welcome Lisa...


Everyone has their own survival skills. But I am so very happy that you found this site. It has been a life raft for me and everyone here. We do lean on each other heavily and help each other through the rough days. Some days the sun will shine just enough for us to see some hope ahead and we share that too.

Please keep coming back here for support you couldn't find a nicer more understanding group of people. Our motto is one breath one step at a time. Grief is one of the hardest things tat you will ever get through and we will be there for you 24-7. Please come here often and click the yourspace to the left. Knowing what others have felt and gone through is very helpful. You are not alone we are here for you.

Feb 09, 2011
by: Lisa

A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone - for sharing your experiences and for helping me realize what a surreal process this is going to be.
I feel so incredibly fortunate to have found this site and to have people who mean it when they say "I know how you must be feeling".
I feel better having people like you to help me on this journey.

Feb 09, 2011
by: HH

P.S Judy,
Haven't heard from you in a while and was wondering how you were doing...Also being widowed for 14 months was wondering about your progress.
I am now trying to ?redo the house as in getting rid of a lot of things and hoping that making it into "My environment" might make it easier to deal with the whole acceptance phase. Which In my opinion is sooooo incredibly hard. It is so hard to accept this "New Life" How are you doing and how are you doing it?

Feb 09, 2011
by: Judy


Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your beloved Mike.

There is nothing that any of us here can say to make you feel better right now, but please believe things will get better with time.

My advice as a 14 month widow is just to let grief take you where it will, because it will do it anyway. Brace yourself for a rocky ride. People will say all sorts of strange things to you, believing they are helpful and compassionate.
Grieve in your own way and in your own time. You are not going crazy or losing your mind and if you feel like you are come and talk to us. We've been there ahead of you, some very recently and some of us a little longer. Your life is changed now and it is scary and difficult but we are here.

You are fortunate to have found this site early on. There is no topic that is taboo here, no emotion that can't be spoken, no judgment on what you say. Come back often.

It sounds trite to say remember the good times but in time that will be a great comfort to you.

I'm sure FL is not your favorite place at this point, but please accept this hug from a sister in widowhood.


Feb 09, 2011
I'm so sorry.
by: Tim

Three bereavement days seems like a pittance. I sincerely hope your employer gives you more time or is understanding when you return. I am so sorry.

I lost my 4 year old son at the Children's hospital on the u of m campus on August 14th, 2010. I ache in his absence; I never want to lose the pain.

My website for Michal is

I wish you peace in your life to come.

Feb 08, 2011
You've Only Just Begun
by: TrishJ

My husband passed away 10 weeks ago. I'm out of that numb fuzzy period where I was just going through the motions and going into the reality setting in phase. It's very difficult. I think I was on autopilot for 30 days. My daughter couldn't believe it when I told her I had sent out 65 thank you cards 48 hours after my husband's funeral. I sat up all night writing them out ~ some sort of manic phase I guess. It felt good to keep going ~ having something constructive to do.
I wasn't eating or sleeping. I felt my body being pushed to the limit. I lost 18 pounds in two months (10 of which I could easily afford). I had everyone and their brother telling me what to do, how to act, how to feel. I'm grieving. We all are. It's not fun. I have taken just tiny baby steps in the past 10 weeks.
There are wonderful people on this site that will support you every step of the way. Continue to come here and write your feelings. Don't be afraid to ask for help. This is not something most people can do alone....but don't listen to anyone who tells you "It's time to move on." You will know when you're ready.
Hugs and blessings to you missing Mike.

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