My Beloved, Kind, Generous, Loving Husband, Hugo Who Died Too Young

by Elisa (Hugo's Babe)
(New York, USA)

My Dearest Hugo, whom I called Babe and he called me Babe, too, was suddenly, without any warning signals, symptoms, was diagnosed with lethal pancreatic cancer, stage 4, and it had already spread to his liver. That was on September 26, 2011, the most saddest, nightmarish day of our lives as the "love story" couple, together 46 years, married just l0 days short of 44 years before he died on Sunday, July 29, 2012, at 7:40 pm.

He was told he had 2 weeks to live; however, he fought so hard to stay alive and lasted 10 months, but most of those 10 months were agony: hospital stays, emergency room visits toward the end, strong chemotherapy, lab tests, doctor visits, and even a deep vein thrombosis that suddenly appeared in December of 2011. We prayed for a miracle, and he left most of the decision-making about his care up to me; he trusted me with his life, but he knew things were not looking good at all. His beautiful hair fell out, his once vigorous, vibrant energy wore down, his weight diminished from 165 pounds, with his broad shoulders sagging, and the scale in the bathroom told the truth: 120 pounds, then, at the end, I buried Hugo at 110 pounds, with no hair, pale skin, and really not looking like the handsome man, and "cute" boy I met and was married to.
Yet, through it all, Hugo never complained, only once in a while would tell me the pain was bad, and he tried to avoid taking the morphine. Sometimes he waited too long and the pain would get bad enough that he had to give in and take it. He never drank, and to be subjected to taking morphine upset him. The cancer took away his dignity, but he tried not to show it. A man's man he was, but in ICU he had to wear diapers. I would never have believed that my husband, so strong, so energetic would be reduced to wearing diapers, hooked up to machines, and towards the end of his life, he was not himself in so many ways: weak, unable to speak much and when he did sometimes he didn't make sense. I could not believe what was happening to my talented, creative, always-working (at work and at home) husband, best friend, protector.

Many times I heard from several people in the family or friends and even from some of the nurses in the hospital that Hugo was more worried about me than about dying. He kept saying, "What will happen to my Lisa when I'm gone; who will look after her?" He meant every word because he truly took such good care of me and I might add, he stood by me as I took care of my parents (who were like parents to him in every sense of the meaning of what parents are). He loved, respected and cared for them; they loved, respected and cared about him).

The day he said to me, "I ruined our life," I told him rather sternly, but with tears in my eyes, "No, Hugo, you didn't ruin our lives, the cancer did." I then ordered him to never say that again, to be strong, and I assured him I'd be by his side every minute that he fought this battle of his life. (He was in Vietnam, and he survived that war, but this battle beat him down,until he could not fight any more.)

I can take up over a hundred pages talking about Hugo, but my main purpose is to share our grief because I know that so many of you who read this are going through the same pain, the same trials and heartache that goes on during the illness, and then after death separates you from the one you love so much.

He held on for as long as he could that night, and I didn't want to believe that he was really dying. He fought for me, to stay with me. After so many hours, I knew what Ihad to do, I had to release him by telling him I'd be okay and that I wanted him to go to God, to the light, to my parents, and right after my last syllable of my last words to him, he stopped breathing.

I try to hold on to faith, at times faith eludes me; but I am praying that I can get through this tremendous, deep pain of being separated from my dear Hugo; we were like one person. I pray for the time we will be reunited again.
Until then, I will cry, I will miss him so much that I just want to go find him. I have questions, I ask why, why now when we had so many plans, and he was only 64--a young-looking 64. He wanted to do so many things and he often lamented that he left tasks undone.

I cannot move one thing from the way it was that July night in 2012, I cannot remove his clothes, nothing. I just can't and maybe I will never be able to. In a way, keeping everything the way it was comforts me.

So, my darling angel babe, Hugo, my prayer is that you are out of pain, well, embraced by God, reunited with Mom and Dad, your Dad, sister, your grandparents, and all our relatives whom you loved and who loved you so much because you were a kind, gentle, wonderful, generous human being.
You made me feel like a princess, especially every Christmas, your favorite holiday. And I'm glad that you put up the Christmas tree December 23, 2011, after saying to me, "Please Babe, let me do it, it will be my last Christmas tree that I put up." You were so weak, but you put it up, and it was the most beautiful tree in the world.
No Christmas will ever be the same, but I am grateful we spent 46 of them together, except for the year you were at war in Vietnam. Ever since we met back in 1966, we spent every holiday together. I hold those memories in my aching heart.

I love you, I will love you always, and I will miss you until I see you again. Please hold out your hand to take me when it's my time to go. You are my brave Babe.

Love, your wife for eternity, Elisa M.

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Dec 09, 2014
Another Christmas without My Hugo, My Life
by: Elisa

My Dearest Hugo, My Wonderful Husband/Babe,
Another Christmas will soon be here and you are not. You put up your last tree on December 20th 2011, and 7 months later you lost your brave battle against pancreatic cancer. And I lost you, my life, my love for 46 years since we were teens. We were only separate once for a little over a year, and in between---first for months during your basic training, etc., in the U.S. Army, then your combat duty in Vietnam in 1967-l968. I spent Christmas without you, and you spent Christmas in a war zone. But you returned home safely, and in August of 1969 we were husband and wife. And Hugo you fulfilled all the promises you wrote to me about in your loving, romantic letters while you fought in that war.
I re-read all the letters that we saved, and they made me cry to think how lucky a girl I was to have such a wonderful young man loving me so much.
Your letters sustained me; I hope my letters back to you there sustained you until you could return home for good.

Hugo, there are no words to describe how I hate facing any day without you, and now Christmas is coming and I dread it--you made every Christmas so special for me and for my parents and my entire family. My generous, kind Hugo, you are missed by me more than words can ever tell you.
I hope you can look into my heart and mind, and you will then know what my life is without you.

I will miss you forever, until I see you again.
I hope you are well, free of pain, and I hope you remember me, still love me, and will wait for me.

If you are with Mom & Dad and aunt Mary and Gigi and Jason and jDolores and your Dad, please tell them I love them.

Forever loving you and needing you, and missing you, your wife until I die and after that, Elisa M.

Dec 22, 2013
My Beloved, Kind, Generous, Loving Husband, Hugo, who Died Too Young and ahead of his time...
by: Elisa

Here I am again, almost Christmas 2013, my dear Hugo,Babe, and my heart hurts as it hurts each second of each day since you passed away. I miss you, everything about you so very much. Life has no meaning except to keep on existing until I reach you and we reunite some day, andI hope it is soon.

What is the holiday? People are dashing around to get the best deal on the best electronic/tech device, the best toy, the best lights, tree, when they forget the real meaning of Christmas.

Yes, you and I decorated our home beautifully (thanks to you and your creativitiy and perfection), but we always kept it simple, and giving was important to us, not receiving.

Hugo, you left an empty hole in my heart and in our home that will never be filled. I hope you are with Mom, Dad, Aunt Mary, your Dad and your sister, Dolores. I pray for all of you.

I am still naively asking God to send you home.

Love, your wife forever, and brokenhearted --maybe the most brokenhearted, lonely, shattered girl in the world. Wish we were 17 ad 18again when we met. Love and kisses to you in Heaven where a person like you belongs. Your Wife,
Elisa M. forever.

Nov 06, 2013
Here I am again, Hugo, Babe, on November 6th, 2013
by: Your Wife

Dearest Hugo, If they say it is true that in Heaven you see all, then you know what I am going through, more and more sadness and grief as time goes by without you. It doesn't get easier, only harder. I hate life without you and want you home with me. I hate everythng, and I know you will get angry with me and so will God, but both of you hear me day and night wish to die so I could be with you.

I can't bear it, and I am so lonely, and you know all the rest that I don't want to mention, but no one understands or cares. you were right, I would find myself alone, and never left other alone, but now I am alone, all alone to bear this sadness and my illness, pain, sorrow, and i just wish I could find a way to come to you.

I blame myself for not seeing what could have caused your illness. I only hope you love me still and will be waiting for me, and I hope I get there very soon. Love, your wife, Babe, Elisa

Aug 09, 2013
To my Hugo Babe on our Wedding Anniv. 8/9
by: Elisa

Dearest Hugo,

It poured outside today, and it poured from my eyes and my heart. When we married 44 years ago, it was a bright, hot sunny Augusts day that had followed torrential downpours all the week ahead of that Saturday, our Wedding Day. Happiness from morning to evening is what I remember. We were so young--we looked like a boy and girl making their first Holy Communion, with smiles, and waiting to begin our future together.
Where did that bright, loving, wondering day go?
Today, I find myself without you, without my parents, my Godmother, without a lot of people whom I know are with God in Heaven. But that day, they were with us, smiling, taking in the Love Story of Hugo and Elisa from Queens, NY.

Babe, what a different day it is today, dark, dreary, and lonely without you. You were taken away too soon, not able to finish out your plans for our future to grow old together. My heart breaks each day more and more. I miss you so much, and I can't stand it that you are not here with me any more. What a very different life now--alone, just me, and no one even remembered to call, but I don't care about that. I'd give anything to have to be here with me, in our beloved home that you made beautiful with your carvings, your great landscaping, and the love you put into this home--which now is nothing but a place to shelter me and my ever-broken heart.

It has begun to pour again; it is you crying like me, or the angels crying for us being separated.
I feel sick in my heart, my body and my mind.
Hugo, I hope you are waiting for me when we will be together forever and never parted again.
They say in the marriage vow, "Til death do us part." Well, no, we separate for a time, I hope, and then we reunite again. So we do not part, my Babe, and I pray you forgive my impatience at times, my stresses that I place on your strong shoulders, and a lot of time going by without realizing that every second was precious until you were diagnosed and a time limit was placed on your precious life. I hope and pray that you are not suffering any more from that ugly cancer you had, and that you are with Mom and Dad, and the rest of our family, and you are young, well, happy and watching over me. I need it. I feel at times I shall go insane from all the anxiety, sadness, heartache, missing you, and feeling physically sick, too without your comfort.

Happy Blessed Anniversary, and I wish we were spending it together. I miss the roses on the kitchen table waiting for me to see whenever I got up on our anniversary, my birthday, and any other occassion. I love and miss you too much to even write the exact words from my heart.

Love, your wife from 1969 to forever. "Til" our song--til, Babe......and I hope you're the one saying to me, "If it takes forever I will wait for you.


Jun 18, 2013
To Husband Hugo's loving wife
by: Anonymous

WE all understand, and we all grieve the same way, with broken hearts, feelings of hopelessness, anger, a lot of pain, sorrow, anxiety, worry and separation disbelief.
May others comfort you, understand you, and forgive you when you say thngs that may upset them because they worry.


Jun 17, 2013
Another continuation of my message to my husband, Hugo
by: Lisa

Dearest Hugo,

You surely know what a bad 3 weeks I had; mostly because of my pain over separation from you--that is constant, every second you are on my mind and in my hurting heart. But, on top of it all, I've had so many things go wrong; and also, trying to help others, somehow I failed with someone who is hurting, but she misunderstood me.

Babe, I miss taking care of you, cooking for you, and everything about you. These thoughts are always reeling around in my mind, and even if I'm talking to someone--you are present. I manage to bring you up, even to strangers. I cannot keep telling you how much I miss you because the word Miss doesn't really express it--it's like half of me is gone--went with you. I want you to come back instead of getting to you because I can't get to you, only when God says so. I just hope and pray you will give me a message that you're well now, and miss me, and love me and will wait for me. The song, "If it takes forever I will wait for you" rings in my ears--are you doing that to send me a message you are waiting until I get there?

I love you with so much devotion that I miss showing you. Where did 46 years go, Babe?
I want you here in our home. It's an empty place without you, your sweet voice, the patter of your footsteps, and the sound of you breathing and your heartbeat whenever I put my hand over your heart. Babe, why won't God let you come back?

I will write again, as I always do. Love, your wife forever, till......Elisa

Jun 12, 2013
To Lisa "My Beloved..."
by: Support

I've been there, everywhere you've been in your head, heart and soul. I've asked the whys and the ifs, and I don't know answers. I've wanted to really give up; I begged for it to happen.
Be happy in the knowledge that your angel loved you so much that he wouldn't give his last breath when God asked him to, not to ignore God, but to stay with you. He knew and still knows you are a lost little sheep that God will bring back into the fold some day and you'll be amongst the other once lost sheep happy to frolic in God's world.
Love, and blessings to you to go on Support

Jun 11, 2013
My beloved,kind,generous,loving husband
by: silver

Elisa I will,per your request,rewrite my story.It will be hard but at the 2 yr mark it is easier now than when I first wrote it.This month also marks the 3 yr anniversary that my mother died.I will put it on the lost spouse page instead of the multiple losses section this time.I send love to you and all of us who are trying to go on without our other half. Take care of yourself.GOD sends you love and support.

Jun 06, 2013
I'm continuing to write on this page I made...
by: Elisa

I am writing again on 6/6/13 to honor my husband by keeping up this page so that it may comfort those who understand what my words mean, what my heart is feeling, and what my brain knows but what I refuse to really, totally accept--death of my husband, a beautiful man, good husband, no, great husband, and too young in spirit, and attitude to have died. I am not coping well with this reality; in fact, I am not coping at all.
For my husband's positive attitude who would want me to go on, I endure; but he knows me, and he knows that I am suffering without him here.
So, I am hoping that he will forgive me my weak moments when I want to just get out of here and find him.

I love you, Hugo, and I hope you are realizing how much -- I am not being a martyr, just a wife who misses you too much to deal with it.
Love, Elisa

May 16, 2013
To Anonymous
by: Elisa M.

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for reading my page about Hugo, and for your kind words.

I am sorry about your husband's sudden death; I truly understand because even though Hugo lasted (very sick) 10 months after his diagnosis, the diagnosis was sudden, shocking, and broke my heart from that day until he passed.

Cry, because we all do. My only hope is that my faith remains strong and that I will see Hugo again, and that you will see your husband again too. Sometimes, I waiver in that thinking about the afterlife. I read books, they help for that moment that I read what I want to know, but then I have moments of uncertainty.

We all grieve, and we grieve for one another because we all understand more than others who have not known this pain yet.

Love, Elisa
(Please go on to "my sweet and kind husband died 3 weeks ago" and you will see that I and many other women write to each other almost every day about what we feel).

May 16, 2013
To Doreen U.K.
by: Elisa M.

Dear Doreen,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for your condolences. I send them right back to you for your loss--47 years is what I can understand--we were together 46 (we met in 1966), and married in 1969. Hugo passed at 64, not having a chance to retire, enjoy life after all we had planned and worked for. We had no children, and I am really alone, with a few family members, but they are too busy to hear me cry and talk about missing him. I have found that I, and the friends I've made on this web site, all say the same thing, that their families expect them to move on.

I can relate to everything you have said. I don't like using the word, "dead" because it hurts so much, the finality of the word in the sense my husband will not return here to be with me. I try to keep my faith stong, but I waiver, I must admit honestly. God knows it's because I am not accepting this, and I feel he died too soon, too young, and we never expected he'd have that horrible pancreatic cancer.

My heart goes out to you because I know that each time I am crying so are you and many others like us who try to cope with our loss.

I hope you'll write on this page again, or on their main page,, "my sweet and kind husband died 3 weeks ago" -- I type that into google and it comes up, and I go on that page. I've made 4 good friends on there to whom I write to on that posting. I use the short version of my name (Lisa, or Liz).
It helps, but all of us just empty our hearts out to each other.

Thank you. God bless, Elisa

May 16, 2013
To Silver
by: Elisa

Dear Silver,

Thank you for leaving your kind message on my page for my late husband, Hugo.

Only we, who understand the heartache, unending tears, feelings we can't explain, and how we can't explain how much we miss our special loved ones.

In my heart, I grieve for Hugo, his separation from me, and I also grieve for all of us because I truly know that each time I am crying, another woman/man/mother/father/child is grieving and crying at the same time.

I hope you will visit often, write your own page and direct me to it, and know that we are all in this together. Love, Elisa M. (Hugo's "Babe")

May 15, 2013
My beloved,kind,generous,loving husband
by: silver

Dear Elisa,I have been where you are now.My soul mate,left me on May 29,2011.I think I was in shock for most of the first yr.That is not to say I wasn't depressed and didn't cry.I did a lot of that.In fact,the first couple of months I slept most of the time and didn't get out of my nightgown more than I just had to.August (15 month mark-my birthday) was the worst for me.I finally realized he was really gone and wasn't coming home.I really lost it that month. It will be 2 yrs this month.I was blessed with him for 33 yrs.I got to spend our 33rd anniversary with him.He died a week later.He was also sick.He was 5'10" and that last week was 108#.He had emphysema and got pneumonia which turned septic and killed his kidneys.I have 4 sons and they help me when they can.Like you I have a strong faith that I will see him again one day.I dream of running to his arms and holding him tight and telling him how much I love him. Like your love mine loved my mother so much and had to help me through my parents death (they all died within 17 months of each other)I still cry often but not as hard or as long.Like my love used to say,"it doesn't go away but it does get easier".It IS getting easier but I think it will always be something hard to deal with at times.Look at some of the poetry on this site.It helped me to know that there are others that feel as we do.That we're not alone in the devastation or our hearts.I wrote one called PEACE that I read for my husbands funeral.One thing that helps the most is to talk about him and keep the memories alive.GOD send you strength and peace.

May 15, 2013
My Beloved, Kind, Generous, Loving Husband, Hugo Who Died Too Young
by: Doreen U.K.

Elisa I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved Hugo to this curse of a disease called CANCER. Your story is similar to mine. I was with my husband for 47yrs. Married 44yrs. and He died of lung cancer caused by working with ASBESTOS. No one knew this substance was deadly to the environment and workplace. He was 65yrs. of age just 16 days before his 66th Birthday.
My Steve was a Body Builder in his youth and it was painful to see a healthy man shrivel up and fade away. Lose so much weight. I was his caregiver for over 3yrs. He didn't want to die. I had to watch his sad pleading look on his face and I was helpless to do anything more than comfort and care for him. I prayed for a miracle that didn't happen. I sat by his bedside and waited with Hope for him to get better. Instead I saw him draw his last breath. I still can't believe it. An angel of a man who did good for everyone. GONE. Never to return to my world again in this life. But I live with HOPE that I will see him again. According to God's promise. "I will come back again and receive you unto myself that where I am there you may be also."
I have never felt so physically weak and ill all the time. I have never taken so many painkillers for this pain. But GRIEF, has no medication. We endure this unbearable pain as a token of our LOVE until we find HEALING and the STRENGTH to go on each day. WE will join our beloved husband again one day. But till then we have no choice but to make the most of the days we have left because we don't know how long we have in this fragile world where DEATH is all around us. I was unhappy that my husband died too young. But in light of children dying of cancer I Thank God for all those years I had with Him and I look forward to BETTER YEARS in Heaven. May God comfort you through your grief and sorrow.

May 15, 2013
To the wife of Hugo
by: Anonymous

While reading your post I could feel much of how you feel. My husband of over 43 wonderful yrs died suddenly 6 months ago--no warning--he was just taken from us in a matter of minutes from SCA--I try to go on as I know my husband would want me to--for our kids and grand kids--God gives me strength to face the day but the sorrow and longing for my wonderful husband remains. I cry and grieve and miss him more each passing day. I wish I could take our pain and heartache away but of course, that is not possible. I just know that God knows everything about us and He is with us to the end. I too look forward to the day I am called to heaven to see the face of Jesus and to be with my dear husband again. God help us all

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