My dear sweet Sandy

by Rick
(Capac, Michigan U.S.A.)

Wow…there are so many of us here. My heart goes out to every single one of you.

I lost my dear sweet wife (Sandy) suddenly and unexpectedly on January 13th of this year. (2014) She was only 61 yrs old. She was awesome…the most selfless woman I’ve ever met. She and I were everything to each other…in every way. We had no children. I’m alone now.

I of course miss her terribly.

Allow me to tell you how Sandy and I met. I lived with a friend who also was named Rick. Rick had a girlfriend named Evy. Evy owned a nail and hair salon, and Sandy would get her nails done there. I had been recently dumped by a woman that was no good for me anyway. Sandy had not long before been divorced from a man who wasn’t good for her. We had both been bemoaning to Evy how so many people are so selfish and have too much pride, and we were expressing our dismay that so many seem to disregard Jesus’ simple teachings to us…to be kind and loving…to try not to judge…and even to help others when we can. One day, Evy said to me, “Rick…I know this pretty woman named Sandy. And when I listen to you, and then listen to her, it’s as if I’m listening to the same person. Evy made arrangements for the four of us to go on a double date at a local park so that Sandy and I could meet. Oh Lord, she was so beautiful…long golden hair, a nice tan, a gorgeous figure, a purple summer dress, purple flip flops and even purple sunglasses. I was a little nervous, and could tell she was too. We were respectful and shook hands and we both said, “Nice to meet you.” And we all had a nice day. Sandy and I agreed to meet again, and soon after had our first real date…just her and me. I asked her what she might like to do…go to a movie? Dinner? She said, “No, I’d like to go to a park again.” We got some KFC and went to a different smaller park and enjoyed getting to know each other. We went in her car because mine was being repaired. When Sandy later dropped me off where I lived, we said our goodbyes and I was standing at the door as she walked the few steps to the driveway. Just before getting into her car, she turned and looked at me and said, “God bless you, Rick.” You could’ve knocked me over with a feather. I’d never heard those words from any other woman after a first date…if ever. I knew that Sandy was not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well. And that was the start of 27 blessed years together.

The evening Sandy died, I had been way out back in the barn/shop, working on my pickup truck. (we were renting a big old house on a 200 acre farm) On the way home from work, (Sandy was a nurse for 40 years) she called ahead to ask if I would start some home-made chicken noodle soup. So I walked up to the house to do that. She got home at about 5:30 pm. She was tired, but in good spirits and happy to be home and to have the next day off. The gravel driveway was so icy and rough…it was very dangerous. I went out to help her to the house. I had her hang onto the back of my coat collar in case she slipped. She joked that maybe I should just pull her along like a sled. We made it to the house, and we went into the kitchen. We tasted the soup-broth together…both of our faces close together over the pot, and slurping from a spoon. We laughed. The broth was good, but the noodles weren’t quite done yet. I told her to go ahead upstairs and put her pajamas on and settle down to the computer if she’d like, and I’d finish dinner and bring it up to her. But she said, “No…that’s ok. I know you want to finish your truck. You can go back out there.” Normally, I would’ve settled down and had dinner with her, and we probably would’ve watched a movie together. But I was soooo close to being finished with the truck. I asked, “Are you sure?” “Yup”, she replied. We talked and joked just a bit more as I got ready to go back out to the barn, and I headed toward the door. She said “I love you”…and I said “I love you”. I was only out there for an hour or so when I called to check on her. But I got no answer…which usually meant that she was in the bathroom or she had laid down and fallen asleep, and she’d probably call me back in a minute or two. But after about 10 minutes, she still hadn’t called. To heck with the truck…I shut the shop down and walked back to the house. I checked the soup and it was done, but she hadn’t taken any. Hmmm…I called up the stairs. No answer. She must be asleep. I started up the stairs. As my view crested the landing, I saw something black. What was I seeing? As I continued up the last few steps, I suddenly realized…I was seeing the legs of her black pajama pants. Sandy was laying flat on her back motionless on the landing! It took a couple of seconds for my mind to process what my eyes beheld. Oh my God! I knelt down beside her. Her eyes were closed. I lightly slapped her face as I called her name. “Sandy! …Sandy!!!” I checked her respiration. Nothing! I checked her pulse. Nothing! She had suffered a massive heart attack and had gone into cardiac arrest and died. Oh my God! NO!!! I started CPR while I called 911. The medics did all they could, but it was futile.

Just like that, I had lost the love of my life. No God…please, no. Pleeeease no. Pleeeeeeeeeeease. NO!!!
How do you type a whimper? How do you type sobbing? How do you type a broken heart??? I’m crying even as I type this.

What’s made things even worse is that my family had been ridiculously disrespectful and showed great disregard for Sandy over the years. I had regretfully finally cut ties with them long ago. I didn’t even tell them that Sandy died. You might think, “Oh, it couldn’t be that bad. You should try to reconcile with your family. You need the support.” No…you don’t understand. They were bad. And it can't be fixed now.

Comments for My dear sweet Sandy

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Jun 22, 2014
Almost exactly the same all the way around
by: Tim

I put my wife to bed on a late Sunday evening and woke up to her struggling to breath at 6:03 in the morning, unresponsive to anything. Called 911 and 10 min before they arrived watched as the color drained from her face, I started CPR but to no avail. She was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital. All this 4 days before my youngest daughters 16 th birthday . That was on November 24 2008, and to this day I still have my depressed days, but it does get easier with time I promise you. Never forget the love you 2had for each other and dwell on the good times. I will tell you looking back I wish I would have listened to my friends and got some help dealing with the grief, get some help, don't think you can Handle it on your own, it won't work. I can tell u from first hand experience. May God bless you and hold you close!!

Jun 20, 2014
Thank you Donna
by: Rick

Thank you Donna dear. Thank you so much. Every word you speak is true. And I know and believe these things too. I'm AM glad that it isn't Sandy who has to go through the pain and sorrow I'm suffering, and to be left alone in this life to fend for herself. I don't know if she can see or hear me or feel my pain, but if she can, I know she understands my sorrow, but would want me to be as strong as I can be...and I truly do want her to be proud of me. I always wanted her to be proud of me. And she was. She was so supportive and encouraging to me in life...even sometimes when I didn't deserve it. She told me so many times that she believed in me..."no matter what". If you listen to the voice messages I posted on her memorial site as I suggested folks might like to do, that becomes very clear. She was amazing.
I obvious that I wasn't doing so well Wednesday night when I last posted here, and it's also obvious you understand that. You're so kind dear. Thank you for reminding me of these things and taking the time and having the loving heart that you do to spell it out for me again. God love you. God bless you. I mean it from the bottom of my heart...God bless you. As I said previously, NOBODY understands as those who've also lost the love of their life, and you came through for me. You're awesome, Donna. I still suffer the pain and shed many tears...every we all do...but I'm a little better now because of you and your kind words. I can't say it enough...God bless you Donna...who is no longer Anonymous. :) And God bless your loving husband Sam. It's very clear to me that he was as lucky a man to have you as I was to have Sandy. I pray for God's peace to you, and I look forward with faith that you and Sam and Sandy and me and all who love God will meet in heaven to share God's glory. Until then, I'll do the very best I can to make Sandy proud. As I've typed this, Donna, I'm weeping tears of sorrow...but mixed also with tears of gratitude to you. Thank you again, kind lady.
- Rick

Jun 19, 2014
Hang in there Rick. For Sandy.
by: Anonymous

Dear Rick,
Your words and the obvious agony you are in, touched me to my core, I understand every one of them. All of what you are feeling: I know, and so many of us know too well.
When all else fails and you come to that bottom rung of the hellish spiral of grief...what works for me..the only thing that works for me is knowing that my Sam is watching me now from the place he is, and I want to make him proud of me, not sad for me.
And I tell myself too, that it is still better me suffering like this from his loss; than if it were him suffering from mine, or anyone he loved. To be in spirit form and have to watch him weeping on the floor, would somehow be even worse then when it is me weeping on the floor...
These were my sentiments last night, and still today and, well.....all the time.
I wouldn't wish the grief I feel on anyone else, much less someone I love. So Sam never has to lose anyone and this is a fact I can at least celebrate. He doesn't have to miss me, I believe he can see me and come near to me anytime he wishes. It is me who must struggle to feel him close is me who must miss him.
Sandy will never have to come to terms with losing you! There is that!
Stay strong, Sandy that you love her so much that you will go on, even missing her always, but that you will make her proud of you for your strength and courage.
All of us who have lost a loving someone else we all had a 50/50 chance of being the one left behind..sooner or later but at some point, since two people rarely die at the exact same time. So better us than them, to have to suffer the loss....
Sending love out to you Rick. Keep the faith, even with the hatred and vileness of so-called family (I have that ingredient going on too), be as pure in heart as your perfect love for Sandy...and release all that sadness, anger and fear. Love is the ultimate thing and conquers all. And Sandy will be there for you when your time on earth is done... This is what I hold onto the most, above all else even...that I will be back with Sam's just this meantime I must make count....
All my best wishes out to you...
Donna (no longer "Anonymous"!)

Jun 18, 2014
You are not alone!
by: Anonymous

Oh Rick, you seem at the end of your rope and lord knows; i UNDERSTAND that on every level. I have no magic wand to wave to make it all better, because believe me, if I did I would have waved it already over myself and you, and all of us here and on the other widow websites I now find myself on...
So many good people suffering such loss.
All I can say is that you DO have support ...right here and even though it just looks like words typed in cyber space, each letter typed comes from a heart as broken and sad and beautiful as your own. From all who understand from experience, the exact place you find yourself in.
I will speak no platitudes as I know how old and hollow they get...just know you are not alone. You are not alone. And Sandy is watching you and feeling what you are feeling and sending her love to you, all you need to do is open up to feel it. The hardest thing, I know. But I believe she won't let you down. Remember it is YOU who is experiencing all this now, and better you than her...right? Would you want to watch her from the spirit would so sad and desolate...all the while surrounding her with love that she is too grief stricken to feel?
This is the thought I think to get myself through these bouts of utter blackness...I tell myself these exact things...
I miss my love, Sam, with all my heart and soul every minute but I always think that if one of us had to suffer like this; I'd rather it be me.
Sam's mom was murdered about one year into our relationship, and the pain I saw him experience left a scar on my own heart. I saw then that I never wanted him to have to go through all of that again. Ever. And now he does not ever have to. Nor does Sandy. There is THAT to focus one. She doesn't ever have to be lonely for you: she can see you anytime she wants. It is you and it is I who bear this pain,along with thousands of other good people. Because we loved our loves that much. If nothing else helps you out of the place you are right now; at least think of this.
I am sending you all the love and peace in the universe. Remember how a terrible black storm feels...and remember that even if it feels like it, the sun will come out and warm your face again..sooner or always does...
Love and light and peace...
From Donna (no longer "Anonymous" :) )

Jun 18, 2014
by: Rick

Five months last Friday, June 13th.

All the talk about it getting easier over time, a reunion in heaven, how we all support each other, that God has a plan, how we should be grateful for the time we had together, that she's in a better place, etc. etc. etc. etc. IT DOESN'T HELP MUCH! This is rediculously difficult and sad. Life as it was is OVER for me. Both her and my families have been beyond cruel. I have almost NO support system. I'm afraid that I might not be able to handle this. "You'll eventually find happiness again." I'm having a very hard time believing that. Even if we ARE able to find the strength to continue on, for at least some of us, it'll be nothing more than a sad and lonely and feeble existance...until we die. I'm "SO" looking forward to it.

This absolutely S*CKS...S*CKS...S*CKS!

Yeah, I know. I need to find some support. And I need to keep myself busy. And I need to have faith. And I need to understand that I'll be angry at times. Etc. etc. etc. etc.

Whatever. A lot of talk. It doesn't help much. After all is said and done, the cold hard truth remains. She's gone. It's over. End of story.

Fine. Great. Have a "wonderful" day.

Jun 13, 2014
So much like my story
by: DAS

I have read your writings about you and Sandy and it brings me so much emotional pain because it is so
much like myself and my wonderful wife Socorro. My
beautiful wife left on 5/23/2014 after a valiant fight with cancer. I miss her terribly and am still
in shock even though she was sick for a long time.
My situation is a lot like yours. Only one of her
eight siblings even talks or send me texts. The rest
want nothing to do with me. Still trying to understand all of that. I have children from a long
time ago, but have been estranged for years, and years. I can relate to what you said, it doesn't matter now. Right now, not much of anything matters to me. Anyway, I will probably write more later on,
just had to get that out.

Jun 07, 2014
by: Rick

Thank you D & A.

One more song for you guys. Another of Sandy's (and my) favorites. Kind of "our song". Maybe you guys remember Love Can Make You Mercy. Worth listening to again.

I've barely touched on all the good that Sandy did and how warm-hearted she was. I could go on and on. Better though, might be to let you hear her voice and to let you experience her humor and sweetness firsthand. I think you'll enjoy this. Search Sandy Martenson funeral home Capac. Go to the first site listed at the top. Click on "read more" and follow the link I provided there.

Love and peace to all. - Rick

Jun 07, 2014
Something to Look forward to - HEAVEN
by: Doreen UK

I am so happy that you have been uplifted by Sandy's Faith and Belief in God. Keep reading your Bible and Daily Devotional readings to strengthen your faith and keep God in your Life. You are right. We are all going to die. BUT. Death was never in God's Plan. Because of Sin which started in the Garden of Eden we have Death and decay on the earth. We weren't meant to die? Roses were never meant to have thorns. etc. This is the decay. Our bodies decay through cancer and other diseases. God is PURE LOVE and He couldn't see his Created children die, so he sent His Son Jesus Christ to come to earth and Die for us so that we can be saved and have Eternal Life. But we have to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and thus let Him Live His Life in us. This is how we become better people by letting the Power of the Spirit of God live in us. We will make mistakes and fall from grace. But we pick ourselves up. Go to God in repentance each day and ask Him to forgive us of our sins, and start each new day with God. It doesn't mean we will have an easy life. In fact the opposite. We will be TRIED and TESTED. But this is God working in us to get rid of all the dross (character defects caused by sin) and he is thus refining us to become like Jesus. Another way to look at it is. Through ADVERSITY. (by Chuck Swindoll). God is weaving a Tapestry out of our lives. Underneath the tapestry is all the rough threads and knots. On the good side is the Perfect Picture Tapestry. This is what God is doing with us. All those rough threads and knots represents ALL the TRIALS and TRIBULATIONS we go through in life. This is the purpose of our lives, To HONOUR GOD and live a RIGHTEOUS LIFE. Jesus said " In My Father's House are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you and if it were not so I would have told you. I will come back and RECEIVE YOU to MYSELF that where I am there you may be also." This is God's Plan and Purpose for us. To take us to Heaven so that we can live with Him FOR EVER. Sandy as a believer would have had this HOPE. You will see her again when Jesus comes back for us to Unite us all to be WITH HIM. Now this is something to LIVE for and to HOPE FOR. The Spirit of Sandy which is her Soul is alive with God in Heaven now. Only her body died (which is the shell) and is gone back to dust. Because we were created out of the dust of the ground. God breathed into man and He became a Living Soul. This is the part that goes back to God (our Breath which is the Soul). When God comes back to earth. he will give everyone a new PERFECT BODY and He will put the Spirit (soul) back into our loved ones and they will become WHOLE. RENEWED. PERFECT. SINLESS.
If you watch God TV. Or on the Internet. Look out for JOEL OSTEEN. Try and read his books. All very encouraging. Also Listen to David Jeremiah on the Internet or God TV and download his podcasts especially on HEAVEN. Very uplifting and encouraging. Best wishes.

Jun 06, 2014
"Hallelujah Anyhow"
by: Anonymous

Thank you Rick, I indeed just looked it up and watched it online so I thank your Sandy too for that. What a wonderful uplifting performance!
I am taking those words in the song to heart.
As bad as so much as been, I have to count all the blessings I still have and say that thank you.
I have read such terrible things, stories of people who lose one person they love and then turn around and their mom dies on top of it, things like that.
And it makes you realize that no matter how much grief we feel; we must still honor those we love around us and living now...and people even with whom our paths cross online, for however long or short.
The bad people, those who seek to hurt and harm especially when we are down, well; they don't cancel out the good people who are everywhere.
And I guess if you look around; you can chose to focus on one or the other, but I do know that focusing on the good ones, will always be the better choice to make.
As always I wish you and all those who find themselves here, peace and Rick, I will think of Sandy often, as I have been. And I am so happy I got to watch and listen to one of her favorite songs...

Jun 06, 2014
You're welcome
by: Rick

You're welcome, Anonymous. And thank you too. And to everyone else as well. Our brief, internet fellowship here helps me. I hope it helps you too.

We know that we all must die. But what's difficult, is when the meaning/purpose/good is so elusive. "Why, God?!?" or "Why NOW, God?!? Surely, there's got to be meaning and purpose and good in every part of God's plan. Sandy was enormously spiritually inspirational to me and many others in life...and she continues to be so even now...especially for me. I've kept Sandy's bibles. (She called them her "bibbles" I've been reading them...especially the parts she highlighted. I also have a very old book of Sandy's entitled Streams In The Desert by Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman. It has bible verses and inspirational comments and poems which are dated and intended to be read each day. One of the entries I recently read says, (paraphrased) "Thank God not only for our blessings, but also for our cross and thorns (our burdens and trials)...for strong faith comes not but through great adversity." Those words gave me something to hang onto. If the further strengthening of my faith is the intended result of Sandy's death and the cruel treatment I've been subjected to, so be it. Let's all try to make our departed loves proud of us and stay close to God and keep ourselves open to what He needs to say to us. As Sandy would always say, "Praise God. No matter what." A good expression of this idea of praising and thanking God even through our trials is a musical performance by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir...a song called "Hallelujah Anyhow" of Sandy's absolute favorites...she'd watch it at least once a week. Search for it. Allow Sandy to share it with you. I would be honored.

Crying again.

Jun 04, 2014
thank you!
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your lovely letter back, Rick. I have actually been thinking of you and Sandy a lot, since I saw your original post. Your love for Sandy really made her come alive in your descriptions of her and in that; you do keep her alive.
The details of how she passed, mirror my own situation, only I was not with my Sam at the time, had it happened just a couple of hours earlier that day- I would have been. But like Sandy, he was fine up until the moment he wasn't, and I guess we have to take comfort in this. Everyone must die, that is a fact, but there are some better ways to go than others. Though no ways are easy on those of us left behind.

And yes, the actions of others ...the impact, but I will take the advice you shared that Sandy would say about forgiving. And finding the way out of anger towards compassion. Anger, so negative and just feeds on itself, is so far from what what "love" is. But love, fortunately can feed on itself too in the best way and after a lot of contemplation - that is what I am aiming for.
Even almost unbearable lessons are still lessons and, at some point, they can make us better if we chose to take the right things from them. It is indeed, like a test, as your friend said. I believe that too and don't want to let myself down. I want to be the best person I can be, as Sam inspired me to be.
And these things both what we've shared here and the unsaid stuff to; yes it is bettering ourselves, tempered by fire. Things we could not learn any other way, I guess.
How to go on, how to forgive, how to honor those we love so much that every minute without them feel like an eternity. How to find the way to make ourselves whole again, because surely their spirits would want that for us.
A very hard road. But with some pretty flowers planted along the sides of it....
My sincere best out to you, wishes for faith and peace and hope....
Thank you again for your kind words to me.

Jun 04, 2014
variations on a theme
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous,
I am so sorry for your loss of your partner of 5 weeks. This is indeed the worst journey of one's life. You have been let down and betrayed on top of grieving your loss. Death seems to form a pattern of adding insult to injury.
I have a son of 45yrs. and know that the pain of your loss is as deep as the ocean. Being so young and looking forward to each day, why would one start to think of Death and Wills. It would spoil life. One usually processes death and making a Will later in life. BUT. Sudden death can affect anyone anytime so it is wise to Make A Will. I heard of a case where a man died and the Ex wife came in to the home. Changed the locks and took everything. It never ceases to amaze me how one's world can be turned upside down by such greedy people.
I am so sorry for what you are going through. No matter how hard you try to rise above this you will also have to grieve this loss of losing a home and possessions to your partner's daughter and her mother. When no Will is in place it complicates things.
Whilst my husband was dying of cancer my youngest sister took control of our father's estate and Money. She knew I was pre-occupied with caring for a dying husband so she rushed to get Power of Attorney. She pushed my other sister out of the equasion and took full control. By the time I buried my husband I was able to listen to my other sister and process what she was saying. I sent an email to my youngest sister asking what our Dad's assets were. She told me if I wanted to know I can get a Solicitor. She demanded that myself and my sister look after Dad's needs whilst she went on holiday for a break. She didn't think our Dad would have lasted a year otherwise she would not have taken care of him. She has now put our Dad in a care home and taken all the money Dad left for his 6 children. She has put the money in her sole account to get more interest for 5yrs. and she acts as if she has done nothing wrong. I have reminded her often that she doesn't have OWNERSHIP of our father's money. She just manages it. Well after nasty hurtful emails from her myself and my other sister have walked away. WE still feel WOUNDED by what has happened. I also feel wounded by having my late husband's tools and special possessions stolen. My sister's husband came yesterday to borrow the workmate. It was then I forgot that this is another item stolen. I just can't get recovery because I am reminded of yet another item missing. Grief caused me to be off guard and careless to put measures in place to protect myself and family from what they should have inherited. No matter how positive I try to think or change my focus I still feel very INJURED. It will take TIME to HEAL from what we are all going through by greed and lack of Integrity from our family.

Jun 03, 2014
re: variations on a theme
by: Rick

Dear Anonymous from the east coast. I'm so sorry for your loss of your dear husband. God bless you and give you peace. I have great sympathy for you that the mother and daughter are showing such disregard and disrespect for your sweetheart's memory and your feelings. I understand how hard it is to grieve normally while being subjected to additional undue stress from family members. It can literally leave you feeling numb.
I've somehow been able to keep from being too angry. Sandy would want me to forgive them if I can...and I do. I actually feel a little sorry for them. The poor dodo-heads don't even realize the full extent of what they've done. And the same for your intrusive aquaintances. Don't let them have their way too easily. But regardless of what happens, you're absolutely right...they can NOT take away the deep meaning and beauty of the love the two of you shared.
One of my friends commented that considering all the additional issues and stresses I've had to deal with since my dear wife died, (I haven't divulged all) it's almost as if it's been some kind of test. He may have a good point. I think it's a test of my (our) faith...and a way to potentially make it even stronger...tempered by fire. One of the things that Sandy used to say was, "Praise matter what." She had strong faith, even in the face of great adversity.
God bless you, tender and hurting soul. May your tears help to heal your heart.

May 31, 2014
variations on a theme
by: Anonymous

As twilight begins here on the east coast, I sit here after a long empty day of bouts of crying and thinking....I just saw all of your posts back and forth and it reminds me of how not alone in it all I am. So much heartbreak in all of your words.
The love of my life died suddenly 5 weeks ago of an unexpected heart attack and I find myself amazed that my heart is still beating still now at all. He was only 44 with a whole life and plans and dreams ahead of him. And yes, then on top of this agony, in comes his 21 year old daughter with lawyers, before his ashes are even scattered. Same daughter who never gave him one ounce of happiness or respect, or even any of her time while he was alive. Didn't even live in the same state. Same daughter that was raised by another man, her legal father, who had a say in her life growing up.
My man left no will and now this person, and her hateful vindictive mother, are going after every single thing he built, created and owned. He was a very respected photographer and artist and leaves behind a body of work that means so much more than money! It is is soul and his legacy and his passion and all they want is to turn it into meaningless cash. He died and all they see are dollar signs.
And it makes me feel so sick inside even just writing about it. None of us saw this coming. This daughter would have been given meaningful things with love from us. Instead they are going to just take everything. And relish it.
I miss him every second of every day, and miss our life together. And then on top of that I know he would hate what is happening. And I am powerless to stop it. We were together for 15 years, though not married, and it is his father who should be getting his work, this is what he would have wanted. His dad is a photographer too and would know how to properly archive and respect and honor his son's art.
I just keep telling myself that they can not touch what I am so grateful to have shared with him. It is about so much more than money.
I just am amazed that people like this exist in the world and I know I have to raise myself above such terrible pettiness. I fight with that coupled with devastating grief 24/7 now.
Again, knowing that I am not alone in these things, that many of you are experiencing very similar helps. It's just life I guess. The good, the bad and every single thing in between.
I wish us all peace and protection and strength and courage and moments of grace. Those special fleeting times when good memories flood us and they are so perfect that can only take us up not down.

May 31, 2014
Overcoming Hurts and Grief
by: Doreen UK

Rick I just had to reply.
I am not surprised about Sandy's family coming to see what they could get of her possessions and for blaming you for her death. LET THESE HURTFUL REMARKS GO OVER YOUR HEAD. I am not surprised. Many people on this site including myself can also TESTIFY to having the same experience.
This is the time you will have your eyes opened and know who you can TRUST and who you can't. I got a shock I couldn't believe how many VULTURES came my way. People I wouldn't have expected to walk out of my life and only came to see what they were going to get. There was a lot of grabbing. I do feel very INJURED by this behaviour. I regret I was so TRUSTING and GULLIBLE. My cousins partner did our garden and I allowed him to use the garage. BIG MISTAKE. He took too many of my husband's tools Personal items that had more sentimental value to me because I was going to give them to my son-in-law who would value them. Many personal items were stolen and also my husband's two long ladders. I lost a lot. I have to do all the house repairs and getting ripped off by tradesmen. This was a man I looked up to as being honest. I got a shock. I also have had to cut myself off of many people now, just at a time when you need people around you they are all gone, disappeared.
Sandy was a Christian with Integrity and Christian values. She would have known what the Bible says. "A mans' enemies are they of his own household." She wouldn't have been surprised by this. WE live in a sinful world and we must not be surprised by the behaviour of those who don't know any better. God is going to come down harder on those who knew to do good and didn't do it. Than people like your Dad and your siblings who don't know any better. As hard as it is to believe. The Spirit of God living in a person is working so that we can live with Love. This means even EMBRACING one's enemies. This includes our family. We have to live by a higher code which is to Overcome Evil with Good. Not easy but only with the Power of God working in and through us. May God walk with you and comfort you and give you His Peace.

May 31, 2014
Continued #2
by: Rick

Many thanks. You're all so very kind. One thing I've come to realize, is that NOBODY understands quite like those who've experienced this type of thing, and YOU good people truly do understand. I also understand and have great empathy now, especially for those of you who's families were disrespectful toward the absolutely most important person in your lives. It's clear that some of you have experienced that pain as well. I'm sorry. A warm hug to you.

One day, we were visiting my parents. It was just my parents and Sandy and me. Sandy was a huggy/kissy type of person…genuinely so…very loving and kind. As we went to leave, Sandy went to hug my father. He feigned fear and stepped back a foot or two and said, “Whoa”…as if Sandy might envelope him or something. Or maybe he was pretending he was afraid of Sandy’s “torpedoes” coming toward him. I don’t know. Regardless, it was so inappropriate.

Stupid people. I swear that I haven’t a clue why they treated Sandy in such a way. It certainly had nothing to do with Sandy personally.

To make things still worse…even though Sandy’s family (her brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews) had always seemed loving and accepting toward me when she was alive…things changed after her death. They actually blame me for her passing. They’ve been unbelievably mean to me since Sandy’s been gone…to the point that I want nothing to do with them now. They came to “help” me go through Sandy’s things. But they were obviously there to mostly help themselves. Through the years, Sandy had collected a lot of pretty china, fancy pictures, mirrors, lamps, etc. I gave her family a lot of that stuff. I wanted to be as generous as Sandy would’ve been. But they still weren’t satisfied. They were *issed off that I didn’t give them more. They said nasty things to me. They hurt me.

So I’ve had to pretty much go this alone.
It’s hard.

But Sandy had such strong faith, and was such an inspiration, that I depend on that to get me through. She was my shining light. She was actually able to bring me closer to God. I'm eternally grateful to her for this.

Again…my heart goes out to all of you for your terrible loss and your deep pain. As Sandy would ALWAYS say, "God bless you." God bless us all. Praise God forever…in Jesus’ name. Have faith that all who love God will be together again in heaven. And it will be GLORIOUS. Until then…we do have a purpose. (in spite of our pain) Our purpose is to love others, and to be an inspiration and "a vessel of God’s love"…as Sandy liked to say of herself, and WAS to so many who had the pleasure of experiencing her loving spirit. Much love to all.

A special thanks to the creators of this website and also to all who’ve posted. We help each other with the realization that we are not alone. Again I say. Wow…there are so many of us here.

– Rick

May 29, 2014
Loss of my biological family
by: Doreen UK

Part 2
Rick I wanted to expand and say to you that people should not advise you to go back to your family now your wife has died. When any family does not behave with Integrity it would be impossible to live in an environment with them without CONFRONTATION. Confronting your families behaviour would be of high importance because you know their behaviour was/is unacceptable. Otherwise to say nothing you would be condoning their behaviour that your found outrageous, and you would be an enabler by allowing such behaviour to continue and feel that it was O.K. Your every instinct would want to cry out, at such injustice toward Sandy. You would find it impossible to be in such an environment. When families behave badly all one can do is to leave them alone and to God to deal with. I know you must miss them. Your flesh and blood. But you would find it impossible to compromise. You did the right thing in walking away and establishing healthy boundaries. This was/is your families LOSS. My heart breaks for you because I understand how LONELY you will feel right now and on going for some time. I am so sorry for your loss of Sandy and for your huge loss of your biological family. If you find yourself struggling with both immense losses. then see a counsellor. I DID. I have healed emotionally in many ways. But grief is a long time journey in healing. May God be close to you at this time and give you His Comfort and Peace.

May 29, 2014
When families behave badly and don't accept our life partner!
by: Doreen UK

Rick I feel so sad for you from your post of a little of the way your family behaved. I can understand your need to support your wife and cut ties from your family. I have had to do this often.
My parents did not want me to marry because my boyfriend was of a different culture and they wanted to protect me from problems they had to endure. I went ahead and married this man I loved from day 1. WE were married 44yrs. before he died of cancer 2yrs. ago. Had I listened to my parents I would have been denied this happiness. My husband's family were the same. Different culture and different religion.
We had to endure so much hurt and pain from both sides of the family. Both families never fully accepted us and our marriage. My husband showed my family so much LOVE throughout those 44yrs. and totally supportive. His love shamed them. He was eventually highly regarded and honoured till the day he died. No one could fault him. My husband knew how his family felt so he put a Will in place and instructions for me to have the total control. But throughout those 44yrs. I still honoured my husband's family totally. I respected and honoured them despite much problems and cruelty from them. We were both Christians so had to have a high standard when carrying Christ's name. My in-laws persecuted me. Only God allowed me to overcome. They didn't like me controlling the funeral of their brother/uncle. My nieces became evil and put a curse on us and our house that I will end up having so many problems. Which has all come to pass. The nieces did not want me to have the house.
I still honoured them and buried my husband according to their custom and not cremate my husband how he wanted due to his fears. My husband would have been O.K. with this because it was important for me to honour his families wishes. I had to do the right thing and so was content I made the right decisions for the right reasons. I can live in Peace with my decision. WE had to get Law enforcement support. But I had to walk away from his family. I had to abbreviate my story due to the amount of words we are allowed.

May 29, 2014
Deepest sympathy
by: Lawrence

Hi Rick,
You may have been crying when you wrote this dedication to your beautiful wife Sandy, but I must tell you I was also crying just reading it as it brought back so many terrible memories,.
My cherished beloved wife also died in a second as we were talking, no goodbye, just her body on the floor. We had been together for nearly seventy years.
The shock and horror of that day will stay with me forever. .
There is no way to put into words the anguish and heartache, they just don’t exist, you are left reeling with the knowledge you will never see her smile or feel her kiss on your lips again, the house is so lonely and empty without her..
It is now seventeen months since my precious wife died and yet the tears and pain continues.
This morning I received a wedding invitation in the post with just my name on it, whereas in the past there had always been hers and mine, she would have loved to be looking for a new dress and a lovely present for the occasion..
It told me very succinctly that I was alone and to face the future without her; needless to say it brought a torrent of tears.
I miss her incredibly and I know I always will.
It is such early days for you, barely five months and your grief must be still unbearable, but as the weeks and months pass, the tears and agony will slowly ease as your body and spirit adjusts to your overwhelming loss
May I give you some advice?
“GET OUT OF THE HOUSE”. Don’t sit alone and wallow in your misery, do anything, go for a long walk, join a social club, learn to play bridge, or if you already play a musical instrument, start playing again, anything, anything to occupy your mind.
I do all those things and more besides but I still come back in the evening to a lonely cold house, I don’t call it a home anymore, a home needs love and laughter, without it it’s just bricks and mortar.
You have joined, unfortunately a web site of people also desperately seeking escape from the pain of losing a very special person, read all our stories and perhaps it will help you, as it did me when honestly I didn’t want to live without her .I am so very grateful to them all.
Being a widower is without doubt the very worst thing that can happen to you, never again will you feel complete, but remember; she is always with you in your heart and wouldn’t want you to suffer such anguish.
Thank God for the passionate and wonderful twenty seven years you had together, not many people get to experience such love.
With my deepest sympathy.

May 29, 2014
it's not fair
by: Heidi

I’m so sorry for the excruciating pain you’re going through. I don’t know when it will stop hurting so much. It sounds like you had such a wonderful loving relationship over all those years. And it’s just not fair that she was taken from you and so young.

My world shattered last October 2013. Mickey was my best friend and soul mate. We did everything together. It took me over a month before I could go to any stores because we always did that together. I could barely force myself to eat. It took every once of strength to just get out of bed let alone force myself to take care of our pets or go to work. Driving down the same streets we drove together for over 15 years brought on such a rush of tears I’d have to pull over. I am never far from a box of tissues.

I still can’t believe he is gone and not coming back to me. I wander the house which holds so many memories. It’s just not possible that he’s not here. Why did this have to happen? My Mickey was only 58 years old and died from a hospital error. I know I won’t ever understand. We both believe in God and I pray that I can join Mickey in Heaven someday. Until then I take care of our pets the best I can. I know they miss him too. He was the fun one that played with them all the time. He was able to even get our elderly and blind dog to play while he held her in his arms. We also don’t have children together.

We had plans for our future. Little things like getting a railing on the front porch so we could sit out there together. Some bigger long range things like getting a camper someday and traveling the country.

I didn’t realize there are others where family has caused so much hurt. My family was not good to my Mickey either. They disowned me for years until I was able to finally re-connect with them. I didn’t even tell them about Mickey’s passing until two weeks after because I just couldn’t cope with how they would/wouldn’t react. Even if they wanted to make amends, they will never be able to make it up to him. That is something they have to own and hopefully work on. I’ve had complete strangers offer me more sympathy and support than my own family. They’ve hardened my heart towards them which I know is not what God wants and with His guidance I am working on that. And I know Mickey wouldn’t want me to feel that way either. Mickey was such a loving, good, honest, and decent person.

Your Sandy was a wonderful caring person who gave of herself even in her work as a nurse. Surround yourself with pictures and let happy memories from all your years together comfort you. Crying is a good release even physically.

I was in a ‘functioning shock’ for months after his death. Now that the shock has worn off reality has forced its way in and I still struggle through each day without my husband. As others have said on this wonderful, sanity-saving site, ‘one day at a time’.

May 28, 2014
by: Anonymous

Thank you Doreen…and Judith…and Anonymous. Peace to you.

I had written more, and wanted to include it last night, but we’re limited on how many words we can I’ll continue here.

For the first 4 or 5 years that Sandy and I were together, my mother wouldn’t allow Sandy to come to our family’s Christmas “celebration”…because we weren’t married, and because Sandy wasn’t “really part of the family.” My mother even got my 5 younger brothers and 4 younger sisters involved by having them vote on the issue. (I’m the eldest) I’m sure that some of them felt pressured to take my mother’s side. Regardless, the vote went against us. Finally one year, my mother told me, “Rick…you can bring Sandy to Christmas this year.” I was naive. I was grateful. Then my mother added, “But Sandy won’t be allowed to be part of the gift exchange.” Whaaaat?!? I told Sandy that I didn’t want us to go. But even though she was aware of the stipulation…and because of the type of person she was…she convinced me that we should go anyway, in the interest of keeping good relations with my family. So we went. But once the presents started to be opened, I could see that this was ridiculously cruel. What a sad joke. I had us leave as soon as we could without being too obvious and offending anyone. Sandy cried that night…and I did too…for her.

Neither my mother nor my 4 sisters ever called Sandy even one single time over the 27 years that we were together…even though Sandy made efforts to love them.

One Mother’s day, Sandy came home from working a night shift, with her pickup bed full of huge beautiful hanging baskets of flowers…one for my mother and one for each of my sisters. Sandy was tired, so I delivered them. But nobody ever called Sandy to thank her. My mother did call me…and told me to thank Sandy for her. But why would she not call Sandy directly…as anybody would?

Even my 5 brothers and my father got in on the act. Sandy was not a “little” woman. Even early on when she was slimmer, she had quite a figure. And over the years, she had gained some weight. (she was still beautiful) My brothers made fat jokes and big boob jokes behind our backs…and even directly to me. There was one occasion…then a second…when one brother, then another was verbally inappropriate to her. I cold never imagine myself talking to one of my sibling's spouses in such a way.

May 28, 2014
your dear Sandy
by: Anonymous--MI

Rick, my husband died of Sudden Cardiac Arrest also 18 months ago and the shock and numbness have been with me a long time. I am very sad that your Sandy has died; I am still grieving and expect I will for the rest of my life. My husband was only 65 years old when he died and we were married 43 wonderful years. I have been able to go from day to day only with the help and strength that God grants me. It is very difficult and try as I may it is a long sad journey. I hope that you will look to our Lord and Savior for His love and mercy to see you through these dark days. He is our only hope. I know I will see my husband in heaven when I too shall leave this earth. May God grant you peace.

May 28, 2014
The loss of Sandy
by: Judith in California

My heart aches for you Rick. You wrote so beautifully of your and beautiful Sandy's love. You were so fortunate to have had those years and God blessed the both of you. What a wonderful love story. The most horrible part of loving someone so dearly is to loose them forever. It's the price we pay. But we wouldn't change a thing and would do it all over if only we could. It's been 3 yrs 8 months for me.
I pray strength for you to handle the horrible roller coaster grief journey and peace that comes with acceptance eventually.

May 28, 2014
My dear sweet Sandy
by: Doreen UK

Oh Rick I am so very sorry for your loss of your beloved wife. The tone of your post resonated such deep love for Sandy like a Romance that should never be interrupted. You had a mutual respect where she let you finish off your truck repairs whilst she allowed herself the space to unwind from her hard days work before you came together. How your heart must have ached that she did not have the chicken noodle soup. It is these little things that one remembers later on about the passing of their loved one. The fact you will never see her again. share meals together. Grow old together and enjoy more Blessed Years together. Oh! How it hurts.
I lost my beloved husband of 44yrs. 2yrs. ago to a deadly cancer growing inside him for 40yrs. since he cut his first sheet of asbestos as a carpenter in the workplace. He died of an Industrial Disease. His environment killed him before Asbestos was known as a dangerous substance. His cancer was incurable, inoperable and terminal. I nursed him for over 3yrs. before he died in May 2012.
This is the time when you can have supportive family and friends or they walk away after the funeral. A pattern that seems all too familiar. I can understand your pain at losing your family, and for the disrespect and non-acceptance of your wife into their hearts. Some fences can't be mended and so can many relationships never be repaired. My son walked away on the day of me burying his Dad. He was newly married just 1yrs. and it was a complex relationship. But he has the Integrity and right values of commitment to make a marriage work. But it still takes two to make the marriage work.
My husband was due to retire from having worked hard for over 47yrs. for his retirement and then dies. I have to do retirement alone.
2yrs. on I feel my grief worse as the LONELINESS and EMPTINESS bite into me. The best way forward is ONE DAY AT A TIME. And even this is so hard to bear. Grief assaults the body, mind, and emotions. I regret I only had 3 children. They are adults now, living their own lives. To lose a spouse is the worst pain in the world. I feel unable to re-build my life without him. I want to talk and discuss things with him and he is not here.
Believing in Jesus we know where we go when we die, and look forward with HOPE to eternal life where we will be re-united with our loved ones when Jesus comes back for us.
Death is such a hard experience to go through. The pain is unbearable.
May God draw close to you and comfort you and give you His Peace.

May 28, 2014
Dear Rick,
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry to read about your wife. What a beautiful post you have written in her honor. My father died exactly the same way on January 14, 2013. The shock and suddeness of Cardiac Arrest is devastating. Like you and your wife, my parents enjoyed time together in the morning, and four hour later he was gone. While I have finally come to accept his death, the pain is still raw, and my world will never be the same. I can only tell you that there are many wonderful people who post here, and you will find support and understanding. I will keep you in my thoughts and hope you can find some comfort here as you begin to heal. Barb

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