Not ready to say goodbye

by Missy Gilliam
(Upper sandusky Ohio)

the day before Don died

the day before Don died

my husband and I were on vacation in North Carolina. After spending a nice quiet day together doing nothing but relaxing and a little shopping. We then went to dinner around 7pm and spent a couple hours there talking with our daughter and some of her friends. While he was driving us back from dinner he said "well my shoulder hurts again,(he thought because where it hurt it was his rotator cuff) can you hand me a tylenol?"As soon as he took the pill he said "See Missy its done hurting already". Thats when he slummped over and died. He was 48 I am 44. That was July 20 2012, we buried him July 27 2012, our 23 wedding anniversary would have been the very next day.
We had just began our life as empty nesters and had so many plans for our future. My heart breaks for him that he worked so hard for us and now he is gone just that quick. My heart is broken and I am crushed. How does a spouse go on? How do I find this new normal everyone tells me about? my identity has always been wife, and mom. Now Im mom to kids who are finding their own way in the world as they should be, but who am I now? I was Missy, Donnys wife and thats all I ever wanted to be. Now what?
I love you Donny, Forever and a day

Comments for Not ready to say goodbye

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Aug 13, 2012
8 months in my new reality
by: Debbie

Last fall, I got the call my husband did not show up for work, he died of a heart attack in his sleep at his temporary apartment for a temporary job, out of state. He just said he was really tired and that he loved me, tell the kids I love them. He'd spoken with our son that same evening before I got that call. The call was his cell phone number to my cell phone, but a stranger was on the other end of the call. I told them I was at work. They asked if I was driving? I said just TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED. He passed away, they broke down the door and found him in bed, laying across it with his remote in his hand. He was the love of my life. I always knew and never doubted that he loved me. Cleaning out his temporary apartment, I found evidence he was involved with other women. Cards, gifts, letters, from them. Cell phone messages, texts. Too many to discount as my imagination. He is dead. No resolution. No way to ask him why? No way to be mad and he know that I'm angry. It's like a song that the last note should be there, but the song just response. Such a mix of emotions, normal grief for the sudden loss of a spouse, plus the anger and hurt of being cheated on.

Aug 13, 2012
Dealing with the pain
by: Anonymous

There is a line from a movie some years ago where a man lost his wife that, I believe, says it all. He said after she died that "I have plenty of people to do things with. I have no one to do nothing with." My wife died of cancer 6 weeks ago and while I have a lot of great friends who are always offering to do things with me, I have no one to just sit with on my front porch and do nothing as my wife and I often did. We would have been married 30 years this December (12/12/12) and we had a big celebration planned. I am 65, she was 59 and we planned to spend a lot of time traveling this summer as I am getting ready to retire (or was getting ready). Then the phone call came on April 12, 2012 with the results of a test and 10 weeks later she was gone. She had just about the rarest cancer there is - less than 200 documented cases EVER. It's been a very difficult 6 weeks as all of you know and all of the nice things people say about having all the memories and that she is still with me and watching over me help for a little while but there is no getting around it. It is very painful and we have to face it and let it run its course and not fight it. This is the way we are supposed to feel after losing a loved one. Missy, try to take comfort in the thought that the intense pain you are feeling is a measure of how much you loved your husband. Some wise man once said that it is not the intelligent or strong who survive but the one who is adaptable to change. I believe we are all able to adapt to change in time as difficult as that may seem now. It's hard to ever imagine enjoying life again but others have done it and so can we.

Aug 09, 2012
by: Ralph

Dear Missy,

Forget about the new normal. There will be nothing normal going forward. No one can tell you how to go on. When you lose a spouse, suddenly (as I did), you become unmoored. The reality is that you will need to find that yourself -- when you're ready. This just happened, and I know what you're going through.

This site helped me, especially in the first few months. I also recommend reading some books -- Joan Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking" was helpful, because it charted her journey through the first year -- which I found to be almost identical to what I experienced. Another is a the personal website of woman who lost her husband suddenly. It also features a daily blog that graphs her journey. Again, there are so many similarities that I found hope in reading them. The website is

I found kinship important -- a connection to others whose lives have been upturned by the lose of their partner. For months, I read all I can get my hands on to understand what happened, and what was happening to me.

I'm so very sorry for what happened.



Aug 09, 2012
by: AnonymousDAWN

My grief is only 3weeks old My Dad was the kindest loving supportive dad on this planet the loss i am feeling is overwhelming he died suddenly of a heart attack although he was 85 he wasn't ill and was such a shock to me and my family. I also have my mum who is in hospital just now as she has stopped eating and drinking due to her dementia telling my mum about my dad was the hardest thing i have ever had to do in my life as i still don't know if she took anything in Iam so worried about my mum that i am not getting a chance to grieve my dad the love they shared all these years was wonderful and it hurts to think she can't remember my heart goes out to everyone who has lost someone and hope you all find peace soon.

Aug 09, 2012
Not ready to say goodbye
by: Doreen U.K.

Missy I am sorry for your loss of your husband Donny. I was married for 44yrs. and 3 months ago I lost my beloved Steve on 5th May 2012. Steve was an exhibition carpenter and worked with Asbestos in his 20's. 3 yrs to retire he went to the doctors. they found shadows on his lung. A biopsy told the horror on March 28th 2009. You have MESOTHELIOMA. A rare and serious form of lung cancer. inoperable, incurable, aggressive. 10 chemo's and 10 radiotherapy only bought Steve time of 3yrs. 39days. I was his caregiver. I still feel devastated. To think a man spends his whole life working. Looking forward to retiring. His working life over and 40 years building up his pension. ALL GONE. In a moment. I am in the same place as you. EMPTY NEST. No life to look forward to. Steve is not here. I eat ALONE. Sleep ALONE. ALONE forever. I don't know what to do with ME. As wives we are wrapped up in our family. Our identity goes through a change when the kids leave home. Now our husband's leave. What do we do with ourselves. Firstly you have to take one day at a time. don't make any major decisions like moving. Don't make changes to your life until you are ready. Whenever that is. You will know when. It is such a cruelty to have to live with for the rest of our lives. It is hard going on each new day knowing you don't have your husband at your side. All the simple things like conversation, walks. trips to the shopping mall, etc. Just a simple humble life and it has been taken away so brutally. I just rise to a new day with nothing special to look forward to. I can't motivate myself to do anything. All those sweet tender moments and memories feel as if they have been incinerated. I find it so difficult to not focus on WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN. This is a cycle of life I could do without. I DON'T WANT CHANGE. I liked my life the way it was. I don't want the complication of getting used to new things, new outlets. Feeling the odd one out when I go out with my 2 sisters and their husbands. Steve had a very good relationship with his 2 brother-in-laws. They miss him dreadfully. I want to touch him and feel he is real, but he is not here. then REALITY HITS ME. He has gone forever. I TOO WAS NOT READY TO SAY GOODBYE.

Aug 08, 2012
Never Ready
by: Judith in California

Oh Missy, I'm so sorry for your loss. There is never a good time to die for our spouses. Even if they are sick and old. It's the hardest thing you will ever do and I wish I could ease your pain. All I can tell you is it does get less..less tears but it will take you one breath, one second, one day at a time. You will go throught the widow emotional roller coaster ride of greif. It will toss and turn you in so many ways but on the other side of it is acceptance and peace. You will always have a grief corner in your mind and a hole in your heart where he belongs. You will forever be changed from who you were. You will hopefully move frward and begin a new life. It will all feel so strange as you carve it out. I wish you to get to the peaceful and acceptance side and May God guide you and strengthen you.

It's been 23 months for me

Aug 08, 2012
I'm sorry for your pain and loss
by: Anonymous

Loss is so difficult and painful...I have had my share over the past 8 months...I am sorry for your pain and I wish I could tell you how to get through it..I think it is different for everyone. I am truly sorry.

Aug 08, 2012
Good bye ..too soon
by: Carroll

Missy, I am so sorry for your loss of your sweetheart and love. I lost Tony on 4/11/12 after 17 yrs. He was my all and rock too. I focus on the fun, loving wonderful times we spent together. I am grateful to have the time I did have and try not to focus on what will no longer be. How do we do this...we just keep trying and pray for help. It has helped me to say the Serenity prayer (over and over) and ASK GOD to send his angels to wrap their wings around me to help me through this terrible grief and loss. I stay engaged in TV or reading or busy with grandchildren until I can face the loss more on my terms. If not...I am constantly thinking about my sweet Tony and how much I miss him and our companionship. Stay strong and just one day, one breath @ a time. I wish you Peace and hope this site helps you.

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