Russ was my Soul Mate

by Diane
(Cadillac, MI)

I accidentally stumbled onto this website. I am glad I did. I was searching for answers or at least something to tell me I wasn’t alone.
Exactly 6 months ago today was the beginning of the end. My husband, lover and best friend, Russ received his death sentence. We were told he had terminal stage 4 colon/liver cancer. He passed away 5 weeks later. Russ was 61 and the man of my dreams for 32 years.
It was so sudden, so unexpected. I had purchased a hobey-cat sailboat for him for Father’s Day. After going out sailing a couple of times he had severe pain in his upper stomach area.
The first Doctor he went to suggested it was a pulled muscle. On July 5th we ended up in the emergency room, where they thought he was having a heart attack.
They ran several tests, only to determine he had a good heart. (That I knew) They decided to admit him for more tests thinking it might be his gallbladder. The next day I was informed they were going to do a liver biopsy. On my way to the hospital the doctor called me to see how soon I could be at the hospital.
It all went downhill from there. We were told to go home and get his affairs in order and possibly do things on his bucket list.
He was in so much pain that any travel we may have wanted to do was impossible. Within a week his liver had started to throw off blood clots. He ended up back in the hospital with pneumonia and a pulmonary embolism. That delayed any treatments or surgeries.
Two weeks later they tried to do a colonoscopy but the tumor was so large they could not get past it to see how extensive it actually was. So they planned a surgery to do a colostomy and bypass the tumor. They discovered then just how extensive and all invasive the cancer was.
And by then he was in so much pain and so weak. The liver had really started to deteriorate and it was apparent more clogs were being sent out into his system.
On August 4 he came home from the hospital for the last time with the assistance of Mercy Hospice. They were a blessing and a God-send. On August 7th he developed the complication of severe and chronic hic-cups they lasted for almost 3 days before they finally found a medication to stop them. However, he was so exhausted he could barely speak or move. Within 36 hours it was as if he had had a stroke. His last spoken words to me were “I Love You”
On August 13, 2011 at approximately 2:25 am he peacefully just stopped breathing and his wonderful strong beautiful heart stopped beating. And my thought was NO, wait, STOP! you need to tell me what to do now.. There is so much more we need to do. So much more we need to say to each other. So much time we still need together.
He was my rock, my strength; he was the one person I could lean on. He held me up in times of crisis. He gave me wings and kept me grounded. Who was going to do that now? In this time when I needed him the most, who was going to hold me together?
Now here, on the 6 month mark, I am still asking the same questions along with so many other questions.

Comments for Russ was my Soul Mate

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Feb 08, 2012
by: Diane

Thank you both for your words of encouragement. I am not a new comer to grief. 12 years ago I lost my oldest son, he was 25. In his situation he had a battle with depression and lost. He took his own life on July 17, 1999. He left behind a 5 year old son and a 3 year old daughter at the time. And then as now, I kept telling myself to just breath. Inhale-exhale. Tears are shed every day, however they have to be shed in private as there are others who need me to be strong.
When my son died I had Russ to lean on, to be my strength, to hold me late at night when all the demons come out. Now he is gone and there are no strong arms or shoulders to lean on. No one to help me through the pain and the tears.
Our youngest son was extremely close to his dad, they were buddies, Ken still refers to his dad as his best friend and hero. Russ was actually the best man at Ken's wedding. So I need to show some degree of strength to help him through this hard time I know he is having.
Being here on this site gives me a place to go to shed my tears in private with people who are shedding the same kind of tears.
Thank you. It doesn't make it hurt less nor are there any strong arms. But I know I am not alone here.

Feb 07, 2012
by: Anonymous

My condolensces to the loss of your husband. I am not at the 6th month point yet. I to lost my husband very suddenly 3 months, 6 days and 6 hours and some minutes ago in Corozal, Belize Central America. We cannot change what happened to either of us but we can make a choice as what we do going forward. I loved my husband who was my best friend, companion and soul mate. It was all very unexpected and so sudden. I miss his very much and the pain and loneliness sometimes seems unbearable. I know that he would want me to move on with my life and some point and I will. He is a part of me and trust me, no one can take that from me. Your husband is a part of you and no one can ever take that from you.
I was talking with my son who was involved in a very tragic accident 15 years ago this October. He still grieves because of the two lives that were lost. He was the driver and they were the passengers. After he went upstairs to his room I thought of a book that I bought when I was still working about 3 years. It is called "Who Moved My Cheese?" by Spencer Johnson, M.D. Do not ask me why I thought of it but I did. It is about dealing with change not only in our work but in our lives. Death and grief are two very real changes that we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. It is not pretty and if we let it, it can consume us and destroy us. I made the decision that grief was not going to get the better part of me because I know that is what my husband would have wanted.
Death is a very real and personal change that we all must face at some point in our lives. We cannot change that even if we wanted to. I am learning to take one breath, one step and one day at a time. I still cry everyday, not as often as I did the first three months. I know that I need to move on and that the only person that can help me is me. You are your best friend right now. Trust youself and most of all Trust in the Good Lord. He will guide us all as we make this journey, though it is not an easy one.
We are all in this together. But we will all survive it and hopefully come out a better person for it.

Feb 07, 2012
Road to Peace
by: Judith in California

Diane, this grieving time and road to recovery is the hardest thing you'll ever do. I'm so sorry for your loss and in that I mean it's not just your husband you lost but all the great things that were part of your love. People don't realize that when we loose a spouse there is no more --no more loving cards on special occasions, no little gifts of love and appreciation, no more compliments of how pretty we are or a hand to hold and our ability to reach out in the night and touch them and feel comfort.

Please read more here on this site from those of us who have been at the 6 month mark and you'll see you are not alone. We will always love our loves who passed but with strength from God you will get to the peaceful side of this horrible emotional roller coaster road of grief in time.

You now must become your own best friend and take care of you and become self reliant in those things you must deal with each day. But first take it one day, one breath, one step at a time.

Come back often Diane and know we are here for you.

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