Responses to a Recent Ask Dr. Neimeyer Post about Sudden Death

Editor’s Note:  I don’t think we’ve ever had as many comments as we have to a recent post “After the Sudden Death of a Husband, finding meaning in life.” Here are a few of them:

B1:…I relate, I lost my husband … I am still grieving terribly. I am in your shoes as far as financial issues. I worked hard my whole life and so did my husband. Now I am dirt poor and on social security. It is the elephant in the room. I live in a camper trailer, and I think that says it all. I am 66. I do understand. I hope you are doing ok

B2… for my Husband. He was only 53 and also died of liver failure. I will never be ashamed of how he died, he had an addiction to alcohol, just like people have other illness. He was my hero and I better never hear anyone speak ill of him. He was also a functioning alcoholic. Life can be cruel. I love and miss him terrible.

CH: I lost my husband of almost 46 years 12 weeks ago. We were out to dinner to celebrate his birthday and he collapsed at the table and couldn’t be revived. I am lost without him. I am trying to go on for my children but feel like I want to wake up from a bad dream.

DJ: My husband of 33 years died of a stroke on …. He didn’t want to be incubated so he died with comfort care and myself and sons by his side. I’m lost, can’t figure out what to do and feel so incredibly alone. we are having a memorial service in a couple weeks but I’m actually dreading that. He had just retired a year and a half ago. We had so many plans.

CJ: … I lost my Husband in May … He went into hospital when we were on holiday – for fluid retention – I thought, but he died 17 days later. Totally devastated. In fact probably numb for quite some time. We had been together for 37 years and were extremely close. We have a special needs Son and I couldn’t believe it but he stepped up and took over from my Husband – in some ways. He had strength I didn’t and still don’t. I miss my Husband terribly every single day and I will go to him with ease when my time comes. I wanted to die too when it first happened but I have our Son to care for. If you have Children or Grandchildren maybe try to put your energy into them, it may ease the pain. Best of Luck to you…xx

GE: I just lost my fiancé suddenly on …,which was two weeks ago today. He was only 50 years old. he started having back pains in his lower back and it come and go. He was going to go to the doctor but he changed his mind. So we went and laid down in bed and I didn’t know he wasn’t going to wake up the next day. Before I fell asleep I rubbed my fingers down his face as he was snoring his eyes were closed and he did this big smile. I told him I loved him and I guess I fell asleep which was around midnight and ,well I woke up at 625 am his stomach wasn’t moving up and down and he wasn’t snoring, he was in the same exact way he was when I laid down next to him. I screamed and tried to wake him up and couldn’t then I called 911 and they came and tried to bring hm back but couldn’t. I get so bad and asked God to please bring him back. If I only knew the signs of someone passing away or that backpain could be more serious I still feel like I let him pass away. I have asked God and my fiancé to forgive me but I haven’t seen him or feel his presence here with me. I put his pictures up everywhere so I remember him smiling and not how I found him that morning. I still don’t know how he passed away suddenly. I know is something about major organ failure. He was so nervous about turning 50 and was under a lot of stress. He was the sweetest person I ever met. Always had great jokes, talked to me about God Every day, always was feels so quiet and lonely without him. I have our cat, which he misses him too. I wear his engagement\wedding ring on a necklace and wear mine everyday we were going to get married but never got too. We weren’t together as long as many of you but we were together 5 years and 8 was the best ears of my life and I miss him everyday. I lay on his side of the bed because it hurts not seeing him next to me. Imiss his arms around me and everything. I have three twenty second videos of him talking, doing his air guitar, and joking around. I watch them so I remember his voice. I want to go be with him so so glad I finally experienced what it felt like to have someone really love me like I do him. He was my everything. I just hope he forgives me someday for not knowing he was passing away and not getting help in of the EMS lady told me he passed away peacefully in his sleep next to me but I don’t know if he really did or if she wanted to make me feel better. I just feel so awful and upset that I’m still here and he isn’t. I always wanted to go before him. I just love and miss him so much. I just don’t want to move on without him. I feel empty without him

MA: I lost my beautiful husband of 17 years on …, he died of a massive heart attack in front of me. He was 57 years old and reasonably healthy, working full time with 7 years to go before his retirement. It was sudden shocking and brutal. We just spent 7 days over Christmas and New Year’s in a countryside away from home, taking walks on the beach, eating well and relaxing. We had a beautiful dinner on New Year’s Eve, said that we loved each other and hugged. I miss him terribly, I cry and burn candles for him and can’t imagine life without him. Yet I also accept that death is our lot and we will all go one day. I would love to meet him again, be together again, have another chance to tell him how much I loved him, hug him and hold him close. It’s so difficult to accept that it will not happen again on this earth, not in this life. Yet I feel his spirit and talk to him all the time. People think it helpful to tell me to move on, find someone else, end the grieving, I get angry at them for not understanding that it just doesn’t work like that. Allow yourself time and space to feel what you feel. I think that we need to thread our paths as they unfold ahead of us and appreciate the beauty and pain alike, accept it. Love and solace to all of you who, like me, lost their beloveds.

PM: I lost my precious husband suddenly on July…. The pain I’ve been feeling is so unbearable, especially since I watched him die. He had lung cancer which seemed to be getting better since it was shrinking. He developed a blood clot in his lung a month before but they put him on blood thinners which made it go away. We were making plans for the next year for us to go on another cruise. On that early morning I heard him coughing in the bathroom, the last words he said to me were Pam, I’m coughing up blood again, I can’t breathe, go get me my inhaler, I went to get his inhaler and heard him hit the floor, and saw him bleed out from his mouth…called 911, they worked on him for an hour and almost another hour at the hospital. He died from a major hymoptysis. That was the worse thing I could ever see. It’s been 2 months and I still see visions of him dying. I miss him so much, I love him so much. I don’t understand why he had to go that way. I feel alone, lost, angry, depressed. I ask God to please let me see him again so I can tell him how much I love him. Nothing feels the same anymore. I want the love of my life back, he died 10 days before our 3rd anniversary. We were together for 14 years but got married 2018. We also didn’t have children together but have children separately. I still talk to him like he’s here, I still can’t believe this has happened. He was well loved by everyone who knew him. He would have turned 69 this year. This is the worse feeling I’ve ever felt in my life

3 thoughts on “Responses to a Recent Ask Dr. Neimeyer Post about Sudden Death”

  1. I lost my Husband suddenly, one minute he sitting talking to me about what to have for supper with our granddaughter and about camping, our vacation coming up in June and in 30 min he gone. He left for work and 30 min later there was an accident at his work place. How can your life change so quickly in 30 minutes. When it happened I went to the site and was there waiting for help but none came quick enough. what a helpless and heart breaking feeling it is to know he would of done anything to save me and I could only stand and wait for help. It happen march 5, 2021 I still came believe he is gone. The Company he worked for owned the property we livened so within days of the accident they sold to another company. Now I not only faced dealing with all I was left with but now moving and relocating after 20 plus years of being there our dream place. Downsizing wow what a job. I had to sell everything we owed because of where I was moving didn’t have room. I went from a 3,000 sq to about 900sq and My husband had a huge barn full of tools and fishing equipment, I had told one time if anything every happened I never sell your stuff. He said well that’s silly it be ok. The feeling of knowing that someone ells will be sleeping in the bed you and your husband slept in for 20 plus years and riding the 4 wheeler he bought you, or fishing in the boat that you just fish in days before he died is like an out of body experience. we were together for 40 years. He is my best and only friend.
    I find now that people don’t call or offer to help move me even though they all said right away we be there. They don’t even call to see if I am ok. So I am moving myself one load at a time and going through stuff. What an emptiness I feel every minute I am breathing. Now in stead of retiring at the end of the year I am having to work, in just 30 min my whole life changed and will never be the same and i never even got a say in it. We always kissed and hug every morning before leaving and prayed come home safe. The strange thing is after he left about 30 min later I was over whelm with a feeling to see him as if he been gone for days. I couldn’t get past the feeling and telling myself he be home soon for lunch but as if time stood still the clock wasn’t moving I just paced the floor not understanding what I was feeling. the last words spoken to me by my husband was call if you need anything I be close.

  2. Hello All,
    I started this post after my partner’s sudden death. Dr Niemeyer’s advice was sound and considered and I tried my best to follow it . It’s just over 3 1/2 years since my partner’s death and I still can’t find any meaning in my life, it’s so pointless and empty without him. It doesn’t matter what I do, I’ve tried voluntary work, old and new hobbies, studying but they’re just time fillers and I can’t stick to any of them. I do every thing needed to keep the house, garden and car running and tidy, sort out the paperwork none of those things are difficult for me. What is difficult is the complete pointlessness of if all. and the thought that I might have another 10 or 20 years of this ahead of me fills me with despair. The lockdowns during the pandemic haven’t bothered me I’ve been alone day and night since he died. I get through each day but that’s all it is , getting through each day. I go out everyday, talk to neighbours and the few relatives I have and try not to drag other people down . I don’t matter to anyone now, I’m not lonely but completely alone. For months I went to counselling in the hope that one day something would help in the end it made me feel worse and I stopped going. Why does everyone think you feel better in time? Some people do I’m sure, many remarry and are happy again and I hope that people who read this don’t all think they’re going to feel the same as I do but for the ones who do , you are not alone. Best wishes to all.

    1. I relate to your story so much. How you dread the years ahead. I do too! My husband died suddenly two weeks ago. We were married happily 26 years. It wasn’t perfect tho. But he was my sweet man. He was also a drug addiction. I’m still waiting on the blood tests, although there’s no way he be clean. I was his and he was mine, ever since we met in our 20s. The thought of having to wait here on earth 30/40 years to get to go be with him again makes me sick! I dint want to be here if he’s not. The time here in limbo sounds horrible!

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