The Widow Series: Left Too Soon
1. How old are you?
I'm 46 now.
2. How long were you married for?
I was married for 27 years.
3. How many children do you have?
I have four beautiful handsome sons between ages 16-27 years old.
4. When did your spouse pass?
My husband passed away at the beginning of 2017.
5. What was it like when your husband pass? How did your kids deal?
It was the hardest thing anyone could ever go through. To watch the love of your life take his last breath was the hardest thing I could ever witness. Knowing that no matter how much I love him, he would never be with me. I never thought that my soulmate who was supposed to love me and grow old with me would suddenly one day leave me behind to no longer hold my hand.
It was so hard for my four sons to witness their dad passing away right before their eyes and to know that he would never get to watch them grow up, get marry or see them have children of their own. My youngest sons had a very, very difficult time dealing with their dad's death and to witness something that they never expected. My youngest son had nightmares for about one and a half years until he was able to sleep and be a little bit of himself again. He had to go through a lot of therapy and counseling to be able to come to term about his dad's death.
We have been fortunate because I have four brothers and older cousins that always checks in with my boys weekly.
6. How did you deal with grief?
After he took his last breath, I was in so much shock that I didn't cry. I felt completely numb, and like a part of me had died that day. When he passed, he took my life away also.
After the nurses unplugged him from the machines, I went to say a last goodbye. He was really cold, and I knew that it was just the shell of his body left, but I didn't want to leave.
I came home to my four boys, and slept with them, knowing that this is now our life.
Every day is a struggle. I just felt numb, and I lost quite a bit of weight because I didn't want to eat and I couldn't get myself to eat.
My siblings were really supportive, and especially one of my sisters. I would call her whenever I didn't feel good, and she would just let me talk and talk and talk.
Today, there are still triggers that will get to me, whether it be a song that we used to listen to or a place that we have gone before. Prior to his passing, he loved to travel so we saw quite a bit of the world around us. The first time I went back to the ocean by myself, I cried knowing that he and I would never get the chance to see it again together in the flesh.
7. How was the funeral?
My husband's older brother and uncles planned the funeral. I didn't have to worry about any of the planning which was nice since I couldn't have managed to plan the funeral, take of my boys and deal with my own grief.
I cashed out my 401(k) in order to fund the funeral. We didn't get any financial help for the funeral; however, I will be forever grateful to all the women that baked desserts and came to cook the food.
I don't remember much from the funeral. We did shorten some of the funeral rituals since my husband was younger, and he didn't have any daughters-in-law yet.
The reality of his passing became more real after the funeral. I felt terribly lonely.
A month after his funeral, I had a dream of him. He came and sat on my bed, caressed my hair, and kissed me on my forehead. I was sleeping, but I could see everything that he was doing. When I woke up, I could feel the lingering wetness from his kiss on my forehead. That was the last time I dreamt about him.
8. What is life like now?
Life without my husband is very hard, and it dramatically changed our life and the people that know him. It's so hard to come home and not hear his voice.
Financially, it's impacted our family. I've had to learn how to make sure that we have enough money to pay the bills.
Tryin to keep the family together is also hard. With four boys going through different stages of life, it's hard for me to juggle and make sure that I can encourage them and keep everyone positive.
Every day is a struggle to survive and to make the best of everything and not take life for granted.
9. What makes you the saddest and hurt?
The saddest thing is seeing my children miss their dad out of the blue or whenever I hear one of our songs, then it'll trigger my memories and I'll start crying out of the blue. It also makes me sad when there are party gatherings, and I know my husband will not be with us. The hardest part is during the holidays, but we try our very best to live life for him and for us.
I feel that because I don't have a husband now, some people look down on me. My sister-in-law would lecture me about hanging out with my friends and their husbands. She says that my friends might not like if I am talking with their husband. I am not one to seek other people's husbands, and it makes me sad that she felt the need to lecture me about that. I have never been that way, and because of my situation, I don't know why the perception is that I would now be that way. She also lectures me about asking people to help me around the house. I don't have anyone helping me around the house. I am a grown women, and I understand people's perception of me. I tread carefully, and I don't need to be lectured on these things.
10. Do you have the support of family - his or yours?
Yes, I am very fortunate that my family and the people closest to us has been there giving us unconditional love, care, and support that my family and I needed. Without my family, I don't know what I would do.
11. Are you dating now? If so, what does your family think?
Yes, I'm dating now after two and a half years of being a widow. I feel like I have found the right person that is going to be there for me and to love me and to give the support that I need. I know the road that I'm taking is one that took me a long time to decide on. I think that with him being by my side, I would be able to continue without my life. My family and my children are very supportive of me. They told me that I am still young and I still have a long life ahead of me and that it's okay to start dating and to move on. They know that their dad will never come back anymore so they feel like I should be able to move on with my life and find somebody that will be able to cherish me as much as I have cherished my marriage.
12. What advice would you give for someone who has lost their partner?
Be strong and treasure the memories that you had with them and live for yourself and your children because they will be your strength in life. Always treasure every moment because life is too short.