I met my wife freshman year in college. We became friends and started dating. We ended up getting married at the same time we graduated from college and we were together 17-years, married 13 years, and had 3 kids.
I decided to take the boys out to play so she could have a little me time and do her arts and crafts and just get a little time to herself since she was a stay at home mom.
We walked into the house and I was holding my 17-month old and my other two were walking with me, we walked in and found her on the floor.
She was a super healthy person. In shape, did yoga, ate right. Did all the things you’re supposed to do but apparently she had a heart condition that we didn’t know about. She died of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome. She was 35 at the time.
It was very surreal. It’s kind of like what you see in a movie. It’s very much a fog. I couldn’t process what was even happening.
I sat there with her for many hours. They kept asking me to call somebody. I didn’t know who to call.
I didn’t want to leave her because I knew I would never see her again. Finally, my friend said, “your boys need you” and that’s the only thing that got me to leave. On the way home I was thinking how am I going to tell my boys their mom is never coming home, she died?
It’s a very lonely journey in a lot of ways. For the first couple of months, a lot of people reach out to you. Then after about 2-months and they go back to their life and then you’re faced with the reality of your new life.
I don’t know if it makes you stronger to lose a spouse that you consider a soul mate. She always made me feel stronger as a person. I do feel a bit wiser when it comes to life perspectives, some of the bigger questions that we battle within our brains. I’m more resilient for sure.
I was Christian before all this happened. My wife was a big believer in God and so was I. To be honest, I’ve struggled with that a lot since my wife passed away.
I really struggle to find any good reason for my boys to have to grow up without their mom, for me to have to raise them up without my partner next to me. I used to pray a lot. I haven’t really prayed since then.
My boys are doing really good overall. This is going to be a lifelong challenge for them.
When it comes to my boys, I do feel like we have a stronger relationship because of what we’ve all been through, and because of them having to rely solely on me.
I really hope I do find somebody special in my life again. I think love and relationships are the most unique and special things about being human and our existence on this planet and in this life because there’s really nothing else like that.
It can be up and down with grief. It’s not a linear thing. It’s more of an up and down roller coaster. I would really hate to live the rest of my life without that unique and special relationship with somebody.
Rely on your family and friends. I’m not someone who was used to asking for help. Don’t be too prideful. There will be happy days again. When this first happened to me I didn’t think there would ever be happy days again.
It has shown me how precious life is. It has shown me how amazing each and every day is and that it’s a gift and that it’s not to be taken for granted and that those little moments we have with our friends and our family and or kids are truly special because there’s no guarantees of having that again. That’s the collateral beauty I’ve taken away.