Jan 11

So, Now What?

8 days ago, my husband died. 8 days ago, I became a widow.

When you marry someone with chronic illness with no chance of a cure, you know one day, you will be a widow. The only question was when. My husband was a fighter and he gave it is all: years of treatments, pills and IVs, not one, but TWO double lung transplants, 2 digestive surgery and 2 tracheotomies (he liked doing things more than once), one full year living in the hospital. In the end though, getting air into his lungs became impossible.

We are in a very weird situation. I have met other people who became widowers in their 40s, usually suddenly. Very few had as much time to prepare as I did. But just because I *knew* it was going to happen, it doesn’t make it any easier. We did have time to make plans, discuss parenting, tell each other everything we wanted to say. There are no regrets.

But I am still a 45 yo widow with 2 kids who have now lost a parent for the second time in their short lives.

The ‘outrunning the cloud’ analogy doesn’t really work this time. The cloud is not lifted. Well, the black cloud of doom is gone, but now we are moving forward into a thick fog. A team of 3. So, I’ll ask again: Now What?


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  1. MissPinkKate

    Such terrible news, I am so sorry to hear it. I will be thinking of you often during these difficult times.

  2. Erin

    I’m so sorry for your loss. No matter what, I don’t think this is the type of thing anyone can truly be prepared for. May his memory be a blessing and I wish you and your girls comfort for the days ahead.

  3. Liz

    now what: you get through, somehow, every day. You are already way too fucking good at this, anyway. The amount of “just get through today” that you have had in the last few years has elevated you to ninja-level “get through the fucking day.”

    The thing I always think in these situations is that a year from now, things will look so very different. I don’t know how, and you can’t count on saying “this is a good thing” about anything at all on any given day, but somehow after the first year you will be settled and still here and the girls will still be there and thriving. And things will look easier. And different. Sometimes just different is enough.

    You cannot plan for this year. You cannot imagine what it will bring or where you will be at its end, but I promise you that you will look back a year from now and things will be different and in many ways better. And you will still be here. And you will all still love Jay, but you will ache slightly less, and you will be OK.

  4. Anna in Turin

    I wish I had the answers…I wish I could make things better…but I can’t, I don’t have any answers….I think like Liz says, you have to take it one day at a time, some days it will be one hour at a time. There is never enough preparation for losing your loved ones.

    I can only send virtual hugs for now. Would you email me your home address so I can send some stuff for you and the girls from here.

  5. Steph

    I am so so sorry to read this. You have been through so much and it’s all very unfair. I hope your family and friends bring you some comfort in the coming days and that you can find some moments of peace. Thinking of you and your girls and sending love. xx

  6. Robin from Israel

    I’m so very, very sorry. I haven’t been commenting as we’re buried under our own family’s black cloud this year but you, your husband and your girls have been in my thoughts. I will be holding you all close in my heart as you figure out how to keep going despite it all and hope that one day the sky lightens a little bit and you are able to find a measure of peace.

  7. Angela

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss. It may very well take a long time to figure out “now what” as you all feel your way through the grief. In the meantime there is the immediate, day-to-day, hour-to-hour “now,” and as you try to navigate that, remember the people thinking of you and wishing you well, trying to lift you up through it.

  8. Wendy

    I am so sorry.

  9. Kelli

    I am so so sorry. Your family has been put through the wringer. I hope you can get on a path toward brighter days because you sure as hell deserve them.

    I will say that everyone I have seen go through this (e.g. an extended illness leading to this type of loss) goes through a particular kind of grief. Yes, you had time to say goodbye, but it doesn’t make your grief any less valid than someone who goes through an unexpected loss.

    I hope you are able to do something nice for yourself and are able to give yourself the space and time to work through this. Please be kind to yourself.

    Again, I am so sorry.

  10. Tracy

    There are no words. I check in periodically and this update took my breath away.

    Please know there is a mom in Minnesota who is thinking of you, worrying about you and hoping for you. Thinking of what you adjust to now, worrying about your mental health and putting one step in front of the other and hoping that the days shine with a different light soon, that in darkness light can be found and grasped.

    While the outcome wasn’t unknown, it still can be goddamn unexpected.

  11. Lise

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  12. Kikilia

    Oh V, I am truly sorry for you loss. Even expected is unexpected and you can’t plan for how you will cope and react.

    I will be thinking of you and the kids.

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