Posted by Karen on October 12, 2001 at 20:53:55:
I lost my lovely husband Jeff, of four and a half years, on April 19, 1999. Our son was just a little over two years old at the time. We had a truly magical, wonderful relationship. We travelled a lot and had all kinds of fun. We once flew to England for a weekend. We didn't have much money, we spent all we made on travel. We played a lot of tennis and one of our goals was to see a finals game at a grand slam tournament. We had been to Australia but missed the open by one day. We said we would one day go back and see the finals. We never had the opportunity again.
Jeff died of a "silent" heart attack, at 41, where the heart just stops and there is no pain or suffering, and also no warning. He had gotten out of bed that night and gone to check the news (or X-Files) and then I fell asleep. I found him in the morning on the couch, with the tv remote in his hand, looking very peaceful. This was a couple of weeks before my 40th birthday. (I later found a present from him that he had purchased and then hid.)
The next days were like I was living in a nightmare, I'm sure I was in shock, our son was so little and kept asking where daddy was. I slept little and ate little. The funeral went as planned though, I held my head high as I wanted Jeff to be proud of me, he had always admired strong women.
I purchased some books on coping with grief and that was as far as I went to seek support. I have a large and caring family and they were a tremendous source of comfort to me. My son, was the best though. I'd bought some books on children and coping with death and that helped a lot. We talk a lot about daddy and how his heart stopped working. I answer every question he has (and he has a lot!) and offer stories when I can think of them. My goal (and I'm succeeding) is that my son will have a happy childhood. The early death of his father is not going to play a negative role in his life. Nathan will learn all about his dad that I and everyone who knew Jeff can tell him.
So far Nathan and I have travelled a quite a bit. We've gone to Mexico twice and Disneyland last year. We have alot more planned. He's a well adjusted, happy little boy.
I'm not dating yet, I would if I met the right person, but I'm not really concerned about that. A friend told me that if I meet someone, it will be because Jeff will send them to me.
I'm gratefull for all I have, it's a busy life, being a widowed mother (I don't use single mother, it doesn't say as much as fast) working full time, keeping the house and yard and entertaining (we used to have great dinner parties and spend all day cooking in preparation for them) and I've also started a part time internet business out of my house this fall.
I consider myself a happy woman. And that was a conscious choice I made, that I wanted to be happy, not bitter and twisted and always asking "why me". The only answer to that is "why not me".
So, you do get past the grief and then have the sweet memories. I think of Jeff now and I smile, where before I would start to cry. He will always be with me in my heart and I'm trying to continue with the goals and dreams we had together. I know he would be proud of me and the way I've handled all this. That's all I want really, so that when I see him again, he'll tell me so.
And yes, in January, 2002, I'm flying to Australia to see the tennis, and I have one ticket to the women's finals that I managed to get (there was one ticket left when I called down under). I know that Jeff helped me with getting that ticket. I may not know much, but I do know that!
Good luck to all of you, you will get through this, it will be the most difficult journey you will ever take, but you will make it and will be proud of the person you will become. Try to keep a sense of humor, it will come in handy. Make a choice to be happy.
I'd be happy to reply to anyone who wanted to email me to talk.
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