Who Am I

On June 26, 2012,  a light went out of my life when my husband, best friend and father of my children died after a 5 1/2 month battle with pancreatitis.

This is my journey through widowhood.

I hope you find some comfort here, some measure of feeling as though you are not alone.

Please feel free to contact me:  sunnyjaneis at gmail dot com.

Family 6


Back:  Our son, Kyle, and husband, Mark
Middle:  Luke, our youngest, myself and Andrew
Front: Adam, our “adopted son” (Katie’s boyfriend) and Katie, our daughter

26 thoughts on “Who Am I

  1. Pat says:

    Loved your site and your story. I have a similar one, my wife died after a battle with cancer for 7 months.

  2. Marg says:

    I loved your site. I just lost my husband, and best friend and lover this past January 9, 2014 after a 7 mth battle with lung cancer. I am just going thru motions of life–all is so unreal. I hurt and feel I will never be whole again. I liked the one picture comment you had, It is not the missing you, but the fact you are not coming back that is killing me
    How do you answer people that keep asking, how are you today? I am so tired of that question, how do you think I am today and will be tomorrow, in fact it looks like I will be like this forever. But I answer politely and say okay. I will be going to a grief support group, but I don’t really want to sit in a circle and tell how I feel, because I can’t put what I am feeling into words-it is just an unbearable pain of loneliness. I have been reading a lot of books, and I know the first’s will be hard, yes Valentine’s day was always special, as it wasn’t Valentine’s day, but Valentine’s week for Dennis and I. I also have a new grand daughter as of December 22. It breaks my heart to know Dennis will not be here for all the birthdays, holidays.

    • Elizabeth Atkin says:

      You said it exactly it’s not missing my husband that’s hurting me it’s the fact that he’s not coming back that’s killing me.

  3. sunnyjane says:

    Marg, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s brutal and unreal and life is never the same.

    My answer is usually “fine” the people who know me know to dig further, the people who don’t likely won’t care as much.

    I use humour as a way of coping. If I’m making jokes about something serious… chances are I’m hurting badly.

    I couldn’t go to a grief support group – I went to one and it wasn’t for me. But I’m now seeing a counsellor who is helping me enormously.

    (((HUGS))) to you.

    I don’t know where you’re located but I highly recommend Camp Widow for you. Camp Widow East is happening this weekend, West is in the summer and Canada is in September.

    sslf.org, campwidow.org

    You can find me there as momtofourkids. Or if you want to email me… feel free. You are not alone.

  4. Robin says:

    It will be 6 years on December 6, that I lost my husband (Art) after a 10 month battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 42. he died the same day he was to receive a bone marrow transplant that may have saved his life. We had just adopted 3 special needs kids from foster care (two 5 old twin boys and a 6 year old) and he was diagnosed. So I was widow at 48 with 4 kids (-already had a 12 year old bio daughter). I would like to say it gets easier. By I can’t. I went on to marry again (a man I dated in college but lost touch with for 30 years until reconnected again through my college roommate,

    He is a wonderful man; great with the kids, beyond patient with my never ending grief. A real blessing. That being said, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss Art. We had 15 amazing years and expected many more. I talk to him, and miss his presence. Miss the day to day conversations. And ache that he is missing out on milestones for the kids and the kids missing him there as well. I really want to come to terms with the deep pain that never seems to end. Take I are of your kids emotional needs even those they don’t express. My kids are starting to show some delayed grief issues that I wish we had tackled sooner. I remember the hospice grief counselor telling me that it’s much easier to get over he loss of a spouse who had negative traits that you could focus on not having to deal with any longer. Sounds like your husband had very few of those to hold on to. Knowing that one day when this world ends I will see him again is what I hold on to.

  5. Michelle says:

    My husband died Aug.2,2014, as I struggled with my 3 daughters giving CPR the ambulance took over an hour to respond. He died with us. I am thankful I found your site, your words are helpful.

    • sunnyjane says:

      Michelle – I am so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry that you had to join a club that no one wants to be a part of.

      (((HUGS))) to you.

  6. Pink Ginger Photography says:

    I found your blog at 2am, an hour ago. I woke up in the worst panic attack and thought I was dying.
    I lost my husband 3 weeks ago to bile duct cancer. He was 60 and fit and well before diagnosis. The 6 months since diagnosis have been a blur of hospitals, chemo and failed treatments and hopes, and through it all that I stayed strong. Not today though. Thank you for being on the end of my Google search.

    • sunnyjane says:

      Oh hun… I am so sorry to hear that you’ve joined a club no one wants to belong to. You’re not alone, and there are SO many people out there to help you through this.

      My favourite sites are http://www.widowedvillage.org; sslf.org, thewiddahood.com.

      3 times a year there is Camp Widow where we can go to be “normal”

      If you want/need to talk – let me know..

      • i could use some info on this path…. im only 30… left wih 2 boys to raise an the memory of how my husband wanted me dead. he stabbed me 4 times n the roof of my mouth n my neck as well as my arm.

    • i lost my husband in feb of this year. I still wake up screaming for him. his death was unexpected an traumatic. the will shine again and you will smile, just remember you carry him nin your mind ,heart dreams and thoughts…..

  7. Anna says:

    I lost my husband in March to lung cancer we had 16 days between his diagnosis and death so I am still feeling that shock. Cancer had never been mentioned and while we knew he was ill we had no idea how sick.
    We spent 40 happy years together. I have no children and no extended family that live close enough to visit at Christmas, I am a shy person and plan to be alone for Christmas but my family is concerned that this is not wise. I feel that I need to be alone this year and just look after me. If I find it isn’t working I could go to a close friends.I know they are just trying to help,In future years I will make plans to visit. I would be interested in your thoughts..

  8. sunnyjane says:

    Anna.. your grief and your grief process is yours. You know what’s best for you, what’s good for you, and how you need to process it. My favourite sites are http://www.sslf.org and widowedvillage.org.

    For me, I needed (and still do) my family close to me. I wanted to pull everyone close to me.

    For you, solitude to reflect may be what’s best.

    I’m sorry for your loss. This is a club no one wants to join… (((HUGS)))

  9. i am horribly sorry for your losses i too lost my husband this year in feb.

  10. Antonette says:

    I love the word of sympathy dat sympathise the widow

  11. Antonette says:

    I love the word of sympathy dat sympathise the widows.ohh i wish people could understand the pain dat widow is on it shame lord have mercy on them

  12. Despartrado says:

    God bless you for being so brave! My lover, my man my husband, my everything died on March 23rd 2012. We had 2 babies together (now 5 & 6 – 1 w/special needs). I have no family support & very few friends. I am 42 & I am going thru a horrific break-up with someone who was a friend & became a lover about a yr & half after my husbands death. He left me & my children in the most mean and awful way ( owing me thousands of dollars). Your story touched my soul. It is heart wrenching to face heart break after the death of a spouse! I need help coping with this devestation! It’s getting worse not better! I would give anything to talk with you sometime! I just took an early retirement from a college professorship. I left the city I had lived in for the last 23 yrs & I’m trying to raise my kids on little of nothing & all alone. Gosh I’m really in the trenches of motherhood – widowhood & broken down hearted-hood lol…… Could we maybe chat sometime briefly. I have a feeling you might could put a boot up my but & help me see some light from somewhere???

  13. Jacqui says:

    Thank you for your writings. I read from time to time and it makes me realise that I am not a stubborn woman who won’t let go. Like you have had, I have a new partner. Sometimes when I wake from nightmares of not being able to find my husband, nightmares I cannot tell him about because he is jealous of a dead man, he says “All is well. Here I am and here I stay. All is well.” I feel no comfort, he doesn’t understand. All can never be well for me because I have lost my soulmate, but I can’t tell him that. It is the fact that I can’t fully be honest with him that keeps us apart in a way that means all can never be entirely well between us.
    Hope you don’t mind, but I wrote quite a long reply to one of your other entries today.
    Bless you.

  14. Sheila says:

    Thank you for writing all of this. I can totally relate. It is the fact that he’s never going to come through the door again. It’s also the fact that when I walk in the front door after work, he won’t be there.

  15. Jeannie says:

    Thank You for your writings I can relate to all of them. I lost my husband 3 months ago to Cancer we were married for 25 years. I have terrible survivors guilt, like I should have done more somehow I should have been able to ” fix it”. Although I was his primary care giver when he was ill and it was exhausting, so I sometimes also feel guilty about that. It was a hard strain on both of us and how selfish am I to want him back even sick so I can still take care of him. It is such a crazy thought.

  16. Kristin Gibbs says:

    Fortunate are wives to have their husband for years. My story of cancer began during our engagement. Opted to stay by his side during all treatments, surgery, and wound care. We managed to make it a court house with a walker and faith in our love to say I do always! But 9 months of many hospice trips and g-tube feedings later he passed away 3 months from our 1st anniversary. Gordon was the love of my life. Definitely not easily repeated. Much of Gordon’s life was focused on his NASCAR career. Success and money never replaces family, loyalty, and care. Who we are not a job title, what we have, or whether we are recognized. It’s what we give wholeheartedly to family, friends, and making a difference in lives of others to remember you.
    I am building a 1953 F-100 show truck in Gordon’s honor to draw donations for American Cancer Society. A difference we both discussed prior to passing. Continuing to think of our commitment will help me heal.

  17. Sarah says:

    Having only just come across your blog, I thank you for sharing your honest emotions whilst suffering. It’s a very overwhelming thing to experience loss but it’s also quietly comforting to know that you’re not alone, not the only one.
    My husband died just over 5 weeks ago, he died from a head injury after coming off his Motorcycle. It was just a tragic accident, the initial shock broke my world. He was 28 and I’m 26, we have two young children together, their birthdays were the week after his death.
    I’m feel so guilty that I am living and having to make plans, so angry that he isn’t here and literally heartbroken for the future that will never happen

    • sunnyjane says:

      (((HUGS))) Sarah, you’re not alone. There’s a worldwide community out there… check out sslf.org, widowedvillage.org or thewiddahood.com. I have mad amazing friendships and support from those websites.

  18. Diane says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Iost my husband of 44 years in June. He was 69 and died suddenly. Having young kids must be so hard. Sendi f prayers

  19. Pete says:

    This is my second Christmas since the death of my wife of 47 years.Yes it was our Best time of the year for us.Last year i forced my way through it,decorated everything like she did,make her favorite meal,baked cookies,the whole thing.Well this year i did put the outside lights up just like she always wanted during deer season..Anyway to those who told me i would be ok after the first year,i say fuck you,you know nothing.I will not celebrate this year,no tree,no cookies,and only one present to my daughter,cash of course is what a 30 something wants.In closing I will just say the pain of her not here with me anymore is fucking horrendous..Yeah i know it’s Jesus birthday.So Merry Christmas !

  20. Justin Yopp says:

    Congratulations on your success of your blog in helping a lot of people out there.

    I’m contacting you today in the hopes that you’ll take an interest in the work my colleagues and I are doing at the University of North Carolina. Since 2010, we have been running a program for widowed parents that includes support groups, research and a website (www.widowedparent.org). One of my colleagues and I also had a book published earlier this year with Oxford Press, titled “The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life” (all proceeds go back to our program).

    We believe this work is important and are committed to reaching as many widowed mothers and fathers as possible, which is why I wanted to contact you. If you would consider sharing word of our website and book with your many followers, we would very much appreciate it.

    I am happy to tell you more about our work, if you would like to connect.

    Thank you for your time,

    Justin Yopp, PhD
    Clinical Psychologist
    Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    (984) 974-8113

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