Reminders to Punch You in the Gut

1. Having to go through his email to find a receipt for a water filter he bought that you have no idea the details. Opening said account and seeing all the unread emails. Business as usual. Business he’ll never see.

2. Getting his W-2 in the mail. A work year he didn’t finish.

3. Planning your son’s 7th birthday party and realizing it will be the first one without your partner. You remember the 1st birthday party and the 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th and 6th and think about the naive, innocent you back then who never dreamed your partner would never make it to 7th.

4. Alone at night. Kids asleep. Dogs mulling around. You. Always alone but not alone.

5. Watching your almost-two-year-old kissing his “Da Da’s” picture good night every day.

6. Walking past his picture, pausing to look at it, and feeling the sadness right in the gut. You ask yourself “is this real life? A dream?” and then you continue on with your day, because that’s the only thing you can do.



  1. Good morning..
    I read your post.. every word in that means a lot to me.. as I am one like you .. now trying to raise our 2 daughters alone.. 2 years passed still struggling to accept the so called fact of life.. felt like dropping a line to you .. i have a long way to go to reach your state i am afraid… anyways just to let you know that i am very thankful to you for writing this.. for people like me and us.. And wishing you the very best for you and for your children..
    Have a nice day..


  2. Teresa, Good morning….I found your article just now…I just mourned and celebrated the passing of my husband 9 years ago…while it’s difficult…it’s great to meet other women like me who understand my story and know that I have a friend nearby. look forward to following your journey….mine began 9 years ago and I started my biography and just left it on my computer…50 pages completed…stuck and stumped…perhaps you can lend a ear and some wisdom on getting back on track…nic, widow at 39, married only 16 months, together for 5 years, time did not allow us to have children.


    1. Thank you for your comment. I would like to connect with others who have had similar experiences. It’s so hard when you feel like you’re the only broken one in the world. I know the reality is we aren’t alone, but this is such an isolating experience. I’m so sorry that you can relate. It’s a sucky club to be in. 😦


      1. My husband died when we were married only 13 months and I was 7 months pregnant with our first child. There wasn’t much support out there for young widows at that time. I was 30. He was 39. I never really grieved that loss when I was sucker-punched 18 months later and found out I was adopted. I just found Surviving Loss: You Always Have a Choice. Thank you.


      2. Children do have a way of moving us forward. Mine are grown now and I am first beginning to really deal with the grief. It is a lifelong journey.


  3. Hello Teresa. I just today found your blog. I am 36…almost 37. I have 3 children…16, 13 and 8 and a special needs 16 year old niece that lives with me. On labor day, September 5, 2017…just one day after our daughters birthday, my husband was taking a motorcycle ride when he was killed by a drunk driver. I was a widow at 36. I have only read 1 or 2 of your articles but everything you have to say hits home for me. Especially where you talked about feeling a certain sense of peace…which should feel strange but doesn’t. It’s exactly how I feel too. Everything is harder yet I just want others to feel better about life because you can’t die miserable.
    I thank you for your words that I was so lucky to find today


    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. We’re similar ages. It’s hard for so many reasons, but for me what makes this so daunting is having the task of rebuilding my life with an unknown future, and coming to terms with “this isn’t what we planned.”


  4. Hi. I just read your article and then found your website and read this post..
    my husband just died 8 months ago..
    I’m living what you write..
    feb 8 would be our 20th anniversary.. but we did not make it.
    I wish for peace and healing for you and your family.


  5. Hi Teresa,

    I came across your post in tiny Buddha like others, and it has led me to your website. First let me say how sorry I am for your loss. For all of you. Like most things, no-one can truly understand your journey unless they’re on the same road. The reason I read/enjoyed your post, if that’s even the right description, was its honesty and truth.

    Sadly, my sister sadly passed away 6 months ago from a sudden and unexpected stroke. She was 39 and left behind a husband and 3 young children, similar in age to your own, and like you, he has faced similar challenges.

    I have always remained positive, which seems impossible given the circumstances, but I can see/sympathise with all you’re experiencing. In particular, the equal and opposite effect it has when a parent/partner/lover/friend is lost.

    In life you always have choices, and when you run out of choices, still remember one thing… you still have choices.

    I look forward to reading your other posts.

    Thank you for sharing

    Warmest regards, Graham


    1. Hi Graham, thank you for your comment. So sorry for the loss of your sister. It’s a shame that we don’t talk about this more since it appears many of us have been affected by death in some way.


      1. Hi Teresa,
        Your right, it is a shame that we don’t talk more, or even listen. I also lost my parents years ago and death shaped me. Death forces us to grow, if we allow it.


  6. Teresa, I came across your post on Tiny Buddha. I am so sorry for your loss. I have been a widow for 14 years now and it has been the hardest journey of my life. Everything you said rang so true, especially the suddenness of your husband’s death. Mine was the same. It used to drive me crazy when someone said “take it a day at a time” because a day was too overwhelming for me. For a long time, it had to be 5 minutes at a time! I feared that I would never by happy again. Your honesty and openness has touched me profoundly. Someone told me after my husband’s death that losing someone leaves a hole in your heart that never goes away, but that we rebuild our lives around that hole. Thank you for your sharing yourself with us. We all need to stay connected; helps the healing. I can’t wait to read future posts.
    Fondly, Becky


  7. Please don’t stop writing. I just found your site this evening and plan to be back to read through more. I’ve been looking for ways to deal with the loss of my mother almost 6 years ago. It’s still so fresh. I have a 3.5 year old. And I still feel alone in this grief.


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