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Lost my wife


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I guess I just wanted to tell this story. I feel like a damn zombie lately. Everywhere I look I see her mischievous self prancing past me, hear her laughing in another room. She was spunky, full of life, vibrant, radiant.

I met Kat when I was thirty five, 10 years military time under my belt, 3 kids and a divorce. I felt like I'd already mostly lived my life and I had no intention of falling in love again. I'd met my first wife in high school and we had kids very very young so they were all mostly grown when I met Kat. And to top it off, she was only a few years older than my oldest daughter. A lot of young women threw themselves at me, looking for that stable military paycheck or to fulfill some odd older man fantasy maybe, but she was different. She pursued me, yes, and at first she was so sweet and polite she seemed like she was about 15 years old (It didn't help that she was just over five feet tall, over a foot shorter than me and 110 pounds soaking wet). And then she got feisty with me, and she was so funny. She was 21, a bartender and had just about the whole place charmed, but her eyes always rested just on me. She was loyal long before I was. Hell she wasn't even my type, I preferred tall, voluptuous brunettes and here this tiny blonde was bound and determined to have me. So we became friends.

Slowly, achingly slow, she opened up. To say she had a rough childhood would be an understatement and to say she was strong would be too. She shared with me that she'd been married, gotten married at 16 due to pregnancy. Her husband, the abusive bastard, pushed her down a set of stairs when she was 7 months pregnant and killed her daughter. I loved that about her more than anything, her tenacity, her will to survive, her strength. I thought I loved my first wife, but loving Kat was different. I was never an emotional guy, but during those torrid first few months I cried over her a handful of times. I kept her as a friend with benefits, not a girlfriend, which hurt her, and I knew it did, but I was afraid of what people would say. I broke up with her half a dozen times, put her through hell. And then one day I came home, we weren't even fighting and in the middle of dinner she stood up, packed her things and told me goodbye. I thought leaving my wife and kids was hard, but thinking I'd lost the woman I loved more than life itself was so much worse. Finally, after three weeks, she took my phone call. I'm a proud man, and I had never groveled before but I got on my knees and begged her to come back, told her how much I loved her and that I'd change. She even brought me back to God, and I converted to Judaism for her. I'd promised myself I'd never get married again. But I realized that what I was doing before Kat wasn't living, I was shut off from the world except for my work and sometimes my kids. But she brought me back to life, she was my angel.

I married Kat a year and a half after I met her, a few months before I was due to move. (I'm an officer in the military so moving is a fairly common thing) Our son, David, was born a year after, then Charlotte, then Evan then Zoe, now ages 10, 8, 7 and 5. Kat was the world's best mom, she really was. That's all she ever wanted to be, and she loved them more than words can ever describe. She was one of those people that always seemed to know what to do as a parent, when to be firm when to be gentle, where the bandaids are and when chocolate chip cookies heal more. We always have animals in the house too, especially dogs-she loved dogs. She was a warm hearted person, so full of love to give just about anyone that would let her. And she put up with me. But we had a good marriage, not perfect because perfect doesn't exist but pretty close to it. We fought a lot, but never too horribly and we always made up. I didn't believe in soulmates until she came along, but the day I met her, something convinced me to walk into that bar even though I didn't want another meaningless one night stand that night. Something made me keep talking to her even though I was determined not to fall for her. She was the best thing that ever happened to be, no question about it.

And then she got sick. I still remember the doctor telling us she had pancreatic cancer, and how silent everything went. It didn't make sense when we talked about possible causes. She didn't eat red meat, was a fruit and vegetable fanatic, exercised often. She didn't know her dad so there might have been some family history. She had other health problems but none that would explain the cancer. She fought so hard, but it was just too late. I blame myself so much, I should have seen that she was sick. I would have done anything to save her, I would have rather He taken me instead of her. It's been a few months, and I still feel like this all some horrible nightmare. I see her, her before she died, so small and fragile and her when she was healthy, beautiful and vibrant running around with the kids smiling and laughing. I hate thinking of her in past tense, or as dead. She is dead, but she was alive. She was a woman who gave back to the world that had done so little for her, more intelligent than some of the most educated people I know, kind even when it would have been acceptable for her not to be and even in her last moments, so thankful for every tiny thing she'd ever been given. The night before she died she pulled me to her and told me that she remembered when she realized she loved me. She had shown up at my house, this was before we were exclusive or anything, and said she couldn't sleep because she had nightmares, flashbacks from her past mostly but I didn't know that at the time. But I sat up and talked with her all night. Such a small act of kindness, and yet it meant the world to her. She then told me I'd given her everything she'd ever wanted-kids, a house, a family, love. I regret the time I didn't spend with her, even though I did my best. I regret the hell I put her through before we were married even though it was such a long time ago. I regret not telling her how much she meant to me a hundred thousand times more than I did.

I miss the smell of coffee in the morning. I miss when she'd join me in the shower and wrap her arms around me and hog the warm water for a while. I miss coming home to one of her home cooked dinners. I miss her using my arm as a pillow when she read at night. I miss worrying about her while she worked as a paramedic. I miss when her little southern drawl would come out and I miss her violing playing obnoxious country music. I don't know when I'll wake up in the morning and not want to cry when I realize she'll never be beside me in bed again.

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What a wonderful story you've told. Not too many people get to experience the love you have described. I am so very sorry you have lost Kat. I know your life is completely turned upside down, but eventually it will get easier. It is going to take some time. I know you said you move alot. Do you have close friends to talk to? Are you able to join a grief and loss group? Talking really does help, but so also does time.

Just take it one day at a time, or even break it down in smaller units, perhaps an hour at a time to start with. Have you tried doing something to occupy some of your time, like going for a walk or working out at the gym? What about reading some literature on grief and loss?

How are your kids doing? Are you all talking together about your loss and your family needs?

We will be here for you,


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mk I'm sorry I didn't see/respond to this sooner and so sorry for your loss. Much of what you said hit home as I've felt similar (pushing a year now).


I blame myself so much, I should have seen that she was sick.
Guilt is so common at times like this. But you have zero to blame yourself for. Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst of them all and knowing sooner wouldn't realistically have made much if any difference.

I would have done anything to save her, I would have rather He taken me instead of her.
I felt/feel the same. Not just because I loved her but she deserved to be here so much more than me. But the reality is He did take them, but they are in a place so much better than this crazy world it's beyond our comprehension, and we'll see them again. I ask that you try to keep that in mind.

From one vet to another, hold on. It's a rough and choppy sea but you can survive it.

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missingkat, I'm heartbroken to read your story. I can feel your pain and devastated to say I know what it's like to lose the love of your life. My love, Danny, would be turning 30 tomorrow. He would have realized his dream, competing in the Olympics this year. We were just starting our life together. So many shattered dreams. I keep hoping I will wake up from this nightmare. I feel utterly lost, just going through the motions of the day without passion or joy. I pray with my whole being we will be reunited some day. Sadly I used to believe that, but experiencing a tragic loss like this has messed up my spiritual beliefs - I'm confused.

I don't want to sound so bleak, but it helps to write about the pain. Family and friends don't understand what it's like. Aside from losing my great grandparents at 91 and 104(!), my family has not dealt with death. It's helpful to have spaces like this to let it out.

I hope you find moments of peace and light during these dark times. I do believe that your dear Kat is with you. You will always have her in your heart.

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