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Lost my soulmate


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I lost my girlfriend and soulmate just a few days ago, she passed away in my arms from brain cancer. I am in unbelievable shock and pain, the only escape is sleep and each time I wake up it gets worse. I cannot come to grips with this and I pray each time I am about to go to sleep that I will not wake up again to this nightmare. This is a brief summary of our story.

I was stuck in a bad marriage for many years, and it continued to decline until the point that I could not bear it any more and filed for divorce from my now x-wife in July of 2007. My x is an ill tempered disaster waiting to happen suffering from a severe bi-polar condition, but refuses to seek treatment. It was hard to have to resort to divorce from someone I had been with for so long and with whom I had 2 children that I love so much, but our differences had become insurmountable. It was also a huge relief to me when she moved out of my house on August 1st of 2007. The next several weeks were strange indeed. My 17 year old daughter decided to go with her mom, although we were close, and I was living alone for the first time in over 20 years. I gradually got used to it and after a month or so, I even started to like the time alone. It was also nice to get up in the morning and come home from work without the constant apprehension of getting into a huge fight with my contentious x.

I decided that I did not want to date for a while and that I needed time to think and get my life in order. I thought that maybe in a couple of years, I may be ready for another relationship, but I would be sure to get it right this time, or at least a lot more right than last time. That would take time and caution to figure out.

I was alone a lot during this time and bored. I like the internet and have always been an avid forum poster and blogger on any number of topics. But one thing I was not looking for was romance. It was nowhere in my mind, and I did not go to any forums pertaining to relationships, and avoided any social situations that might lead to dating.

One night I was on a technical related forum, I work in a technical field and I was responding to someones post about a software topic. The person I replied to, replied back to me and we just seemed to hit it off, and the next thing I know, we were talking about lots of things not related to software. One night she asked me if I wanted to IM, so I said 'yeah, I'm not doing anything else, so why not?'

The emailing and Iming went on for weeks. There was no romantic interest from either one of us, we just liked to talk. She was actually married and told me so, and I told her I was just recently divorced. One day out of nowhere, she said that she had a friend that I should meet and that I would really like her. Let me just mention now, this person and her friend lived 600 miles away from me. I laughed and said 'no thanks, even if I were interested, it is too far away, no long distance relationships for me'. My newly found friend and I continued to chat and she kept bringing up her friend, asking me to just email her, that I would really like her. I continued to say no thanks, until one night she told me something about her friend. If I told you what it was, it would not make any sense, so I'll spare the details, but it got my attention, in a way I cannot describe, it was a dejavu type of moment, like I was suddenly hearing about someone that I somehow knew, but that I had never known. It was a very strange moment. I said no thanks and please give it up again, but the matter had my attention. I could not get it out of my mind. Over the next few days, it would just keep haunting me and I couldn't shake it off. So finally I emailed her friend and just said 'Hi, I'm xxxxx's friend and just thought I would say hi.

The friend of my IM buddy finally emailed me back and we gradually started up a conversation. All I can say is that it was uncanny from the start. Everything that she would say would strike me with this surreal sense of familiarity, like I know this person, but I have never met her. One day she emailed me and ask me if I wanted to call her. I did. The first time we talked on the phone, it was 2.5 hours and it was unreal the amount of things we had in common and how the conversation was so enjoyable. We continued to call each other a couple times a week and each time, it was the same or better, 3 hours+ of just the most enjoyable conversations that I have ever had in my life, and that uncanny feeling of knowing her would not leave me.

I knew I was in trouble here. I was falling deeply for someone over the phone even though my pragmatic self told me that it was ridiculous and impractical to even be entertaining such an idea. But there was no stopping the forces in motion.

We finally decided to meet each other, and it was more than I have ever dreamed of. I knew I loved her the first time I lay eyes on her. When we first touched and kissed, I am not making this up, I would not do so, it was like a surge of electricity passed though my entire body, leaving me practically speechless. The weekend was fantastic, like a real life fairy tale, the best time of my entire life to that point. When we parted to drive our 600 miles apart, I got about a mile from her and felt a gut wrenching pull like the tearing apart of souls that have became hopelessly intertwined. My phone rang, it was her, she felt it too. Tears were running down my face.

We continued to drive and fly to meet each other frequently over the next several months. Each time it grew more intense. Finally, we decided that we could not be apart and I started making plans to move near her so we could start a new life. She has 2 children in high school, 14 and 17. My 2 children are older, my daughter now 18 and living in the home that I left, and my son on his own. So it was obvious that I should move near her. I did not like where I was living anyways and wanted a fresh start.

On the day that I arrived here, I called my girlfriend, who lives only 11 miles away from the apartment that I secured the month before moving over and let her know that I had arrived. I was very excited. She was not feeling well, having a headache and I asked her if we should just wait until morning, it was around 8pm in the evening. She said ok, but in a few minutes called me back and said she was on her way over. I was so excited, just like every time before I see her. When she arrived, she seemed to be acting strangely and I was very concerned. She had a headache, but also seemed a little confused and off balance. I wanted to take her to the ER, but she told me she was fine and had already made a doctors appointment for in the morning as she had not been feeling well and that we would drive there tomorrow to the appointment. The next morning, she had a bad headache and seemed even more disoriented so I took her to the local hospital ER. They ran some test and after about 45 minutes, a cat scan they did revealed an abnormal mass in the left portion of her brain. It was a tumor. She was transported to another medical facility and a biopsy revealed a malignant brain tumor that required emergency surgery. The surgery was a success and she recovered remarkably fast.

Over the past few weeks, I stayed with her at her home and cared for her, with her becoming stronger each day. The simple joys that we experienced during that time, just getting up in the morning, preparing meals, taking walks, and enjoying music and other entertainment in the evenings was very precious.

On Thursday, June 19th, 2008, we retired early because she had a headache. At 2am in the morning, she went into seizures and I called 911 and they rushed her to the hospital and she was transferred once again, and had another surgery. She never recovered. Helen passed away at 10:25pm, June 25th, 2008 at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital as I held her closely to me. Helen was a beautiful 47 year old mother of 2 children. We were to be married on Sept. 21st, 2008, the one year anniversary of our first meeting Email: hyperionxvii@yahoo.com

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Unbelievably, your story is a lot like mine, only the time frames were a little different.  My ex left in '98-our kids were 13, 10, 8, & 8. He left me feeling like no one would ever want me, also had a better lawyer and left me with no support for me or the kids. We shared custody equally in the beginning, but as each of the kids reached 16-17, he couldn't deal with their independent thinking and they all stopped spending any time with him. I got involved in 2003 with someone that was very bad for me, he was just the first one to show any interest. He left me in 2005 to move across country and get his act together. At this point I was broke from trying to support the kids on my own (which included the first one in college) and very lonely and depressed.

I was seriously contemplating suicide when I got a phone call from the old boyfriend's father asking me to meet him and the wife for a drink (we had always been friendly). I tried to beg off, but he was insistent so I gave in.  When I got to the bar, there were several people there who were obviously regulars and I was introduced to all of them. There was one gentleman in particular (Doug) that I started to talk to and found myself still talking to him 3 hours later!

We had so much in common, it was freaky. We had many of the same weird food likes and dislikes, we were both very independent, but lonely. We both had twin sons, it just went on and on. We cautiously started dating, but realized very quickly how good we were together and soon we were spending all available time together. In October of 2006, he surprised me with an engagement ring, in one of the most romantic proposals ever. We were in no hurry to get married as my kids were still at home and we were still maintaining 2 separate households. He was my life, my soulmate, my support, my sanctuary when job and kids got to be too much.

He started having some physical problems in February of this year. I watched his health like a hawk as he had already had a triple bypass 4 years earlier and he was a reformed alcoholic as well as a smoker.  He was complaining of leg pains and weakness that no one could identify the cause of.  He was not afraid to see the doctor when he had issues and had been several times to try and get to the bottom of this.  On April 4th, I called him on my way home from work as I always did and his was significantly worse and out of breath.  I took him to the ER where they checked his heart and did a CT of his chest.  They saw a shadow on one lung that they guessed was pneumonia and sent him home on antibiotics to treat it, with strict instructions to follow up with his own doc. He seemed to stabilize somewhat, I was with him every day to make sure he ate, etc.

Wednesday was my day off, so I picked up breakfast and went straight to his house to spend the day.  He was exhausted so I sent him to bed for a nap, while I made phone calls to set him up with more specialists. I went to do some work on the computer while he slept.  He woke up after a couple hours and poked his head in the office to say 'hi'. I told him I'd be done in a minute and he went out to the living room. I heard a noise like a cough, so I went to check on him and found him sitting in his chair, unresponsive.  Somehow, in under 2 minutes, I locked the dog in the bedroom, called 911, lifted him out of his chair and laid him on the floor and started CPR.  The rest is a blur. The fire department and EMT's arrived and stepped up the efforts to revive him. I knew what they were doing as I am a heathcare professional and had advanced first aid training, plus I had coached my ex through his advanced cardiac life support training.  We finally decided to move him to the hospital, even though he had no pulse on his own and they continued their efforts all the way there. They spent another half hour trying at the hospital and then the lead MD finally approached me with 'we've been trying for quite a while now, and we can keep trying, but we're not sure what he will be like if we get him back at this point'.  I had to tell them to stop - they were just beating the crap out of him trying.  I can still see him there, intubated, etc. I wish I had a better picture of him in my head.

For the first time in my life, I had known true love. He treated me with unbelievable tenderness and consideration and the feeling was mutual. We loved being together and could still talk for hours about anything. He got involved with my kids (his are grown) and showed them the consistency and support they had never known from their father. My youngest graduate from high school (tomorrow, coincidently) and are both heading off to college in the fall. We were looking forward to having time to travel together (he had been all over the world and wanted to show it to me). Now it's all gone in a blink of an eye.

I'm 48, worked like a dog all my life and was finally going to enjoy it with someone. Now I just get through the days because there's nothing to look forward to.  The pain of losing him is not quite as intense as it was in the beginning, but it still hurts like hell.  I think you'll find a lot of kindred spirits here. No one knows what this feels like except someone that has done it and unfortunately, we all have that in common.

Hang in there - we are always around if you need to vent.


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Kate, OMG! Your story gave me goose bumps. There is more similarity here than you know. Helen treated me so incredibly well, I never felt in need of anything when I was near her and I know she felt the same. I knew that if I were with her for 50 years, that she would never speak an unkind or disrespectful word to me, and our knowing of how much we loved and respected each other was all the comfort that this life can offer. We also shared so many passions together, art, music, gardening, cooking, etc., and travel was at the top of the list. We always used to joke that neither of us had ever 'crossed the pond', meaning the Atlantic ocean, and had already decided that our first destination abroad would be Italy, with Venice being  our first point of interest. I planned to ask her to marry me on the Rialto Bridge over the grand canal. We are also both very much into history. But after the diagnosis, I decided to expedite the marriage proposal since Helen needed 24/7 care during her treatments and if we were going to be living together anyways, why wait?

Also, during the time after Helen's seizures and 2nd surgery, it was apparent to me that she was not going to recover with any quality of life and I could not bear to see her with all the IVs and intubation, and it was apparent that she was suffering. When I would stand by her side she was almost completely unable to speak(after the intubation was removed) and she would grasp my arm so hard that her nails would break the skin and look at me pleadingly, and I knew she was in so much pain. I finally agreed with her sister to pull the life support, a very difficult decision, but it ended her suffering, and I knew that's what she wanted.

I feel so much the way you do, I had never been really happy in my life until I found Helen, and now she is so tragically and quickly taken from me. I also feel that life has lost all meaning and there is nothing else to look forward to except more pain. Everything has lost it's beauty, everything I found so much beauty in with her.

I have always been very independent and when my x moved out of my house after 28 years of marriage, I was never lonely and I had no fear of lonliness, although I lived alone for nearly a year. Now, after Helen has passed, I am terrified of being alone.

I am also 48, and I am very touched by your story. Please feel free to email me if you need someone to talk to:



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