Planet Grief may have been started by a widow, and there is no doubt that the majority of contributors over the years (whether writing about the death of a spouse, a child or a marriage) have been female, but when I read Mike’s opening statement, I realised that some readers of Planet Grief may be under the impression that this blog is only for widows. It’s not. As I have said in recent press interviews, it doesn’t matter who we are, how much money we have, where we live or went to school, whether we barely scraped a pass in our school exams or have a brain like Stephen Hawking’s, if we have been married five months or fifty years, whether we were never married but lived with our partner as if we were, grief, the loss of someone (or something) we loved and cherished, affects us all. Our paths to Planet Grief may be very different, but our destination is the same.
Reading Mike’s story, I had an overwhelming desire to wrap him up, to protect him, to help him, to somehow ease his way through grief, but the cruelty is there is no way around grief, only through it, and for some the journey is particularly hard and painfully slow.
Over to Mike…
I hope you don’t mind a widower writing on the site. I lost my civil partner (although I considered us married) in 2013. He developed a cough around Christmas time which would not go away and was referred to the QE hospital in Birmingham for tests. He had had two stents put in after minor heart attacks but seemed in high spirits. Sadly, this was not to be. The Surgeon explained that he needed a by pass. As this is a relatively common operation but not without a risk ( we were told an 80% survival rate which sounded good to us), his op was delayed a week, but in May he finally underwent the operation. It lasted over 15 hours and he never regained consciousness and after a week, they turned off the machines. I was just stunned. We had been together for nearly 30 years and had been in a civil partnership for 6 years. I was 52 and my partner was 59. I still don’t know how to cope without him. I feel my future has been stolen away. We always talked about what we would do when we retired; we had plans to live in California or Cyprus. Sadly, my world fell around me. I was already unemployed after losing a good job due to government cutbacks. I had to go bankrupt and lost our home and car. We had had a good lifestyle and I feel so demoralised and beaten down. I don’t feel any better with the time since his death; I just feel alone. I suppose I am stronger than I think as people tell me I seem to be coping. I don’t really know what to do in the future. Sorry.