Me and my wife were married for 11 years both had been married before and had been single for 8 years. Meant through a friend and hit it off right away. About seven years ago she developed some sever leg pain and swelling went to local hospital she had blood clots in her.legs, abdomen, and lungs. They couldn't do anything told us to get to Universality of Michigan Hospital. They treated here with some clot busting drugs and every morning they would go in to clean out her veins and the next day she would be clotted right back up again. She had Factor Five Leiden a clotting disorder, after a few days of this the top doctor told me they might not be able to help her. They did come up with a technique to bridge a couple of strong arteries to the clotted ones so when they cleaned them out there was enough blood flow to keep them open, they also installed some stents and filters At the time I thought that was the scariest time of my life. She would be gone for surgery 4 to 5 hours a day and the rest of time was out of it on morphine.She got better and was sent home but because of the shock of everything she developed restless legs, fibromyalgia and her copd got worse she was limited on what she could do. She always felt guilty because I had to do more of the load, I always told her you didn't ask for any of this did you it's not your fault, reminded her wedding vows were for better or worse not just when it was easy. Once a year she would go to have her leg tested to be sure there were no new clots. This last November she went in mentioned she had more pain and swelling on right leg. Doctor suggested they go in with clot busting drugs and ultrasound clear  out scar tissue relieve some of pain allowing her to do more. The night before they came in with the paper to sign alerting you to side affects, no big deal were do we sign. After about six hours doctor came and saw me, I knew by the amount of time and look on his face it wasn't good. Towards the end of procedure she started bleeding from her nose and mouth got into her lungs and stopped her breathing. They got the bleeding under control and got her on a ventilator. She developed a major infection and bad case of ammonia and kidneys shut down. She was kept on the sedation because of the seriousness of everything and had Dialysis. This all happened December 21 so I spent Christmas Eve and Day in the room with her on ventilator. The only nice about Christmas Day her nurse came in and saw me sitting there and said follow me they were having a potluck dinner and he took me in there and said Harold needs some comfort food they all welcomed me in that made my day.  I had people tell me why don't you go home theirs nothing you can do here, no my place was with her. When she got agitated I would sit with her and hold her hand and she would calm down. After about 3 weeks they turned off the sedation and some of the pain killers, some people come out of it in hours she took about 5 days. They ran test because they were afraid she had brain damage, showed normal brain function. Her Lungs were messed up so she was still on ventilator, but she was alert and could follow commands and nod yes or no. They sent her to Home hospital to get off ventilator and Dialysis, she seemed to be doing good. She would smile give me funny looks and was in much better mood. I was having lunch they called me and said she had some bleeding around her tracheotomy they moved her to intensive care as a precaution and gave her light sedation to keep her still. I stayed till about 10;00 that night she seemed to be fine doctor said she was doing ok. Got a call around 2:00 that night calling the whole family down. Scar tissue had broken off around her tracheotomy, she started bleeding and her heart had stopped for 28 minutes, they did CPR but that's not very efficient. They said we could wait a day or two to see how she was but with heart stopped that long wasn't much hope. I had to make the decision to pull the plug, I went in the room and held her and talked to her and told her it would be okay, I would take care of her daughters, grandsons, and dad. I can still here her take those last few breathes, I don't think I will ever forget that sound. I never got to hear her talk to me, I miss her voice terribly. Everyone expected her to get well and come home including the doctors. Feel like part of me has been ripped out trying to figure out how to go on without her she was my life. I expected a good turnout at her showing, but I was amazed at how many people's lives she touched, the secretary of the dentist we went to came she said she just loved visiting with her, she was always so happy and nice. She worked with Relay for Life, if anybody needed her she would help even knowing that she would pay for it in pain for days after. I'm 63 and she is the first women that truly loved me for myself, how do you move on and replace someone like that. I know it's early for me she died January 29, 2016 and it takes time. I'm sorry for the length of this I guess I had a lot to get out on paper. 

                              Thanks Harold McKinstry

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Thank You Sara

I'm sorry for your loss, I think it's true that if you haven't been through it you can't understand. I know she's is gone, but part of me refuses to believe it. I find myself still saying we will, I usually went to bed first, I still find myself moving my foot to see if she is there to cuddle with. I'm sure you are feeling the same thing in your own way. I hope the group helps I'm seeing a counselor and thinking of checking out a support group I'll let you know if it helps. Your right sometimes I do feel like I'm all alone and no one understands. I know we all have to find our own way out of this mess, I hope you find your way.


Sometimes you feel you have taken 3 steps forward and the next day 5 steps backward and not sure what to do next. Trying very hard but that is all we can do is just try.  

Sorry for your loss we all have something in common on here, all gone through the pain of losing someone special. I think your right have been thinking a lot of what to do during this period of grief. All we can do is try and keep going on day by day, from what everyone on here has said with time you learn to cope with your grief. It sounds like we will never be the same and will always deal with pain, but will learn to smile instead of cry over some remembrance. Even though the pain of losing her seems unbearable, I'm thankful I had her in my life for as long as I did. She was the first women I felt that truly loved me for myself and in spite of myself. Death can't take that away, I will always be grateful for that.

Hi Harold


Its been 31 years of great friendship.  21 years of marriage. My best friend, my companion , my first and only love . That is who my husband was to me. Truly a gift in so many ways from God.


Now its hard after being so used to living in a beautiful bubble and suddenly the bubble burst and it burst so suddenly at the age of 46 to be taken so suddenly. One minute we are talking and laughing and the next minute I am rushing him to the hospital and then next thing I know he is on life support. Someone who has given me no reason to worry about his health just passes on with no warning.. no chance for me to nurse him and no chance for me to hear him say his last words to me..


I just try to live and take one day at a time.. but I look back and am thankful.. thankful that I was a huge part of his life .. thankful for everything that he has done for me and made me who I am today…

What a beautiful love story Harold.  My husband and I were only married 2 1/2 years.  We knew each other for 11.  My husband had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, but it had not spread and contained within the bladder.  My biggest fear was that the cancer would after some time spread, but if it did, I felt that we had years together.  We were scheduled to go to the Cancer Treatment Center here near our home in Newnan on Thursday the 18th of February.  They were going to do a biopsy and give him a single dose of chemo, hoping that would remove any cancer cells.

On Tuesday, the 16th I came home from work where I found my husband on the floor.  He had died from a heart attack.  No warning--what a shock!!! The love of my life had left me, all along, because he was semi-retired and worked some from home.  He had walked me to the garage to my car and kissed me good-bye that morning.  

Because I have such a busy,demanding job, we usually only talk right before I leave from work to come home.  He cooked dinner every night.  When I noticed that I hadn't heard from him all day, I called right before I walked out of the building.  A red fllag went up, because he always answered his phone. All the way home, I kept calling.  I was praying all the way home that he had lost of his phone and all would be well.  In the back of my mind, I knew something was terribly wrong.  When I pulled in the garage and saw his car, I froze.  He should have had left for choir rehershal.  I ran into the house, and my life changed forever.

I can't get the vision of him on the floor.  God help us all.  My heart aches for my husband.

Hi Harold

First off, I just would like you know I have experienced the same grief as you described above. In many ways it reminded me of the final months and what seemed like a spiritual experience in the final days and moments before my wife passed.

I do feel your writing with the detail and feelings was good for you and needed in order to process the grief, and a way to come to terms with the grief. I did not find this web site till recently, but was fortunate to have a good support team since December 2013. 

What I can tell you from my experience is to write about feelings and perceptions. Share your feelings and grief. In my case I was able to write to my doctor who I discussed in advance that I was going to do so, and did not expect her to return the communications. I did so electronically and copied the palliative care nurse from the hospital that cared for my wife and offered after death care of people like our selves. I also copied my boys as a means to help them to understand my feelings and to help them in their process.

It has been over two years and I can tell you that from my experience that I do not think you will every be over the loss completely. What I have found is I have in some ways a much deeper soul and understanding of life. I was told, and read much with regard to not shutting down and use this experience to guide me in some way to live life with a new understanding.

I feel I'm doing so, and my wife of 35 years is very much a part of me, my thinking, and my goals. There is so much I could add, but for now I just would like to offer my condolences and tell you as difficult as it is, it will get better. Be aware of of the different stages of grieving and try to recognize them as they can and will influence your behavior.




Thanks for the post, I try to post often sometimes I can't muster the strength to do it. My feelings have been jumping around a lot lately, anger, lonely. I have been trying to keep myself from looking too far ahead, that's been hard lately. My future looks pretty bleak, single, lonely, without the love of my wife. I realize this normal for somebody in raw grief, I know it's not helpful, but I can't seem to control it lately. There's not much I feel I can control, my world feels like it is out of spinning out of control. I'm sure I'll work through it in time.


Mixed feelings are normal, I can recall being so upset with a doctor who neglected to advise of potential risk to someone in my wife's condition prior to a simple procedure which turned into a nightmare. The doctor no longer practices so I will leave it at that.

It still left me without and caused much distress knowing what she went through. But as they say, and it is true, time will heal.

One suggestion I can make is to attend group sessions to discuss your feelings, and to hear others. I did so, and found it very rewarding in that I felt better helping others.

The other thing I would suggest is finding a friend who you can spend time with. Keep busy, doing things you either like to do, or do things to help others.

I was very fortunate to find a little Irish girl friend who is a health care provider. She understood the circumstances and what a person goes through when grieving. I still spend a lot of time with her and she always welcomes any discussion or feelings I would like to discuss.

One thing I do suggest is to take care of all the estate business and see an attorney to summarize your current estate with a family member you trust.


Hello Harold,

I knew your story, but re-reading it brought out once again the deep forever love you share with Diane, and what a special and universally loved woman she was to all who crossed her path.

I can't think of much to add to what Dennis has said, except that as new and raw as your grief is, I honestly have seen a remarkable sensitivity in your replies to us all, and in doing so you sound so much stronger that I think even you realize.

Tomorrow will be the three month anniversary of your sad loss of your lovely wife, and I know each month it has, and will continue to be, a day of tears and loneliness for you. I, and all your new family, will be with you in our hearts, as will your family who you are so lovingly looking after. You know we're here, your safety net as it were, so please remember that you are lonely, but never alone as you travel this path...we're walking it right beside you my friend.

Love, Chuck


Thanks for the post, I don't feel strong but everything I think and feel is clouded by my grief. It's hard to feel good about anything, or feel much joy in life. Last week I felt I was doing okay, this week I feel like I'm falling apart. As I said to Dennis I do best looking day by day, this week I don't feel like I have much control. I guess all I can do is keep moving forward eventually things will improve. 

Dear Harold ....  I had a thought that perhaps you could ask family or friends if any videos were taken at special occasions where perhaps you and your wife were on the video.  I pray there is such a video and you will be able to hear her voice once again and see her.  It will be heart-breaking at first, but I found that the I forgot what Ernie's voice sounded like although I could physically visualize him.  Just the sound of his voice on a DVD I happened to come across and hear his voice helped me a great deal although I will admit I cried buckets willing to give anything to have him here even for 5 minutes.  Don't worry, they are at peace, out of pain and I honestly believe from experiences I've had that they are very close to us.  Your beloved wife is right there with you giving you strength and like you, I still say good morning and goodnight to Ernie and also talk to him every single day at various times whether it's at home or in my car. 

It is a good think to seek grief counseling and I did what I call 'two tours of duty' to be sure I was getting through the worst of my grief.  Being around others physically and hearing their stories doesn't make you feel so alone.  You can go to Grief Hospice or many churches offer Grief Counseling.  Going will help you along with Legacy and all the great members here. 

Praying for you my friend and you're going to be OK.




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