Creator of MyGriefRelief.com
My wish is that no one would ever have to go through grief,
but my passion is that no one has to go through it alone.
On March 12, 2018, I found my husband dead on the porch of our home.
The autopsy revealed that he had a massive heart attack, which brought him down hard on the concrete, which broke his neck and he died pretty much instantly!
I had been away since Saturday morning, March 10, because both of my parents were sick with pneumonia, my dad in the hospital and my mom at home. I was staying with my mom at their home while my sister was mostly at the hospital with my dad.
I last talked with my husband at midnight that day to say our goodnights and I love You’s, but I didn’t know it would be the last conversation I would ever have with him. ❤
My initial reaction was, something was very wrong because I called him several times on Sunday and Monday, but he never returned my calls. Then my reaction was anger because I thought that was very rude not to return my calls, especially when the 10th or 15th message I left, I expressed to him my concerns of his well-being and that he’d better call me back.
On Monday, my sister came to stay with mom so I could go home to check on my husband and pick up clean clothes to head back to stay with mom. However, I DIDN’T GO STRAIGHT HOME. I was scared that he was dead and fearful of finding him dead (as I did), but I was also scared that he just neglected to call me back and then I would be angry with him.
When I did arrive home, I looked through the house and he wasn’t there, then when I opened the back door, there he was face down. My final reaction was something I had never experienced—an out-of-body experience.
I touched his body and he was cold.
He was dead, as I had feared. I called my sister and said “I told you so—he’s dead”. I fell apart, jumping up and down and screaming the words, “I told you so” and "I knew he was dead”.
From that point, I don’t remember a lot. I don’t know who called who, but my son, my neighbor, my brother-in-law, a friend and the medical examiner all arrived at my house. I just kept asking the medical examiner to make sure he was dead because I didn’t really know. They said he had been dead for over 24 hours.
So, of course, then I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I had been mad at him for not calling me, when he was dead the whole time. I felt sad that he died alone and laid there for almost two days on the cold concrete.
So many emotions going on that I still don’t understand all of them.
That first week is a blur. My son took care of all of the arrangements. He found the handwritten will my husband left. My husband’s daughter came to our house on Tuesday and we both said how we wouldn’t make it if my son weren’t there helping sort through everything that had to be done to make arrangements for a deceased person.
Looking back, I was a complete bobble-head. I was numb. I couldn’t answer the simplest questions. I couldn’t do the simplest things. I could barely get out of bed, which made no sense because I couldn’t sleep either. I couldn’t stop crying. I was a mess!
After 2 weeks of bobble-heading around the house, I seemed to be coping well, but the waves of guilt, sadness, loneliness and over whelming grief wouldn’t go away. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and why I couldn’t “pull myself together”.
I couldn’t imagine going back to work feeling like I did. I thought, nobody told me that this was grief. Nobody told me what to expect, so the entire process caught me completely by surprise. What I would have given for someone to reassure me that what I was going through was "normal.”
In the years since my husband died, I have gone to group counseling, private counselors, read so many books, and the bible, searching for relief from the pain of grief.
I now realize what helped most was my faith in God! Not only have I learned a lot about grief, but I learned that I can help others that are struggling through grief!
Looking back through all the deaths that I experienced before my husband’s passing, I never handled any of them well. I never dealt with those feelings that we have when someone close to us dies. I even feel grief when someone I have never met dies.
But, I have learned and encourage others that “life goes on” and I can demonstrate resilience by sharing my faith and experience to assist and support grieving people through the many resources you will find here on our site.
I dedicate this website to the memory of my late husband, William Ralph Jackson, Jr., in the hope that many will identify with both myself and the participants you will meet on the site and find encouragement, education and empathy. While we grieve a life that is gone, we are inspired by a life that was well lived.