When An Ex-Spouse Dies

This past week one of my dearest friends told me her ex-husband had died.   She expressed her deep grief and told me that other friends wondered why she was experiencing such grief when they were divorced?

We grieve because we love, simple as that.  Think about people you don’t know personally that died. You feel bad for the family, but because you don’t know the person who died it doesn’t effect you.

We love people throughout our life regardless of how a relationship ends. When we grieve the loss of a marriage from divorce, we also grieve loss of the future and loss of a life partner.   So when an ex-spouse dies it is normal to grieve the loss.  In either case, we grieve what might have been.

Just as people feel grief differently, they also deal with it differently.  My friend felt as if she couldn’t mourn outwardly the sadness she felt, but I have encouraged her to share with me some good memories of the times they had together and to acknowledge that his life mattered and the time they were together mattered.

Often when I talk with those grieving a death, it is of utmost importance  to know their loved ones life mattered and one way we can be supportive is to talk about the person who died, share memories and be willing to speak their name.  If there are children involved, keeping positive memories alive often helps children to know that it’s okay to talk about their parent and share their feelings.  I don’t think divorce should define who we loved and who and how we grieve.

If you have and ex-spouse that died, please share your experience in the comments section below, I’d love to hear learn more about what you are feeling. – JoAnne

224 Responses to When An Ex-Spouse Dies

  • I would not want a man afraid to shed a tear over someone who was a big part of his life at one time.

  • Actually yes my employer gave me three days off. I helped my children with arrangements and cleaning out his house. I also attended the funeral helped with getting someone to play music and someone to speak. The problem with people is throwing out the baby with the bath water. We had 23 years of marriage and you do not just forget that relationship ever existed. I did not choose to end that marriage he did when he continued illegal activity in our home. But just because i tefuse to be a part of something does not change my feelings for someone else. You should never throw a blanket judgement on someone. My children needed me that day and what kind of mother woukd I have been not to be there for them? I have lived through something you have not. I will not tell you what you need to do when your ex dies but I know without a doubt I did the right thing. You do not get do overs in life so you have to do the right thing. I went to the hospital and spoke to him also while he was on respirator and assured him his family loved him. You see i had already lost my husband before that day but my children lost their father and we (my ex and me) shared a love for them and he would want me there I know that for sure.

  • Just a suggestion that it might be best not to feed the troll(s). Communicate with those who actually understand and are experiencing the topic discussed here and ignore the rest who have nothing of value to add to the discussion.

  • I brought his child into the world and I am raising his child (his parents only grandson).

  • Thank you, CelticTara.

  • A 14 year old who just had his life shattered by the loss of his father deserves to have his mother by his side through the service. The mother is there to support and comfort her son.

  • Do some research … google it. It exists and can be worse than physical abuse.

  • It does break a mother’s heart when their children lose their father. My teen son lost his father earlier this year and he is still grieving. I, too, am grieving in my own way though I have nobody to support me in this. After the divorce we remained close. We supported each other as parents to our son. He was an instrumental part of my older children’s lives during their formative years. No matter what anyone else says, I always wished the best for him and I never wanted to have him totally gone from my children’s lives.

  • She never said she divorced him. She said he had a new relationship.

  • A young child going through the grieving process has every right to have their mother sit with them at the funeral, as long as the family of the deceased is in agreement. Daniel, you really need some help.

  • Chrissy, Janet is right. You have EVERY RIGHT to grieve. You are mother to his son. You have a right to grieve his loss. It is a loss for your son as well, which is difficult even if you were divorced. My ex passed last Spring and at the funeral service I was actually invited to sit up with my son at the front with the rest of my ex’s family because they agreed that my son would benefit from having the support. It is difficult for us to get support of our grieving because unless anyone has been through it they just don’t understand. Please know that you have a support here.

  • You have no right to verbally abuse the women on this board.

  • Daniel, you do not know my situation. You do not know how my ex treated me while we were married which led up to why I had to leave the marriage in a hurry. You were not there in court when I had to get a restraining order against him due to his extreme anger and his threatening behavior.

  • Chris the problem is good or bad you made a decision. You decided to get a divorce. Not that you are a bad person. You just made that decision. So, the consequence of the that decision is everyone around you and your husband thinks you are a total moron for grieving him publicly. You know what? They are right. Your consequence for divorcing him is you can not grieve him. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. So, accept your consequence, bear it like everyone else and move on. See, what Janet is saying here is pretty much there are no consequences for anyone’s actions. You can do or say anything you want and the whole world is suppose to just watch you, pat you on the head and convince you that life is without consequences. So, like or not, that is the way it is. If you tell your husband what Janet just said he will resent you until he leaves you because he doesn’t understand or accept any of that like the rest of us.

    Now, you can not sit up front with the rest if the family because you are not family anymore. You have to sit in the back. That is the proper thing to do. You cannot have your husband sit up with you up front if you do that totally tasteless act because it is like slapping him in the face in his grave. Have an uncle or aunt sit up with your kid and sit in the back row and explain to your kids that Mommy made a decision a long time ago that she wasn’t going to be married to daddy any more and the CONSEQUENCE of that decision is mommy can’t sit up front because mommy isn’t his family but you are…………..

  • You have every right to grieve the death of your ex husband Chris. Do not listen to what Daniel posts as he is a very bitter man who seems to take great joy and putting woman down. He does not know the circumstances of our lives and moreover, he is not able to take into consideration how children of divorced families feel. Children historically love both parents, flaws and all. Just tell your current husband that you and your ex once upon a time shared a history and had a child. Tell him it does not diminished your love for him. I believe we always need to put the feelings of our children first in cases like this. I wish you the best and am sorry your ex had to struggle so badly. Addiction does that and it knows no boundaries. Be strong for your son!

  • Bless you heart Stephanie!

  • They are not your loved one anymore. You DIVORCED HIM. Did your employer offer you time off? No. Why? Because he is not your loved one anymore. You chose to be a legal stranger and entitled to all that comes with that inclu ding grieving in private. .

  • Ahhh really? You divorced him. Get over it

  • Hey. Seems I have some support. Everyone I show this to in the real world think you all are the crazy ones.

  • I’m really hurt over hearing of my ex Hus death. I was so saddened. I’m in another relationship so it makes me confused on exspessing my feelings. Than our son together looks just like him it makes me even more sad

  • Daniel you need psychological help. You are a bitter ex-husband with a chip on your shoulder. All situations are all different, and it is none of your business how a person grieves over an ex. Not all relationships end with bad blood between two people who once loved each other. Back off with your sick, and ignorant comments.

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  • Just to let you know there are bad people out there and it’s not entirely women. My ex was not a bad person. Relationships fail for many reasons,everyones circumstance is different.,sometimes we can still remain civil and sometimes even friends. I’m sorry you had to go through such a horrible divorce. Please try and see the good in some of us as I know I’m a good person and I happen to be a woman. I don’t know you but nobody deserves to lose a child . There is help out there ( bearevment) Just a suggestion, I’m only trying to help. Take care.

  • I’m terribly sorry about your soon that is so heartbreaking, I don’t know what to say. I know its hardest on the children. My heart does go out to you for your loss I’m sorry I misjudged you. I hope and pray one day you will find peace,nobody should have to lose a child that’s got to be the most difficult thing in the world. Sometimes we need to seek help in order to deal with our pain I hope you find peace one day,I honestly do

  • Typical me first bullshit

  • My son died when he blew his head off after my ex married. He is autistic so he couldn’t handle it. I excluded her from his funeral because hey she refused to listen to his shrink and not remarry within 6 months of the divorce. who is evil again?

  • I agree with daniel…..

  • You are one bitter man,you are only thinking about yourself . I wonder what your children would think if you if they knew,how evil you are. You are only hurting yourself by holding a grudge. I pity you,you need some serious help!!!!!!!!

  • you need to think about how badly you’re doing your present hubby. he should get the H#$@ outta Dodge…. Who would want to live with a spouse that didn’t love ’em ?

  • Most on here don’t seem to care at all what they’re doing to their present spouse ( or fiancee’ ) etc.. One way or the other their relationships will suffer in the long run. I wonder what they’d do if the show were on the other foot and they figured out their spouses were acting like that over their ex.

  • Just real Greta.

  • They are not your loved ones anymore. You destroyed that relationship.

  • Greta it works both ways. Thrse woman deserve these words.

  • You are the wife she is no . That is your choice to allow her to make a fool out of you.

  • No the problem is there are too many woman who make big decisions then somehow think they are not accountable.

  • If my ex wife died tomorrow I would shrug my shoulders, drop my almost adult kids off at the uncles house and go out and celebrate. I have no good feelings towards her and if she shows up at my funeral my family would eject her publicly.

  • Thanks Tim. Wtf? Really? They divorce the guy, regret it and think somehow we should stop the world and pat them on the back? They divorced them that has consequences.

  • Daniel – you are entitled to your opinion, however this is not the appropriate forum for your anger. This is a supportive place for people who want to share a like experience. – JoAnne

  • Beth –
    You mixed emotions are normal. At one time you loved him and despite the fact you divorced does not mean you wouldn’t grieve the good times as you mentioned. Best to feel the feelings and move through them. In time grief lessens its intensity. – JoAnne

  • How are you doing Chrissy? I encourage you to find a way to grieve the loss – your ex was part of your life and to have no feeling or to cover them up isn’t realistic or healthy. if you current husband doesn’t understand than find a grief group and go for yourself. being around like-minded people would be helpful because you need to talk about him. – JoAnne

  • Justine, I so appreciate your rational comment. Understanding and compassion are certainly what makes us human as well as the ability to forgive. – JoAnne

  • you’re a fool or a troll. My husband died recently and I am encouraging his ex wife who is my friend (their divorce was amicable) to grieve as openly as she wants. we will all help one another. They had children (grown) and we all miss him. Understanding and compassion are what makes us human. You seem not to know that.

  • My ex husband father of my son past just September 26, 2015 i don’t have anyone to talk to about it my husband just doesn’t understand n makes him feel like i don’t love him bc i am grieving the loss of my ex and my family hate my ex n are glad he’s dead bc know my son won’t be around him which makes it even harder to deal w he was a great husband towards the end put i have a lot of good memories n i did n still love him like my current husband said we would have never met or got together if he would have went to rehab n really got straight up instead of telling u that he wasn’t going to change n that it was for the best to get a divorce n move on bc the drugs had such a hold on him and that’s what happened they finally took his life. If u could help me grieve through this or know someone that can i would appreciate it.

  • You are a very shallow man! Sometimes we offer Grace to our ex husbands despite of there humanly worth but there eternal soul. It would be a cold person that is not saddened of the loss of any loved one. The father of a woman’s children is not taken lightly by some even if you feel it means nothing. Maybe you should examine your bitterness instead of our grief.

  • My ex husband passed away 3 weeks ago. I was married for 23 years and I was victim of domestic violence. He was a heavy drinker among other things. Although he was abusive we also had good times too.. Whenever I feel sad that he passed away I get confused with the drama of our lives. It is hard and confusing to grieve for him. He was a difficult man to love and difficult man to grieve. I know leaving him was the right thing to do but stilI have waves of guilt because I could not save him l. But when i first left him 5 and half years ago I had night terrors. They had stopped about 2 years ago and now i have weird dreams and have trouble sleeping. My children loved him but understand my position and are very supportive.

  • You have no idea,what happened .,therefore keep you cruel words to yourself. People like you will never understand the lose of a loved one wether past or present especially when you see how much your children are suffering. I would watch those words that come out of your mouth you could be in the same position some day. The problem with our world is there are too many heartless people like you in it.!!!!!!!

  • You people on here have no compassion. My present hubby understands completely and doesn’t judge me.I feel so sorry for any woman that latches onto you. It’s quite normal to morn ctge lose of a former spouse especially when your children are involved. You really should watch what you say it will come back at you eventually. The problem with this world compassionate people are so far and few between. I hope you never suffer a lose of a loved one wether present or past,you may eat your words.

  • if you can’t get over it quickly you owe it to your “great serious relationship” to get out of it. Don’t give him the perception that you’re over someone when you’re not. Don’t do him wrong.

  • My ex-spouse died on 2/20/2015 of a massive heart attack. We had seen each other since 1995. I had left him because of his drug addiction. We both starting it together, but when I saw it was getting the best of us I stopped and that he stopped to. We both went into a day program together and at the end the program, I was told from our clinical counselor that he had been lying to me and making me think that he had. But each they gave us urine test and I kept passing mine, but he didn’t. When we came into our relationship initially, my son was 4yrs and his son was 6months. We was really a handsome looking family. Long story short, I end leaving him. He tried so many times to get me to give him another chance, but I was so full of myself and so full of anger towards him that I just started enjoying being single and it was something inside of me that kept pushing me from giving into him. His family adored me and I them, but we lost touch. These last 16 years we never ran into another being in the same circles. The love and respect was always there because my husband never cheated on me and we were best friends and lovers. I couldn’t see all that we had then through my rage of disappointments. Boy am I filled with so much regret. I had a dream that I was giving birth and it hurt so bad, but I never saw the baby in my dream and when I woke up that, I kept thinking that I had never had a dream like that before in my life and I’m 54. Later that morning I got the call that my ex-spouse was in the hospital but on life support and that his mom was going to be taking him off that evening. For some reason I didn’t believe that his condition was really that serious, but when I got there and saw him lying in that bed unresponsive something broke inside of me and I haven’t been the same since. Today October 10 would had been our 23 anniversary. I know

  • Daniel….I can tell from your post that you are a bitter divorced man!

  • Daniel…all I can say is karma will be visited apon you. What you put out into the universe comes back ten fold.

  • No i dont feel relieved because regardless of what happened i always held onto that lil bit of hope that one day he would get help,he came from a very fckd up family and turned to drugs. And yes i always said i just wish he wld die because i thought it would make things easier. I’d get his social security and i cld tell my son ur dads dead instead of he just dsnt give to flying fcks and hes on drugs. But last friday when i got the call that he was murdered in broad daylight no i honestly can say i wasnt relieved, i feel guilt and sorrow. Not just for my boy but for his dad. We now can longer can hold onto hope because someone took that away from us. What time my son got to spend with his dad he was to young to remember…I’ve learned from this to watch what i say…especially when it comes to my boy.

  • You are a scorned ex…not everyone breaks up because they hate each other. Some just learn their not right for each. Just because ur ex is crazy etc doesn’t mean everyone has the same type of relationship as yours..and even so even if they did break up on bad terms doesnt mean they don’t have the right to mourn. You sound like your a 25 old boy who married to quick and learned the hard way. My sons father put me in the head trauma unit and i hated him with a passion and im still mourning his death. Because when u truly love someone that love doesnt go away..u have ur opinions and if u choose to exclude ur ex from ur funeral so be it. But you have no right to tell someone else their wrong for mourning someones death…

  • My ex fiance just passed. He was gunned down. MURDERED. I have a 6 yr old son to him. I hated him to the core. He was mentally and physically abusive to me.. he was also an alcoholic and addict. But i myself have cried.. i myself have so much guilt. I feel that i shouldn’t have given up on him. I always held onto that lil bit of hope that one day his son would see what a good dad he could be. That he would get clean and sober. But now someone took that away from me and my boy. And im struggling daily to cope with this. Just because we are not together with an ex doesn’t mean you dont mourn the death especially with children involved

  • Daniel! You are cruel and you are heartless. I got news for you. I divorced my ex husband for reasons I am not about to share here, due to people like you. But we remained friends. We had a history, we had children together. When he became ill, I took him into my home where he remained with my younger son and myself till he took his last breathe. Don’t you dare tell anyone they are not allowed to cry. Sad you had to use words from a movie rather then to be inventive and come up with your own words. Truly you are a very cruel human being with a heart of ice. Shame on you – but you have no shame because you have no conscience. Ladies and gentlemen , you have every right to cry and grieve if you want don’t like someone like Daniel deter you! Sounds like he caused enough trouble in his own marriage, that when he leaves this world, he will attempt to make more trouble for his EX. He might be able to bar her from his funeral but he cannot stop any grief she may feel, anymore then he can stop ours. He is only on this board to inflict more pain on those who are grieving!

  • Rhonda, I’m not sure you’ll see this but I was so glad to find your post. My husband died on March 15, 2015 of unknown causes. We were separated and I have felt many of the same feelings as you. Alienation in my grief, lack of support, being alone. I have

  • You have a cancerous soul. God is watching you.

  • My husband died on September 5th. Our divorce never finalized. We were living apart and he had a new relationship, but he never got over me. He always said I was his best friend, and professed his love for me. When I found out he was dying, I was devastated. Not just for myself, but for our son. My grief over his death has been unlike anything I’ve experienced. His was the first funeral I attended. I was basically treated like an outcast during the entire funeral. His mother was an extremely toxic influence during our relationship, and in his passing still tried to control the narrative of his life and his life with his family. She’s caused me so much grief when I was with my husband and at his funeral I saw she will forever be that way.

  • I’m so sorry. I don’t understand the family. My husband and I were married for 23 years. The divorce was horrible for both of us but his drinking and cheating on me got worse. I cried the day I stood in front of the judge alone asking for a divorce. We eventually made peace and were able to talk and he did finally quit drinking. When we got divorced his family was angry with me, when he died they acted like it was no big deal. I fell apart. I had no one to have just be there and hold my hand and understand although we were divorced we still loved each other. My youngest was devastated. He pulled away from everyone. My oldest son we had to fly back from his deployment in Okinawa. His wife was there and being newly married he leaned on her. I was OK with that. They were more important. My ex died flin his sleep. Drinking and gaining lots of weight took its toll on his body.

  • My ex husband and I got divorced Nov 2014 but didn’t file the final paperwork until the first week of Sept 2015. My ex husband was killed in a car accident Sept 2, 2015 in a head on collision (his fault)…..I found out about the accident the next afternoon on facebook. I called my old neighbor and she told me it was true and that it was on the news…..At first, I felt disbielf because what’s put on fb is sometimes not true….Then, I felt I lost without him and wanted to kill myself to be with him…..We were together for 38 years…..His daughter is 7 years younger than I and his son is 9 years younger…..He left behind 2 adult children, 4 adult grandchildren, and 3 great grandsons……They never called to tell me……My ex and I had a good relationship.. We were finally becoming friends after our divorce….My heart aches for him…..
    He was living in the fast lane going to concerts, drinking, dating, and driving his Mustang too fast. I had this feeling the day before it happened something was wrong because he didn’t return my text…barBara

  • Daniel Keith you’re a jerk.

  • Just like I told him, I would EXPECT him to. If he loved her enough to have children with her, then he would most certainly grieve or he has no concept of love at all. It doesn’t just completely go away simply because ur no longer “romantically in love” any more

  • Ok. Let me

  • Number on. I think the pension goes to you in its entire

  • My ex husband, and father of our 2 daughters passed away suddenly in a boating accident, 5 years ago Aug 28th. He was engaged to be married that Sept and I had remarried that April. We had been married for 6 years, it just didn’t work out. We were better friends divorced than we were married. We talked several times a week about life and our daughters. I was at the hospital more than his fiance was in the 5 days prior to removing him from life support. I was incredibly close to his family, I have since lost touch with all of them except his brother, his brother’s wife and their daughter, my niece. I feel a void that will not go away. I am so happy and blessed in my second marriage. I just can not get past the void. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • My ex died last week.I was married to him for 40 years and while I was at work my ex hired and loaded up a moving van with all joint household property and left the state to continue an affair he was having with a first cousin he became reacquainted with on facebook which occurred over the span of 3 months. He had not seen her in 54 years. I was served divorce papers the same day he left when I got home and saw an empty house. I was unaware of the affair because I was working and my ex was retired. I couldn’t retire when he did because I was getting the health care coverage for us. His leaving happened 3 years ago. He eventually married this cousin and moved again to a 2nd state. Their marriage was only 1 year 3 months long when he died of a massive heart attack. He had almost no contact with our son since leaving. The divorce conditions financially have still not been met. I am still retaining an attorney to now acquire what is due me through his estate. Yes we(my son and I) grieved twice over. I hurt and I’m scared because 40 years is a long time to build memories that will probably never go away. A different cousin even called me asking me what my ex’s wishes were when he died. Our adult son was never consulted about his wishes for his dad. His cousin/wife cremated him which was not my ex’s wish. I’m also worried financially because he was collected 1/2 of my pension and because I am a state employee, I have to live on1/2 my pension for the rest of my life. It looks like retirement is never going to happen for me. I am 63 years old and starting my 35th year in teaching. Any guidance is appreciated.

  • Tell her to grow up or you will divorce her. Think she would be understanding if you were crying over your ex?

  • No it isn’t.

  • I am his only son’s mother

  • My ex-husband and I divorced over 15 years ago. He remarried and had another child, and subsequently divorced his second wife. We have two adult children. He was 20 and I was 19 when we were married.

  • My ex-wife passed away today. We were married for 19 years divorced 6
    years. I am feeling emotional pain. It hurts. I just talked to her two days ago.
    She sounded up beat. This was unexpected. I thought about Vera quite often as I
    was always thinking about her well-being. I wish things would have been better
    toward the latter part of our marriage. I’ve always blamed myself. Now she is
    gone. I won’t be able to talk to her again. I have re married but for some
    reason I feel alone. I still love Vera and always will. Please forgive me Vera. Rest In Peace

  • I am having a difficult time. My ex-husband passed away suddenly this past spring. We were married 10 years then divorced. Ultimately we ended up getting along, being friends and supporting each other during rough spots. We attended our son’s sporting events together, even carpooling when convenient. He was step-father to my older children, though it felt like his family didn’t accept them as I had hoped they would. Through the years there were incidents where it seemed the child we had together was favored and my oldest two were just “accepted”. I am having difficulty coping with the in-laws. I attended the funeral with my son, not only to give him support but also so I could express my condolences to his family. I felt like an outcast, though some of them warmed up to me after a while. I did try to give his mother a hug, from which she cringed and obviously did not want me near her. I later was given the impression that I was the one being blamed for the divorce. They did not know the details of why we divorced. They knew of his anger issues but felt I should accept it. At the funeral I find out that my ex had a girlfriend which I had suspected but he never admitted to. She was in love with him and is trying to cope with his loss. Ex’s family (MIL) have welcomed her with open arms, with MIL being glad she showed him “true love”. While my head tells me I should just get past it and move on, my heart still hurts so very much.

  • First I would like to than the moderator for this topic. It is an important issue since we now live in a society where the divorce and marriage rates are practically equal. I suffered the loss of my ex-wife (divorced in Sept. 2010 after a 2 year battle) this past March 3, 2015. She was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer on December 1, 2014 and I was one of the 1st people that she called to advise. We separated, and subsequently divorced, due to her no longer being in love with me. She was in what seemed to be a relationship at that time and after 2 years of battle our divorce was finalized. However, we met right before our 2nd mediation, talked our issues through, apologized to one another and over time forgve one another so that we could begin co-parenting our children. Fast forward 5 years, and we were in a decent spot. We were friends, lived less than 10 minutes away and worked together for the betterment of our children. We spent some holidays and bithdays together and managed to get along well. When she got sick all I could think of was her and her relationship with the children. What did the future look like for them? me? She passed in 4 months leaving some things behind to clean up but, because we were friends, we talked about a plan and the future for our children. The first 4 months of her passing have been tough. It is surreal sometimes and she pops in to my mind every once in a while unexpectedly and I get melancholy. I cried a lot at first, her father relies a lot on me as he had lost his wife in 2006 and now his only child in 2015. He has little family and his grandchildren (12 and 17) are the closest thing that he has left that he cancall family.

    Getting past your ex’s passing is all about forgiveness. We forgave each other upfront and were able to make amends before she got sick. Some cannot say that as their ex’s past unexpectedly or unknowingly. Accept their misgivings as a weakness, forgive the weakness and then remember the good times that you had with that spouse. It is o.k. to cry, write letters to whomever you need to and keep the big picture in mind which is any children that are in the picture and their family that you may need to continue to keep in touch with. Forgiveness and time heals these wounds. If you were the one that needs forgiveness and are seeking that from other so you can get on with your life in peace then meet those in person, be prepared to be open and honest with them, tell them your story, sincerely apologize, ask for the forgiveness and then wait for the healing to begin either on the spot or in time.

    I am sorry for all of those who have lost loved ones and are in pain. I suffer this pain in many forms too. Sadness, depression, lack of concentration and focus, lack of motivation but in time these will return as the healing overtakes me more and more. I think that my ex- does not want me to be unhappy as a sad daddy makes sad children.

    thank you for reading my comments and I sincerely hope that I am able to help you heal through my perspective.

  • My ex fiance and daughter’s father passed away suddenly last week. I haven’t spoken to him since 2008 or seen him since 2004. I’m taking this really bad that he is gone. I don’t understand why im grieving so much for him. It did take me years to get over him and i eventually married another. I want to contact his sister but I’m nervous of what there reaction would be. He never had a relationship with our daughter and I hope they don’t blame me for that. I also hope that he didn’t pass away thinking I was intentionally keeping our daughter away because that was not the case. I hope he knew that I never hated him for breaking my heart. I think I’m grieving so much for him because deep down I still love him.

  • My ex-husband died in March. We were together for 20 years. it was half my life. There remains him in everything I do. He suffered from mental illness and depression and our relationship was very destructive and abusive. I finally found the strength to leave fearing for my own survival. I knew when I left him, he would someday commit suicide. And he did, 8 years after we parted. I know he never got over my leaving. He died broke and alone. I knew my leaving would be the end of him. I live with that guilt and wish he was kind to me, the only person who loved him so much. I would never have left if he wasn’t so cruel. I also know it was mental illness but that doesn’t help the pain in my heart. t know we will love each other for eternity. But I am remarried to a wonderful man but my grief over his death at times is beyond anything I have ever known. I grieve alone not to let my current husband see. There is so much to our story. It helps me just to write this strangers. I loved him. I hope to live a long life but I also hope that when it is my time, he is there waiting for me, happy as he was when we were us long ago.

  • My ex-husband died in March. We were together for 20 years. it was half my life. There remains him in everything I do. He suffered from mental illness and depression and our relationship was very destructive and abusive. I finally found the strength to leave fearing for my own survival. I knew when I left him, he would someday commit suicide. And he did, 8 years after we parted. I know he never got over my leaving. He died broke and alone. I knew my leaving would be the end of him. I live with that guilt and wish he was kind to me, the only person who loved him so much. I would never have left if he wasn’t so cruel. I also know it was mental illness but that doesn’t help the pain in my heart. t know we will love each other for eternity. But I am remarried to a wonderful man but my grief over his death at times is beyond anything I have ever known. I grieve alone not to let my current husband see. There is so much to our story. It helps me just to write this strangers. I loved him. I hope to live a long life but I also hope that when it is my time, he is there waiting for me, happy as he was when we were us long ago.

  • Thank you for proving my point. What makes you think after you divorced a guy you have any right to sit at the table in his funeral or anything. You divorced him. Accept your decision and suffer the consequences ie suffering or mourning in silence and move on. Every single male and some females I have,shown this to don’t know what the hell you are all talking about.

  • Sad thing is…. APPARENTLY, nobody will find grief in your passing????

  • Apparently you “cry” victim because you lash out, PATHIC BEING, YOU are! GET OVER YOURSELF Douchebag Keith and get past all of YOUR OWN issues and stop CREATING CHAOS in others lives because you find THINK that you find yourself to be a keyboard “badass”…..


  • YOU have issues dude!

  • DoucheBAG!

  • Rhonda, I ECHO your story soooo closely! I have had NOBODY to lean on…. and I am a closet mourner…and it so SUCKS! Please, do NOT hesitate to contact me! Tanya.kicks@yahoo.com (however it is my junk email)…if you make several attempts, I look through spammed messages and I can give you my more personal email address and phone number. I just worry about spam and trash… I HOPE to hear from you! I KNOW YOUR HURT!… Tanya

  • Quote from a fabulous movie. Doesn’t make you any less of mean-spirited troll. My guess is you’re actually a 16-year-old girl who is simply bored. Little girl, when your breasts are fully grown, tune back in for an adult conversation.

  • My ex husband died on Tuesday. There was no bad feelings between us at the end but it ended after 18 years when I had an affair. I am just at a loss at the moment

  • I have been in that situation and was friends with his ex-wife. I cried as well. So evidently, you are incapable of seeing any good in any of this. Again, I only feel sadness for your experience and reality. Trust me, not everybody is thinking the way you are. You just have a strong opinion.

  • Daniel, I have read many of your comments and it’s sad that you have such feelings about ex-wives grieving. Not every woman has been through a bad divorce and many stay friends with their ex’s. Either way, grief and crying is normal and people deal with it differently. Saying cruel, hurtful comments that may be true to some extent, is not appropriate.

  • I’m truly sorry for the loss of your son….however Daniel just because women divorce a man doesn’t always mean that they are the bad guys. Your case sounds pretty cut and dry but in my case I was abused and so was my son (our son) so our son no longer chose to associate with his abusive father and he grew up a better man for it. So you see we all have a story and divorce although painful as it is it is not always the worst answer for a problem. No way was I going to let myself or our son stay in danger. Yes I divorced him but 30+ years later I am grieving but alone becsuse I was cast out by his entire family who seemed to be blind to the facts, I made my choice and it was the right one. My son was raised by a fantastic man who is still Dad to our son…

  • No Daniel your just broken…

  • How can you speak for the majority? Who gave you the right to be judge jury and convictioner? Just because you got burned you seem to think all men are the victims, I got a news flash for you your wrong…I can see why your wife left for for someone else she certainly wasn’t getting love and compassion from you.

  • Daniel, it’s obvious that you have been badly hurt by a woman or a man, but don’t take your frustrations out on me or anyone else in this forum. You have no clue what my ex was thinking; what’s in my heart or what happened in my previous marriage so keep your negative comments to yourself! Bye, Troll !!!!!

  • My deceased ex-husband past away a little over 3 yrs. ago and I am still not dealing very well. One morning he tells me he loves me and withing 24 hrs he asked me for a divorce. I was devastated. Done everything I could to save it but he didn’t want any part of it. Withing 6 months after the divorce was final he passed away. To this day I do not know the exact reason why the divorce but I loved him so much that I gave it to him. Along with a high % of the divorce. I did this because my kids told me that if I went after the their dads money that they would be done with me…even tho I worked also. We had been married over 23 yrs. My kids and ex-husband meant so much to me that I didn’t want anymore hurt. For the first year my son didn’t have anything to do with me and to this day my daughter still doesn’t want to acknowledge me. I’m tired of holding my feelings back when I want to say something. I want to be able to say what’s on my mind instead of being in fear of making things even worse. I want to be able to go places and not worry about people judging me. My duaghter got married(had no part of it) and now she is going to have my first grandchild. I want the daughter/mother relationship back that we had as she was growing up. We done so much together. She was my best friend. I hurt because I feel that my kids don’t understand how much this is killing me. So many times I just want all the pain to go away. They have all they need for the rest of their lives, they don’t need Mom!

  • My ex-husband died yesterday aged 59. He had been battling cancer but the end came suddenly even if not altogether surprisingly.
    Our personal story is that we had been married for 21 years, separated for 15yrs and divorced for 5 of those years. He chose to leave & to divorce me because I was cramping his style, but we have 3 beautiful children and now a larger family including 4 grandchildren. It took effort but we maintained a friendship for our children and worked through to a place where we were at ease with each other with good camaraderie when we met. I haven’t been out with anyone nor considered remarrying, that was my choice for me. I like his current girlfriend & was pleased they had each other at such a difficult time.
    Our children & grandchildren are grieving, my own responses took me greatly by surprise. When I heard the cancer had spread to most of his body it was like I travelled through each part in horror & experiencing grief & shock. However I feel that is inappropriate and that I have no place or right to be a part of this time with my own flesh & blood.
    It is very hard to step back & worse to admit hurt – so selfish to claim part of it because it has no real effect on my daily living. I ceased to belong to his family when he walked out, I know his family don’t welcome my presence and question my place there. My kids involve me but it seems part need part patronising and I don’t know how to respond. I feel like a jigsaw piece from another puzzle, I just don’t fit anywhere. I’m doing all I can to support my family through this but each step of the way brings fresh pain that I cannot share or acknowledge. I tried to share with some of my friends but they don’t understand or try to put a positive slant on everything, like nothing can possibly be allowed to be just what it is.
    I read that I will always be a divorcee no matter what and I’m permanently stuck with that stigma regardless. Many posts were quite nasty about anyone daring to question if their legal status changes and only viewed it from a monetary or moral standpoint. I am dreading the funeral and can’t wait for it to be over. At the same time it all seems so surreal, I can’t believe he’s gone. I struggle that we will not share another joke, family anecdote, Christmas, or chats – even though we were happily not together, those times, events & memories that were ours.
    I feel for our family, his girlfriend and his family. I know I will be fine but it is really hard not to have a place or right among my own.

  • I have a similar sense of loss for my ex husband who died two days ago. However it seems illogical because my life is so much better than it ever was 25 years ago when I was married to him. Even though he had a weak heart he wasn’t a bad person. Now I wonder if he hadn’t left me for someone else, what might have been. It’s a strange time – all those old memories have returned. I don’t know what role to play apart from helping my sons with their grief. I suppose no matter how you look at it, he will always be a part of my past.

  • The guy I was engaged to before I met my husnad (3 years ago) passed away of kidney failure yesterday morning. Our relationship ended horribly, and I know for certain that I feel no like or love towards him, but I am feeling an unbearable amount of guilt and I cannot wrap my head around it. He made my life miserable, and I certainly am not mourning “what could have been.” I feel as though maybe I am upset because of how hard him and his family and even I at one point fought to keep him alive, and all that failed. I don’t feel I could have prevented it nor want to be a part of it, but it really is hurting me, like a piece of my past isn’t real anymore cause he died of exactly what we tried to prevent. I feel it’s not fair to my husband that I mourn to him. I keep having up and downs and I know he’d be great to talk to, but I don’t want to be unfair and make him feel it’s more than it is. I’m pretty torn up and Idk how to get closure.

  • hello my name is autum I met my exhusband when I was 18 we were married for 2 yrs divorced for almost 3 and have a beautiful 4yr old ytogether last month I got a phone call at 8:30pm that was in a accident and didn’t make it … he is my best friend always have been close even through the divorce …. im on a great serious relationship but a piece of me just feels so disconnected … what do I do how do I get pass this ??

  • My ex-husband, and father of my three children, passed away unexpectedly almost 7 months ago in October 2014. His wife and our oldest son were with him at the time that it happened. His heart gave out and he was no longer able to take care of those he loved. His last words were “I’m sorry. I just can’t do this anymore.” He said those right before he collapsed. We had been married for 21 years, but separated for the last 6 years of our marriage. He remarried within two weeks of our divorce being finalized to a former girl friend from high school. I waited several years (3+) before remarrying. Our two oldest children (19 and 17) spoke lovingly of their father during his memorial service. His wife had him cremated without an autopsy. She felt that the children had been through enough and did not need to go through their father being cut open. I was with her and the kids when they told us he was gone. They brought him into the hospital on an ambulance an d worked on him for over 45 minutes between the hospital ride and in the ER, but were unable to resuscitate him. That was one of the worst nights of our lives. Our daughter screamed out and ran out of the hospital. Her daddy had been taken from her and she didn’t understand why. They led us all back to see him and say our goodbyes to him before they took him away. His wife invited me to sit by her at his memorial service and said she was sharing the grief with me. Others in the family were not so kind and felt I had no business being there. I told myself I was there to support my children – our children, but the truth was, I was there to say goodbye to a man I had known for over 30 years. A man I called my friend.

    His passing came within days of my scheduled hysterectomy. My two oldest waited for hours for me to come out of the surgery. My oldest was preparing to take guardianship of the two younger ones should anything happened to me during the surgery. I had told my doctors what happened so they knew the importance of returning me to my children. The doctors released me in time to attend his memorial service, although I had to be driven around by my daughter that weekend due to the surgery. She was strong and brave for me, taking care of my needs and making sure I didn’t overdo it. I think it helped take her mind of wanting to curl up in a little ball and never come out. They listened to his family tell story after story about their father and the kind of man he was. Fortunately, they knew what kind of man he was. They had been able to spend every other weekend with him, dinners every week, and alternating weeks during the summer with him. He only lived 15 minutes away from us, and had retired years ago, so was able to be there to pick them up from school when they got out early, or when they called him to go home sick. Our oldest moved out after he graduated and moved in with his dad. I was angry with him at the time for doing this, but now I’m glad for the time he had with his dad.

    I’m not able to talk about how I feel about his death with my husband. He doesn’t understand, and doesn’t want to hear about it. He feels like I divorced him so I should be over him. It’s not that simple with a man that has been in my life for over 30 years. I met him when I was only 13 years old. We got married a little over 5 years later. I talk to our kids about it, but I try not to as I know they are still grieving their loss, too. His wife is having a difficult time without him, as they were married for a little over 4 years. This month would have been their 5th anniversary. She said he was her hero, and she called him her Superman. I laughed when I heard that because that is what I called him, too. He was always there to rescue me. Even though we could not live together as husband and wife, we called each other friend, and I knew he still loved me. Even if that love had turned more to that of friendship and not the erotic/romantic kind of love we once had. I still miss him every day and wish I hadn’t fought with him so much over the custody of the kids. What would it have hurt if I let him spend more time with them?! It all seems so silly now. (He was taking me back to court – we were scheduled to appear in front of the judge in December.) Everyday the kids do something amazing or funny or wonderful, and I want to pick up the phone and call him to tell him what happened. Everyday I’m reminded of the fact that he is not here. My husband is jealous of the feelings I have for my ex, but does not want to listen to me and help me through my grief. He does not want to hear that I would give anything to have the father of my children back. I cannot tell him how it breaks my heart to hear my youngest cry out that he is sorry that when his dad asked him to go to the store with him he told his dad that he was too busy because he was playing a “stupid video game” and how he wished he had spent more time with him. I cannot tell him that my daughter is going to be facing her senior year of high school without her daddy, and asked her ex-boyfriend’s dad to stand in for her dad on senior night at school in the fall. The best I can do is to silently thank God for my children and for the time we had with him whenever I am reminded of their father, and pray that the pain lessens with each passing day without him. ~Michelle

  • My ex just died few days ago and I find my self very difficult to deal with my fiancée now. We had a daughter that’s turning twenty one two months from now and his birthday is only a week away from the day he passed. I know its been twenty years we divorced but I really missed him, I feel like it’s my fault that he died, cause if I never left him he would still be around. I would wait till everyone leaves the house than I would start crying and asking him to forgive me… please I wish god would take this punishment from me. I fell in love with him all over again not sure why, I really missed him so much.

  • I am in a very similar situation.. mentally and emotionally. My ex died a few days ago, I divorced him 20 years ago. I have so many regrets and I’m having a most difficult time.

  • My ex and I were divorced 25 years before he died, after 17 years of marriage, but remained friends as we had 2 children from the marriage.. We both remarried and in 2012 he went on Hospice for lung cancer with brain metastasis. We both were able to tell each other that we loved each other and I helped in his care .Our daughter and I were with him when he died at his home. I became numb with grief. People at work did not understand why I took the one day off allowed as a bereavement day. I was full of regret that I ever instigated the divorce in the first place. I knew he never wanted the divorce and it was in the past several years that I realized that I no doubt made a mistake, but it was way too late. Now, three years later, I am daily filled with remorse for the years we could have had together. I find myself screaming in the car for him as if he could still hear me, begging for forgiveness [even though he had already told me he forgave me]. I miss him so very much. My present husband doesn’t get it and I cannot figure out how to deal with these emotions. Our adult daughter just reminds me that “you divorced him now live with it”. I am confused about these intense emotions. Is it grief, regret or what? Sometimes I feel that God is punishing me for my decision to divorce when I really did love him. I feel I deserve to be in all this unrelenting pain.

  • My ex husband was killed in a car accident on New Year’s Day. He was making an illegal pass and hit a car head on. We’ve been divorced for more then ten years. Although I have remarried he was always a part of me and continues to be even though his passed. I feel sad that he is no longer here. We didn’t communicate after the divorce, but he’s always been in my head. The only thing that brings me some comfort is to think he will always be in my heart and feel grateful that I kept a few mementos from our former marriage.

  • My ex husband passed away very recently,I have one son with him and another son whose older from a previous relationship. I have been remarried for quite some time now but I find myself crying about his death often,especially when I’m alone. Because he passed away so recently and only 55 years of age because of a bad heart. I feel Like it’s also my lose even though we have been apart for quite some time. I want to be able to get past this grieving stage but don’t know how,any suggestions will be helpful. Thank you.


  • My ex-husband past suddenly this past weekend. We remained friends over the years and when I heard the news, although I am in a relationship, I was / am devastated. I spoke with his family via phone and assumed I would attend the funeral to not only pay my respects but to be supportive anyway I could. They have done the same for me when I suffered loss throughout the years. However, the family decided to have a Private Interment. I want to be respectful to the family, but in the meantime my heart feels like it’s going to explode right out of my chest.

  • Your facebook profile doesnt give one the option to add you as a friend. Did you know that? So I messaged you. It might be In Your “other” folder

  • It is Kim Pate Ryan. My email is brokerkimryan@gmail.com. look forward hearing from you!

  • Kim there are several with your name on Facebook which one are you?

  • Hi Tammy. I am so sorry. I lost mine in a similar situation end of November. Email me or friend me on FB and will talk.

  • I am sorry for your loss. I lost mine in November. I miss him horribly. And it was dysfunction ast its finest.Friend me on Facebook and we can chat or email me.

  • Right on!

  • I am grieving my ex and Am in a relationship. Don’t be hard on her. Love her. Hold her. Let her know she can trust you with her feelings. He was her family at one time…No matter how it ended, how awful she said he was, or how over it she is..understand that there are memories there..did they have children? He is no threat to you and it had absolutely nothing to do with her feelings foie you. You are a great guy.. not many men would seek help understanding their wives anguish over an ex. I know it is confusing. Be the bigger person. Just love her through it. Good luck

  • I am feeling like I am going to break. People think it is strange to grieve for an ex. I feel like I am grieving the loss of the marriage and the fact that my kids didn’t have a normal life. He was addicted to drugs for years. Have even.led my son down the path of dru so I was angry about that. He recently was going to be homeless so we tried to get him into the Ru housing program that my son went through. He wouldn’t go. We all agreed he needed to reach his bottom and were willing to help him in any way as long as he got help but that he was on his own if he didn’t. Well then my daughter was moving into her new house and received a phone call that he had been found dead and was dead for two or three days in a motel room. I have done what I could so far to protect the kids and help make arrangements. He had to be cremated because he had been dead so long and we couldn’t afford it. Most of his family is dead and was very disfunctional. Then I found out his last day he told a guy that divorcing me was the biggest mistake of his life and that he still cared for me. Both.my kids Re hiding their grief and so am I. I don’t want to grieve in front of my husband because he personalizes it. People at work don’t understand. I am going to counsel.with a pastor next week. I think he overdosed. There were several texts with drug deals on his phone. This has not been shared with my kids but the.police know. Still waiting for cause of death. The big thing is feeling guilty and sad for what should’ve been. Drugs robbed us of a normal life. So sad. I feel broken inside.

  • Leah I posted last fall and went into my disfunctional life and how I think it led to my husbands death. It was pending for months and nothing was ever added after my comment and then it was reset with an option to flag a comment. I hope me telling my story with no filter didnt cause her to reset the comments. Not everyones life with their ex is all lollipops and rainbows. I was hoping for a reply maybe to my comment. I wish there was a chatroom for people like us who have lost an ex and have guilt and need to talk it out and maybe .. hopefully rid themselves of some of it by venting about it no matter how unpleasant your story is… I hope she changes her mind about my comment and reposts it and all the ones before me.

  • I commented last fall and it was never posted or responded to In fact nothing was ever written after my pending post.. I guess because I went into detail about my disfunctional life and how it led to my ex husband’s death. In fact these comments were reset and an option to flag and report were added. This makes me sad because I was hoping for a response possibly. I wish there were more forums like this where we who have lost an ex and have guilt can talk no matter how bad or disfuntional the topic of your life with them might have been. Not everyones loss is all lollipops and butterflys and talking about it sometimes helps some of us expel the guilt.

  • My ex wife died from drowning. My children were there, My son was trying to save her. I was/am devastated. It’s been 8 months since it happened, and I am still struggling. we were divorced only a year prior to her passing. The wounds from the divorce were still healing. Her family is carrying on the tradition of hatred towards me. They have manipulated my daughter into siding against me. They attempted to take my son from (they lost). I have such a hard time understanding the motives behind their actions. Is this how they grieve? By taking it out on me? I have reached out to them several times only to have the door slammed. I don’t want my son to even see them, but I know that isn’t right. I question my decision of divorce in the 1st place even though I know that it was the right one. I am with someone again and love her very much, but I fear that my grieving and all of these unique circumstances will tear me up.

  • my ex husband died almost 3 yrs ago- of alcoholism and obesity. Our daughter- now 26 hasn’t talked to me or my entire family for 6 years. She hates me for some unknown reason and has taken it out on everyone- her brothers, grandparents etc… when I found out her dad died almost 3 years ago- I shook in grief. I am truly sadden for him- for our daughter and his entire family. I watch my 600 lb life frequently and think of him. I am sad and heart broken he died at 41 years of age. that he didn’t get a chance to be a better parent to our daughter- to do things better and right. it has encouraged me to be healthier, and to pray to do Gods will. And I am not sure if my daughter knows this- her dad and I may have not got along but I am genuinely hurting for everyone

  • Love her. Be there for her. Hug her lots. And pass her the tissues when she needs them. It will pass and then she wil love you more for your understanding.

  • My ex husband and daddy to 3 of my children unexpectedly passed away last Sun, Feb 22, 2015 from an unknown cause. We were married for nearly 10 years and were high school sweethearts. We had gotten divorced in 2008. We remained friends. Of course we argued but we got past it quickly. He remarried in July 2010 and I remarried Sept 2010. I drove my children down last Tuesday for the viewing at the funeral home, his wife is having him cremated. I wanted our children to spend time with family. The whole time I felt like an outcast. Like I wasn’t allowed to cry, grieve and be mad as hell at his sudden, unexplained passing that technically left me as a single mother and my children without a father. My former mother in law, let it be known I was the cause of this it was my fault. She thinks I kept our children away from him for years, which I never did….he was one of my best friends. Tomorrow will be a week since he passed and all I have done is cry. I have no one to cry on, to understand how I feel, all while I’m trying to stay strong for our children and help them cope. He was regularly in their lives honoring every other weekend visits, half holidays and then some. Our mutual friends have reached out to me but everyone lives 3 hours from me including my exhusbands family. Then the other night I had talked to a few of our friends and they tell me he was still in love with me, that he would have done anything to get me back. My ex husband expressed this to our 12 year old son, 3 weeks ago at their last visit. I’m trying So hard to get through this but I feel so lost.

  • Joanne, this thread used to have so many more comments and replies, I am wondering what happened to them. When I came here looking for support, the posting by others having gone through the situation helped greatly. Is there any way to activate the past posts so that others may gain the support I felt?

  • My husband and I were separated for several months prior to him being murdered about 6 months ago. I have never felt such hurt. I was grieving the loss of our marriage as he left me while expecting our second child. At first I was so angry and thought I was not supposed to grieve, then a friend told me it was ok. I suddenly found my self deeply hurt and unable to cope on his birthday, just barely able to hold it together for my children. I am a nurse and recognize that I am dealing with the stages of grief which are so individualized. This site really helped just by allowing me to read and post. No matter how we ended I still loved him very much and I miss him and I realize now that it is ok. I pray that God will comfort those who post here as he has been comforting me.

  • I discover my ex wife had passed away this past late November. I found out through a mutual friend who thought I should know. I discovered she passed away 3 days after she died. She was diagnosed with intestinal cancer and passed away a month after. I find myself feeling sad and sorry for her. I find myself wondering to myself, how is it that she is gone and I’m still here. Not that im not greatful for still being here mind you. We both remarried and I moved across the country with my new wife. I feel sorry for her husband and her parents for their loss. I only have wish to remember the good times we had together and remember her that way. After our divorce, I was very upset with her. I cooled down after and only wished her the best in life and all the happiness in the world. I just would like some closure if I could on this. I don’t know where she is burried or if she is even burried. When we were married, she wanted to be cremated. I guess what I’m asking for is a little advice, any would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • I lost my ex husband 6 months ago suddenly … despite everything we were able to become the best of friends ..we have two children who never had to worry about us all being together ( I remarried) we went out for family meals often.. he came for a cuppa and a chat frequently
    I miss him and our friendship and I grieve in silence . it hurts so much

  • My ex-husband passed away last Friday. I can’t believe how upset I was, we were married for 15 years but have been divorced for 20 years. I didn’t have a lot of contact with him as our children are grown up and married, the last time I saw him was May 2014. He had remarried so when he became ill I didn’t feel that I should interfere so didn’t have the chance to say goodbye. He had been ill for about a year but when he died it was so sudden. My adult children are not coping well, it is still early days and the funeral isn’t until next week. My oldest son is really struggling, in fact, he’s behaving the way that his father did when he lost his mum so many years ago. This is the son who I was least worried about! My younger son seems to be coping slightly better! I have told them that I am there for them but I don’t know how I’m supposed to be feeling.

  • I am the wife of a wonderful man and my ex-husband passed away yesterday. We were married for 18 years, share 3 children, and were divorced for almost 6 years. My biggest struggle is feeling like I am not allowed to hurt, grieve, or be affected at all. I have bottled up my emotions for the last two months while he has been sick. My husband is an amazing man and I know he would understand but I just cannot let myself show the emotion in front of him. My advice, let her know it is ok to grieve. Let her know that you understand she had a history with her ex and it is normal to feel the pain. My husband brought roses and a box of candy home to me today and told me he thought I needed a Valentine’s gift early. This reinforced to me the understanding he has of what I am feeling. Personally, I think it is harder to go through as the ex because of these feelings along with feelings of guilt because the marriage failed. In my situation, I cannot attend services because the relationship between myself and ex in laws is not a good one. This makes it even more difficult for me. Just be there for her, let her know it is ok for her to grieve and console her when she is ready to let her feelings out. Take care….

  • I would like to know this one too. I’m 60 and started dating a woman whose ex husband died 5 years ago. I don’t know how long between the divorce and the man’s death. She still brings up his name, which I’m OK with and she said she takes a mild anti-depressant once a week that is related to her dealing with the loss. I’m not judging her on that score.

    She has been so infatuated with our relationship for the last month, to where she would be sending messages to me between the time I left her place and getting home, saying how great we are together. On that we agreed.

    Three days after our last weekend, she texted (not impressed by this but it’s how she contacts even her kids) that we’re moving too fast and she’s not really ready for a relationship. I was as annoyed as I am now sad. She was the one setting the pace and making most of the gestures that say someone is really into you. I did not reply at all and no contact for 10 days now but I’d definitely like to recoup this relationship if and when she’s ready.

    I’m thinking she could be dwelling on the death of her ex because the anniversary of his death is within weeks of the split and I know I used to be helplessly detached and depressed every November because both my parents died in Novembers, 2 years apart. And I was estranged from my only sibling in a November.. The subconscious has a powerful grip on our emotions. This went on for about a decade until I put my finger on the connection. I’ve been able to deal with it and avoid going into those sad (depressing) thoughts.by consciously getting my mind into positive activities.
    Sorry this is so long. Any thoughts on the possibility she’s going through something like that?

  • I went through a very heart wrenching experience. I had left my husband 4 years ago but we were still legally married. When he suddenly got ill, I was with him at the hospital every day and it was horrible to see him suffer. On top of that, I was also dealing with the possibility of financial ruin if he were to go to a nursing home and began to wonder if I should initiate divorce proceedings to protect our finances. I felt incredibly guilty that I worried about such things while still trying to be compassionate about the pain my husband was going through.

    When he passed away, I felt a bit of relief knowing that if I had to divorce him it would cause so much emotional upset with him. Now, I am just very sad. We were married 28 years, and although I chose to leave these past 4 years, I will always be sorry for hurting him.

  • What should I do if my wife is grieving her ex husband?

  • Thanks Joann for sharing and reading others stories – a bond many share. – JoAnne

  • Susan, thanks for your comment. It is amazing that their are so many people that share deep emotions following the death of their ex-spouse. I think it is so beneficial to talk about it. – JoAnne

  • thanks for sharing your story. As you can see from the other comments, there are many similar stories. It is always interesting to me how ex-families need to blame someone for the death and it tends to be the ex-spouse. Sounds like you found peace with him and that is all that matters. I pray your children will find their peace and choose to recall the fond memories of their father. – JoAnne

  • I am so sorry to have not replied sooner, I’ve had issues with the website. Regardless, please know you are not alone as you can see from the other comments. I suggest that you honor your feelings about your ex, after all you were married 25 years – how would you not have feelings? Grieving a loss should not be something we have to choose between that and a new relationship. Hopefully your current mate is kind and loving and would understand why you would grieve. – JoAnne

  • thank you for sharing your heartfelt journey and your road to happiness. Wishing you much more happiness in the years to come. – JoAnne

  • I believe it is not only acceptable but the right thing to do to express condolences and to let someone know you cared about this person, in this case Jay. Regardless of the fact you moved on, you still cared about him. So be honest with yourself and then with them because it is in this act that healing will begin. – JoAnne

  • Yes a part of you is forever changed and the sad part is that people often think because a couple split up that there should be no feelings which is ridiculous of course because once you did love one another. – JoAnne

  • Jackie, (Dec 15 comment)
    I am so sorry to have not replied sooner, my comment replies are not posting for some technical reason.
    Regardless, please know you are not alone as you can see from the other comments. I suggest that you honor your feelings about your ex, after all you were married 25 years – how would you not have feelings? Grieving a loss should not be something we have to choose between that and a new relationship. Hopefully your current mate is kind and loving and would understand why you would grieve. – JoAnne

  • Jackie
    I am so sorry to have not replied sooner, your post was lost. Regardless, please know you are not alone as you can see from the other comments. I suggest that you honor your feelings about your ex, after all you were married 25 years – how would you not have feelings? Grieving a loss should not be something we have to choose between that and a new relationship. Hopefully your current mate is kind and loving and would understand why you would grieve. – JoAnne

  • Tamara
    Hope you are doing better, our thoughts and prayers and with you and everyone else here too – JoAnne

  • It has been reassuring to read all your posts, and know that it is normal to go through all this grief and pain, following the death of an ex spouse/partner. My ex-husband passed away in October 2013, after a long battle with cancer. We were together for over 30 years, and have a grown up son together. My ex left me for another woman about 6 years ago, although we never divorced. My ex and I kept in touch from time to time in the period after he left, and even met up for dinner a couple of times with our son, so that we could all be together as a family (my suggestion rather than his). My feelings of sadness, helplessness, and grief started when my ex was ill with cancer and I could not be the person to be with him, look after and care for him etc. Ever since my ex died, I have been grieving, upset, and in tears on a regular basis. I have an enormous sense of regret that we can never see or talk to each again, and it seems overwhelmingly more final than when he left me – which of course it is. The families on both my, and my ex’s sides have been really kind and considerate towards my son in his loss and grieving, for which I am really appreciative. However like others have commented, I feel incredibly left out in that nobody in my family (apart from my son), or within my friends, seems to understand or recognise that I am hurting so much too. I definitely feel that part of me has gone forever. It has been over a year since my ex died, and the pain is just as bad as when it happened, and possibly even worse. I guess it takes a lot of time to start healing something like this.

  • I am strangely relieved to find this website and read through some of the stories that others have shared. I, too, have recently experienced the loss of a lover from my past. …This is my story.
    Jay and I were together for 4 years. From the time we were 18 to the time we were 22. But during the last year we were together he began to change. It was a very slow and subtle process. He was no longer the man I had fallen in love with in 2008, but we had become engaged, and I refused to accept that we couldn’t mend our problems.
    I only know now that I had been watching him as slowly became more poisoned by the people around him, and after too long he took the ring off of my finger. Many tears later I found a man that truly put me back together. Jay became regretful of taking the ring off my finger, but in the end I could not allow him to put it back on. As I went forward with my new found life…I left Jay behind.
    I went on to read about illegal activities he later took part in. Completely out of character from the man I once knew… Then…one day…after he had gone missing for several days…I read in the newspaper that they had found him…but no longer alive. I don’t know how he died…but everything pointed in the direction of drugs.
    That has been also 3 months ago now…and I still find my thoughts wonder back to Jay from day to day. But I do not feel right expressing any grief for him in front of my husband, even though he would understand. I do not want to ask him to. The truth is…the Jay I knew was gone a very long time ago. I had already begun the mourning process… but now… it is so final. He lives now only in my memory. The glimmer of hope I kept for him, to change, find someone else, and live happily ever after… is gone. How do I appropriately give my condolences to his family when I haven’t spoken to them in years? Should I even try?… Please… If anyone has any advice…I am listening.

  • I just stumbled across this site and feel compelled to share my story. I married my first love at 19 and was married for ten years. Those ten years were up and down, but the last one (I thought at the time) was awful. We both had our share of issues and were at different times unfaithful in our marriage. We are Christians and believe that remarriage after divorce is only permitted when a spouse dies or adultery was commited. Well, I was the one to walk away and into another relationship that didn’t last, but I had no desire to reconcile with my ex. He remarried 3 yrs after our divorce and died a little over a yr after that. That was in oct 2012. He had long time health issues, but his passing was still a shock. We had 3 children together and I felt and still feel this huge hole in my heart, even though nothing in me wanted to stay married to him. I carry enormous guilt for breaking up our family and seem to have forgotten all his faults, but i can’t tell anyone this because I wanted the divorce. What right do I have to mourn so deeply? Until I read the posts, I had never heard anyone else express similar feelings. Thank you

  • My ex-fiance passed away on December 26, 2012, 6 months after I broke up with him because of his drinking. He had lost his job, he was just diagnosed with gout and he was in a bad spell of drinking. I couldn’t take it anymore – I was dying inside from watching him self-medicate. He was my soulmate and we were together for 10 years, but it was not easy. Then my father passed in April of 2013 and one of my cousins took his own life in November of 2013.

    My ex and I had moved 2 years earlier from my hometown to another town 10 miles away to get away from many toxic people that we thought were our friends. So, when I broke up with him, I moved to a single bedroom in the new town and didn’t really know anyone.

    These past two and half years have been completely full of soul searching for me. There were times that I thought I was going to lose my mind. Being alone in an apartment, not knowing many people and family not close has forced me to be my own positive force. It’s not been easy but I think I’ve gotten past the hard part.

    Some of his family never got in touch with me after he passed. I think some of them feel that I should have stuck it out but they don’t know the 4 times he took back the engagement ring – or – the night I had to sleep in the closet because he was so drunk he wasn’t even speaking english- or -the nights of him getting so drunk and conjuring up reasons to fight. He was never physically abusive to me, but the alchoholism was mentally abusive for me. The other side of this was that he had the biggest heart a man could have when he was sober.

    These deaths were so traumatic for me I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. I finally found a great therapist.

    I just turned 50 last month, I have a beautiful, hilarious little 4 year old grandson and beautiful daughter. I’m still single and where I thought being single for 6 months would break me I’m now feeling good about myself and my life. Working on what makes me happy now.

  • I posted a few weeks ago. You seem to have dismissed my distress for some reason. As the ex wife I still hurt. I can’t understand why you are so selective in your response. You have deleted my post completely. Is it because I am overseas?

  • @all My ex-husband died Nov 17, 2014. We were married 30 years, and it took 3 ugly years to finalize the divorce. We were divorced one year to the day that he passed. He went suddenly while he was alone, from heart complications after taking himself off of high blood pressure medication and self medicating with marijuana. He was living a full life, working and playing music and had friends but he had no intimate partner in recent months. I had not seen him for a few months, even though we lived in the same small town. He had been diagnosed bipolar years ago and had gone off those meds during the separation. His troubles with finances had started long before we split up, and I had left him for someone else and only found out about the wrecked finances after I left. He was horrible to me during the past 4 years, encouraging our three adult children to disrespect me, and I was not invited to our son’s wedding last fall. He lied about me to his family and people in town and did everything in his power to make me small and needy. I suffered a brain tumor two years ago and he never said a kind word to me after the surgery that removed the large but benign tumor. I have feared his anger, his emotional and psychological abuse and financial infidelity, but once everything was final a year ago, it became a little easier. My relationship with my two younger children had just begun to improve, although my older son never will talk to me. My life has been getting back on track and I am still with my new partner, who supported me emotionally through it all. My daughter told me that my ex was happier recently too and I had hope that we could put the past aside and we could be on better terms. I always told him I loved him and cared but that always seemed to bring on a fresh onslaught of anger so I always kept things just business. I am the kind who can forgive anything and I always felt for him even at his worst because I knew he was troubled. My daughter called to break the news to me that he had passed, only a month since our youngest had moved away from his home and the family business. I was hit so hard by this, and instantly forgave all the wrongs he had done. I went to help the children clean his apartment and my sons were ok with me being there and seemed to appreciate the help. My daughter wrote the obituary and mentioned me as the mother of his children and wife of 30 years. She wanted me to attend his memorial and said I had more right than anyone to be there. So, I left work early to attend and brought a board I made up of the few photos I had of him playing with the kids, and yes I was in a few of those, but tried to keep them insignificant. As soon as I walked in, I was hauled out by his two sisters who insisted that I leave, that this was about their brother and not about me and that only my daughter of the dozens of attendees wanted me there. My daughter finally insisted that I stay, but it was so difficult and a few people snubbed me, but far more were kind and loving. I was able to comfort my daughter and other old friends who came. Someone covered the photo board with a drape. My sons turned against me all over again, I believe because of those who were acting out toward me that day and I was accused of trying to steal things from the family business and berated again by his siblings. It felt like all of his anger was back alive again and I also realized that some in attendance had been fueling his anger toward me all along. Why?! Thanksgiving our children spent together and I was not invited. My daughter is upset with her brothers but they need her right now, so I am left out and alone. I also feel guilt now over leaving him, even though I know it would have been impossible under the circumstances. I feel terrible that my hope of someday getting a smile from the father of my children will never happen. I mourn the fact I could not say goodbye, tell him I forgive everything, ask forgiveness myself. I feel for him that he took that anger to his grave, and hope he went without pain or regret. I mourn the fact that we will never have a chance at friendship again, that we won’t ever share notes about grandchildren. I grieve for our kids, who adored their fun father, quirks and all. I am angry with him that my relationship with them is so damaged that I cannot help my sons grieve. It is such a terrible roller coaster of emotions, and I do not want to tell my supportive partner of my sadness and sense of loss. I dreamed one night that he was in my bed strangling me, his eyes and skin were so cold. Then a few days later I woke to a feeling that he was kneeling beside my bed, contrite and sorrowful. He looked transparent, like he was made of glass. There are people who blame me for how it all happened, and I try to remember that there was nothing I could do to change things, I had tried often. He also left more financial troubles for our kids to sort out, and my daughter is too in shock, exhausted and angry to grieve. It is all so awful and I am trying to work two careers to keep my rent paid. Sorry for going on so long. It has been a long for years but i never saw it ending like this. I feel for all of you and I am also grateful for this forum. I hope for healing for my family and for all of you.

  • I was so comforted to see this blog. I also found out recently that my ex-husband had passed away several months ago. We were together nearly 8 years and the marriage ended when a woman he had been seeing (I, of course, did not know) became pregnant and he decided to begin a family with her. I felt so many emotions at that time, anger, sadness, and loss. The life that I knew changed in an instant and once the divorce was final, we never saw each other again. Because he was in a business that gave him a presence on the internet, I was able to check in once in a while to see what he was up to. I did move on, married a man that I love, and I have wonderful stepchildren. But, my ex-husband’s passing, left me with emotions that I thought I had put away, like many of you. At first, I only thought of the good memories, but then I could not help but feel the anger all over again. And the feeling that I didn’t mean anything during that time. He had moved several hours away, but, a local event really got to me. It was as if I never existed. So, thank you JoAnne for your insightful responses to those who have written in. It really does help to know that my feelings are shared by countless others and that they are normal. I do know that these feelings will pass as they did once before, but, without anyone to share them with, it’s more difficult. Thank you again. And thank all of you who have shared your stories.

  • In 99 i met my ex husband and married ahortly after in 2000. Couple yrs into it he showed his true side n took me until 2013 to finally get out of a many years loveless marriage. I have the best man in my life right now but since my ex matt passed june 12 of this year ive been so confused w how i am grieving his loss.so many unexplainable feelings thats seems like shouldnt be there but are. And today is one of the worst cux would be anniversary of him proposing. But tho its comfusing….i see thru others that feeling deep grief of an ex is very normal. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

  • Wake service is tonight. Funeral is tomorrow. We were together for 17 diffucult years, and apart for 20. We have 3 children who were pre-teens and teens when I told him he had to leave. He was an angry and bitter man all his life, with a soft giving side. I know he loved me the best he could with what he had. He never accepted the divorce and became a victum. The children said he talked about me “alot” up to about one year ago when his life took a turn for the better, and I am sure most of it not in a nice way. I have very little feelings for the man because of his abusive nature towards me in the marriage and after. I have remarried a wonderful man who has been very supportive and we are very happy. My regret is that I never told my ex that I was sorry for how things played out in our marriage, and for the events of the past 20 years. I did tell him I was sorry in the hospital room just after he passed, but that has not taken the regrets away. I tell myself that he was always so angry, he would not have accepted my appology anyway. I pray for peace for the children and I as time goes on.

  • My ex and I were together 20 years with 2 wonderful teenage daughters. Finally the demon in drinking got the better of him and we divorced 3 years ago. August he had a massive heart attack and passed 2 days later. Our oldest, age 19 stressed and went into early labor. 5 days after taking my girls to see their Dad in the hospital to say goodbye, I was driving to the hospital to watch our first grandchild come into the world. My ex had married a lady, a year ago and she will not allow the girls any access to their Dad’s belongings. She had him cremated and no funeral. These are items from our home that they grew up around…even will not give them his wedding ring from our marriage. I am grieving our past, our home I moved from a year ago and feel completely overwhelmed. Mind you, I have a wonderful man in my life for the past year and happy with him. So why do I feel like I am in such a tailspin and feel like breaking down crying? our divorce was very painful, he lied about me, didn’t pay child support. The girls and I barely survived-so many stories there…but I made it. Now though, I feel like I am going crazy!

  • My ex husband passed away last week after a short battle with lung cancer. We had been married for 11 years and divorced for about twenty. We had 3 beautiful children together and he adopted my oldest daughter. There were issues from the start, but there was also love and many good memories. Then something went terribly wrong. I was under so much stress and had what can only be called a mental breakdown.I allowed some terrible things to happen that had I been in my right mind, I never would have done. We had talked about getting back together, but there were so many outside influences from his family that were against it and I couldn’t live like that. We ended up in a very nasty divorce with many badly hurt feelings that affected our children. Fast forword to now…I was not even allowed to go see him before he passed,and now today, not welcome at his visitation or his funeral tomorrow. So I set here alone in my grief and tears, unable to be there to comfort our children. I am remarried to a wonderful,understanding man who is standing with me thru this, and my kids and grandkids adore him. I thought there was something wrong with me for feeling such grief for what was and for what might have been. It just doesn’t seem real that he’s gone now. I’m so glad I found this site and know now that I’m not alone. It just hurts so very,very much. My oldest daughter said, “Well, there’s no one who can stop you from going out to the cemetery and taking flowers.” I guess that’s all I can do. Thank you for listening. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you,♡

  • I was married to my ex spouse for 13 years and dated him for 2 years prior to marriage so we were together for a total of 15 years. He committed suicide in September. We had together 2 daughters who are 10 and 12 years old. We divorced because he drank a lot and spent most of his time at the local pub and would come home and be emotionally abusive to me. I also feel he may have been unfaithful but I have no proof. We did however have a lot of good times and after everything were friends. I would not have wanted him back because I wasn’t in love with him anymore but I did love him and cared about him. I am remarried to a great man who normally is great to talk to and compassionate about everything but when my ex died and I was upset it angered him because he doesn’t have those feelings for his ex and he questioned mine. I just had so many mixed emotions of dealing with seeing my kids so upset to questioning if I could have done or said something that could have kept him from doing such a horrible thing to the guilt of how I left our marriage to begin with even though I wasn’t happy. I miss being able to tell him about what the girls are doing and how good their report cards are to having him correct our oldest when she gives me a hard time. I feel my girls were ripped off of time with him and I am so hurt and mad at him and can’t express it to him. Now however I have had to not share feelings around my current husband because it’s like he’s jealous and I don’t understand why.

  • I am so struggling with the death of my ex husband 2 weeks ago. He left me 8 years ago because as he said I was boring and he didn’t love me any more after marriage of 25 years and 11 months and about 2 years before (28 years) and 3 children. He had a brain tumour. Family have said they think when he left after becoming so odd it was the start of his illness. At 53 I was devastated. No mortgage, two children with a degree one about to take his GCSE’s. We had the world at our feet. I couldn’t understand it. At 53 after wandering from room to room, not eating, losing an enormous amount of weight I knew he was never coming back to me. I moved on and met my present husband on a dating site on the internet, but I am now finding I am struggling with my ex death after he hurt me so much. I have been visiting him in a home and was the last one to see him a couple of hours before he died. I am devastated. I do not want to ruin my present relationship. He is my rock, my best friend but I am feeling so disloyal to him. I will get over it. Hopefully soon. Don’t think it is going to be easy he is the father of my 3 children.

  • Hello, I’ve read all of your posts and I’m sorry for your lost. I’m posting because I’ve been dating a young lady for two years now. She lives in Philly and I live in DC. I drive up every weekend to spend time with her and sometimes during the week. While we’ve talked about marriage, both of us have careers and neither of us have committed to moving just yet although she wants to move out of Philly. When we met she was going through a divorce which was final in January. Her ex-husband committed suicide in May. Since his passing, there have been weekends when she asked me not to come up because she was grieving and/or stressed from work. While I can be understanding of the grieving, when I hear that she’s going out with girlfriends, family members etc. I don’t know how to accept this. It seems as if the only person she’s isolating herself from is me in these times. Considering our plans to marry, I would think that she would want to talk to me. But she tells me that I don’t understand because I’ve never been through it. My thought is neither have her family and girlfriends. Sometimes I don’t know if she’s grieving, sometimes I’ don’t know if she stressed from work and sometimes i don’t know if its both. She says that I should just understand without the need to now what it is. She says that I’m making this about me but when I feel like the only person being isolated from her, I do feel like it’s effect our relationship. We don’t see each other that much already due to the distance. So to have the time that we do spend together reduced even more, at this point I don’t know how to move forward with her. Can you all give me some advice.


  • I was 20 years younger than my husband, but, we were together 15 years, and he was the most amazing person I have ever met. When he died, our son was 11. My husband and I lived apart for his last 2 years. He had a new partner and I was in love with someone else. My grief in his death more than 10 years ago is only surpassed by my grief for my son’s bottomless sadness. Also, I know that I was not good to him in the last years we were together and cannot forgive myself.

  • Thanking you for this forum. My ex died 6 days ago. We were together for 20 yrs and have 3 grown children.

    I took my children and went to a shelter in 1998. He was bipolar with drug and alcohol addictions. He was violent throughout the 20 yrs. We lost a home 6 yrs prior to me leaving. We were stalked for 18 months
    after leaving him until he finally left and moved far away.

    Our children say they only have bad memories of him. There were some good, but few and far in between. They never spoke to him since even though I have said that he did love them, but his illness and addictions got in the way.

    I remarried 7 yrs ago to a wonderful man, but I would periodically call my ex to give updated news on his sons. He appreciated this and we actually had good and honest conversations, of which I am glad I did. Apparently he was back in AA and had 2 yrs sobriety and he was taking his bipolar meds. He died of a massive heart attack.

    I feel distraught. I talk to him. I alternate feeling incredible sadness to anger. Anger because he caused so much destruction to my sons’ lives. I also seem to have more anger at myself for not leaving him sooner to protect my children.

    My excuse in the past was that I had no one to help me, which was true. The repeated violence destroyed my self esteem. Also I had no real income at the time other than daycare in my home. He wasn’t working and this was a regular pattern. He would get a job and than get fired or he would quit. Even though this seemingly sounds like somewhat valid reasons for staying… It was not! I only left when the head psychiatrist at the hospital when he was admitted in 1998 told me to leave the home with the boys as he had serious problems and he could see little hope for him. He also said that I was the first spouse he had said this too.

    My sons have paid the price emotionally and mentally. Surprisingly they are good, kind and caring men with a wonderful work ethic. I am very proud of them all. They are all out of sorts and not able to talk right now. Although the youngest at 29 has expressed only anger regarding his father. Why am I upset given all I have said? My husband thinks that I am mad at him because I have been short with him and I am isolating myself from him. I don’t think he would understand why I am upset as he knows the whole story..plus I think he would be jealous.

    Any comments or suggestions would help me right now. Thank you everyone for sharing.

  • My divorce was not amicable. After a year of separation and confusion I decided the best thing was to file for divorce. My ex left when I was sick, I don’t think he was happy. Our divorce finalized Jan. 2014 my exhusband lost his life July 8, 2014. In a car accident, it was all over the news, he was only 29. The last time was saw each other was the day we finalized the divorce. I am not close with his family so I truely have grieved alone. I thought my ex-husband just needed to grow up and experience more life. He felt that there was a lot he missed out on by getting married so young. It’s tough, and the mornings are the hardest. I cry a lot. People think when you divorce someone that the love you feel for them just goes away. That is farthest from the truth. I will miss him for the rest of my life.

  • I was married to a man for 20 years we were young when we got married. We went thru hell together. We went from being poor and having to sell our cd’s for food to him becoming an award winning painter and grossing a million dollars a year then back to us being poor again because be became an alcoholic. Until reading this I never realized how many young people die of cirrhosis of the liver.He was 42. During our marriage I cheated from time to time it made him become very possessive. I was insecure looking for attention in all the wrong places. When I met him he had a gf pregnant and would go back n forth between us until we got married. I think I unconsciously paid him back for that thru the years.He weirdly would encourage me to have threesomes with his close friends. I had mixed feelings about it. Part of me was excited and part of me wondered how if he loved me, how could he let another man touch me? I think this fueled my infidelity. I would tell him when i cheated and this soon backfired and left me a virtual prisoner because hed worry i was out cheating if i left the house. Dont get me wrong. Him and i both had messed up childhoods and tolerated alot that mentally healthy people most likely wouldnt. I tried to leave him several times thru the years but always stayed because in my heart i knew he loved me like no other. He really was a gentle yet misguided person as I also was. He wanted to be a rockstar. we built a studio in our outbuilding once he did good with his business and I spent many a night for almost 15 years in bars and venues with him playing.I went thru a time where id drug test him when home tests finally were available in stores when my kids came to me and told me they found white powder on the sink. I thought I knew everything about him so I was shocked to hear that from my kids. He once bragged that when he did coke he could drink like a fish. I think his alcohol tolerance was built during those few years of coke abuse. His drug and alcohol abuse along with my infidelity got the best of him and he started to go downhill losing his business to losing our house to losing his motorcycle and then our three cars. His drinking got worse and he a once gentle man became bitter and verbally abusive and eventually id become violent to get him to shut up and leave me alone. Every single night for a few years I could not escape his anger. Hed break doors down to get to me to taunt me more. I struggled my whole life with suicidal thoughts and when I took enough sleeping pills to sleep 3 days I knew after 20 years it was time to leave. No amount of begging and contracts about his drinking less was going to make him change. So a week after my 3day sleep I piled everything I could fit in my car and left. He always said he loved me and I was what made him drink because I was a cheater. I thought if I left I would relieve him of my presence and he could heal and he would stop drinking and he would get better and we would one day reunite and become friends again. Instead he only got worse. He had a couple gfs after me. They couldnt tolerate his drinking either. All.. every single one of his friends eventually stopped talking to him because he would call them drunk crying about all he had lost. He finally ended up with a much older woman in the end that just wanted him to be happy and let him be himself. My kids told me she was helping him stop drinking but she wasnt. She let him be himself and let him drink not realizing he was killing himself until it was to late. She loved him and didnt wanna change him she accepted him for who he was drunk or not. He drank a gallon of whiskey a day for over a year before he passed. I left in October 2010 he wouldnt give me a divorce until February 2012. By that time I had met a wonderful man and soon remarried. My ex died September 2 2014. Almost 4 years after I left and 2 years after our divorce. He wrote me a letter a few months before he died telling me he met a woman who was taking care of him and would prolly die from alcohol. She gave me the letter when I came to see him 3 days before he died. She is the most unselfish person I’ve ever met to allow me to come into her home and say goodbye to him up until I saw him I did not realize how bad he was. I had shut him out almost as soon as I left and stopped talking to him because he was still bitter. He was yellow with jaundice and to weak to speak he could only open his eyes. I spent 8 hours saying goodbye. Laying on the bed with him telling him I never stopped loving him. Her and I rubbed his legs and cleaned his nails and she left me alone with him several times I stroked his hair and kissed his forehead. I didnt wanna leave him. He winked at me when I finally said goodbye. I think he knew I needed to know that he heard me. In the 4 years since I packed my stuff in the car and drove away from 20 crazy yet loving yet disfunctional years we had not spoken one civil sentence to eachother. He was bitter and felt til the end that he loved me and I had left him when he needed me most. I have such guilt over his death. Over every wrong thing I did in our marriage. I know feeling this way is wrong but how could I not feel this way knowing who I once was. My new husband has been very understanding. I am loyal to him and I feel guilty that I can give my new husband the love and loyalty that I could never give my ex. My ex was a very loving man. Why couldnt I be a better me. His family that hated me when we were married has weirdly been very nice. Realizing a lil to late that he really did love me. I have his car now. I cant ride in it and not feel emotional. He bought it when I left him in 2004 for 2 mos. Knowing it was the car I wanted thinking id come back. A GTO that we had the digital reading programmed to say sourgirl when u turn the car on. Irony. He was an amazing musician and poet. Weirdly he signed all his stuff as deadpoet. Ill leave you with his favorite poem he wrote.


    RIP BUNNY BUTT. 1972-2014

    I wonder if hes still washing dishes with DrPepper in heaven.

  • Until finding this site, I thought I was crazy for having such grief over my ex-husband’s death. I would have never expected to feel this way. It’s like I have lost a piece of myself. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories and advice. I don’t feel nearly as alone or inappropriate for feeling the way I do.

  • He was only 42

  • i can resonate with many of these stories and its good to know i’m not alone my grief as i’ve been beating myself up over the intensity of it. My story is similar to Pam’s… i chose to leave my alcoholic husband 3 years ago, after 17 years and 4 children, as i didn’t want them to have to live that life anymore, and i felt i could no longer take the manipulating/lies/put downs (all standard character traits for alcoholics unfortunately)We never divorced but it was the hardest choice i ever had to make and boy didn’t i pay for following it through… but he couldn’t/wouldn’t put his family first and it took me a couple of years to stop letting how he treated me affect my mood. Needless to say neither of us entered new relationships. His drinking, stalking and paranoia got worse during this time, he went to hospital at least a hundred times and had a few months in rehab at the start of the year. this was a positive time and i spoke to him daily, my old husband was emerging, with it for me, a new fear of being sucked back in and nothing changing. He drank immediately on his return home, i tried to take a step back, i was now aware of being codependent and my role in enabling… but couldn’t help leaving food parcels when he said he had none. i took kids to see him too, but wanted him to be sober to look after them himself. He died in June in a fire at his home, my last text from him was hurtful and he felt i was unfair getting another family member to have kids on fathers day as he wasn’t sober. My gut feeling is he started the fire. I am consumed with guilt… i thought i was putting my children first and it backfired, my choices have left them with no dad, and he died alone thinking i hated him, my decision made things no better :( i’m lucky in that i have been included by his family at funeral, but my own daughter has said i shouldn’t be upset as i wanted to divorce him and dismisses that my feelings count too. It has taken death (and many sleepless nights researching) to realise it was the progressive disease that is alcoholism i hated, not the man i married :(

  • Judy, my ex spouse passed away 4 months ago and I still have days that I grieve as if it happened yesterday. I do not think the grief will ever go away, only lessen over time, maybe a long time. I loved this man for many years, and he was a huge part of my life, and because of that life we lived together, it will always feel as if a piece of me is gone, no matter that we were divorced. I understand your grief, and it is not abnormal. Until you walk a mile in someone’s shoes, you cannot fully understand their situation, so don’t give too much credence to other’s short sighted opinions on this subject, they have not walked this path. Cherish his memory, and strive to get your joy back.

  • Hey, Friends, it’s really sad and touching what we go though this days in our relationship. I have been in relationships affected by pains and depression for years, both sides (I was depressed, but thanks to God, am now a happy woman today with the help of someone). It’s sad to say, but I have lots of experiences on this subject. If you’re interested, I’d share them with you, so that you can forever be happy in your relationship and be happy with the person you love. You can write to my email address: keishapeeter@gmail.com , hope you’re holding up!


  • Hi Judy,(Sep 13 post)

    I am sorry to feel your sadness and grief. Why would you feel guilty? You could not have prevented the tumor nor could you have saved him. I understand the heartbreak of loss because this was someone you once loved. Why not write him a letter and pour out your heart and then burn it sending it up to heaven. Forgiving yourself for any guilt will let you live life, hanging onto the guilt keeps you imprisoned in your own mind. Survivors guilt is common and yet I bet if you asked yourself honestly what he would want for you, I bet he would want you to be happy and live a fulfilled life.

  • I commented earlier about my ex dying 2/2/2014. Now over 7 months have passed but my heart keeps breaking over and over. I was irritating the people around me, so now I just cry when I’m alone. Isn’t this supposed to get better? I’m as raw as I ever was. I’ve been told by family to “just get over it.” but I can’t. I wonder, do people really stop grieving or do they just start lying?

  • hi i have just found out today that my ex husband has died of a brain tumor we were only married for 2 years and i left him in 2012 because of his unreasonable behaviour but what if it was the tumor and I left him not knowing? I feel totally lost and heartbroken and guilty I am struggling to find any info on what’s happening because I’m now an outcast but I’m really struggling with his passing.

  • Dear Julia,

    Please do not feel guilty for grieving the death of someone you loved – that doesn’t make sense nor does grieving in silence. People come and go from our lives but we always remember those we loved even if we have moved on. I encourage you to acknowledge your grief, perhaps write him a letter sharing your feelings and then burn it as a symbol of letting go. I pray you can find some joyful memories. – JoAnne

  • My ex and I were married for 10 years, high school sweethearts. We’ve been divorced for 15 years. We did not have children. We did not keep mutual friends.
    He passed on 2 days ago from cancer at age 46. I didn’t know he had cancer. He would periodically contact me through email to chat and even the last time he did, he did not mention it to me.
    I ask myself why? Why didn’t he let me know?
    No one has actually contacted me about his death. I found out through social media. If not for social media, I would not know.
    I am remarried and have a wonderful family and am grateful for the life I have. I can not let my current husband know my pain.
    I feel guilty for the grief.
    I grieve in silence.
    I hide my pain.

  • Tanya
    I’m so glad you found the site too! It might be helpful for you to find a bereavement group because being with like-minded people and in this case people who are actively grieving will give you much needed support. It doesn’t matter that the person you grieve is an Ex – you had a relationship that mattered at one time and it is natural to grieve those we have loved. -JoAnne

  • Nicki,
    thank you for sharing your story. You are an incredible woman for what you did to care for your Ex during his illness, that truly was such a selfless act of love and I’m sure it took courage and strength – something you kids will always be proud of. JoAnnw

  • Joanne,
    I am so sorry for your loss, suicide is even more difficult because it is so hard to understand and explain to children. I encourage the bereavement counseling for you and your children. There are some good resources on suicide as well, check the resources page on this website. You are not alone as you can see from all the comments on this post. – JoAnne

  • It is of some comfort to me reading this and knowing I am not alone. My ex partner killed himself 8 weeks ago. We have a 14 year old son together and he has two sons to his wife whom he was still married to. The grief I have felt since his death is nothing I could have ever prepared for. I feel I have lost a friend, my son has lost part of his future and yet as I am with somebody else now it is very difficult to explain to him how I feel at times. I think about my ex every day, from memories of us together, our last conversations in the days leading up to his death when he was so down and nothing I said seemed to help to imagining his last moments. It’s a very lonely place to be at times and I am awaiting bereavement counselling to hopefully make some sense of it all.

  • After 4 years of being separated from a man that controlled me in every way, even tried after we separated, my Ex was diagnosed with cancer. We have two young children together and I was always about what is best for them. Knowing the cancer he had was not survivable, for the last year of his life he spent with us and our kids. I did this for my kids not him. Yes I felt bad for him, would never want to be in his situation, but I felt we separated as friends and he made me his enemy for 4 years. Every surgery I was there. Took the kids to visit him everyday. I knew this was all they had. I cleaned his apartment, did laundry, grocery shopped, and even changed his dressings when needed. I wasn’t angry during any of this, I would look at my kids and know how this would affect them and how important this time was for them. The night before he passed, he told me he loved me and always has. I told him I love him too. He kissed me on the cheek and held my arm. I didn’t hate him, I hated the way he treated me, but without him I would not have two of the most amazing kids there are. That alone made all I did ok. I still don’t know how I feel. I am caring for my 6 and 8 year old who just lost their father 2 months ago and starting the next chapter in life for us. I am not respected by his family even all I did, that doesn’t matter. We as a family made his last year. Not without sacrifice, but newfound friendship and understanding. It also showed me that I will do anything for my kids and their happiness. Not that I didn’t know that but this proved it to me in a way I never would have guessed.

  • I cannot tell you how much I appreciate finding this page online. I cannot express to others what is going in inside me and having closet grief has not helped me at all. Is there a support group that is on this website that I may have not found. I’m shattered, broken, and really need support as the ex wife of my deceased ex husband.

  • Sorry if my English is not perfect (i am from the Netherlands)
    It was a relieve for me to read the stories above. I am also grieving about an ex-spouse. We separated in 1989, but not amicably; later on when i had my son in 1993 things became more normal. I saw him now and then, he remarried , lived abroad. When he was in town we would go out for dinner or a drink. In 1996 i spoke to him in july and he said ‘i will give you a call after your holiday and we will do something together with your son’. The phone call never came. As he was living here and there all the time i didn’t worry: maybe he had children, maybe living far away. There were no mobile phones and internet at the time so i left it like that. In 2002 I first started googling on his name. Nothing came up; at that time this was normal, not everybody could be found. In 2010 i made it my ‘mission’: trying to find out what happened to him. I traced is wife, which was apparently his ex-wife. She mailed me I moved on and i haven ‘t heard from him since 2000. Another dead end. 2 weeks ago i found his old friend on Linked-in and send him a message. In one sentence he told me that he died about 20 years ago.
    (The dates of both of them are probably a bit messed up)
    ………And now i grieve and feel so sad, and how can you grieve when somebody died already such a long time ago? I cannot share this with anybody, because for everybody it is just something you mention. For me it is so painful, but i just let my tears go. But the idea is so surreal, i don’t understand that nobody notified me, so many questions. RIP MU

  • @all – The death of Robin Williams, and the fact that he left behind an ex-spouse has struck a chord with me. He was married to his ex-spouse for many years, had children, battled health issues, loved deeply, yet the marriage could not survive the struggles. Much like many of us here. It is very likely that she is feeling like she has lost her husband, just as many of us here felt, and undoubtedly her grief is profound. In the days and weeks to come, she will not be the one planning the funeral, tending to his personal belongings, or managing his estate, nor will she be receiving the support of family and friends that encircle the widow. All these things will be done and received by his wife (of three years), and it will undoubtedly be gutwrenching. My thoughts go out to Marsha Garces Williams during these days of grief, knowing that she will forever feel the void of losing someone she loved deeply, yet not quite knowing how or what to do with the grief. RIP RW.

  • My ex died a month ago. I am stunned that I have been so sad though we were friends and successfully raised a beautiful daughter together . He referred to me as his best friend and I was the one notified and who went to the ER when he was taken. I was at his side during his short illness and death. I remarried several months ago which makes my grief seem all the more unexpected and perhaps unacceptable . We were married for 10 years and I divorced him in 2000. He was twice my age . I am trying to stop crying as I write this because my husband will be home soon.

  • Joanne, thank you for responding to many of us with positive thoughts on this difficult subject. I know time will surely clear an easier path through this, but in the present, it is affirming to read others thoughts and not feel so out of touch with what is normal.

  • My ex-boyfriend died a month ago. We were only together a year but had just split a few months before his passing. He was in his 30s so it was obviously sudden. I don’t feel like I have the right to grieve. My friends don’t seem to understand why I’m having such a hard time because he was my “ex”. I know I should have the right to grieve whomever I want but I’m starting to question if what I’m feeling is grief or depression because everyone seems to be making a big deal out of the fact that I’m grieving at all, let alone, still grieving. I know there were many more important people in his life: his family, his friends, his ex-wife – and in their presence, I feel like I’m being dramatic for being as upset as they are. Do I need to just get over it and realize that I wasn’t that important to him? Does it matter whether I was or not?

  • My ex was my first love. We’d been together for 6 years, and married for less than 2, when he came home from work one day and said he thought he might be happier with someone else. I never knew if there was already someone else at that time, or why he wanted it – I thought things were fine..

    We’d been divorced for 8 years, and he never contacted me once the whole time – the day we signed the divorce papers was the last time I saw him, and we didn’t say a word to each other – I was too hurt and I guess he didn’t know what to say. I moved away because I didn’t think I could stand to be so close to him, yet not able to be with him; and I knew I couldn’t deal with seeing him if he was with somebody else.

    Five months ago he died in an avalanche accident. I can’t stop thinking about him. I can’t talk about it to anyone or do anything, though I feel I MUST do something. I can’t believe all this time I thought ‘Someday maybe we could get together and talk things out and I could finally get some closure’ without realizing that someday never comes. It’s too late, too late, too late to do anything at all now.

    I’m not in contact with his family or friends and think maybe they might’ve been glad about his leaving me, we were so different…so I don’t think I can do that, though I dream of being able to sit in his family’s living room and hear about him and how his life was these 8 years I’ve missed, if he ever talked about why he left me… But I’m afraid they’re happier forgetting I even exist. Someone above wrote that they were able to get some closure after talking to their ex’s wife, so maybe someday I’ll work up the courage to try it. I feel that’s my only hope for letting him go. Sigh.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, everyone. You’re not alone.

  • There have been several recent postings to this topic, and we all seem to have at least one commonality, and that is we are all having difficulty figuring out how to deal with our grief for a former spouse. TO JOANNE: This started out with a short topic on grieving a former spouse. Who knew that there were so many of us out there that deal with this grief every day. Because it has garnered so many responses, I was hoping you might offer some additioal words of wisdom for those of us new to this form of grief. Thank you to those that have shared their stories, it is nice to know that we are not alone with this form of grief, and that it is not abnormal to grieve a former spouse.

  • Dear Lyndy,

    Somehow we are expected to stuff our emotions into a box, put the cover on and pack it away forever. Well life doesn’t work that way and I pray you have an understanding husband who will not try to fix it, but be there to provide you comfort. You can choose to remember why you loved this man once and carry that with you. We all have our journey in life and it takes many different directions – you chose differently than your ex and the emotions of sadness for him are normal because you once loved him. I wish you peaceful memories. – JoAnne

  • Dear Pam,
    First let me acknowledge that your feelings are quite normal. In our culture we have become such a throw away society, and what I mean by that is when we divorce our society expects we should never communicate with that person ever again and pretend they never existed and just move on. HA! that is so ridiculous. You never forget people you loved even if it only lasted for a time. Are your familiar with the quote “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you’ll know exactly what to do.” – So Pam, know that your relationship with your Ex was exactly as it was supposed to be. In time you will know the purpose and you will choose to move forward remembering the fond memories of the past. – JoAnne

  • Hi Amy,

    thank you for sharing your story. Being a caregiver to someone who has a terminal illness must be one of the most difficult AND the most loving acts a human being can experience. It is not necessary that anyone else understand why you did what your did or how you feel – so let that go.
    You must be at peace knowing you provided comfort to someone you loved –
    When we care for someone with a terminal illness as you did, you experienced anticipatory grief that lasted for months before he died and now you might feel as if you have no purpose, and you don’t know how to box up those feelings and move ahead.
    I have so much respect for you because you cared for and treated your Ex with dignity and compassion. Amy I think if a new man who comes into your life in the future will be lucky to have someone as caring and loving as you are. – JoAnne

  • Dear Yohena
    I encourage you to remember the good in your ex and let the rest of it go. Your daughter will probably ask you more questions about him as she gets older and there is no point in sharing negative memories. Sounds like you have been blessed with a new mate and if you find gratitude in your current life your focus will fade on the past that you cannot change. I wish you peaceful memories. – JoAnne

  • Hi Lee,
    First I want to acknowledge that what you are feeling is normal. If you are finding it difficult to deal with these feelings I would encourage you to talk it through with a therapist, grief counselor, or a coach. I know we need to talk about what we feel, like the experience of “getting something off your back” and that is helpful. Often it can be more helpful to speak to a professional rather than the kids or a friend because they often can’t help you see and maneuver those feelings. Remember, you can’t speak to your ex in person but you can in spirit I find the symbolism is the same if you believe you are heard. Write your ex a letter with everything you would have said to him in person and read it aloud in your own private ceremony and then burn the letter as a symbol of letting it go. Hanging onto the regret is useless and will keep you down. let us know how you are doing. – JoAnne

  • Thank you to everyone who shared their story here. I just found out today that my ex husband died four days ago, on the 4th of July. He was 42, and like several others he died because of alcoholism. His drinking was the reason I left him 12 years ago after six years of marriage. It started as a fairy tale, and it ended up really bad. He got a DUI a week after I moved out and I couldn’t imagine he could slip further down, but he did, ending up in jail for assault and living in a car. His family lives in Europe, he alienated his friends. The last time I spoke with him was three years ago and he was drunkenly texting me demanding to know why I wouldnt see him. I had met my now husband by then – we got married last summer. I told my ex to please get help and I wished happiness for him. I meant that. Beneath all of it he had a good heart.
    Today I got a Facebook message from a friend of his saying that he died and to call.
    Apparently he had been diagnosed with alcohol induced thrombocytopenia, and had been bruising easily and all sorts of things, six months ago. He had damaged his liver badly, even had a seizure…but he continued to drink everyday. His girlfriend of one year found him dead in the bathroom.
    I am sitting outside on my patio now, I haven’t called any friends. My wonderful husband is inside, and he listened to me vent my guilt earlier – all the horrible things I’ve said over the years about my ex, that my gut feeling was I somehow wished this. But I don’t think I can discuss it too much with my husband. I’m just stunned right now. My stomach is in knots but I haven’t cried. Yet. I just don’t know what to do with all of the emotions here, so I am grateful to read others stories to help process this. Thank you.

  • I found myself trying to figure out if my feelings are “normal” after a friend of mine made a comment this past weekend that has left me hurt. My husband of 17 years passed away 12/28/10. At the time of his passing, we had been separated for a little over 2 years but legally married. We spoke every day, but I could no longer live with an alcoholic and desperately wanted him to get help. I have always kept my grieving to myself for many reasons but mainly I feel that everyone feels that I should not be grieving as I made him leave out home, our children, and now that he is gone forever, I want him back. I never stopped loving him, I just could not expose our children any longer to his drinking. I live with regrets every day that I do not talk about because I want my children to only remember the good memories. I was there with him when he took his last breath, I planned and paid for his funeral, and not a day goes by that I wish I would have tried harder to help him and understand his illness. I feel like I’m going to explode because nobody understands how I can still be grieving.

  • My story is a little different than most of the replies. My ex husband and I met in the summer of 1993, he was 18 and I was 16 yrs old. We dated all through high school and college. We were married in 2000 and had one son. My husband and I had a troubled marriage, we were divorced within three years. We remained friends, although, it took a few years for him to forgive me for leaving him. He even moved in with my son and myself to help repay my student loans. We remained best friends and neither one of us dated but we still never officially got back together. We were both healthy, active, and happy people until one afternoon he had a pain in his lower back. It was September 2012 when he drove himself to emergency room for what he thought was a kidney stone. Three days later,after six mis-diagnosis, a colonoscopy, two ct scans, an mri, extensive blood work, and several meetings with different types of specialist, we were told he had three months to live due to a very aggressive neuroendocrine cancer which had spread to all of his organs. He had just turned 40 yrs old. Since the cancer was so rare and so aggressive there was no chemotherapy regime and it was too late for surgery. Three months was the maximum amount of time we were told he would survive. I took care of him the next 11 months, it was horrible watching my soul mate slowly die. He lived eight months longer than they thought. My 13 yr. old son and I are having a rough time because people don’t understand our pain. It has been almost a year and I miss him so much its unexplainable. I feel like my self identity is lost, maybe because I was his caregiver and nurse as well as his best friend. This made me so dependent on him as well as he was with me. I was shocked when he died, when you tell your loved one that everything is going to be okay for 11 months, you start believing it yourself. Thanks for allowing me to share my story.

  • Hi ladies , i am very sorry for ur lost :(

    yesterday I found out that my 9yr old biological father past away Tuesday. I feel soo bad, even though he wasn’t the greatest father on Earth. My daughter doesn’t even remember him, last time she saw him she was like 2. I feel horrible because a couple weeks ago my mom called and said that he contacted her because he wanted to talk to his daughter because he has been very ill lately, but he has been ill for years and I guess he got worse. Well I didn’t even believed it because he always lied so I didn’t even tried to call him so he could talk to her. Now I feel soo horrible and guilty… I already talk to my daughter and told her and I know she’s hurt and sad but I’m here for her. I can’t stop thinking abt him. All the good and bad memories of us together come to my mind and I just feel like crying. I’m married now with a wonderful man and has been a wonderful father to my daughter. This pain is horrible..

  • ‘@all’ It has been six weeks since my former husband’s sudden death from a heart attack. Some days are as hard as it was the first day, actually, most days are still hard. As I mentioned, I’ve remarried, to a wonderful, understanding man, and I know I risk damaging the relationship with my apparent inability to cope with the loss of my former husband, but I can’t seem to come to terms with the loss. I grieve the fact that the marriage failed, I grieve that we didn’t get to have that last conversation, the one where you get to say everything you ever wanted to say and put everything right, I grieve that we didn’t get to have the relationship I envisioned, I grieve that I wasn’t there to help keep him healthy. I grieve that I didn’t tell him I would always love him. I am struggling with all of the conflicting emotions. Anyone out there have enough time between the loss and the present that you’ve been able to make sense of it and leave the dark grief behind?

  • Becky

    I am so sorry for your loss and I am happy you found this post because it validates that you are not alone in your feelings. I am sorry your son was not acknowledged as he will have to deal with the loss of a parent and that can be difficult, I know this from when my daughters fathers died. Be sure to talk with your son about his Dad and help him remember good times, and remember you once loved this man too and thus we grieve because we loved. Thank you for sharing your story. – JoAnne

  • Hi Dave,

    thanks fore sharing your story and I am sorry for your loss and grief. As you can see from all the comments here you are not alone! It is important to remember that you loved this woman once and I think it is natural to have some feelings, well even a myriad of emotions running around in your head and heart. It is important for you to be there to support the kids feeling regardless of what you are going through, one does not get over the loss of a parent easily and children can be affected the rest of their lives – I know this from my own situation.
    Are you callous? No, you are trying to protect your own heart and emotions. Time does heal and you will find your way, just go with the feelings for now and acknowledge how you feel and again know this will soften in time. – JoAnne

  • My ex and I were married almost 10 years, we divorced last April and he died on xmas eve. We have a beautiful 9 year old son together and he brought a now 17 year old daughter to our marriage. Thank you for allowing us to share,it’s scary how many commonalities there are.

    My ex died in a head on car crash, he was intoxicated. This is why I divorced him, these were incredibly hard choices I had to make to try and protect our son and myself from his destructive life style. So I grieved the divorce and then within 6 months I am grieving his death.

    And like many of you my son and I were not acknowledge, allowed to participate in the process of his death, it was as if we did not exist, as if I had not been his wife for the last 9+ years. Totally devastating to cope with his death and the after math. I grieve every day for him. Tonight I searched the internet just to try and find some people who “understood”. Thank you for sharing and understanding. For a few minutes I don’t feel quite so alone.

  • My ex-wife passed unexpectedly at the age of 35 from a MRSA infection in her lungs. She was always exercising and in great shape so when this happened I could not believe it. I still can’t believe it. We were divorced about 3 years ago (She wanted it). Even though I have moved on and married a lovely woman, I am constantly having dreams about her.

    I often wake up and wonder where these dreams come from. I can’t explain it. I also don’t want to tell my wife because I don’t want her thinking I am hung up over my ex. So I really internalize it, but obviously this is not helping.

    I also often think about what could I have done to make her more happy. Could I have done something if I was with her to prevent what happened so that she would still be here for the kids.

    Then I start thinking about the kids and how they don’t get to see her and be with her. My heart breaks over it. It’s like a circle of mental torture at times.

    Am I callous to say I don’t want to think this way and that it is somewhat disruptive to my life? I don’t know the answers to that question, just hoping time will be the prescription to the healing.

  • ‘@all’ – My ex-husband passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack two and a half weeks ago, he was a vibrant 62. And he was alone. My grief has been profound and I am trying to figure out where to “put it” in my life. I am happily remarried to a wonderful man. I stayed in occasional touch with my ex, and would have stayed in closer touch, but was staying away to give him his space and freedom to move on. He never got over the fact that I left, and never moved on. He was emotional whenever we talked. It was difficult for me to see him that way, and now that he is gone, unexpectedly, I feel profound sadness, guilt and emptiness. He was a happy, good natured guy who loved his family, especially his young nieces and nephews. He lit up a room with his smile and laugh. We met in ’96 and were married nearly 15 years. Although I cared for him, I could not remain in the marriage due to infidelity and other issues that were insurmountable. His death, however, has left me grieving the relationship we had, and the relaionship I had hoped we could eventually have. And the statement: “It’s as if a huge door shut on all the things he contributed to the failure of the marriage, and all I see is how I caused it to fail” resonates because I am left feeling at fault for unreasonable reasons – I know this logically, but emotionally, I feel the pain of it. I try to take comfort in the fact that he knows he was loved, and that I cared for him. I agree with everyone regarding the inability to grieve openly because most people cannot understand. Writing it here has helped, even if only for a moment. Thank you for the forum in which to do so.

  • I was with someone for 5 years and we were married for 3 of them. He just passed away and I’m here reading that everyone here was surprised about their feelings. I am too. We have been divorced 6 years. We rarely spoke. I tried to reach out to him but he was always reserved, like he didn’t want to resolve things and be friendly. I’m not sure why. I’ll probably never know. I keep thinking I should have resolved things and done more. He died so young and with the way he died, I’m wondering if it had something to do with drinking and if it’s somehow my fault from leaving and breaking his heart. I asked permission to go to the funeral and it was given and his family was kind, as they always were, but it was still difficult. It was hard to be in a room, mourning someone who changed my life so completely, and yet be so insignificant to their recent life. I wish I hadn’t deleted our last conversation but I am glad that I had done my best to make amends and make my feelings known.

    I think for each person it is different circumstances, but it is very good to know that this deep grief and sadness I feel is not an uncommon feeling to have for an ex-spouse. I loved him dearly and just because we divorced it didn’t mean that changed. We didn’t work well together, but I loved him enough to marry him and that meant a lot to me and I haven’t remarried or wanted to.

    I hope whoever reads this thread finds comfort and I think you should try to live without regrets and to forgive the past.

  • It has helped to find this site – I thought I was alone in my grief. I imagined that if my ex died, I would feel relief. I don’t, I feel sorry and so very sad. He was 59 and died of cirrhosis of the liver – like the others, he was a drinker. The way I found out was our youngest son found it on the internet, he died April 7, we found out May 17, 2014, no one notified us. We were married for 18 years, years that were not the best. We have two children. He told me before he married his current wife (the year after our divorce) that he had learned from his mistakes. It hurt so much to think I was his mistake. My oldest son refuses to talk to me because I held on to so much bitterness from the marriage/divorce that I could not let that anger go – so not healthy. So I haven’t just lost the ex-husband, I also lost my oldest son. My ex married someone else and was with her for over 20 years. I keep thinking about her and wondering if she is okay but part of me keeps telling myself, she got the better man – the one that learned from his mistakes. They seemed so happy and I do feel sorry for her. I also feel sorry for him, he should not have died at this age. He should have lived for several more. I don’t want to turn him into a saint either, like people do when people die, there were several reasons we divorced. And I’m mad at him for letting himself get this sick. I almost feel like I need to hold on to the anger to get through this.

  • Finding this website was an amazing experience. Thanks to everyone for your contribution. I particularly related to Betty, who perfectly stated ” It’s as if a huge door shut on all the things he contributed to the failure of the marriage, and all I see is how I caused it to fail. This is causing a great deal of remorse.”

    After 21 years of marriage, I left him. We have a 21-year-old daughter, and at first during the divorce the relationship with her father was rough. He was always very selfish, a narcissist, and also a porn addict and a hoarder. A very difficult person to love. Yet I managed to hang in there as long as I did, though my addiction to alcohol became a big problem also. We were both sick, and there was no way to heal except to split up.

    He died a month ago at age 51 of a heart attack, in Arkansas – on the other side of the country from my daughter and I. His new wife of barely a year notified my daughter, who flew down the next day in time to see her father on life support. Their relationship had become much better – almost daily texting and visits on major holidays. I stayed away as to not interfere. He and I only communicated through email once in a great while, usually revolving around some financial issue.

    We have been divorced 4 years, and I’ve worked hard to forgive him, but now that he’s gone I’m finding that any anger that I was holding on to is pointless now, which confuses me and leaves me to wonder “what if I hadn’t left?” And of course that question will never be answered, which leaves a big gap in my emotions because I’m not sure how to feel about him now. It’s scary to think about the good times, because then I start to feel guilty, like maybe I made a mistake. Yet I know my life is better now, sober 3 years, much better off physically, emotionally, financially. I was glad he wasn’t in my life anymore, but I never wished him dead. So now I just focus on my daughter, and listen to her when she feels she needs to talk about him. We try to spend time remembering happy times, even if they were few and far between.

    I did have the opportunity to meet his current wife after his death, and I have to say that was a great feeling of closure for me. I was sure I had been erased from his personal history in his mind,his wife told me he talked about me a lot. That helped me to hear that. It also helped me to offer my condolences to her. But yes, it is sad, and confusing, and hard to share with others because no one gets it. So thanks for letting me share.

  • I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone else’s stories and knowing I’m not alone in the grief I’m feeling following my ex’s passing. Like a few above he passed from cirrhosis of the liver. He was only 31! I hadn’t spoken with him in several years. I kind of knew he liked to drink a lot maybe more than I realized. I found out from his sister 4-28 that he had passed a few hours earlier it came as a shock. We have a beautiful Daughter together. Though she doesn’t remember him. I was 16 when she was born he was 19. As could be expected it didn’t work out despite being in love. We moved from MN to TN with my parents and his family was all still in MN they were very close and he ended up moving back and I wasn’t able to due to not being 18. Eventually our relationship ended. He hardly made an effort to keep in touch I had to make extra effort. Then I met my husband whom I love dearly and due to lack of my ex’s effort to be a part of our daughters life we had a step parent adoption done. I’m still glad for my decision. Though right after I had moved in with my husband to be I did make a visit to MN in which my ex tried to convince me to stay and live with him that he still loved me and wanted I to work, at this point we had been separated 2 years. I did still love him but loved my at the time boyfriend as well and of course my parents were still in TN. Couldn’t stay in MN with my ex he broke my heart once I wasn’t willing to risk it again. After I got back he started to make more attempts to keep in touch and would talk about visiting but I was rather cold to him everytime until he again ceased making contact. At which point my hubby n I married and proceeded the adoption. He did make 1 attempt after the step parent adoption and I was rather rude in my response and told him to not make anymore attempts and it was his own fault he was in the situation he was. I guess I’m feeling guilty along with my sadness. I will always have feelings for him he was my first love and we had a child together. I’m having a hard time dealing with it and well I have a friend who’s been there basically since my ex n I started dating and we’ve talked I still am feeling the regret guilt and grief. Regret-I maybe didn’t give him a chance to see her again. Guilt-maybe had I he would’ve drank less. I’m not sure the step parent adoption wasn’t just as much for myself as for my daughters best interest. I’m not sure I could’ve handled having to deal with him the emotions between us were always there. Grief-my first love died and I didn’t get any closure no goodbye.

  • I am so comforted to find this site. I have been married and divorced twice, with one son from my first marriage and two daughters from my second. My son is almost 23, and two days ago he discovered that his father had died. His dad had battled alcoholism his entire life, which was the main reason that I divorced him. My son was asked by my ex-husband’s sister to check on him, as she lived out of state and they had gotten into the routine of talking each week and he wasn’t answering his phone. He found that his father had passed away probably five or six days previously and the cause of death was cited due to chronic alcoholism. My ex went on to remarry and have a daughter; that marriage also ended in divorce. I am all over the place emotionally. Yesterday I helped my son make arrangements to handle his dad’s remains. His daughter is only 14 and was not involved in the planning. I have spoken with her mom over the phone and I am just heartbroken over the whole thing. Yesterday I went with my son into his dad’s apartment to retrieve papers, etc. and apprise the situation. It was an awful, awful experience and I can’t get it out of my head.
    My ex and I were on good terms. I tried to help him get his life back on track. He spent 9 months in a shelter for homeless veterans and I helped him to get settled and try to resume as normal a life as he could. He was disabled and unable to work; he was in constant pain due to a knee injury and just could not function without alcohol. He had no drivers license (lost due to numerous DUI’s) and I picked him up and drove him to our son’s college graduation last year. I need to be there for our son, but I am coming to realize that I will be grieving too, and maybe that’s normal. Although we were only together for 4 years, and I went to remarry, I realized even before his death that I did still love him, I just couldn’t live with him. Knowing that there are other people who experience similar feelings is really very helpful.

  • My ex died April 8th, suddenly, from a heart attack. We had been married for almost 21 years, divorced for 16. He remarried 12 yrs ago and we never stayed in touch. My sister however loved him and kept in contact. About 2 yrs ago, I learned he had inoperable cancer, so I asked my sister to send him a letter that I wrote via email — in it I told him I forgave him (he had cheated on me for most of the marriage and our marriage counselor had told me he was a pathological liar, he drained the brake fluid from my car when I told him I was divorcing him – you get the picture). In my letter, I also let him know if he wanted any help or support that I would be there for him. He never responded or acknowledged my letter. I let things be. Over the ensuing months and years I would periodically Google his name to see if he had passed on. I never expected his family to contact me on the day of his death. I expressed my condolences, send cards to his siblings and nephew and sent a very large flower arrangement to the funeral home, but did not attend his services. I didn’t think it right that his grieving wife, who found him dead on the kitchen floor, needed to see me and be reminded that there had been someone else before her. I also wasn’t sure how I would be received by family and friends, but most of all, I suspected if I saw everyone and him in a casket, that my pain would all rush back and I’d start suffering all over again. What I was not prepared for was the grief — reliving the loss of the marriage, the pain of his betrayals and deceit — it’s all coming in like a tidal wave. I have a strong circle of friends to support me and everyone agreed with my decision not to go to his funeral — they said I would re-live the pain and it wasn’t in my best interest, so I am grateful for their support. But, his family was disappointed I didn’t go. I think it’s a 50/50 situation and ultimately I had to do what was best for me. But the grief is complex, double edged and I have to just be good to myself while I go through this. As for children, I lost our son at birth, and was very disappointed that his current wife never made any mention of that in his obituary, that he was pre-deceased by our son. Thank you for letting me vent.

  • Thankyou so much for this page JoAnne. It has been very helpful for me, all the stories on this page are so relevant. My former husband & father of our 2 children died unexpectedly just over a week ago. I have a new partner & we are happy. We had begun to see ourselves as part of a modern extended family living close by. As some ex wives above have said knowing their children’s father can be called on, even though you might not, is something great to loose. All of a sudden I felt well “you dont know what you’ve got till its gone!” For the past week I have tried to be quietly supportive to my children who have been looking after the present wife. I do though feel despairing because what we had together was not recognised at the funeral & more importantly the essence of the person that my ex was before & still would have been deep inside was missed because 15 years of his life was left out..not just his life with me but from the time he ran away to sea & then ended up in Australia when i met him. I wish some one had asked me to write something to be read out for the funeral. (I know I can share these memories with my children & I will..make a memory book for them.) I felt so terrible after the funeral that when the new wife asked me back to her house I said no & from then on I just felt so left out. Like the other commentaters I have been crying most of the days & wake up feeling terrible. I go to work but do not feel i can share my grief. I have though managed to contact through FB a lost friend. She & her husband & children used to spend a lot of time with my ex & me & my children..great picnics & kids birthdays. She is also so separated & in a new relationship. She said if anything happened to her ex husband she would be devastated..this helped me feel so much better. As Janell said I still love my ex husband & always will..we had some wonderful adventures & times.

  • I have been feeling mixed emotions over the sudden death of my ex-hubby and friend Junior. He was struck by a tree he was cutting. Initially I found out in an around about way (not his family) HURT. I still have not heard from his family but I heard from one of his “so called” girlfriends and each one always portrays themselves as the wife (in their dreams) HURTING MORE. And I still have not heard from his family (STILL HURTING). He planned to see me and the kids soon. Not going to happen. (DISAPPOINTED)… I walk around bursting into tears at a moments notice. (DEEPLY DEPRESSED) He told me a lot recently that he wanted for us and I was (doubtful yet hopeful). Now HELPLESS. I feel KRAZY…There’s a lot more to this story. (Nothing new.) WHY ME?

  • I met my first love at the age of 15 . We were inseparable. At 16 we discovered we were pregnant and stuck it out. Eventually over the years his lifestyle wasn’t what I wanted for our son to see. Regardless of everything he was an amazing guy, but made bad choices. We always kept in touch but I always kept our distance. Father’s Day of last year I received a phone call he was murdered in his apartment. My son seen it all over the tv and newspapers. Now that it’s been almost 10 months it can’t stop dreaming of him. I cry myself to sleep. I wish I could’ve told him I loved him. I wish things were different. What hurts the most is my son isn’t doing so good. We take it day by day but some days it seems I can’t hold it together. I have someone in my life and I can’t grieve infront of him or his family. He’s forbidden me to see my exes family. I’m only 26. I never knew this is what my life was gonna be.

  • My ex and I were married for 22 years, divorced for 12 years (I wanted it). We had no children and only one of his family members has kept in touch with me over the years. He suffered a massive stroke on Monday, March 24, 2014. He died 5 days later on the same day that my Dad died 5 years earlier. I never, in my wildest imagination, would have thought I’d be reacting the way I am. I am devastated. I am an emotional wreck. I’m usually a strong person, but this has bowled me over. It’s as if a huge door shut on all the things he contributed to the failure of the marriage, and all I see is how I caused it to fail. This is causing a great deal of remorse. Not being part of a family I was a part of for 22 years and not being able to share our grief together, is causing a great deal of anguish, as well. I’m lucky that I’m still friends with his sister and her family, but feel I had to stay away during the time he was on life support. (When I told her I was going to go see him, she said “Let me ask the family”. I did not want to add to their heartache by having to make that decision, so I opted out of going.) Now I am regretting, with all my heart, not saying goodbye to the man I loved for 22 years (and obviously still love). I’ve relived our 22 years in pictures, cried, and have virtually been immobilized by this. It’s as if I’ve resurrected the old relationship when it was good and am grieving that loss. And regretting not staying with him to keep him healthy. Countless times I have cried out loud “I’m sorry Kevin.” And I am. But it’s too late.

  • The weekend before Father’s Day, we met to buy our daughter clothes at the mall. The week after Father’s Day the phone rang at dawn. The call was from a hospital saying your ex husband has to have open heart surgery. Days later he passed. For 15 years we were married. We had, no, we have two beautiful children. Although we were divorced we still agreed and communicated. I knew his finances, I knew his future plans, I even knew his final wishes of how he wanted to be laid to rest, .and I knew his prayers to His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…but I nor our children were given the opportunity to give input to what he would hace wanted…we had no voice..because I was his ex. Because I was his “ex”..all final matters were left in the hands of those who knew him the least. I may have been his ex wife durng the last days of his iife…but I will forever be his friend, the mothe of his children, and his sister in Christ.

  • I was married for 17 years, then divorced for 13. Although we did not want to live together, my former husband and I carried a deep everlasting bond, even when he remarried and had a child. He came to my rescue. I came to his. That didn’t end when the marriage did. He died on February 2, 2104 of leukemia and my grief is overwhelming. I think the hardest part is that my feelings of grief and loss are met by puzzlement and even disapproval from people. If I were his widow, there would be an outpouring of help and sympathy, and I would be allowed and expected to show grief, but because I’m his ex, it seems like my depth of feeling is unseemly. I feel like I have to hide my grief, that it’s not real or not right. I think grief can be an isolating process anyway. It’s much more isolating when people shun your grief.

  • My ex wife passed passed away in August 2013. We have 1 child together, she is 9, and has dealt with the passing of her mother extremely well. It happened 2 days after my daughters birthday.My ex did have some health issues but the cause of her death was suicide. Of coarse i will not tell my daughter that. I talk about the good times her mom and I had before the divorce so she will remember her mom in a positive way. Her mom was remarried and my daughter lived with her the majority of the time. We had shared custody so I had her weekends, holidays etc. My ex wife and I always joked/thought that we would eventually get back together. When she passed I found out she spread lies about me i.e. not paying child support, putting her in debt, and other untrue things. It was a 50/50 chance on if we would argue or not when I went to get my daughter or drop her off. I found out after her passing that she had been going to counseling. I find myself going through feelings of anger, sadness, and questioning if I could of done anything to help her. Without a doubt I will always love her. Just can’t help wandering about the whys and what ifs.

  • My ex husband was killed in a car accident in Dec 2013, he was 32 years old. We met when I was 19 and imeediatly fell in love. We had a magnetic relationship.
    Many of our friends were crushed when we decided to get a divorce in 2009. I think that everyone just thought we were the picture perfect couple. Which we were. We were 2 peas in a pod and lived in the most beautiful place in saint augustine florida. He was someone that everyone just loved, very friendly loving person. Always went out of his way to do good for people.
    We just both felt like we needed to go our own ways in order to grow. He was a very simple man and was happy with where he was and It was me that felt like I wanted to be a success in some sort of way. Anyways it lead us to know that we cared so much about each other that we let each other go our own ways. Our friendship remained the same, sadly just not in our lives the way we used to be. I went through a lot of depression being with out him but Also reached many of my goals that I would not have if I lived the life I was living.
    So when his father called me dec 3 early in the morning to give me the news I just felt like I lost the most precious person in my whole world. He was my world for 8 years. It may not seem like a lot of years but I am only 31 years old.
    Its been life changing and I hope that I can get through this I went through more emotions than I ever thought I could.
    I had and have so much love for that man not only as a past live but as a person who I hold so dear to me heart. He was so inspirational, lived life the way he wanted and fit it well.
    I am so luck to of known him and to of had the relationship that we had, not very many people get to meet a kindred spirit like I did and I am so grateful for it.
    best person to grow up with and play, he was a big kid.
    and I will miss him the rest of my life.

  • I don’t know if I’m in the right place, but there seems to be no other forum for me to write to. My fiance’s ex-wife died two weeks ago. She was a severely dysfunctional alcoholic (died of liver failure at age 50), addicted to prescription medicines, and had mental illness issues. She was abusive to him over their 28 year marriage. They have two grown children (18 & 21) that had to pull her out of cars, drive her home when she was passed out, etc. They have been divorced for 4 years, and the marriage ended with a restraining order and her passed out in a field after several DUIs. It had become dangerous to have her around the children.
    My fiance is so struck by grief. I can understand part of it. Good or bad, she was a part of his life for almost 30 years and she gave birth to those wonderful children. He and I are now in couples counseling because our relationship has been so damaged by not only his intense and surprising grief over her death and then by my reaction to his reaction.
    I am scared. I love this man so much and his daughter calls me mom. I don’t understand how someone who was abused and hurt for so many years can have so much grief and loss over this woman. He says that she is the only person on the planet who can understand the children the way he does, and I do understand how that’s true for most people. But, we had to put his daughter in therapy and save her life from a domestic violence situation with a high school boy and her mom was no where to be found. The one day she spent with her, she passed out drunk at the mall and left his daughter stranded. She wasn’t the mother that they needed.
    I am not a callous person. I’m actually a school counselor and I cry at every wedding and graduation I attend!
    I want to help him, but I don’t know how to love a man who is grieving another woman. A woman who hurt him so greatly. I feel so lost and so very, very, very sad.
    Side note…she never remarried, and so he planned the entire funeral and even elected to put wedding photos in the slide show.
    Please help me. Do those feelings of grief ever go away? I’m so sorry if this isn’t the appropriate forum. I don’t know what to do. He is in counseling and we are in counseling together.
    Of course he should grieve her, but I think the depth of his pain has taken both of us aback and has damaged our relationship to the point where I don’t know if it can be repaired. I love him enough that I would walk away if that’s what he needs.

  • I was divorced from my ex husband for 28 years but we always stayed friends. The kids & I still went to his house for lunches, b-b-q’s, some Christmases & I took him to our other daughter who lived away. He ended up in hospital last May (2013) & I started visiting him because both our kids worked. I then ended up taking him to various hospital appointments and was with him when he was told he had terminal (asbestos related) illness. I carried on taking him to appointments, visiting him when he was hospitalized 4 or so times, then to radiotherapy, chemotherapy etc., did his shopping, cleaning & was there for him week in week out. He died January 9 (this year, 2014), so I had watched him die for 8 months & 2 days. My kids saw him when they could but I saw him more than anybody. We still have to wait until 14 Feb (2014) for his funeral as he had to go to the coroner first. My kids have been so busy arranging things that none of them have even bothered with me. I feel devastated over the loss as we were married for 11 years & still kept in contact. My one daughter even said to me (on the phone) that she didnt think I would be that affected as we were divorced! I have been hurt more and more. I found out from a friend when his funeral was, on facebook that he would be leaving from his house (which I shared when we were married), my cousin told me the notice was in the evening paper (so I missed that), and my one daughter told my sister that I would have to drive to the funeral because there was no room for me in the funeral car! (I thought only family would go in that, so there is only 4 other people that should be doing so, my kids and his 2 brothers). The kids think they are saving me from stress by sorting stuff out (and hence ignoring me), but it’s made me so upset, confused, devastated & leaving me with nobody (I have lived on my own for over 15 years). I have had to be put on a waiting list for bereavement counselling. My beloved Auntie died on 20 September (2013) & I’ve had no chance to grieve for her either, as I was being with my ex whilst he was dying. The Dr’s are no use and just want to put you on medications. Nobody to help. I already have a long term stress, anxiety & panic disorder (nearly 6 years), along with fibromyalgia & chronic back pain (40 years). I feel like I will never get over anything.

  • My ex-husband and I met while he was in the Navy and stationed in San Diego. I was living at my parent’s place, which was about 1-1/2 hours north from base. He would come up every weekend to see me… some weekends, I would go spend a day with him in San Diego. After about 6 months, he learned he would be leaving for Great Lakes to go to school for NDT certification and then he would be transferred to Washington State, Japan, or Norfolk. Either way, our choice became limited to either getting married or breaking up. He wasn’t prepared to let me go, so a couple months later, he asked me to marry him. After he got back from Great Lakes, we got married and had a wonderful celebration… Many people there remarked to my mother that it was the best wedding they’d been to in over 20 years. We ended up moving to Washington State and settled down. We were planning on moving across the water eventually to the Seattle area when the ship transferred ports to the other side of Puget Sound. During our time here, my happiness in the relationship deteriorated because I never felt he was open with me about his feelings. In a selfish way, I guess I just wanted more…. something. More openness? More attention? In any case, I wasn’t happy, and I ended up meeting somebody whom I thought “got it”, for lack of a better term. He and I clicked immediately and I fell pretty fast for this guy. I thought he could provide something I was lacking in my marriage… What, I’m not sure. I wish I understood it better. I ended up leaving my husband because I felt that our relationship wasn’t progressing and likely wasn’t going to. We got officially divorced in February of 2012. Since then, not a day has gone by that I didn’t think about him or wish I could talk to him… I had his number, but it always felt strange to call or try to make efforts to see him. I think, in a sense, I was always hesitant because I never truly stopped loving him. I love my boyfriend, I do, but our relationship has been supremely complicated by comparison… there were always days that I wish I hadn’t left my husband and wondered how different my life would be now. I just learned yesterday that he has died… Nobody had heard from him in a while and his Dad and step-mom got concerned, so they asked his work if he had been in. They said he hadn’t, which was strange because he had an extremely strong work ethic. They called the police to go check his apartment and they… found him there. I wish I knew more about the circumstances. I am extremely heartbroken. He was 28 years old and had just gotten out of the Navy. What could have happened?
    His stepmother contacted me yesterday to tell me that they still needed to do a positive ID on him, but once the VA gets through with that process, they are going to come up here (they live in the Las Vegas area). They want to have a get-together with his friends and co-workers up here that knew him and told me I was more than welcome to come. I hope I get the opportunity to learn more about what happened… Regardless, this has sent a shockwave through me and it feels like I’ll never truly recover. I know it’s still fresh, but I feel so devastated. I wish I had talked to him more. I had so many good times with him and he made me laugh all the time. I wish that he knew that I still loved him and I always will.

  • My ex-husband and I divorced in January 2013 after 17 years of marriage. He wanted the divorce and moved back to NJ leaving me to raise his 13 year old granddaughter by myself. He denied there was anyone else. He had a fatal heart attack on Friday September 13th (some irony there). That is when I found out he had hooked up with an old high school girlfriend and had been carrying on with her for a year when we were still married. It has been tough. Someone can create chaos in life and death. Found out the girlfriend divorced her husband of 50 years. Karma is a bitch. We are doing better but at 66 some days are tough. Thankfully I have great friends. Thanks for providing this forum.

  • I share so many of feelings that others have described in their comments. I was married to my high school sweetheart at 18. He was 19. We loved each other very much but neither of us was really prepared or mature enough for marriage. The marriage was very rocky and he asked for a divorce less than a year later. He tried to reconcile with me once but I had already made plans to move to Utah to be with someone I had met previously. I have always regretted not trying once more to make it work. I moved across the country and was remarried 8 months later. I was desperately trying to dull the pain of my divorce. Thankfully my marriage has lasted almost 30 years. That being said, it hasn’t always been easy. I have never gotten over my first husband.
    After years of secret heartache and dealing with depression, I finally contacted him about 3 1/2 years ago through Facebook. My intent was to try and make peace with everything. He has told me that he was happy with us but we just weren’t ready for marriage. We have continued to keep in touch occasionally and he told me a couple of months ago that he was diagnosed with stage 4 esophogeal cancer that had spread to his liver and brain. I was completely devastated. He passed away on Nov. 29th. I found out when his wife posted his passing on his Facebook page.
    My husband and I moved back here to Kentucky years ago and it is excruciating to not be able to mourn his death with his family and to feel so isolated. There is no one who shares the feelings for him that I do and I feel like I have to grieve alone. It has been 30 years since our divorce but I still feel that there was a deep connection between us. Maybe more for me but I know that he truly cared for me.
    I just pray that time will ease the pain and maybe someday I can get on with my life. I love my husband but I can’t let him know how deeply it`s affecting me. I feel as though I have spent most of my life full of regret and sorrow for what might have been. I want to make peace with everything somehow and give my husband all of the love that he deserves and that he has given me. I pray that maybe I will be able to in time.

  • Like Maggie, my ex died of cirrhosis of the liver. We were married 24 years and have been divorced now for just over two. He was diagnosed this past May and died in early October. Obviously the drinking had been going on for many years before. He’d shown signs of illness for a long time.

    I have been lucky since I have many friends who understand what I’ve been going through since the divorce. But his family blames me for not sticking with him and for not telling them about the problem. He blamed me for the drinking. I know these guilt trips are not about the truth but it still hurts to work through the grief knowing he never admitted the problem or its affect on me and our daughter. She is a super strong woman now and we are going to survive this.

  • My ex died in 1970 and for some reason I have started grieving again. I met him when I was 12 and ran away to marry him when I was 16. My parents got the marriage annuled and that was it. He left for Viet Nam and came back for the final ride. I am married now and love my husband but I can’t stop thinking of the man I lost. This has been going on for a year now. I hide my grief well but my insides are screaming with the pain of knowing I will never see him again.
    I have gone thru all the stages of grief multiple times. It is
    like a roller coaster and I cannot get off.
    I don’t know what to do.

  • I’ve been trying to find an active blog where I can share the feelings about the recent passing of my ex-husband. He died on Aug 30 from cirrhosis of the liver. It was a very painful divorce. I loved the guy and had hoped one day he would get better. We share a 26 year old daughter together. I’m now remarried and have 2 more daughters. I’m married to a wonderful guy and I feel like if I show my emotions, it will hurt his feelings. It’s been 3 weeks since my ex passed and I’m still grieving. I would have never imagined I would feel this way. We didn’t get to say goodbye — and he hadn’t seen our daughter in 6 years. We didn’t get the closure. I do have a good friend that I talk to, but a lot of the emotions I keep to myself.

  • My ex husband Lonnie and I were married for twelve and a half years. He died unexpectedly last Friday at the age of 41. We remained friends after the divorce. I am left grieving very deeply, even though we were divorced I still loved him in my own way. They had to litterly pick me up off of the floor when my father told me of his passing. I am not doing well his death has hit me very hard. People have been kind, but don’t think I should be grieving as hard as I am. I met Lonnie when I was just 16. We were friends up till I turned 24 and were married when I s 25. Divorced when I was 37. We had a long history knowing him for 23 years. How do I go on from here?

  • My ex-wife passed away the day after Christmas 2012. We were divorced 7 years prior. What seemed to be a wonderful 16 years of marriage ended suddenly when she left me for another man. We had so much in common and rarely disagreed about anything. It seemed like a storybook marriage not only to me but to our family and friends as well.
    I was in shock as were our 2 sons when she left. I was so hurt and bitter and tried very hard to hate her. Anger became my best friend because it kept away the sadness.
    The man was a wealthy real estate investor. When the market crashed 3 years later, he literally lost everything and had to move away to live with relatives. She was left penniless and moved away to live with her Mother leaving me and the boys 1000 miles away.
    Six months after she moved away she had emergency surgery and was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. My sons and I rushed to the hospital to see her. I told her then that I forgave her. I always knew in my heart that I still loved her very much and that my love for her would never die despite the things she did.
    My sons and I were with her for Christmas and when she died on that cold northern Illinois morning. She had told me on the phone a few months prior to her death that she wanted to see me one more time. She said I was the only man she truly loved and her only regret in life was leaving me. She even stated that in the obituary that she wrote herself. See, she was a very kind and loving person and was often been referred to as a sweet angel by her friends and relatives.
    She was only 44 when she passed away.
    I am still grieving and face the mystery of what happened to our marriage everyday. She would never say why she left me only that she had a mid life crisis. I don’t know if there is a moral to this story and I wish I had some words of advice for others who are going through anything similar. All I can is that my life goes on although it will never be the same without her in the world. The loved ones that remain in my life are what keeps me going. I want to show them that I love and care for them everyday.

  • My ex-husband passed away in Nov 2012. I found out in Feb 2013. I cried when I found out and very surprised by my reaction.

    We had been divorced for 15yrs. I had remarried to a wonderful man and have a terrific family. I have a full and happy life so I couldn’t understand my deep sadness for his death.

    Our divorce was amicable and we were on good terms. In the years since our divorce, I have always said I love him I just couldn’t live with him as the reason for our parting.

    The day after I found out about his passing, I went to the cemetery with flowers intending to say goodbye to him. I found that wasn’t as easy as it sounded and I’ve been through a whirlwind of emotions since but I’ve never returned to the person I was before his passing and suspect I never will.

    He remarried twice after our divorce, neither which lasted. I believe I was his first and only true love and have come to see that a huge part of me still belongs to him and I have no way now of getting the closure I need since he’s not here.

    My heart aches everyday, some days are better than others but I am consumed by my grief. I am fortunate in that I’m very close with his family (namely his mother) since his passing so I have an outlet for my grief but so many days I’m just going through the motions and I feel the pain will break me.

    I have missed him so much since our divorce but knowing he was still here meant I could always reach out if I wanted. Now that he’s gone, missing him is different and permanent. I try to find comfort in the years we spent together and the happy memories he gave me but sometimes the sadness is overwhelming.

    Few people can grasp this level of emotion so I’m often putting on a happy face and hiding my sadness in the depths of my heart only for it to surface when I least expect it. His death has become part of my life and I can’t find a way to move forward as of yet. I would’ve thought at 6 months I would be “fine”.

    When explaining it to those closest to me I say divorce ended our marriage but not the love we had for each other and my mourning has shown me that the love I have for him still runs deep. I guess I truly meant what I said when I vowed to love him until I die, I’m certain that I will.

    I don’t want to slight my current husband and haven’t mentioned this but to my one very close friend but I want to be buried with him when I pass. I know my family and namely my children wouldn’t understand this. I don’t think I understand it fully but it’s what I want.

    I’m starting to think I’m going crazy from all of this and am having a harder time understanding it than I ever imagined. Maybe as time passes I’ll heal but I know my life will never be the same.

  • I was wondering if you culd reccomend a book rfo my sister? Her ex-husband was killed suddenly in a car accident. Although they were divorced they had two children together, the oldest is a 5 year old female and their son is 4 years old. He looks exactly like his father. She is really having a hard time. Thank you.

  • Susan,
    thanks for sharing how you are feeling. I encourage you to find at least one person with whom you can share your feelings and listen – a grief buddy. Ask a close friend or family member and explain that you need to talk about your feelings and that you don’t expect anyone to fix it (well because no one can) but when you are feeling so alone during this time it will help you to have support and to mourn your loss. Mourning is the outward expression we give to grief such as the funeral, crying and talking.

    I am happy to hear you have many nice memories of your marriage – that is a gift. But in time you will have to decide to be bitter or better, and the better part includes forgiveness.

    Sending you blessings Susan for peace. – JoAnne

  • Momo, I for one, get what you are going through and understand because I am there now. I was married 27 years then we went through a rough patch and separated with the intention of dating each other and eventually reconciling. Little did I know that he had someone waiting even before I moved out, so that never happened. It’s been 16 years and he’s passed away 5 days ago after a 2 year battle with cancer. We were cordial to each other through the years, however, I always had difficulty being around him and his wife because it hurt. I moved from MD to VA near my daughter’s family and that helped some, but I’m finding that all the feelings of loss and anger that I had after the divorce have returned now that he’s passed away. I wrote him a very nice note two weeks ago, affirming that he had been a wonderful father, and husband and that when I’m upset, I can hear his calming words. He replied, addressing everything in the email except the personal part. That was totally ignored. It so hurt me that even in dying, he could not acknowledge our 27 years together or say anything to give me some peace. I could understand if we had a tumultuous marriage, but for 25 of those years, we were very very happy.
    My grief is almost consuming but there are no sympathy cards for the exwife, no carried in meals, no flowers, no words of comfort. The years we had together will not be addressed at the memorial service…only the last 16 years spent with his new wife. I have been erased from the past as an insignificant part of his life. So not only am I completely alone in this (my two children are busy with the memorial plans and their step family) but the years that I spent, which were nearly half my life, seem meaningless to anyone. If only he could have said something nice to me or offered forgiveness, then I think I would feel a little more at peace. He was a Christian man, so he probably did forgive me, but I needed to hear those words just as my words to him expressed my forgiveness of him. My kids, who are grown, try to understand but don’t really. The memorial service will be in Maryland two days from now. I’ll be at work as usual. With no one to walk this with me or to say they understand.

  • My ex-husband passed away suddenly, last summer, at the age of 51. We were together for 20 years and had two children. I loved this man for a huge chunk of my life and we shared two beautiful children. We would be forever connected because through our children. His passing has been extremely difficult for me. I have been very alone with my grief. His passing has affected me in ways that no one knows or understands. I have really struggled since it happened. But I really feel that what makes it so damned hard is that I am very alone in this. Being the ex-wife in this particular situation is a tough place to be. Nobody gets it. I am remarried to the most amazing man whom I love very much. We have an extraordinary relationship and a wonderful life together. I truly believe my husband is my soulmate. He is the most understanding man and I am so blessed to have him in my life. But all those things unfortunately do not take my grief away. I have to somehow come to terms with this loss and learn to live with it, on my own.

  • My ex-husband, George, and I have been divorced sine July 2012 after 36 years of marriage; being separated for 4 of those years. He passed away suddenly on Feb 6,2013 from a heart attack in which he collapsed, went into cardiac arrest and never regained consciousness. Our grown son is devastated. He has started beating himself up for not calling George that day to thank him for the birthday card he had sent him, and for not calling him enough in general.
    I have very deep persoal; grief feelings, waking up in the morning and crying before I even get out of bed; bursting into tears during the day. There will be no funeral (George was cremated) but we are having a memorial service this coming Sunday (one was scheduled for today, but with the weather conditions on Long Island right now, my son made the decision to move it to next Sun) I will be traveling down to the Island with my sister (I live in Upstate Central NY now). I know I am rambling. I just have so many feelings right now…George and I had just grown apart and there were substance abuse/domestic violence issues on George’s part. Our divorce was amicable. I thought there was no love left, and now I can’t stop crying knowing he’s gone…it doesn’t feel real. I don’t know if I’m crying for him, or me, or for my son.

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