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My name is Anthony and I have sought out this discussion board after realizing that I need help to keep moving forward with my life without my Celene.

I met Celene over 15 years ago and knew within days that she was truly my love, companion, soul-mate, best-friend… I also had the privilege of getting to know her lovely daughter Ciara. We married on November 17, 1997 and began our lives as a new family; sharing in God’s blessings and love. I still remember the tears in my eyes as I watched my Celene walk down the isle of our church on our wedding day. I still recall the beauty in her smile and the sparkle in her eyes as she looked into mine. She always had a sparkle in her eyes when we looked at each other; from the first time we met, to the last time I said goodbye.

On the morning of October 10, 2011, I left for work as normal. I kissed Celene goodbye and we shared our “I love you” as I headed out of town for the day. I called Celene when I got to the job site and we talked about how she couldn’t shake the cough from a cold she had, and how the doctor couldn’t see her till the next day. There were no other workers on the job site so Celene and I joked that I should just pack up and head back home. This was about 12:00 when we talked and never knew it was the last phone call we would share. At 1:45 Ciara called to let me know paramedics where coming to get Celene; she stopped breathing. I jumped in my truck and headed to the hospital. I was several hours away, and when I arrived I was told the news that my Celene had passed. Celene passed just three days from her 41st birthday and five weeks away from our 14th wedding anniversary.

I close my eyes today and still see her in that hospital bed, I hear myself saying one last “I love you” as I kissed her forehead, I feel me stroking her hair, and the last time I would touch her hand again.

I am not alone, Ciara still lives and home and reminds me of Celene and our love as a family.

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Hello Anthony,

You found a wonderful group here we all "get it" unlike many of our friends and family even as they try...

I have been a member since 2010 you can read my first post at the link below...everyone here has much to share feel the freedom

to explore and seek the answers you are looking for...I do not post much anymore but monitor the new posts via email yours struck a nerve and I wanted to let you know your on the healing path being here...I pray you find the answers and comfort on your journey...

NATS

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I am so sorry for your loss. Suddenly losing your beloved like that...without warning is so very traumatic. I lost my husband very suddenly on Easter so I understand. I have been amazed by how welcoming, supportive and helpful everyone is here. *hugs* I am sorry you need to be here, but am glad you found us.

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Anthony,

I am so sorry for your loss, I'm sure it was a huge shock to you to lose her when she was so young. I lost my husband when he'd just had his 51st birthday and it was a huge shock to me.

I am glad you found this site, I can't even put into words what it has been to me, but it has been a life line for sure. I am glad you still have Ciara with you...how old is she?

Have you been in touch with hospice or a grief counselor? It does help to post here, it's good to lend expression to your thoughts and feelings. You will find many others here going through a similar journey, although everyone's is unique. We're here whenever you need to talk...

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Hi Anthony,

Welcome to the site. I lost my husband 2 1/2 yrs ago to a motorcycle accident. He was 49 years old, I was 44. He was also my soulmate and best friend. I understand your pain and lonliness. Please know that there are many others who have walked this path and that they can help you along the way. I want to offer you the hope that through a lot of hard work and perseverance you can find some healing and a new life that can be joyful. It doesn't happen overnight and it is a series of ups and downs, but it is possible to smile and and find strength from this adversity. I have found that my life is forever changed and that I am a much wiser, stronger and independent person because of my loss. I like myself better now than I did before and I think it's because of what I've had to face. You are not alone and we all get it here.

Blessing to you and your family, Cheryl

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NATS,

Thank you for sharing your link with me. On the night Celene passed, someone from the hospital handed me a Hospice pamphlet. I placed it on my dresser and didn’t look at it until recently. Over the past months I felt really strong about the new chapter in my life; don’t get me wrong, it has not been easy. My work and social life has consumed my emotions and now I find myself lost and confused. There are so many things that I want to do for Celene’s legacy and find my personal surroundings continue to pile up on me. I am not sure if I even took the time to properly mourn. So that brought me to reaching out to this group and hopefully finding suggestion and/or answers to the multitude of questions I ask myself daily.

Anthony

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Lina,

I read your posts when I first joined and knew I was in the right place. Your loss and mine are very similar in that are lives changed without any warning. One moment our love is alive and within hours we are left with memories. I am not certain if I had lost Celene after she battled an illness would have been any easier, I do know that losing her this way gave me no time to prepare. Celene was the strong willed person in our relationship and she always put the needs of her family before her own. She made certain that Ciara and I had several friends in our lives, and it was the loving care of those people who made life a lot easier to handle the weeks following Celene’s passing. My prayers go out to you and hope I can be helpful for you.

Anthony

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KayC,

Thank you for responding. It saddens me when I think of how young she was and how all the dreams we talked about will never be achieved together. Ciara just turned 21 last December. Celene and I agreed that she could live with us as long as she needed till she was sure about her own life. She took a break from college last semester and plans to start back up again in the fall. Celene and she were very close and I know there will be milestones in her life when a dad just can’t fill a mother’s shoes. I pray for her comfort during those times and that she will feel the presence of her mother’s love. I also pray that Ciara doesn’t put her life on hold to prevent me from being alone.

Anthony

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Cheryl,

Thank you. I feel the ups and downs every day. I am so uncertain what to do with my life now. Some of my friends define their life by monetary success they acquire; I defined it by the love and strength of my family. With Celene gone, the major part of who I was, I am not sure if what I did before is what I want to do now. Do I continue in the past or start living my life for me now? There are so many questions that I wish could be answered. I only hope and pray that the result of Celene’s passing will bring about a more positive and strong person.

Anthony

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Anthony,

I am glad reading my story and posts made you feel like you could be understood here. I wish neither one of us needed this board though. *hugs*

I have asked myself if having warning would have helped and honestly I can't decide. I would have liked to have had a chance to say goodbye. I said goodbye when he left for work...our typical kiss and hug and me making him promise he will drive carefully. I know that the last thing I said to him is that I loved him and that does help.

The thing about that first week that really stands out is a intense feeling as though I was going insane. I just had such a hard time believing it was true, but then I did not get to see him for almost three days after he died. The M.E. took a while to release his body since they had to make sure he died of natural causes given how young he was. So part of me wishes I had more warning before he died, but I also know he wanted to "die on his feet" doing what he loved and he loved being an RN and so in a way if he had to go so young going at work doing something he believed in was good.

Arthur was the one who knew what he wanted from life. I have always been less directed. All of this has left me feeling very adrift.

I am praying for you also. This pain is so indescribable. People keep on telling me they don't know what to say and I always tell them there are no words, but that I understand.

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Lina,

I too was going insane. Having to make decissions on the memorial service, picking out the stationary, writing the obituary, and the hardest was having to here myself tell friends that Celene had died. Hearing myself say those words made me break down and cry, having silence on the other end of the phone till I could gather myself and finish the conversation.

Celene too had to be examined by the M.E. due to her young age. So when I was asked by friends what her cause of death was I had no answer; the Examiner finally sent a letter 2 months later-"Natural Causes". Having to wait for Celene to be released left time for family members to try to change my decission on cremation. I am not sure why a decission made by Celene long before her passing was even being challenged; the morning after even.

Much the same as your love passed doing what he loved, Celene took her last breath while in the company of Ciara and our two dogs; Bugsy and Bear. They all three ment the world to her, especially her "Babygirl" Ciara.

I remeber I knew the moment Celene's spirit left her body that afternoon. As I was driving back from out-of-town to the hospital in total panic of what was unknown to me at the time. I was crying and praying out loud for all to be O.K., when suddenly a total calm and piece came over me. I was confussed at that moment as to why I wasn't feeling the pain and panic of the unknown. It was when I arrived at the hospital and got the news that I later understood it was my Celene letting me know she has passed and to not worry; just be calm, drive safe and make it to the hospital to comfort Ciara and family.

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Anthony,

I can relate to your frustration regarding the family and cremation, Ruth's family wanted an open casket viewing before

her cremation but she told me many times she did not want to be in a closed box at anytime or buried in the ground...upon planning for her memorial the family made plans to arrive within days assuming she would be viewed, not the case, I advised them she would be cremated as she wished and the service would be held then, needless to say not a single brother or sister attended her memorial, they are old fashioned people and didn't understand or respect her wishes, I have heard from no one since, her daughter and son attended but have since become hostile and are no longer allies needless to say...we do what we must it is now "US" we have to care for so I myself have reached the frame of mind that I could care less what others think concerning the choices I make, the only person that matters is "ME"...oh and of course the new found friendship and love I have found plays a big part in that thinking as we both have chosen to remain independent but still fully functional as a couple taking nothing for granted and focusing on passing the grief

of our departed in positive ways...go with your heart and I think you'll find the most peace...may you find comfort in the days to come....

NATS

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Anthony,

I can tell you from my experience with Jim having cancer that knowing at some point death is coming in the near, yet not present moment didn't make a difference when it comes to the depth of the loss or the grief you go throught. We were told we would have 6-8 months and Jim was gone in less than 2 months. Loss of someone that is our loves, and soulmates is such a deep and profound loss. We want to believe we will be with them forever, but unfortunetly live throws us curve balls we never expect to happen.

I am so sorry people tried to change your mind, or make you second guess the choices you made for Celene's cremation. You have to know you did the right thing for both you and her, as you gave her what she told you she wanted. Jim told me just three months after we got together what he wanted done when he passed, and I made sure he got his wishes met, not that we don't care about others oppinions, but we have to do what is what our beloved wanted above all else.

So many people think they are doing the right thing to help us by putting in their opinions and thoughts, or by telling us we need to move on with our lives. Some don't want us to talk about the ones we love and lost, some pull away from us because it is scary and to realistic that something like this could happen to them. Others just don't know what to say, the only ones that truely get it, unfortunetly are ones who have gone through the loss. At least this is my findings as I go through this journey.

There are so many wonderful individuals here that do truely get it, and it does help to try and find a grief support group where you live, too. We are here for you when you need us!

amw

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I have had opinion overload since Celene passed and at the beginning it made me question my actions. On the evening, while she still laid in the hospital room, the donor people called and asked if Celene was a donor. At that time I couldn't recall if that was one of her wishes or not. They needed to know by morning so they could prepare. Knowing my wife and how giving she was I gave them the OK for partial donations. The choice weighed heavy on my mind until I finally located our wills and took note of both the cremation and donor wished Celene had made; I made the correct decision for her.

Over the last months, I have attempted to keep a relationship with Celene's family. I want Ciara to know they are still important in her and my life. They do however continue to try to force there views, mostly against, the way we memorialize Celene. Just this last Mother's Day, Ciara chose to book a cruise for us that put us in California on the 13th. We have always relied on Celene's family to take care or the "boys" (our dogs). They refused and wanted us to cancel our plans. I found the refrigerator magnet from a pet sitter we used before and had it taken care of. To see my daughter crying on the phone call with them and the thought of having to cancel her plans for the first Mother's Day without Celene really upset me. It make me question if a relationship between them and I is really needed. I don't discard the pain that her family must feel, I only wish they understood that when Celene and I got married we created a new life together and that life came with decisions we made for it.

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Ciara is lucky to have you, and I doubt she will put her life on hold...she may for a short time while she is grieving, but she will get back on track, my kids did, and they also were about that age when I lost George...they mourned him but it gradually got better for them. They STILL talk about him and miss him and it's been seven years this month.

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Anthony - I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Brought me to tears. Sounds like you two shared at great love for eachother. She was too young and so way my love (40). I'm glad you found this discussion board. I'm new to it too and the people here are beyond supportative. You and Ciara are in my thoughts.

-Missing Him

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Ciara is lucky to have you, and I doubt she will put her life on hold...she may for a short time while she is grieving, but she will get back on track, my kids did, and they also were about that age when I lost George...they mourned him but it gradually got better for them. They STILL talk about him and miss him and it's been seven years this month.

Thank you so much KayC. I am so lucky to have Ciara. I know the day will come when she will leave home to start her own life and I only pray that she will find someone who will give her all the love she gives. Celene blessed me with trusting me into their lives.

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Missing Him,

I am sorry for your loss as well. To leave us all at such a young age is so sad for anyone. I think of all the plans we talked about for when we got older. I always told her that I needed to go first because I couldn't handle life without her. I even reminded her on the night she laid in the hospital, that I was to go first. I will always love her and hold tight to the memories of the time I was blessed to shared with her.

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Anthony,

Your wife looks so young and beautiful, it's just hard to understand how she could be gone. My George looked older than he was, but he was in perfect shape (or so we thought) other than he had Diabetes which was being controlled with diet and exercise and borderline blood pressure, he was on no medications. It was ME he always worried about, me with my (now nine) prescriptions...but everything I have is under control...what we didn't realize was that he had five blocked arteries. No wonder he got winded so easily and would have to stop and wait for me while I finished "our walk" and picked him up on the way back! Just two weeks before he died, we went on a beautiful hike to a waterfalls few know about. He almost quit just shy of reaching our goal. I'm glad he made it in to see it! My son worried that the hike may have done him in but I think not, not two weeks beforehand. I'm glad the heart attack didn't happen then, my son would have had a real struggle with that after suggesting the hike and going with us.

One of my regrets is that I no longer have anyone to share such things with me...I haven't gone camping since he died, in fact, I can't bear to even go in our camper...his clothes still hang in there, it's too much "us", too much reminder of the good times we shared. When I water the many hanging plants on our patio deck, and see the hummingbirds come in to feed, it reminds me of the many mornings and evenings we sat out on our deck and just took in the beauty...watching deer and elk come into our back yard to graze on the grass or apple trees. I rarely sit on our porch swing any more...I cleaned it up recently but the neighbor's cat thought I did it just for him. :) The fact is,no matter how much time goes by, I miss him. I miss his spontaneity, he'd get up and say "Let's go to the coast today!" Life has not held as much fun since. I've gotten used to getting groceries alone and going to church alone, to having to make decisions alone, but "getting used to" and having a sense of purpose and happiness in your life are two different things. I am convinced that there are levels of joy and happiness. I am a basically happy person, fairly content with life, but the joy I had in sharing life with George...is just gone. I have to settle now for the little joys of life...little joys are in no way to be discounted, they mean a lot, in fact, they help GIVE life meaning...things like having my dog with me. Seeing those deer and elk or other creatures I am blessed to see where I live. The beautiful view of the mountains, any body of water...crashing waves of the ocean, their thunderous roll! Frothing streams and rivers, even a quiet pond. Spending time with my sisters or kids. Getting to see my grand-doggy, Skye. Singing...I'm on the morning worship team at church and in the choir...singing has always been a part of my life. And making cards to give to people...I've been doing that for about 26 years now. I remember oh so well the day, probably about two weeks after George died, that God brought a little dragonfly refrigerator magnet into my view to remind me to direct my focus to "find joy in every day"...He knew it took concerted effort and it would change my outlook. "Find joy" is an action, not a happenstance. It changed my life, the emphasis was positive, and it can change our outlook...to acknowledge the beauty we see around us, the good that happens in our lives, the wonder of life.

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Anthony, Have you been to any of the HOV Grief Support Groups? There are groups meeting in Mesa on Tuesday evenings. Also Banner Hospital has a grief class starting in July. It does help to be with people who are going through some of the same things as you. You realize you are not the only one grieving. You can say how you feel and no one will judge you, just support you. You and Ciara could go together to support each other.

Cosel

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KayC,

Ive been spending a lot of time working on bringing joy into my life, although work seems to interfere. I work for a family business and now my struggles with motivation and focus is creating problems for the company. I handle about 85% of the activities of the company; my father is 80 years old and wants to retire, leaving me responsible for 100%. Celene made sure our personal environment ran smooth and that allowed me to focus on business. Now I have both my personal and business environments needing attention and all I want to do is figure out life without Celene. The unfortunate part is I am not sure if owning the business is what I want to do, although I need income to survive.

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My love told me the exact same thing - he always wanted to go before me. He said he would not be able to go on w/o me if I was to go first. I now know what he meant. It is the worst feeling in the world. We were blessed to find our true loves. We will always be connected with them.

Missing Him,

I am sorry for your loss as well. To leave us all at such a young age is so sad for anyone. I think of all the plans we talked about for when we got older. I always told her that I needed to go first because I couldn't handle life without her. I even reminded her on the night she laid in the hospital, that I was to go first. I will always love her and hold tight to the memories of the time I was blessed to shared with her.

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Thank you Missing Him. Last night I was at a friends house and they wanted to watch "Whale Wars". This was a favorite of Celene's and we would go over to the same friends house almost every Friday night to watch it. I sat on the same love seat, as Celene and I had before, and during the show I glanced over to the empty seat next to me. It brought back the memory of those nights last year. I didn't cry, instead I enjoyed the mental visual of Celene next to me.

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Anthony,

That is how I felt going to church without George. I'm on the platform singing so I look out over the congregation, I could always see George, my biggest fan and admirer, rooting for me as I sang...looking out after his death it was so hard to see that empty pew...having someone else sitting in his spot didn't feel good either. I have had to move to a different section of the church, I just can't sit there without him. :( You're brave to go through the routines alone and not break down and cry.

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