So…..my husband died.

I know that’s blunt. But what is the right way to let you know? Might as well just say it.

4 months ago my husband died. It was unexpected.

 Who knew sleep apnea could kill you. 

Maybe you did.

We thought it just interrupted sleep and could wreak havoc on your body long term. 

We were wrong.

I’ve always been a positive person. In high school I had to come up with a phrase in theater class. Something like a motto I guess. Mine was “Let a smile be your umbrella and no one will rain on your parade.” My theater friends aka cynics loved giving me a hard time about it. And I do know that I built off of a phrase that already existed. lol But it seemed to fit me. 

And through the years there were lots of times when someone tried to rain on my parade, but it didn’t seem to bother me too much. I knew I was strong. I knew I had something to offer even when someone else didn’t see it right away. I believed that my thoughts create my reality. If you can believe it, you can achieve it! Energy goes where attention flows. A positive outlook can create a positive outcome. <—— I think I just made that one up. It’s pretty good. Can you tell I love self help books? 

And then my husband died. 

Positive thinking was not going to change that. 

So I had to decide pretty quickly….was I going to keep my motto? I never imagined it would be my husband that rained on my parade. He was always helping me hold the fucking umbrella. Can you tell I love metaphors? 

We had a few days with him in the hospital before he died. I remember thinking, “What a blessing. He could have died in a hotel room on a business trip. He could have died at home before I came downstairs and noticed something was wrong. What a blessing.” 

His parents and brother were able to say goodbye. His kids could see him one last time. He became an organ donor. Those are blessings.

And that’s how it started. That’s how I coped. I started looking for the blessings. OK fine… I also started binge reading any book I could find on the soul or the afterlife. It was a problem. I had like 4 books going at once along with multiple videos open to mediums connecting to the dead. I know that freaks some people out. It comforted me. I wanted to talk to him again. I wanted to know he was around. I believe that the soul lives on. I believe that some are more connected to that world than others.  

I started looking for ways to connect with other widows. I needed to see what it looks like 6 months in, 1 year in, 10 years in. So I met some amazing women. And connected. And I thought, what a fucking blessing. To be inspired by them. To learn from them. To connect. Because that’s what my soul wants to do. Connect with people. 

I wear his watch. And his wedding ring around my neck.

I also got a tattoo of his pet name for me in his handwriting. He called me Sweetie. I swear, it takes everything I have not to become the painted lady and get his handwriting all over me. Kind of like Angelina Jolie but maybe a bit creepier. Although she wore a vial of blood around her neck, so maybe not. I can feel him rolling his eyes and saying- stop using me as an excuse to get a tattoo. lol sweetie

I’m not sure why I am writing this out with the intention of posting it. I think it’s partly because I’ve been MIA on my Carpool Confessions page and I wanted to let you know why. I think it’s partly because I feel proud of myself for how I’m handling it and I want to share it. Maybe it can encourage or inspire someone else to look for the blessings. 

In one of the million books I’ve read, it said something like “In the midst of tragedy can come great beauty.” I’m paraphrasing, but I love that idea.  I’ve seen a lot of beauty in the last 4 months. Because of my family, my friends, my community, my kids, my own strength. Connections.

I did have to look for it. The sadness can definitely cloud your perception. But I am holding on to my umbrella. And it seems to be working ok. 

I just wanted you to know.

KAB_7967-2

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62 thoughts on “So…..my husband died.

  1. Love you Whit! Keep smiling and fight the fight. Hunter is proud of you, as we all are. Sending you and your kids hugs and strength. XOXO – Jen

  2. When you actually look for something positive, the blessings, you usually find them. I just made that up. 😄You would be a good teacher, comforter, grieve counselor, minister(maybe not). Good because you speak positivity and you would let people find their own personal blessings. You’ve always been a dreamer and actually reached for the stars instead of just gazing at them. Of course there will be sadness…you lost your husband, your best friend, and confidante. He taught us all so well. He really did change the people he knew. We will always love and miss him but with your strength, faith and attitude a little rain or a catastrophic flood will not deter you. I love you Whinney. ☔️

  3. I’m so happy to see you writing – the rain will stop for you soon – this post feels like the sun is starting to peek out now. Keep writing, you have no idea who you are helping, but I know you are XOXO

  4. Whitney – you are such a strong and remarkable person. I admire you (always have) and your strength and positive mark you leave on the world. I miss you not living in LA because I could come up and see you and give you a hug.

  5. Wow. Definitely at a loss for words right now. Beautiful. Painful. Insightful. Strong. Hold that umbrella with one hand and a cocktail in the other.

  6. Whitney, as usual you have responded in a beautiful way. Love the blog. I know that Hunter has one hand on that umbrella with you … and a bourbon and coke in the other – using one of ‘his’ glasses. He will always be there for you. These last 4 almost 5 months have been hell. Our world has tilted forever. My God, we are blessed to have Heath, you, Dee, the grands in our lives. And we were blessed to have Hunter as our son. Keep on writing! Your writing helps you and helps us. We love you, are proud of you and support you, girl. xxoo Dianne

  7. My first husband died 5 years ago. He didn’t die from sleep apnea, but took his own life while I was at the gym and the kids were sleeping upstairs. Totally out of left field, and completely unexpected. He was only 35. While our stories are different, I get you and all the feelings that come along with the process.

    After he died I deleted my blog, and made a mass exodus from the internet for a while. What I have found is that you don’t need to explain why you duck away for a while. Just do what you gotta do.

    From one widow to another — you’ve got this.

  8. P.S. So, I’m looking into that fantasy I have that Hunter is really in Witness Protection…we can discuss next week… xxoo D

  9. Whitney I know I don’t know you well, but I wished I did. You are such a beautiful, strong woman. I love looking at and watching your Facebook stuff. Your personality is a magnetic one! Much love ♥️ Praying for strength,comfort and peace for you and your family! I used to tell your mom I wish she had a son because I really want to be part of your family. Each one of you is so unique, loving and special.

  10. Whitney – This is beautiful and so heartfelt. I am so sorry you are facing this, but hope the love, support, and new connections have given you comfort. You are very strong and Hunter will always be by your side. Love you! xoxo

  11. Whitney – This is beautiful and so heartfelt. I am so sorry you are going through this, but hope the love, support, and new connections you have made have given you comfort. You are very strong and Hunter will always be by your side. Love you! xoxo

  12. You are so awesome my friend and such a blessing to so many. I never knew that was your motto, but it makes perfect sense. Keep smilin’ and thank you for sharing.

  13. You are an amazing inspiration!! I think of you so often and pray for you. I love how you can find blessings all around you. Hunter is proud of you and he is with you always, never stop believing in that. The soul lives on, just on another plane. Sending you hugs and much love!! xo, Monica

  14. Whitney, I’m speechless. How amazing and what a blessing that you could find such beautiful words from your heart and soul and then be able to share them with the rest of us. Love you.

  15. This is so beautifully written Whitney! Thanks for sharing your true feelings and emotions about death and how you have dealt with it so far! You are a strong woman, sister, daughter and mother!!! What a BLESSING YOU ARE TO OTHERS around you!!!

  16. I was wondering how he past on Whitney. Couldn’t wrap it in my mind how he died so young. I’m still not understanding how he died due to sleep apnea
    I don’t understand how it affected him but I can tell you that you woke me up with this story. My husband Mark snores like a machine. 2 weeks ago all he did was sleep all day long. We went out to the sleep number store and bought a 8000 dollar bed with a snoring position. It did help but still snores. So I want to thank you for letting us know how your husband past on. I literally jumped out of bed and read this to my husband. Thank you for this reality check ! at 7:30 am I will be calling kaiser to make an appointment for sleep apnea. One more question was he treated for this with a machine or he just never went to the doctor to check it out? Sending you a big hug. Thanks for being honest and brave.

    • Shirley- this makes me so happy. When you have sleep apnea, you literally stop breathing. Hunter’s body didn’t restart itself enough and his brain did not get enough oxygen. Sadly by the time I knew what was going on, the damage was done. His brain was dying. He had a CPap machine but didn’t wear it. It would have saved him. xo

  17. Wow Whitney, honestly I feel like I have no words. Except thank you (?). I know you probably don’t really care about MY opinion lol- but I still just want you to read this.
    Your words blow me away- that is bold & honest & humble & raw & so brave. Really. I know that I probably sound cliche & lame- but seriously, you bring a smile to my face just reading that. Your ability to look at REALITY, THE WAY IT IS, is very inspiring. You are literally “handling” my biggest fear right now- & you show the world that NOTHING has to destroy you (w/o your permission).
    Gosh, thank you. Thank you for being an example of somebody, looking for (& finding) a blessing in something so shitty, so shitty it is next to impossible to find anything positive out of it. I happen to be practicing a lot of yoga lol. I want to become the kind of person that can pause during a “tragedy,” stop & endure the pain- breathe through it, make lemonade. I know it is SO easy & simple to live in self-pity! It is so simple- to make (especially something like this)- ‘all about you.’ God, it is SO easy to sit there & feel sorry for yourself- to just continue to collect sympathy, getting all of the ‘pardons’ or ‘breaks’ (bc you’ve legitimately “earned” them)
    A—— & stay miserable. I think it’s so courageous of you to show the opposite, & lead by example.
    Ok I’ll stop sounding corny- but I truly believe everything I am saying

    • Anne! Thank you for this. It makes me feel so good. I believe that our souls made some decisions about what we would experience here on this earth. Some of it to brighten our own spirits and some of it to brighten others. We can overcome any obstacle with the right “umbrella.” 😉 Xoxo

  18. Whitney
    So so sorry to hear about your husband.
    Not sure if you remember me from high school.
    I thought you were such a cute and funny for back them. Hate that you are dealing with this.
    He looks like he was an awesome man!
    Praying for you!
    -Chris Gonzales

  19. And when the umbrella feels heavy and you are tired know that friends will hold it for you, regardless whether they have met you in real life or not. What you wrote was beautiful and real! And I too have spoke with a medium to feel closer to my dad and the things she said could only have come from him. If you ever would like her email, I am happy to give it to you at any point time. Sending prayers and love! xoxo Susie

    Visit me at http://www.aliterarycollective.com/social-media/

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