How do you survive the sudden death of your partner? Serena (38) shares…

 

Papiamentu         Papaimento (Aruba)

The fate of every love story: all of a sudden one day you’re on your own. Women more often than men, because they live longer on average. Sometimes you can see the end is near. Oftentimes you can’t. Serena (38) talks about the intense sorrow and how she got back on her feet again. “I was a wreck; I hid away and didn’t want to see anyone. Step by step I scrambled out of a black hole. Once again, I’m able to enjoy life, the sun, and every new day that presents itself.”

“I cried until I had no tears left”

Orlando, Serena’s husband, died of a heart attack at work. “He even surprised me that morning before he left. He had reserved for us to have dinner that night at a nice little restaurant. He was a real bon vivant. That’s probably what I miss most. Going out together and enjoying ourselves.”

“No matter how loving the people around who cared for me were, I felt all alone in the world. I cried until I had no tears left. I was sad and felt helpless. I didn’t know anything. Besides my part-time job I only took care of the housekeeping; Orlando took care of everything else.”

“After a few months I had a heart to heart with myself. I was just paralyzed on the couch in front of the TV. I couldn’t go on like that. I gave myself tasks, although I had no desire whatsoever to do them. Cleaning, getting groceries, doing the laundry and ironing, and going for walks with my cousin. Very simple. A few activities each day. That’s how life started to make sense again.”

“Thank God I didn’t have to leave my home”

“We weren’t in the best financial state. Orlando worked in construction. We didn’t really save. We preferred going out for a meal, or something like, that instead. But Orlando did take out an insurance when our first child was born. He didn’t even want to think about us being left without money if anything were to happen to him. Thanks to that ‘extra little bit’ I was able to keep our house. Thank God, because if I would’ve had to move as well…”

“It’s been 7 years since Orlando departed. I’m doing well. I work in an office fulltime. The kids are in secondary school now and are doing well. Every now and then I go to the beach with my cousin. Gone are the days that I keep the curtains drawn. Sometimes I hear Orlando’s voice telling me to go out and enjoy life.”

You can’t protect yourself from immense loss, but you can make sure you have enough time to process this loss. Please, do contact us. We would love to help you by giving advice.

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