Post Hospital Diary – After He Was Gone

I stopped writing my blog about our journey to what I thought would be a healthy outcome for Bob. I look back and see that I needed all my strength to help him fight for his life. My husband left this earth on June 8, 2013, just a few months shy of our 28th year anniversary. I may continue writing our hospital story but I have to start writing about my journey without him now too. It is painful and raw. I am forlorn and though people reach out I feel so alone. A part of me is gone. I have never felt so much pain in my life. But today I woke up and for the first time since he left I thought ‘I will get through this.’ I know the pain will diminish. Some memories will become foggy. I don’t really want that to happen, but without our ability to go on we are stuck in a time of desolation, a place where it’s impossible to live with that much pain.

I wanted to write something to share with others about Bob at his funeral. I was tired and not sure that I could, but I did. My message was simple. It wasn’t about all the details of  his life, it was about the man he was and how he touched others. I read this at his funeral service and saw a sea of faces as they listened.

My man was loved by so many people. I know he would have been overwhelmed. Here is my simple Eulogy. I hope this will help you know more about a fine human being who has left many people saddened by his loss.

For Bob
BobI really wanted to write something to honour Bob because I’m a writer and that’s what I do. But honestly I am tired. This has been a whirlwind from the day he called me from work, March 11th to say he was going to the hospital until his passing less than a week ago.  And though I tried I wasn’t able to write much because I don’t know what to say. But I think that everyone else has said it for me so I’ll share with you and what we have learned from others about him; some things we already knew, but there were some amazing surprises.

Bob was a simple guy. He was honest and had a strong sense of right and wrong. He had more integrity than anyone I’ve ever met, or probably ever will meet again. He was a man of few words. He didn’t get mad often but when he did everyone listened.

I have heard this said over and over during the past few days as people shared their stories about Bob. What I don’t think he realized was just how well respected he was. I have seen that firsthand over the past months as people came to see him in hospital, sent messages, sent healing prayers, and so much more and seeing you today and so many people here yesterday as well.

I was amazed at the outpouring of love but even more at how much people needed comforting because they had lost someone they admired, respected and loved. They shared their stories and their heartaches about losing a very good friend and relative. And by comforting them, I was also comforted.

Bob wasn’t a social person. He didn’t have a lot of friends calling or coming over. And yet, since his passing, I have had hundreds of messages from people telling us how much they miss him. When a person is missed it means they were loved and they touched the lives of others in a special and meaningful way.

The most important thing in his life was his family and children. He was proud of being an electrician and took pride in his work at Presstran as a lead hand. But until he became sick I didn’t realize what an impact he had on the individuals he worked with. First a gorgeous plant and get well card arrived. Then his co-workers came to see him. They regaled us with stories that had us laughing until we cried. When they left Bob would tell me he was amazed by the outpouring of concern for him by his colleagues. He would have been totally blown away to know that when we started this remembrance at 11:00 a.m. Presstran shut down production to honour him. Please know that his family is overwhelmed by this gesture of respect.

Bob leaves a huge legacy behind. I see the best of him every day in his three children and granddaughter. He is loved by his three brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews and other family members and friends. I am proud to be part of his family and to have been with him for over 30 years.

And though I know he would not want me to be maudlin or sappy, and I can hear him say “it’s enough to gag a maggot,” as I am speaking, I hope that he knows just how much he truly is loved and will be missed and what an amazing tribute we are giving him having all of you here today to honour his memory and celebrate his life with us. I’ll always miss you Sweetie Pie. 

9 comments
  1. This is a beautiful tribute to Bob, Suzanne. You both put up an amazing fight. Thank you for sharing this with those of us who were privileged enough to accompany you on your journey, albeit from a distance. I’m just so sorry your journey didn’t end differently.

    • I will just post Thank you now to anyone who wishes to comment on the blog. We have received so much support over these past three months, there is no way I can say anything but Thank You. To everyone who has and continues to reach out, please know that your support and comments are appreciated beyond words.

  2. Suzanne, I am so glad you were able to honour Bob thru this tribute. I am so grateful that I got to meet him 2 or 3 times and get a sense of the man you so loved and cherished. I am so proud and inspired by the strength you drew from within to hold both you and Bob up as you travelled the last miles of his journey together. It is amazing how we find that strength within ourselves when we most need it. Hugs and hats off to you, my friend.

  3. Ah, Suzanne. Thank you for sharing this with us. You are one very strong person and I am very proud of you for having the courage to not only write, but deliver this tribute to the man you love. Much love across the miles.

  4. Thanks for posting this uplifing message during your difficult time. Your speech skills were compelling when you first shared this at Bob’s funeral.

  5. What a beautiful tribute, Suzanne. it sounds like you had a very special husband and relationship. I never met Bob, but of course you and I have been in touch for years, and my heart, as always, goes out to you.

  6. I so admire your courage at being able to give this beautiful eulogy at Bob’s funeral. I deeply regretted that I didn’t do the same but found that writing about it later was very comforting. Take time to regroup and spend time with your kids before you return to full time writing. You deserve a nice long rest.

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