Monday, 21 May 2018

My husband John

Regular readers may have noticed my long absence and wondered why. I'm heart-broken to have to tell you that my beloved husband John died on 24 April after a short illness.

John and I enjoying a hike in the countryside near Jumilla
One reason that I'm sharing this with you is that I hope you will talk to the men in your life (whether it is your husband, partner, father, son or someone else) and ask them not to be brave and strong or to suffer in silence as so many men do. Tell them to share any pain that they feel, to be honest about nausea, weakness or any other symptoms that indicate they may be seriously ill. I will never know how many days it was until John told me he wasn't well, though I don't think it was that long as I could usually sense these things. All I do know is that, when he first mentioned his symptoms, I told him to tell his doctor when he went to renew his prescription for statins a couple of days later. On his return, I asked John what the doctor had said and what he had prescribed. Nothing!

I wasn't happy with this response so made another appointment for John and this time I accompanied him, having written down the many worrying symptoms in Spanish (we live in Spain and our doctor doesn't speak English), so that the doctor would be fully aware of the seriousness of the situation. I also emphasised that John had been ill for at least 10 days and that this was very unusual. This time our doctor prescribed three different medications and told John to come back the following week. Sadly, John never made that appointment. He collapsed on the Sunday, so I rang for an ambulance and he was rushed to hospital. John died a couple of days later.

I don't want anybody else to have to go through the pain that I've gone through, when my fit and healthy, seemingly indestructible husband died so suddenly. That's why I'm telling you this, in the hope that lessons can be learnt from my heart-breaking experience.

I would like to end on a more positive note though. I was fortunate to have spent over twenty six years with John, having met in London through the running club when we were both in our forties. We packed so much into those years, including travelling around the world twice. The first time was when John was best man at his friend's wedding in New Zealand and the second time was to compete at the Masters Track and Field championships in Australia. As well as sharing a love of travel, we had similar tastes in art and music and have been to many concerts in our local theatre since moving to Spain nearly ten years ago. We both enjoyed athletics (though John was a far superior athlete to me!) as well as watching other sports.

We adopted our dog Lisa not long after moving into our own apartment here in Jumilla, and I must say that she has been an enormous comfort to me. I also have so many precious memories of life with my kind, fun-to-be-with and loving husband. I am fortunate too in having so many lovely supportive friends here in Spain, as well as my wonderful family and many good friends in the UK.

Finally, I am flying to London on Wednesday to see family and friends, but will be returning to Spain on 8 June. Lisa will be staying with a friend who lives in the countryside a few miles away and hopefully will enjoy her holiday there. Once I return home, I plan to resume blogging, as John always encouraged me in my writing.

¡Hasta luego!


  1. I am so sorry to hear of his death Sue. Sending hugs and hopes for the future.

  2. So sorry to hear your sad news, Sue. Please take good care of yourself. Sending all best wishes,

  3. Sue Please accept my condolences on the death of your husband John. I have been following your blog for several years and I know you will have many fond memories of you life together.

    Sharon Canada

  4. Dear Sue, my heart breaks for you. It’s so sad you’ve lost your dear husband, companion and friend. Wishing you strength in the months ahead. Kind regards, Eileen

  5. Love is eternal and always a source of strength, accessible to you every time you think loving thoughts of your dear husband. It’s truly wonderful that you have so many happy memories to draw upon. Wishing you well as you navigate the days ahead.

    JOANNA, Maryland, USA

  6. Hello Sue.
    I'm another who has (silently) followed your blog for several years now - reading as you described your life in Spain and followed along with all your style challenges. Petite and casual I think you described yourself:)

    I am so sorry to hear your news but must congratulate you on having the strength to write this sad but hopeful post. The love of your life may have gone but as the warm summer sun shines in your part of the world I'm hoping your heart will be filled with your love of life again.

    Take care

  7. Dear Sue. I was poking around on Pinterest today and happened to see your response on someone's blog and clicked on your name. Guess I was meant to find you today. I’m so sorry to hear of your husband’s sudden death. Husbands are stubborn. Mine, whise name is also John, had bleeding for over a year before he told me. Turned out he had colon cancer. Thankfully the surgeries chemo and radiation worked and 15 years later he is still with me. We are celebrating our 49thanniversary next month. Don’t know if you believe in prayer or not but I’m praying for you today for comfort and peace and help with all the everyday details. No coincidence that I found you today! Sending you a big ((hug)) from across the miles.

  8. My sincere sympathy on the loss of your beloved husband. I cannot even imagine the shock and feeling of loss. You are in my prayers that you will find peace and comfort.

  9. Dear Sue, my sincere sympathy on the sad loss of your dear husband John. I am a long time silent reader and know how happy you were together. You are so very brave to carry on so well, I am sure your memories are of some comfort, l cannot imagine how you are feeling but hope you find some peace in the company of friends and family. Come back to us, your readers when you can. You are missed, Regards, Jean.

  10. Thank you all for your kind and supportive comments. I'm back in Spain again - sorting out paperwork for both Spanish and UK authorities, which is keeping me busy! I plan to write a few blog posts over the next couple of weeks though. Sending hugs back to you all. Sue

  11. Dear Sue, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time of grief and loss of your precious husband, John. I know words won’t help but knowing many beautiful women are praying for you may ease the ache in your heart.

    God be with you and your family.
    Your style sister,

    1. Dear Pat, thank you for your kind words too. It does help me knowing that so many people like yourself are thinking of me and praying for me. Your style sister, Sue