The Heart Hurts

The Heart Hurts

I’ve used the term heart broken before many times. I’ve probably used it on this blog, but I never knew why this phrase entered into the English language until now.

There is a physical, dull ache in my heart. It feels like a hole that will never be full again. It feels like I’m being ripped apart at times, and numb to everything at others.

It feels that way because my husband is dead.

About two weeks ago, I enjoyed a very pleasant evening with Tim where he was super sweet, helped around the kitchen and eased all of my growing fears about the future of our marriage. For months and months he had been acting unstable, angry or completely depressed… but we had a good evening. I went to bed early, texting with a friend about how much better things were.

Then I heard a strange noise in our spare bedroom, and I found him collapsed on the floor, blue and sporatically gasping for air. I called 911. I gave chest compresions. The EMT came immediately and were amazing. I was immediately shuffled outside and asked what medication he took and what his medical history was while they tried to save them. The head of EMT, a gruff older man, asked me if my husband had taken Opiates. I told him not unless he was keeping much bigger secrets from me.

He was keeping much bigger secrets from me.

They gave Tim a drug that counteracts the effects, and he woke up essentially no worse for the wear. Everyone said I saved his life, and if I hadn’t heard him he would have died.

But he didn’t die.


We got rid of the drugs. We cried and talked. We made treatment plans and held each other. Through tears, we promised that everything was going to be okay.

On Thursday, Tim had just seen an addiction counselor for the first time. I talked to him on the phone right after the appointment, and he sounded relieved. He was positive. I said I was proud of him and I loved him. He loved me too. I walked back into work feeling like we were going to be okay.

When I came home, he was collapsed on the floor in the spare bedroom. As soon as I touched him, I knew. With the first OD I was upset, but in control… but I was not in control Thursday. I had to repeat my address three times to 911 in-between my sobs so they could come help us.

He must have had a pulse, because they worked on him for about 30 minutes. The cops kept me away from that room, and the entire time I sobbed and either said “Oh god Oh god” or frantically asked them if he was dead. No one would tell me anything, but I knew.

And I was right.

There seems no limit to my heart break now, but there is also no limit to the amount of love and support I have around me. I’m not okay, but I’m going to be alright. I will never be the same, but I will survive this and I know that.

Please hold your loved one tight for me, and appreciate every day. I had so many happy memories with my husband, and so many good days. Soon their memories will be stronger than this. I love this man so much, despite everything. My love was not enough to help him, even though I tried so hard. His problems ran deeper than I will ever know, because he tried so hard to protect me from being hurt.


He was my best friend. I will make it, but I will miss him every day of my life.

169 thoughts on “The Heart Hurts

  1. oh my god Lauren, I had to read this twice to make sure it was real. I am so so sorry for your loss. Addiction is a terrible disease. if you need anything, just know I am here for you.

  2. Oh Lauren! My heart is broken for you. I am so sorry. Please know that we are all thinking of you and your family.

  3. I’m so sorry for you loss Lauren. I had to read the post twice because I was in shock, so I can’t imagine how you must feel. Feel free to reach out if you ever need to talk, even if its just mundane horse conversation or the details of your day. <3

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you strength during this terrible time, and you’ll be in my thoughts.

  5. Oh my god…I’m so, so sorry to hear this. I can’t imagine how you must feel and the pain and difficulty he must have felt. Hugs to you in this difficult time. 🙁

  6. Oh, Lauren.
    I don’t have the words, But I am praying for strength and peace for you now and in the coming days. If you need a getaway, a chance to breath there is a lovely, quiet place up here waiting for you.

  7. oh my god. Lauren. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through right now but please know I am holding you close to my heart. I am so heartbroken for you.

    Love love love love and more love to you.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. It doesn’t really help, these words from a stranger, but know that I am. Fighting these big losses are horrific and wounding and I wish there were more than words I that I could offer…

  9. I’m so very sorry for your loss. And for your hurt. I can tell you know you are supported far and wide. And you have a such a strong outlook. Sending virtual hugs to you. Spend time with your horse. It will help a little.

  10. I sent you a Facebook message because this post hit very close to home, as I was (and am) madly in love with a guy who struggled with opiate addiction. It’s a strange mix of anger and love. I’m glad you can see that he did love you, despite his personal demons. My heart is so broken for you. I know there’s nothing I can say to ease the pain, but if you need someone to talk to who has had similar struggles I’d be glad to listen. Praying for you.

  11. I’m just one of those random readers who never comments, but my heart goes out to you right now. I’m so sorry Lauren. Words can’t even express it properly.

  12. Oh Lauren I’m so sorry for your loss. Love and hugs! I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this… we’re all here for you. Even though we don’t all live close lean on us whenever you need however you need.

  13. Lauren, I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I had to read your post twice, because I could not take it in. My heart hurts for you. You are a strong, amazing woman to be able to see the love through the pain. God bless you.

  14. Oh Lauren! I’m so very sorry. I wish there was more I could do to help than just send this little comment. I’ll be thinking of you ((hugs from Maryland))

  15. Oh Lauren, my heart breaks for you. I’m so very sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. This must have been such a difficult post to write. We’ll all be thinking of you and know that your blog readers and friends are among those sending love and support your way.

  16. I hurt for you. I cannot express how sorry I am to hear this news. I will light a candle for you and be thinking of you. Your strength in the words “I will be alright………I will survive this” floors me. You’re an incredible woman. *hugs*

  17. i cannot imagine what you are going through right now. Please know that if you need anything you can and should reach out to any of us. I think I can safely say you have an incredible amount of people who love you and who will do anything in their power to support you.

  18. There is nothing I can say or ever do to make it better. I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart and I am sending you millions of virtual hugs. Know that you are loved, appreciated, and cared for. Please let us know if we can do anything <3

  19. Lauren, words are not enough, never will be enough. I know that your loved ones are around you right now and hopefully the outpouring of support from those of us not quite as close to you helps to bolster you int the days to come. We are here when and if you need us.

  20. I am so saddened and my heart goes out to you for your loss. As a person also touched by addiction as well as worked in the recovery field, I have to reiterate that it is a dark and heartbreaking disease and that you are not at fault for what happened. Life as an addict can be a whirlwind of pain, shame, and compulsion that requires something like divine intervention to stop.

    It is so good that you have support – both two legged and four legged – and I am sure your all your readers hearts’ are aching today. All addictions are tough and secretive but opiates really lead the pack, and with prescription drugs their reach goes farther than ever (not just street drugs anymore).

    Your post today was so well written too, and I know that might be an odd thing to make comment on but I felt like I was right there with you as it unfolded.

  21. Even though I have never met you I feel like we are friends and I would give you a hug if I were there. I can’t imagine the level of shock and heartbreak you are going through. I do know you are a strong woman though and will use the support of others to get through this. I will be thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way!

  22. Oh my god Lauren… I can’t even imagine what I would do in your shoes. You are a wonderful person and stronger than I can imagine. Sending warm thoughts to you and wishing you strength. *HUGS*

  23. Lauren, I hope our words of love & support from afar can bring you some small comfort. Draw strength from all those in the blogging community who care deeply for you, even though we may never have met in person. Prayers that you will be able to get through this.

  24. You are such a strong beautiful woman. You writing shows your strength, and your beauty speaks for itself. I can’t believe this has happened to you. Know that there are so many people here for you and hugs are being sent from all directions.

  25. Lauren – I am devastated upon hearing this news and reading this post. There are no words really. But know that I am thinking of you, and I hope you can find comfort and peace during this time. I have also been affected by addiction. It is so ugly and takes so many incredible people. It’s just not fair. I am so sorry. Sending love.

  26. I’m SO saddened for you. I can only imagine the hurt you’re feeling. My heart is aching knowing the pain you are in. I’ll be praying for you in these very difficult days you are facing. {{hugs}}

  27. I can only send you virtual love. But know that I understand and know your loss. And you are never truly alone. Time will heal and let Simon fill you when you feel empty. <3

  28. Frequent reader, infrequent commenter. My heart hurts for and with you today. There is nothing I can say to help but I will keep you in my thoughts and hug my loved ones tight.

  29. Sending all the love in the world your way. I can’t believe you have been going through this. I can’t even imagine. Words from a stranger probably provide little comfort, but there are clearly so many people who care about you and are giving you a big virtual hug and support.

  30. what a heart wrenching post to read, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a dear friend to opiate addiction and his family struggled with talking about his problems and referencing what killed him once he had passed. I commend you for your honesty, which I know must be terribly hard to do, because in the end – these things need to be out in the open so we can face them head on in our world.

    As you know on my blog, I’ve been going through a pretty dark period myself. I can tell you what I’ve been telling myself. There is no journey, plan, path or lesson to take from this – it’s just a terrible awful thing. Take the time you need to hate, cry, love, detest, laugh etc, but in the really bad moments keep moving a step ahead even if it feels like you are in quicksand.

    I am so, so incredibly sorry.

  31. I’ve been thinking of you and your family ever since I read this post this morning. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I hope you know that I am here for you, I’ll be thinking of you and that there is nothing too big or small to ask or talk about.

    Anything I can do for you, absolutely anything at all, do not hesitate for a second.

    Sending you all the love in the world <3

  32. You are a very strong woman. I am so sorry for your loss, and hope you know that although many of us don’t know you well, we offer you love and support. I certainly am always willing to be an ear to bend.

  33. I am so sorry – how truly awful and devastating. May you take comfort in the good memories you shared with him. Sending hugs.

  34. I’m another reader who doesn’t generally comment, but wanted to say that I’m praying for comfort and peace for you. Give Simon and your puppies a hug 🙂

  35. Oh Lauren. We are all so very sorry you are having to go through this loss and heartbreak.

    Chances are that many of your readers’ lives have also been affected (damaged) by a family member’s addiction issues. Though that doesn’t do a thing to make it better, please know that we feel your pain, and we send big virtual hugs to you.

    As many others have already said – you are a strong woman. You will find a way to get through this. It’s comforting to hear that you are surrounded by a good support system. All the folks who love you want to help however they can. Just ask. (((♡♡♡)))

  36. Lauren, although I do not “know” you, I feel as though I do as I’ve been an avid follower of your blog for sometime. I was shocked to read your post this morning and my heart immediately began to ache for you and your family. Your love for your husband has always shone through in your words and I can’t begin to imagine the loss you must be feeling. However, your strength also comes through in this post and I pray that you will continue to have the strength and support necessary to help you through.

  37. I can only begin to comprehend the strength that it took for you to write this post. I wish there was something that I could say beyond, “I’m sorry,” something that would make a difference. I want you to know that I’m sending you all the hugs, love and strength.

  38. Oh Lauren,

    I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss and the pain you are going through know. I wish I lived nearby so that I could give you a hug. Know that I will be praying for you.

  39. I know nothing I could say could help, but I am sorry. If you need to talk, please feel free to contact me.

    We lost my SIL on NYD. It is not the same thing, i know, but please know that you are not alone if you need anything.

  40. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I know words don’t even begin to cover it. Hugs and tears.

  41. Lauren, my heart aches for your loss. sending you warm thoughts and hugs.

    If you ever need someone to talk to that has gone through the same experience I know someone who would love to talk with you if needed.

  42. I came back because I can’t stop thinking about you. it’s so nice to see all the supportive comments. I know it might not help immediately but you are loved and good vibes are coming from all over the country… be strong friend. hug your pony, and your puppies.

  43. I don’t know what to say. I’m overwhelmed with sadness for you, for him, for your family and friends, for your dogs. Sending you hugs. Please please reach out to me if there is anything I can do.

  44. I am so very sorry for your loss Lauren. I hope your heart is filled with the warmth that comes from Simon’s nuzzle on your cheek, his love as he carries you through this storm & all the love & support from all your friends at the barn. Praying for you.

  45. I am so. So. SO. Sorry for your loss. But you are stronger than you think, and you can get through this. We are all here for you.

  46. I’m sitting in shocked silence. My heart goes out to you and I am sorry for your loss. We will see our loved ones again in the afterlife. You are in my prayers.

  47. Like Liz, I came back to comment again because I have been thinking of you and yours all day. I hope you draw at least some measure of peace or comfort from the outpouring of support here and the sure knowledge that you are beloved. We will be here when you are ready.

  48. I don’t really know you- just know that we both rode Elvis over the years- but I want to express my deepest deepest condolences. I am teared up and heavy hearted for you. No words can possibly help, but I wish you strength and peace

  49. oh no – oh Lauren! you have my deepest and most sincere condolences – this is unbelievable. words can’t even express what i’m feeling for you – you and your family are very much in my thoughts!

  50. Another regular reader here… Just wanted to say I am thinking of you, and wishing you space for all the many feelings of your grief and loss, and that you have a strong net of love around you.

  51. Ah, Lauren I am so sorry. I truly admire the strength it took to share this with us all. As many have mentioned addiction has touched a lot of us. Know that your circle of support is wide. Thinking and praying for you and your families.

  52. Oh my gosh Lauren, I am so sorry. I can not begin to fathom what you are going through. Big hugs, and know that you have much love and support! Message me on Facebook any time.

  53. Another blog fan here… I was worried when you didn’t post on Friday… I’m so sorry, Lauren. No one should have to go through this, but you are a strong person and I know you will be okay. Sending some good vibes your way.

  54. I lost my brother to a OD a few years ago. I suggest that you speak to a counselor about how you feel now and where you should go from here. It can really help knowing that you are dealing with something like this “normally.”

  55. Hold on tight to Simon and your four-legged critters. They will comfort you more than anyone else could. We’re all here supporting you and sending you love and pony kisses from around the world – “Hold him in your memory, and you will find him in your dreams.” Unknown

  56. Another long-time reader here. I’m so sorry for your loss – I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Moments like these are so surreal and hard to process. Much love to you, Simon & your family.

  57. There are no words, but my heart goes out to you. I’ve been thinking about you all day since I read this post this morning. I’m so sorry Lauren.

  58. Lauren I’m so sorry you’re are having to go through this pain. If I can do anything for you please let me know. My heart breaks for you and all your family and Tim’s.

  59. I’ve come back too after thinking about this all day as well. Sometimes it is thru unfortunate events like this, that we see the outpouring of caring, concern, well wishes and realize, we are not in this alone. The horse world is a very compassionate one and you have obviously touched a lot of lives. May peace be with you and your family and help you all heal from this. You’ll be in my prayers.

  60. Oh my god. Lauren, I’m so deeply and truly sorry for your loss. I know we’ll never know each other in person, but I feel like I’ve come to know you through reading your blog for years, and my heart aches for you. Sending my love.

  61. I cannot even begin to imagine what you are feeling right now, and the strength it must have taken to write that post. All of the internet hugs.

  62. I have no words for what you must be going through and the grand irony is the only way I can express anything about how I feel is through words in this comment box. All I can say is that I was so happy to know the both of you and I am sending all the support and love I can back to austin today.

  63. Lauren, I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you. Just know that I’m thinking of you during this difficult time.

  64. Oh my god Lauren, I am so sorry. I cannot imagine your pain. I don’t know you in person, or even really over the internets, but everything I have read on this blog tells me you are a strong woman with a plan. You will get through this, one day at a time. Virtual hugs from me and Pearl.

  65. Hugs across the miles. I’m so sorry you have feel both the pain and the bewilderment of Tim’s illness and passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I wish you strength and peace in the coming difficult months.

  66. I am so very, very sorry for your loss, Lauren. I have given my husband an extra hug today and told him that it was from you. I desperately wish I could do something to help ease your pain.

    With much love and prayers, Karen

  67. Ditto what has been said. I only know you from your blog, but my heart goes out to you. Praying that you will find some solace in the saddle and peace in your heart.

  68. Oh my god Lauren, I can’t believe it. My heart goes out to you. I’m glad you have love and support there in Texas and it seems you have even more coming at you from all over the world. Stay strong.

  69. Lauren, we’ve never even met but I’m sure I love you. I’m thinking of you, and here for you, and fuck life is a bitch. Hang tight, friend. Message, email, comment, whatever. Reach out if you need it.

    Thanks for sharing. This must have been so tough to write.

  70. Oh Lauren. I am so sorry. I can’t pretend I can feel your heartbreak. I am thinking of you, and as you said in another post, take it a moment at a time. A second at a time if you have to. My heart hurts for you. Many condolences, and I hope Tim is now in a place where he feels pain free – whatever his pain. Big hugs.

  71. Lauren – Long time reader and lurker here. I am so incredibly incredibly sorry for the grief you are going through. I cannot even pretend to understand the pain you must be going through. Be strong and many many condolences.

  72. I am so very very sorry. I know that I cannot ease your pain but know that you are in my thoughts and that I wish there was something I could do.

  73. You have all my empathy. Seriously. I lost my unicorn of a fiance, yes, the one who bought me Solo & was my best friend & pretty much an impossible being of unconditional love & support — to brain cancer two years ago. It’s a very long & complicated…and also seemingly impossible story, but suffice it to say that I still think of him most hours of every day & PTSD haunts me. Still.

    So I understand the meaning of “heart broken,” and how truly inadequate the term is. I’ve yet to come up with a term that can surround the lost, empty, angry, soul-burning grief that is having your partner & your future ripped away from you overnight. But I sure as hell know what it feels like.

    You are healthier than I, I still have not been able to write the story. But talking to your inner circle, telling the story, sharing your love, all these are good things. I’m horrifically sad for you, as having to feel that cruel & unique form of grief is something I’d hoped those I cared for would never have to know.

    But what I have learned is that yes, every second is precious & fragile, but they are ALL finite. The gifts are the moments we are given. To this day, I would not give back all I was given, which changed me & my life forever, in exchange for not feeling the pain. That is my treasure, as is yours. Hold tight to that & be kind to yourself. Let compassionate people help you, let yourself feel & grieve at your own pace, & know that there is no time limit or healing deadline. Or even a requirement.

    I will never be the person I had become, because of his love. But what he taught me about myself, about life, about love, about giving, about being present, about what truly matters, those are still a part of me.

    I read not too long ago that there is a time when grief changes from “something that happened to you” into “something that is a part of you.” I wish I had more grace & fortitude & could say I’d made it there yet, but I don’t think. But I try every day. For him.

    I apologize for the length, but I know my own hellish roller coaster has been the loneliest ride I never imagined, so I just wanted to say that it doesn’t have to always be that way (I certainly have learned what NOT to do–which is what I did :/). There is a lot of compassion hiding in some unexpected places & it will find you. For a long time, I thought, “But no one understands MY grief,” because my situation is something more like a terrible movie script. It’s taken me a very long time to grudgingly understand that grief is, oddly, a shared experience in its own way. Anyone who has lost a partner unexpectedly, before their time (is there EVER enough time?), has traveled their own path through that emotional miasma. And those who have gone before reach their hands back to help those of us still stuck in the mud with a kindness that still knocks the wind out of me.

    I know you don’t really know me, but you know where to find my email if you ever just have a question or just need to say something. It is always an open door. Know that my soul aches for you, but it is only one of many. I haven’t the power to make it easier, there is no road map, only to give you a hug if I could (they are more powerful than people know), and say, “I know, I am so sorry, & I am here if ever you need.” <3

  74. My deepest sympathies, and utmost respect with how you are handling it. Keep your chin up, we’re all thinking of you.

  75. I am late in learning about everything you are going through, but still wanted to say something.
    I am so, so sorry to hear about Tim. It sounds like an unimaginable journey – and I am so impressed and honored that you are willing to share it. Take care of yourself and if we ever can, let us bloggy peeps know how we can help. love & hugs

  76. Lauren, this is one of the saddest things I have read in a very long time. I am so sorry for your loss and everything you must be going through.

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