I am Patty Jackson and I was married to William Ralph Jackson, Jr. for 14 years. We actually were together for nearly 25 years including dating and engagement prior to our marriage.

Ralph (as everyone called him) retired in February of 2017, but only after 13 months of retirement, he had a massive heart attack and died at home. I was away that weekend taking care of my mom, who was sick with pneumonia and my dad had a worse case of it and was in the hospital, and my sister was helping with him there. That was March 12, 2018, and it still feels like yesterday. 

I always knew that he could die before me because he was 10 years older, but I never expected it. I was completely lost without him.

For nearly 6 months, I tried to get help with the awful grief, the crying, the guilt, the sadness, the brain fog, and loneliness by going to counselors and my doctors but non of that was helping me. I found GriefShare.com online and there happened to be a session already started at a church very near to my home. It is the one thing that helped me. I can’t wait to go to the group meeting on Monday evenings and I have made so many friends. Friends that have been through the same thing I’m going through. Friends that their voices crack when they talk about their loved one that passed away, just like my voice cracks when I talk of Ralph. Friends that have lost spouses, children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and so many loved ones.  We cry a lot, but and we laugh sometimes too. It has been life-saving for me.

What I have learned over the year is that not everyone feels comfortable going to group sessions. I like my group, but I also need more than just a Monday night for 13 weeks to talk to about this loss. 

The MyGriefRelief online community is available 24/7 and you don’t have to leave your house to be able to talk to someone when you are feeling so much grief and pain and really just want someone to listen or offer up a something that might have helped them.