The Day I Lost My Valentine: Susan Peters

By Susan Peters


If I could have been given a million dollars to guess the whole story of how my husband would exit this world, I never would have been able to guess it even if I would have been given a million chances!

It all started on one of the most joyous days of life and love, the celebration of the wedding of our youngest son and his beautiful bride-to-be. Family and friends were gathered over three days for the rehearsal and dinner, meeting those we did not know yet, playing games, talking, laughing, sharing stories, and enjoying every moment together!

On the day of the wedding, we were all getting dressed and ready for the afternoon ceremony and celebration on a beautiful October day in 2020! My husband, John, zipped up my dress, and I went to put on his bow tie as he stood there looking so handsome in his tuxedo! It was the first time he had worn one since our wedding 34 1⁄2 years ago and flooded me with memories of our own special day! Only minutes later, John, who had no previous health problems, asked me if we could postpone heading over to the venue for a little while because his stomach had started hurting, and he wanted to try sitting it out in hopes he would feel better. The pain did not get better and only intensified to the point where thirty minutes later he could hardly talk, and I had to call for an ambulance.

Long story short, John missed the wedding and ended up being taken to a hospital three hours from our home that specialized in multiple organ failure because his pancreas had burst and acid had eaten away at all the organs within his stomach area. It was during the time COVID-19 was amping up for the second time, so I was the only visitor allowed to be with him thus keeping our own kids and all family members from being able to physically support him or each other. Then the hospital closed to all visitors for two months right before Thanksgiving until mid-January, and I had to say goodbye to the man I loved not knowing when or if I would ever get to see him again. This is when the reality of grief really hit me hard, and I began the struggle with how I was going to be able to grapple with it.

Thank goodness when it opened back up, John was still alive but so very weak and emaciated due to surgery, many procedures, feeding tubes, drainage tubes, and having to go through kidney dialysis. Although he courageously fought to stay alive, my beloved husband passed away on Valentine’s Day 2021, and I thought my heart had gone with him.

It took me a while to realize that although I still did have my heart, it was broken and shattered into millions of pieces. I started to find healing by connecting with synchronicities of hearts that kept showing up for me! I would see heart-shaped clouds, leaves from many different trees, strawberries, mushrooms, water spots, and even potatoes that made me smile and think of John! I also saw pictures or paintings or other art hearts in random places on sidewalks, hanging in trees, on books, and in windows that would “just show up” at a special time when I was either thinking about John or a memory of him! They were like little love notes from John to me! I even found a necklace I “just happened to see” while I was waiting in a long line at Christmas that was the infinity sign with a heart attached to it that said, “I love you forever and always!” I felt like John was saying, “Buy this for yourself as a special gift of love to know that I am right there beside you always!”

All of these special moments allowed the grappling to begin to lose its hold on me and allowed the light to fill in all the spaces where my heart was broken open, and I began to heal and feel love in my heart again. I wanted to be able to trust and love my heart to the fullest measure that I could think of, so I created a dream to marry my heart! I bought a ring, created a ceremony, and even took myself on a heart honeymoon! I started sharing my story with one person and group after the other, and it was so well-received that I decided to start writing about it! I created a Facebook page called “Heart To Soul Links” where I write reflections every Friday, and I am writing a book that will be published in 2024 about how marrying my heart and following new dreams miraculously transformed my life and renewed my broken heart!

Through writing and sharing my story, I have now connected with so many other people from all over the world and their own stories of challenge, trauma, grief, and loss. I am beginning to understand that it is in the telling of our stories that we get to know each other, support each other, and in turn lift each other up into new levels of being! Our tragedies can turn into triumphs because they open our hearts to love on a whole new level of understanding that feels like having a whole new heart! We don’t take life for granted anymore, and we realize that we are all here for each other to learn and grow and connect and create a new life that will bring real peace, joy, beauty, and love to as many people as possible!

For more information about Sue, you can check out her website.


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