Moving on from a loved one is never easy. I’ve lost people close to me, my Mom, Friends, Ex-Husbands and it is never easy. The stages of grief, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance are widely known and they are true. You move among them like a fish moves through water. Forwards, backwards, side to side. Sometimes there is closure, sometimes there isn’t. And it’s healthy, going through the stages of grief. There’s no set timetable, some are through grieving in days, others years. Dealing with the death of a loved one, whether you know it’s coming or not, is traumatic. How do you go on, knowing they no longer live on this Earth?

As many of you know, my ex-husband passed away last month of a  heart attack. The beginning of the relationship was great, we communicated, spent time together, had a wonderful friendship. Then life gets in the way, as it usually does. Communication is withheld, love is stopped, hurt reigns. Where was the tipping point?

After the death, you wonder if the underlying love was still there. You feel the love and hurt all over again, just as you thought you were over and done with it. Love endures, even through the worst times. That is what you hold onto through the pain of grief. Each time you lose someone, the stages of grief come through. Love makes us stronger and love is never easy. You learn to live with the loss, grateful you loved the person before they moved on to whatever is after. People are complex creatures–proud, stubborn, bumbling through life, doing the best they know how with what they have to work with.

Dealing with my grief over the death of my ex-husband, I wrote this piece.

Just found out-Josh died of a heart attack, not suicide on or around 1/15. That is when he came to me in the dream and said “I’m just so tired, Boo and I just want to go home.” I believe that is when he died, he was saying goodbye. This is such a weight off my heart and soul. I’m hoping it was a silent heart attack and he didn’t suffer. He’s no longer in pain, suffering or worrying about the brain tumor or colon cancer. He’s moved on.

Thank you, everyone for comforting me this past month, through the changing news over the past weeks. This has been a difficult time for me, even though we divorced, I choose to believe we still loved and wanted the best for each other. This chapter in my life is closing, one I will never forget and will take time to process.

Jose “Josh” Gonzalez ONeil was a one of a kind love that changed me for the better. I remember he fought so hard for that very first date; I turned him down three times before agreeing to meet over coffee. He was articulate, brilliant, loving, loyal, passionate, protective. But he could also be arrogant, condescending, sarcastic, stubborn and you couldn’t help but love him all the more for it. He was complex, proud like so many of us. He was always reaching for the sky, the next best way to better himself and those around him. I loved him with all my heart and soul. I will always remember fondly my Papa Bear.

By Brick ONeil

Author, Researcher, Writer: . Called 'a prolific writer' since 2001, work includes Blogging, Copywriting, Spreadsheets, Research, Proposals, Articles in the fields of real estate, dating, health, fitness, disease, disability, technology and food.


  1. Brick,
    I didn’t realize that Josh was gone..not until I read this tonight.
    You’re such a wonderful way with words and how you expressed grief & the many ways it overcomes us is so very very true. You’ve expressed it in words better than I’ve read before.
    You take care of yourself now..breathe when you feel overcome, breathe as Josh would have wanted you to. Remember all the times, good & bad as they all become one as time goes by, never to leave you but to join together to be part of you in your daily life. Remembering at times can be harder, or easier all depending on how your life is going, where you are in your life, some people can just store their feelings on shelves so to speak or so it seems to me others wear feelings on their sleeves for the world to see. I can still tear up thinking about my dad being gone from my life & I’m 66 yrs old. I was 20 when we lost him but never got a chance to say goodbye once again to a loved family member. Maybe that’s the case? Either way, at times the loss is right there so very fresh and at othertimes like when 6 yr old asking about him telling me “You were way too young to lose your dad, way to young Gramma, you were only a young girl”, when I explained I had been married for 2 years, that didn’t matter cause to her she saw me as old as her cousin who is 20 and is young to her..Hard to beleive I’m 60 yrs older than this youngster who is 6 going on 36 at times!! Take care, my friend.
    take care. Laurie

    1. Thank you Laurie, even though we divorced, I always loved him and wanted the best in life for him. It was crushing to learn he passed away before being able to get his life back together. I have seven years of memories, good, bad and ugly. He will forever be a part of me that will live on.

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