“There is no pain like the pain of losing your sweetie,” said Tom. “You may think of yourself as a tough, independent person but when your heart is broken you need to reach out to others for help.”

Tom and Mary met when they were 13 years old. “It was love at first sight,” said Tom. “I was mesmerized by Mary’s beauty and knew she was the one for me. Although it was one year before I was able to convince her to go on a date, it was worth the wait. From that moment ‒ until Mary took her last breath 58 years later, she was mine.”

During Mary’s final days of life, she received care from The Elizabeth Hospice. So when Tom’s daughter saw how much he was struggling after Mary’s passing, she contacted The Elizabeth Hospice for grief support. Tom joined the Spousal Loss Support Group where he was surrounded by others who understood his heartache and “what it felt like to be in a 60 ft. hole with a 56 ft. ladder.” It was there that Tom learned not be afraid or ashamed to talk about the depth of his loss.

In addition to the support group, Tom attended one-on-one counseling sessions offered by the organization. “I credit The Elizabeth Hospice with teaching me how to open up and release my emotions. The counselors helped me heal my mind, my loneliness, my emptiness, my everything.”