Episode 1 – Your Wife Is Going To Die

The idea for a survival blog for a widower grew out of my personal experience. My wife of over 43 years passed away in April 2018. Even with preplanning the funeral, having wills, and knowing when the bills were due I found myself overwhelmed by grief and the challenge of keeping on keeping on.

The purpose of the blog is to share some of my lessons learned on just surviving.  I’ll begin by sharing my thoughts the day I realized she was really going to die and death would visit very soon.  This realization and shock came in spite of my wife and I knew she was terminally ill with cancer.

On March 21, 2018, I wrote the following and posted it to a private Facebook group I maintained for family and friends.

I regret to tell you that my wife’s, Miss Benita, current hospitalization found a large blood clot in the brain three times the size of the large tumor that was removed in December.

The clot is caused by a recurrence of the Melanoma cancer that caused her brain tumor. The options Benita, the family, and I faced are to do another brain surgery to remove the clot and any tumor. This would not be a cure and at best might allow a couple of months life extension. The other option is to place Benita into Hospice Care. The neurosurgeon says this is a fast aggressive cancer and the prognosis is days to weeks before she passes away.

Based on Benita’s wishes to not have additional surgeries we have chosen to not have surgery. She will go to hospice. Pray for her comfort and for a smooth transition of me handling things like household bills. We have been planning for this outcome. May God bless the faithfulness of our preparations.

I have written poetry for decades. Sitting in the intensive care unit at the hospital I wrote this poem that put my sadness on paper.


Jesus Will Help You Live Again

Back during the newlywed days,
We lived life for the now.
And late nights during our pillow talk
Shared future hopes and dreams.

Love filled our talks about tomorrows,
No idea of the griefs and sorrows
Of  a one-day destiny in the ensuing decades
And the reality of what ’til death do us part means.

Without Jesus as Savior
How do people face tomorrow
With the tears, they’ll be crying
Because their spouse is dying.
Jesus will mend your broken heart
And will help you live again.

In empty rooms,
You feel the gloom
Where love and laughter
Once filled the day.

Photo albums chronicle
Where together you’ve been
Telling the story in pictures
Of the life lived intertwined.

Without Jesus as Savior
How do people face tomorrow
With the tears, they’ll be crying
Because their spouse is dying.
Jesus will mend your broken heart
And will help you live again.


Written by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
March 22, 2018

I wrote this with my wife in the hospital ICU awaiting movement to in-patient hospice care. My heart is still breaking. My tears still flowing. I know Jesus will mend my broken heart and help me live again. My wife would pass away twenty-one days later on April 12, 2018. The cause of her death was Melanoma Cancer and the recurrence of a Melanoma Cancer brain tumor that had previously been removed.

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