My name is Larry Augustyn. My wife Mary and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on September 12, 2020. On the morning of November 6, 2020 I went for my daily walk. When I returned from my walk, I found Mary lying dead on the bathroom floor. I was devastated and at a complete loss of what to do. Not only were Mary and I married for 50 years, but we also owned and worked at several businesses. So not only was she my wife but also my business partner. We had to close our business when she died. So not only did I lose my wife, partner and also our livelihood.
I have one married daughter and two grand-daughters who helped me survive. I was in a grief fog, not able to think and barely able to function. I lived with my daughter for 2 months before I was able to go back to our home. Home was very lonely, and I did not really want to live. I had never lived alone before. I slept a lot, drank alcohol, and watched TV. Totally oblivious to the world. I wanted to join my Mary. I called my brother-in-law who was a Vietnam vet and struggled with suicide. He helped me through the times I fantasized how to kill myself.
He kept me alive, even though I wanted to die.
Finally, I went to a Heartlight Zoom group. I shared, I cried, I listened to others. One day a woman was talking about her husband.
She and her husband were leaving the house, he sat down on the steps and died. Suddenly. She talked about how she could not go on without him. She talked about how she thought about driving off the Cherry Creek dam. She was in terrible shape, as was I. I needed help. That is the hardest thing for me, to ask for help.
But I was desperate, so I called her and asked her out for coffee. We spent 2 hours at Starbucks talking about our loved ones and if we could survive without them. A few days later, we went to Torchy’s to get something to eat. This time we spent 4 hours talking. I met her at the next in person Heartlight meeting. We talked on the phone and texted. We talked about how lonely we were. We talked about our spouses.
Pretty soon we laughed a little.
Pretty soon we talked about how our spouses would want us to be happy. Whenever we had a conversation, we laughed about how there were 4 of us in the room. Pretty soon I decided that if I was going to live, I was not going to go through life alone. We got married on June 4, 2023. Life can go on. Life should go on. I do not know how much longer I will be on this earth, but if I am here I want to be happy. That is what my Mary would want.
Written by: Larry Augustyn