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No time to lose

Opinion

No time to lose

Leigh Robshaw says the death of her husband has taught her how important it is to show our loved ones how much we appreciate them.

My husband’s name was Herrin. It was a beautiful, unusual name befitting a creative soul. He was a talented musician, a loving husband and a devoted dad to our two boys. On May 20, he suffered a cardiac arrest and was gone in minutes. It was a month after his 47th birthday. He was fit and healthy and his death was shocking and incomprehensible.

Losing someone you love suddenly, especially at a young age, hits you with a particular kind of grief. The pain is all-encompassing and overwhelming. It is a nightmare that begins every morning when you wake up.

We talked about growing old together and he said I would be even more beautiful as an old woman. He massaged my feet almost every night in front of the TV and pulled the covers back on the bed for me.

He made a point of doing little things for me each day to show me how much he loved me. I didn’t. I told him I loved him daily, but those little things, I didn’t really do. Not as often as he did.

Sometimes, I would conveniently forget about our twice-weekly scheduled catch-ups, where we were supposed to go into a room without the kids, close the door and just talk to each other. During COVID, when the four of us were stuck at home together, I just wanted to tune out, scroll through my social media feeds and not do the work of connecting with the man I loved. I took him for granted.

I prioritised the kids and work – he often came last. He complained we didn’t talk enough about the important things and he was right. He lost his dad 10 years ago and he knew something I didn’t – that we take our loved ones for granted. He knew how important it was to talk, to really connect, to share as much vulnerability and intimacy as we could. Because it could all end at any moment, for any one of us.

I thought he would always be by my side, loving me, caring for me, encouraging me. I thought we had plenty of time. I was wrong. It has been a huge wake-up call.

Our time here is limited, but we waste it. We waste it on meaningless pursuits, we waste time on petty dramas, we waste time allowing fear to control our lives, we waste our creative talents and spend years of our precious lives in jobs we hate and for what? To buy stuff we don’t need.

I was a good wife, but I could have been better. If I had another chance, I would do things differently. He knew I loved him, I just wish I’d shown him how much I truly appreciated him.

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Leigh Robshaw is a journalist who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years. Originally from Sydney, she has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Latin America. She joined the team in 2012 and is MWP's deputy editor. Writing, reading and travel are her greatest passions.

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