Learning to live my life “without” my husband has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

In the last couple of years, I have written many pieces of poetry.  They seem to be one of my most effective “outlets” for processing my pain, my grief, my loss, my love.

As I recently began year three, I have found that my writings are dwindling down to one or two lines.

Anything more, can feel like too much noise…blah, blah, blah.

But today, I am sharing a poem with you in the included photo above, that I wrote on my birthday, back in 2018.

I have not shared publicly, until now.

I hope it resonates with someone.

On a more “hopeful” note, as of today, I have been living “without my Rube” for 2 years and 2 months, and now have more “better days” than sad days.

However, the pain can still sneak up on me, punch me in the gut all over again, out of the blue.  I’m so sorry to all who also experience this kind of life changing pain.

But, no matter how long it takes, please keep fighting to have hope.

Keep fighting to live.

Keep fighting to be happy.

I love this nugget of wisdom below that I saved months ago from Bill Webster:


Your grief will take longer than most people think

“How long will grief last?  It is finished when it is finished.  The first few months may be particularly intense.  The first year is difficult: especially the first Christmas or Hanukkah, the first birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, “a year ago today day” and many other times that remind us of our loss.  All are difficult days and we need to anticipate them, know they are normal and be compassionate with ourselves.    Some     writers describe  the  second year of grief as the lonely year when the realization of the life without the deceased becomes even more of a reality.  Take your time.  As John Donne says “He who has no time to mourn, has no time to mend.”  Grief always takes longer than people expect. ” ~ Dr. Bill Webster



Yes!  Living “without” our “person” is hard.

Very hard.

But I have learned, we can do hard things.

We can learn to live here “without them”.

But, like Dr. Webster said, “take your time”.

It can take a lot longer than we or others may think.  And I’m so sorry for that new reality for you and for me.

As often as you can, try to be kind and patient and compassionate with yourself through the process.

I am praying for you like I pray for myself, that Jesus will heal your broken heart.

Much, much love and the deepest of heartfelt compassion, beautiful and precious one.

~ Bec  @UnderstandingGrief




My name is Rebecca.

My husband always called me Bec.

His name was Ruben Steven Cortez.

I called him, Rube.

We loved each other like crazy.

We had a love that others would tell me they only dreamed of…

He was my best friend, my counselor, my pastor, my business coach, my greatest love.

I loved how he loved me and how he loved others.

We worked together and were in ministry together for almost 23 years.

On December 11th, 2016 my beautiful Rube, suddenly and unexpectedly suffered a stroke in his sleep.

I called 911. I gave him CPR. I remember it very vividly. I cried out, “Don’t you dare die on me, Rube!”

He never regained consciousness.

I say that when he left this world, half my heart went with him.

And it did.

We were one.

Now I am half.

I have been learning how to live with half a heart.

I have been learning how to live the unimaginable.

At the hospital, when I realized he was not going to regain consciousness, somehow and only by the grace of God, I uttered these words,


I have asked Jesus to not let any of this go to waste.

And to teach me what grief looks like from His perspective.

In my writings, I share how I have survived the horrific while miraculously having hope.

I will be painfully honest, as I share how I quickly recognized a glaring gap in our culture to understand grief and how to love others well, who are experiencing it.

I hope by doing so, to somehow encourage those who suffer silently in their pain, as others in the blogging community and social media world of instagram have done for me. I also pray that in some small way it will bring more awareness and help close what I call the “grief gap” that is so prevalent in our misinformed and uniformed society.

To all who have gone before me I say a heartfelt thank you.

I thank God for you.

You were used to help keep me sane during some of the worst pain of my life.

To my beautiful daughter Jess and my dearest friend, Cindy, thank you BOTH for journeying with me like none others.

Certainly not an easy thing to do.

I literally think I would have lost my mind, if it hadn’t been for you both.

We all have much to learn, especially myself of how to love better, live better and better understand grief.

Rebecca King Cortez, “Bec”

Instagram: @rebeccacortez