Ten years ago, Jazmine Wolf’s husband died suddenly in his mid-forties of an undiagnosed heart condition. She talks candidly about coming to terms with the shock and grief of losing her soul mate and how she has rebuilt her life as an inspiring business coach and her special love of caring for elderly people.
To get in touch with Jazmine, please go to The Wolf Coaching Organisation Ltd on Facebook.
Sue: Thanks so much for being willing to talk about the pain and shock of coming to terms with the sudden death of your husband. I know this will help many people who also experienced the sudden death of people they love. Can you tell me how you both meet?
Jazmine: I met Daniel in 2002. First off, I knew him as a close friend, which was for about five years. We finally got together in 2007 and within 14 months we were married. We realised we were both older and we knew what we wanted in life. He was a really, really lovely person. The kind of person who was hands on all the time with his business and helping people. He ran a transportation company, which was a very old and traditional garage where he served a community of around 8000 people. Women and men of all ages just loved him, and young people would go to him for advice as well. He really cared about everyone he came into contact with – and he had a great sense of humour. So, we had very similar values. I loved his company and his presence.
Daniel was half Danish, and he was such a kind, quiet man outside of his business. We just made a great team – a really good combination. My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life.
Sue: How long were you together?
Jazmine: We were together for nearly five years – and married for four. So really, very brief. But he had a huge impact on my life.
Sue: I can feel how raw this still is for you. Are you okay to tell me what happened?
Jazmine: Yes, absolutely. It happened ten years ago on September 23, 2011. The night before he died, he came home and said, ‘I’m not feeling well.’ He didn’t actually look that well either. The strange thing is that I had made an appointment for him with the GP two weeks before because he had said to me, ‘I’d like to have a kind of overhaul.’ He was due to see the doctor on the evening of the day he died.
He had already prepared what he wanted at his funeral, down to the music. I used to think he was barking mad! It’s strange, but he taught me about death and end of life because I went to several funerals with him. His attitude was you go to funerals either to celebrate someone’s life, or to say your goodbyes, or to support other people. He was very open and accepting about it all.
On the morning he died, he left me at eight o’clock in the morning, lingering to say goodbye for probably a couple of seconds longer than he normally would do. Then he said, ‘Darling, have a lovely day. Look after yourself, take care of yourself.’ I got a call 57 minutes later to say he’d collapsed.
Sue: Oh, my goodness, it must have been the most dreadful shock. But do you think he knew he was going to die?
Jazmine: Yes, in a way I do. About six weeks before he died, he had come home from work and told me that he’d had the strangest conversation and the strangest experience with an old fashioned seerer who had come into the garage and asked specifically to talk to him. He told me she had said to him that he should go home and ‘tell your wife you love her and that her life is going to become very busy.’
I found this a bit odd because I had just started a new business where I was offering different kinds of healing therapies, but it was very embryonic. Daniel told me that the seerer said that my business was going to grow exponentially – so much so that it will feel out of control. We were both quite confused by that statement, because as I said, it was just a small business starting out. And we were trying for a family as well. So, this business was never meant to be a great big thing anyway. And then the seerer said to him, ‘You’ve been really, really unwell, but you’re going to be okay.’ He was shocked by that.
Sue: Did he know he was unwell?
Jazmine: No. Yet, when I look back at all the different stages, I think he did have a sixth sense. It was almost like he was preparing himself. He was a workaholic in many ways and used to work seven days a week. When we got married, he reduced his hours so we could have more time together.
Sue: What an extraordinary story. Was he still alive when he collapsed?
Jazmine: He was just about breathing., I drove four miles in a complete state to get to him. I don’t even know how I got to the garage. When I arrived, I wasn’t allowed in because the paramedics were working on him by then. So, I was forced to wait outside. Finally, one of them came out to tell me, ’I’m really sorry, but he’s gone.’ It was the worst thing I could ever have imagined. I don’t know if you’ve heard people talk about this, but all I felt was this extreme primaeval, howling grief. It was like no other pain I have ever experienced in my life. And, it wasn’t just me who felt like this. He was so loved by everybody – by his family, his friends and our community.
I was so glad to take the opportunity to be with him for a while after he died. I went to talk to him two or three times [at the undertakers]. I’d never seen a dead body before – it was like he was still sleeping. So, I just thanked him for being in my life and how he was the most extraordinary man and the kindest human being I’ve ever met. I also realised that I believed in true love because that is what we had together.
Sue: What a beautiful thing to believe in.
Jazmine: Yes, I know I am really lucky to have met true love. Some people never have that.
Sue: That sadly, is so true. When people are chronically ill, they can say their goodbyes and express their love, but you never had that chance.
Jazmine: When I look back on these past nine years – especially the past 18 months – I think I’ve only just got over it. I kept really busy for years and years and years. I ran his business for two years, at the same time as trying to sell it, at the same time as trying to deal with my own grief and with his family’s grief. My way of coping with my sudden grief was to actually think I was bloody invincible. My only thoughts were, ‘I’m gonna rock this bloody world.’
You’ve probably heard of the saying, ‘Get busy living.’ Boy did I embrace that statement on every level. I travelled. I bought property. I did loads of courses and I studied. Of course, I now realise I was trying to find my way again because within the space of five years, I went from being single to being married to being a widow, to owning a massive business in a very male dominated environment that I knew very little about.
Sue: That sounds like an enormous experience to take on board?
Jazmine: I know this sounds strange, but looking back it did give me a gift, which was to be present in everyday life. I remember seeing older people and thinking, ‘They’re so lucky to be together. I haven’t got that so the only thing I do have is to just live my life and do all the things I have ever wanted to do.’ It wasn’t just thinking like that, it was actually doing them too. I also had to come to terms with the fact that I would never have children – that had been taken away from me as well. I’m a natural nurturer and I love children. That’s my personality, really. So, I had to learn to care for myself instead, but I don’t think I was doing that for a long time. Lots of therapy helped but, you know, no therapist can ever bring back the person you really want to be with.
Sue: How has the shock of grief affected other parts of your life?
Jazmine: It’s opened up my intuition and my creativity. I didn’t really think I was a very creative person. But I suddenly discovered I wanted to create music and paintings. And, I found recreating the garden a profoundly spiritual experience. I also wanted to cook, not necessarily because I wanted to eat; I wanted to cook for other people. So, the creativity side of things really opened up for me. That came in the shape of property as well. And travelling and learning languages. I felt deeply grateful for being able to have those experiences.
Sue: I find this so interesting, because I’ve had a similar experience when grief blew everything open for me and I suddenly began to find myself in a completely different state of being and, as you describe, much more intuitive and creative. I felt as if I was in tune with something much greater than me. I think it was because I was feeling so raw nothing could get in the way.
Jazmine: Yes, even though I didn’t realise it for a long time, my spiritual growth became exponential. A couple of close friends said they always recognised this in me, but it took Daniel’s death to open up to it. I am certainly far more sensitive now. For example, when I am having conversations with clients or friends or even family, things just start to come to me. I get whole body affirmations and confirmations of vibration. That’s what it feels like, a kind of vibration, and my head is hot all the time.
Sue: So, you feel the shock of Daniel’s death burst open something for you too?
Jazmine: Yeah, Yeah, I do. And I think it’s still emerging, but I do realise I need to learn how to protect my energy more.
Sue: Yes, it’s does feel like a process of emergence. But at one point my grief was so intense, I felt as if I was walking around at the very edge of the world. It had that kind of feeling to it – no resilience left. How would you describe it?
Jazmine: I describe it as ruinous grief.
I think the real rawness happened in year three. Academically, people say you need two years for your brain and body and everything else to come to terms with what’s happened.
But for me, because I was so busy for the first two years, it was only in year three that I had the money, time and space – and I didn’t know what to do with myself. The ruinous emptiness and the void became very apparent. No one can fill that bloody void and travelling alone is very underrated. I didn’t just randomly travel though. I would go and stay with friends or go off and do organised things to try and fill the void, but I would come home again, and I’d want to go off again straight away. I kept on trying to run away from myself and then I realised I just had to be with what I was feeling. I couldn’t resist it or fight it anymore.
Sue: Did you feel that you were attuning to something greater than yourself as you went through your grieving process?
Jazmine: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And the grief eventually gave me huge confidence.
It makes you realise that when you go into real grief and you question life, once you’ve got through the shit, it makes you really value the simplicity, fragility and vulnerability of life.
The vulnerability has remained, but it’s different because I own it now. This sounds a bit bull-shitty in technical terms, but it is about letting go of the ego. I realised that my ego was surrounding all my grief because I kept telling myself, ‘I’m just gonna, like, take this world.’ I was trying to prove something. Finally, I got it and realised it’s about the simplicity of life. My life is very simple these days. I feel I am rebuilding some other foundations at the moment and the spiritual side of me is in the wings, ready to help.
Sue: So, this spiritual awareness is relatively new for you?
Jazmine: When I was younger, I’d always been interested in the spiritual world and personal development, butI didn’t quite feel it or believe it. But I started becoming more attuned to it when I set up my therapeutic healing business after I married Daniel. I started giving people healing and people would say, ‘I don’t know what you do, but I just had the most amazing energetic shifts with you.’ So, I continued working with energy and my business was just starting to take off before he died. I remember saying to a friend about a week or so before it happened, ‘You know, something, I think I’m the happiest, luckiest girl alive.’ Here I was set up in a little business, really happily married and trying for a family. Life was good. Life was really good.
Sue: Do you ever feel hard done by?
Jazmine: I try not to. I think I’ve been very blessed in lots of ways. But yeah, occasionally I do feel like that. Obviously, these feelings come from the grief of loss. I really understand that.
Sue: Do you feel like there’s any kind of external force that played a part in this? Or do you feel Daniel’s death is one of those things that happens in life?
Jazmine: I genuinely feel that he and I were meant to meet – there’s no doubt in my mind about that. We were meant to marry, and we were meant to be together. We were chosen for each other because he hadn’t experienced real love with a woman, and I hadn’t experienced real love with a man.
Sue: So, you think you and Daniel were part of something greater than just the two of you meeting by chance?
Jazmine: I don’t think our meeting was just a chance happening in life. I felt so angry when he died. I used to look at the sky and scream for help – I had to make all these business decisions that I didn’t know how to do. But I always felt he was there somehow. For instance, I’d be driving along in the car to work, pretending that he was beside me. And then I always knew the answer to what I was struggling with. So, there was some divine intervention going on. Yes, there was definitely divine intervention.
Some people who were very close to him could also feel him in the business after he had gone. So, he continued to be there and to help us. But I certainly went through a time of doubt and became a disbeliever for a while.
Sue: What do you mean by that?
Jazmine: How can life be so bloody cruel to really good human beings who’ve done well and just want to lead a relatively simple life? I felt very angry about that in the early days but as time passed, I began to see that maybe he was there to show me more about life. In our first year together, I often found it really hard to believe he was such a lovely, normal, down to earth man, so I used to test it. He would just turn to me and say, ‘Oh darling, are you having a bit of a wobble?’ And I would say, ‘Yeah.’ He would then tell me, ‘I’m not going anywhere. I’m here with you. We’re shoulder to shoulder, standing strong. All is well.’ What an irony.
Sue: Do you feel him around you these days?
Jazmine: Talking to you about him, I feel something going on. But he’s not around so much now. Just before I went to work in the Middle East, I thought I saw him in my peripheral vision. It seemed like he was walking away from me, saying in his own way, ‘Okay, you’re on your path now, and I’m happy about that.’
Sue: Have you been to a clairvoyant to try and make contact with him?
Jazmine: Yeah, in the early days I did. He would intervene quite a lot in readings to begin with.
Sue: Was that a comfort or distressing for you?
Jazmine: It was comforting once I worked through the anger and hurt of losing him. I knew he was there especially during the time I was running his business and supporting everyone else in our community. It was such a difficult time. He had some big shoes to fill. When the business then sold, it was like another death, which is why I found the third year so hard.
Sue: I’m curious whether you felt that he wanted to communicate with you during these clairvoyant sessions. Or did you feel he just wanted to give you comfort?
Jazmine: I think he wanted to give me comfort. He was definitely worried about me because I had so much to do and I had to learn things very quickly. So, he would come in and give me guidance about which path to take. There were all sorts of legal things to sort out too, so I felt he was trying to protect me as well.
Sue: Do you feel he will be there waiting for you when you reach the end of your life?
Jazmine: Yes, I think we’re going to have a bloody good laugh! He was such a funny man, and always late for everything. So, yes, I believe we will definitely meet again. I feel that he’s actually really proud of what I did for him because I had to carry on employing all those people that he really cared about and made sure everyone was safe and secure as the sale of his business went through. I knew I was respecting his wishes.
Sue: How do you envision your life unfolding from now on?
Jazmine: That’s a very big question. As we all know, this past year has been one of enormous global change. I feel that I still have a lot to do, but right now I’m continuing to go through this big period of introspection. I need to take stock because I’ve been so busy for so many years. Yet, when I think of the future, I actually start to feel excited about it. It’s going to be very different, but I feel that all these higher skills and tools I have developed will come into alignment at some point. All this inner work has been about consolidating what I’ve done throughout my whole life. I feel I am getting ready to impart, inspire, infuse and enable other people’s lives. It sounds very altruistic but that’s always been there in my life. I can’t change who I am fundamentally, although I certainly have changed. Hopefully, I have a lot to offer.
Sue: Is there anything you would like to say to people who are going through what you’ve been through?
Jazmine: Yes! Never, ever give up hope. When you lose the love of your life, whether it’s a spouse or partner or a child or a parent or whatever, remember the feelings and emotions and all the knowledge and wisdom they gave you. That’s when they become internalised – they become part of you. They are just there.
And, remember, anything is possible. I don’t have a close family, so my friends are my soul family, and they remind me that I am not a ‘normal’ human being. I have come from humble beginnings and I’ve grown in so many areas of my life. So, hold on to the good. Really, really hold onto the gifts, and you are good enough and you will get there. Being alive is very precious.
A note from Sue: Thank you for visiting this page. You may be interested in my Granny Mo children’s books, which help adults to talk with children about death and dying, and my books for adults on death and dying may help as well. You can also listen to a host of fascinating guests on my Embracing Your Mortality podcast and enjoy reading their interviews on my blog.