~. Larry Ferchak -- 01 Aug 1950 - 31 May 2008 .~

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you with you that Susan Ferchak's beloved husband, Larry passed away on 31 May 2008.

Many of us know Sue and Larry on oes.org as "Shelby, Corky, Fergus" (Sue and Larry's 3 OES), we know Sue as a volunteer for the Old English Sheepdog Rescue Network of the South East, and as an ambassador for rescued and special needs shaggies. We know Sue as a gem.

Sue has been away from her computer and by her husband, Larry's side. On May 31st, Larry passed away after a courageous battle with medullary thyroid cancer, a rare genetic cancer.

Sue asked that we share with her forum family of Larry's passing and the following:
Through tears I must tell you my Larry passed away 5/31 at approximately 5:00 PM.
I haven't been on the computer for a while. I was staying with Larry in the hospital. I am very glad I did. He needed me & I was there.
We have been married 36 years (our anniversary was 5/27) We dated 2 years before marriage, so we were together a long time.
Larry was only 57. I always thought we would grow old together. I will have to learn how to live without him which seems impossible right now.

Please keep Sue and her family in your thoughts, hearts and prayers at this most difficult time.


* If you would like a mailing address for Sue, etc., please e-mail rescue volunteers privately at: rescuesheepies@aol.com ~ per Sue's request. Thank you.
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Although I didnt know Sue and her husband personally I would like to offer my deepest condolences on the passing of Larry. I am glad you were with him when he needed you. and hope that you can find a glimmer of strength from being with him. There are no words I can offer at this time that will help but I will keep you in my prayers and in my thoughts. Hugs to you and your family. xx
I'm so sorry Sue :(

Thank you for letting us know Nancy.
Sue, I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. I'm sure Larry was so thankful you were there with him until the end - how comforting that must have been for him.

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve.
I'm so sorry Sue. We are all here for you if you need anything!!
I am new here and do not know you are your family but I wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. I hope happy memories of him help carry you through this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Sue, I'm so, so sorry.
I am so sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sue, I'm so sorry.

I am so sorry, Sue. :cry:
Sue, my heart and prayers are with you. :ghug:
Sue: I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your hubby Larry. I was wondering the other day how he was doing. Please know my prayers and thoughts are with you as you start your difficult journey of grief and life without your soul mate. I pray for strength to you. After my Mom passed my Aunt and cousin always referred to her day as her Heaven Day...please think of Laryy as your Angel guiding you from Heaven.

We are here for you, Sue.
My sincere condolences during this very difficult time.
I am so very sorry ,my thoughts and prayers are with you and Larry
Oh no. :( Sue, I am so sorry for your loss.
I am so sorry Sue.
Our deepest condolences, Sue. :ghug: I hope your wonderful memories of Larry will keep you strong at this very difficult time.
Please accept my deepest sympathies....Ill keep Larry in my prayers.

Sue, I am so sorry about your beloved Larry. I wish you much strength to guide you through the difficult days ahead :ghug:
I am so sorry to hear of Larry's passing. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's a long, hard road when our loved ones are facing terminal illnesses. Having reached the end of your journey together, I pray that God sends His Comforter to be with you always!!!

To sit, watch and wait for the end to come is a heavy load. The thoughts you may have had in the past may leave a feeling of quilt upon your heart. Please don't agonize over such things, as they are normal.

I pray God gives you strength and courage. Thirty six years is a lot of memories to reflect upon. I hope they bring you much peace and comfort!

Although there are many family members and friends that care about you, please seek others who have lost their spouse for additional support.

God be with you, and your family.
Sue, I'm so deeply sorry to hear of your sweet husbands passing. Know that you have a huge community thinking of you at this time and wishing you the best in every way.

I am deeply sorry for your loss! I hope you have much comfort around you at this most difficult time.
Sue, I am so sorry to hear of Larry's passing.

We're here if you need anything, anytime.


I haven't posted here yet because I am just at a loss for what to say. I'm sorry for your loss, I hate damn cancer, 57 is so young, 36 years is amazing and yet too short.

I am so sorry, and I am grieving with you.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Kathie & Carlos
I am so sorry...
I too am at a loss for words.
Please know that we are all here
for you ANYTIME!
As Nancy said you are a gem and
we hurt when you hurt.
Gentle Hugs and lots of love to
you in this rough time. :hearts:
Sue...I'm so very sorry.

Many :ghug: to you during this difficult time.
Sue, I am so sorry to read this news. :cry:
I agree with Ron - 57 is too young and the 36+ years is not enough.

We are all here for you.
Hi Sue,

My heart aches for you and I'm so sorry to hear the passing of Larry. It was only a short time ago I became aware that your beloved partner was sick, as one wouldn't have known it through you post. You personify a courageous person who kept encouraging others, offering advice despite going through your own hardships and never complained. You have my utmost respect as to know you is to love you. I only know you through this forum but wish I could reach out and give you a hug. Sue, we are all here for you and I'm truly sorry you are going through this.

I am so sorry for your loss..my heart goes out to you
We're so sorry for your loss. We are always thinking of you!
:cry: :ghug:
Sue, My heart is breaking for you. I am so sorry for your loss. As I said before, there are no words. However, your Jersey friend said it well, "This sucks".
With love and a heavy heart, Nancy

OES Friends, Here is a link to Larry's Obituary.
You are in our thoughts.
Please take care

I am so sorry. :( We will keep you and your family in our prayers.
Thank you all so much for caring thoughts & prayers.
I feel like I have received a huge group hug :hearts:

His permanent absence is now sinking in :cry:
It is beyond difficult.

I so miss my "big guy"

Sue, one day at a time is the best way to even try to cope, love to you. xxxx
Here is the memorial link for Larry: http://www.mem.com/Story.aspx?ID=2475098 with a beautiful collection of photos, and guest book.
Really wonderful photos. I am so sorry Sue.
So sorry Sue. He has a lovely family, and that was a very nice memorial.
Dearest Susan.

My heart is heavy for your loss.
I wrote this when my Mother passed and hope it brings a touch of comfort to know you are not alone...

You are the Sun that will rise every morning..
You are the Wind that will blow through our hair..
You are the Rain that will fall without warning..
You are with us everywhere..
You are the Sun Setting just within sight..
You are the brightest Star in the night..
As long as forever, we'll never part..
You are the Love that we feel in our hearts.

Your Friend.
Thank you.
There are moments right now when it seems impossible to think that things will be okay again.
Especially during the night when I reach out & no one is there.
Larry is still very near.....
My heart aches for you
I am so sorry!
Love you
sue i am so very sorry for your loss hugs to you and your entire family
Again, I am so touched by all your responses!
Seems like it is getting more difficult. Anyone experience loss of a long term spouse have any advice?
I do have a counselor. I have also contacted the American Cancer So for support groups.

Hi Sue,

I can't even offer any advice as I've not experienced what you have. I know I've just read to overcome grief, one step at a time and one day at a time. Viewing your photos of your life together, I can sense your loss - the years you spent together and now rebuilding it. You are grieving your loss and we as your friends are here to support you.

I wish I could offer more but we're here for you.

shelby,corky,fergus wrote:
Seems like it is getting more difficult. Anyone experience loss of a long term spouse have any advice?
No, I don't. But I can offer you a hug from Boston.

In 2003 my dad lost my mother after about 50 years. My dad had spent the previous few years caring for her as her health declined. When she was gone he said he looked in the mirror and couldn't believe how old he had gotten. He said he had been so focused on her he never took the time to look at himself. He was 78 at the time.

Then he found out he had a broken heart. Literally. His mitral valve prolapse had become much worse. He had the valve surgically repaired a few months later.

He came out of his shell a bit and started to call some long ago friends and relatives and struck up some nice friendships and spends some time with them. He started enjoying some activities again. He has even attended a few live theater musicals.

Now he's pushing 83 and and still active as ever. He is out of the house every day for something, walking the mall 4 or 5 times a week, going and visiting fraternities, enjoying life again.

I guess what I'm saying is that just as in healing after losing a sheepdog, time is your friend. I can't imagine the emptiness and loneliness and crushing sadness you feel right now, and the hole that Larry has left behind may cause you to feel that time is your enemy, but it isn't. You will feel better in time, but it really is OK to take time and grieve your horrible loss.

I am saddened by the loss of your husband. I liked the picture of him in daytona :D I can't imagine the pain you are going through. He was too young, and yes you did not have enough years together. You and your family will be in my thoughts. I will make a donation to rescue in his memory.


Reaching out for support groups is a very good start. You can talk openly without worrying about a family members feelings.

I'm fortunate to still have my hubby, although like you, I know that can change at any moment due to his illness. We've discussed things which I'm sure you probably did too, but there isn't anything we can do to prepare for the feelings your experiencing now.

I've witnessed many others loose their spouse and watched each handle it in different ways. One went to drinking, one was remarried within a year and a half, one remained single and seemed fine......

I'm not saying you would do any of these things, but I can promise you won't find happiness in another man, in a bottle or drugs.

I was 14 when my dad died. He was 36. Unintentionally, my mom met a man about a year later and was remarried within a year aid a half of his death. She'd say, "He's so much like you're dad.."

Mom loved this man and they were together until death, BUT he really wasn't "that" much like my dad. She just wanted him to be. She saw what she wanted to see in him.

I know its the last thing on your mind but, but don't make any committments in a relationship for at least two years. Don't make any major changes in your life for at least one year.

Three of the hardest days are now behind you. The day he passed, the day of the burial, and Father's Day. During the first year all of the "first's" will be the hardest. It will get easier each year.

Just remember, each of us deal with death in our own way. If someone in your family doesn't like.... don't worry about it. Sometimes people have our best interest in mind, but they just can't understand! And, sometimes they just don't think before they speak. I think I'm guilty of that myself.

When my husband got ill the first thing a few people said to me was,
"Now, you'll have to stop smoking." I had just been told his illness was terminal. I knew I had to rehome my 5 OES. I was about to loose everything in my life except my son and grandsons and all they could think about was me smoking!!!

My response was, "Don't even go there. I don't wanna hear it! I've just been told he might die, I have to give up my dogs, I'm loosing everything except for my son and grandsons, and all you can think about is that I have to quit smoking!" "I don't think so!!!"

I know there's probably thoughts you've had that you feel quilty about now, but we've all had them during these times of stress. Don't beat yourself up over those things!

One thing I learned from my mom's death is that I tried to hold onto things that were gone forever. Such as holiday traditions. As sad as it is, they're gone and those days will never be the same again.

Once I accepted that I changed some things and that helped me heal. What helped me the most was getting mad at mom. I became a bitch at holiday time and had no fun at all! I got mad and told her, "This is the last holiday you're ruining for me. You're dead, I'm not, and I have to keep on living!! The holidays still aren't the same, but they're less painful.

I know nothing I can say will help your heartache now, but maybe it will in the future. You're NOT alone in this, but only you can pick up the pieces and find something to fill part of the void thats now in your life.

Find something to do. Don't just sit home alone, with nothing but time. Try to find something that will give your mind a break from the hurt you feel.

God bless you and your family!
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