A woman has shared her heartbreak after her husband died in his sleep – just days after finding out they were going to become parents.
Shannen Rissel and husband Connor had been together for five years when they tied the knot last September.
However, their dream life together in Gorokon, New South Wales’ Central Coast, was tragically cut short when Connor died ‘suddenly’ in his sleep, something that came as a ‘huge shock’ to his loved ones.
Not only was Connor due to celebrate his 30th birthday this year, he was also going to become a dad for the first time in August, almost one year on from their big day.
A GoFundMe has now been set up for Shannen to help her ‘navigate this devastating loss’, having almost reached its AUD $25,000 goal.
“Connor would have had his 30th birthday this year, he would have become a father for the first time and he would have celebrated a first year of marriage,” it said.
“It’s so hard to comprehend why this has happened, as it happened so suddenly and has come as a huge shock to all that knew him.”
The organiser said all funds would contribute to giving Connor ‘the send off he deserves’ while also helping Shannen ‘have the best start possible’ when raising their baby, along with any ongoing costs as she processes her loss.
A statement from Shannen, also shared on the fundraiser page, described Connor as the ‘love of her life’, saying she had the ‘heaviest heart’ as she wrote.
"My husband, Connor passed away unexpectedly in his sleep yesterday morning,” Shannen said.
“Connor was the love of my life, he was the best husband, the best friend, the best family member, the best fur baby Diddy and he was also going to become a father this year in August. We are expecting baby Rissel - our baby bugle and he was so so excited to share this with everyone.
“Words can’t describe the feeling this morning - the air is fresh and he loved the early morning so it feels right to share this news at his favourite time of day.”
Going on to pay tribute to her husband’s character, she continued: “He loved surfing, he loved being in the water at the beach, he loved a coffee and a choccie, he was so much fun to travel with, to have a laugh with friends and family, he was always trying to live an exciting life that he was proud of, trying new things like fly fishing, he worked hard, he loved being creative with his art and music and he gave his whole heart to those he loved and had such a huge heart, empathy and care for people he met.
“He was the most rare person you could meet and I am so proud that I got to become his wife and spend 5 years, and 4 months with him.”
Shannen added: “The memories that we have I will cherish forever and I will live the rest of my days reflecting on ways I can be more like him.
“And when I welcome our baby into the world he or she will be surrounded by everyone that loved him, to share memories about how beautiful of a person he was and his memories will live on.”
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677