Lisa Niemi is breaking her silence on losing husband Patrick Swayze to cancer -- and admits that after his death, going on felt like a "betrayal" of the actor.
Niemi, 54, spoke about the loss of her husband at Maria Shriver's 2009 Women's Conference today -- where she revealed that dealing with loss is very new to her. "I thought during the 22 months of my husband's illness that it gave me all this time to get used to the idea of losing him. I found for myself that when I actually got to this point I said, 'No no no'... it wasn't the same at all."
Lisa, who spoke alongside Elizabeth Edwards on the "Grief, Healing and Resilience" panel, admitted that she wasn't prepared to deal with Patrick's death. "The actual loss is like an animal all of its own. It made all sadness and grief previous to that look like an intellectual concept."
Niemi, who was married to Swayze for 34 years, was a wreck following the days after the actor's September 14 death. "It's almost -- when the grief takes over, your body is not your own... I know I just have to go through it, and it's going to take as long as it's going to take."
Lisa admitted that she "wanted to, at some point, feel like I had the courage to go on and have a good life. And in the first few days after [Patrick's death], I felt like that would almost be a betrayal. That I would be letting him down somehow, and of course everyone's saying to me, 'Trust me, this is what he would have wanted.' And it's true... in a way, I would be letting him down to not do that."
Niemi, who has accepted the reality of her situation, reveals, "It's a brutal truth if you have to go on without that person, but unfortunately, that's what happens in life."