A book cover with a heart in it
For those whose partners have left them for Death,
and for those whose partners still may.
by Randy C. Watts
Now Available!


During the six months of Malinda’s journey, of which you are soon to read, I told her over and over how much I wished that I could take the pain away from her, and that if I could only make it happen, I would. Even though I didn’t see it coming, on December 16, 2010 Malinda was released of her agony and went home, and just as I promised, I took over the pain and suffering. It was my turn to hurt.

Filling Empty was originally titled The Leukemia Chronicles. It was to be a daily journal, and was not intended for the eyes of anyone but my sweet wife. It was going to be something for her to read once she was completely healed, and recovered, from the Leukemia that she was stricken with in May of 2010. I was sure that she would defeat the cancer, and that when she had finally been declared cancer free, she’d be interested to read all about the experiences that she went through as she fought her illness so valiantly. I knew that there were many things that she would not remember, as she was unconscious through many of her procedures, and semi-conscious through many of the others. I, however, will remember them forever, with an unwelcome clarity, for I was fully conscious, and most always at her side. I was totally aware that the sweet woman that shared an incredible love with me was broken, and that I could not fix her. Mal always told me that I could do anything I set my mind to, and that there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish. I guess that what she didn’t realize was that the fuel behind my accomplishments was her love for me, and the faith and the confidence she had in me.
I lamented that Malinda would never read the journal I so meticulously kept for her, and I was angry that the Leukemia ended up robbing her of her earthly life; robbing me of her, and robbing us of the future we planned together. But then one day it was so beautifully revealed to me that not only would she read this book, she would be helping me write it from another dimension a dimension that is oh so close to ours. The journal became less of a chronicle and more of a survival guide for those of you who will, or have already, gone through something similar.

In Filling Empty I have shared the things that I wish I would have known as I entered a tunnel that, seemingly, had no light at its end. I want this book to help readers start to see that light. I will share with you the things that I’d have greatly benefitted from knowing as Malinda and I began our journey towards her mortal end.

This is a book of hope, and I will share what it was that made me realize that I was going to survive the darkness, and what gave me reason to finally smile. I will tell you of visits I have received from Malinda, and I will share experiences of others that have felt the same type of pain, and who have also been blessed to gain a sure knowledge of their loved ones’ presence around them.
By the way, I know for a fact that I will see Malinda again. After the countless tender encounters I have had with her, and the number of times she has communicated with me, I would be a fool to doubt a life hereafter. I also know that our love is way too strong to be severed simply by a heart that ceased to beat. I wish that I could write about exactly what happens after our earthly life has ended, but nobody has filled me in on the exact details. I don’t have the rule book, for which I have longed since Mal’s death 19 months ago. What I do have, however, is a knowledge that she lives, that she’s near me, and that she’s waiting for me to join her.
I will not sugarcoat anything, and I promise to be very honest in my writing. I am a wordsmith, and I can paint a great picture with the keyboard, but artwork is not the purpose of this particular writing project. I am going to let you into my day-to-day record of our journey, but there will be more than the journey’s days. I will tell you what I felt, and how you may feel too. And most importantly, I will tell you the things I have learned that have helped me start to fill the empty spot in my heart.
As you read Filling Empty, please pay close attention to how many times the word “compelled” is used. I assure you that when I get a feeling, it’s just a feeling, but when I feel compelled, the thought comes from a much higher source. It has been that way my whole life, but has never been so evident than it has been since losing Malinda.
I guess that it’s because now, I am listening.

About the Author

Randy C. Watts is Editor-in-Chief and content writer for an international marketing firm. He has published several articles in magazines across the nation, and has written projects for some very large corporations, including the Walt Disney Company and Federal Express.

Randy made the transition from “writer” to “author” after his beloved wife, Malinda, was taken away from him by Leukemia in December of 2010. He never imagined how painful it would be. Just a breath at a time, just an hour at a time, and eventually a day at a time … then he started to see that she had not left … she was still with him.

Randy is a father of four, and a grandfather of five (pending change), and currently resides in Spokane, Washington.

His family is his life, writing is his passion, and teaching others how to Fill the Empty has become his mission.

Surviving the Storm

I’m not going to pull any punches; it really hurts to lose a partner. Death is incredibly painful … not for the ones dying, but for the ones staying behind. Nobody can understand exactly what you are going through, because you’re the only person that lost who you lost. However, please understand that there are millions of people at any given moment in this world who are in a great deal of pain caused by grief, and that there are billions upon billions of people throughout time who have passed through what you are passing through. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!


The good news is that, while you may not think so right now, YOU WILL BE HAPPY AGAIN! The feelings of pain and absence in your life will one day turn into sweet memories. The day will come that you will be able to tell others of  your loved one, and actually smile when you do. Of course, you will always miss your beloved departed, but the pain lessons, and slowly blossoms into gratitude for having been blessed

to have him or her in your life … even if it wasn’t for enough time.


The best news is that when loved ones die, they don’t go far. They are much closer than you think. Many of you may be able to feel their presence, or see signs that they are with you. Perhaps you will have special visits with them in your dreams. I will write more about these special “moments of recognition” in the upcoming chapters.

I had no idea that the pain of losing my spouse would be so intense. There were many times that I wasn’t sure that I would be able to endure the suffering I was going through, and I certainly didn’t think that ANYONE could be hurting as much as I was. I felt that nobody had ever lost a spouse that was as loved as Malinda was. I was in my own pain, and I was in it very deep. I needed to find a way to stop the inability to breathe, the continual stomach cramps and tightness in my chest. I wanted relief from that sick, helpless feeling of waking in the morning, hoping it was all a dream, and realizing that it was real. I needed comfort, because the grief was so intense and so relentless. And sometimes when I would feel a little consolation, the grief would creep up quietly from behind; I rarely saw it coming.