16 Months On...

I stumbled across the forum and reading many of the posts made me realise there are so many in the same boat.

I lost my wife, Elaine, at the end of October 2020. She was diagnosed with kidney cancer in July of that year and we were told at the outset that there was no cure. The best she could hope for was a few extra months but that wasn’t to be either. Of course we were in the middle of the first lockdown when the symptoms started to emerge. We both were working from home noticed several little niggly things that just weren’t clearing up. One was a persistent cough and that was enough to put the GP off from seeing her in person. It wasn’t until an obvious lump on her side appeared that things started to move and diagnosis quickly followed. We were assured the delay made no difference in the outcome as it was quite advanced.

We had been together since 1984 and married for 33 years when she passed away. It’s silly but we had been told by the nurse that she had at least a week left just the day before she died. I felt robbed of that last week but glad she was just about in full control of her mind and facilities when it happened.

Despite me convincing myself that I had ‘pre-mourned’ it all hit me like a ton of bricks. Nothing can prepare you for losing that special someone in your life.
I’ve never been one to openly share feelings with others or even admit to struggling but I started having memory issues that really were starting to get in the way of day to day life. My daughter insisted that I call my GP and, to be fair, they reacted quickly. After a long conversation he said it was obvious I was depressed and this was manifesting itself in various ways. Counselling was recommended, again something I would never have thought about, and took the offer. There then followed a weekly call that was schedule for about 45 minutes and every week it would last nearer 90 minutes. Once I started talking I couldn’t stop. It all poured out of me and, yes, it helped. It didn’t get rid of the grief or memories but briefly eased some pain and perhaps some guilt. I think we all wonder if there is something more we could have done to make the end better or easier but in reality it was out of my hands.

So the counselling ended nearly 11 months ago. I still think I needed more as the pain hasn’t gone away and I miss her now as much as I did 16 months ago. I don’t think time is a healer. You learn to try and live with grief. I’ve read all about the 10 or 12 steps of grief, and I think there is some truth in it, but everyone is individual and deals with things differently and at their own pace.
At times I feel lost, lonely and empty. I still cry at random times and certain places or music can evoke such strong feelings that I wouldn’t have believed.
I miss her more than I thought it was possible to miss another human being. I keep thinking I have to move on but then wonder what is the rush. I started sorting out her clothes and belongings about three months after the day but after a month I stopped. The bedroom is still basically the same as when she was here. All her things are on the bedside table and I still sleep on my side of the bed.

I’m planning on downsizing this year. Not only will it force me to sort out what is left but also make me move on. I don’t want to forget her or stop loving her, that will never happen, but she wanted me to live my own life. We had so many discussions about life afterwards. She was very pragmatic about what was happening, which made things easier, but theory and real life are very different.

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Hello Gary

I am so sorry for your loss
I can understand what you are feeling being cheated of loosing your soul mate
My husband collapsed at the bottom of my stairs from an embolism 4 years ago
I never got to say goodbye

You are so right time is not a healer but you learn to live with the grief
I will be honest with you I still have his toothbrush in my bathroom next to mine
I know it’s silly but I just can’t get rid of it - I don’t want to so I’m not !!
I sleep on the same side of the bed too as when I shared it with David for 25 wonderful years
It what makes life easier for you
You don’t need to remove your wife’s stuff if it makes you happy and brings you comfort that’s all that matters

You should go back to your GP and ask for more counselling sounds like they helped you
Gary please come on this site and share your thoughts and hopefully it will make life more bearable for you

Sending my love
Xx

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I am so sorry to hear about your wife, & in lockdown as well being closed of from close family & friends can make it so much more difficult, it’s still okay to get upset & let yourself relieve the build up of things that remind you so dearly of your wife, their is no time right time to feel you are ready to move on do it in your own time
I also stubbles across this site after realising I needed some help with the loss of my nephew he was 13 & took his own life due to mental Heath issues in May 2021, lockdown stole so much time away from our relatives & the impact of the pandemic caused my nephew to feel like there was no other way out, he’d lost his school life, seeing his family & friends, couldn’t do the sports he loved & scared family would become Ill with covid 19, I have been very angry over the fact I only maybe saw him a handful of times when restrictions allowed us to, & remembering he had grown to almost just under 6ft & his voice had broken & the last time I saw him he looked like a boy still, it’s only 9months on but still the grief I have wants to swallow me up & I want to be closer than ever to my niece & nephew & my 10week old nephew my sister was 9weeks pregnant at the time he passed but I don’t want to feel like I am smothering them as they are still grieving so much

But the fact I never got to say good bye is the hardest thing

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Hi Gary., I am really sorry for your loss, it is so hard to bear thr pain of a broken heart.
I lost my soulmate 3 months ago, he collapsed while jogging and I never got to say goodbye, he was fit and as we though healthy but apparently had coronary heart disease. He had absolutely no symptoms and it was a complete shock to everyone who knew him.
I am on a waiting list for counselling and really hope it will do some good.
I still have all Pete stuff around me, the clothes he was wearing before he left the house that morning are on the chair were he left them, I hug them and cry into them often but just can’t move them, his razor is still on the shelf in the bathroom and I like to touch the things he used… I also wear his clothes.
I now sleep on his side of the bed.
Even though we never thought something like this would happen we had said the if anything happened to one of us the other should carry on and enjoy the rest of of our lives but as you say that’s okay in theory.
I miss him so very much and hate my life without him.
I wish you well in your journey.
Muldool

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Hi all I am so very sorry for all of your losses . It so heartbreaking when we lose those we love. I lost my soulmate pauline in April 2021 I’m empty and lost without her. We had almost 21 beautiful years together. We promised eachother years ago that who ever went first the other one would keep going to take care of our pets. She told me if she went first she would want me to be happy even if that meant moving on with someone else. I can’t give her that, I don’t want anyone else not now or ever. She is my one my soulmate the love of my life. I don’t think I will ever be happy again. I get fleeting moments of it with our pets when they do something funny or cute. I’m 55 and could potentially live another 20 years or more, god I hope not as I just want to be with her again. But I will keep my word and take care of our pets. I have not been around people apart from when I go shopping for 10 months now, her funeral was the last time I was around people. I have not heard from family for over 5months now. My heart is filled with love for her and with the love she gave me and I carry that love and my beautiful pauline with me in all I do and say and that gives me a little comfort. We were blessed to have found our soulmates. I truly believe that one day we will be reunited with them. Sending you all hugs. Sorry for the long post x

Hi Cssey1, I’m sorry for the loss of Pauline, I’m pretty much the same as you. My Pete died almost 4 months ago and I have have not been anywhere socially and have no urge to do so, my family are 3 and a half hours away. I even get my shopping delivered now as can’t face it. Pete and I always did our shopping together.
We had only been living in this house 6 months when he died.
We had discussed what we would do if anything happened to one of us (never really believing it would happen as soon as it did) and agreed that we would do our best to move on and be happy, and look after our dogs
They are the only thing that keeps me going, we joined a dog walking group, shortly after moving here, they were all strangers to me but have been very kind and helpful, we walk every morning between 9 and 10 and its the only thing that gives me any joy now.
I miss Pete so very much and know that no one could ever take his place.
I feel very lonely and cry a lot.
Please don’t worry about about writing long posts, it really helps me and I’m sure others to read them and know that there are people who truly feel the same.
I dread the thought of another 20 years alone, and know that my beautiful dogs will be gone by then.
I really don’t care if anything happens to me as long as I see them out and I can be back with the love of my life.
Sending hugs back

Muldool

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