A Journey without husband

I’m trying to prepare myself to make a journey by myself now to see my daughter in London. I’ve done the journey many times with my husband in the past but now I’m going to have to do it by myself for the 1st time. Just thinking of doing the journey alone brings tears.

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Hi KatyB
It’s one hardest things isn’t it doing things alone now, we were so used to being part of a couple which probably took us a lifetime to learn and suddenly we have to learn to be alone again.
Life seems so daunting doing things on your own but I make myself do certain things on a regular basis alone not massive things but to push myself forward, am I uncomfortable, scared, uncertain absolutely but my biggest fear is loneliness and so I know trying to be brave despite not feeling it is essential to discovering what my new normal is. I suggest doing loads of preparation not sure what way you are travelling but for example if it was by train research the timetable early and later times incase of British rail issues take a book or crossword something to take your mind off being alone during the journey if driving maybe consider a time of day where less traffic is on the roads that sort of thing. I know our situations are heart breaking and we are profoundly sad but we also have to consider what sort of experience we want our life to contain now, myself I would be with my husband in a heartbeat if I did not have a daughter but I do so I am trying to make the best of it, " not always successfully" I might add but that’s true of life under normal circumstances. I suspect you are a lot stronger than you imagine and once you have visited your daughter you will feel a small victory has been achieved that being said you will probably hate doing it but let’s face it at the moment the reality is " you probably hate your life " but because your darling husband isn’t in, not your actual life that’s the distinction. Anyway good luck and take care xx


Thanks for your reply. Yes Ive done the journey now there and back to London by myself, I do feel a great deal of pride in myself for doing it alone even though it was hard. This is the new life Im having like you to cope with. Having to do things alone, go out and join groups alone, it’s all very stressful but I feel I’ve got to be strong and do it. Im only 65 so I reckon I’ve got 20 years by myself.
Keep in touch, Katy

Hi KatyB
Well done I think we both have to accept that things are going to hurt for a while even though I am 16 months down the line it still seems so surreal I still can’t believe this has happened to me I was married 19 years how do we even begin to rebuild our lives I guess baby steps but it’s so hard I keep wanting to feel normal whatever that is not being in pain I suppose but it’s all so bloody painful. xx

It’s good to hear from you again. As you say it’s so painful, I know what a broken heart feels like now. It’s so hard to go on and keep being strong . I put on a face when in company but inside I’m ripped apart.The evenings are so hard, I feel so lonely and spend so much time when alone crying.
How do you cope with the evenings? I need to find a solution.

Hi KatyB, I don’t know, if anyone has the solution to our loneliness. Like you, I find it very hard to go out, as I hate coming back to silence and emptiness. The first time I went out on my own, I couldn’t handle it, as it did not seem right without my Wife, so I went home. At the moment, I go to bed at 9 o’clock and try to sleep eventually, so that I don’t have to sit up and think about how things were, but I know that at some point, I will have to do something, at the moment, I don’t know what, as before my Wife passed in December, I was her main carer, so I was busy all day, but now, i feel so useless, it’s a complete void, as I have nothing to do. My Daughter keeps telling me to snap out of it, how can you just snap out of grief.
I think the best solution, is some sort of hobby or join a club / group, support group, at the moment I personally have not thought that far ahead. I sincerely hope you can find something that will get you through the long lonely evenings
Take care KatyB

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Thanks for your reply Woody. Your comment about your daughter was interesting. I don’t think my children have any idea what I’m going through, they don’t seem to realise that their grief is different because they have a partner still to grieve with I have no one who really understands how much pain I’m in. It’s very hard living by yourself after 40 years of marriage. Does your daughter live with you? None of my children live locally so I have to reply a lot on friends.

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Hi Katy,
No, my Daughter does not live with me, she has two Daughters of her own, that are 14 and 11, I don’t often see them, even though they only live 10 minutes away. They are always busy. It’s like you say, they have got someone there to talk to all the time, my Daughter has a Husband and two children to talk to, they just don’t understand, that we have lost the person, that we used to talk to, laugh with, have fun with and go out with. When all this is suddenly taken away from you, you cannot come to terms with it.
All over Christmas, I sat here on my own, not one of my family seemed to want me at their house in case I ruined their Christmas, bearing in mind, my Wife’s funeral was on the 30th December, how did they expect me to feel.
This grief thing, is a new experience for all of us, we do not know what to expect, it is all unknown to us, I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for it and nobody can say how long it will last. I am very pleased that I have found this group, as we are all going through the same experience, so hopefully can be of some help to each other.

Hi KatyB
Unfortunately there is no standard response I can give you regarding loneliness, work makes me exhausted so I go to bed quite early and read, when I’m off work I still kind of keep to the same schedule like you I am mentally and emotionally sapped so have no trouble, sleeping just staying asleep. Lately I have gone to a few talks at a local venue it’s quite close to where I live and so even though I was terrified loneliness terrifies me more. Like I said in previous posts baby steps I suggest going on the Internet and seeing whats happening locally of course as you pointed out its still really early for you perhaps you need some time before you consider your options volunteering is also a great way of putting things in perspective it makes you realise that there is alot of people in pain and surprisingly does help by helping them I wish I could provide you with more comfort but unfortunately this journey is an unknown for both of us and the pain is relentless but it comes in waves after a while rather than every second of every day while your adjusting, “you and I will find the strength this I know with certainty” the trouble is we don’t want to let go :frowning: xx

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Hi woody
Thanks for replying. It’s this time of night when I’m feeling lonely and upset I come onto this site for comfort
Comfort from knowing others are experiencing the same pain. Im afraid to go to bed to early incase I dont fall to sleep straight away. Im seem to be always tired because Im waking up so early. Im managing to keep myself busy in the day time I plan eachh day to make sure Im busy all the time. Sometimes I feel Im just filling my day to get through it. As you said no one can prepare them selves for this new life even though I knew last October my husband was terminally ill I was hoping for a miracle to happen, I never expected him to die so soon so had not prepared myself in any way for this new life.
Hope you are coping ok, finding things to do, thoughts are with you, Katy

Hi Katy,
Sorry that I have not replied sooner, only having a really bad day. I tried to phone my Daughter earlier, just got her answer phone, so I sent her a text, asking if they were all ok, as I have not heard from them for ten days, I just got a text back, saying We are ok, we are busy, so I found this very upsetting, I just feel like being here now, it just seems I am in the way now. Sorry to tell you this, as I know that you are also having a bad time, but it has really hurt me as my Daughter knows that I have nobody else to talk to

All these things ring so many bells with me. My daughters are great, keep in touch and the local one visits weekly with my grand children. But as you indicate, their lives have changed less significantly than ours. They do still have their partner, I struggle most with habung no one to ‘share’ things with, humour, tales other people tell me… I find myself thinking I mist tell him that, he will laugh, then I crash emotionally because he is. It not here now! I keep busy, but it’s fear of not being busy not the need to be busy. At 60 years young, I make myself go out with friends but they are all couples… and on my own to the beach but there are grandads playing with their grandchildren, it hurts to see what my husband is missing, everyone seems to be part of a family group, having fun, except me. I’ve realised a large part of it is feeling sorry for myself and I am trying as others have said to find what is my new normal, forty three years of being a couple is hard to change. How on earth do we start, and what is normal, do I want normal… x to you all and thanks for sharing, grief is different for everyone but we will all get there, wherever there is!

Hi Susie,
The problem is, grief does not come with a user manual, so we have to muddle through it the best we can, one day at a time. The support from this group, is very helpful, we are getting help and advice from people that are going through exactly the same as us, but they are sharing their experiences with us.
That is the hard part, not having anyone there to talk to or laugh with, I still do the same, see something on the tv and turn to tell my Wife about it or laugh about something together. It is very hard, going out and seeing couples together knowing that’s how we once were. Also , listening to the radio when people are phoning up for requests for Anniversaries and birthdays, these are the times, when it really hurts.
You are not feeling sorry for yourself Susie, it’s the situation that we have been put in and we have now got to manage as best as we can, but as I said, this group are a great support.


I’m fairly new to this pain, only seven weeks in. Like others of us, I’m very lonely, not having anyone to share my life with anymore. All I’m doing at the moment is getting through hour to hour. At least I’m sleeping most nights, but I’ve never known days be so long and empty. It seems so much longer than seven weeks since Peter died.
I’ve found that people who haven’t been through this don’t know what to say, so at least on this forum I know others will understand what I’m going through. If anyone has any advice on how to cope, I would be very grateful to hear from you.

Hi Marilyn, Very sorry to hear of your loss and sorry that you have had to join us here.
This is what i say to people, grief does not come with a user manual, nobody can say what will happen, how we will feel, we are just muddling through this absolutely terrible experience that we are all going through.

My Wife Janice, passed away on 6th December 2016, i miss her more every day, the silence, emptiness and worst of all the loneliness, is really hard.

We all understand here and no matter what you say or how you feel, nobody here will judge you.

I am sorry, i cant give you any advice on how to cope at the moment, as it is still early days for me, but i am sure you will get other replies, from people that have had to endure this for longer.

Take care

Thanks for your message. As you say, we don’t have to worry about what people think of us on this site. People who haven’t gone through this think I should be “getting over it by now” when we know it’s just starting.
I went out to do some shopping today, and quite honestly I felt like screaming in the middle of the supermarket. It’s not that I haven’t shopped by myself before, because since January Peter was either in hospital or housebound, but somehow it brought it home to me today that I’m on my own now. I know thousands of others are going through this, but it’s no help to me.
Thanks again for letting me vent my feelings.

Hi Marilyn, I know exactly what you mean, when people say you should be getting over it. I had a remark, from the person i least expected it from, my Daughter, she said to me " It’s about time you snapped out of this " i was completely shocked, hurt and upset by this, how can i just snap out of the grief i am feeling for the loss of my wife, bearing in mind, Janice, was also her Mother.
I think, at anytime anywhere, we came be overcome with panic, i am still worried about going out on my own, even though, like you, i used to go and do the shopping etc on my own before, i feel now, that it’s not the going out, it’s the coming back, to silence, emptiness and the loneliness.
We both used to enjoy watching the tennis, but i always had to tell Janice about the scoring every year, we used to laugh about this, as it became a ritual, so this week, i thought that i can’t watch the tennis without her, but i thought, i can, i will just do what i have always done and tell her the scores.
That worked fine on Monday, but yesterday, i could just not bring myself to watch it.
I also feel very guilty, when i cook meals, that Janice really enjoyed, when i cooked them for both of us.
There are just so many things that arise all the time.
Take care

I’m sorry your daughter was so insensitive. It must have been very hurtful. We don’t have family, except Peter has a sister, who I have to say has been very supportive so far. As opposed to that, I had a friend ask me how I was adapting to the “new normal” after five weeks. I felt like saying that after that space of time, the normal thing was to be sunk in a heap on the settee in tears.
I agree that coming home to an empty house is very hard. I find myself walking slower and slower as I get closer to home. I get through it by reminding myself that is is still our home even though Peter isn’t there any more.
I got home today to find a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions asking for a refund as they had paid Peter’s pension for a week after he had died. It’s not that I object to giving the money back, but it’s the sort of reminder you can do without at the moment.
As you say, I’m sure there is still a lot waiting to trip me up that I haven’t even thought about yet, but I’m just concentrating on getting through hour by hour.

Hi Marilyn,I hated all those letters, from various government depts, which all started with " We are very sorry for your loss …But " Then, they go to say, we need this back, or you are not entitled to that anymore. I think the letter that hurt the most was, i had just got back from Janice’s funeral, on the 30th December 2016, i picked the letter up off the mat and opened it, i could honestly not believe, that anybody could be so heartless and callous, it was the final bill from the carers company, where we got Janice’s carers from. they knew the date of Janice’s funeral, as i had kept them up to date. I thought, couldn’t this have waited until the new year, it seemed that money took preference over people.We had these carers, for two years, but there was no card, no phone call, nothing to say we are sorry, that Janice has passed away.

Even the district nurses, that had been coming to Janice for seven years, never phoned, sent a card, or visited, even our GP have not heard a thing from her, there just does not seem to be any compassion anymore.

Hi Marilyn
Its 3 months since my husband died but it could have been yestetday. I miss him so much. The only way Im able to get through is planning each day making sure Ive plenty to do.I ve started doing health walks in the mornings which apparently most local authorities organise. It gets you uot and I find there is always someone to chat to.
Its the evenings I find really hard to cope with, I feel so lonely.
Thinking of you Katy