I found My wife of 44 years effectively dead on our sofa on the evening of March 29th, I immediately called 999 and struggled to get her onto the floor. I began chest compressions until the paramedics arrived. I wasn’t out of the room more than about 20 minutes. After shocking her three times they managed to get a pulse. She was immediately transported to hospital and taken into Intensive Care. Sadly, despite all the efforts of the wonderful staff at the Leeds General Infirmary, she had her life support withdrawn four days later. Both my children and myself were at her bedside when she died.
At first I must have been in shock, feeling numb, but with both my son and daughter off work it somehow felt “normal”.
We were busy planning her funeral, making all the arrangements ourselves.
The actual funeral was a beautiful day, full of goodwill and friendship, I was euphoric, a feeling which stayed with me for several days; it wasn’t until the time came to actually collect Caroles ashes that things changed dramatically for me. I think that it suddenly hit me that I was on my own, both of my brilliant children had now gone back to work and I realised I was lonely, I felt adrift, the house felt empty. Many emotions swept through me, anger at the fact she was only 70, anger and guilt at the fact I wasn’t there on that fateful evening when she collapsed, if I had been able to start CPR earlier maybe things would have different!
This past week has seen me in a very dark place, breaking out in uncontrollable bursts of crying, feeling emotional and empty inside, irregular sleep patterns.
Most of all I am trying to be strong for my children and grandchildren.
Can anyone offer anything positive? Or is just a matter of time?
Hi John so so sorry to hear about your loss it’s so sad to hear about your devastating loss im the same I lost my soulmate of seventeen years six months and ten days ago today and I’m utterly truamatised witnesing it all and finding it hard to take in mentally and physically destroyed we built a home together doesn’t feel like home so empty and silent I just want my soulmate back in my arms keep wondering what fun we were having last may bank holiday weekend together what we’d be having for tea watch on the television our own conversations that kiss goodnight the security of knowing there is someone lay next to you accidentally knocking knees during the night hearing cups in the morning it’s utterly devastating im so sorry for your loss I cant tell you time will heal im sorry people on here have told me it will get easier I cant see any place without my one true love by my side take as much care as possible there alot of lovely people on here keep posting in my thoughts x
Like you I’m 69 and my wife died in August last year after 4 years with brain cancer. She was just 65 and we had been married for 44 years, and an item for 49.
I recognise all you are going through, almost exactly, and, in my case, I can see that time has made a bit of difference. I can function better now. What I’ve found is that I’ve got better at coping, and I do cope with some things quite well. The trouble is that when things go badly it’s like falling from a higher position into a deeper pit.
I expect I will always grieve but I’m determined to build some sort of life around my grief. I’m pretty sure things can never be the same again but as I can’t change what’s happened I feel I have to be able to accept that and try to deal with it. I think it will be a long time before you can think that and, for now, it’s just about trying to function and look after yourself. It’s different for all of us. This forum has been great for me and I use it as a source of inspiration and learning.
I have got a few practical suggestions but it’s probably much too early for that. You can’t go round the grief and try to avoid it. Somehow you have to go through it and, hopefully emerge from the worst of it in a bit better place. There’s no cure and you don’t get “better” but you might get better at dealing with it. All the things you’ve described about how you feel will be instantly recognisable to all of us on here.
Hope and determination are great assets.
Hello John, I was going to reply with my own thoughts but YorkshireLad has already said how it is. Does time help, I’m not sure, I haven’t got there yet. You are in shock, traumatised so just take care of yourself, your own health and grieve. It will hit you anywhere, any place. I find it better not to try and fight it. Accept that you have to go through this. I keep busy, plan something to do each day, sitting at home all day is not my way, however this is my way. Keep posting you will find this forum a great help. Very best of luck to you. Pat xxx
Thank you for your kind words, I suppose everyone thinks that they are the only one who is going through this hell, I count my blessings for my two children who, despite trying to cope with their own grieving, have been a great support to me and to each other. In some ways it has brought us together again.
Like you I’m grateful for my four kids and seven grandkids. Yesterday I went to watch my grandson play. He plays League for Slaithwaite Saracens and they won their first match but only just. He won most of the awards and a voucher for pizza. He’s my oldest grandchild at 11. I was bursting with pride and I know his grandmother would have been even more so.
Today I’m coming to Ireland Wood in Leeds as my son lives there and the Tour de Yorkshire goes past the end of their road. I live in Ilkley and one of my daughters lives within a couple of miles, and her son was born just before my wife died.
We’ve always been close as a family and it’s brought us even closer.
Next Sunday I’m setting off for Devon and Cornwall in my camper an and I’m not sure when I will get back. That probably sounds beyond belief to you, but my wife was clear as to how I should live on, and she said I have all I need to do that. Not quite true.
As I like sport my greatest saviour has been Sky Sports and it can keep me distracted for periods of time.
One thing I would suggest is having a look at a website called What’s Your Grief as it’s got some good writing and very relevant.
I’m a walker but struggled for 18 months with a knee problem. It’s given me a focus to beat it so I could get back to walking with a walking group I’ve walked with for years. I’m back up to over 10 miles at my pace. I find walking in the local area is a massive therapeutic benefit.
I hope you have the best day that you can.
My husband died suddenly at work in February this year and the shock was massive. Every feeling you describe I am still experiencing.
Counselling has helped and walking in the countryside.
However I think this is going to be a long road so turn to your children for love and support.
I agree with YorkshireLad that you don’t get better from grieving as it’s not an illness but a strong emotion. However time will help us all to deal with it in a manageable way and absorb the impact it has had.
Nothing could ever have prepared us for these intense and sometimes debilitating feelings and outpourings so we must just experience it until exhaustion and calm takes over, then rest.
Make plans for each day and keep occupied. Don’t turn any invites down even if you really don’t feel like it.
My father passed away a few days after my husband as the shock was too great for him and my mother prefers to do things on her own. She takes the bus to local market towns and wanders on her own and seems to enjoy it. I like to have some company if I want to go walking or need distracting from my own thoughts. We are all different and there is no right or wrong way in how you try to move forward.
Take care x
If you see a bearded chap walking a dog around the top of Spen Lane watching the cyclists go past it will probably be me!
I’m watching on Otley Old Road near Hospital Lane. It will be getting tasty when it gets down to you. I’ve got it on record from ITV4 so will look out for you when I watch it.
I appreciate this probably wouldn’t suit everyone, but I have started listening to a Relaxation CD produced by a chap called Glen Harrold, takes about 25 minutes a day, just helps get your mind in order. Doesn’t take away the pain or sorrow but eases the discomfort a little bit.