Alone in a crowd?


Ive just returned from a family wedding, it was a 3 day event & I was looking forward to it.

It was all family so i thought it would be ok and felt quite confident.

However even though I was surrounded by loved ones I really felt the absence of my husband, no one was looking out specifically for me, no one to go and get the drinks at the bar, left sitting alone while all the couples danced.

Then when we went back to our hotel rooms I was the only one walking alone up the corridor the same happened when we all left to go home to our houses, everyone left in there respective little families while I was in the car alone.

Even though I was with loved ones I’ve never felt so alone and now feel very tearful & dreading any other family occasions, has anyone else felt like this?


I totally understand what you went through.

After my husband died our two sons decided to get divorced (as if I hadn’t enough pain to deal with), they said since their dad had died it has made them realise life is too short to be unhappy. 18 months later, our youngest son met someone else and decided to get married again.

It was a large wedding with all the guests friends of our new daughter in laws family as all my family had died many years before. I did not know anyone apart from our sons new in-laws but they were too busy socialising to bother about me.

All mine and my late husbands friends from the 1960’s still had their partners and after my husbands funeral, vanished into thin air so when I was asked to invite someone I knew there was no chance at all of me doing so.

I still remember sitting on the top table, between our two sons, whilst our newly married son gave a speech and spoke about his dad and I honestly do not know how I kept it together. After the reception was over, I went to my hotel room as many of us were staying overnight and I cried and cried. I got myself changed for the evening reception and felt like a fish out of water, everyone was a stranger, there was dancing, food and again, everyone was socialising but no-one knew me, so I left and went to the hotel room and went to bed. I had a loving family growing up but my dad died just after we married and then my sister died and then my mum, Peter had lost both his parents by the time he was 18 so it has always been just the two of us until we had our sons in the early 1970’s.

It is seven years tomorrow since I lost him, we were together exactly 50 years on the 30th August when he died.

I only have our sons and their partners, we have four grandchildren, three I never see as our sons ex wives moved away to the other side of the country and since the pandemic started, I don’t even get a phone call or anything even though I send them messages and gifts for their birthdays etc. not even a reply even though we looked after them from being 6 months old until they went to school and then in school holidays whilst their parents worked.

I am content in our home where Peter carried me over the threshold in 1967, this is my haven and if I never, ever set foot outside of the garden again it would not bother me, this is where I belong, this is where I feel safe and close to Peter. Since Peter died the world has gone crazy and then the pandemic where so many people have lost their lives.

I will live my life as I am doing now, getting up in the morning and deciding what to do, I make a list of jobs to do, such as painting the door, cutting the hedges etc.etc. as I cannot get any diy person to actually turn up to do the jobs so I will do it myself, I am nearly 80 years old now so goodness knows how much time I have left on this earth but I will make the most of what time I have left doing what I want to do when I want to do it.

One of these days, all our many friends from the 1960’s who are still with their husbands will finally find out what losing your husband/wife means, heartache, devastation and loneliness.


You’re very brave. You’re 7 years in and I’m coming up on 1 year. I hope I will have your acceptance of our new normal and just do what I want till my days here are done. The hardest challenge for me now is being alone. I too now notice how many couples there are . Something I never noticed before. I wish us both peace.

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14 posts were split to a new topic: The ‘firsts’

Hello everyone,

This conversation has been split into two, as it had begun to move away from the original topic raised by @Flower_garden on being alone in a crowd.

You can find the new thread called The ‘firsts’ here: The 'firsts'

Take care,

Last week my car was in a garage & the guy couldn’t tell me if I would get it back that day so I just wandered about the town, aimlessly for 6 hours.
So I went for a coffee, armed with my newspaper & pen for the crossword, sitting alone in a crowd.
As I looked around the tables, I saw loads of women, same age & older, probably in this same old heartbreaking club. Some with friends but very few with their partners.
Seems women do live longer? Or it just feels longer. They had a sadness aura about them, they will all have their story to tell.
I remembered today something my husband said more than once. “It is what it is”


Yes I felt like that a few weeks ago ,at my Late husbands Niece …I seem to have found myself looking for him as Alan was always making sure I was ok …but even sitting to the meal on my own …but yet all the family were at the table also …strange …it made me remember my lovely late mum saying she felt like a spare part ,when my Dad passed over ,bless her :bouquet:


Yes Irene, that is what I always feel like, a Spare part, someone who no longer fits in anywhere, my mum said the same to me when my dad died 53 years ago and I totally understand what she meant.

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This is the nearest letter to how I feel. No matter how hard we try to join in family events our love is still not there and we are alone looking in at the couples and families, knowing we enjoyed it all once long ago but it still brings the sadness back. It is like a tube is over you. You cannot reach out. Just keep smiling so you don’t spoil good times for others. I know it comes to us all one way or another and that I was lucky to meet a good man and have him for 58 years. The years ahead alone seem worthless. I have done my job my children have their own families and lives now. Please let me join my husband and be at peace. As for the mutual friens we had when he was alive, as usually happens they drift away, disappear when you most need them for keeping in contact with the good times you both had with them . No demands at all. Just simple companionship to help you through this terribly lonely time. It will come.
I am two years down the line and I’m getting along better as time passes. I have joined in various clubs but am not good at keep going to them. My garden is a lifeline which I am now starting to enjoy. Neighbours and people I know have been widowed and we do talk about how we feel. It is easier than talking to family who get upset and then worry about you.
I hope this letter is of help to someone.


Hello Pamm, oh I do agree totally with everything you wrote. It’s exactly my own position and my garden is my lifeline just like yours. It seems silly but last weekend our eldest granddaughter was confirmed but due to them living abroad I couldn’t be there but to be honest I was not sad because I knew I would have spent the weekend in the kitchen. You may say I was being selfish but I would have felt very alone and the kitchen would have been a safe refuge. Pleased you found this site, as you can see we are all in the same boat and most of us have no paddle :blush:. Take care. S xxx

Thank you for reading my comments. Best wishes x

I know how you feel. My husband died nearly three years ago. The first party I attended after his death was my Grandsons 5th birthday party and honestly I have never felt so alone in a roomful of people. It was so emotional. I found it does get better you don’t feel so emotionally drained but I still miss his companionship and having him by by side. When you have known and loved someone for over 50 years it is difficult to adjust and everyone who hasn’t experienced grief think you should be over it in no time! Take care of yourself.

Gailybob, nice you have found this site. Life changes totally when your on your own and unless you have been there then people don’t understand. I always say I had 45 of love but it wasn’t long enough. Keep posting and reading others posts. We are always here for you. S xxx

I have just come back home from a weeks holiday in Scotland with our eldest son, his partner and her mum who is the same age as myself, nearly 80 years old. She lost her husband the year before I lost my Peter so she has been alone for 8 years. We had a lovely time, we were treated like royalty and for once I did not feel like a spare part because we were two widows, me with our son and her with their daughter. Just going out with someone who was experiencing the same heartache as myself made the holiday wonderful as we reminisced about our lives together. and we both knew just how hard it has been over the past few years. Our children took us all over Scotland, staying in lovely hotels. I arrived home today late afternoon and our son carried my bags into the house and it brought tears to my eyes that once again I was alone, I went over to my late husbands ashes and told him I was home again and I had had a lovely time and that he would have loved it. He would have been so happy that our son had taken me on holiday because he had asked both of our sons to look after me after he had gone. I am happy to be home in my own little safe haven and I have really enjoyed my holiday but wish my husband could have been with me also.


Your story is the same as mine. After being with family on return home my loss and loneliness returns with a vengeance. After about a week of downtime and despair I manage to pick myself up and re-enter my life as it is now. Picking up the pieces until I am on an even keel again, until the next family time when it happens all over again. Take care.

Yes, I agree, after a week of being with people day in and day out and now being on my own again, it is all about picking myself up, dusting myself down and continuing living the life I have now been left with, thankfully I am lucky to have a lovely home which I would give up tomorrow to have my Peter back. After being away for a week I am going to be very busy sorting the garden out, cutting hedges etc. washing and ironing clothes so that will keep me occupied.

Take care too.x

I was widowed last November. I have found being with family quite sad and unsupportive. They have their own nuclear families and can exclude me not really knowingly. The problem is that the younger generation in the main have no experience of death and loss of their partner.
My best company now is with others who are
single or alone for some reason. In most cases I don’t get any pleasure mixing with couples, as I just feel like a spare bod , an unwanted extra. I’m
lucky to have interest that take me out of the home almost every day. I miss my husband more than I can say and cry every day but almost feel better on my own with the t.v. rather than hanging around with the family who have busy working lives. Good wishes and love to all.

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Yes being with couples makes me feel like a spare part, an onlooker. I remind myself I am old and that I had it all once. It doesn’t make me feel any better. Best not to think at all.

It’s crazy, I am so lonely but not for anyone other than my husband. I have a few good friends and some family who are trying hard to look after me but I spend my time trying to get out of things they organise- it’s like grief is making me sabotage all my relationships , it wasn’t happy with me just losing my husband it keeps wanting more

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I know. Nothing has pleasure in it anymore. I strive to fill my days and am genuinely pleased to be with others but, a big but, true happiness has gone forever because my husband is no longer with me.

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