Are people stupid or just thoughtless.

Since my husband died four years ago, I have said on many occasions, that no-one knows what to say to you or how to be natural with you when you lose your husband or wife. They either say the most horrible things like my so called friend said to me the day my husband died. ‘Well, it is for the best’. Another one was, why don’t you join a dating agency. Many others were quite happy to give me the names of clubs and day centres where they do basket making and flower arranging just so they don’t have to bother about me being alone. They all came to my husband’s funeral, but were nowhere to be seen for the last three years of his life when I was his 24/7 carer.

Only yesterday a friend rang me, I will say friend in the loosest of terms, she rang to tell me that her husband had to go to the hospital because they had found a lump and they needed to do tests. Her exact words to me were, ‘do you know Sheila, you have no idea of what we are going through, it is horrendous, all this worry.’ I just said, are you joking and put the 'phone down on her. We are finished, I could not believe what she had said.

I have come to the conclusion that people who say these things are selfish and only care about themselves. They say the first words that come out of their stupid mouths. One of these days it will happen to them and I will give them as much sympathy as they gave me. None at all.


I agree with all you say Lonely.
Shakespeare said - ‘Only those who are not grieving, know all about it’
I think that says it all and proves as a human race we have not improved even from Shakespeare’s time.

I made a vow to myself shortly after my husband died on the 31st March 2018 because I was experiencing something of what you are talking about.

I decided that I would accept kindness if it came my way, but unkind and thoughtless comments I would not ‘take on board’. That behaviour was theirs not mine and if I let it affect me I would be doubly hurt, so I didn’t and I haven’t since.

It’s not the easiest thing to do , but I did not deserve to be doubly hurt. It has paid me dividends and I’m glad I managed it.

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I agree with all that’s been said. The 2 thoughtless questions that stand out for me are “So will you keep the house on?” And “Are you over it all now?” WHAT! Stupid people. They’re really not worth bothering with. I’ve decided to surround myself with those who enhance my life and discard those who don’t.

Dear Gogs and Crazy Kate.

Yes, we all experience the lack of thoughtfulness from the people who we considered our friends. It has never happened with friends who have lost their partners, only the ones who take great joy in telling you all about their holidays with their husband or wife.

I am just awaiting the time when it is their turn. I am not an unkind person and I hope I do have the empathy to treat them as I would have wanted treating when my husband died, but at the moment, I honestly do not know if I will be able to.


Sheila x

Yes I know what you mean. When Carl died I had a card from a woman who I was friendly with at work. I was there for her when her younger brother died from cancer and we were quite close. Since then she retired and then I left work and Carl and I moved to Cornwall. Her card was lovely and if it had stopped there it would have been fine. But no, a 2 page letter was enclosed. It started Well, life is good for us!! I’m the big 70 this year, we are both enjoying life, having nice holidays and in good health. It went on about their grandchildren, their house etc etc. I read it and immediately burst into tears. I was so hurt that she thought I would want to hear all this. I threw the card and the letter away and I’ve kept all the heart felt ones. People are so thoughtless. Maybe it is because they don’t know what to say but if that’s the case don’t say anything. Xxx

I totally agree, and some people just cannot resist telling us what they think is best for us. I sometimes wonder if they think that by telling us to join this and join that it will free them from any responsibility so they can get on with their own lives. One day there turn will come.

Hi Everyone

Yes, people often surprise you with the things they say and do. Several people have told me to abandon this site as it can’t be doing me any good to keep hearing about others who are in the same situation. They say just reach out to your family or friends but that is not enough. No one understands like the people on here.

Yesterday I met a friend for coffee who lost her husband a year before me. She appears to have ‘moved on’. She has moved house, joined several groups ( knitting, crafts etc.) and only once reluctantly mentioned her husband in the conversation. I talked about photographs and she said she never looks at them - that’s the past.

I didn’t really feel a connection. I can only assume it was because her life was so different to mine. Her husband worked abroad for months at a time whereas Geoff and I were with each other 24/7. She was quite dismissive when I said I was struggling with dates this month. She couldn’t understand why.

I agree with you Sheila about joining things. Some of the groups are for the elderly but I still feel young at heart. I have joined a fitness class but struggle to find other things that interest me and like you I don’t want to just fill in time.

It is hard not to feel hurt by the insensitive words and actions of others. Their lives are still going on and they are busy making memories but ours have suddenly stopped and we are stumbling around trying to find our way forward. It does seem a long hard journey we are all on but talking with others on this site definitely helps.


Dear Yvonne,

I totally agree with you, no-one understands what we are going through other than other people in the same position.

With being in my late 70’s I know what it is like to lose a child, sister, mum, dad, grandparents and I know what is is like to be the last woman standing from my family of the past and now the pain of losing my husband who was by my side through all those losses is never ending.

I can’t stop grieving for Peter because I have no-one left who knew what heartache I went through when I lost my family of the past, I can’t talk to him about our young days or just sit and hold hands and have afternoon tea in the garden all that has gone.

Our son’s knew how sad I was but they were living their own lives and had left home so they never experienced the tears I shed when my sister died then my mum. I lost my dad before our children came along and I lost our baby when our eldest son was only 18 months old so he never knew the pain we went through. Only Peter, my husband knew as we cried together.

I think that is why we older generation who have lost our partners of many years hang on to the past for much longer than is considered healthy because we went through so much together. My life is in the past, not the present or the future, but the past where my husband and the rest of my family are.

My only consolation is that one day we will all be together again. I envy my husband in many ways as he is now with every single person of his and my family and I am down here alone, yes I have our sons, but to be honest, it is not the same as having someone with you to hold you in his arms and tell you that everything will be alright, just as Peter always did.


Sheila xx

I commiserate. I used my grief to protect myself. It taught me to agree with what I think, and never to go along with the other guy. To hell with them.

After I lost my parents, I learned the cruel lesson of life: that so many, and maybe most people, are thoughtless this way.

I think 1) they do not really want to be bothered 2) they just do not know better.

Either way, it is a way of culling people.

I am surprised at the bitterness shown by some contributors to this thread.
Many people simply don’t know what to say, possibly because they have never experienced a similar loss, and they put their foot in it when they try.
Forgive them.
Forgiveness is a blessed healer.
As Portia says about mercy ( the same thing as forgiveness) “It is twice bless’d. It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

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Morning Yvonne, I’m so pleased I read your comments this morning. I thought it was just me who wasn’t interested in joining “groups” knit & natter, crafts, arts etc., etc., Everyone seems to suggest these things to you when you are bereaved, I don’t understand why! I attend pilates classes, keep in touch with family & friends, shop, clean, garden, but it is very hard to fill your time all of the time. I’m so happy to hear I’m not the only one who doesn’t fancy joining groups for the eldery ~ not just yet anyway!! Thank you Yvonne. Love Elaine x

Dear Edwin.

I honestly have not seen any bitterness at all shown by any contributors to the thread you are speaking about. Every single contributor is sympathetic, helpful and know exactly what each of us is going through or has been through.

Perhaps people do not know what to say to someone who has been bereaved, but the old saying ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ comes to mind.

When you have lost someone you have loved for most of your life and someone walks up to you with a mean comment, I think we can be forgiven for wanting to give them a slap. I know, I have had four years of it and it never stops. I am now getting, ‘have you met anyone else yet’, this is still coming from the same people who, four years ago told me ‘it was for the best that my husband died’.

Forgive them, not a cat in hell’s chance.

Sheila x

Dear Sheila ~ I haven’t seen any bitterness either. Its just honesty, telling it how it is…
Love to read your contributions ~ its inspiring
Take Care
Love Elaine x

Hi Lonely,

I have just joined the forum- lost my dad 24 weeks ago, suddenly. I was exploring the site and read your post. The only word that comes to mind is what-less! I think people are insensitive, lack empathy and compassion.

It’s hard not to listen to it either but it’s shocking and amazing that they ‘make’ people like that!!

I hope you can vent it here with the kind people who really get it on this fourm.

I just had to send you a reply.



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Dear Elaine,

Thank you for your comments, they are much appreciated.

I was a little surprised to be honest, because this is the most caring, helpful group of people that I have ever been associated with and everyone has been so helpful to me and others who are in the same situation. Losing a loved one is terrible enough without people, who have never, ever gone through what we are going through
telling us to move on, find someone else, join clubs to fill the void or other thoughtless comments I have heard over the past four years. No, I can’t forgive them and I hope, that one day, when it does happen to them, they may just remember what they said to me when someone says such uncaring things to them.


Sheila xx

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Dear Sam,

Thank you for your comments. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. People who have never lost anyone, have no idea what we mourners are going through. They say such thoughtless things and they are not one off’s either, the stupid comments keep on coming.

It is now four years since I lost my husband of 47 years, we were together 50 years and were together from him being 18 years of age, not much more than a child really.

How on earth do people, who have no idea of what I am going through have the audacity to tell me that my husband dying is for the best. I know he was ill for a long time, but to be told it is for the best beggars belief.

I lost my dad when I was 25 years old. Our children have never had grandparents on my husbands side as they both died young, they only ever had a grandma, my mum who has also died. Losing your dad or your mum is something that stays with you, they were there from the second you were born and then all of a sudden they are gone.

It is now 50 years since my dad died, he was only 57 and I still miss him, I can see how proud he was when he gave me away on my wedding day, only to die the following year.

Grief in time does soften around the edges, but the wanting your loved ones back never goes away because there is always something happening in your life that you wish you could tell them.

Please take care.


Sheila xx

Dear Shelia,

I understand where you are coming from. I had so many asinine comments that all I felt was anger, you think to yourself where is the compassion, the empathy. It’s not right.

Childhood sweethearts that’s lovely and understandably difficult to handle that void, difficult doesn’t cover it.

Thank you for your kind words and understanding. It’s all raw at the moment and I know in time it will get easier but right now it’s very up and down throughout the day. Still I know what you mean and I have faith that will happen.

You take care too,

Sam xx

Dear Sam.

I am four years into my grieving whilst many of you are either only starting on your nightmare journey or have been on it for a couple of years.

I can honestly say, my life has never been the same since Peter died, the future seems empty, the present is another day to get through. Every single one of my friends of over 40 years still have their husband’s, I have two widowed friends but they are ten years older than me with totally different ways of living. They are old people, with old ways, in fact, when I go out with them for a coffee it is like going out with my mum. To be honest, it is soul destroying. I don’t want to be going out singing and dancing or clubbing, but I would love someone to go to see a show with, go away with for a few days but there is no-one at all. My problem is that I am young at heart. I love fashion, jewellery, shoes, perfume, I love spending money and treating myself, I always have. Peter used to love to see me dressed up when we went out for a meal, and I was so proud to be seen on his arm, I always was proud of my tall handsome boyfriend who became my husband.

I am always playing my sixties music, if I am in the garden, I wear my Bluetooth headphones and my music is blasting out, it is a wonder I am not deaf, but I get through the chores so much quicker when Buddy Holly is singing ‘Oh Boy’.

Our son took me to a 1950’s/60’s outdoor fair early this year along with our granddaughter, he usually takes me with him when he has his daughter for the weekend, he is divorced, as he has no idea what to do with her. I spotted some dresses that I used to wear in the early 60’s along with all the coloured net underskirts that I also used to wear. Luckily, I had my sunglasses on and I just started to cry. One was a gorgeous yellow, exactly like the one I owned all those years ago. I always play the song by Joe Brown and the Bruvvers, That yellow dress you were when we went dancing Sunday night. The song is called, ‘That’s what love will do’. It reminds me of the dances we went to at the Mecca Locarno on a Sunday night in the 60’s when we first met.

I honestly do not want to go on without him, I am fed up of living without him, doing things without him. The pain has softened around the edges, but the ache of wanting him back, never goes away.

I have survived these last four years, goodness knows how, but I have, just by living each day one day at a time. I get up and decide what I am going to do. I still make a list out at the beginning of the week with jobs that do need doing and as I do them, I tick them off otherwise they would never get done.

There is one thing that I always do and that is play my music. It is playing in the background all day long because when Peter was here our home was never without music. It is always rock n roll, the groups of the 1960’s both English and American and that is down to Peter, he was a music fanatic, so by playing our music he is always with me.


Sheila xx

thanks for calling it s a nightmare of a journey. it had been one for me, and I am glad to learn that that is why life is so hard: the loss is a nightmare.

Dear Berit, It is a nightmare journey, it is one I never in a million years thought I would be going through. How stupid was I.