Being alone

My husband Tom died on 17rh March
My Robles is I don’t seem to be able to ive comfotaby on my own
The flat feels cold, the sitting room OJ’s like a “waiting room”
I don’t know what I eat and cooking seems just a waste of time
Sleep is the worst thing but I gather that is something most people suffer loss of sleep
My husbands death was peaceful at the end but the weeks leading up to it were difficult
He had chronic heart failure but was coping till a hospital admission which led to his death
I nursed him myself with carers and it was hard watching him fade away
Now I’m having difficulty remembering him as he was before “the end”
I feel cut off from everyone although his funeral was lovely with lots of real friends there
But already everyone seems to have disappeared into their own busy lives
I am trying to learn how to live alone after so many years
I go to an art class and am joining other things but home is a strange place at the moment
Have others had similar feelings ?
Kay

Dear Kay, so sorry to read about your husband Tom. It’s doubly difficult isn’t it; coping with the loss of your beloved husband and learning to live as a single person. I understand what you mean by the memories of your husband prior to end of life. I am very carefully bringing our memories forwards now (16 months since he died and four years since he became ill) and they span across 42 years. They make me smile and bring comfort…so much difference to where I was eight months ago…but I have received support…still am actually. I’ve said it before…walking with someone on their pathway to end of live takes great courage and strength. I have learnt just how much I changed in the two and a half years.
I am pleased you have your art class; I know there are others who are using their talents to help themselves. Sometimes, home is the only place I want to be…but my feelings fluctuate and I can have my coat on and be out the door, before I know it. I’ve also learned to smile at myself…just can’t believe I flit from one thought to another so easily. There’ll always be someone here for you, let us know how you are doing, kind wishes, x

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Hello Kay, so sorry your struggling on your own. Strange isn’t it. Your home as you know it suddenly changes and is no comfort.
I cared for my husband alone with no carers, he didn’t want people coming in and out of his house, he said. The last two months was very difficult as you watch them slowly fade away. Not something easily forgotten. My husband died in our dining room and when the hospice took away the bed we had been loaned, how I hated that room, especially as it had been virtually emptied of my furniture to accommodate the hospital bed. My house felt empty and cold. So I started decorating. Nothing drastic, window sills, skirting boards, quick coat of paint on some walls, doors. I eventually went all around the house, I changed net curtains and had blinds put up at some windows, and slightly moved around furniture and I found this did help me. I also put up photographs of him in every room. I built up a ‘relationship’ with the house again. I’m afraid it’s a fact that people do disappear after the funeral, they go back to their lives and leave you to sort yourself out and that’s what we have to do. My husbands funeral was also lovely. He was a singer and sang himself (CD of course). All friends by invitation only. Now I hear from very few of these people. His family have ignored my attempts to make contact and his daughters are no better, not one word of kindness or comfort. I’ve never had a cross word with any of them in thirty years of marriage, so there you go.
You have made the first move in joining classes. I didn’t want to do this. Although I already have hobbies that I continue and enjoy, but that emptiness is sometimes overwhelming isn’t it. If I’m having a bad day I accept it as a time for grieving and hope it will pass soon. Not much help I’m afraid but there are so many of us walking that long lonely road which hopefully will get better in time. Good luck

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Sleep is the worst thing as soon as you wake up your thought are for your loss I lost my husband in June and still hard but I’ve started going out more with friends trying to build a different life it’s very hard and my little puppy has helped me not feel so lonely makes me get out so I know just how your feeling I was told to keep talking to him share things with him even moan at him I tried to keep things in but it doesn’t help try and stay strong no one knows what it’s like until it happens to you

Hello Pattidot I was touched by some parts of your post. My Husband too was a singer and “sang” at the service. I can imagine how impressed our Husbands would have been with how they sounded - your comments brought some comforting memories to the fore for me. Take care Pattidot, keep going.

Hello Kay. I’m really sorry to have read your Husband had suffered chronic heart failure as this was how I lost my husband. He too was hanging on in there but then was admitted to hospital so I can understand a bit what you must have gone through from that point of view. I went to stay with family and have yet to return home, so I have the “aloneness” to come, and to be honest I think that’s the time the realisation will hit the hardest. Keep going as best you can, sending you heartfelt empathy and kindness.

Thank you everyone who responded to my post
I do talk to Tom, I want to keep our relationship alive
I want to continue to talk to him in my thoughts
But I’m having difficulties in remembering him well and active
And I cannot get the thoughts out of my head that his condition ( medical) was mismanaged by his surgeon
Also we had to change carers three weeks before he died and they spent the whole time complaining about manual handing and trying to force me to sleep in a sepiarate room to enable them to bring in a hospital bed
I have no regrets about how I tried to care for him as I know I absolutely did my best and he died peacefully with me by his side
I welcome any advice how to move foreword and forget the problems I had with the professionals at the end
Thanks everyone
Kay

Oh Kay, I doubt you will ever really forget the problems you had when these were people you should have been able to trust. I too had problems in the beginning and had to fight so hard. We shouldn’t have to do this.
My husband signed papers to say that only I was to care for him unless I couldn’t cope, so no one was allowed to interfere. Although the hospice visited and tried to get him to go there, telling us I would never cope 24/7.I told them to leave us alone and if I couldn’t cope that would be the time for them to help me. I had a special bed brought in but it meant that some of my furniture had to go. I didn’t mind. I have replaced it now. It was worth it to keep Brian at home with me. Have you any photographs of him. I have had his photo’s made bigger and Brian brought in closer, it’s amazing what they can do nowadays even with old photo’s. They are of him fit and well, usually in his walking gear or shorts when we was walking abroad. So I can see him looking fit all the time not as he was in the end.

I think Brian would have been horrified at singing at his funeral. He could sing in front of crowds of people though which was surprising as he never liked being the centre of attention and wanted no speech’s at his funeral. I had a celebration of his life and it was quite beautiful but not what he wanted. His singing was a bonus as he had CD’s which I found but never knew he had. Covered in dust tucked away in the wardrobe. Hearing him gave me comfort on a traumatic day. I could close my eyes and imagine him fit and well on stage.

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Dear Pattidot
I dream at night about the “difficulties” I had with getting the right care for Tom
I keep saying “ I’m sorry Tom but I couldn’t save you”
He was doing so well and it was only an infected appendix which led to his ultimate death which took from October to February to happen

Hello again Pattidot
I lost my first reply to you in mid sentence
Thank you for your thoughts
I am new to this forum and using an iPhone which plays tricks from time to time
Just being in touch with like minded people is helping
The nights are the worst I think
I tend to wake between 3-4am and that’s it as far as sleep goes
But thank you for your reply
I suppose we just have to keep going in the outside world even though our lives alone at home are so devastated
I keep looking at Tom’s photos on my phone and have found 2 videos where I can hear his voice
Why didn’t I take more videos
But this is going to take time I know so please do keep in touch
If we can all help each other just a tiny bit I feel sure it must be meant
So sorry to hear his family are not in touch
Tom’s daughter is keeping in touch but without him to talk about I think we may struggle to find things to talk about
I hope you had a not too bad night
Good luck for today and the days to come
Kay

Oh Kay I’m so sorry to hear about the way you lost Tom especially if you feel it was needless. My heart goes out to you.
I think so many of us have feelings of guilt. We feel we should have been able to save our loved ones. I had ten years of knowing of Brian’s problem and for most of that time he was fit and well but I felt it was my responsibility to keep him well and never stopped trying. In the end I lost him and felt as if I had failed him and like you I am constantly telling him how sorry I am. Now everything I do, I feel as if I am still letting him down. It’s something we have to bear. Our brain doesn’t seem to be functioning properly. Today I have sold his scooter and again I feel guilty, but what am I supposed to do with it. His daughters have turned their backs on me, I don’t know what I have done yet again I feel it’s my fault, yet I them remember that he didn’t want to see them before he died. So I know I have to stop beating myself up as do you. If there is anything we could have possibly done we would have saved our men, of this I have no doubt. God Bless, keep in touch

Isn’t it a fact that people choose how caring they may be, disappear into their own lives, I know I have been guilty of this in the past. I now make a point of keeping in touch with those who have been bereaved even if it is a short phone call. I am grieving for my younger brother and my friend, Pam of nearly 72 years, how I miss them. I send my best wishes to all of you who are going through this hell on earth, one day the sun will rise again. MaryL

You are so right Maryl. I too now feel so guilty at not having shown more consideration to people that have lost a loved one, but I am now determined that I will give my time to chat to anyone in that un-enviable situation. Have any of you noticed that when you meet someone when out, they ask you how you are but never seem very interested really usually having to rush off for some reason or other. I don’t think I’m too bad. I try to be chatty and pleasant and even if I feel awful, not show it. In a grief book I’m reading it says talk about your loved one, bring them into a conversation, fat chance of that I’ve found.

Kay, I am now living alone, having never done so. If find this so difficult when I am missing my husband. We loved our home, it just feels so empty and the silence especially in the morning is deafining. I feel so helpless

My partner died on the 30th of December and every moment will be etched on my mind forever.
There are periods of intense weeping and occassionally a little laughter but life will never be the same, as we all know.
Early mornings on waking are the worst with the realisation he’s not there anymore and I can’t discuss what to do or where to go for that coming day.
I no longer have to think where might interest him which sometimes could be a challenge in finding those places that someone with dementia could really enjoy. He was always so grateful to be with me even just travelling in the car.
The dreaded loneliness then hits hard!
Others not in this position make what they consider to be the right noises, as I have in the past, but want to get on with their own lives and understandably so.
In future I shall try to let others who have been bereaved speak for as long as they wish about whatever they wish without looking as though I am desperate to escape the subject.
It is true people do vanish after the formalities have been completed but I think often this just might be because they don’t know how to respond to a very difficult time in someone’s life.
They don’t want to offend or intrude maybe?

My Husband died in January, 7 months after being diagnosed with cancer and I keep going over and over in my mind the sequence of events from then onwards until his death, The day of the funeral we had bad snow, and there was talk of cancelling it at one point. Some friends couldn’t come due to the snow and I feel let down after all the arrangements, that the people I would have liked there felt they couldn’t come, though other people did make it. I know this is unreasonable of me
but it keeps playing on my mind.

Dear friends,
I understand perfectly what you are all going through. I find myself thinking about my brother and my friend of nearly 72 years, quite often I find myself so overcome with grief, I don’t know where to put myself. My brother was such a shock, he used to ring me a couple of times a week and I would ring him the same time span. I knew he had a lung disease (not cancer) and that he was in hospital 160 miles away with pneumonia. This particular evening, our phone rang and much to my relief his name appeared on the screen. Thank God, I thought, he is well enough to talk, instead his wife was on the end of the line, crying, “John wants to say goodbye” she said, “but he can’t stay on long because of his breathing”. The next thing I knew his voice came down the line; Like a fool I asked him if he was dying, "yes love was the reply and I have rung to say goodbye and that I love you sweetheart ". It was such a shock, I replied “Go to your rest love, and be at peace”. I just couldn’t take it in, he died two days later. I still have the same shock waves going through me. I really hope that none of you have this experience, it just about broke my heart. I thank God that his five children were with him, they were scattered all over the world, the furthest away being New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, Lybia (sp) and one in this country. I don’t believe I shall ever get over the shock, 6 months to the day, my dearest friend passed away after suffering a stroke, she had laid on her bedroom floor for two days and two nights. After nearly 72 years it was another shock. My comfort is, that they are safely home with God.

What sad stories you all to have to tell. I am so sorry. Life must go on, so they say but how do we get some sort of life with these memories of our loved ones hanging over us. I have found that so much plays on the mind. One thing one day and another incident on another. I have even convinced myself that Brian never really loved me as I can’t feel him with me anymore and feel deserted by him. I have also found out that he chose what treatment he wanted but never discussed it with me. So all that he was telling me was not true. His Doctor told me that he made his decision, and he died where he wanted to and with the woman that he loved caring for him but this wasn’t any help to me. I feel betrayed by him and thought we had a good marriage. Hopefully these feeling will soon leave me.
I too will have time for someone in our position in the future. I will know their pain and hopefully help them.

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