Best Friend and wife

Hi all. This is my first post on this site and with great trepidation I write.
I lost my dear friend, partner and darling wife on the 19th Dec 2021. Like everyone on this site who are in a similar, no same position as me it hurts. We were married for 42.5 years and it was to be her 63rd birthday on the 5th Jan 2022. One thing that I have learnt throughout the last 12-18 months and that is the necessity of letting new friends come into your life that truly want to help, not just physically but mentally by being good listeners.
I have always loved Hilda with every fibre in my body and would have happily laid down my life for her, but I have never been so proud and honoured to call Hilda my wife in the way she accepted that she was going to die. What is the point at getting upset etc as it isn’t going to change things, lets just try and enjoy what time we have left together. Such a remarkable person was my Hilda.
Like us all, we make plans for the future such as holidays, day trips etc. I have made a solemn promise to Hilda that in her honour I will try to be as strong as she is and go to all those places. It is going to be hard as I have never ever been on a holiday on my own, I think I will have to have that inner strength and fulfill that promise as long as I am healthy enough. I will start of small and close to home first, gradually increasing the duration and distance away from home. These will all be part of the many “Firsts”. First Christmas - done, New Year - done, Hilda’s first Birthday - done, everyone hurt so much especially as they all happened so soon and so close to each other. As Hilda would have said - it may have hurt but you will come out the other side stronger, as was usual she was right. Our relationship was, she was the brains and I was the brawn or something like that. Not a day goes by when there isn’t a first, like setting the timer on the central heating after a power cut for example, all those things that both take for granted as they just get done when required.
Now the real big issue is the removal of Hilda’s belongings, a very emotive subject for us all. When is the right time, I feel like I am casting away her memories all those sorts of things come to mind. I personally have found that I can manage the task, and yes it is a task. I didn’t realise she had so many rudy shoes for a start haha. To put dates in the diary on when you are going to do things isn’t going to work for me as the closer the date gets the dread starts getting worse and worse. What is working for me is to just chip away at it in a spontaneous way. Like coats for example, to start the process of removal I just moved them out of site so that it didn’t upset me seeing them hung up, just put them in a wardrobe, they will go to the charity shop in due course, when I feel the time is right for me.
I think I am one of the lucky one’s as I am not entirely living alone, we have a 12 year old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Toller for short. He is of great comfort and companionship for me. He has requirements that only I can provide like feeding, watering, exercising etc so he has helped me with getting a routine and more importantly a reason in life. Don’t get me wrong I have a daughter and partner, son and wife with 3 lovely grand children and they have been a tower of strength, but Chester lives with me for all his sins. He helps me to talk about Hilda and remember all the good times we had in our 42 years of marriage.
I hope that there is something in this post that helps someone in their hour of need. Remember that although your life has been shattered, they would not want you to keep weeping and shutting yourself away, find that inner strength and try to get back out there and make new memories in their honour.
Let me close now by saying this: My darling Hilda, though you are not here anymore to touch and hold, to kiss good night you will always be etched on my heart for ever more. Sleep tight until we meet again, but don’t wait up as it may be some time yet xxx Phil


That is a wonderful, heartfelt tribute to your darling wife Hilda.
So lovely Phil, it would make her very proud to read how you are coping.
With regards to you sorting her clothes (and all her shoes!!!) I regard myself very lucky that Ian insisted I sort out his clothes, shoes etc when he was dying at home.
Although I didn’t want to do it, I am so pleased that I did as he wished.
It was strange sorting it together, with him giving me directions from his bed, but he saved me much heartache after his death.
We are both so lucky to have had long happy marriages, and although they are no longer with us, their strength is carrying us through. (As heartbreaking as it still can be at times)
Look after yourself
Janey xx

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Hi Janey. As a nation the UK and their stiff upper lip always seem to think that the glass is half empty rather than half full.
Yes it has devistated my life losing Hilda, but I find that it is more important to me to strive to celebrate Hilda’s life, she would not want me to be constantly sad, I have so so many good and happy memories to keep me going for along time. Yes I have to make alot if adjustments to my life, but just keep telling myself that yes it is going to be hard but not impossible. Hilda would not think I have forgotten about her if I laugh again and start to find ways to have fun and enjoy life without her. It is Hilda that has helped to make me into the person I am today and I will celebrate that every single day. Bless you Hilda.


Hi silverrider,
What a lovely inspiring tribute to your wife Hilda, you are a remarkable man and your Hilda would be proud of you and how you are coping.
I too have a wonderful supportive family and I know how important that is.
My best wishes and love go out to you
Take Care
Debbie X X