Coping being a widower.

I am 63 and lost my wife from a sudden cardiac arrest whilst she was at work on 22 December. Her funeral is later this month.
We met online and I moved 180 miles to set up my new life with her 15 years ago and being married for 11 of those years. she was my rock, soul mate and best friend. We did everything together. I am absolutely devastated my life is empty without her. My sons live away although my step daughter is close by and is a great help but she has here own family and life to lead. I have a few aquantances but no one one you would call a friend and l work from home. My brother and sisters live 180 miles away and my wife’s sisters live abroad. I always dreaded the thought of my wife passing away before me and leaving me alone. I don’t know how l am going to cope emotionally. Early morning and evenings are the worst time.
I miss the physical contact of cuddles, holding hands and the kiss good night. Which l am never going to have again… I see adverts on TV for funeral plans, dating websites for over 50’s, holidays for couples and these really up set me.
After the funeral l know messages and telephone calls will cease when everybody goes back to their own lives.
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Hi Treve, I am so very sorry for you and so many of us on this site understand exactly how you feel and the position you are in. Those goodnight kisses and cuddles are something we all miss and I hope knowing that there are others feeling the same pain may help just a little. We are always here for you no matter when. Take care of yourself. S xx

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Hi Trev, I totally understand your feelings. The first thing I can say is Im so sorry for your loss, heartbreaking.
I lost my husband, Michael 4 months ago, Like you I moved to be with him. I moved 240 miles to be with him in the North East, 17 years ago we were married for 12. When it first happened, I couldnt think straight and fortunately I had our 11 year old son to keep focus on. My husband was larger than life, the centre of any party and somebody everybody gravitated too. 3 years ago he had a mental breakdown and unfortunately made a couple attempts on ending his life and finally succeeded August 2021. Im 4 months in and that loss of a partner is still really really difficult with mediocre days and really bad days. like you I miss the cuddles and the kisses and all the little things that we shared between us and only we knew. I have basically got by till now by keeping busy. Initially it was focusing on the funeral making sure he got the right kind of service, then my 50th birthday happened so that was something else to keep busy with. Now I keep busy with my son, business and dogs.

If I can offer any advice from what I have learnt so far, it is that keeping busy is key. I have regular contact with my stepson and stepdaughter and that helps as we all pull together and talk about how we are feeling, that is key too. Like you early mornings when you first wake up and late evening are the times that creep up on you when youve had a mediocre day. Michael is in my dreams every single night too, sometimes the headlining act other times in the audience. Be prepared for that because that can alter how your day goes to. Please look after yourself and please keep in contact with family and friends…it helps. Obviously after the funeral, people go back to there own lives, buy family and real friends are always there for you so dont be scared to pull on them when you need to. I wish I could say everything will be ok, the best advice I was given which I shrugged off initially, was One day at a Time!!! that is so true and definitely dont be making any life changing decisions.

I send my sincere condolences and wish you strength for the funeral.

Very best wish,

Vicki

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Hi Trev58.
My darling husband died on 23 November 2021 of cancer. We had his funeral mid-December and despite our great sadness, my daughter and I chose songs for the service that he loved and spoke of the joy and love he felt for things in his life. He was and still is a very special man. Family and friends have been lovely and ask how I am, however, I rarely tell them the truth. In all honesty each day is a struggle and I cry constantly. I feel sad when I see other couples and want to tell them to hold onto each other and say how much you love them all the time as you never know when you will suddenly be alone. I too miss holding his hand, cuddles, chatting about mundane things and the companionship of watching TV or eating together. Time seems to go very slowly now and the days seem endless. I so want to hear him say my name and for me to turn to see him. Friends will say that they don’t want to pester you but I wish they would as it is very difficult for me to contact them and say I am having a terrible day and need some company. You are in my thoughts.

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Thank you for your kind words Vicky.
I am trying to take one day at a time. I am in regular telphone contact with my brother, sister and sons who are a great help although they are 170 miles away. My step daughter, her fiance and 5 year old grandson (who idolises me) live not far away and are a great help as is my late wife’s best friend. Besides them I have no other people I would call close friends to talk to.
I still work, but I work from home so I am rarely away from our marital home and all the memories of my wife.
I agree with you that you wish people would ring or message me, they are not pestering me. Sometimes l need to talk about anything.
Losing parents is bad enough but losing someone you have been intimate with is heart breaking and unless others have gone through this they have no idea what it is like. To me it is something l never have ever experienced in my life.
I know l will be an emotional wreck on the day of the funeral.

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Lady11 thank you for your kind words.
My wife was a nurse and passed away whilst at work with sudden cardiac arrest. I never had the chance to say good bye.
When l see other couples l also want to say to them hold on to what you have as when it is cruelly taken away from you it is heart wrenching beyond belief.
I know on the day of the funeral l will be an emotional wreck.

Hi Trev, yes I totally understand everything you are saying, it is one’s worse nightmare and I say to others who ask, yes im ok, but ill never be alright. I really thought on the day of the funeral I would breakdown, however surprisingly I found this inner strength and even managed to deliver my words I had written. I really feel your emotional stress and pain, and its not going away any time soon its something we have to learn to accept and live with, which is the hardest thing ever, there is no quick fixes. You will find inner strength and give your beautiful wife the send off she deserves and with family there with you you will get through the day. There is no road map to grief and as I keep being told little steps, one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Sending you best regards, Trev, youve got this !

Vlinney71 thank you for your kind words.
People ask if l am OK but l put a brave face on it and say I am getting there, but inside l am in pieces. At the celebration of my wife’s life (we are not calling it a funeral) l am getting the Celebrant to read my words to my wife as l know l will not be able to do it. We have arranged to give her the best send off which she totally deserves.
Her life was full of tragedy she was an unwanted baby and was adopted, her adopted parents died within weeks of each other when she was in her late 20’s, her adopted sister ran off with her fiancee, her ex husband was controlling and gambler and she lost her 16 year old son to leukaemia 20 years ago. She took courage after her marriage failed and then that is when we met online. I our 15 years together l treated her as she should have been treated with love, respect and affection and above all l put her first above everything else… l thought the world of her. I have been told by her best friend, who she confided in, that the short time with me they were the happiest days of her life. That is some comfort.
I have been told take one day at a time but is very hard as my emotions are very raw.

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Wow, what a fantastically strong woman your wife was! You dont need to put a face on anything, this is your grief, Trev. I was adamant that I was not going to be able to speak at Michael’s funeral I convinced myself I would fall apart. It wasn’t until I was walking behind his coffin going in and his song came on that I felt this huge lift come over me and I just knew I needed to speak. You will know exactly on the day the best pathway for you to cope, dont presume anything believe me it all goes out the window. Remember though what you do on the day is ok, as you so rightly say emotions are so raw. You know your wife’s past and know the strength she would of had to find to keep going, you will too, it just really wont feel like it right now. Please look after yourself, that is so important.

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Sorry for the loss of your beautiful wife. I am ten months down the line and it hasn’t become any easier, in fact, I am finding it harder. Be prepared for the phone calls to dry up and the regular visits to stop. I don t think it is done intentionally but people get on with their own lives. Every now and then they will give you a thought but this huge loss has not affected their lives directly and they don’t have to face it every day when the awaken. The fear of our constant lonliness and not having our soul mate in our lives. I read the other day that they don’t miss us because to them ee have not gone. The see and watch over us in spirit. It is us that grieve and long go see and feel them again and pray for a sign however small to let us know they are okay. My days feel better long and don’t have the impetus to keep busy. My husband seems to be in my head all the time and the only comfort I get is reading about others who are on the same path. I feel if I am talking about him he has not gone and I am keeping him alive in some way. I don’t want people to forget him and how much I loved him. I talk to him every night about the day. His ashes are beside me. I still find it difficult that from a person he is now ashes and I cry All ee can do it’s breathe and take a day at a time. Anything else is too much to bear. I will think of you on your journey x

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Nel, thank you for your message. You say exactly what l am going through. I agree others get on with their lives and this huge loss does not affect their lives directly and they don’t have to face the loneliness and heart ache daily. I talk to her daily although l know l won’t get a reply. I still have her phone open and l send her a message every night and give her photograph a kiss before l go to sleep. This would sound daft to others but at the momement it is my way of still connecting with her.
My step daughter really misses her mum and greives for her but she can go home and have a kiss and cuddle from her partner to console her but l can’t l just greive in my own little world.
People say it will get easier but at the moment it is difficult.

Vlinny 71 thank you for your kind words. Her life before l arrived on the scene was not the best.
I know l say now, 10 days before the funeral, l will not be able to read my tribute to her but as you say like you l may have the emotional strength to do it.

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Firstly I am very sorry to hear of your sudden loss.

I am in a very similar position in that my wife died very suddenly and unexpectedly but in front of me. I could not save her neither could the paramedics. It was a previously unknown condition - heart.

My wife was also a career qualified Nurse and we were married nearly 44 years. June had medical issues including Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer. June went through a lot. I could have been more understanding (understatement) at times. We were together 24/7 x 365. We loved and cared for each other dearly.

June’s Funeral was held last Wednesday a month to the day after she passed away. In my opinion far too long between events but nothing I could do. I carried her into and out of Church. Not easy but It was the last thing I could do for her. I felt that I would not do her memory justice if I spoke as I would have been (and still am) a gibberish wreck. I got through the day with mostly supportive comments. One from a close relative stood out for the wrong reasons. He asked ‘What are you going to do now?’ Can you believe it. I await his response as I have challenged what he said to me. I hope you stay strong and get through the day.

Now preparing myself for a very different life.

I woke up this morning feeling anxious and lonely again
I lost my husband ten months ago. I don’t know how to cope with all this anxiety I have tried breathing exercises counselling hypnosis but nothing works. I take antidepressant and beta blockers but I still can’t get a grip of it.