coping with bereavement of my husband

Hi I lost my husband of 45 years married, in September, and I am really struggling, I am lost, even though I have a loving family who I see and hear from regularly. They ask how I am and I say ok because they have busy lives with young children and responsibilities and they are dealing with their own grief.

I try to keep myself busy each day, even if its only wondering round the supermarket but have days when the tears flow all day and I just wonder what it is I am doing - I do go to bed and sleep but then wake up 3am and my mind is working overtime with the what ifs…my husband died on holiday … what if we had been here in uk would it have been any different… I know probably not and I worry about making decisions on my own. I feel alone and so sad that we didnt have longer together, we were happy just doing nothing, pottering in the garden, doing the crossword etc we didnt need to go out and about but did enjoy our holidays, and he was my confidant. and we had a very humorous relationship, most days we had a laugh at things/events in the news and the like. My husband had heart problems and would have ended up on oxygen and probably house bound, and dependant on me which he would have hated. People say to think forward and do what I want now, but how? - I was happy with what I had. I have found a lot of the letters on this forum helpful, and thanks for reading this.

Hi June C
I am truly sorry for you loss I wish I could say something to ease your pain I think when we lose a loved one we all wonder what if .
I have three grown sons and I am back at my own home now I say the same when they ask I say yes I’m fine even when I’ve been sitting with tears running down my face .
I hope through this site and support from family and friends we will all get through this journey thinking of you .


Hi June

We all understand how you are feeling. I lost my husband in October. We had been together for 40 years. We spent every day together and like you enjoyed the simple things of life. It feels so scary now having to make all the decisions and do all the ‘jobs’ around the house.

I am in tears most days. I was today at the Optician. I saw someone in the waiting room who looked like my husband. I remembered when we were last there together.
I felt such pain and the tears came thick and fast. People are always so kind but I feel bad when ‘I let myself down’.

I think we all have to put on an act for our family. They want us to be the way we were and can’t deal with our suffering, maybe it’s to painful for them.

Sorry I know my post is not very comforting but I just wanted you to know you are not alone. There are a lot of us who are feeling the same as you.


Hi June
I’m so sorry for you loss, my husband Jack, had a fall and went into hospital on 16th November, on 28th the doctors told me he had terminal liver cancer, the shock was indescribable. He passed away on 6th December, I came back to my home last Friday (5th January), after spending over 4 weeks at my daughters. I haven’t slept properly for weeks, I have an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m so frightened and lonely here on my own, we were always together just the two of us. We’d been married 36yrs, I’m isolated where I live. I don’t drive, Jack used to take me out in the car. My daughter lives a few miles away, but she has her family and work.
Like you I feel lost, my daughter took me to town, I ended up in floods of tears as I remembered being there with my husband. Everywhere here there’s reminders of Jack, I feel your pain and I’m thinking of you and all the others in this awful situation. It does seem to help to know that others can understand what we are all going through.

Hi June
Like you it’s all a roller coaster for me. If i can’t sleep for thoughts flying around my head i get up and write them down .Then think a happy moment together to celebrate and back to bed

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Dear Lily
Thank you so much for your comments, I gather you have lost your husband recently too. It is very hard but reading all the various comments on this site has made me realise that I am not on my own with the emotions and I hope you too can get through this.

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Hi Scorpio
I am so sorry for you loss, its only a couple of months. I also was in a shop a few days ago and was with my granddaughter and I saw a man who looked like my husband from a distance and I felt like I had been stabbed in the chest. Fortunately my granddaughter didnt notice me going all wobbly and kept chattering away, which kept me from breaking down. I dont think you let yourself down when you feel sad, its not a tap you can turn on and off, I wish it was. I have had numerous times when I have been ok and then suddenly wanted to weep especially when I run into people who didnt know he had passed and then I get the ones that know and keep their distance, which I understand.

Like you say the family want us to cope and get on and we are all playing at it arent we - crazy. My sons talk to each other but dont say anything to me, but I know its hard for them.

I am thinking about you and thanks for responding, there does seem to be comfort in knowing someone understands totally.


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Dear Janet

I am so sorry for your loss so recent as well, and I really feel for you. You, are still in shock as I am.When my husband died on holiday, and I had to come home alone , I took the decision to stay at my own home, my 2 sons live nearby anyway, although I knew it would be difficult, I still havent unpacked his case - cannt do it. In some ways its hard being here alone but in other ways I find it comforting that we had such a good life here and he loved this house.

I think you are expecting too much of yourself - why wouldnt you feel sad when you see his things, they can make you cry but also some things may make you smile, My husband had a thing about the spectacle cleaning sprays, they seem to be popping up everywhere.

You are right it does help when someone knows what you are going through Be patient with yourself.


Dear bobt

Thanks for your reply - thats a good idea - I will give it a try, I gather you have just lost your other half but its nice to know that someone understands.

Dear June

Thank you for getting in touch, I’ve managed to get dressed, and had some lunch, not that I feel like eating much. It’s so strange cooking for one, I’ve been so used to cooking for the two of us. It’s the constant reminders that I can’t get used to. Like you I haven’t unpacked my husbands hospital bag, I can’t do it either. I think you’re right it is hard being here on my own, I’d been at my daughters for over 4 weeks living out of a bag, I came home last Friday. I’m thinking of you and it’s reassuring that I’m able to talk to you and others who are going through this awful time.


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Hi Janet and June c
I haven’t taken the pajamas my husband had on when he was in hospital out the bag yet I did open the bag and I can smell him so I closed it again as I’m trying not to lose his smell crazy I know he passed away on the 26 November I hope we all find peace in our hearts as we go through this journey all together please take care .

Hi I know how you feel, I lost my partner on the 19th November it was sudden he was ok 1 minute and my Clive was gone the next,he had a blood clot that led to a heart attack there was no warning,each day is a struggle,I have gone back to work,but all I want to do is go back home,ive only got to look at a picture and i just cry,it’s even harder when family and friends say it will get better in time,I know they are trying to be supportive,but I feel there’s no way out of this nightmare,I do the same I have his work clothes that I don’t want to wash because it has his smell on them,I just feel so lost

Hi penne 1965
I’m sorry it is so overwhelming I know how you are felling my husband George took a heart attack caused by a blood clot he took the heart attack on the 11 th of October but lost his fight on the 26th of November we were to married for 30 years but together for 36years . My line for work runs out on the 31st of January my work have been very supportive but the thought of going back upsets me .
Like your self I have held on to the last lot of pjs he had on because I can smell him on them .
You are so not alone we are all in the same journey I know it’s a nightmare and I also fell lost I am truly sorry I’m sending you a hug and will be thinking of you take care .

Hi Penne & Lily
I’ve still got my Jacks hospital bag, and like you I can’t wash anything, I look inside and smell him. He died 6th December 2017, and I’m crying as I write this. I’ve not gone to bed, I never sleep anyway, haven’t slept properly for weeks. It’s so lonely here without him, it’s unbearable. Jacks niece came yesterday and gave me 2 framed pictures of him with his sister, taken on her birthday just over a month before he died. He looks so frail in the photos, it makes me feel very sad looking at them. I’ll be thinking of you and everyone on this site, trying to get through this terrible time.


Hi Janet
As you can see by the time I’m writing this I don’t sleep much since George passed away I try but as soon as I lay down my head is full of conversations I had with George and things I should have said I wished I had .
I go over and over things in my head the what ifs the maybes .
I’m so sorry you are going through this as well with the loss of your husband jack I hope you find some peace in your heart and like every one on this site we get through it a day at a time you are in my thoughts take care I send a hug .

Hi janet&Lilly thankyou for your kind you both I can’t sleep either.i can’t even go to bed,doctor gave me sleeping tablets they don’t seem to work,so many thoughts,could have I had done more for him,at the time it all happened,all the things we did and all the things we were going to do,just want to say thankyou to you both and everyone on this site.big hugs penne

Hi Lily
I went to bed, and like you things go round in my head, I wish I hadn’t made him go to his sisters birthday. I can see in those photos how ill he was, he must have been suffering, he’s not smiling in them. Several people had to help him out to my daughters car to take him home. 24 days after they were taken, I was told he had terminal liver cancer, he died just over a week later. I’m crying to think that he must have been so ill, I miss him so much. The loneliness is unbearable, I feel so afraid being here all alone, as you say try to get through a day at a time. I’m thinking of you, and everyone on this site, sending you a hug.


Hi Janet

I read your post and felt sorry that you are tormenting yourself with regrets. You said you wished you hadn’t made him go to his sisters birthday. He must have wanted/needed to go and think how you would feel if you had persuaded him to stay home. His sister must have happy memories of being with him shortly before he died and a photo of them together is something to be treasured.

I persuaded my husband to go on holiday without me in August for the first time in 40 years. I had been called for Jury Service and I knew he needed a break. He went with his lifelong friend. He was very ill with a chest infection whilst there. When he came home we carried on as normal. Although it was hard for him I still think it was good that he got to spend some time with a friend who had been so important in his life.

We had our husbands for a long time ( never long enough) and I think we should be proud that we let others share some of their time and give them some recent memories that they can treasure.

Sending you a hug.

Yvonne X

Hi Penne
I’m up after another sleepless night, I know exactly what you are going through, as Lily and you say the thoughts go round in your head, things you should’ve said or done. I haven’t slept properly for weeks now, I dread going to bed. Jack died 6 weeks ago tomorrow, it was always just the two of us. The loneliness is unbearable, I don’t drive and Jack used to take me me shopping etc in the car, it’s isolated here with a long walk to a bus stop. I don’t know what I’m going to do, as I’m 68, I thought I’d try Age UK, I’ll have to try and get some help somewhere. My daughter helps as much as she can, but she lives a few miles away from me, she’s got work and family and she’s not well herself with thyroid problems. I’m just managing from day to day, I’m thinking of you and everyone in this awful situation. A big hug from me.


Hi Yvonne

Thank you for getting in touch, reading through what you’ve said and thinking back to the day of his sisters birthday, she was so pleased and grateful that I’d managed to get him there, (I’d even got him to a barbers for a haircut and hot shave before we went). Like you say she treasures the photos, I’m feeling a lot better about it now, not feeling so guilty. I’m relieved that we didn’t leave him at home, like you said about your husband going away with his friend to be able to let others share some of their time and have some recent memories that they can treasure. Sending you a hug


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