Coping with bereavement

How do you carry on when you have been with someone for 44years we grew older together and loved each other to bits, what can ever replace that?

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hello @Tilly.67… you don’t. How can we when every part of our life is different when we lose a partner. It’s not something we think about every hour or every day or every few days like others do about our partner… it is our minutes, all of them because it’s there in our house, our bed, our kitchen. Something is missing through everything or most things we do and so there is no carrying on.

There is surviving, that’s the stage I am at right now. It’s got increasingly easier to survive over the six months. Maybe eventually I will be able to make a new life somehow but it will be a tribute to my old life I expect, we can never replace what we lost only learn to live with it and maybe learn to become a new person who finds joy somehow but with memories, who knows. There isn’t a getting over, replacing or carrying on though in my view. Not in the case of a very close death that changes all your minutes and routines and joy in an instant. How could it.

Try to eat, sleep/rest and keep going for now like the rest of us. Talking on here helps all of us as it is sadly surprising that most of the weird feelings you will feel are being felt by others… I don’t know if that’s better or worse. I am sorry this happened to you. Take care.

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Hi @ Tilly.67

@FleurDeLis sent you some very wise words. I can’t really say any more. Like Fleur, I was with my husband/partner for around 20 years. I met him when I was in my 40s, and I had been living independently since I left uni, so I knew how to do things like budget for myself, go on trips alone or with friends or family, work computer and printers, etc…
But, when I met Jim, within about a month we realised we were in love, and had each been blessed to find our true soulmate. As the saying goes, before you find your prince, there are a lot of frogs along the way.
We had a wonderful life together for time we had - we lived happily in lots of different houses, because Jim’s work took him all over the country, whilst I can work anywhere.
It must be so much more difficult for you, when you spent all of your lives together.
In your profile it says you have COPD, and that alone is very limiting. I know that in my area a local group was formed during lockdown that tried to help people who were self isolating alone by talking to them on the phone, visiting they homes and waving through the window, things like that.

The question you are asking can only be answered in the negative. Your husband is gone, and can never be replaced.

But you CAN make a start by trying to find small pleasures - maybe something as simple as getting a new plant for you home, nurturing it and watching it grow. Or a pet of some sort, maybe a rescued small dog who is quite old and simply needs a small walk twice a day and lots of love. I hope your COPD allows you to get out of your house, 2 of my friends have it, one has problems, but manages in a mobility chair. The other is in the very early stages - she’s doing very well.

You’re now in the third year. Have you had any counselling? If you have had, it could be that you haven’t had enough. Also, sometimes I find a chat with a close friend over a cup of coffee or a drink can help much more than a counsellor can. Jim and I were mutual best friends, we happily spend weeks together talking to no-one during the first lockdown. Then he died on 15th September last year.

I’ve had a lot of help from a specialist mental health nurse, who is trained to help people who have bereavement issues. That might be one avenue you could try. If you think this might help, you can ask your GP to refer you. Community Psychiatric Nurses usually visit you at home for around an hour each time. There is no limit on this - they going on visiting you until together you decide that you no longer need to meet so often. They leave you a number to call in case you change your mind.

Christie xxx

Hi Christie, your words are so encouraging, i have had counselling 6 weeks when leaving each session i felt lifted after pouring out my emotions but the moment i walked into my empty house the clouds came over, i know only i can manage this but the road ahead still seems so long, my cat and garden are a Gods send. Thank you Christie xx

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