Coping with different situations

My husband died 8 weeks ago, and like many others I have read on here, the grief comes in waves. I have almost got used to him not being at home, but I have brought my mother to her holiday home, and find grieving in a different place really difficult. I often bring my mother here, and always used to text or speak to my husband about what we were doing. I also came here many times with my husband over the years, so I’m missing him with a new pain and intensity. My mother is old and frail, and I do not want to distress her with how upset I feel. It’s as if each new situation brings a fresh wave of grief.

Hello Nancy, I’m so sorry to read of your loss and distress. 8 weeks is no time at all. I understand a little of how you feel. I lost my Husband last year. I’m 52. I left our own home to stay with my Mum (elderly and frail) and Brother in my old family home 25 miles away shortly after my loss. I didn’t really know many people in our neighborhood. It was to be a temporary measure but I’m still here. I wish I’d had the strength to return earlier in the grieving process as I fear I have not felt the full force of his absence due to not being surrounded by his things and the environment that were “ours”.“Things” mean nothing, but they have memories attached and if you are not in those familiar surroundings maybe you feel disconnected from your Husband in a way and it’s compounding your grief at this very fragile stage. I think that’s the case with me. I also have an uncanny feeling sometimes as I think he is still at our home and then reality hits all over again. It’s a bit of a long-winded reply and probably doesn’t make a lot of sense but I just wanted to say I understand. Its truly admirable trying to protect your Mother from your pain but please don’t suffer in silence. It creates many problems later on as I know only too well. There is always a “listening ear” on this site though. I’m sending compassionate thoughts to you. Kindest regards.

Thanks for your reply. I searched for somewhere to express my pain last night, and found this site - it is comforting to find people who understand. I have wonderful friends who are very supportive, but they can’t really empathise. I think you’re right that I may feel disconnected. Grief is such an unpredictable process it’s so hard to know what to do or where to go and how it’s going to make you feel. I am also 52 by the way.

Dear Nancy and Tina. I am so very sorry for what you are going through, this is one of the most terrible things that can happen to anyone, it is like the end of the world because we have lost out future. My husband Peter died just over three years ago and right from the start there was no place I wanted to be but in our home, I found peace being where we had spent most of our married life and raised our sons. Going out to different places was horrendous and I could not wait to get home although opening that front door to emptiness was a nightmare so I went out less and less as I felt safe with the doors closed. If I went to hospital appointments it was a taxi there and straight back home again. The first three years after my husband’s death I still had our Barney, my great big bear of a German Shepherd dog and he kept me going. I took him for walks but went on a different route so I wouldn’t meet people I knew but I could not wait to get home again, but sadly he died 4 months ago and I miss him so much. I had a few medical problems, my teeth started to fall out due to an illness and for the past 12 months I have been a patient at the Dental Hospital, having all my teeth removed and having dentures fitted. It has only been these last six months that I have started to feel healthy again and started to go out with friends. I love my home, I feel safe and warm and my husband’s ashes are here with me waiting for my turn to join him. We made so many memories and it would kill me if I had to spend the rest of my life anywhere else. I have a large, lovely garden where I spend a lot of time in the summer. I am so grateful I had a wonderful life with a man I loved more than life itself and who loved me and we have fantastic sons and grandchildren who are always there for me and that is more than many people get in a lifetime. I still grieve and will for the rest of my life. Take care. Sheilaxx

Hi Sheila, thanks for the reply. I know I will never get over my grief, and in many ways I don’t want to, as it feels like the only way I can feel connected to my husband. I do go out, and can socialise and occasionally feel like I’m enjoying myself, but then an overwhelming wave of grief hits me, and it’s paralysing.

Hi Nancy, I know what you mean, you just don’t want to let go of the person you loved and still love. I now spend a lot of my time in the past because that is when I was happiest and the day my husband died my life as I knew it ended and all I could see was years of emptiness facing me. As the years now roll by, when I think of us being teenagers when we met in 1964 with all our lives in front of us, it seems like a dream and it hurts because I will never again be that young woman holding hands with the boy she fell in love with and loved for 50 years.

I can relate to you all. My husband died in June, just before our 66th wedding anniversary, and I still cannot come to terms with being a widow. On Christmas Day 1949, we were engaged and all I can think of is the two young people who were so happy and looking forward to their lives together. We were lucky to have such a long marriage, which produced four children who have all done well. So for that I feel thankful but the loneliness without my Bill is unbearable, and although I would never self-harm because of my family, every night I say a little prayer that my dodgy heart will shut down during the night. Isn’t that dreadful. I have been waiting two months to hear from Cruse but nothing from them. I have no idea where I go from here and am thankful for this site where I can unload some of my feelings. Best wishes to you all. Eileen

I’m so sorry for your loss Eileen. I would also never harm myself as I feel our children have had enough to deal with at 22 and 24 years old, but I often go to bed feeling I wouldn’t mind never waking up. My parents are both 85 and 3 of my grandparents lived into their 80s, so chances are I have another 30 years of loneliness left, which is not something I am looking forward to.

Hello Eileen I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to wake up when you go to bed. When our Barney GSD was alive, I hoped I would outlive him as I knew our sons would never take him into their homes as he was so big and hairy but he has now died (4 months ago), so I am not bothered when I go. Our children are now in their mid 40’s, happy and settled and I don’t want to become a burden to them. My life as I knew it has gone and I won’t ever get it back but when I see all you lovely people on this forum going through a similar loss, it get’s me through the lonely days. God bless you all. Sheila xx

Thank you, Nancy for replying to my posting. I’m sorry to hear about your loss and can appreciate how you are feeling. I am 86 and have a heart condition so maybe relief from this awful existence is not too far away from me. I think it’s terrible to feel like that but it’s the way it is. The females in my family lived into their nineties so I hope I don’t take after them. Life, as it is now, has little meaning but perhaps once we have Christmas over, we may start to feel better and more able to accept what has happened. I hope so. Kind regards, Eileen

Helło, Sheila. We have spoken before on here and nothing changes, does it. I am probably expecting too much after only six months but how I wish I could stop this dreadful longing to be with Bill. I have tried everything but he is on my mind constantly. Even when I go out I still keep looking for him as he was prone to dropping behind when he couldn’t keep up with me. The other day I spotted a man on a mobility scooter who was wearing almost identical clothes to those of Bill, even to the same coloured cap. I stood open mouthed and it was all I could do to stop rushing over and giving him a hug. If only someone could invent a magic pill we could take to relieve the heartache. I hope you manage to get through Christmas OK. I am dreading it as I shall be with one of my sons and his family and will have to try and keep cheerful. Eileen xx

Oh Eileen, it is much too soon to expect anything to change. After three years I still long for Peter to come back, he is also always on my mind and will be until the day I die. You cannot forget someone who was your whole life for so many years, it is impossible. I live day to day and have done since Peter died, nothing is the same anymore, I do not look forward to anything as everything that will happen will happen without him. Seeing someone who looked like Peter has only happened to me once, last year at a motorway service station, our son, grandchildren and myself were having a day at the Blackpool illuminations and I saw a man who looked like Peter stood at a counter, my heart stopped and our Mark said to me, what’s the matter mum and I pointed to the man and Mark said, oh my god mum, he looks just like dad. How I didn’t burst into tears I don’t know. This is something we have to live with, there is no other way round it. When Peter died I taught myself how to use a computer and it has kept me sane, I now have a desktop, laptop and a tablet which I use for different functions, I do online shopping and banking and much more. Being 75, I am grateful that I won’t have to spend many years without him, if I had been much younger I don’t think I could have coped. Take care Eileen. Love Sheilax