Does it ever get better?

Hi again Everyone, its nearly 2 years now, and if anything, I feel more lost and alone.
Does anyone have any good ideas?
I have family and friends, but the moment I’m alone, I am very alone. I’m sure you all know the feeling.
I don’t have any pets, but I’m sure that’s not the answer anyway.
I have no life left, and I don’t know how to start a new one, or whether I even want to!
Any answers would be great.
Thanks everyone xxx

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Hi. Carera. I suggest two years or twenty grief can still come up at times. We can’t stop memories from arising. It can happen when we feel low for some reason. But we can learn to live with them and accept what is happening as part of the grief process.
Apathy and lethargy are not words often used here, but are relevant to what we are all going through. ‘Why bother’? ‘What’s the use’? I doubt not one of us has not said that. The old cliche, ‘Time’ is the answer. But time drags when we feel as we do. ‘Will it never end’?
There is no quick fix in this process. ‘Good ideas’!! I wish! All I can suggest is that you accept the return of feelings of grief as normal for you. I say ‘normal’ but there is no set ‘normal’ as everyone will take it their own way. The process is general, the experience with each individual is different.
Even loneliness can be accepted. I find that to get into a routine of your own helps. Something that neither of you did together. Now that is not easy, but what is in grief.
I get down on occasions and looking for reasons is futile. Our bodies have cycles of energy loss and gain. When we lose that energy we go down. But it’s perfectly normal event. I think that’s a lot of our problem. We don’t see any normality in it.
If we lose someone close what do we expect to happen? If we indulge in ‘Ifs’ and ‘whys’ we can get caught up in negative thinking. We may not be able to think positively, that does take time, but we can look for more positive things in our lives.
They used to call it ‘counting our blessings’.
Take care of yourself. That is very important. We sometimes tend to neglect ourselves in grief. Very best wishes to you. Blessings.

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Hi Carera,

Your words could be mine. After 18 months I feel more alone
(not lonely ) than ever and feel like you I have no life left.
All our plans, retirement, way of life have been snatched away.
Friends and family want to help but all expect me to be back to normal by now.
As lovely as they are spending a couple of hours a week with a friend or family member is no substitute for the day to day companionship of a lifelong partner. Somebody who shares your memories, your jokes , your problems, your confidences, somebody to grow old with.

Pets help at times, the dog is the only living creature I talk to some days but again cannot come anywhere near a relationship.

I struggle on everyday and lie awake every night. I’ve tried all the things I can think of but nothing and nobody can ever fill the gap in my life.

I spent years building the life we wanted and haven’t got the strength or interest to build a new one that I’d never want.
Before anyone tells me I need to be more positive, I’ve been positive and resilient all my life and look where it got me.
That’s how I feel and can see no point in pretending otherwise.

Others go onto build a new life, have new relationships and good luck to them I wish them well.
The only thing I’ll ever want is the one thing I can’t have.
I wish I could be more help but at least you know you are not alone feeling like this.
Take care Jx

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Thank you for replying. I am truly sorry we are all here. We are all thinking the same, living the same sorry existence.
I wish I could say something to help xx

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Thank you for your reply. Its really good to read your words. You seem to have summed it all up. I do feel quite numb to the world still. Things happen around me, like I am a watching theatre.
Take care & thank you x

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Good question Carera,
2 simple answers yes or no ?
I know which box I’d tick.

Hi Carera, What might be a good idea for one is of no use to another. This is the annoying part of grief.
You say you have no pets and this might not possibly be the answer, however my two dogs kept me going with their unconditional love and help with the loss. Dogs help people going through all sorts of trauma’s. Dogs need walking so you have to go out whether you feel like it or not. Exercise and fresh air is good for us and with a dog you meet up with other people everyday. Any pet gives you something to focus on, you have to care for them. I have heard of grieving people who have shut themselves away from the outside world and then a pet, usually a dog, has come into their life and made a terrific difference to that person. Rescue centres full of dogs needing a loving home.
This is the only suggestion I have to offer you I’m afraid. I know my dogs saved me.
Do take care of yourself and I hope you find some peace.

Thank you Pattidot, I’m really pleased you have your dogs. It does sound a good idea for all the reasons you’ve given. I will give it some thought.

I haven’t shut myself away, I just feel like I have whenever I’m alone in the house. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels so alone. Alone with friends and family. I’m sure it sounds daft.

Hello Pattidot
I have just returned to the forum and it was comforting to read your sound advice again. It is coming up to my husbands 1st Anniversary and the time of year of autumn brings back the awful memories of his last few weeks. I can honestly say that without my wonderful dog I often wonder if I would have made it this far. She has kept me focused on trying to carry on with my life without my darling husband. However, I am struggling with the enormity of my grief which seems to be overwhelming me again. I keep busy so like many I wouldn’t say I am alone but the the loneliness is almost a physical pain. Friends and family think and say ‘oh you’ve been amazing how you’ve coped, you’ve done really well’ . Through no fault of their own they have absolutely no idea that inside you just want to scream and wish for just a few minutes more with the person you miss more than you could believe possible.
I think it is that realisation that I feel like I’m losing him all over again and knowing how that felt , that I question whether I have the resilience to deal with all the emotions a second time. I can relate to the feeling of living life almost in a state of numbness and when any true feelings arise it scares me because I just don’t know how I am going to deal with them. I know no there are no answers and that is the hardest part. It terrifies me and I am overwhelmed with guilt to try and carry on with my life without my Gerald.

If we knew the answers Carera we wouldn’t be here. I find it can be more depressing being around family because they expect you to act normally, they simply don’t understand.
Even when we know some of the answers and what we should be doing it isn’t always helpful. I attend church and socialise because I’m the kind of person who shuts myself off and stews, I then end up calling crisis lines for someone to talk to and relieve the pressure in my head.
I attended a dance over the weekend, I’d bought the ticket early in the month so I wouldn’t change my mind. By the time it came around I was dreading it. I attended and enjoyed myself. Good you would think, something I wouldn’t have done normally and getting pleasure from it. Until the guilt of being happy without my sweetheart sets in. I know she wouldn’t want me to be miserable and depressed, she still lives in my heart and watches over me from heaven, but it doesn’t stop the memories of how hard she fought to stay with me from flooding my mind.
It will be six months tomorrow since she passed, I’ve found it has got harder rather than easier. I’ve found a local bereavement support group which meets once a month, I’m planning on checking it out tomorrow. I have also been referred to a therapist and I’m waiting for an appointment.
Like you I really don’t want to start a new life, I just want this one to end so I can be with her again, in the meantime though I try to do the right things which don’t necessarily have the right effect.
Take care now, prayers and best wishes, Carl.

Hi Carl,
I’m so sorry. Well done for trying these things though, you are braver than I.
Please don’t feel guilty for enjoying something. It would do all of us some good to have this cloud lifted, even if it is short lived.
I find talking to people who don’t know my story, much easier than talking to family and friends. I suppose they are not involved. I hope you find the support group beneficial. I have not seen a councillor or a therapist. I have tried to muddle through. Perhaps that’s why I’m still here now, 2 years on, next month. Believe me, it still feels very raw. My husband fought til the end. I wasn’t expecting that. The images stay with me, unfortunately.
I think it would be good to get a ticket to the next dance. I’m sure it’s good to get out. Good luck and I hope you have a good time x

It’s not being brave Carera, I know it would sound stupid to anyone who isn’t on this forum but I’m doing it for my sweet Rhonda, I’m trying to do things that will make her proud of me. I truly believe part of her lives on in me. The instant her body died I felt a jolt go up my arm. As I walked out of the ICU room I automatically put my hand out for her to hold as she walked out with me. It’s the only real reason I haven’t ended my own life, if I did it would be both of us and I can’t do that to her.
The dance was a one off at the church to celebrate harvest, if I’m still around next year I may go again. I felt safe with my fellow churchgoers because God tells us not to judge others and love our neighbours as ourselves. The fact that more people make fools of themselves on the dance floor than don’t makes it a fun event. We can laugh at ourselves as well as each other.
I’ve been going to something called singing for fun and health at the church once a month. Someone said to me about going, I told them I can’t sing and I don’t care about my health. They said it didn’t matter it’s just for fun and no one cares how well you sing. I enjoy that too, it gets me out of myself and mixing with others for a couple of hours.
I think most of us find talking to strangers easier, although now all the regulars at the church know me, they are supportive, maybe it’s because of the Christian belief that we should help others.
I wasn’t always that religious, I kind of drifted in and out. When Rhonda was diagnosed with cancer and in the hospital I’d go to the chapel and pray, I put prayers in the box and had the chaplains come pray in her room. When she died six weeks later I blamed God and believed we were being punished, I was outside the house one night in a lightning storm yelling to him at the top of my voice to strike me dead if he was real. In the weeks following her death I’ve been born again in faith, when I’ve been at the lowest points, times when I could have ended it in an instant, I’ve received messages from my own guardian angel in heaven. I know part of her is living in me while her soul watches over me from above.
In spite of my faith and beliefs it isn’t easy to stay on track, I thought I was doing OK but depression sets in and it’s hard to beat. It’s only recently I reached out and asked for professional support, it’s hard to admit failure. I’ve since realised it isn’t failure, it takes strength to say we can’t do it alone and ask for help.
All I can suggest to you is seek support, talk to your GP, the NHS offers therapy and mental health support. I so far have resisted drugs because they wear off and you’re back to square one when the doc decides you’ve had enough, but some things work for some people and not others. Keep posting here, it’s helpful just to gather your thoughts if nothing else, but in doing so you are helping others. Before you lost the most important person in your life the things people say here may have seemed weird, now they don’t. You aren’t alone.
Prayers and best wishes, Carl.

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I start a new job tomorrow and I’m hoping that will help me feel a bit normal. I gave up work to look after my husband, and it seems a world away now. So much has happened since I was last at work. Here goes though!
Unfortunately my faith stopped when another family member died, years ago. I’m glad you feel comfort from your faith though. I have not been tempted back, sometimes I think it would have helped through all of this, but I suppose I’m stubborn!
Even so I hope my husband is being looked after.
All the best x

Good luck with the job, keeping busy always helps so long as the grief doesn’t get in the way.
I’m looking for work but it doesn’t help having been out of the country for twenty years.
Stubbornness and strong will normally serves you well, in the bereavement process it set me back by not seeking support in the beginning.
Once again though, I truly hope everything goes well in your job, good luck!

Hi. Well I have just read your post and that’s exactly how I feel . I knew for a couple of years that my husband was not going to be here for long but I suppose I just shelved that thought. It’s two years for me and lots of stuff has gone on In the family. I should be feeling super excited as I am going to visit friends in Oz instead I keep thinking or maybe over thinking . He couldn’t travel as he has serious heart problems so this trip for me is one I never thought I could take so why do I feel so scared and alone. The friends I am going to are forever friends and it was them that said I should go and I know I will enjoy heir company but then they are a proper couple and so I know I may well have a moment ! The thing is if I dont go I know I will regret it . I’m 72 so how many more years could I travel on my own? Sorry for going on but your words were so what I think, but I know I have to go on but it’s so hard and I miss ou laughter and the love and affection that was ours. My family and friends are good but I think I should get an Oscar for pretending all is fine because I know that if I ever let my face slip I can almost see their faces drop, so the word OK is said often, only I know it’s a load of tosh. So for going on strangely I feel better now I’ve fezzed up.

Take care keep going
J xx

Hi soz me again I meant to say that I can cope with one day at a time, no idea how I’ve got to here but if I think about the future it terrifies me, the thought of not being well and on my own because we don’t want to be a nuisance for the family. We have been there with our parents when we had work and growing children and I’ve got neighbours now who are not well and the load on their families is hard. There’s a part of me wants to go for it. But there’s no buzz alone is there … Need to get a grip tomorrow is another day. …

Thanks Carl.
I hope you get something soon. I’m sure the right job is waiting for you.
I have been looking halfheartedly for a year now, but the one I’ve got is perfect. I wouldnt have believed it existed. So there was a reason I didnt get the others!
Good luck x

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Hi June, I hope you go to Australia and have a good time. It might surprise you and be just what you need. You are very brave to go all that way. I was chuffed I drove to Cornwall, from Gloucestershire!
As for being a nuisance to your family, I am sure they are there for you and wouldn’t have it any other way.
You’re right, nothing has the same meaning anymore, but we have to go on, there is no choice. So we must go through the motions and take what we can from each situation.
I hope you do have a good time in Australia.

… also when I visited lifelong friends who were a proper couple, it felt normal. It felt as though my husband was there too, as he’d always been. May be he’d just popped out. It was very relaxed and could have been 20 years ago. Hopefully it will be the same for you.