Don't know what to do...

Hi. My name is Melanie and I am 39. A year and a half ago I lost my fiancee to suicide. We have a beautiful 5 year old daughter. I have spent the last year and a half trying to come to terms with my loss and some days are better than others.

I have been trying to get a little of my social life back lately but I am finding that I have no confidence. When I am surrounded by friends I have no problem involing myself in conversation but when I am around new people I do not seem to be able to carry a conversation…

What do I say, people ask about me and my life and I don’t know what to say, I worry if I am honest people will feel sorry for me and then not know what to say to me. I get dry mouth and generally can tjink of nothing to say because the only thoughts in my head are Paul.

Does anyone else have experience of what it is like getting back out into the world and any tips. I feel if I don’t try I am sentencing myself and my daughter to a life of solitude and I don’t want that for her or me.

I still think about Paul 80% of the day although I only cry now maybe once a month which is a big step for me, I am still so deeply in love with him but I want to continue moving forward for my sake and my daughters but I don’t know how?

Dear Melanie,

Welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear about your fiancé. Bereavement by suicide is an especially complicated form of grief, and it is very understandable that you’re still struggling.

The NHS has a guide for people bereaved by suicide that you might find useful:

I hope that writing things down here helps a little. There are lots of supportive people here who understand what it is like to lose a loved one. While you wait for more replies to your post, you may also find it helpful to read and reply to some posts by others who have also lost a loved one to suicide:

Best wishes,


Hi Melanie, I can’t imagine what you have gone through, you must be strong to have got this far. I lost my wife of 24 years just over four weeks ago and the emotions are still new and raw but although some might feel it is too soon, I feel that I need to get out and socialize otherwise I will slowly go mad living in the empty house where she passed away, and I also feel that the longer I leave it the more likely I am to end up as the crazy lonely dog guy. I have good friends but they all live too far away for day to day close contact. I used to go to the gym 5 times a week but haven’t been since my wife died in case I have an unexpected melt down.

But as you say, how new people react to the honest answers that you give about your life is a worry. In my head I’m already trying to put together some simple answers in my head that give the basics of what happened but also with a big hint of don’t ask me any more about it until I get to know you better. I can only hope people take the hint.

The back to work experience has been difficult. At least I don’t have to tell everyone
what happened because our office manager had already discretely let everyone know but the well meaning “how are you” questions cause me to well up, but I find that because they do know what happened, that being honest about how I’m feeling does actually help me.

Socially, in a couple of weeks I’ll be dipping my toe in the water with a group on Seems like a good place to start since everyone should have the same interests to talk about so with a bit of luck the elephant in the room as they say hopefully wont be raised.

I don’t know if your personal circumstances could handle a dog. Puppy (or even an older dog) training classes are a good way to meet new people and the conversation will almost certainly focus on the pup, at least in the early stages. Its years since I went with my two dogs, but I can’t really recall ever talking about anything family related.

Take Care