Embarrassed Silences

Hi Everyone,
I would just like to know if this happens to anyone else on here.
My husband suddenly died February 2020 of cancer. Like all of you for a long time I couldn’t even speak his name because it always brought me to tears.
In the last few months I think I have reached the stage of acceptance. The crushing grief still hits me like a train sometimes but I find I can talk about him without dissolving into floods of tears. The thing is that when I talk about him no one says anything back about him, they just stand there and let me waffle on. It’s as though they are just letting me chatter on without expecting a response. I feel like they are either embarrassed or just really not interested. I so want it to be normal to talk about him but at the moment I feel I should just shut up which upsets me.
He existed, had a life with me and enjoyed every minute of it. I want to celebrate that, not eliminate him from my conversations.
Apologies for sounding whiney.
Sending hugs


Ellie1 I find i’m the same I’m 6 months in and no way am I ready or will ever be ready to stop talking about him . I can forget my husband of 34 years the father of my two children in a split second or to make whoever I’m talking to feel better.
I have had some very dark days but the situation of the world hasn’t helped, it’s bad enough being alone in the evenings and night times , but we have been anole all the day times too well those that have played the rules have.
Take car karenx


Hi Karen
I have been lucky enough (if you can call it that) to be able to come to work every day so the days are pretty much OK. As you say, the evenings and weekends are hard. That’s the time we would sit down, have dinner and a drink and tell each other about our day. I miss telling him about the ups and downs of my day. He was always understanding and interested. Talking to the dog about my day sends him into a canine coma! But I thank my lucky stars I have my dog. I don’t come home to an empty house.
My hope is that this awful pandemic will recede and allow us to live a normal life and be with our families and be able to hug and be comforted. Of course, those of us who have lost our soulmates life will never be the old normal and I mourn that life.
I hope you find comfort and strength to help you through this awful period of your life.
Take care

Hi my husband also died of cancer last March I talk about him I wish others would like you say they don’t always respond. I think it’s the fear of upsetting us but we will always be like this. I also find my grown up children really don’t talk about there dad unless I bring him up I don’t think they have really accepted his now longer here in presence.
Your so right they existed sorry for your loss
Take care x

Hi Kim
I think you are right that they might think it would be upsetting but we wouldn’t bring them up if we didn’t want it acknowledged.
You are almost a year along like me. How are you coping?
Very sorry for your loss.

Hello everyone, I wanted to reply especially to Ellie – I have been encountering the exact same experience with my family and the few friends I have left. Just the other day there were 4 of us who went out for lunch (that’s right, we were a small group who are permitted to go out for a lunch as the pandemic seems to lowering their standards so far). I noted that all 3 of my family and 1 friend talked about who id buying a car, etc. It seemed they were all trying to be the center of attention. That’s fine, except at one point I noticed nobody wanted to greet each other ask how are you doing. That was missed. (I began to wonder why I was
there). Finally I think I said something like hey-I’m here too. I wasn’t looking for attention, but nobody seemed to care how I was doing - you know my wife has been gone for a little over a year, I was hoping someone would ask me how I was doing. Not a word. So I kept quiet, but you know it bothered me. Here were people I had known for over 14 years and nobody had an interest. Yes Ellie I had that same experience as you did. Maybe it’s me - but I think I will limit my time in these get togethers for the time being. II guess I was hoping for a little concern and encouragement). How selfish of me.

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I keep worrying about how I am handling things with my grown up son after his dad died last May. Any tips?

Hi Ellie
Some days if busy I appear ok but last few months I really hit rock bottom think it is a combination of Micks birthday and a year on 20th March. No sleep etc just felt exhausted my son phoned our Dr suggested some counselling and sleeping tablets to get my sleep routine back on track. How are you coping after a year

Dear Dal27

My son is 30, daughter 34. Each are dealing with their dad’s loss differently. My son talks alot about his dad and has put up a picture, doesn’t like me to get upset though. Daughter cannot bring herself to talk about her dad or even look at pictures. Both have or are still in counselling. I have asked one of my husband’s friends - our son’s godfather - to keep an eye on our son and for them to talk to each other if necessary. I suspect your son may not want to tell you how he really feels in case he upsets you.


Hi Dal27
My son is 27 still lives at home I worry about him I always tell him to talk to me about his dad he states he won’t because it upsetting for me. He works 6 days a week comes home eats and goes to his room. He is moving out next month to his own house with his girlfriend he states he does not want to leave me on my own I tell him he has his life to live. I speak to his girlfriend when I know his struggling he does speak to her.
I ask him every day how he is coping I tell him to cry I wish I knew the answers
Sorry for your loss xx

Talking about grief can be very hard, especially as a lot of my interactions are on Face Time or Zoom. When the tears start all you want is a hug.
Thank you Kim and Sheila for your thoughts. My son is 21 and has not wanted counselling or take on board any of the things I have found helpful. I just have to keep letting him know that I am here for him. I am glad he has a girlfriend to support him.

Hi Dal27, so sorry for your loss. My husband died just over a year ago. 2 grown up children who both live to far to meet up in lockdown seem to be coping but rarely talk about grief or their father. I dont think this is because they dont want to, they have shared photos, memories at times, but talking over zoom or face time is not easy. As you say, we just want a hug rather than words. They both have great friends and support and seem ok so i have to trust that they are. I dont press them on talking about their dad, just take a lead from them now.

Im not sure how things will be when we get together and worry that we may have to go through grieving all over again but just plan to take it one step at a time.

best wishes to you and your family. x

Thank you for your advice, I’ll just play it by ear and see how he does.
Best wishes to you as you deal with your loss.

Hi Kim
Most of the time I think I’m OK and then I break down for apparently no reason. I took a week off work on the anniversary of his death. My friends in the office tried to persuade me to come in so that I wouldn’t be alone but I decided to be off. It was the best decision. I had a week of duvet days and walking the dog, crying, wondering “why me?”, “why him?” I’m so glad no one witnessed my misery. It was all consuming. But afterwards I felt calmer than I have felt in a long time. I think acceptance was the key for me. A year ago I would never have believed how far I have come albeit on my own.
I have had counselling with Cruse which helped enormously. It’s not for everyone and you have to be ready. Don’t get pushed into it too early. I waited 8 months before I was ready. And my GP prescribed antidepressants for me which also helped. They don’t stop me from grieving, they just take the raw edge off.
I will be thinking of you on the 20th.
Sending love

Hi Herb
It is upsetting isn’t it? It’s like ignoring the fact you have lost the most important person in your life will make it all go away. Sometimes I just want to shout “listen to me! he was the love of my life and I am so lonely without him!”
But I don’t. Because it would embarrass them. No one will ever truly “get it” until they lose someone who is as important to them as our loved ones were to us.
I had some very good advice from a friend who had lost her husband. She said to me not to decline invitations to go out or see people as they will get fed up with asking you. Keep persevering with your friends Herb. Even though they might frustrate you with their apparent lack of concern or interest. It might be they just don’t know what to say to you.
Take care Herb.

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Hi Ellie I’m glad you took time off work we know ourselves what would be best. I think your right it is accepting the fact that there not coming home. I’m waiting for counselling from This site it may help. Get through the day I lost him it’s 21st March previous post I put 20th omg how can I get days wrong never forget it
Take care yourself xx


Good not see your thoughts about the anniversary Ellie & Kim, I was just beginning to wonder whether I should take the time off or try to keep busy. I think I am leaning towards some time off. It’s not until May but I think there needs to be some time when you don’t have to put your ‘face’ on and pretend everything is ok. Every day throws up something to trigger tears it feels. Maybe by then I might be able to have a get together to reminisce.
I had counselling with Sue Ryder and found it very useful.
Sending love

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Hi Dal27
Whatever decision you make should be the right one for you at the time. I found the anticipation of what I thought would happen on that day was far more distressing than the actual day. And I agree, it’s so tiring putting on a “face” every day. Sometimes my face hurts and I get headaches. Sometimes it’s good to wallow every now and again.
Take care.

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Dear Ellie, I came to that point in a small family/friends get together recently. It’s like I still nee some type of recognition. I just sat there like a bump on a log. What you say is true, and if I had followed it, life would have just gone on. At times I feel like a fool just sitting and listening in. If I sit there, someone will ask, why are you so quiet --then I figure I just can’t win can I? I guess they know what to say after all. I don’t want to cause any issues or problems for anyone but sometimes I just would be better off not going to these get togethers - until such time (if ever)
when I can adjust my feelings. Yes, it’s upsetting, Anyway, thank you for understanding.