Feeling guilt

My wonderful husband, who I was married to for over forty years, died five months ago. In addition to all the other feelings and grief, i sometimes experience guilt. Guilt that he is no longer able to enjoy this beautiful life --see the sunset, hear the birds sing, watch his grandchildren grow. And today, the most mundane of things, i had to reorder checks. I have been using the checks with both of our names on them. Now it is time to remove his name and just use mine. I am having so much difficulty doing this. I feel awful and incredibly sad. It is such a tangible proof that he is really gone. It has triggered a wave of grief. Have any of you experienced anything similar and how have you dealt with it?

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Hi ,my wife was a user of a cheque book when everybody else would just use there debit card ,I too had the stress of having a cheque book sent with only my name on with no mention of Eileen ,it stressed me out and as you say was another dagger to my heart telling me that Eileen has gone ,it brought sorrow because I used to often say to Eileen that cheques were so old fashioned and all she had to do was ring up and give her debit card number and all would be good .
It is so disappointing for another part of your partners life to be taken away ,I have put the cheque book in a safe place and will use only when needed ,it will remind me how Eileen used to work things ,I miss her desperately and am devastated that I won’t see her or feel her again ,all the best in your recovery

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Thank you for your response Stevet. I really appreciate your suppportive words and understanding. So sorry for the loss of your wife.

It is so sad to be a part of this club I wish none of us belonged to. But I am grateful for a place to express all these feelings and emotions among people who do understand. You are so expressive and articulate. I struggle sometimes to put into words what I am feeling. But you described it perfectly. iSending you good thoughts and strength and many thanks

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I found it hard to get bank statement and cheque book without Gerry’s name on, but consoled myself a little with remembering he was paranoid about identity fraud and scams. That for me made it a little easier to accept. We all have different things that make us upset. This morning for me it was looking in the bathroom cabinet and seeing some miniature toiletries he brought back from an expensive hotel we stayed at for one night in Barcelona this time last year! He was very generous but we liked to stay in more basic accommodation as long as it was clean and comfortable. Take care all, Janet xx

Dear @jane2, I am so sorry that your beloved husband has passed away. The feeling of guilt that you can enjoy something that he can’t is quite common, I think, I haven’t been able to eat most of the things my lovely dad liked, I don’t feel like it when he isn’t here to have them. That chequebook without his name must have been painful, the same happened to my mum on her bank statement, she hated it, she didn’t want his name removed, it was his money, he had earned it all but had a joint account with my mum, and she really hated his name not being there now.

How do we deal with it? I don’t know. Lots of people here say 5 months is no time in the grief process, so I guess it is just a case that over time, we will be able to live a bit more.

Thank you for the reply JanetT. Thinking about the practicality of removing his name from the checks is helpful. Identity theft is a really serious issue. It helps with the difficult emotions that are brought up to think of it that way. Otherwise it is just another painful reminder that he is really gone. Those triggers, like you seeing those miniature toiletries are difficult. Reminders of the beloved person who is no longer here and happier times.I hope for you and for all of us ,eventually these reminders only bring up the happy times and the pain lessens. Best to you.

Thank you for your reply, Abdullah. That guilt is hard, isn’t it. So many lovely things in the world that our loved ones who are gone can no longer experience and we get to experience them. Also, we can no longer share those experiences with the person we loved most. All the plans for the future, all the things we were going to do together, all the life cut short.
I wish you and all of us peace of mind and hope there comes a time when life will feel enjoyable again even if it can never be exactly the same without our loved ones to share it.


Oh @jane2, I am so very, very sorry to hear your husband has passed away. Even after only 5 months I suspect emotions must still be very raw (I’m only just over 10 weeks down that same road).
I found your words so very touching because I find myself in the very same situation. I have a to-do list that I am (very) slowly working my way through, and it includes dealing with my wife’s bank accounts - the odd one in her maiden name too - and a couple of joint accounts. I posted on another thread somewhere that the very act of cancelling things (car insurance, magazine subscription) feels like slowly chipping her out of my life, so I really do understand your difficulty in dealing with your cheque book. It’s hard to believe that something so seemingly small feels like you’re being stabbed in the heart, if not your very soul. We try to hang on to our loved ones so much in any way we can that anything negative in that respect becomes almost unbearable. So I have deliberately avoided dealing with my financial circumstances so far. After my wife passed, one of our good friends told me the only way forward was “baby steps”, and even those feel gigantic at times. About six weeks ago I opened a new bank account in my name only and doing that made me feel as though I was betraying my wife’s memory, and I cried afterward. I’m afraid I cannot really offer any advice, except to suggest that it is probably something your husband would want you to do and he would be supportive of you in doing. Perhaps I should take my own “non-advice”.
Wishing you all the very best,

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So well put Alston56. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can relate to everything you wrote. In addition to dealing with all our profound grief, there are so many practical details that have to be dealt with at the same time. It can be overwhelming. It is a good reminder to me to remember “baby steps.”
This is such a good site to be able to share our pain and experiences and receive support from people who understand. Best wishes to you.

Hi Alston56
So sorry to hear about your terrible loss. I lost my husband 8 months ago. For the first few months after his funeral I concentrated on trying to get my financial affairs in some sort of order. Some of the utility accounts were in his name only and it was very distressing when these people would not discuss anything with me as they could only talk to the Account holder. I used to say “good luck with that”. But everyone wanted a certified copy of his death certificate. It was so upsetting having to do this over and over again, even our Pet Insurance supplier for goodness sake! But slowly I managed it all. I think one of the worst things was when they came to take his company car away. It had sat in the driveway for months after he died. I cried hard that day. He loved that car.
He dealt with all the bills and financial things for us both. He never wanted me to have to worry about mundane things like that. I just managed my own accounts and bills which were few. I wish he had included me in the financial side of things because I think it would have prepared me better for what was to come. But I have dealt with everything now and I have felt a sense of acheivement. He would have been pretty proud of me I think.
I made lists in order of what I felt was important. Every now and again I was able to cross something off that list until what was left was fairly unimportant. It really helped me to manage and not feel so overwhelmed with everything. But there are silly things I notice now. Like how little post I get, maybe 1 or 2 letters a week. When my husband was alive we had so much. I started to feel guilty about watching all my favourite TV programs. I used to love cookery programs and my lovely patient husband would just roll his eyes and watch something on his tablet.
I desperately miss my old life. I loved my life with my husband. We made so many plans for our retirement that will never happen now and I’m so sad about that. I have seen people post that you shouldn’t mourn your old life but try and make a new one. It’s very early days for you but your friend is right. Take small steps at a time and hopefully it won’t seen so overwhelming.
Take care.


Hi all
We are all in the same boat , just when things appear less stressful something happens ,only yesterday a local cleaning company sent Eileen an e mail to our address ,we used to share e mail address for ease ,I just replied telling them the situation which they have now altered ,I am nearly 4 months down the line ,on gardening leave prior to redundancy on 31st Dec ,nobodies fault but the economic situation ,really the job thing pales into insignificance compared to the loss of Eileen otherwise it could be overwhelmed ,just feel dreadful still and know that my heart has been broken .
People do say small steps but as we know they are big steps and lonely steps ,nothing can describe the feeling and I even look at couples thinking prepare yourself because one of you is going to be devastated one day
Really all the best to us all it really is a horrible time ,Eileen wouldn’t have wanted me moping about but it’s easier said than done isn’t it

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Hi @Ellie1,
I am so, so sorry for the loss of your husband, it really is an unbearable experience to lose the person we have shared our life with.

I almost managed a wry smile at some of the hurdles you mentioned - “only speak to the account holder” and wanting a “certified copy of the death certificate” - how many times have I heard those remarks. And the car - oh yes, that I understand too, though fortunately I still have my wife’s car (it’s 22 years old now) and it was her pride and joy. Unfortunately I can’t afford to run her car at present (I have my own too), but maybe at some stage. I really would hate to part with it - THAT would definitely cause me some serious guilt.

I suspect it might be quite common for one half of a couple to mainly deal with finances like paying bills and so on. I used to do the same for us until I had to stop work in 2009, at which point I became so depressed that my wife had to take over looking after the finances. As you point out, it perhaps would pay for both halves of a couple to be at least aware of what each is doing regarding finances.

Like you, I feel guilty about watching TV programmes we used to watch together. Now they mostly just make my broken heart ache with regret that my wife is no longer here to share them with me, so I seem to be watching all sorts of strange programmes instead.

I miss my old life too, the meaning has just gone for me now I’m alone. We were together for 31 years and I’ve simply forgotten how to live on my own. Even with baby steps, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll get there in the end. My wife had only just turned 54 five weeks previously and the more I have thought about her recently, the more convinced I am that the Covid19 restrictions contributed to her early death. That makes me sad and so very angry.

@Stevet, I found myself nodding to myself in agreement with everything you said, I’m definitely on your wavelength - easier said than done just about sums it up.
Wishing everyone better days ahead,

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