Freedom to discuss

Has anyone else been disappointed by the lack of activity on the forum in recent days? I joined the forum back in March five months after the sudden death of my husband last November.
Just being able to interact with other people who are grieving has made a huge difference to me. It hasn’t given me all the answers I crave but knowing I am not alone has been a significant reason as to why I am still here!
Recent disagreements have left me feeling very uncomfortable and reluctant to post at times and I think this is a great shame.
I have never expected to agree with everyone and there are certain threads I don’t even read let alone respond to. However just because I don’t believe in psychic phenomena for example I don’t think that thread should be discontinued as I accept different people have different ideas. Who am I to say what doesn’t work for me doesn’t give great comfort to someone else?
Even in the losing a partner category there are so many variations of experience and attitudes.
What I find now is that I am anxious to raise issues that concern me for fear of offending or upsetting someone else. The issues surrounding my husbands sudden death are as individual as anyone else’s but there are certain commonalities about which I have found support. Should I not raise the subject of sudden death in case it’s interpreted as a comparison with death from illness.
For me personally the death of my husband has been catastrophically destructive to every aspect of my life. I needed the forum to be able to talk about sensitive issues I just cannot discuss with my family and friends. If I raise a subject some people can’t cope with should I refrain from mentioning it even though someone else might benefit?
When my first baby died after just 7 hours 32 years ago I was told by more than one person, never mind you’ll have another one. When my father died last year aged 97 countless people said, well he had a good innings. when my husband died suddenly last November aged 64, several people said , well that’s the best way to go. No wonder the outside world has left me battered and bruised with its endless lack of understanding.
I need this forum with all its imperfections and I know I’m not alone. It’s here for everyone. If I don’t like what you say I still think you should be able to voice what might help you. I can keep my own counsel and like with a TV program I don’t like, I can switch off.


Hi. Jobar. What a lovely tolerant and understanding post. You are so right and I echo every word. Fear of upsetting anyone must always be in our minds because words can be so distressing. But to post innocent comments and be accused of all sorts of misdemeanours is not on. Because someone disagrees, and I am sure you, like me, have found some posts contentious, does not mean we have to make adverse comments. We must stick to the guidelines. There are there for purpose and I for one respect them. It is such a great shame that you feel unable to post because you may say something wrong. I can assure you there are many on the site who feel the same. As I have said, provided we stick to the guidelines why should we not post how we feel?
I did not expect everyone to agree with my psychic phenomena post, but for me that’s fine. It attracted over 100 replies so it maybe was needed. But I totally respect any one else’s view on this subject. I don’t think any of this is about right or wrong, but tolerance is often sadly lacking at times. ‘Stock’ replies from those who have no understanding of grief are so common. I was told to ‘pull myself together’ and ‘it’s time you got over it’. I posted a while ago about sorting the the sheep from the goats. Keep the sheep as friends but ignore the goats.
Thanks again for a really heartfelt post. Regards and blessings. John.


Hi Jonathan,
I had to smile at your use of the word tolerant. I can hear my husband saying what?!!! Not being as tolerant as I might have been over the years is one of my biggest regrets. My husband would always walk away from conflict or just not engage with what he didn’t agree with. Much more able to live and let live than I ever was. A lesson I wish I’d learned earlier.
Coming to terms with how grief changes us is just one aspect this forum can help with.
Regards jobar

This forum only works if people are able to talk about their grief without judgement. Your husband’s sad death, and the way in which he died, is a huge part of your grief, and you should be able to talk about it as you need to.

Sadly there is quite a bit of intolerance, and some people are too judgemental. A woman asked for an opinion a few days ago about her mum possibly moving on too quickly, her post included that her mother is clearing out her dad’s belongings, so I responded that I think belongings shouldn’t be cleared without the whole family being involved. That’s my opinion, no one has to agree, but another poster accused me of judging her mum, when I was doing nothing of the sort. Are we not allowed to express our opinions anymore without worrying that someone will accuse us of something we did not do? Another poster said I should only post in Lost a Parent. I usually post in all the categories where I see that a post hasn’t yet received a reply, for example, Losing a Child has a lot less responses, now obviously as I haven’t lost a child I cannot understand what that person is feeling, but I can still hopefully give words of comfort, like expressing how sorry I am for their loss, or telling them there is counselling available, as everyone doesn’t know this, but now every time I post in another category, I worry that someone might say something. There was a post by a guy in Losing a Partner about counselling yesterday, and I didn’t respond in case someone complained. It cannot be correct that people are not posting because they’re worried how someone else might react, if a post is offensive, then report it to Sue Ryder, otherwise let people post, what happened to the tolerance?


Well said Abdullah!!!’

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Yes Abdullah, my sentiments exactly. Fear of posting because some one may get upset about it and turn it into an argument, happens far too often and I feel Admin should jump on it sooner. I have recently been accused of ‘Trolling’, when no such thing was my intention. I was also accused of suggesting people to ‘score’ their grief when I again, suggested no such thing, which would be abhorrent to me. Why do people read into a post something that is not there.
You especially have been the victim of this kind of abuse, and it has been left on the site. I have felt sad for you when your intentions have always been for the best. Why oh why can’t we just ignore posts we don’t want to read and stop being critical.
This site is amazing and may it always be so. But it would be even better if we stopped this nonsense.
Kind regards to you and Blessings.


That is a good point Jobar. This sort of experience can teach us a lot about ourselves if we care to stand back and look at ourselves warts and all. We certainly can become better people. A life trauma such as what we are going through can make or break us. We can sink into despair so easily, and while it’s not easy to see any light ahead, it can be done given the will. But it’s never too late to change. We can become tolerant even if we think it may be part of our nature.
Good luck. And very best wishes. John.

Dear Jobar
I am further along than you in my grief - but I too am withdrawing from the forum. In fact I do not know why I am even on here today I think things have become very contentious lately and find it draining. When I first joined this forum 15 months ago I found it a real comfort and have made some very good friends through it - who I have met face to face as well as talking to or texting everyday. I agree that everyone has an opinion - but the written word can cause hurt without meaning to. To offer sympathy to someone is kind - but keep it brief - unless you really know what they are going through. I did post long messages to just talk about how I am feeling - and have had some lovely responses - but unless I specifically ask for advice I do not want to be given it. Advice is often misconstrued - it is often unwelcome. I sound like a truculent teenager - but I do not want an essay on how I am feeling. I know how I am feeling and I want really to hear from others in the same situation - who understand. I agree the death of my husband is catastrophic for it affects every aspect of my life. The friends I have made on here are people I can discuss these sensitive issues with for they are in exactly the same situation as me - so they really understand what I am feeling. You have tragically lost a child, a parent and a beloved partner far too soon - so you know that each type of grief is different. The question of how someone dies has been the question of discussion on this forum since I first joined. There is no comparison. Like you I lost my husband at 60 - suddenly and no warning . To watch someone slowly die must be equally heartbreaking - but unless they are talking about the grief of missing that partner then I cannot comment - I do not know how they felt in those final days. I know something of how you feel because our husbands died so suddenly - but there are other aspects that are of course different. I have joined Wayup - a site dedicated to those who have specifically lost partners (stands for widowed and young - the up bit is for people over 50). I find that site far less contentious. It does not cause me the anxiety that Sue Ryder does now. In many ways it is more hopeful - people living with their grief but getting on and doing things. It may be just talking about their gardens or meeting up (via zoom at the moment) - or equally asking for support when needed. Maybe it is because it is now 16 months since I lost Gary that this site now suits me better. Maybe the WAYUP site is for the days I feel positive that ‘I can do this’ - but come back to Sue Ryder on the down days - but at the moment the site makes me sink even further down.
I agree with you about the site - but I don’t think I can switch off as well as you. I don’t often comment on the contentious posts - but equally if I do not truly understand the person’s grief I do not comment on those either. Perhaps a reshuffling of the site layout may help - so the list of discussions are not shown but you find them by going to the heading rather than the subject . I skip over the lost a parent and lost a child - they are not relevant to my own grief and circumstances. I don’t know - I really don’t but I am very disheartened at present.


Yes Trisha, and I fully understand. It does get a bit much at times on a site that is supposed to give comfort, but we get all that so unnecessary hassle. It’s sad you feel like leaving, and if things go on as they have you won’t be the only one. This nonsense could be stopped now and at once if Admin were more firm. Some have been allowed to get away with inappropriate and hurtful comments for far too long.
Please reconsider. Your posts have always been kind and that’s what we so badly need. Kindness. Best wishes. John.

Agreed Jonathan. X

Hi Trisha,
I don’t think I have been able to switch off in the way my post has perhaps suggested. Ironically I haven’t taken my own advice and just switched off to the recent arguments. The reason I wanted to comment is because of the perhaps unintended effect of arguments on the wider community. I have never before been online and certainly never ever posted details about my family circumstances and emotions in the way I have on this site. Until my husband died I had never felt the need to confide in or seek reassurance from anyone else. I now understand the pitfalls of public forums and why I was never attracted to the likes of Facebook etc.
I understand how unwelcome advice can be from other people who respond but if I choose to post on an open forum I don’t know how it’s possible to stop people commenting. If someone were to hack into and comment on my private messages I would be incensed but telling someone not to comment on an open site smacks of censorship. The implication that people should not comment unless they have suffered a similar loss is misguided in my opinion. A need to express sympathy and join a conversation might be someone’s way of processing their own grief and feeling part of a community. No-one joins a bereavement forum for the fun of it but most likely because they are hurting in an unimaginable way. Like you I do not comment on certain losses and even within the losing a partner category there are posts which have a greater resonance than others. I have also met a lady through this site whom I message every day and has been a huge support to me. I have given her far more details than I have posted on the forum. I understand why WayUp is perhaps of more help as it is designed specifically for people who have been widowed (I hate that word) . Given that the Sue Ryder site covers every sort of bereavement it’s perhaps inevitable that there will be a crossover of comments.
I myself have been irritated at times by comments from people who I think don’t understand but to tell them to stop posting is a step too far for me. I simply don’t reply. Everyone’s grief is extremely complicated but no-ones grief is exclusive. I can understand why my annoyance with the medical profession is not welcomed or understood by someone who has had a different perspective. However I should feel able to raise this with others who feel the same as me. At the same time I might expect comments who disagree with me. It won’t change my opinion one bit about my particular circumstance but putting my feelings online invites comment welcome or otherwise.
I absolutely agree that your posts about the heartbreak of losing Gary have struck a chord with many of us. You say it how it is from the heart and I love reading your beautifully written messages. You express what many of us would love to be able to and have helped many of us feel less alone.
That is exactly the point I was trying to make. I have missed posts like yours. Unfortunately I have just muddied the waters even further.
Take care

As I have said so often. We can agree to disagree, but in an amicable and friendly way. To be called a ‘Troll’ when you submit a new thread is totally unacceptable. You have not muddied the waters, they were muddy before you posted!! Of course we can’t stop people responding and neither should we try. Censorship is not necessary or desirable. But surely, it’s not difficult to be kind and respectful even though we may disagree Thanks for your post. Best wishes, John…

Absolutely and if we argued every time we disagreed with something then the world would be a bitter place. What we need to do is think “hmm I don’t like that discussion so I’ll bypass that”. I think some people felt threatened and didn’t like it. They can’t keep on trying to control every aspect of this forum. They are not the chief mourners here. We are all equal.

I absolutely value your opinions and your comforting words have helped me so often.


Jobar, I’m sad to see you so disillusioned, I’ve always liked reading your posts and can relate to so much of what you are saying. I was until recently a key stage one teacher and I can honestly say some of the comments I’ve been reading wouldn’t be out of place in the classroom. I just felt I wanted to say, Grow up, get over it and be kind. Cut people some slack, we’re all grieving and it affects people in different ways. Confrontation and criticism really doesn’t belong on this site , why hurt people who are already hurting. Rant over! xx

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No Jobar, it’s not a rant but the absolute truth. At times it is more like a kids classroom than adults talking to each other with tolerance and understanding. I find it all very sad that posts have to be deleted or sidelined because they could cause emotional disturbance. But rightly so, they should be removed. It’s all we need is dissension and bickering. God knows, it’s all painful enough without that. Take care. John.

Hi Bjane,
I’m not sure if I’m being told off or agreed with,?! Slightly ambiguous post or perhaps me being obtuse.x

Hi Jobar, sorry about the ambiguity, was definitely agreeing with you and feeling very uncomfortable about some of the posts I’d read recently. Totally agree with you. xxx

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Thank you Bjane. I thought you were but it’s a measure of my muddled mind that makes me question everything now! Grief destroys us in so many ways and conflict is the last thing we need. X
I am also looking forward to pictures of Marley. X

Glad that’s sorted out, was worried I’d upset you! I think we sometimes forget how fragile we are and it takes nothing to set us off, well me anyway! Am going to
make coffee then will try and do the photo, wish I were more technically minded but Al has explained it very clearly! We’ll see !xxx

We all seem ton have got into a bit of a muddle. My last message was meant for Jobar.
Jobar, you being told off? Never, no way!!! :grinning: :grinning: :grinning:
Blessings to all. John.