I lost my husband suddenly and unexpectedly in April. I’ve had friends popping in regularly to keep me company, show me support, make me laugh, give me a shoulder to cry on, all that sort of thing. But this weekend I’ve had some really good friends stay for the weekend. It was great to see them, we’ve been out and about visiting gardens in the sunshine, a lovely restaurant meal last night, talking about my husband with fond memories and how we’ve got to grips with what happened to him. When they left this afternoon they said it was great to see me feeling stronger. What they don’t know is as soon as I closed the door when they’d gone I broke down in tears, felt so alone and utterly wretched, mentally exhausted at the massive effort I had to make to be cheery over the weekend, and then I threw up! It’s the first time I’ve hosted friends since I lost him, I knew it was going to be hard, but never imagined I’d feel like this when they’d gone, I was hoping their visit would give me strength not knock me down again. I don’t want to shy away from having friends to stay but it was so hard for me. Are there any coping mechanisms to get through weekends like these?
Hi @LittleNestOfVipers . Getting our lives back in the early weeks is very difficult. Theres no simple solution, apart from not having friends to stay, but you wouldnt want that either, would you. My Neice said to me, no matter where you go or what you do, Penny isnt there. So dont avoid the issue when they are staying, be honest with them how you really feel.
So maybe try to limit the number of times you do this, grit your teeth and it will get easier and easier.
One sort of thing I had difficulty with is being “lonely in a crowd”, especially in a crowd of people who dont share my grief. But that doesnt include good friends who do share it eith me.
Hi, totally get how you feel. It’s great when people are around and sharing wonderful stories and you laugh and in my case, cry.
But when they go, there is a loneliness that comes over you that I can’t describe.
Now I’m ok, I’ve had many get together a and feel ok. Some things I still won’t do but hey ho.
Maybe not do whole weekends, maybe start small and do lunch or an afternoon and build it up. My other advise is, don’t hide how you feel. You have lost your partner, your life has changed and it’s beyond devastating, let them know that. Shed a tear if you need too. It’s ok to do that.
Ali makes an excellent point in that when they leave, you wave goodbye, close the door, turn round and they arent there AGAIN! The loneliness hits us!! But it gets easier as time goes by. Hang in there
Have to agree with all that’s been said, take your time, don’t put on an act especially with close friends, use the time with them to explore how you feel and how they feel for that matter. For me meeting old, close friends was as upsetting as you describe, it gets easier as time goes on but what I realised is that along with everything else your relationship with these friends will have changed and no matter how close you are, unless they’ve been through it, they’re looking to you to guide them somewhat.
Exactly the same thing happened to me when I returned home from my first weekend away staying with my son and his family. I was fine driving back and then came inside the house and Wham it hit me. I didn’t expect it at all. Just felt so desperately sad and alone. That was several months ago now. Each time you do it, it gets a little easier and I imagine eventually I will get used to it. I try to be really busy when I get in to take my mind off the loneliness. Also now I am prepared for it to happen, so it is not so raw and unexpected.
First visitors were Saturday. Wasn’t quite prepared for feeling even more lonely when they left.
On Saturday I had a gathering/party in my garden to celebrate the life of my husband Keef. Keef died just over 6 months ago and it’s still really hard getting through every day. Although I enjoyed the preparation for the party, I love cooking for things like this, I found it all a bit overwhelming and ended up spending most of the time in the conservatory listening to his music. I had a book which was passed around. It contained messages, some of which had been read out at the funeral thingy, and lots of photos of him and us through the years. Quite a few people added to it and when they left at various times couldn’t stop saying what a wonderful time they had and how fitting it was. I must admit it was wonderful to see people and see how much they cared for him but Sunday… I was so shattered both physically and emotionally so I don’t know how long it will be before I socialise again. I am not a naturally sociable person so that adds to the anxiety/stress, but I must admit I was glad I did it and so many people helped. But it’s the loneliness the following day when nobody is around that the pain hits. Don’t feel quite so bad today but I have specific things to do. I suppose it’s one of those things that we have to accept any socialisation is going to be hard especially if we are then left alone in an empty house.
My visit on Saturday was from my brother and his wife. Hard as this will probably be the last time I see her. She was in chemo for ovarian cancer which has kept her feeling well but it has stopped working. They are going to try a new chemo but after that there is nothing. She is so brave and cheerful. At present you wouldn’t know she is sick. My brother knows this time next year he will probably be alone. How we didn’t all end up in tears all day I dont know but we managed to have a good time and discussed lots of practical things. Used my air fryer today for the first time. Think it could be good for me.
Since Penny died last year, my air fryer (Ninja) has been a godsend. Dont know how I would have got through without my dogs and ninja!
Some of my LH family are visiting from Australia and its been lovely spending time with them, but it hits me like a train as soon as i leave them. Bri should be there too. Its so hard x