My husband died nearly 10 months ago, like many others I now recognise the important people in my life. Currently I live in the countryside in what was our dream retirement home, where we looked forward to many happy years. We’d done the looking after parents bit, so this was “our time!”. Well it lasted 15 months when my husband died very suddenly from a coronary thrombosis. I’m dealing with that like everyone here does, shock, devastation and so on. I realised almost straight away that I’d have to move. I was isolated physically from loved ones and not able to look after an acre or so of garden, not being the green fingered one in our partnership. Also, since losing my husband my health has deteriorated and I’ve been diagnosed as being in heart failure. I have the support of family and friends about moving and have been lucky enough to have a good offer on my house and a great little place to move to back near where we’d spent most of our married life. Last Friday I was given a moving date, 10 days from now. I’ve got lots of help from family and friends, which is wonderful particularly since I’ve now found out very painfully that I have 2 slipped discs and severe compression on my sciatica nerve. But getting the date for moving has sent me spiralling down into panic and such a bleak state because I now actually realise I’m leaving my husband’s dream home, where he was so happy and where I watched him die. Last night I fell apart and today have spent my time sobbing and feeling my world is ending. I’m sure there are many people here who’ve experienced this. I know I need to move, I didn’t expect I’ll d react like this. I have to move, not to do so isn’t an option. I don’t want to burden my family with these feelings because they have been so fantastic the way they’ve helped me, especially since I’m unable to physically do much. What can I do about leaving here. I don’t know how to deal with how I feel, I can’t think clearly - it’s a nightmare but really happening around me and to me. Please, can anyone tell me what’s worked for them? x
Dear @JanieM I am so sorry you are having to leave the dream home you and your husband chose specially to spend your retirement in, and that your hopes for many more happy years together was sadly not to be. Having to move yet again must feel so overwhelming, on top of all that you have had to bear and coping with ill health. I am pleased you have the support of good good friends and family. Perhaps as your moving date is almost here it is the realisation of leaving behind all your hopes and dreams that makes everything so difficult to deal with. I know others on this site have faced similar situations and have found some peace when they did make the move. Of course you will take all those treasured memories of your husband with you, and hopefully being nearer to friends and family will give you more support and comfort. It sounds as if your friends really do want to help and this will be much easier once you are nearer to them. You already have shown such courage in all that you have faced. I hope you find peace in your new home, your husband will be so proud. Hugs xxx
Dear Sandi, thank you so much for those words. Yes, moving does high light our shattered dreams. I will confess I have been feeling quite bitter about my mum. We’d bought a house together many years ago so we could look after my father. After he died we were supposed to sell up and be independent. My mother didn’t want to even though it had been agreed before we’d bought a house much too big to manage. We had our own part so we put up with it. Every so often my mother would say we would have plenty of time to enjoy ourselves after she’d “gone”. Well we didn’t, and it was our choice not to force move but I can’t help thinking if only we’d made the move sooner. I know there’s little point in dwelling on what might have happened, but at the moment it’s difficult. I really hope that I will feel differently once the move is over. I’ll just have to change the dreams. I’m waiting for an operation on my back. Being in constant pain makes it hard to think things will get better, but your kind words mean a lot! xxx
@JanieM It must feel that you were robbed of that time together, and things might have been different if you had moved sooner like you had planned. We don’t expect to die before our parents, I suppose your mum thought the same in that you would have plenty of time to enjoy yourselves as that’s they way things should have been. My mum is 93 and in good health, but as the oldest member of our family we expected her to be the one to go first. My hope for you is that you do feel differently once you move, and you are able to create new dreams and memories, your husband will be there with you at every step. Being in constant pain does make things feel so much worse, you are bearing so much with such courage and strength. xxxxx
Firstly so sorry for your loss and this additional heartbreak you are now going through.
Sadly for you, it is yet another goodbye and reminder of the life you had planned and the dreams of your future in your new home, life is cruel. Grief is hard enough without all the “add on’s” to it.
You made the right decision for you which is to move and be nearer family and loved one’s. That in itself is a huge decision but shows how far you have come to put it all in motion. The next bit is the acceptance and letting go. Wherever your home is your husband will be with you as he resides in your heart and memories and with you. When we lose our loved one’s the final chapter is the funeral as accepting some form of closure (even though I hate that word closure). This is only an idea but to put some closure of the home you are now moving out of and like you say was your husband’s dream home, you could plant a tree or rosebush or similar in the garden to commemorate the fact you got to achieve that dream.
Then when you are in your new home do the same there so you have a continuing bond and connection.
Your health is important and remember your husband would 100% agree with this move for you. Much love
Try and tell them.if you can ? I bet they will understand. I might move myself … not yet … dont need to but i know what you mean i feel close to my husband here as it.was where he passed too … its a hard one but you can take all your memories and his belongings with you !! Xxx
Hi Deb and everyone, well since my last post I’ve finally moved house. It was really hard and the first night in my new home when my family and friends left, I looked around at all the chaos, of piles and piles of boxes and it all felt so alien - I just collapsed and cried myself to sleep. But life is there to wake you up and one of my cats decided that he wanted attention at 3am! Animals do sense things and in a funny way he helped. The other thing that kept me off balance was that my other cat had escaped into the countryside just before we had to leave. My daughter went back the next day, but though she could see her, the cat wouldn’t go near. So today, 48 hours after leaving, I had to go back and try to get my cat as I thought it was more likely she would come to me, particularly as she had become much more affectionate after my husband died as before she had gone to him for cuddles. It was very odd going back. I thought it would be so painful, but actually knowing it wasn’t my home anymore I realised I had let it go on that day I’d left. I’m still in chaos, but gradually I’ve started planning what needs doing. My first act was getting photographs of my husband out. Just having the small photo I had from a few weeks after we started going out 45 years ago, by my bed has helped so much. I’ve always had this particular photo in my bedside drawer in every house we’d lived in, even though it used to make my husband laugh. All of this has helped me realise that I’ve still got him in my heart wherever I am. And for all the cat lovers out there, I did manage to catch my little monster - I call her that because she entertained us for 90 minutes of very loud, very annoyed and very earsplitting yowels back to my new house.
I want to thank you all for your advice and sympathy. I know you all understand what it’s like and here you can really let your heart out. You’ve helped me so much. My next big thing is an operation on my spine in a couple of weeks time and I’ll be taking my little photo and my wedding ring with me, but not my little yowling monster! Best wishes and hugs to you all, Janie x
lovely to hear your update @JanieM and to know you have finally moved. Sounds like a real adventure with your little monster and a real cat’s chase by making the most of her last few days at her old home. I hope she is settling into her new home well. It sounds as if you are also looking towards the future, letting go of your old home but taking your precious memories of your husband with you and on to the next phase of your journey. I wish you a speedy recovery from your surgery, and peace and happiness in your new home, with our husband right beside you. xxx
@JanieM sorry meant to say your husband right beside you not ‘our’. we didn’t share!
I’m so pleased you updated us on your move and that seems it has been exactly the right thing for you.
I do hope your new place will soon feel like home to you and your cats, including the little monster.
I too have always had a photo of Richard, aged 17 when he was my first boyfriend, on a shelf by my bedside. The photo I have of him on the bedroom wall looking over me is the one which I think he looks most handsome in. He was in his mid 50s when that one was taken and to me he simply improved with age, even though I always thought him gorgeous.
Wishing you good luck with your op.
Thank you both, it’s been hectic since moving in, but in a good way. It’s also given me plenty of opportunities to use the debit card - quite fun to buy accessories for en suites, cloakroom etc. My attitude now is go for it, because we’ve all found out how life can change in an instant and I’m saying that to family and friends. In fact, health and fitness allowing, a friend who I met way back when on a maternity ward (38 years ago, which I can’t believe!) and who lost her husband 4 years ago, and I are planning a trip across Canada next year, no holds barred! We both know our husbands would be saying make the most of life and go for it, so we are! In fact when we are on the Rocky Mountaineer Train we will be raising our glasses of champagne to them. …and if there’s a tear or two, that’ll be fine. Best wishes to everyone here. PS My little monster is following me wherever I go, including sitting in my shower room looking quite cross because I’m doing something without her. I don’t think she enjoyed her time alone!
Amazing @JanieM so inspirational. You are ready to make the most of your life and that really gives me hope for the future too. thank you xx
Aw sheila what a lovely story yes time for you to do what you want ! You stay in your home if that makes you happy ! As for kids i dont think we can rely on them to look after us unfortunately xx
I am very lucky as I have four sons, each two years apart, two of them live nearby and they couldn’t be better sons. One visits me 6 out of 7 days and the other 4 days a week. The other two, the oldest and third son live further afield and ring mostly weekly but I rarely see them. I don’t know how I would have survived these last two and half years without those two and my precious granddaughter. They have been a godsend. My granddaughter is my third sons daughter and a blessing. She lives in Cheshire with three children but is in regular contact Obviously how children are bought up is no bearing on how they will turn out. They are all different.
I’m pleased to hear that you live a contented life. I read your posts and you always seem positive. My darling Paul died two and half years ago and I’m trying hard to be as positive and contented as you. I haven’t got there yet but I’m working on it, I think you are an inspiration to many of us who have not lost our soulmate so long ago. I’m always happy to see your contributions. Thank you.
Thank you, you have give me hope. Sometimes I don’t seem to have progressed far but when I look back to the very dark early days of loss I realise I have made some progress and I hope one day I will be as settled and content as you. I realise that some of my friends who are widowed put on a brave face like I do and never admit just how awful they feel.
Thanks you for kind support of all us on this forum. I will work hard to make my Paul proud of me, although I admit it’s a struggle. Carol x
You are very lucky ! X