How do I cope with my grief?

10 weeks ago I lost my best friend. However, it becomes far more complicated when that best friend was also my ex husband.
I had known him since I was 16 (I am now 52). We were married for 13 years and split up 12 years ago, but remained very close. In fact, aside from a hospice nurse I was the only other person with him when he died. Ironically, maybe the way he would have wanted to spare our daughter.
Publicly, it is hard, as I am perceived as the ex, but I am really struggling to process my grief but still support my daughter.
He was a part of my life for so long and I feel a real sense of panic that he is no longer in it.
I know it is early days, and I have taken the first steps by posting on here to connect with people who understand the complexities of grief. I have also signed up for the grief text counselling which is useful, but any pearls of wisdom or words of support would be gratefully received.



Hello @Annie8, well done for taking that first step - I really hope you find the community to be a support to you.

I am so sorry for the loss of your ex-husband. It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship. I think many of our members will also identify with the feeling of needing to be strong for your daughter.

I wanted to share our Online Bereavement Counselling with you. It’s free, and held via video chat with trained counsellors. You might not feel like this is for you just yet, but it sounds like a space to hold your own grief and the complex feelings you might be experiencing could be helpful right now.

Thank you again for reaching out to us - you’re not alone.

Take care

hi @Annie8. my situation is similar to yours. I was in a long distance relationship with an amazing person for over 10 years. He lived overseas and over the years we would each visit each other countries. We had some sort of a plan that when our children, (he had 5, I have 2) were adult and left home we could be together. Last year things were difficult for lots of reasons and we called it a day. I couldn’t manage without him and we still continued to speak online and phone. I am facing surgery soon and he was supportive to me about that. 5 weeks ago I told him when I was recovered I would come back to visit him. He was my absolute best friend and knew me so well. The next day when I called him his son answered and said dad had a heart attack and didn’t make it. He had died maybe an hour before my call. I was and still am in shock. His children live streamed his funeral so I could watch and also read out my speech. He was my partner, but at the time of his death I was just a friend. I still love him as a partner but have to remain on the sidelines and deal with the terrible loss privately. But I think it doesn’t matter what labels we attach, “friend” “wife” etc, its how we feel/felt about them that’s important. We still have a history , we have things shared , and personal memories that others cannot have.
I also signed up for the text service and find it so helpful.
Best wishes to you


Hello Annie
I just wanted to send you a little support and say I’m so sorry for the loss of your best friend /ex husband. I honestly don’t think you should worry about how your grief should be affected publicly by being perceived as the ex, especially when your friendship was so strong and you were such a big part of each other’s lives. Grief affects us all differently, there’s no rule book. So please be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to grieve how you need, and not according to anybody else’s expectations. I’m sure that anyone who knew that you were best friends would understand. That a couple can remain best friends after a split is something particularly lovely and special, and I hope that knowing that may bring some comfort to you and to your daughter, even if its only with time. Take care and hoping that you will feel supported by the counselling. Thinking of you both and sending hugs xx

1 Like

Hi @Punkyfsh. Thanks for your reply. Sorry for your loss too. What a shock. I can imagine that you too are reeling.
We must hold tight to our memories. Stay strong :muscle:

1 Like

Hi @Stardust. What a supportive message. Thank you

1 Like