How long does it take?

I heard about this community in the Times this morning, which reported Sue Ryder’s findings that widows take an average of more than 2 years to get back to normality after the death of their husband. Mine died three months ago so I have a long way still to go, but in an odd way I found the statistic comforting, reassuring me that the bad days are perfectly normal.

Hello there - thanks for visiting and sharing a bit of your story. We’re so sorry to hear about the death of your husband, but glad to hear you’ve found some reassurance in what we found from our research.

Bereavement is complicated - everyone’s different and people find varying ways to cope (or feel like they’re not coping at all). The two years figure is an average, and really talks about the time that people feel like they’re back to “normal” (whatever that may be!) or that they can cope with what’s going on.

By encouraging people to talk about their experiences, we’ve found that it can make a hard time a little bit easier - hence launching this online community which we hope will be invaluable.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts - it’s very much appreciated.

My husband died in June 2012 after being diagnosed in February 2012. It came as a massive shock to all my family, I was only 45. I do now feel that I can see light at the end of my tunnel. I work hard to make ends meet, visit his grave almost daily and make sure his flowers are nice. I still have some very down days when I feel the tears pouring out of my eyes, which I can’t control. There are certain situations that I still find difficult to cope with, but I’m winning. Most days I’m ok, just ok…

Thanks for sharing your story here. Down days are going to happen, and there’s nothing wrong with that (and there’s no real time frame after which you should feel better - the two years figure is an average!).

The fact you can see the light at the end of the tunnel is quite a step forward, and I’m sure one that at a time, you couldn’t envisage happening. Similarly, I’m sure you never thought you’d feel “ok”, and it’s likely there’ll often be situations that are difficult to manage - but this is natural and is something everyone who has lost someone can relate to.

But, it’s a step in the right direction to better coping, and doing things like visiting your husband’s grave and tending to the flowers will help you keep that feeling of closeness.

I’m glad you found this community and shared what you’re going through. We’ve only been up and running for a few weeks, but there are already some helpful posts from people sharing their advice. If you’ve not already, I’d recommend having a read of some of the advice on other posts too - and please feel free to ask questions of us and others. Talking and sharing is always good.

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