I sat looking at the blank screen for ages before managing to start typing. I am so confused and unhappy that nothing I try to do is coming easily as it once did. I will probably just ramble on so I apologise in advance.
Well here goes:- My wife Audrey died on October 6th just under three months ago. We had been married for almost 62 years and she didn’t deserve the many health problems she had which culminated in her death. She was an exceptional lady in that she always coped well with her problems. i am not going to talk about those problems now…perhaps another time. We had two children that she was very proud of and they are looking after me now. Stephen has given up every Saturday since Audrey’s death to come and stay with me for the day and Susan also comes when she can. Sarah from St Michaels Hospice comes to see me regularly and is gently helping me to come to terms with what has happened. So, with all this help how can I not cope? Audrey and I were not only married for all that time but for about 50 years we also worked together. between us we built a small engineering company with me doing the mechanical things and Audrey doing everything else…buying ,wages, invoicing etc etc so her death has hit me particularly hard. When I was ill she nursed me back to health and for the past couple of years I looked after her until it became impossible. We always used to joke that she must die first and at home so whenever I said something like
what if I have an accident her response would be
you can't you promised I would go first December has been almost unbearable. Audrey’s birthday was on the 11th, Christmas of course on the 25th and our wedding anniversary on the 28th. I have never known pain like the pain I feel most of the time. It does ease sometimes but returns just as bad as before. I have all the questions that others on this forum have asked such as will I ever stop crying, will the pain ease, am I going mad etc and reading those other replies has helped a little. Knowing that others are going through, or have gone through what I am experiencing now at least tells me that I am not alone or going mad. I take comfort from the fact that Audrey got her wish to die first and at home. I can’t remember who said it, but someone who came just after Audrey had died said that if there is such a thing as a good death then Audrey had a good death. It was very peaceful, she just gently slipped away with her children holding her hands. I can’t write any more I can’t see the keyboard for tears. Thanks for listening.
I sat looking at the blank screen for ages before managing to start typing. I am so confused and unhappy that nothing I try to do is coming easily as it once did. I will probably just ramble on so I apologise in advance.
It’s no surprise you feel the way you do, you’ve been with your wife for most of your life, you probably don’t remember much of your life before your wife.
How your feeling is because you love your wife.
When my dad lost my mum at about your age it helped him to keep too there normal routine, Fish on a Friday, Shopping on a Thursday etc… he also found a drop of whiskey in his tea in the morning calmed him down, then another in the evening to help him to sleep, it worried me but he didn’t do it for too long.
In a way I feel glad my husband went before me, I wouldn’t have wanted him to have this sadness, it’s a pity we cant go together but it doesn’t work out like that.
Your doing well by managing to function at all.
All I can say is do what you want to do and don’t put any pressure on yourself, I believe we see our spouses again so it is only a temporary parting, it’s just not our time yet but when it is how wonderful to see our loved one with there arms outstretched to us.
I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your wife.
I lost my partner in February an I’m still finding it very hard to cope. We have 4 young children so that keeps me busy most of the time an occupy’s your mind.
I get the pain you are feeling i never new pain like that before I lost my partner it’s unbearable. Unfortunalty it doesn’t get any easier you just learn how to live with it.
It’s so hard to come to terms with the fact you will never see your loved one again after seeing them everyday single day.
It sounds like you had a fantastic life together an made some amazing memories which you will have forever. Your wife has gone but her memory lives on in you and your children which nothing or nobody can take away from you.
I hope you are doing as well as can be. Xx
Michael, you have come to the right place as we all understand exactly what you are going through. We think we know what is coming but never in our wildest dreams have we a clue. The pain and grief seems unbearable. I was told that time would ease it, but it hasn’t really it has just taught me how to deal with it and to look for that light that does appear from time to time if you look hard enough.
I can’t say the crying will stop or when your pain will ease. Grief is a different experience for us all.
If you have any hobbies or interests then try to do these. It might be hard but try. We have allotments and a few days after I lost Brian I went to the allotment and stood looking around me. How could I possibly do them now he wasn’t there., but he so loved his allotment. A lone bee landed by me. Now you may wonder what this has to do with anything. My Brian loved the bee’s and helped the bee keepers and it was November when honey Bee’s are fast asleep. I felt this was a sign from Brian and I knew I would have to make the effort and our allotments have proved to be so therapeutic this past year. We was walkers and I continued to walk with loads of tears but the countryside and nature has proven to be a godsend. So if there is anything that you enjoyed doing then give it a go. If you want to cry then do so. It can be tiring but it does release that tension. I don’t think I ever want to stop crying, I don’t want to forget and I like to think it’s Brian giving me a nudge and letting me know he’s still around. I found I needed to keep busy but this might not be your way of coping, so find your own way. One step at a time. People on this forum will be there for you so stay with us.
Flower_garden, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. At the moment it seems that the pain I feel just goes on and on with just a little relief now and again. Like you and your husband, I am relieved that Audrey went first. It was her wish and we both knew that, with all of her problems, she could not have coped had I been the first to die. One of the main reasons for wanting to go first was because for the past 14 years she had a tracheostomy. When she first got it I promised her that I would be responsible for managing it, the daily cleaning and the regular swapping for a cleaned one, the sterilising etc. She coped incredibly well with the regime we devised but she knew that she could not have done it on her own. I think that, for me, there has to be a massive change in the way I live my life. All of a sudden I have far fewer responsibilities and, because I no longer have to look after Audrey I seem to have endless very long days and nights ahead of me. It is also the little things that reduce me to tears. For instance, I was coming home in the car, from shopping, when it suddenly hit me …the empty passenger seat. It was unbearable. Well, today is a bad day, I don’t know why but it is. The tears have started again so I will finish this ramble. Michael
Thank you for responding to my rambling post. Yes, Audrey and I had a wonderful life together and although we were both 84 years of age when she died it seems, now, to have been far too short. I know, from reading some of the other posts on this site, that we were incredibly lucky to have had a marriage that lasted almost 62 years but I loved her dearly and still do. I find that talking to her seems to help ( an urn containing her ashes has pride of place on the top of a bookshelf in our living room ) I say good morning to her every day plus good night when I go to bed. I also tell her I love her and chat to her during the day. No, I am not going crazy but I find it’s a comfort. I got her a birthday card, Christmas card and anniversary card this year and I hope to do so every year in the future.
Many thanks, Michael
Michael if you are going crazy then there are a lot of us going down that road with you. We talk to our loved ones, we write to them, I do every day. Birthday/Christmas cards, yes, I do just the same and a card on his fresh flowers that I put in the place his ashes were scattered. Today I planted primroses along with the spring bulbs (he so loved the spring). You continue to do what gives you comfort.
I see that you looked after your wife just as I did my husband and when they are gone we lose our way, as our daily routine has gone. I can only advise to not rush out to find that new life, relax and decide what you want to do with those spare hours.
We never know why those tears come, no reason they just appear, well let them, there is no shame in having a good cry. Those little things will keep cropping up to jog your memory of the happy times you shared with your wife. I still cry over twelve months on and visualise that I will not stop any time soon. But far from finding them distressing now I know that it is because my Brian is still a big part of my life. In time you will see that light, it will be dim at first but grab it with both hands you will keep remembering your dear wife though. Love does not die with death as we have all discovered.
I wish you luck Michael
Thanks for replying to my ramble and apologies for the delay in replying to you.
Yes, we did have a wonderful life together which got closer as we got older.
I have lots of lovely memories but that’s one of the problems. Whenever I think back to some of the things we used to do the tears start all over again.
There are times when I just can’t accept that she has gone. It seems somehow wrong. I suppose it is to be expected because we had such a long and happy marriage.
I hope that you are coping.
Thanks for your encouraging post.
I have had a better week. On Monday my daughter Susan accompanied me to St Michaels Hospice to a lunch for the bereaved and their friends and families. I don’t know what I was expecting but it was much better than I had hoped. I was surprised how many were there and how friendly they all were. As Audrey slowly succumbed to her illness, our social world got smaller and smaller to the point where it almost ceased to exist. Monday was the first time I had had conversation with people other than family and two friends for at least two or three years and I wasn’t at all sure how I would cope. They made it very easy for me and Susan helped hugely. So, I think that light you spoke of just, briefly, popped its head above the horizon. Somehow I have got to fill that huge hole in my life that used to be filled with love and happiness and, yes, fun. At present it seems impossible but with help I’ll have a darn’d good try. Whatever the future holds, Audrey will always be a big part of my life. As she was dying she asked me not to forget her…as if I ever could. The tears are back so I will finish now.
Lots of luck Pat.
Hi Michael, so pleased you managed the Hospice dinner. Daunting isn’t it just the thought of going. I was invited to join the hospice bereavement group a few months after Brian died although he didn’t go into the hospice they did help us with equipment/bed. It was the only group activity I could manage, just once a month. Is there one at St Michael’s, it’s only for an hour but we go on into the cafe afterwards and carry on talking among each other along with cake and tea/coffee. It can lead to friendships and they do have other activities including a choir which is very popular. You had every right to feel pleased with yourself and deserved to see that light, no matter how short a sighting or how dim it was. It’s a long haul and we go with the waves, sometimes we tread water but some waves knock us over. I suppose I was lucky in that we have allotments and although Brian was becoming weaker he loved his plot and made every effort to get to it, although I was doing most of the work in the end, so we had kept in touch with people but our social life did virtually end as he just couldn’t cope or wanted to be bothered and we also became forgotten. Oh they came to the funeral but these ‘friends’ have not bothered since so I am having to make a new life except for our allotments and these people have been wonderful, accepting me no matter what my moods. Today I felt as if I have made a big move. I helped on a work party there and managed to stay and socialise with everyone. You see all last year I would try my hardest but just couldn’t stay in a group even though I knew everyone. So give yourself time Michael, don’t rush, try to accept the good days with the bad and gradually you will find that you will cope a little better. I wonder if it’s possible to fill that hole they leave, we just learn to adapt.
Love to you
It was the same with Audrey, she didn’t go into the hospice but was looked after at home for her last three days. I am getting a weekly visit from Sarah of St Michaels Hospice and that helps a lot. She is very patient because, talking about Audrey with her always reduces me to tears and she waits until I can carry on. It’s weird where thoughts which causes such pain come from. I was watching a video last Wednesday when out of the blue I suddenly thought…’ she’s dead’. It hit me like a physical blow from a sledgehammer. I know I cried out and sobbed for quite a while but then it was gone and I was back to normal again. How weird is that?
I know what you mean about being forgotten by friends. Our world became very small because of Audrey’s problems. In the end it was just family and two friends who kept in touch. I can understand friends fading away, most people just don’t know what to say to someone in Audrey’s situation plus, of course, as we got older, travelling became more difficult so we were unable to visit people as easily as when we were younger and they had the same problems with travelling.
Looking back on our life together I realise how lucky we were. We met when in our 'teens and were married for nearly sixty two years. Not many couples have such a long time together and I am truly grateful for what we had. At the moment it seems cruel and unfair that Audrey had to endure such an illness but, again, I am grateful that the end was quick and peaceful and at home where she wanted to be. I am not bitter, just very sad. I know from what you an others have said that this pain will never go away but hopefully I will learn to cope with it. As my daughter Susan says " little steps and you will cope"
Hi Michael, I know what that sledgehammer does, it’s brutal. A few weeks after Brian died I decided to decorate the dining room as that is where my husband died and I had grown to hate the room. I was in B&Q buying paint, all was well, I was coping then it suddenly hit me that Brian wasn’t outside in the car or at home waiting for me. Like you I cried out and doubled over as if someone had punched me. Fortunately it was early in the morning and no one was around to see me. I sobbed but suddenly was able to stop and go through the checkout quite normally.
You are very lucky that someone from the hospice is visiting you in most cases that I have heard of no one really bothers with the grieving person that is left. Enquire what the hospice might offer, as I was surprised when I found out what they did for recreational activities. I know we should all be grateful for the time we had with our loved ones unfortunately we are now paying the price for that love. Yes Susan is correct, ‘little steps’ but sometimes we find ourselves going backwards when we least expect it. This will happen but learn to accept that grief, don’t fight it. After 62 years you are never going to forget your wife, or stop loving her, love doesn’t die with death as we are all finding out.
Love to you also Michael
I am so sorry that you are grieving for your Audrey, I do understand as everyone here understands. My husband died 5 months ago, I found him on our bedroom floor, he had died, we had been married for 59 years.
Some days are better than others, today (Friday) has been a bad day for me, I don’t know about you Michael but I liken the pain of Stan’s loss to having toothache in my stomach. Like you and Audrey have, we have two children a daughter and a son who have been wonderful in their support, they took over all the paper work and officialdom for me.
This is the first time I have seen your post,
Take care, Blessings,
Thank you for your post and please accept my apologies for not replying sooner. This forum has been a great help to me, it proves that I am going through the same pain and distress that we all are and that, far from going mad, what I am experiencing is normal. As Pat says, we are paying the price for love.
Like you, I have good days and bad days. This is an improvement on the bad days and even worse days that I had when Audrey died and immediately after her funeral. I am slowly getting used to living on my own, I don’t like it but I don’t want to move from here where a lot of memories live. What I find difficult is that all the things Audrey and I used to do together, like gardening ( we have a large garden ) take at least three or four times as long to do on my own.
My best wishes to you
Yes, brutal describes that sudden explosion of grief that hits us, without warning, from time to time. I am still finding it very difficult to concentrate on anything. As soon as I start to do something I find my mind goes back to Audrey and I have to force myself to try to do what I set out to do, not always successfully. As a result there are a lot of unfinished jobs around the house and garden…ah well nothing urgent and I suppose they will get finished sometime.
It’s a dilemma isn’t it. You want the pain to stop but you don’t want to forget anything about your life together, but those memories are what bring the most pain. Can’t win can you. On balance, I think I will accept the pain as the price of remembering. When she was in hospital, about three weeks before she died, Audrey suddenly looked at me and said " You won’t forget me will you". I promised her I wouldn’t and I won’t, in fact I can’t and don’t ever want to.
You can probably tell, I am not having a good day today so I will finish this post before I depress you.
Hoping for a happier future.
There is no need to apologise, Michael,
I am so sorry that you lost your wife.
Hi Michael, I hope you are having a better day today and as Mary says please don’t ever apologise as we are all here for each other and know exactly what ‘those days’ are like. They come from no where and with no explanation.
Your so right, we want the pain to stop but we don’t want to forget them and our lives together we just want to remember with happiness and not the pain and it will come given time to grieve first. This a road we have to travel down I’m afraid, we have to learn to live a life so different to what we knew. I am still doing the same things such as hobbies that Brian and I shared yet it is all so different now.
My husband did similar to your wife. He asked me to take him on my walks (we are Ramblers), I promised him I would and take a photo of him in my pocket and talk to him as I walk alone (do have the dogs) in the countryside.
I accept my grief as part of my life now. My tears are for him the man I will never forget.
When you are ready you will do those jobs that need doing so don’t worry about them. Take care of yourself.that is the most important at this moment.
Thinking of you
It is a month since I last posted anything here, a month of ups and downs emotionally. The good thing is that I am having more good days than bad. It is odd isn’t it, I realised the other day that I had gone for three days in a row without tears, deep sadness and missing Audrey terribly but no actual tears…must be progress of a sort. I found a photograph of Audrey which shows her as I always want to remember her and I have had a canvas print made of it. It is really lovely and I can look at it and remember the good days ( and we had a lot of them ), sometimes with tears but often without. I will continue to post on this forum from time to time and hopefully, in time, I will be able to help others as you have helped me. I went to a St Michaels lunch again a couple of weeks ago with my daughter Susan. She said that I helped a very sad lady who had just lost her husband. I was so pleased when Susan told me that because all I did was chat to her and compare notes on our respective losses. It helped me hugely to think that I had helped her because it proved that I am coming to terms with the situation I find myself in and, perhaps, I won’t be as selfish in the future as I feel I have been up to now. I will be forever grateful for all the help I have received from you and others and I hope to repay that help by helping others in the future.
Thank you for your kind words, they are much appreciated.
Hi Michael, so pleased to hear from you again and that you are feeling better. However please don’t think there is anything wrong with you if you do have a bad day when you thought you was making progress. It does happen and can be upsetting but you must go with the flow and grieve, don’t fight it.
Having a photograph of your wife sounds lovely. I have many photo’s of Brian all over the house. For a while I found they upset me and I had to put some of them away, however I have been able to bring them out again.
Helping others is a way of helping yourself because that’s what it’s all about. To just be there and listen is worth so much to a heartbroken person.
Many of us have realised after grief that there has been a selfish side to us in the past and now hopefully we have learned to be more responsive to people who might need a helping hand and not just walk by.
You are going in the right direction Michael and I hope we do hear from you again.
Take care and love