I feel as though I've died.

I feel as though I have died along with my husband. Nothing seems to have any significance any more. When I come home I open the front door and feel so desolate. I’m ok when I have visitors or family but as soon as I wave them goodbye I feel so terrible. I keep a list of things to do and I force myself to do one of them then cross it off. It gives me a focus but all the activities seem meaningless. I’ve just woken up and waking up is terrible as I realise what has happened to me. It’s three months now and I don’t feel any better, in fact I feel worse. I tried gardening yesterday but a manual activity allows awful thoughts to come into my head, terrible guilt for things I did wrong and can’t put right. I know all this sounds self indulgent but I really don’t know how long I can keep living like this.

I know what you mean Pattoa about feeling guilty and not being able to put things right. I have my demons and I struggle with them on a daily basis.I don’t think feeling the pain this puts us through can be called self indulgence.
Although you have friends and family I believe you should talk to someone professional about this, somebody you can tell the most awful things to and then walk away from and never see again. Your GP can probably put you in touch with someone, perhaps Cruse or the Samaritans might help, the Community Manager, Patricia, might have some useful links too. When bereavement happens we are, naturally, too close to events, our thinking is all to pieces. These are still very early days but I do think talking to someone outside your present circle may help.
Best wishes, Alan

Thanks Alan. You always say useful things although, in this case, I have already been to my GP. I now have anti depressant pills which I won’t take as I have to drive and there is a warning on the packet. I am waiting for counselling but there is a waiting list. The doctor said she would make enquiries about bereavement groups but hasn’t contacted me. The doctors are so busy! I just keep going but want my life back, not just getting through the day. Hope you are ok. This conversation is all about me! Take care and thanks again.

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Hi Pattoa
I don’t think any of us should feel guilty. Im sure as I did you looked after .your loved one to his final hour. One or 2 things I would have changed now if I had known that my husband’s death was to happen so quickly but I try and delete those thoughts.
Your thoughts are the same as mine , my husband died on April 3rd and I feel worse at times now because it’s sunk in that he has gone for ever where before I kind of thought he might return.We need to be positive, I keep praying and hoping that things will get better and my sleep will improve.
Don’t give in . Be strong for your husband.

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I was hoping things would improve but you say you are 3 years down the line and still have these strong feelings of lonliness. It’s only 3 months now since my husband died but I feel worse now because Its sunk in that I’m never going to see him again. I keep my self busy in the dat time but the evenings are dreadful. No want to talk about your day with, no one to plan tomorrow with. As you life has no meaning now it’s just a matter of getting through each day. I find it hard doing anything that we did together by myself, I love gardening but there is no one to enjoy it with now.
Feeling sorry for myself this evening.

Oh my I am in tears now having read your comment
I know I will never get over losing the love of my life and I often say I will see him again soon only trouble is I’m only 36 so I’ve got a long road ahead
Is it wrong to be wishing it was sooner

Oh my I am in tears now having read your comment
I know I will never get over losing the love of my life and I often say I will see him again soon only trouble is I’m only 36 so I’ve got a long road ahead
Is it wrong to be wishing it was sooner

At this time of the night when I am feeling lonely and sad I turn to these conversations for some sort of comfort. It’s strange because I find comfort in the fact that others are out there feeling the same way as me. Im 65 my husband died 3 months ago.The thought of spending the next 20 years alone scares me.Lynsey you still have many years ahead to rebuild your life which I’m sure you will be able to do if not now but in the future. I cry when I’m alone here, I cried driving home from my sister’s this evening, but I guess that’s all part of the journey . I think all this crying is part of the grieving process . I wonder if our husband’s spirits are aware of the pain we are going through.
Praying for all those grieving the lost of their love ones Katy

To pattoa.I feel like I have died as well.but have not gone to heaven.gone to hell. Many hugs to you .Annette.

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Hello everyone who has posted replies following my post. I have been away staying with friends and thinking a lot. I know we are all in different situations according to our age and circumstances but also we are all in the same position, trying to make a new life for ourselves. I find it hard living in the past with my memories. The bad memories hurt and the good memories hurt in a different way because they remind me of what I have lost. I am trying to adjust to being a new person in the present but it isn’t easy. My husband looked after me and I was happy being dependent on him. I can still see his face and feel his protection and care and I can’t give him back what he gave to me so generously. However I am coping by giving to other people, just little things like helping or smiling at someone and caring for my daughter and grandchildren. It is a way of saying thank you to him. It sounds a bit saintly but I am no saint! It does help me though, especially when I see that I have done something unselfish and made someone happy. It is a way of living in the present. I am perhaps lucky in a way as I have a lot of interests and now find, after four months, that I am able to concentrate a bit better. I am 73 and want to have a life in the present. Life is so precious, just a simple thing like the sun on your face,a garden full of flowers or my grandchildren smiling. I have a special message for Linsey. My daughter lost her husband to cancer when he was 37. She was left with a 6 month old baby and a 3 year old toddler. She has had to make a life for herself and it hasn’t been easy but she is very courageous and now has another partner.In time you will be able to move on. You don’t forget the past but you must embrace the present when the time is right. If I can do it at 73 you can do it too, bit by bit. Let’s all try together. Take care and keep posting. It’s a wonderful way to cope with being alone, knowing that other people are out there. Thank you Sue Ryder.Love to you all. Pattoa.x


Pattoa, I’ve been following this conversation and I just wanted to say that was a really lovely post and I’m so glad you are feeling more positive than when you started this conversation.

I love the idea that you can take the love and care your husband gave you and pass it on to others.

Dear Pattoa,

I lost my husband in November 2016, almost 8 months ago now and as time goes by I feel worse and worse, not better as everyone tells you all the time ‘only time will heal’. We were together for almost 40 years. I was looking online for support groups and I found the Sue Ryder website and your post was the first one I saw. Your words just seemed to express how I am feeling and, as I read on, the replies you received made me realise that I am not alone. Although I would not wish these feelings on my worst enemy, it has made me feel comforted to know that there are lots of other people out there who understand Exactly how I am feeling.

I can’t believe it is nearly 8 months since I last saw him, it still feels like yesterday. I just miss him so much - the silly jokes he was always making, the way he supported me and made me feel better after a horrible day. He was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer 3 years before he died and I know he lived longer than his prognosis for which I am eternally grateful, but the last year when it went to his brain was so horrible and I just keep remembering all the horrible things that happened to him and just crying every single day, sometimes at work I just go into the toilets and sit down and cry and cry. My daughters have been wonderful but most other family just don’t seem to understand how I feel and act as though it is all over now and in the past. I hardly hear from them and that makes me feel rejected and unloved and I don’t want to feel so bitter and resentful.

I’m afraid I haven’t got anything positive to say like you have. I keep trying to do things to help myself - I keep busy (too busy but it’s hard to relax) - but I just can’t seem to get any enjoyment out of anything. I believed I was a happy person before, but now I can’t seem to find that spark of happiness any more. Corinne x

Lonely. So sorry to cut in on your touching posts, both of which moved me to tears. I’m not fit to offer any words of comfort to anyone as I’m at the lowest ever depths of despair at 8 months but I can at least send all the compassionate thoughts possible. Look after yourself.

Hello All This is a marvellous group. We are all here for each other. We think about our passed over loved ones all the time and I dont think there will be ever a time I “get over losing Phil”. Its been 6 months and some days its oh it seems okay and then the next day I am back in the depths of despair something like a light springs on and you walk into an iron bar which dazes you and you realise your life will never ever be the same again. I wont move Phil’s clothes. I want to feel him still here maybe because it is too soon for me. We are all different mind you and one feels right for one might not feel right for someone else. Its like we are edging along in the dark holding onto the wall trying to see the light but when we think we can see it in the distance and think we are getting somewhere we start at the beginning again. Thats what its like. One minute at a time. I talk to Phil and make jokes of what he would think of my ready meal because he did all the cooking knowing he would be laughing his head off and telling me to get some meat out of the freezer and cook it. I can really feel him sometimes and writing this just brought a dream back to me that someone said put his name on a birthday or any other card because he’s not gone he’s still here. I do think he comes to me in my dreams and I do feel comforted by it in the morning although it doesnt always happen. Our grandson, Jayden, was pleased this morning when he came in and looked by where his grandad sits (and probably is sitting knowing Phil) and he found a 5p which Mediums always say are what spirits leave for us to find. Do what is best for you all. We are on this road on our own yes we have family but if we live on our own we have to do it on our terms xxxx

Hi Lonely
Just read your conversation. I’ve been wearing my husband’s wedding ring since he died , that’s a lovely idea of yours to have it engraved. I could have my husband’s intials put on it. When I go out wearing his ring it makes me feel as I he’s with me. As for his clothes I 've got rid of most of them gradually but kept a few hoping he might walk through the door again one day. Of course I know he will not but it gives me a bit of comfort.
It’s strange how other people’s thoughts and actions are so similar.We are all on the same journey .
Thinking of you all, Katy

Thank you Sheila so much for your kind reply, your posts are so exceptionally well articulated, I identify so much with so many points you make and it’s hard to imagine what it’s taken to bring you to three years of endurance of this level of anguish. I definitely understand what you mean by your personality and outlook changing. For the first 6 months I only went to to medical appointments and the odd visit to Tesco. I was always accompanied and even now at nearly 9 months I won’t voluntarily go out as I am so apprehensive and panic so I just isolate myself. At this time I just feel I have taken an existence of a recluse. It’s like there are two existences. There is the ‘real’ world, I can see it and it used to be my world as well, but now it isn’t and I can’t access it. I have to watch from ‘my’ world and it’s lonely as there is only me in it. I have heard other people call it a parallel world and it feels so. The other shocking thing is the change in my personality, attitude and outlook. I agree with everything you say on that score. We lose ourselves as well as our loved ones don’t we and we miss that aspect too. My Husband was 71 when he passed away just a day after my 51st Birthday in October and although tomorrow is not guaranteed, I could live for another 30 years and that’s a hard thought to process. People will say “live to make your Husband proud” but I could never match up to my Husband’s kindness and selfless spirited nature. I know what you mean about the photos/videos etc, I do the same. I feel I’m in a terrible battle as I try to keep my Husband alive in a way whilst nature is trying to move me further away from him. Recently I feel I have been having an horrific relapse and the anxiety is killing me. I am not asking to be happy, but I would love to have some respite. I left my home just after I lost my Husband as I was too distraught to stay and have been with family since but it’s just the way I left it. I can’t bear yet to take a closer look at our possessions as there will be a memory attached to each item. I have visited a few times during the day but not often as it’s 25 miles away from where I am and it’s hard, really hard to come and see the home and life that was 'our’s. The house is exactly the same, the neighbours are the same and so is life in the neighborhood - so therefore it should be the same for my Husband but it isn’t and it breaks my heart. Listen to me going on and on, that’s not very gracious. It’s easy isn’t it to think no one else has suffered as we have or experienced such trauma but through reading all the posts we know it’s certainly not the case. Thanks for reading Sheila, keep well and take care. Thankyou so much for your insightful posts.

Hi Lonely. It may sound strange but I envy you in spite of your suffering. I’m in tears as I write this. You have such lovely memories. I was an unhappy disturbed child when I got married. Alan loved me and wanted me at all costs. I wanted a parent to make me feel safe, not a husband. He was always loyal and faithful to me but preoccupied with work and sport. He wasn’t a family man. I was immersed in reluctantly looking after my children. In no way was I ready for any of it! In the last ten years we were happier. He no longer had to work so hard and ironically we were closer in a way we should have been earlier. Now it’s too late. I can’t think about him or look at his photos as we made such a mess of everything. I feel as though our developing happiness has been stolen. It’s like a Greek tragedy.As I said in my post I want to live in the present and try to make amends for all my mistakes. Unfortunately at 73 there isn’t a lot of present left. I am an only child and have no family.Two of my children live abroard. My daughter who lost her husband is so busy she has no time for me. My grandchildren are a blessing but I wish my daughter would give me some time instead of always wanting things. Fortunately I do have friends but they are not family. I have finally grown up a bit and recognise that my relationship with my grandchildren is good. They both play instruments because of my interest in music and we sometimes play together or to each other. They are both bright academically and don’t have any emotional problems. At least I have achieved something. I’m sorry this is all about me but I wish you well and hope my post makes you feel fortunate in a way. Take care and I’m sorry for this outpouring of my emotions. Pattoa.

Thank you so much for replying. My daughter came today and invited me back for an evening meal. It isn’t her fault that she is so busy. When her husband died she couldn’t continue with her career and now has to qualify for a different career. She is also working so she had a hard time and I don’t like to make demands. My other children are in Australia and the USA so they can’t really help although I am going to America for Christmas as I don’t want to be here at that time. I’m sorry your husband’s mother was so nasty to you. I suppose when people are ill or dying they can be unpleasant. You were so happy she was obviously wrong about you! Alan’s mother didn’t like me. I needed a mother and she could have been that to me but no, she wasn’t like that. Typically she saw me as not good enough. She was probably right but not accepting me didn’t help at all. I was just very hurt. I will go and do some piano practice and gardening now. Posting on this site does help a lot when you are feeling down. Thank goodness we can talk to each other. it’s a real privilege. Don’t be lonely. Love Pattoa.

Hello again Sheila
Thanks so much for replying. You are very much an inspiration in what you achieved in respect of putting in place all those keepsakes and items for your children, it’s the best gift they could ever receive. I do understand what you mean about you preferring autumn/winter weather so you needn’t be out. I feel exactly the same but also because Summer was Dennis’s time of year and I keep thinking of what he is “missing” silly really but you can’t help where your mind takes you can you. It will be Dennis’s birthday in a few days. It was my birthday the day after he passed away and I remember having received both birthday and sympathy cards in a matter of 24 hours. I had adult step children but they weren’t close and what seems like every Preston Guild they send an email to ask how I am but they never, ever reply back when I answer them. I don’t have anyone to speak about Dennis with so I write him a page in a diary everyday telling him what I have been doing and telling him what we were doing the same time last year. It’s hard at the moment as now is the time things started to go downhill, fast. Some people think it’s not too healthy to do that, I agree they could be right but it’s like a ritual that I can do anywhere. Dennis had a car but I don’t drive but I can’t part with it. His son was looking after it for me but now he can’t and doesn’t think it’s healthy to keep it. If I can get better I will learn to drive and what a sorry day for society that will be but I feel I owe it to him to try. He offered to teach me when we were first married but I was always too frightened. Thanks for your kind words about trying to go back to our home, you are quite right about things needing doing after being empty. There are many different thoughts aren’t there about staying in the same home but you sound as if yours is a lovely safe haven for you surrounded by memories and shared possessions. Many thanks for your chatty reply. I hope your day goes ok and I wish you warmest regards.

Dear Tina,

I just wanted to say that it’s not at all unhealthy to write to Dennis in a diary. My counsellor said that lots of people do that and find it incredibly helpful. Also, anything that you do that helps YOU is never unhealthy - it must be the right thing. My counsellor also said that some people get rid off their partner’s belongings soon after they die and then regret it later. I have got everything of Sav’s, only a few things that I have given to our children and my stepchildren. When I feel the time is right then I will start to look through things and maybe the time will never be right.
I have been reading a really good little book that my stepdaughter gave me ‘Living with Bereavement’ by Sue Mayfield. She says ‘All bereavements are different … and there is no such thing as ‘normal’. There is no right or wrong way to do it and no rules when it comes to loss’.

I think that it doesn’t matter how strong a person you were before your partner dies, I always thought that I was strong, but now I doubt everything I do - ‘Am I making the right decision?’. I think when he was alive we would always discuss decisions and it just felt more comfortable knowing that someone else agreed with you. Now I feel as though I just want someone else to make all my decisions.

Also, I think Sheila is right about trying to move back home. When Sav died I couldn’t sleep in our bed for a long time and when I first did again it felt so strange, but now I find our bedroom and our home such a comfort and I look forward to getting back at the end of a day. I miss him so much but I feel closer to him when I am here and I think you will find that too. I think you will find that it will help.

Also, I like Sheila’s idea of writing a sort of life story. This is something that I have tried to do (but not got very far) after my neighbour told me that when her mum died she wished she knew more about her life and so she has written her story for her kids. I also think that it is lovely thinking back over all the things you did in your life together. I keep worrying that I will start to forget.

It is so nice reading everyone’s lovely stories about their partner’s, sharing their sadness but also the happiness at the lives they were privileged to live.
Love, Corinne