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.
Katy

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Hello, I have been reading your comments and to be honest, it is as if I have written them myself. I feel so terribly sorry for what you are going through and I feel exactly as you do, my life has no meaning anymore without my husband. Being in the garden brings back so many memories of us both being together. I sit and listen to our music and it takes me back to when we were happy. The only difference between us, is my husband died three years ago and nothing is the same without him. I know have to get on with my life, but I can’t get over the fact that I have to live the rest of my life without him, in my case, I am living day to day.

When my husband was alive, I loved going shopping and meeting with my friends for lunch because I knew my husband would be there when I got home and I would tell him about my day. But now, I don’t want to go out, my friends still have their husbands and I always feel the odd one out, they tell me it is time to move on so I tell them, when it happens to you, see what you feel like when your married friends tell you to move on.

I wish I could tell you it gets better, but in my case I feel the same as I did when he died. We had been together 50 years, I met him in 1964 and he died exactly 50 years to the month and day I met him. I hope you can cope better than I have. What is strange, I now feel the past is more important to me than the future because everything that was good in my life was in the past. I am thinking of you and would not wish this on my worst enemy.

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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.

I will be truthful, you are in a daze the first year of your husbands death as you cannot believe what has happened, it is taken up with probate, changing bank details etc.etc. The first year after your loved one has died is terrible, as it is the first of everything, birthdays, anniversary, Christmas, Easter etc. when he is not with you because all you can say is my husband was here this time last year. The second year is your first year of looking back and knowing your husband was not here this time last year. The third year, in my case, it really sank in that he was not coming back, I still had all his clothes in the wardrobe so I decided it was time to let them go. Tears and more tears, finding rubbish, pens, chewing gum, polo mints, train tickets, comb, aftershave in his pockets just about finished me off but I did it on my own and gave his clothes to charity. I have kept all his LP’s, CD’s, cassettes, 45 rpm records, every single one of his books. He was an avid photograph taker of any kind of transport, so I donated all his photos to the relevant museums, there were thousands of photos and they were so grateful for them as they dated back to the late 40’s when he was a young lad. I kept a jacket, trousers and trainers and they are in my wardrobe. Like I have said, it is now three years since he died and this September would have been our Golden wedding anniversary. I have kept his ashes and in my will I have stated that mine and my husbands ashes have to be scattered together in Devon where we spent many happy years of our lives on holiday, our sons know the spot as we went there last year so I could show them. You will get up in the morning, you will get your breakfast, you will do your chores, what there are to do and that is not many now you are on your own. You will actually look for things to do to keep you occupied. Some people are different and can move on or appear to move on more quickly, I couldn’t. I learned to smile, laugh and appear to be happy but inside I was dying. Nothing is the same or ever will be the same. I too feel guilty about some things that happened, I was my husband’s carer for three years and he could not do much for himself. I am three years older than my husband and it took it’s toll on me, I was 71 when he died. He had to have different food to me so I was cooking twice and by the time I had sat down to eat he wanted me to do something for him so my meal went cold, I snapped a few times and got angry and now, I feel so guilty about it. I forget about the good things I actually did for him for those three years of being a 24/7 carer, it is the snapping at him that I always think about. All you can do is live day to day. I think my biggest mistake was always looking at our photos, watching our wedding video and see him kissing me when we came out of the church, it is as if I am re-living it day after day. I wish I had a time machine to go back and do it all again. I hope you are stronger than I am, I didn’t see a doctor or go to see a councillor I wanted to do it in my own way, perhaps if I had I could accept my life as it is now. My sister died when she was 47 years old and her husband, my brother-in-law never got over her. He died last year and his last words were, at last, I will be with her again. So you never get over it, you learn to live with it. I am thinking about you, I really am. Sending you all my love.xx

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

Oh LinseyMark, I am so sorry, but I did not realise you were such a young woman for this to happen to. Your circumstances are so much different to mine in many ways. Yes, you are going through one of the worst things that can happen to a person but you are very young with many, many years in front of you, whilst I am nearing the end of my life. I was very lucky to have had so many years with my husband. I no longer have much of a future left but you still have a long life to live so like I have said, we are in a much different position to each other. Yes you will cry and scream with the pain of it all, but in the end you will learn to live a different kind of life and get through it day by day. You will have your work and friends at work and your family to help you get through it, don’t turn them away, let them help you. If they ask you to go out with them, go out, All my family have died so all I have are my memories of what was and I have no chance of making anymore meaningful memories, you on the other hand have the chance to make some wonderful memories in the future but you will never forget your memories of the past, they are part of you. I am grateful for my wonderful long life with my husband and cannot imagine what is is like to lose yours when you are such a young woman. Don’t cut yourself off from everyone. Do what I did, put on a brave face if they ask you how you are tell them you are coping, no-one will ever know how much you cry when you walk back into an empty house after being out, but that is a part of grieving. I still cry at night when I go to bed, but that is for the life I no longer have and the life I will never have again, but you, in time, will find it does get much easier. I will be honest with you, I have not let myself move on, because as far as I am concerned, with me being in my late 70’s and on my own there is nothing for me to move on to so I live in the past much of the time, re-living my memories of what was. You must not do that, you must live in the present otherwise you will miss out on so many wonderful years ahead. It is alright to cry for him you would not be normal if you didn’t, but he would not want you to spend the rest of your life in mourning, he would want you to do the things he will no longer be able to do so don’t waste all these years you still have to live by shutting yourself off from the world, don’t throw your life away, yes you can grieve and cry all you want but don’t give up. Get out of bed each morning and put one foot in front of the other and one day, the loss of your husband will not be the first thing on your mind when you wake up, it will hit you every so often like a thump in the stomach, but it won’t be there 24 hours a day. I know this from experience but my problem is I will not let go of anything, every day I look at photos and videos and play our music. I know I shouldn’t because it is stopping me living my life in the present and missing out on some great things, you must not do that, don’t throw the rest of your life away like I have. Live in the present and you will slowly get through it, never forgetting him, but being able to remember him with a smile on your face and not sadness. I wish I could take my own advice, but like I say my life is totally different to yours and I don’t have much of a future left, you have so many wonderful years facing you so don’t through them away. Lots of love.xx

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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

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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.

Tina19, Please feel free to join any conversation you want to as it helps us all in our efforts to find some sense out of all this heartache we are going through and reading other peoples posts are really a relief because you know you are not alone living with the hurt of it all. When it happens to you, you think that no-one else in the entire world knows what you are going through, but this site and many more like it help us to understand we are not alone, there are others going through the exact same thing as we are. Some much younger than myself and my husband were. You are only 8 months into your journey without your loving husband, as you know I am three years now and believe you me, it still hurts so much. Yes I am living day to day, week to week. Keeping busy, looking for jobs to do. It is when I stop, sit down with a coffee that I am back at square one again. I used to be an avid reader, I loved books, but since Peter died I can’t concentrate on what I am reading, I read the first page over and over again but can’t make sense of it because I am thinking of other things. Our eldest son got married last year and they are now expecting a baby and it breaks my heart that he will never see his new grandchild. Watching our son get married without my husband by my side was heart-wrenching and I don’t know how I kept it all together. There is one thing I will say, that I have not mentioned in my other posts is what happened to me when Peter died. I used to be so outgoing, could talk to anyone, loved to get dressed up and go out for meals with my husband, it never mattered to me if I didn’t know the people from his work we were meeting up with, I had so much confidence I could fit in with anyone. The day he died, I changed, I was afraid to do things on my own, hated going out shopping, all my self confidence was gone, I was a completely different woman, all because I was no longer a part of a couple, I was now alone. I feel as if half of me is missing, even after three years, I am no longer the same person. Perhaps it is because as a couple you can go anywhere you want to but on your own you stand out. All I can say Tina is don’t expect miracles, it is a hard, painful journey and is something we have to live through, there is no getting away from it, it is there day in day out, but we are not alone like I say there are hundreds of us going through the same journey and in a small way that helps because you know you are not alone. This afternoon our sons and grandchildren came to see me, we went on the park and played tennis and cricket and then I ordered pizzas and for a short while it took my mind off things, but once they left I was back to square one, thinking how much Peter would have loved the afternoon on the park with his sons and grandchildren. I cry for what I have lost and I cry for what Peter has lost. Perhaps one day I will accept it. I am sending all my love to you Tina, I wish I could be more positive and tell you it will soon get better, perhaps it will in time for all of us but no-one can tell us when that will be. Love Sheilaxx

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

Hello Colleen, yes this is a marvellous group and we are all here for each other because we know what hell we are all going through. Regarding your husbands clothes, it took me 2.1/2 years before I could contemplate moving my Peters clothes. My logic was if they were still in his wardrobe with all his shoes etc. he would come home one day. Our sons kept telling me that I need to give their dad’s clothes away as they were not helping me at all. I was in his wardrobe daily, smelling them, touching them and crying. One day I plucked up courage to do it, it was a laughing, crying and playing hell with him kind of day. The rubbish I found in his pockets, tissues, rail cards, bus tickets, museum entrance tickets, polo mints, small bottles of aftershave, about 6 combs, I found little things I had been looking for but no, he had no idea where they were, they were in his jacket pocket so I told him off. If anyone could have heard me they would have thought I had gone barmy. Our sons wanted to help but I refused because I know it would have been harder for me, them seeing all their dads clothes go into a box for charity, so I did it on my own. I gave them their dad’s watches and rings, I had his wedding ring re-sized to fit me and had it engraved. The second the wardrobe was empty I moved some of my clothes in from my wardrobe as I could not bear to see it stood empty. I then decided there was no way I could give them away so I put them in the utility room, just in case, just in case he came back? A few weeks later our sons took them to a charity shop that helps hospices and I sat and cried my eyes out. I don’t know if it was because his clothes were no longer there so he could not now come home or that I had let him down by giving them away, all I know was it broke my heart. One of the things that made it worse was that I found quite a lot of his clothes still with the tags on that he never got round to wearing, so the tears started again. This was six months ago. I will be honest, I wish I had kept them all and let our sons deal with my husbands and mine when I died, but I then thought that would be cruel to them, sorting through their mum and dad’s things, so I gave them away to a good cause. Our sons and myself are going out for a meal on what would have been our Golden Wedding anniversary in a few weeks and raising our glasses to both Peter and myself. Sendingm you all my love. Sheilaxxxx

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