I'm trying to cope with the death of my beloved husband but am not managing it very well

The love of my life and my soulmate who I was married to for coming up to 16 years hadn’t been well for a number of months. Having been a very active and physically fit man, he was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis at the beginning of this year, COPD after an exacerbation and visit to A&E at the end of February. He was 65 and I am 51.

To cut a very long story short, after several more hospital visits he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer on 19th July which had spread to his liver and bones and was given months to live.

Both of us came to terms with this and he stayed comfortably at home whilst we made short term but exciting plans.

Unfortunately these were cut short. He was taken to A&E by ambulance on 14th August, spent 4 days being shifted from pillar to post in a NHS hospital with a despicable lack of care. However, thanks to the St. Raphael’s Hospice palliative care doctors and nurses he was finally moved to their lovely hospice on the afternoon of the 18th August but sadly passed away the following morning but I was with him.

I thought I was doing well, having organised the funeral and even read at it. Also, I must say that I have had tremendous support from friends and family but tonight, having had spells of heartfelt grief and tears over the past few weeks, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a tsunami of tears which is why I’m writing on this forum. All brought on by silly memories of my darling Alan playing with our cats in the garden. Tickling their tummies when he was supposed to be doing something practical but smiling when I caught him.

I miss him so very much.

Tams in I’m sorry for your lossi lost my partner of 25 years suddenly on 11th may this year like yourself I have good friends and family support but it’s not the same the loneliness you feel is so overwhelming Robert was my world all I do is cry because I miss him so much the only thing I can suggest is counciling I go to one and I think it helps talking to someone outside family and friends who understands what your going through you can get all your emotions out I hope this helps you in some way I’m here anytime you need to talk keep your chin up take care of yourself xxxxx

Dear Janey,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. It must have been devastating to have Robert taken away so suddenly. At least I had one month with my beloved Alan but it wasn’t a good one and I still feel cheated. I’m going to look into counselling as I think you’re right, you need to talk things through with an outsider. My head knows that he was suffering and ready to go but my heart can’t cope with him not being here. Thinking of you. Tamsin.

Dear tamsin my situation is a bit different from your Robert died suddenly and I didn’t get to say goodbye so he didn’t know I got there Alan had taken ill in both circumstances it doesn’t take our pain away I blame myself for Robert going to the shops the day he died he went out for rolls for me and I blame myself he collapsed when he came off the bus directly outside my house every time I look out the window. I see Robert lying there which breaks my heart hopefully in time we both can learn to live with our new lives we have no other choice I’m here anytime you need to talk to someone take care thinking of you xx


Please, please don’t blame yourself. Neither you nor Robert could have known when or where this would happen and it sounds like it could have happened anywhere at any time. It wasn’t your fault and please try and accept this. It wasn’t my fault that my beloved Alan died but it is something that we are both going to have to live with and we have to make the most of our lives on their behalves.

Thinking of you at this horrible time.


Thanks tamsin I’m having a really bad day today Robert been on my mind all day feeling really sad speak soon x

Hi Janey, I’m also having a bad day. If you want to chat call or text me [edited].

T x

Hi Tasmin & Janey
I am so sorry for your loss and sadness. My Barrie passed away in January he had had oesophagus cancer and been fighting for several months with no complaints, he also had heart surgery six years ago and nearly went then, what I am trying to say is that although, I new time was short for him it is still a big shock when it happens, I thought we would be together forever, and I feel so guilty that I couldn’t do more for him to make his life easier. I cry every day and cannot find motivation to do anything.
I have since moved back to the UK from Spain, and whilst I am looking for a place to live, I am not interested in making any decisions, we did everything together. We have a little cat who Barrie thought the world of and she is my only salvation. I tell myself I will come out of this one day, as I am sure you both do, life is just a blurr.

I know how you feel Chrissy I just plodding along in a dream taking each day as it comes since Robert died I’m a different person someone I don’t like I just feel miserable all the time I don’t think I will ever smile again my world has fell apart and I don’t know how to cope I’m 55 and I feel my world has ended do you understand how I feel do you feel the same way ?i never thought I would feel like this I always thought I was a strong person but obviously I’m not contact me anytime you want someone to rant to sorry for being so down I’m having a bad day speak soon x

Hi Chrissy and Janey,

I really feel for you both. At the age of 51, I’ve lost both parents and also a friend, which I eventually came to terms with.

However, nothing can prepare you for losing the love of your life. Whether it is expected or sudden it is still devastating.

Alan and I still had plans after his prognosis which unfortunately we couldn’t achieve together as the ‘months’ turned out to be weeks.

I am though determined to fulfill our plans and move from London to Kent, where we both wanted to live together with our two cats. Where I’d work from home from whilst he had planned to get on a mobility scooter to go down to the seafront and the pub for lunch.

Our husbands/lovers/soulmates/best friends wouldn’t want to see us suffering like this. I know we all are but pull your socks up girls, we’ll get through it, as they would want us to.

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Thanks tamsin I hope all goes well with your move keep your chin up I’m here anytime you need me speak soon x


I’m so sorry for your loss and reading your message has some very close scenarios to myself. I lost my wife to esophagael cancer on 28th August after a 11 month battle. We were diagnosed in September 2015 being told we had 2 years but as you this horrible disease cut short that, and my wife went to Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough who were fantastic. We were married for 33 years and had so many plans for the last year but we never got to do these. My wife was only 52 and I too like you am very emotional and just can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel without my wife June. I have excellent support from my family and friends but the mornings and evenings for me are the worst, the house is so lonely and empty.

I’m trying to come to terms with losing my husband of 9 months after a 19 month battle with lung cancer. Ted died on 15th August this year aged 77. We managed to keep him at home as that is what he wanted and I nursed him more or less 24/7. Its very lonely and empty. Friends and family have been brilliant but it’s not the same and your still alone when they go home. It’s like being alone in a crowd. Ted had always been fit and active and he found it very hard that his independence had been taken away. I’m finding it very hard to sleep. My daughter is trying to get me to go away for a few days as I’ve been doing all the things that you need to do when this happens, and she says it would give me time to grieve. The only thing I can think is I’d be there with out my Ted. We had both been married before and both lost our partners to illness. It’s not made it any easier. Sorry if this is a bit all over the place.


I know a little how you are feeling as I too looked after my wife June at home through her year long battle with esophagael cancer. She was a very active, homely and independent woman and it was unfair that this horrible disease takes that away from a person you love so much. June went into Sue Ryder Hospice on 18th August which is what her request was in the end as I think she was protecting me as she was aware her body just couldn’t take anymore and finally passed away on 28th August and I stayed with her 24/7 in the hospice. My family as yours keep me active and my 2 daughters and son in laws try to get me to go away for days or a couple but like you I struggle to have the drive to go without June as you do without Ted. They say time is a healer but think for is that probably is going to be a long journey but all being well we will come to terms eventually to be able to cope with our losses but will never forget our loved ones.


Thank you for your reply and yes I think your right it’s going to be a long journey but one we will have to make one step at a time.

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been getting links to your messages and do really feel for you all. Whether a loved one has been taken away quickly or slowly, it’s a loss that nobody else can really understand.

Right, I’m going to bong on for a bit as I too am having a bad day and do feel free to ignore me.

Yesterday was week four of losing my beloved Alan which also happened to be our 16th wedding anniversary which really didn’t help.

When he suddenly passed away on 19th August, with me by his side, I couldn’t take it in at all at first but then busied myself with finalising the funeral arrangements, which we had both started organising together. I don’t want to distress any of you who may be religious but neither of us were, so opted for a Humanist one and, as a retired carpet cleaner, he was delighted that he could be laid to rest in a ‘cardboard box’ and taken to the crematorium in a ‘white van’ with me as a passenger thanks to Poppy’s Funerals.

As funerals go, I think this was a good one and am happy to describe it to anyone else who also wants to share their experience.

What I do want to get feedback on though is the fact that my head knows that Alan was really suffering and wanted to go, he told me so several times and also said to the doctors/consultants ‘if I was your dog, you would put me down’.

My heart though misses the happy, physically strong, handsome man that I was married to before this awful disease took over and cut our lives together so short.

I think my point is to remember all of the good times, try and forget the bad and know that our loved ones can now at least rest.

Hi tamsin nice to speak to you again I also had a humanist for Roberts funeral and everyone thought it was more personal I know what you mean I miss Robert so much the same as you miss Alan I think it’s going to take us a long time to get over the shock of our loved ones passing our lives will never be the same and we just need to try and adjust to the change in our lives forever it’s still early days for us just but hopefully in time we will adjust and the loneliness and pain will ease I’m having a really bad day today myself I just feel numbed by the whole experience I feel so incomplete and lonely I have good family support and friends but it’s when you are on your own it hits you I’m here anytime you need me take care xx

Hi Tamsin

I’ve been reading your postings, and just thought I’d write and say Hi, and that although we are all alone with our individual grief we’re not alone in that there are many many people (as this website attests to) going through exactly what we’re going through. My darling husband Gordon passed away suddenly this May, we’d been together 32 years, and all I’m trying to do is get through each day without him. Outside the house and at work I can keep it suppressed, but as soon as I’m in our home that we shared for almost 30 years I find I have to keep busy, because as soon as I stop I just find myself crying uncontrollably. I know he had to go because it turned out he had heart problems and emphysema (which we were unaware of) and I wouldn’t want him back suffering with those conditions because he was so strong and independent, but I get selfish moments where I just wish he was back, and I just miss sharing everything with him. I’m lucky in that work will pay for 6 sessions with a counsellor, so I’ve just had session 4 and I just go into his room and cry for the whole hour pretty much because I can let all my thoughts and feelings out with him as he knew neither of us.

Take care, Louise xx

Hi Everyone,

I really appreciate that we’re all seriously going through hell right now but trying to do our best. Waking up in the morning, every morning, and not having our beloved partners next to us and remembering that they are no longer with us hits me, at least and I’m sure you, with a lightning bolt every time.

To be perfectly honest, the only reason I get out of bed is because our cats make it perfectly clear that they’re hungry.

Once I’m up though, it’s better. Thankfully I work from home and have done since Alan was taken ill.

Anyway, the point of my message was to say that I have been writing to Alan over the past few evenings about my day, which we would normally have talked about in the grand scheme of things, and it’s helped me a lot. I would really recommend that you do the same. It may seem weird and hard but please try it. It’s helped me.

Thinking of you all.


You are correct the mornings for me as yourself are certainly the worst, I get up ok but once Instart to get ready for the day with my breakfast it just hits me that I’m on my own.
That is a sensible very good piece of advice about writing to, I may try that if my talking to June gets too much but then again I know what June would say to me, that she can’t read my writing as she was the one with the neat writing.
I had thought only a few days ago about getting a dog again as we use to have a border collie but we had to have him put down a few years back but he was 13 years old, but with my work and travelling abroad again when I get back into it makes it even more difficult now on my own, as Jasper our collie was a super companion for June while I was away working.
You take care and glad you have found a little comfort in writing letters to Alan.