It’s not just missing them, it’s more

I lost my husband over three months ago and have been devastated after a long and happy marriage. For the sake of my lovely family, I have been trying to build a new life, but as many have said, lockdown isn’t helping with that.
Having avoided comedy programmes on tv since he died, tonight I switched channels and caught Mrs Brown’s Boys. I laughed, for only about the third time since Tony died. Then, I felt awful. I was laughing at something without him. Something he will never be able to see. I felt so bad that I was actually laughing and he will never do that. I can’t imagine ever being happy again. The cause of my married happiness has gone for ever, and I feel worse today than I ever have because now I *know * it really is true - I will never see him again.
Has anyone else felt like this? Should I go to the doctor for help? I don’t fancy counselling but I really need some help.

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Oh my dear - I think most of us have felt like you do. I remember feeling terrible the first few times I laughed. Often I was laughing through the tears, and still do. I remember feeling guilty because I was laughing. I like to laugh. We liked to laugh. Laughter is spontaneous, and I truly believe it’s healing. Laughter takes away the pain, just for that brief moment. It is also very bittersweet, realizing that now, I have no one to share it with. We need to laugh. Allow yourself to laugh.
It’s been almost 16 months and I’m still learning to accept the finality. I’m still working very hard to heal myself. I’m trying my best to cope with this new existence. It’s not easy ,or pleasant, or the way I want it to be, but it is what I have.
It’s still very early for you to “build a new life” - that will come. For now you need only go day by day, or hour by hour. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Look after your health, and enjoy nature (another healing tool).
At 3 months I was still completely traumatized. I knew nothing but my grief. It is hard and painful. I said to someone that I was just going day to day. The following is the reply : " Y’know, I think that’s all you can do. Flow one day into another until time wears the edges off your grief, and turns it into something smooth and weighty in your palm. It almost becomes like a prayer stone - rounded by your constant touching and exploring of its edges. Trust your gut and feel whatever comes as it comes."… And now I have found that the sharp edges of my grief are softening…
There are so many caring, compassionate, understanding people on this site. All of them know this terrible road we’re on, and will be willing to help guide you. I’m in a different country so I can’t give advice on counselling or a doctor.
I sincerely hope that you can find some solace and perhaps a moment’s peace.

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Hi. HD. What a lovely explanation of grief. The reply you got from that person says a lot about compassion, caring and understanding. Thank you for sharing. It’s little things that help pick us up. Grief has many sharp edges and memory plays such a big part, because all we can think about in the beginning is the pain we feel and what may have happened in the end. Positive thoughts and feelings are rare, if at all. It’s two years for me and the pain is still in the background and I think, always will be. I manage and have got into a routine, but life can never be the same again. If we accept that and live day by day it does ease the burden somewhat
Kind regards and Blessings. John.

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I know exactly how you are feeling Ann, like you I am only recently bereaved and can’t ever imagine laughing again. The lockdown doesn’t help because if we can’t get out and everyone is afraid to visit us then all we think about is our own pain and the person we have lost. We get caught up in our own misery. Like you Ann I am realizing that I will never see my beloved Mike again and after 40 plus years that hurts. I think it is normal to feel like this but if you think a chat with your Doctor would help then do follow that route. I think if people in our situation could get to coffee mornings or other get togethers we would all have a better chance to accept our situation. Sending love to you Ann.x

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Hi. Ann. Three months is so little time. It may seem ages to you because I found time passed so slowly in the beginning. Yes, I am sure we have all felt the way you feel. ‘Never see them again’. Maybe, but is that true?
I believe we will, but this is not the time or place to go into that. I had a thread on this subject a while ago and the response was so heartening.
A visit to your GP can do no harm. They deal with grief as part of their job, and even if you don’t want medication they can often offer useful advice.
Bereavement counselling can be helpful too. Why do you not fancy counselling? Bereavement counsellors are trained in this very specialised subject, and you will get nothing but kindness and understanding from them Give it a try. Sue Ryder have a counselling service. It’s best not to try and ‘get over’ this pain. Far better to go with it and go ‘through it’ with as much patience and understanding as you can muster. This is not easy, and I would never attempt to minimise your pain. Been there!!!
Be kind to yourself as well as others who may mourn with you. My Blessings and good wishes are with you. John.

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That’s lovely, and really helped me. Thank you so much.

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Thank you so much. I think I might try the doctor, as I am definitely feeling worse and not better. I wasn’t expecting to get over it quickly - in fact, I know I shan’t ever get over it but my worry was that I am getting worse.
I am lucky in that I have a great family who support me and I have made a great friend on here and we help each other. People on this site are so kind and helpful. Just like you!
I am sending you a virtual hug.

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Thank you for your advice, it’s appreciated.
Why don’t I fancy counselling? Good question and I am not entirely sure of the answer myself. Possibly because I don’t fancy sobbing to a stranger. That said, I have made a brilliant friend on here and she has been such a good support, as I hope I have been to her. We talk to one another as though we have been friends for years instead of weeks and I can tell her anything, bless her.
Maybe counselling might appeal later, and if I continue to get worse, I will certainly consider it.
Thanks again.

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I like so many am devastated at the loss of my husband after 31 years together, we had to call 999 when my husband had a racing heart and arrhythmias, something he suffered with. The hospital usually kept him until stable and discharged. This time I said goodbye at the ambulance, no hospital visiting, and communication was poor. I was told he had probably caught Covid at hospital. We had been shielding prior to his admission. He passed away three weeks later. I feel a mixture of guilt and sadness, that he went to hospital, and that he wasnt able to come home. He never had a positive test, but was put on a Covid ward and Covid was mentioned on his death certificate. Some days I sit and do nothing and cry a lot. Covid means no mixing of households in my area which doesnt help

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Hi Ann I lost my husband in June after a short battle with cancer I know exactly how you feel I feel guilty everyday for still being here and watching certain tv programmes is really difficult especially ones we watched together. I’m really struggling at moment to accept this is my life now it horrible not being able to share that very special love we had for each other anymore .

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Absolutely. You completely understand, and another issue is the fact that I find it hard to think that we are probably going to feel that way for the rest of our days. I don’t know what the answer is, I really don’t but it’s hard to think we will not be truly happy again, ever. Our husbands would not have wanted that for us.

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After 7 yrs a widow, I used to say I am alone not lonely but Covid restrictions, less work, less social events is finally taking its toll. Last week is was in Turkey with my travel buddy when suddenly we were told to self isolate on return, not a problem I knew this could happen and I work from home . I did the correct thing I ordered my shopping from Asda delivery should be tonight but then they call to say they have a delivery problem and could I collect, err NO I am self isolating. Could someone else come to collect, no I live alone . I suggested they pay for a taxi to deliver it, watch this space. I hate being alone and not in control

Oh Steph, what a carry-on! We don’t need all this aggravation, do we, on top of everything else?
7 years? I am only about 14 weeks into the nightmare. How is it after 7 years? Does life ever get bearable again? This journey is one I never really thought about. Beyond discussing the details of our future funerals, we hadn’t thought about dying. At least I knew what my husband wanted for his funeral etc and didn’t have to rummage through paperwork to find out.
I hope the taxi came. I have had home deliveries for years and it has been really helpful, especially as, white not self isolating now, I don’t go out unless I have to, and certainly not to shops!
Keep safe and look after yourself, and thanks for writing.

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I cannot recommend bereavement counselling highly enough. I honestly could not have managed without it after my husband died. They helped me to understand the grieving process and my own emotional reactions. They validated my feelings and gave me an opportunity to talk through things that I could not talk through with others. are a look here -
https://www.cruse.org.uk
They are specialists and they really helped me.
I don’t have any family but full understand your need to spare your family. I felt the same way about my friends.

It’s early days yet
I cried when I redecorated cos he won’t see it xx
This week we’ve had a new grandson it’s hard still and it’s 2 years for me

Hi Ann

I would absolutely agree with John 123, such a time scale is nothing. You have had such a sadness to face and your life has changed beyond recognition leaving your emotions without any control. I would really support the idea of bereavement counselling: it’s actually a strength to recognise you need some help with your emotions. After all we wouldn’t drag our fractured leg past A&E saying “ it’s ok, it will heal in time” yet we think we should be able to handle the emotional chaos that happens after a bereavement
I used the Sue Ryder counselling service last year and it made such a positive difference to how I dealt with my situation. Its also on line and so very easy to access. Good luck and be gentle on yourself. X

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Thank you so much to all of you have written. Your advice, encouragement and support has been invaluable. I hope you all find peace and some happiness.

Dear Anne R I really do feel for you. I lost my fiance in July due to prostate cancer and it feels unbearable at times. Like you I have avoided certain programmes however laughing is good and I am convinced your husband would be so happy to know you have found a little bit of joy. I am a Counsellor however have been seeing one and it has helped enormously, please try to see one .Sendibg lots of love Ali x

Thank you Ali. I am gradually getting nearer to warming to the idea of a counsellor but I’m not quite there yet! I want to make the right decision and would feel better if I could have a counsellor who couldn’t see me. I am not a pretty sight when I cry!

Oh AnnR I am sure most of us feel that when we cry however as a counsellir we realise that when a person cries that they are being authentic and really feeling deeply. A good counsellor would never judge or let you feel bad for crying.

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