Just lost my husband

Hi, i lost my husband five days ago. He died from bronchopneumonia complicated by a heart condition. He was 42, we had been married ten years, together for twelve and we have twin 3 year old girls. He was a devoted father, husband and was quite a character with many friends. We are seeking an inquest around his death as it was very unexpected and there are lots of unanswered questions around his death in hospital (Without wanting to go into too much detail about this).
We have lived in Australia for the past 11 years and were on holiday here visiting family and friends deciding whether to make the move back while the kids are young, so that they can be around their family. We were due to fly back to Australia on the 2nd June. Instead, my darling husband and soulmate died on the 1st June in England. I’ll be staying in England now as i will be needing the support of my family with the children and they need their family around them. We havent told them yet, but we have thought carefully about how to go about it and plan to do it soon.
I’m in the worst pain of my life and have been wishing for death. I know that sounds awful as a mother, but i just feel like the grief is too big for my head and heart to bear. We were best friends and our worlds revolved around each other.
I havent experienced the loss of a loved one like this before and so i dont know how long i will feel like this for. I have read some of the posts of other people who have lost their husbands and they say that years on it is still raw and very painful. I dont know whether i will survive that long.
I was a better person with my husband, secure, happy and content in my own skin. I have lost that now and im worried i am never going to feel the same again. This time last week we were at a friends house, enjoying life without much of a care in the world, having had a wonderful holiday togther. I dont just feel as if my heart is broken, which it is, it is shattered into a million pieces. I feel as if i have lost a part of myself that makes me function…like the right side of my brain or something. That probably sounds mad, but its true.
The doctor has given me medication which helps with the panic, but i’m still so distressed.
We knew he was sick in hospital, but i didnt understand that he was gravely sick, the drs did not communicate anything to me. My husband didnt know that he could die either, during our last conversations we discussed trivial things like rearranging flights and logistics about who was looking after the girls. We were told he was going to be discharged Saturday, so we were just planning how to get through the week without him at home. I didnt spend enough time with him and i wasnt there during his final moments. I am ridden with guilt.
The dr is getting me a counsellor, but i’m wondering if this group may provide some support too.

Hi KandL,

I am the community manager here and I just wanted to post a quick message to let you know that someone has read your story. I am so sorry to hear about the death of your husband. It sounds as though it was a huge shock and the unanswered questions about what happened are making things even harder.

You clearly had a wonderful close relationship and it certainly doesn’t sound mad at all to say that you have lost a part of yourself. Your loss is very recent and raw, and the advice most commonly given on this site is to be kind to yourself and take things day by day, or even hour by hour.

I’m sorry to hear that you feel you didn’t spend enough time with him. Guilt is a really common part of grief - here is a discussion from a little while back where other members have talked about coping with grief: https://support.sueryder.org/community/life-after-bereavement/guilt-and-grief

It is good that your doctor has referred you to a counsellor, and I hope that it also helps even a tiny bit to have this outlet and to talk to others on this site - you are among people who understand here. Some other good places to get support are:

I am so sorry to hear what as happened to you. Please rest assured that we are all thinking of you today and in the future. The next few months will be very hard and there is so much to do and think about just when all you want to do is hide under a big soft blanket of love. When we loss a loved one who is such a big part of our life we feel that the pain will never stop or go away. Things get easer and I think with your lovely girls and all your family around you will heel and feel better, it takes time. Always remember to be kind to yourself, by all means cry and kick and scream. But be kind to yourself. Tomorrow is another day and things always seem better tomorrow. Life goes on and your little girls will need you even more, they will bring you lots of comfort and love. God bless you and your girls and remember the web site is always here and no one will judge you because we are all going though it and one day come out the other side. Yes, you will.

I am truly sorry for your loss and as I lost my darling husband only 2 months ago do feel the rawness that you are feeling. We had been together for 57 yrs, not only as husband and wife but as best friends. I also find it so hard to be here each day without him.
You will go on for the sake of your young children, remembering that your husband lives on in them. Do what he would want you to do and you will find that inner strength that you are desperate for. Grieving is different for everyone and I have been told it will get easier, even if that seems impossible now.
God bless and keep your little close as they have lost their loving daddy.

Hi. I am devastated for you. My husband walked out to our garden just over 2 years ago and collapsed with a massive bleed on the brain. That was on the Friday and although we spoke a little in the ambulance that was the last time I told him I loved him. I miss him so much and remember the raw pain pain I felt and still do. My sons are grown with their own children so I didn’t have to grieve and look after them too. You will feel so many things and have very dark thoughts there is no point in telling you different. I can still look at my grandchildren and pray to die. I am not sure that I would still feel like that if I had small children but I honestly don’t know. I wish I could give you some advice but we are all the same but different going through the same things but sometimes at different times. I would suggest that you don’t make any major decisions for some time yet, trust your own gut feeling if you think something isn’t right for you and most of all don’t be hard on yourself; no self criticism and be kind to yourself and understand you are not superwoman. I have just finished a book written by Maddy Paxman called The Great Below, A Journey Into Loss. She too suffered a sudden loss and also has a child. I could relate to a lot of how she felt - we are still different and although similar it will not be exactly the same. It may be worth reading in the future. I wish I could help or say something but I just can’t. I hope your family are able to give you lots of support. This is a great forum to just talk so I hope you feel you can write anything and we will not judge because at least one of us will have felt the same at some point. Take care. Love Ev x

Thanks you for your comments. I spoke to the dr today for a long time and he showed me my husbands notes from the surgery which helped somewhat. I still have many questions for the drs at the hospital and a full investigation is underway. My girls and I are now living in a different country with my sister and brother in law, who have made us very welcome and are looking after us all. But it is a stark contrast to the settled life we had in Australia in the not too distant past.
We’re telling the girls tomorrow as they have started to ask questions. Another difficult day.
Thanks so much for you replies.

I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your story and your reply. I feel less alone in this when I read these.

Thank you. The dr advised me to get in contact with cruse which I will tomorrow.

Thanks so much for the reassurance, I really need to hear that.

You were together so long, it must be so difficult. Thanks for the support, it’s much appreciated.

Thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. My four year old grandson still asks questions. So difficult. Take care Ev x

Tomorrow try to keep smiling and think of all the good times you had together. I think you will be surprised at the resilience of your little girls and they will show you how to deal with the grief. Children have a capacity for seeing through things that us adults cannot. We will all be thinking of you and wishing you well. Life will get better it is early days yet and yes you will have bad days but also good ones which make you think and wounder why.

Oh how very very sad and tragic. We are all thinking of you and hoping you know there is support here for you in however a “remote” way.
Your grief will go through many stages and back again and that is quite natural. There is so very much for you to cope with - your tragic loss, your twins, your undecided future in whichever country, the practicalities and legalities, and your all-consuming grief.
Take one hour at a time. Grieve and cry when you need to do so and expect that feeling to come out of nowhere and take over usually at unexpected times.
Yes you were a stronger, more assured person with your husband, but not a better one. You will face many challenges and prove to yourself you are no less a person because of your loss and you will find that you do cope, albeit differently.
When I lost my husband unexpectedly and quickly I feared for the future and how I would cope without him, the love of my life. I learnt to do so much and what I could not do and was worried about I sought advice and guidance and help on. I am still doing this with the practicalities of keeping a home and the bricks and mortar safe and functioning. Your husband will guide you and be with you and one day, at one moment, you will realise that he is helping you however he can.
Do not be ridden with guilt at not discussing more important things with your husband and not spending much time with him. The drs are at fault, as they were with us. I was told not to cry in front of him and not to let him see me upset. A quiet, private man I knew he would not want long philosophical conversations but I have never forgiven myself for the precious time we lost and words we did not say. Be sure he knows how you feel about him then and now and for ever. Talk to him outloud, not just in your head. I found my greatest help was, eventually, many many months on, writing down all, anything and everything in a book. For this I bought a lovely notebook with a lovely cover and quality paper, a quality fountain pen, and I wrote and wrote and wrote. I still write but not daily or monthly, just when I feel the need, because I know he knows how I feel, what I am doing, what is going on etc. Perhaps you might find comfort in such an approach.
No one who has not done so, understands the loss of a partner/husband. It is not like losing a parent. With a parent your history goes but you still have a present and a future with your partner. When your husband goes you lose your hopes, dreams, plans, present, future and for a while I lost our past as I could not bear to visit it as it was overshadowed by the unexpected tragedy.
All this is normal. Everything is normal, in whatever way you experience it. You are unique, your relationship is unique and this is on your terms now. Take no arguments from others.
I am thinking of you.

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Hello, I am so sorry to hear your story, my husband died nearly 5 months ago when our daughter was 2 and a half and it is still like living in alternate (really really crappy) universe.
I have found to helpful to write down in a book all of the things that our daughter has said or done, or just general stuff tht would have made Fraser laugh, I found it made me feel less alone as a parent.
I don’t know if you are a reader but I found a book called ‘life after you’ (also published as ‘me after you’) helpful, she was young and had a young child when her husband died and it’s a very realistic observation of how she felt. I became a bit obsessed with ‘widow books’ but have found the following quotes helpful,
“this person is not less real because he isn’t real now, just as people in New Zealand aren’t less real because they aren’t real here” and, finally, it’s depressing but I found it sort of liberating to acknowledge “oh god, you are going to be so unhappy”.
Thinking of you x

My husband died just over 2 years ago very suddenly leaving me and two sons in their 30’s who have children of their own. I honestly cannot imagine the added pain of having to look after young children - this is a bravery which is even beyond the comprehension of people who have not suffered a devastating loss. You are right when you say you are going to be so unhappy and will be for some time, however, I truly hope that life will also give you some kindness at some point in the future - you deserve it. Try and be kind to yourself and accept all offers of help. Take care Evelyn x

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I do so agree with Evelyn, your lives are ahead of you and your grief will hurt for sometime to come but you are strong and will overcome it and you will live though it to fight another day. At present you will feel that the end of your world has come but remember tomorrow is another day. There will be big challenges and you may want to give in but because you have little ones you must and will go on. Watch your diet and sleep pattern and go for walks with your little ones and also by yourself. It’s time you need and time will heal.Godbless.

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Thanks. I’m still suffering terribly. I go from being an empty shell to just wising i didn’t have to be here anymore. I just live for my girls now. But i’m plagued by thoughts of what this loss has meant to us, for example, that we won’t get to share in the joy of watching our precious girls get older. Everytime one of the girls achieves something, we will say i wish their dad could have seen that. It feels like we will never be able to move on from this, i will never find acceptance and his death is an ongoing curse on our lives. i’m so devasted for my husband too. He was so devoted to us as a family and he is missing out and he did not deserve that. He deserved so much more and that thought pains me deeply.

It all takes time and it is still all new and rare for you. Think of yourself and look after yourself. At this stage it is all you can do. Take each day as it comes and try to relax which is difficult and will be for sometime but you need to just sit and not do anything. You are strong and you will come through this and be stronger because of it. Love yourself.

Yes you are suffering terribly. I cannot say you will ever heal completely but you will become a person with different concerns and things you regard as important. Your husband will know what you and your girls are doing.

KandL I think that I can understand some of what you feel. Fraser was an amazing father and absolutely adored our daughter, she was his pride and joy which has been reconfirmed to me by numerous messages from his work colleagues. It breaks my heart to know that he only had 7 months of joy before being told that he had cancer and that it would kill him. I love to think that he is watching over us but it also makes me so, so sad because I know that there is nowhere that he would rather be than here with us. I suppose the only thing to be certain of is that these amazing fathers would want our daughters to have a life full of love and laughter and new experiences and so that is how we can honour them. Try to remember though that this life is different now, and you don’t know what he would have done if you had died so don’t beat yourself up about having to make different decisions then you would have done if he was still here. Xx

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