Little things I’ve come to realise

My darling husband died in early March this year of pancreatic cancer aged just 45 and my world, like everyone else’s here, fell apart.
It’s still early days and the pain never goes away but I’ve suddenly realised and noticed some small improvements that I have realised.
In the very early days and weeks I couldn’t bear to be alone , terrified that if I was I would sob and cry and pretty much goes to pieces.
I now understand that it’s ok to sob and cry at times, in fact it’s healthy and time alone has become somewhere to reminisce and contemplate and not the frightening place it once was.
In the very early days a particular sone, tv programme , an item of his clothing would reduce me to tears of pain and longing - I still long for him, of course, but these triggers are now more likely to bring a cherished memory and a smile.
Initially, my brain and stomach were in tow entirely different places - I could feel hungry but when I got the food I couldn’t face eating it and other times I couldn’t face food but cooked it because I felt I had to and then realised as I chomping down like a ravenous bear I was so hungry. Nowadays stomach and brain are in the same place .
This morning while walking the dogs, I realised that instead of dragging myself around the park I was enjoying the feeling of the sun on my face , the birds singing and the sheer beauty of the world.
I thought I was the unluckiest woman alive to have lost such a wonderful man now I realise I am the luckiest woman ever as I was his wife.
Bad days still happen, crying and anger are still regular features in my life , but also, like when the longest day is over and slowly and very gradually you start to notice the evenings come slightly lighter earlier, the better days are on their way.
Would love to hear anyone’s tiny little moves forward they have noticed , in the meantime thank you for reading .


Hi. Paula. What a beautiful post. You give so much encouragement to fellow suffers. I too, like you, can see signs of improvement. I see the sun shining and nature in all its glory. My wife was an artist and saw everything through an artist’s eyes. She loved nature and I’m sure she still sees it all. It’s over 18 moths now for me and there are still times when memory hits. But I can live with that, and as the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter I will walk on knowing there is a brighter place ahead.
Thank you so much for your positive post. You have made my day much brighter. Blessings. John.


Paula, what a wonderfully uplifting post. Thank you. I’m so pleased you feel you can see your way through this thing called grief. I am three years along my journey so I can relate to much of what you say. Your words brought to mind something I read yesterday in AfterTalk. It was a transcript of an interview with Joe Biden, American politician:

"All I can tell them is that it will take time. But in time, what’s going to happen is you’re going to find when you think of that son, daughter, husband, wife, mother, father you lost, you’re going to get a smile on your lip before you get a tear in your eye, and that’s when you know you`re going to make it.*
But right now, that’s no solace to anybody that recently lost somebody. It’s of no solace.

But what I have to say is they’re still with you. They’re in your heart, part of your soul, it’s who you are. And you’ve got to have faith the time will come, the time will come when you’ll get through this veil of darkness. You really will.*
But the best way to get through it is with a sense of purpose and realising he or she is with you. They’re in you. They’re part of you.*
They never go away, and they’ll advise you and they`ll be there with you.*

*That’s all I can really say, quite frankly. It’s of no solace to anybody who’s recently lost someone, and this has all been recent."
Apparently, Joe Biden has lost a wife, a daughter and a son.

Thanks again Paula. Much love xx


Lovely, so poignant x


Hi Paula
Thank you so much for showing us that through our grief there is a positive approach to be had. I too am further along this road than you but also like you I turned to the beauty of nature around me to help me through each day along with my dogs that took me for those walks. Finding searching for those small improvements is all important in this journey. My husband was also a painter and painted landscapes. He would tell me to look at the colours around me and this is what I do when I am walking. I have said many times that the countryside and nature can be a big stepping stone to finding some contentment at a time when we are all over the place.
I also chose to spend time on my own. I didn’t want to become dependent on other people. I continued with the interests that we shared and although I doubted I could do them at first I have managed. The tears still come but I like to think that it is Brian letting me know that he is still around and giving me a nudge and making sure I don’t forget him. So the tears are not all bad now. Yes of course it’s al right to sob and cry and why wouldn’t we. We are remembering. I don’t want to forget so those bad moments are now the norm for me.
Dogs, walks, exercise all go together well so you are on the right track. I look for those good moments all the time and am thankful that they come a bit more often now. While walking a wave and a smile to other walkers can be uplifting.
I like your approach and wish you all the best.
Pat xxx


Thank you so much for the three most beautiful posts I have ever read.
They are very much appreciated and certainly give me something to think about instead of my all consuming grief.
So again, thank you dear Paula, dear Jonathan and dear Kate.
Mary x x x


Hi Paula, I am so sorry for your loss. I was the very same. I was afraid to cry and I avoided the things that would remind me of him in case I started and couldn’t stop. The McMillan counsellor said “would you open a coke bottle if it had been shaken up? No, but you would if I opened it a tiny bit at a time. Crying is the same if you don’t then you will eventually explode but a little cry now an again doesn’t hurt” she had a point and I now cry when I see, hear or feel something. I am not where you are yet but I hope I can get there soon. I have just been to see my elderly parents for the first time in 8wks and I had to come home to an empty house. It will get easier I hope.

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Hi Shonzie
Thank you what a lovely and very sensible way at looking at it.
I try and think of my loss as a large, gaping wound , perhaps to my leg, just recently inflicted.
It’s absolutely agony - so painful I can’t function properly, can’t eat, it keeps me awake and throbs all the time. But with time and with care it will heal - it’s a slow process but it will begin to become less painful.
Once healed I can function again, but it will leave a very deep scar that will never disappear but I will be able to wear it with pride as it will be a testament of how far I’ve come and what I survived.

Take care x


Hi Paula. You are right it is a gaping wound or hole which they used to fill. I try not to look at the future as it hurts so much and the past hurts just as much. I am trying to take each day as it comes good or bad. The Covid has certainly not made it easy for us all as we want cuddles and family around. I hope now we can see everyone it will help us all. X

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Hi I’ve just read your post. One month tomorrow so still very raw for me. I am, however, encouraged by what you have written. Thank you for that. I hope I can be as brave as you have been and are.

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Yes, I can relate to your little improvements, even though it is only 8 weeks since my lovely husband passed away, I find that I’m more accepting of his gone to a better place and is not suffering. I have moments where I feel at peace and the others I cry, but not in the awful way at the beginning. You see I was anticipatory grieving for 3 years before he passed, of course quietly so he was not aware. I miss him so much and I just can’t get motivated to do very much, but I’m just going with how I feel. I was very fortunate to have had a wonderful marriage for 38 years, and true love is how you treat each other in sickness. I will never get over him but I hope it will get easier. Its feels strange to be on my own again after so many years. Thankfully I have my son, daughter and grandaughter to comfort me. I wish you well and take care xx

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I love your gaping wound analogy. Now all I have to do is find a surgeon! No, that is not sarcasm, just my feeble attempt at humour.
I am only 5 weeks into this and desperately looking for help. Silly, because the only thing that would help is bringing him back and obviously, that can’t happen.
That said, I feel so sorry for anyone who feels like me and the only thing I can offer is a quote, (don’t know whose, but sue me if you like, that days something like, the payment for true love is grief.
How true, but I would not want to have gone through life without loving and being loved, I am blessed.


Dear AnnR - I too am 5 weeks in and feeling utterly desperate and devastated. I don’t really want to go on without my partner and I feel I have lost my whole purpose in life. I have just received this book, which I ordered from Amazon: Grief Day by Day by Jan Warner. I have only read a few pages so far, but it is written by people who are suffering, or have suffered, exactly what we are going through and I think it will be helpful. I suggest you try it. I’m feeling your pain. R.

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Dear Becks,
Thank you for that. I shall send for it.
Life is grim at the moment, isn’t it? We owe it to our husbands to try to carry on however hard it might be. As a widow of 5 weeks, 2 days and 16 hours, I feel your pain too and wish you peace and calm until you, and I, get used to this.
With love and hugs, Ann

We do. Here’s to us, and all, in this hideous position. I really hope the book helps. Bx

I have just sent to Amazon Kindle for it but will leave reading it until after the burial.
Thank you again x

Like your attitude Margarita. I am very similar to you. I also anticipated losing my husband for some years. I thanked the Lord at the end of each year for having given us another year together and what should have been a short time went on for ten years so perhaps my prayers were being listened to. I thought I had prepared myself but it doesn’t work out like that does it. Go with how you feel and don’t fight it. I found acceptance made it just a little bit easier.

I hope the burial is a celebration of life and love too. Wishing you strength for the day x

Thank you Becks. Support from you and people like you is really helping me. You are all angels.

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You had even longer to worry and stress, it’s very hard being the “carer”. As you say nothing really prepares you for the sheer devastation you feel. Even tho you try to prepare for it. I found for the first month my body felt as if I was recovering from an illness. I was weak, listless and ached all over. Did you find that too? , the doc said that seeing as I was keeping it together for my husband and kids, my body was tense and once the grief took over and I was able to release all that tension and that’s why I felt the way I did. Im feeling physically stronger and hopefully mentally too. I have get through it because I’m a cancer survivor myself and I promised my lovely husband I would carry on living. He had no choice but to leave me but I have choices too. Take care x

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