Living alone after loss.

Hello everyone.

First, can I say what a wonderful site and community this is. Thanks to Sue Ryder and everyone who shares experiences of their own grief so freely which isn’t easy.

I lost my mum at Christmas and we were truly joined at the hip. I’ve always lived ‘ at home ‘ so mum was the last of our relatives to pass away at the age of 89. My Dad died 15 years ago. As you can imagine, I miss my mum more than words can say and that alone is a struggle.

I’m lucky to have our two little dogs for company but we have all struggled, both dogs and myself. I wasn’t expecting it to be easy in any way and for a while at least, I had to give up my job to care for my dogs who are not used to being alone. I’m also doing a house move due to complete on Monday 4th July so I’ve plenty to keep me busy.

As I’m not working, I’m worrying now about the rising costs we all face and how I’ll manage going back to work and what to do with my ‘ girls’, but most of all, I find it so very hard not to have mum to talk with, to share good times and bad and worries and anxieties. I keep the TV in all the time just for some voices and to make the house sound more ‘ normal’.

I just wonder how those of you who now find yourself alone are managing this ‘ adaptation ‘ for always living with the person you’ve lost to living alone and without anyone else close to you? If anyone has any tips to share that might help, I’d be ever so grateful to hear about them. I know some may say go out and join in things and I do go out to walk my dogs but I can’t do anything when I can’t take them with me and also, for now, until I can work, I can’t spend anything on going out or driving either or travel. I do like gardening and will soon have a new garden to tend but winter will come all too soon and my main focus on that is more likely to be next year now.

Thank you for all replies in advance.

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Dear PaulaE and dogs,

It’s great to know this website has been helpful to you and I’m sure that will continue in this thread.

I have lived alone for over twenty years, and remember that at first I couldn’t see a future,every day was an unbelievable struggle. Work does help, we need human contact as much as we need the unconditional love we get from our animals. I am fortunate to be in a much better place now and enjoying life and friends.

Walking dogs is a good way to meet with other dog lovers you tend to see each day. So that’s a start, but I sense your main concern is leaving the dogs when you go out. They do at least have each other, however, is there someone nearby who could pop in willingly to et the out, or just spend half an hour with them? A note in a newsagents window might be an idea.

The biggest hill you are having to climb right now is the dreadful loss of your Mum, your everything. I do feel for you and wonder if you’d consider our free counselling service.
Or maybe our Grief Self Help platform which talks about some of the feelings that you’re experiencing. You can find it here: **

I do hope you find some answers which will help you in every way.

Wishing you all the best,


Hello Miche24.

Thanks so much for replying and I’m so pleased you are enjoying life once again.

Yes, most certainly I’d love to consider free counselling. I’m supposed to be moving house on Monday to a new area so I’ll loose my dog walking friends and neighbours where I live now and I’m sure I’ll see some new ones over time.

My little dogs are so bewildered right now, they were after mum died and were not well at all, both sick and back and further to the vets who couldn’t find anything physically wrong thankfully, I have to settle them now into a new house with me and it’s been fraught with difficulties today as there are, would you believe, fuel protests in the day so my removal company wants to do the move over two days. Load up and deliver the next day. I expect I’ll spend the night in my car.

If mum had been her, we would have laughed our way through these difficulties together but sadly, now, I just find myself shaking and crying if anything goes awry as it has over the last couple of days. I really don’t know what I can do going forward or what I can do to help my dogs but I don’t feel I can even start to think about leaving them at all right now, far to unsettling, if they settle eventually, I’ll have to see but my ideal would be to be able to find a job where I could work from home or take them with me. I try to look to the future but it feels like looking into a black hole where I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing really. Many people say to me ‘I’m here for you’ and want to ‘ meet for lunch ‘. But that’s not something I can find right now and on the odd occasion I’ve asked for help, eg could someone be a signatory to my will for example, nobody seems keen so I don’t ask again. It’s an odd place to be and I find it difficult to trust too really.

Thanks Miche for sharing all the links,

Take care.

Dear Paula

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email. Reading your 2nd message I was struck with the thought that animals are like children who react and respond to their parents mood.

Dogs are particularly sensitive as you know better than I, not only have yours lost your mum as you have, but they know you are sad and anxious and this is making them unsettled and needy.

As you know, death, divorce and moving home are the three biggest upheavals we’ll ever face, and I’m sure you can second that with the way your move is going and the grief you are currently going through. I’m sorry it’s more stressful than you need.

You are doing amazingly considering all that has happened to you, plus the problems of actual moving day. Perhaps once you are in your new home, despite all the upheavals, you and the dogs will settle. You know where we are if you need more support. I will keep my fingers crossed that all goes well for you in every way.

best wishes


Thank you so much Miche, that’s so kind of you.

Yes, my little dogs and all dogs are sensitive, they tune in to our feelings in ways in which we can probably never ever fathom how they do it!

I promised my mum when she was suffering so a couple of days before she died that I’d; give up work for now ( she wanted me to have a rest I think ); keep going and look after our little dogs; that’s I’d remember she always love me……bless her. I’ve those last words inscribed on her urn which is here at home with me next to my Dad.

I want to keep my promises to her as best I can but I do look up at the stars every night before bed and tell her maybe the giving up work thing was a bit untimely as she could never ever believe how much everything has gone up!

Thanks so much Miche. I’m so pleased you are all there for so many people.
God bless.

It will come right Paula, just hang on. Always here for a chat, but I think I should go to bed now. Our local carnival is on tomorrow and I’m helping with, the dog show! What a coincidence.

Miche24 x

Enjoy and thank you again Michelle x​:paw_prints::paw_prints::two_hearts:

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Your topic does hit home to me in a way. I lost my wife 6 months ago tomorrow and mom 5 months ago. We had no children, so when mom died that was the last of my friends and relatives gone (last of 5 funerals in 2 months). I had given up work for plans with my wife, so not got that to go back to. I have tried allsorts, walking groups and meeting groups, but feel too young for these older groups.(I’m 60but very fit) I feel there is still a hole in my life. I try hobbys but give up. I try to keep busy, as if at work (just decorated the bedroom) I’m currently going through the angry stage this last 2 weeks. Feelin very frustrated. Feel like I’m on another planet and can’t get home. I’m still waiting for my wifes well,I have thought about volunteering or work, but just can’t face that. It really is an almost impossible puzzle to solve.

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Hi Keiand.

That’s frightfully hard to have lost two special people so close together. I’m really sorry this happened and thank you for sharing your experience even though I wish it hadn’t happened to you.

Your words, feeling like you are on another planet but can’t get home is such a really good description. It does feel like existing in a bubble to me.

You’ve done amazingly well trying different things. Maybe that’s the important part, you’re trying and though you haven’t yet found they way home, maybe a new type of home will eventually emerge. You deserve that given all your efforts too.

I’m lucky in that I’ve not had an angry stage. I don’t think I will. It it’s such an odd time and not a nice one which I guess goes without saying.

I know what you mean though I’m 58 and thinking ‘what now’? I just don’t know.

I really hope you find your way when the time is right and thank you so much for sharing back here.
Warmest wishes.