Living alone after my husbands death one month ago

Hi, This is my first post. Finding it difficult alone and missing my husband. The pain is so great

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Hello Christina,
It’s almost a year since I lost my husband. At first the pain and loneliness was so great that I thought I would never survive - it was like a knife in my heart. I also found it very difficult to be alone - we had been together for almost 30 years - and I had cared for him at home, on my own, until a week before he died. This forum has been a lifesaver for me. All of it’s members have suffered the loss of someone close, many of them our life partners. Do feel free to chat openly, many of us will have had the same experiences and will comfort and advice at this very difficult time. Your journey through your grief will be an individual one, but with courage and hope life will get easier. Take strength from those of us who are farther along that road, and beginning to see the sunlight again. And keep posting. Love and hugs, Jayne x

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Thankyou, Tulabelle. Do you have any advice on living alone and how to adjust when still in pain grieving

I replied to your post addressing you as Tulabelle. Do you prefer Jayne

Hi Christina,
Just call me Jayne, Tulabelle is my user-name, that’s all. I’ll reply to your other post just as soon as I’ve fed my dogs! x

Well, I can only tell you what worked for me. I was 59 when my husband died. He’d had cancer for 4 years, had chemo and surgery, a year in remission, then the cancer appeared in his lungs and he became terminal. He was determined that I would survive after he was gone, and insisted that i start building my ‘single’ life while he was still here. I started going to a couple of book clubs in the next village for couple of hours each month to get to know people. I was also lucky in that I am very close to my nextdoor neighbour and started going out a bit with her. When Stewart became very ill, she would come and sit with him while I went out for a half day each week. After he died I was devastated. We didn’t have any children and I only have my elderly mum, so I had to get on with things. It was very hard - there was lots to sort out, I had taken early retirement some years before, and we did everything together. I carried on with the bookclubs, joined this forum, and had some sessions with a psychotherapist. I also have my dogs, who ensured that i got every morning, looked after them, and got walking in the fresh air. And step by step I started to build a new life. I made new friends, some of who are also widows and who have been very supportive. I joined the Jolly Dollies, and a group of us meet up once a month for a meal. I joined the MeetUp network, and selected some groups that were non-threatening to me in my newly single state, and starting going to their events. I can’t pretend that it was easy, it wasn’t and isn’t. I was lucky in that I have a car and can drive. I suffered terribly for almost a year in the belief that I would lose everything that I care about it - I got through that with help from my therapist. I’m very security conscious. I found that gradually I was moving forward albeit very slowly. I left the radio on when I went out so that I didn’t come back to an empty house. I had some short term medication from my doctor to help me settle in the house and sleep at night. And once I’d got my first Christmas out of the way, and a rather big meltdown in the run up to New Year, I started to feel quite a bit better. I read a lot, and I’ve started a distance learning course. I still my husband a lot, and things creep up and ambush me so that I burst into tears, but less often now. I made some really good, caring and supportive friends who don’t mind if I call or message them when I’m upset or ask them to be with me at short notice when I can’t settle. And I just plod on, taking one day at a time and how it comes. If I want to have a good cry, I cry. If I want to talk to him, I do. I honestly believed that I would never cope, never survive on my own, even though I’m a sensible and well educated woman who held down a very responsible job and could deal with anything when he was alive. I think the secret is to set down your fears and work out what you can do to address them, get yourself a support network, and live for the day. Be mindful of your own safety and security, and find things that you like doing that will occupy your mind and fill your time. Some people will say, get a dog. Well, it’s a big and expensive commitment, but you do have companionship and unconditional love. I’ve had dogs all my life. Some widows get a cat. Whatever you decide to do, do it for yourself, because it’s what you want. Live your life how you want to live it. You may eventually meet someone else, you may not. Be settled and comfortable in your own skin. It will become easier, and you’ll emerge a stronger woman for the experience. You will cope and survive. And always remember - whatever’s meant to be will not pass you by. Jayne x

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Hi Christina. Living alone is strange isn’t it. We can only learn to cope. I have heard people say that they like living alone and being able to do what they want, when they want. I am trying to adjust. I do have two dogs and yes they are amazing friends. I enjoy walking so having the dogs for company suits me. We have allotments and I have a large area to do. It gives me something to focus on. Hard work but enjoyable. I love being outdoors. I have now found that I have people inviting me to their houses or want to meet up with me but to be honest I’m not ready for socialising out of my comfort zone. I would prefer to adjust to being alone, being comfortable with conversation make sure I’m not finding myself relying on their company and becoming needy then I think I will be ready to go out and about. A friend of mine befriended a lady who had lost her husband this lady started calling my friend and dropping in all the time because she was so lonely and my friend became sick of it. I don’t want that to happen. It is up to you though. Step by step. Don’t rush into anything. Take a look at the library notice board. I have noticed things that might be interesting but as I said I’m personally not ready for socialising with strangers. I actually prefer my own company most of the time, just for the moment anyway. I don’t need people, just my husband and that’s not going to happen. I have to live alone so am trying hard to get used to it.

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Hi Pattidot
You have a good approach to it all,i think it was Yorkshire Lad who mentioned in another post that you work things out well to help you in your grief,i agree i like reading your posts there are positives running through your posts to pick up on.Like you say we can only learn to cope.I find the adjusting to living alone one of the hardest aspect of this “new” life,as i understand many of us feel that way too.I agree i think to rely on others too much would only make this all the harder,it’s finding a balance with learning to be if possible comfortable with your own company,and not staying too solitary where you shut out the world around you.Finding that balance is what i struggle with.I want to reach that point where i am stronger and feel confident in my own skin,think it’s a long way off,but something to work on.
Like you i can occupy myself through the day,all be it my husband is in my thoughts constantly too.That’s it we have to,no choice,i manage to look after the house,i’m not afraid of being in the house on my own,strange but the security does’nt bother me,i still don’t lock my doors until after 10,i do have a fear of taking ill on my own,but then that’s out of my hands.As you say Pattidot step by step,we can only gain strength in doing it.I do chatter away to myself a lot,but then so what i always did.Still can’t get past the thought of doing what i want when i want,does;nt appeal to me ,don’t know what i want and i’m used to doing things for others and liked it.Got some work to do on that.Hope you have a good walk with your dogs today,i’m going out with my dog soon,lots of snow here ,she loves throwing it about with her nose.xx

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Hi Christina
Sorry it’s all so hard and the pain is overwhelming.We do all understand how that feels here,and each one of us is finding our own way through.This site has helped me,no doubt about that,the lovely people on here post how they cope,how they feel,one thing it is it’s all real,no pretence,and you can’t find that other than with people who are going through grief.It’s often mentioned on here that friends, distant family members,and strangers,say the wrong thing,but they cannot understand how this would feel until you experience it.So on here you know you are not alone.My husband passed 11 months ago,the pain doesn’t leave,it gets more manageable that’s all.Don’t expect to feel a certain way as anything goes,the emotion just comes whenever,wherever,and there is no right or wrong way to feel,there’s also no right or wrong way to cope,it’s all personal,but here you will read something from a post that could help,or you may be feeling the same way as someone.It’s all far from easy,but hope you find something from this site to ease your grief Take care xx

Dear Christina,

I am so terribly sorry for what you have been through and will continue to go through for some time to come. It is not an easy road we are on, it is littered with bumps, humps, dips and obstacles and many days, they are impossible to cross, you just fall to your knees and cry until you can’t cry anymore.

I am now into my fifth year since my Peter died, we were together 50 years and married 47. This is not something that you will get over, even though friends and even relatives will expect you to.

All you have to do is survive from one day to another, get up in the morning and decide what to do. I made a list out at the beginning of each week of jobs that needed doing and places I had to be, GP appointments, hospital appointments etc. I crossed them off daily and then the following week, made another list. I ensured I carried out the jobs otherwise I would have been overcome with the amount of work that needed to be done. Even doing some washing or ironing was an insurmountable chore as my brain would not function properly, I was all over the place. I had to concentrate on the job in hand and not think about anything else until that job was done.

Even going to town was a nightmare, I had my list with me, itemised in the order of the direction I took so I would not miss anything. I still ended up in the gent’s toilets more than once because I was following someone who had long hair straight into the men’s toilets, not paying attention to my surroundings.

We have two sons who I don’t see or hear much of, it used to bother me and upset me, but now I accept they have their own lives and that it is not the same as it was when we were their age, where we took care of our parent’s, took them shopping and did their gardens and decorating for them. I now get someone in to do all that for me and I do online shopping and banking. If I was a poorly person I honestly don’t know what I would do, our son’s would have to pull their fingers out and help me I suppose.

Even after 4.1/2 years, there is still this empty space in my chest, it is weird feeling really as if someone has taken a chunk out of me and left a big cold hole that is never filled. But, I live my life as best as I can, I have a lovely home and I am very comfortable, we brought our sons up here and there are so many memories that I will never leave it, they will have to carry me out.

We have no choice but to carry on living, my husband was an ill man for 10 years and the last three years of his life I was his 24/7 carer. For the first year after Peter died, I heard him calling me every single night, now I don’t hear him. I hear loud bumps as if something has fallen off the wall so I go and look but everything is okay and the street is very quiet. I dream a lot about Peter, when we met in 1964 when he was 18 and it is always in Black and White, never colour.

There are so many people on this site going through the exact same thing as we are and they give me strength, knowing I am not alone and there are people out there who know exactly what we are going through, because I know for a fact, our son’s don’t and I don’t think they ever will, and they will never know the special love Peter and I had because they love going out with their friends instead of each other. From the day we were married, the only time we slept apart was when I was in hospital having our sons or Peter was in hospital.

You are not alone Christina, we are all here for you.

Love

Sheila xx

Hi Sheila I so agree with all you have said. You really write from the heart and everything you have said I can relate too. My lovely Ron and I were very happily married for nearly 51 years and he passed just over two years ago and I will always feel the same as you always. We always said that when one of us passed we would still be married and I love him so very much. The only difference with us Sheila that we had two daughters and I see them often with our grandchildren that have grown up now, I am even going on holiday with them I have friends in a bereavement group and they are wonderful because we know how we all feel. I can really recommend joining in a group like that. This forum has helped as it has you Sheila and everyone else. Sending you love and hugs. xx Carol. xxx

Hi Carol, Thank you for your lovely comments. I am so sorry about your Ron but am so happy that you have daughters and grandchildren who you see very often.

I have four grandchildren, two aged 7 and 9 that I haven’t seen since last summer due to our youngest son’s ex wife trying to turn them against us as she is getting re-married this year and is trying to change their surnames to her new partners but our son won’t let her. I have a 13 year old granddaughter, but again, our eldest son is also divorced and only sees her every two weeks and I only see her every so often. Our son’s decided to get divorced soon after my Peter died as they said that since their dad died, life is too short to be unhappy.

The one thing that brings me joy is our little baby grandson Alfie Peter, he is gorgeous, I don’t see him very often but every time he sees me, his little face lights up. Peter would have loved him.

I just get on with my life now, I am as healthy as I can be, just niggling little things, I get ulcers on my eyes and blisters in my mouth due to an illness I have but I have learned to manage it, it never stops me doing anything, I won’t let it.

I go to a Friendship Group and they have day trips and holidays and meet different people. I also joined a Gardening Club and they do trips as well.

All in all, I live my life day to day. After over four years without Peter, I still miss him and want him back but that is never going to happen, but I am not alone in this, so many people are in the same situation or perhaps in a worse situation than I am.

I am not the type to join a bereavement group as I don’t like opening my heart to strangers on a face to face basis. That is why I love Sue Ryder’s website, you can say what you feel like and even cry whilst you are typing, but it makes you feel so much better knowing that you are not alone and there are all kinds of people on the other end of your keyboard replying to your comments and giving advice. It is wonderful.

Thank you so much for the love and hugs and I send them back to you tenfold.

Love

Sheila xx

Hi Sheila just to let you know I have sent you a PM hope you don"t mind. xxxx

I don’t mind at all, I will have a look at it now, thank you.xxxx

Hi. All these posts and comments have been very helpful to.
5 months since I lost my partner. I feel so lonely.
I have 4 children and some grandchildren and they have been so supportive. But still I feel lonely. X

Hi all
How do you live in the house alone after your husband / wife has died. I can only just about put up with the house in the day but at night I sleep at my daughters or my other daughter stays at my house.
I am terrified of lonely evenings and the nights
How do people do this ?
Lynn

Dear Lynn
My partner left me on 03/02 for three weeks I slept on the sofa but I am in our bed now.
I cry continuously as like you I can not see how I will ever live without him yet the days do keep passing by.
I am waiting for a day when I wake and it’s not hurting me so much.
I think we just have to get through each day as best we can and not think to far ahead,

Virtual hugs

Julie :yellow_heart:

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Hi Sheila
I am saddened by your post I read about your grandson and you said your husband would have loved him. That started me off. My daughter had one granddaughter who my dad did not meet. He knew she was pregnant before he passed, he left her a set of vintage videos about the little girl Shirley Temple
All these things we remember, we just don’t know which ones will strike a chord in us
I don’t know why this was so relevant
It’s my husband who recently passed and my emotions are hay wire at times.
I am not the type to join a bereavement group either but I can say it’s been helpful.
In many ways I think we are alike
However, I am sorry for your loss
This has to and will get a lil easier to bare and live with in time.
Reality is a hard pill to swallow.
Blessings
Gary54

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