Loneliness after bereavement

Richard, one of our bloggers on the Sue Ryder website, wrote an article last week that I wanted to share with you all. In the blog he talks about being lonely and what a shock that is after being with his late wife for thirty years.

"I am about to write something from ‘over here’ which I could never have written ‘back there’ in the land where I lived before grief came along. I could never have written it because it would have been embarrassing and awkward. I would never have written it because it would have been untrue. Nonetheless, I write it now.

I am lonely."

Richard finishes the blog by saying “I may be lonely, but you are never truly alone”, which made me think of this community. I hope that in the midst of grief and loneliness, you feel a little bit less alone here.

You can read Richard’s full blog here.

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An interesting article thanks.
I’m not lonely, I’ve never liked having lots of people around but I am alone. Being alone,day after day, after so many years together is unbearable.

Richard thank you for posting this. It touches my heart and I know exactly where you are coming from. It helps me to read your words, it kind of gives me permission to feel the way I do after losing my precious husband William just 8 months ago. There’s some positivity in your blog too, which I love.
Thought provoking, inspiring and so true. Big hug from Elaine

Like a lot of people on this site, we are lonely without the one we love, our soul mate, our best and only friend. It’s loneliness but not for people to be with, infact that’s the last thing we want, to be part of a big happy group. Someone recently wrote that since her husband had gone, she was lonely but she also enjoyed the soilitude of being on her own and not with people. It’s a different kind of loneliness which I find difficult to explain. I even have difficulty explaining it to the family because yes I am lonely but not for people, just not having him here with me. The one thing I do know is that life goes on with or without that other very special person and like it or not we have to get use to being here on our own. Hard, yes very hard.
Love and blessings to you all.

It is unbearably hard. Friends and family reach out to me but the only one I want to be with has gone. Other try to help but we are no longer the centre of someone’s life, the one who gave us love and support. I hope it will get better but who knows when

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Hello Toria, you are right it is hard and yes friends and family don’t realise the pain. It does get better, not so hard but it seems something we have to learn to live with. It’s not like this for everyone who’s husband/partner goes which always makes me question life but then I think to myself we had such a different relationship and for that I am very happy about what we had. The love, friendship, the whole thing was very, very special and I now know just how special. I tell him everyday how special he was and I do hope he knows just how much he still means to me. Life goes on without him and some days are good days, others not so but I always say “well we had such a special relationship what do I expect” then say “goodnight “ to him and hope for tomorrow being a good day. They are there. Take care of yourself, eat well and get enough sleep, it all helps. Blessings S

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That’s how I feel Susie. Lonely for him regardless of who else is there. I am lucky enough to have a great family and friends but nobody fills the empty space my husband left behind. x

I feel like that too. My darling husband was my soul mate and I miss him so much. I am lucky to have a wonderful family and good close friends but I still feel so lonely without Patrick. It is 10 weeks today but it feels like an eternity. The thought of the future is terrifying. People say to me that I am doing really well but I don’t understand what that means. I am so sad.

It’s not just loneliness I find. It’s a whole range of other things in addition.
Lack of interest
Lack of enthusiasm
Lack of excitement
Lack of purpose
Lack of motivation
Lack of sleep and an inability to relax.

I’m sure other people could add to that with things like lack of money, security, health, etc.

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about loneliness being a societal problem, wide-ranging and having big implications for health spending. I knew, and know, lots of people who lived alone after bereavement but I never fully understood like I do now.


I know. Our house always used to so full of laughter and food and busyness and people dropping in - and now it’s so empty and silent. It’s terrifying to think that this is how it’s going to be from now on.

Bit by bit, and over a period of 43 years, this house became home to six people and various dogs, and then, inevitably, the numbers reduced as kids went their own way and I’m now alone. I can’t imagine staying here as it’s too big. One day I will leave and take my memories to somewhere smaller and less remote. Hopefully, one day, I will know the time is right. I don’t suppose anything will change unless we can make that happen. I don’t think I’m terrified but I’m certainly apprehensive.

I’m hoping one day I will wake up and know the time is right for me to make a move too! I think I’m in exactly the same position as you. We built our house almost 48 years ago, I love living here, its do-able at the moment, but realistically its too big with just me rattling around. Its a bit like a full-time job at the moment, I keep it maintained and cleaned, I attempt DIY jobs I never ever thought I would ever do, and if I can’t do it, I find someone who can. I do think perhaps I will need to give the “job” up, but that time isn’t just now. Its natural to be apprehensive, its another massive change. Best wishes

I am so with you. It has been 6 weeks since I lost my husband of 37 yrs . I am surrounded by wonderful friends and family but am so alone. Some days I feel I am coping, others days I wonder how I will ever cope . I dread the future. We are so young , only 57. My daughter says I’ll be fine and I’m sure I will but I’m still alone. I’m
Angry too , so bloody angry that he has been taken from me and my girls .

I’m sorry for your loss it’s utterly heartbreaking in my thoughts and prayers take care of yourself as much as possible Adele x

Thanks Adele. I’m living day by day . Still finding what has happened unreal, although I know it is real. We had so many plans. Struggling a bit this evening

Hi im sorry to hear your struggling too same here I haven’t been able to even get out of bed today I’m utterly truamatised witnesing it all happen in front of my eyes we had all the future mapped out dreams and hopes to grow old together everything my life has been blown apart taken away so cruelly and tragically every day is getting worse I know what you mean it’s doesn’t feel real but inside we know it is its Harrowing im truly sorry for your loss I hope tomorrow is kinder to you I wish I could hear his voice again tell him I love him hear him cough I’d do anything to hold his hand even one more kiss on the forehead in the chapel of rest anything I’d do here’s to another long lonely silent night full of sorrow and despair speak soon take care of yourself as much as possible in my thoughts Adele x

Adele I am so with you. To hold his hand hear his voice. I’m traumatised by the fact I wasn’t there and I should have been. My daughter stayed the night and I can home with our other daughter about 10.30 pm. I had call at 3.30am and we went straight back but he has passed before the nurse had put the phone down. If I had known he was going I would never have left. When his mother died last October weavers abroad and he insisted his father was there to hold her hand . And I wasn’t there to hold his. It upsets me so much . I know I can’t change what has happened but living with it is equally as hard isn’t it. Everyone means well but ‘your coping well’? Where does that come from. How am I suppose to cope. I keep his wedding ring around my neck that gives me some comfort but not the comfort Im sorry to hear you have had such a bad day Adele. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you. X Sarahmay

Hi my heart aches for you that you weren’t there I know that must be so so hard to deal with on top of all of your other emotions I do the same keep his ring around my neck it’s that constantly yearning of just wanting our lives back like today we would have been out in the sun for a walk sat in the garden sat now watching the television talking about who’s passing the window or comments about the television just as you know our own conversations that kiss goodnight hearing him get up to go to the toilet a little snore I will always miss every bit if my soulmate just remember he loved you and no one can ever replace what’s in your heart and thankyou I hope tomorrow is kinder to you also take care of yourself as much as possible speak soon in my thoughts Adele x

Good morning, it is the aloness l struggle with, and understandably so. One minute your with the person who knows you probably better than you knew yourself, then their gone. I always considered myself a strong woman, have moved myself twice since my husband died, have lovely new home, and a garden which gives me immense pleasure. Bitter sweet as now the sharing it with him has gone, so a little less pleasurable.
I think lm learning to accept this “aloness” l have both friends and family, and need not be “lonely” but l don’t think the “aloness” will ever go. Everyone wants to make it right, my friends and family, l think I’ve given up worry about how they feel, in a kind way, this l believe will be the new me. I love that they care, but can’t go on worrying about “happy face” and feeling “better” and worrying about being happy for others. I do my best not to be a shadow of who l was, but do feel who l was has long since left.
Unless people have been here they can’t possibly understand, and that’s the way it should be, it will come soon enough.
I spend far more time alone, as it’s the place l need to find some inner peace with. It’s hard, but for me l need to try, hopefully it will soothe my soul, and bring me some peace.
I send love and hopefully some peace to all on this road

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Your so right nothing anyone can say that will take this pain away in our hearts we should be sitting with our partners in the garden today listening to the birds in fact we are alone and silent scary also it’s six months and three weeks this afternoon since my Edward fell asleep in my arms im utterly truamatised witnesing it all happen in front of my eyes all my dreams of growing old together everything my life has been blown apart taken away so cruelly and tragically your in my thoughts and prayers stay strong sending a hug Adele x

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