losing Lel

hello everyone, my story.
my wife Lesley (Lel). she had so many health problems especially respiratory. she caught a cold on 26/12, but was still fine. woke up on 27th couldn’t swallow hard to breath. ambulanced into hospital, I did get to see her and talk to her, hold her hand before she was ventilated in a & e. she never awoke again and I gave permission to remove her medication on 09/01/23. it was the hardest decision for me but the easiest for her.
we were together for 28 years, our 20th anniversary is tomorrow her funeral on Monday and her 55th birthday 3 weeks away. I retired in August as she was medically retired 7 years ago, I feel so cheated as like many others we did everything together, and like we all know when you are at your lowest you have so many things to sort. I am a typical man as Lel did all finances and booking as we have a motorhome I just got told where to drive. so I have had a steep learning curve on running a house, motorhome and look after our dog John, he has given me purpose but I see it in his eyes are you going to leave me also, this breaks my heart again. we also have a daughter and two grand children and if it wasn’t for these I wonder where I would be now, I am a glass half full person but you do get dark thoughts but i could not give my friends and family more grief and pain.
everything is still raw at the moment and I know I am still in shock but I now truly know what pain feels like. I weep a lot but cannot seem to properly cry even though I want and need too, Lels death seems like it happened years ago and this makes me feel cold and remote
I am lucky to have a good relationship with my family my mum especially as we talk candidly as my dad died 10 years ago and knows what I am feeling. I also have a friend going through the same thing after losing her husband so we do talk, cry, swear, we have been helping each other.
like others have mentioned I have lost a lot of self confidence but am pushing myself but taking things steady.
sorry for the long post, I find it easier to write down my feelings at the moment.


Firstly @Leltel
Do not think for a minute you need to apologise for a long message. We are here for each other and writing about how we feel is a help.

You have had so many aspects of your loss to deal with in such a short space of time that must have made it even harder.
I too had our anniversary and my birthday within a few weeks of my Richard’s death. They went by in a bit of a blur to be honest.

I have also had steep learning curves as I did very little with the farmland or house maintenance. We were a team, just as you and your wife were, so going it alone is difficult to say the least. I use my determination to make Richard proud to keep me going when things look difficult. He didn’t very often get others to do repairs or look after the place so I’m trying my best to do the same.

Hugs xxx


@Leltel So sorry for your loss. It is still so recent. I lost my wife of 47 years in October. The best support I had was from friends who had also been bereaved. They knew what I was going through, what to say and what not to say. They were also unfazed by tears and rants. You have some support from others like this so that will be a great help. The crying, ranting, loss of sleep, guilt among many other emotions will be there and it is good to let them out. If you wonder if these are not valid or out of order just surf the threads here. You will find them all. It is a long and painful journey we are all on. Those who have been on it longer than I will be able to offer hope and advice to help you on the way.


thank you both for taking the time to reply to me.

we had Lels funeral on Monday and I have to say it was a beautiful and fitting ceremony to her but I found it the hardest and emotional day of my life and although I was struggling to cry, I had no problem here, just seeing her photo on the monitors really broke my heart. I feel a bit easier at the moment as I know she really is at peace now.

I am also finding the process of moving a lot of our financial and general accounts from her name, email accounts etc into solely mine it feels like I am forgetting and erasing her. I know it seems daft but it really does hurt.

the little things truly do seem to hurt the most don’t they .


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I understand the feeling in dealing with the admin. I felt as though I was deleting my wife’s life. In the end I did only 3 things a day and placed her photo next to me. I then asked her permission to do each transaction. It made it a bit easier to accept.

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I have been taking my time transferring things also but needed to start taking a bit of control for my sake.

we have an electronic photo frame so photos of our life going back the full 28 years scrolling through, we always took lots of photos thankfully and however hard these are to look at they are constant record of wonderful memories of a better time.

I do read through a lot of the other posts and replies and they have made me realise however heartbroken I am we had a truly fantastic and loving life together and I do get comfort however little from this.

I am not long on my journey but losing my captain really hurts.

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@Leltel After the funeral and the admin I fell into grief. What started to guide me in that dark fog to try to think beyond it was the realisation that there was purpose to continuing. In my case a new grandson. But this was only really possible because of the 50 years I had spent with my wife. Her love strengthened me while she was with me and continued to do so after she passed. She loved family and continuing to look after them is my way of honouring her. Your love for your wife and hers for you is clear from your post and will comfort and support you in the days ahead. I hope you find some solace from this in your sad loss as I have.


thank you Mike

we have a daughter a 9 year old grandson and 3 year old granddaughter, you are right these bring meaning and purpose to my life, however low I get just being around them focus’ me and reminds me of what I had but also what I have.

I know I have a long and unpredictable journey ahead of me but with family and friends and people like yourself I know I am better prepared for the challenges that lay ahead.

my driving force is to make Lel proud on me as a husband, father and grandfather and I have no intention of letting her down and I don’t want the rollicking I will get when we meet again.

thank you again for taking the time to respond and I hope that you are in a good place on your journey.



Definitely with you on avoiding the rollicking!

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That’s a great idea. I’m struggling with the admin paperwork and finances as my husband did every thing 'I now know I was spoilt and it’s a steep learning curve .

the admin I have found the worst, I haven’t notified the bank’s as joint accounts and I have access and I don’t want her name removed. I am supposed to notify land registry with a death certificate to again get her removed but Im not going to do that either,
I may do later on but definately not yet.
I did have to close one account as I did not know card pin number and had to confirm Lels death but am trying to keep her name alive.

I slowed down on my admin work and found this did help, I am pretty much on top of things now which is a relief but also incredibly sad as I do still feel I am erasing her,

I am picking up her ashes today, another roller coaster of a day in-store for me but I want her home with me and our dog where she belongs.

these times do certainly test your resolve when you are at your lowest and most emotional but keep strong, keep talking and keep typing.


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I wish I had kept my husband’s ashes but our son and daughter wanted a place they could visit and a memorial headstone. I found out too late that apparently you can have some of the ashes made into a stone to wear on a pendant - that would have bern good. After four months I have finally located our wills - my solicitor though they were lost in transit but they had never been sent from the previous solicitor as they were awaiting a payment of £118 before they would send them. I’ve also had problems selling his car because you can’t sell a car within six months of the transfer of ownership. Also my energy supplier won’t give me the FIT payments due to me until confirmation is complete because the solar panels are in my husbands name . All this admin just goes on and on - I dread the arrival of the mail!

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I was the same as you dreading the postman and emails, I have had to keep Lels phone on to check for emails as although she put most things in my name she used her email address and it is hard hearing the alerts. being in my name made the need for probate redundant, I did go to a solicitor to check, I was lucky with our wills we had copies although our solicitor retired, I am going to get mine remade but request the originals from the company that took over their business.
I have ordered a heart pendant for our daughter and a bracelet for myself with some of the ashes, co op were very good and explained everything on our first appointment, and have been helpful all through the funeral process.
Sasha doesn’t want anything to do with the ashes as she is trying to block everything out, Lel wanted them scattered at sea but I am going to hold off on this for a few years as I think Sasha will need, like your children a special place of remembrance when her walls come down.
our car was motobility so that had to go back after two weeks of her death, I had to buy a little run around car so that wasn’t so bad but having these seemingly endless tasks just made me feel helpless and inadequate and started my greif off again, I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the admin but it really is still ongoing, I have taken a couple of weeks off as it was getting too hard but I will start going through letter and correspondences next week again.
I really do empathise with you and can feel your pain and frustration through your writing, just take your time and keep communicating.
I found it did and does help to write on this forum, something I would never have done before Lel had to leave me so keep on plugging away and typing.

please be kind to yourself and go at your own pace.


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@SkyeGardener & @Leltel
Yes, the admin is so hard at a time when your brain isn’t at its best. I found DVLA so difficult to deal with I got my MP on board, whose office said they often help with them. My reason for getting them involved was that I wanted them to influence a change in the system, not deal with my individual case but that was a waste of effort.

Richard didn’t have a will as we, hopelessly, hadn’t got round to making them. As it happens though it is a good thing as it may mean we save on inheritance tax over the farmland as he would have left it to me but it will be better partly passed on at this stage in case they remove the relief.
Very complicated though and very slow.

Hope you get everything done gradually. Hugs xxx

Thank you so much for your long and supportive post. The heart pendant and bracelet sound lovely. My son is like Sasha - he hasn’t shown any emotion except at the funeral where he read out a poem. I hope you manage to get everything done n your two weeks off work. The weather is supposed to improve next week, here at any rate. It makes a difference to see the sun and we’ve had precious little here for months. My name is the same as your wife’s!

skyegardener (Lesley)
I took early retirement in August in 57, so that we could spend time together as Lels life expectancy wasn’t good but not this short. I am glad I did as I would be racked with guilt and remorse and I truly do not now what I would have done.
but being in our house alone isn’t great, we have a motorhome but I cannot bear going in it, thankfully we have a dog and he is a great comfort and gives me a routine. Sasha is 34 next month and I am hoping the necklace will be here for her birthday…
it is just so upsetting to see our children feeling like we do and not be able to do much to ease their pain, I have a good relationship with Sasha and we do talk but she is guarded , I’ll wear her down.
I hope you and your children get through this utterly life changing and the most painful of times as a family but It certainly is difficult…