Losing My Husband

My husband had battled various illnesses and conditions since his liver transplant in 2011 and I supported him, my ailing mother and held down a full time job. Eventually something had to give so I gave up work September 2017, a month later he was diagnosed with aggressive brain tumours, too ill to treat and given a few months to live, of which he spent all his time in hospital and then a hospice. He died 11 weeks later in January this year. I’ve always been strong and gone the extra mile for everyone without question, but now I feel totally drained of emotional support and strength (no children or relatives) to see into the future which is why I am now writing this. It has been 4 months of pure hell and self induced illness/sickness as I let the grief and stress consume me. It’s dreadful feeling so ill and lonely. It’s hard to keep control!

Hello Magicus,

You’ve been through such a terrible time over the last few years and must be physically and emotionally exhausted.

Have you thought about bereavement counselling or joining a bereavement group? Just being able to talk to somebody who understands what you’re going through may help you.

Children and relatives are not always the best people to support you or talk to about your feelings. My family keep coming up with ideas for “filling my days” and asking me what my plans for the future are.
They’re upset at the sudden loss of my partner but have no idea how alone I feel without him and how much I dread the rest of my life.

I hope you are able to get some help, best wishes J x

Hi Magicus
I am truly sorry for your heartbreaking time that you are having .
People that are close to us don’t know how we feel or we feel we don’t want to tell people how we truly feel in case we upset them .
I went down the road of just telling everyone that I was ok and I wasn’t I phoned the hospital and got an appointment with a councillor and started going once a week because she was not part of my journey with my husband I could truly tell someone for the first time since my husband took ill and then passed the truth about this overwhelming pain .
I know councilling isn’t for everyone but it let me talk scream cry everything that is in me for me it has helped I hope you find someone who will listen and allow you to talk.
This forum is great as we are all in the same boat I’ll be thinking of you take care .
Lily

Hello Lily

Ahh that’s really kind of you to take the trouble to write to me. It’s a great comfort to hear those wise words. I have had some counselling but once a month isn’t much good to me. I will pursue some more meaningful way of being counselled I think. Thank you so much and I wish you well in your journey too. Alison x

Hello Alison,
,
Just read your post and felt we have travelled a similar road - my husband also had severe liver problems and passed away in January from a related cancer. I gave up my job a little while ago to care for him as I just couldn’t cope with it all. Four months down the line and I am in a much darker place than I was in January. I am overwhelmed with grief, fear and confusion - I have no idea how to take my life forward from here and most of the time, I just don’t care anyway.

I have had only one session of counselling since January as my counsellor has cancelled every appointment due to her holiday/dentist appointment/illness etc etc. I feel very let down and alone.

Little consolation to you but it helps me to know I’m not the only one feeling this way.
Thinking of you,

Ann

Hello Ann how kind it is of you to respond to my message. I can only imagine your difficulties but they do seem similar to mine. I feel for people who have gone through a similar experience as there was and indeed, is nothing pleasurable about it all. Yes I guess what we feel will be similar too. Everyone says it will get better as time goes on - at best I exist and at worst I feel as though I am sleeping my life away - it’s so hideous shutting myself away like this 4 months down the line. My husbands’ birthday was in March and I know that pushed me right back to day one! Each day is a new day of bewilderment and confusion and more (financial) problems to confront. There are some exceedingly kind people in the Sue Ryder Community, yourself included and each person has their own unique journey and I know everyone tries to help each other as best they can. I’ve had some counselling but it isn’t for everyone and last time I went we talked about ‘rehab’ inasmuch you need the time to repair the damage to your body and mind through looking after someone so ill for so long. It’s all about allowing yourself permission to do this. It’s taken a while to get my head around it but it is true. I’m also learning to try and not engineer what should come next in life and just let life unfold - and this one is really hard as I am a project person. I feel I should be working but I’m just not capable of thinking straight at the moment let alone battling my way through a working day. The thing I would love most is just to sit and have a cup of tea with someone and talk about anything but the reminders or pressures of how I feel or have felt for the last 10 years - counselling is all about how you feel now and I find it really heavy going. A few months ago I booked myself some art and craft type classes to force me out of the house over the next few months but even that’s an effort to get there as I can’t really be bothered and I don’t feel at all sociable! It all feels so false and I feel so vulnerable!. I think we are both utterly mentally and physically exhausted and there is nothing wrong with drifting through these dark days until we feel better. You take care. Alison xx

Hello,

Its heartbreaking to read your posts, you’ve really been through so much, why wouldn’t you feel as you do? Until you experience this dreadful situation, its impossible to know how devastating it feels.

Its now six months since I lost my darling husband, we’d been happily married for 46 years and did everything together.

I think its really good advice to seek out a good counsellor, I think resources are limited and the waiting lists are long, but its worth the wait.

I have just completed five weekly visits to a brilliant counsellor and I have one more session next week.

I can’t tell you how much it has helped me. Its so good to talk to someone who doesn’t judge you or make suggestions, they just listen, really listen, to what you are saying.

My way of trying to deal with the grief has been to keep busy. I try to go out every day, even if its just for a walk. I’ve enrolled with the National Trust as a Volunteer, joined a local Pilates group and a walking group. Initially all of these things felt quite futile to me, I had to really push myself to carry on, but slowly I have begun to find a little bit of pleasure in these new found hobbies.

None of it is what I truly want, but I know my husband would not want me to “give up”.

There’s a lot of wonderful support within this online community, it has helped me many many times over the last six months.

Be kind to yourself…….
Elaine x

Good morning Alison,
I wanted to offer my support. It is no wonder you are exhausted.
I carried on being a busy bee after Ronald died 18 months’ ago - thinking that was the best. Until I hit an overhwleming blackness Feb/March time. I have now stepped back and stopped filling my life with the endless things to try and create a new life.
I do force myself some days to do the things I know I do enjoy!
I hope being able to write how you are feeling here will be helpful.
You are not alone and I hope life will become easier for you.
Take care of yourself.
xCarole

Hi

I read everyone’s sad stories and realise we are none of us alone. I lost my Barrie 2 years ago, we were sole mates no children but close family. I have been living in a cloud on and off for two years , feel guilty because I am not ‘doing’ something to take me out of this. I do volunteering once a week and keep promising myself I will go to exercise class’s, but I guess I can’t be bothered. Sometimes I am OK and then back it all comes and I am down again, the good times are few and far between but at least they are there. I cling to that and as everyone tells me it will get better. I went to meditation earlier this year and found it helpful, but once again I am back in the dark place.

One day I am sure we will and can accept that there is a future out there, but it just takes time, and at the moment that is what we have plenty of.

Keep taking one day at a time and try to stay positive, we all need plenty of cuddles and I send you all many.

Take care of yourselves and try to smile once a day.

Chrissy

hello Carole

Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to write. Your message really struck a cord with me - this is exactly what I am doing! I am trying to be busy and organising things, emptying cupboards, sorting and sifting, doing this and doing that but now I realise that I’m actually perpetuating my ‘fight with life’ which is what I had before when I was caring for everyone else. What is the point in keep on going against the tide? No point at all so I am learning the hard way and stop engineering a future. It’s ridiculous what we put ourselves through, instead of just being kind and true to ourselves. Being a project person anyway, coasting is alien to me but no bad thing - it just takes a lot of training!! I hope you go on OK Carole and thank you again for your kindness.

Alison x

Hello Chrissy I can see glimmers of hope in your life - unfortunately I’m not sure if I am there yet but I am only 4 months down the line. I thought I could handle this grief stuff, always bold and strong but without support it’s a really difficult and precarious journey. I am glad you have close family to keep you on the straight and narrow and like I have said in previous posts, it is all about time and letting life unfold for you, rather than you promising yourself you should be doing something and trying to make things happen. I have felt really ill over the last month and it’s because I am unaccepting and going against the tide all the time. It’s very hard for me to drift and live in this fog as my whole life has been about planning, organisation and clarity. Now like you I live in a cloud most day, and on my clear days I start trying to carve out a future in some way or another, then it all gets too overwhelming and I feel ill all over again. I’m not convinced life gets ‘better’ but I am sure the universe will send us the right tools to build the next chapter of our life - the only difference is, I don’t have an instruction manual this time! You take care Chrissy and thank you again for sharing your thoughts. Alison xx

Hello all
I shouldn’t really be posting on this thread because Barry and I were never married but he was more of a husband to me than I can ever say!
I am coming up to the second anniversary of his death and the fog has got thicker again as the days march relentlessly towards the next marker…I have tried to get used to this strange almost out of body way of living and try not to expect too much of myself or of others because I don’t know how else to accept the new reality. There are days when the sun penetrates through a little and other days where I can’t metaphorically see my hand in front of my face!
What I have concluded is that there are no easy answers to any of this…modern society encourages us to think that when one door closes another must automatically open…it’s only when fate has slammed the door shut that we realise that we have no idea of where the next door is or whether it even exists.
I am so grateful for this site and for everyone’s kindness and generosity of spirit in supporting each other. Thank you.
Take care everyone x

Hi Alison,
It is now my plan to try and not push myself beyond the pain. The physical and emotional pain will always be there and by befriending it perhaps it will not hurt quite as much. I do the things I love because I believe that at a cellular/spiritual level my body is benefitting - so gardening, sitting outside sewing and allowing my mind to wander wherever it chooses even if it means sadness and tears.
This is the rest of my life… Projects are more sensible and I set myself targets for a morning or a day or ‘doing’ something - decluttering mainly. Because being that person means that I am able to cope better - if I don’t set myself projects/goals then I just flounder about lost and feel even worse.
And I would genuinely love to be happy again and laugh - holding on to all the memories of the wonderful man I spent 44 years with. That has to be something worth celebrating.
I do believe ‘hurry along slowly’ - I don’t think we can rush the process - but keep gently moving forwards as best we can - taking each day as a new day of possibilities.
Take care of yourself.
xCarole

You are so wise Carole - it is what it is unfortunately and yes having a small daily agenda is no bad thing - it gives the structure we all miss at this time. Thank you - and you take care too. Alison x

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