Losing my wife and losing touch with my children

I lost my sweet wife of 40 years, to cancer over a period of 5 years in Feburary. She had other ailments beside this but I was sure she would live longer than she did, I was wrong. My two adult children have taken it very badly and will not visit or communicate with me despite my plea for them to do so. I wake up in the morning shaking with fear about the day ahead and worrying about my Son and Daughter.

Hi Vincent,

I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife and that your children have stopped being in touch. That is such a sad situation for you to deal with on top of your loss. It sounds as though you are feeling very alone right now. I am glad that you have found this site, as many of our users do find that it helps a little to be able to talk to others who understand some of their grief.

While you wait for more replies to your post, you may also find it helpful to read and reply to some of the other recent conversations in the Losing a Partner section of the site: https://support.sueryder.org/community/losing-partner

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Dear Vincent,

I am so terribly sorry for what has happened and I know exactly what you are going through. My wonderful husband of 47 years, we were together 50 years, died five years ago and I still cry for what was.

I am not sure if your two adult children don’t visit you because it hurts them to see you without your lovely wife or they just want to get on with their lives without you.

Our two sons, nearly 50 years of age, told me after my husband died that I should not ask them to do jobs for me as they were very busy people and I could afford to pay someone to do the jobs for me, and five years later, they have never done a thing for me at all apart from ask me to pay off their debts when they got divorced and to pay for their second weddings, house warming presents, honeymoons etc.

I have learned to cope on my own, I don’t see them from one month to another and then it is to ask me if I have any garden furniture or electrical item that I do not want, they also ask for food to take home with them, I have not spoken to them for weeks, they send a text now and again with a photo of them out and about having a drink in a pub, and that is it. I give them what they want and I suppose it is like buying their love but there is no love involved with them. They have even asked me how much my home is worth now.

If your situation is like mine then I am so sorry, but I would like to hear more about what is happening with your children.




Thank you, Sheila.
I think it is a bit of both, the hurt and now I am surplus to requirements. My wife would hand out money and presents babysit the Grandkids when it suited them, while I worked full time and still do. I feel betrayed or used, which seems the same as you and it hurts deeply. I know you are right to get on with things but it is very hard to accept.
The will was a factor as well my wife intended to leave her share of the house to the children, but changed her mind unkown to me at the time. It was my resposibility as I seen it, to inform them of their iheritance. I backfired badly the solicitor told them that my wife had changed her mind and did not sign the will. Somehow they believe I set them up for a fall and that I am a liar, but under Scottish law I am not allowed to see a private will even if it is my wife’s.

Hello Vincent So sorry to hear about your wife. You say your 2 adult children have taken it badly and will not communicate in any way or visit. Even if they’re hurting so much you would think they would want to be there for you to help you through your day. I have 3 sons, one by my partner and the other 2 I already had when I met Alan 43 years ago. My eldest one hasn’t been there for us much even when Alan was alive. He would promise to do things then never did them. He would pass the house to see one of his mates up the road but never called in. He’s not always been like that but he has for many years now. Selfish, drink and drugs i think are to blame. My middle son is back home with me now, but that was only because he was being made homeless from some drugs den he lived in and i couldn’t see him on the street. He says he doesn’t do drugs, but i beg to differ with the different mood changes he has. Going from being very drawn and quiet to loud, excitable and noisy. My youngest son was ok to start with. I helped him with his garden after his dad died and one day i sent him a text asking if he wanted me to help him again to do some more gardening. That was at quarter past one and at quarter past ten in the morning he’d been texting me normally. I didn’t get any reply so at twenty to two I sent another saying does that mean no. Still no reply. Three minutes later i sent another one saying don’t you get bored on your phone all time. I do. Been awake for hours but done nothing. Yet again no reply. My final one three minutes later was maybe you are asleep, again. His reply was no i don’t and no i don’t. I left it for a week then thinking he would calm down. Sent him a text saying I take it you’re not doing any garden today. His reply to that one was if I am its nothing to do with you. Go find someone else to push away. Stop texting me. He goes on to say he doesn’t like the way i slate everyone and i’m far from perfect myself. He’s sick of me slagging everyone off and to leave him alone. He’s blocked me on face book doesn’t respond to my calls or texts. Anything I’ve ever said about my family is true. They hurt me so that’s my defence. He says you can’t even give your son a grown man, a door key. Well no i can’t when he’s been involved with drugs. If they’re grown men why don’t they behave like grown men. My friend had a lot of jewellery stolen from a young member of her family. Someone she’d done a lot for. My sons forget the good you’ve done for them. Offering to lend money for a solicitor when his girlfriend took their baby son to live at the other end of the country. His dad paying debts what she had accrued and left him with. Holidaying with us to enable him to give his son a holiday, as he doesn’t drive and has no partner. The list is endless. Everyone deserves a second chance he says when one of my sons ex’s who’s a druggie, wanted to take me out for a coffee. I’ve sent him texts pleading with him but he doesn’t respond, so where’s my second chance. How can something so trivial blow up to be like this. I am now trying to forget they exist if that is how they want to be. I was left on my own the day after Alans funeral, as 2 of them were in the pub from opening 'til gone midnight when came. I would say there behaviour is despicable. All i would ask from them is just a text now and again just to say how are you mum. Are you ok. That is too much to ask. It was my birthday while Alan was in hospital and my eldest didn’t even get me a card. Got a text next day saying oh i forgot it was your birthday yesterday, theres nothing i can do about it now i’m in Aberdeen and won’t be home 'til tomorrow. At a time when i was feeling low a card would have been nice, as not receiving one just makes you feel more depressed and unloved. I hate it now when you hear things about family this and family that. Sorry to ramble on but at least you’re not on your own, but i don’t suppose that will make you feel any better.


Dear Vincent,

Your story is the same as mine. All down to money. When my husband was alive we did things for the children, babysat their children from being born, weekdays and weekends, even when my lovely husband was taken ill we still looked after them.

After he died, like I said, they told me in no uncertain terms that they would not be doing things for me as I could afford to pay for them doing. The house was in joint names so passed to me when my husband died, they had wanted us to put the house into their names but thank god we didn’t, they both got divorced shortly after he died and that would have meant their ex wives taking my home from me in their divorce settlement. I then paid all of their debts off, paid for new weddings etc. etc, it never ended. Through all this taking and taking, they never did anything for me. They wanted me to start giving them my savings so if I went into a care home the care home could not take my money, I told them noway. I needed what was left of my savings in case of an emergency with the house, new roof etc. they told me that the house insurance would cover it and not to be selfish, that did it for me, I stopped giving them money.

The silly thing was it did not make any difference to them, even when I was giving them money they hardly ever visited me so there was no change there when I stopped giving them money.

I am so sorry for you Vincent but I have learned the hard way, the only person who cared about me was my husband and it is now the same for you. Children can be so very selfish. Many times my husband told me to stop buying the grandchildren clothes and presents as they don’t appreciate it, but we never gave them money until my husband died then the floodgates opened and it was take, take, take.

I am 76 years of age and our children visit just enough to keep in contact, never ring me, just a text every few weeks to see if I am still alive. They know my will is made out to both of them as that is what my husband and I had discussed when we first made out our wills so when he died and I made out another one in my name, I kept the details the same, otherwise I would have left it to an animal welfare charity. My husband worked hard all his life for his family and I would have felt like I had betrayed him if our children did not get the inheritance he wanted them to have, but what hurts me so much is that the inheritance is all they want.

If your children are like mine, I am surprised that they have stopped visiting you as I thought they would want to ensure that you don’t change your will either. I wonder if that little item has slipped their minds.

Once again Vincent, I know just how you feel, the thing is, after five years on my own I have come to terms with the fact that if I died tomorrow, no-one would care, they would be like locusts going through all my things, in fact a few weeks ago our youngest son came to visit me and asked me what he would have to do with all my things when I died, I just told him to black bag everything, I would not be here to bother about it.

I no longer see our grandchildren because of their divorces, their ex wives have moved away and our sons don’t pick me up to take me with them when they visit them. I am now out of sight, out of mind.

My heart broke into a billion pieces when my husband died and in a way, I died with him that day.

Lots of love


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Dear Daisy-Janet,

I have been reading your comments and they so fit what happened to my late sister.
Her son, our nephew got into drugs whilst she was suffering from cancer, he stole all her jewellery, sold everything that was not nailed down whilst my brother in law was visiting her in the hospice. In and out of prison. My sister died 26 years ago and my brother in law died 4 years ago and we did not know whether he was dead or alive. After his dad died, he came out of the woodwork to see what he had been left in his dad’s will. His dad had left it all to our niece as he hadn’t seen nor heard from his son in 22 years. He had made a clause that if he ever did turn up it was down to our niece to do what she thought was the best, she found out he had fathered a daughter and given her up for care. She tracked his daughter down and adopted her and the money from her dad’s will went to his daughter for her education. She has not heard from him since.

I also think that we are better on our own, I have had enough stress to last me a lifetime and now just want a quiet life without wondering when the next bomb is going to drop.

I am so terribly sorry for what you are going through and I wish I could say things will get better. My sister never gave up hope of seeing her son again, he turned up after she died and then vanished again.

Life can be so terrible.



Hi Vincent - I read this just now and it always amazes me how people/ children/ relatives feel entitled to your money.

Sad about your children not visiting you - how was your relationship with them before your wife died?

I do hope you have good friends

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Hi Sadie, My wife and I had a normal relationship with my “children” going on holiday with them, babysitting the grandkids and visits from them, my son who is single. stayed with us also.
I am lucky in that my siblings have been very supportive of me. But it is unbelievable how they reacted with the death of my wife.
I hope you are coping with your loss Sadie. Thanks for responding to my post a little kindness goes a long way.
Kind regards Sadie xx

Morning - god knows why people behave the way they do
There was someone who I really though it was my friend and since Jack became ill she basically ignored me and disappeared from my life

Maybe you create a new friends as I also need to do.

Weekends can be particularly challenging and I hope you cope ok today.
Sadie xx

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Sorry, I did not get back to you sooner Daisy I did not see a notification. I will send a private message

Thanks, Sadie this site has helped me realise, there are a lot of people in the same situation as me, and made it easier to cope. And thru time things will improve for both you and me.
love Vincent xx

Thanks, Sadie. this site has made me realise a lot of people are in the same or a worse situation as me. This has helped me and thru time you and I will heal our wounds, even if the scars remain.
Love Vincent xx

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