Losing support

Has this happened to anyone else on here? My husband died last June after 66 years of marriage, and I have never been so depressed in my life. At first my family were supportive but they do have their own busy lives and I did not expect them to keep propping me up forever. They all work, and have families of their own. However, after my experience over this weekend, which I won’t go into detail about, I realize that their support has dwindled and I can no longer expect them to be there for me when I need it. I don’t seem to be making much progress, even with Cruse counselling, and maybe I leaned on my family too much. What do I do now? I have joined a couple of interest groups where I live but it is an effort to go as they aren’t what I really want and there is little else where I live. I have tried to become independent but it is so hard without some support. Warm regards to everyone. Eileen

Hello Eileen
You are not the only one experiencing this - I can feel the support ebbing away too. I know even the closest of family have their own lives and priorities and maybe I was expecting too much of everyone but over 100 people came to the funeral. How many of those people at the time offered so much to me in the way of support and friendship and how few have actually come good. It’s been quite shocking really and makes you feel worthless. Sorry to be negative but feeling let down by so many.
Take care of yourself.
Ann x

Hi Eileen & Ann

I know exactly what you mean. At first I was upset with my family reaction as I too expected more from them, but they just want everything to go back to ‘normal’.
A couple of friends have been very good insisting we meet up for coffee once a week which has helped. One friend who I have known for over 40 years sent me a really curt email asking “Are you better now?” I have not replied. Thank goodness for this site where we all have become friends through our shared grief.

I think we are dealing with enough at the moment without worrying about how other people are behaving. Being charitable its best to put it down to the fact that they don’t understand.

Sending you both a hug to let you know someone cares.

Yvonne x

Hello, Ann. Yes, I know what it’s like to feel worthless when you are more or less left alone to recover as best you can, I hear my family discussing their holiday plans and outings and think how nice it would be if I could go with them. No such luck. I was married to their Dad for 66 years so how do they think I can get over it in 8 months. This last weekend was particularly bad and I have now resolved not to bother going there again. Instead I shall visit my sister who lost one of her sons three years ago and knows just how bereavement affects you. Sorry to hear how you have been let down but at least there is this site, where you can talk to others in the same rocky boat. It’s a lovely morning here in the South so I shall wrap up warm and go out shortly. With warm regards. Eileen xx

Hello, Scorpio. Sorry to hear that, like me, you have been let down by people who should know better. I wish there was a quick fix for this grief so that I could get on with my life without asking for their support. That day is probably a long way off but with the longer days and warmer weather, maybe we will all start to feel a little better, and not so reliant on other people. Take care. Eileen xx

Hello Eileen, Ann, Yvonne & everyone
I’ve been reading your posts and how right you all are about family. The last three weekends my daughter has had to come over to my home because I’ve been in such a terrible state. I know it’s messed up her routine, she gets very angry with me, and she always says that I was too reliant on Her Dad and that’s why I can’t cope. I feel so desperate and lonely, I did have a phonecall this morning from the counselling service, and next Monday someone will call to assess me on the phone. Then I’ll have to go to speak to a counsellor face to face. My daughter suggested Silver Line they’re available on the phone 24/7, but it’s only for people over 55. Sorry to you all for being so depressing, at least I know you all understand and to be able to be in contact helps a bit. Warm regards to everyone.

Janet x

Hello, Janet. How sorry I am to read about your daughter’s lack of understanding but that is what has happened to me. I am so desperately unhappy without my husband, and honestly feel angry that my grown up children seem to think I should be over it after 8 months. Of course we were reliant on our husbands, for love, companionship, support and many other things, all of which we have lost. As regards counselling, I guess you are going with Cruse? I waited four months before they could help and I have had two sessions with a very nice lady. Not sure if it is helping but at least I can talk to her without annoying my ‘so busy’ family. I have decided to try without their begrudging help but they should remember that, although I am 86, I have a brilliant memory and won’t forget in a hurry. My dearest husband would be horrified if he knew what was going on. Take care. Warm regards, Eileen xx

Hello Eileen, it’s good to hear from you. The counselling is from my GP, I was going to try Cruse, but in my area it’s hard to get in touch with them, they were closed on Friday! I’m hoping that the counselling will help, like you I shall be telling them about my ‘busy’ family. I’ll have to try to manage, I’m here now as usual all alone, my daughter’s working today, I wouldn’t dare phone her there. My husband like yours, would be horrified to see what was going on. Warm regards,

Janet xx

I know exactly how you feel. My husband died last June, we were married 53 years. He was 82 and had Motor Neurone Disease. I’m nearly 75. We haven’t got any children, but I’ve got a twin sister who lives 176 yards away. She just cannot be bothered, totally obnoxious to everybody, just full of herself all the time. Everything ends up in a row. She forgets who has looked after her since 1969. My husband and I did everything for her, took her everywhere etc.
I even sat alone with husband when he was dying. I’ve done everything for him alone. Medics came in, but generally I’ve done everything alone. No support from her.
I don’t know if I’m ever going to get over losing my husband. I miss him desperately in every respect, and without going into detail, we were extremely close and loved each other dearly. People say you shouldn’t be so reliant, but surely that’s what marriage is, you do things together. I would think that’s how you were, Virgo.
One thing that bothers me is that I’ve got no energy, routine has gone out the window, I live in a tip instead of a lovely neat and tidy little home. We were so houseproud, now it has all gone.
I’ve read where this can be a sign of grief. I cannot see myself ever getting over it. I do feel for you, we’re obviously in a similar situation.

Hello, Grieving Widow and thank you for responding to my posting. What is it about families that they cannot offer support when you desperately need it? I have two sons who live a couple of miles away, a daughter in Australia and another who lives 60 miles away. The two sons were supportive at first but now I am expected to pick up the pieces of my broken life and get on with it. They know how I hate weekends and yet there are no invitations forthcoming to either visit them or them to come and see me. I also miss my husband so much that I feel torn apart. We were always together and It’s getting more difficult for me to get on with what is left of my life. Every night I pray that my dodgy heart will stop whilst I am asleep but then I wake up in the morning and it starts all over again. I just want to go and be with him although I would never self harm as it would be cruel to my family. I do hope that we will begin to feel better soon, although I have my doubts. Take care. Eileen

I have no famile except my son with aspergers and my sister who lives miles away. My sister hasn’t rung me for overy a week even though she’s had the week off. She replied to my text but the things she says makes me feel even more upset. I do have 3 good friends and they have all helped in their own way especially the one who lost her own husband 2 years ago. I’ve been to a bereavement group and that helped a bit. I’m on the waiting list at the hospice for counselling. This forum helps as it’s made me realise that other people are feeling in a similar way. I hope we can all health and bit with time and whatever support we can get xx

Dear Eileen;
I found that when each of my children, and then also my sister, had finished grieving for themselves, they then wanted nothing more to do with my own need to grieve. My son put a lid on his dad’s death within a couple of weeks, and my daughter after 6 months. After that they changed the subject whenever it came up. I think they felt it would re-open the wound for them, and they could not risk that happening.
Consequently, I have never been able to share properly, and still suffer from depression getting on for 5 years later.
I keep extremely busy, fortunately at 69 I am still healthy, and I aim to fill as many of the hours of each day as I can, and do not go to bed until after midnight. I try not to stay in bed in the morning either, as the grief tends to overwhelm me if I do.
Try to get involved with voluntary things if you have the physical capacity to do so, as I do find that “being useful” helps. God bless; Annette P

Hi Virgo825
I have just read you comments. and I dont think you are the only one, a friend of mine lost her husband many years ago and said the same of her family and friends, but she has found new interests and even has a companion now. My husband died 6 months ago, and since then one of my sons and his wife has been very supportive. My other son who works away a lot initially rang me most evenings, this has now dwindled away to maybe once or twice a week, which is fine I suppose. His wife hardly ever, if at all rings or even calls in even though they live within a couple of miles and doesnt work. We were at a family event the other week and whether its her way of dealing with it all or not, she seemed awkward with me and even someone else noticed that she could hardly look at me. My husband would have said something on the lines of "dont take it personal, get over it, its not you thats got the problem , its just selfish and thoughtless ". I would hope that I never let my emotions show when everyone is enjoying themselves. Nobody knows what we are all going through but at least we cant vent a bit on this site. We will all, I hope find a way forward… dont know how at this time, I am on a rollercoaster of emotions. I cannt just get over the fact that hes never coming back. Thinking about you all.

Hi All

It’s a relief to know that it’s not just me! It is just 7 weeks since my husband died and I am genuinely shocked at how people have melted away. My daughters keep in touch a couple of times a week but if I heard from either of my sons-in-law, I would faint with surprise and yet my husband and I have done so much for them all over the years. I texted my husband’s brother last week for some advice about something and he replied that he would phone me that evening - I am still waiting.

I think people just don’t want the responsibility of us, they just want to get on with their own lives without being pulled down by our grief or need for support. You don’t bargain for all this on top of the agony of our loss, do you?

Ann x

Hello June, Ann and everyone who has replied to my original posting. I am still wondering why families can be so unkind. Mine have definitely withdrawn their original support and if I mention my husband, they change the subject. I know they are all busy but it doesn’t take up much time to make a phone call after work. I am not a clingy sort of person and never made any demands on them. Maybe I should have done so. One of my offspring is fond of telling me that she and her siblings don’t know what to do with me, as if I am some kind of nuisance bug. I am very independent, even at 86, so they can stop trying to find ‘something’ to do with me. If I need care, I will go into a home rather than be a nuisance to any of them. I love them all dearly but there is a limit to my patience over this. I hope you are all coping with this dreadful weather. Down here in the south, it hasn’t been as bad as some places but at the moment it is snowing heavily so looks like no outings for me tomorrow. I hate being tied indoors. Warm regards to all my fellow sufferers. Eileen xx

Hi Eileen

I dont know why they can be a bit thoughtless about how you are. Maybe we should lock them up in our homes for 48 hours with only the televison for company and all the memories of their dad around them, and tell them that this is their forever and maybe they would understand. They are assuming you are ok because you dont ring them, when really you dont want to interfer with their evening after a days work and travelling. Maybe we are all being too considerate, my son says he will call in but when its 7pm at night and hes been driving for 2 hours to get home, i just tell him to get home and get a rest and see his family.

I too am very independent when I can get out, and very rarely ask for help with anything, I actually stocked up last weekend when I heard the weather was going to be bad, and we have about 1 foot of snow. unlike my daughter in laws mum who knew the forecast but has her running down to her house with supplies after work.!!

Take care keep eating and keep warm

xx

Hello Ladies. unfortunately finding the same. My wife died coming up to a year ago of MND after 46 years of marriage. Hardly see my two daughters now, and my son is the only visitor i get regular, and seems to understand how i feel.
Tried my hardest, to get used to the loneliness now being retired, but found myself losing interest in everything, and getting depressive. A few months ago i unintentionally met a lady on a web site (not dating) who was in similar situation, got chatting, and now message and phone each other throughout the days, this has been happening now for about five months and still going, we havent met yet as she lives 400mls away, but, she got me interested art, as shes an artist, which now takes up some of my time, and im looking forward to warmer weather, to go visit places of interest, to paint or draw. Shes promised to visit for a few days later on, so we might enjoy some painting together.
Its different, not what ive been used to, but at last, its given me an uplift, and something to get up for.
I loved my wife dearly and wished she was here with me now, i know it will never be.
But we dont have to be alone. There are others in the same position, also lonely. looking for friendship, its just finding them, and taking small steps into a new life, which we have to do…John.

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Hello virgo825 sorry to hear how you are feeling , but do you think your loving husband would want you to give up the will to live . Yes family and friends drift away and don’t understand how you are feeling how can they , they are not you , they have not lost the most precious person in there life you have . But you have to keep living you have to keep getting up ever day and getting on with life thats what your hubby would want you to do . Yes it hard yes it sucks but your hubby will be waiting for you when it’s your time to be with him but not before you have lived your life to the full as best you can . That’s what he would want for you .I can’t wait to see my wife but not until it’s my time to meet again in the mean time I try to live my life as best I can it’s hard and does not get easier but you learn to cope .

You are, of course, right, Wilson, and I know my husband would want me to live out the rest of my life as best I can. My biggest problem is loneliness as I live in sheltered accommodation where I hardly ever see anyone. I have nicknamed it The Morgue because I sometimes think that everyone else here is dead. I cannot even get a cat for company as pets are not allowed. So, I have decided to do something positive and move as soon as I can find somewhere suitable. That decision has given me something else to think about besides how much I long to join my husband. Hopefully, I will be able to post something a bit more cheerful soon. Warm regards. Eileen

Hi everyone,

My heart goes out to you all, it truly does. I lost my dad 4 months ago. He was the apple of my eye and I miss him so bloody much. Life can be so unfair.

I am lucky that I have three lovely sisters and a Mom and we are all fairly close knit, three of them live 45 minutes away and I have a sister who lives up north. However, I too suffer terribly with loneliness.

My husband works away for upto 8 weeks at a time overseas. I’m having trouble getting out and about to do things / meet people as I just cannot be bothered. I’m so tired all the time. I don’t work as I don’t believe I could hold down a job at the moment. I am considering some voluntary work, maybe dog walking or something to keep me busy.

What with the snow blocking me in and trying to renovate my lounge, as well as being poorly, I have felt very isolated and very pissed off at the world. I seldom hear from my friends.

I met a lovely man the other day who was visiting my Grandma in her care home (she’s also on her last legs :frowning: ) who lost his Mum in January. We had such a nice chat and it got me thinking that perhaps just being around others who are grieving would be good for me, people who just get it.

Where do you all live? Perhaps a monthly bereavement group could be a lifeline for people like us? I’m in Worcestershire.

Take care of yourselves,

Lots of love. xxx

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