Loss of my beautiful Anne

The death of my wife Anne has been a terrible shock for me and my children. I am 64 nearly 65 and my wife was 56. 2008 had been a hard year for her with a hysterectomy in January, she never got back to her health she had before and seemed to plateau around the end of March 2008. She had to give up one of her jobs of helping older persons with cleaning. Come October she had niggling pains in her tummy that she thought was healing pains, she didn’t see a GP. She was OK on Christmas eve but had some neck pain on Christmas day, Boxing day was worse with shoulder pain and lower rib pain and sharp pain on breathing. On the 27th she went to the doc and was diagnosed with Pleurisy and given antibiotics. It got worse and after two further visits was no further forward. I eventually called and complained that I was really worried and on the 17th she was admitted to hospital after a 9 hour wait in A&E. She had an ultrasound and was told on the 12th she had lumps and bumps on her liver. A CT scan was done on the 14th and was told her primary cancer was in the ascending bowel and advanced liver cancer as the secondary. She saw the oncologist on the 22nd and told she had a one day window of chemo. By that time she was very poorly and was way to ill to go through with it. She declined the Chemo and passed away in the early hours of the 26th.
The family are obviously struggling but the children all have partners and two have their own children. I am now all alone and really struggling, I cry virtually every day and often a few times a day, I cannot get up from a very dark place, visitors help at the time when they are here but when I am alone again it is just grim, I have hobbies but am not interested in them one little bit, I’m eating but not really properly, I also try and spend time keeping the house perfect just like Anne did. I just cant come to terms with loosing my beautiful Anne she was my life and my love.

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Sorry she was admitted on the 10th not the 17th.

Hello Trevor. So sorry for the pain you are suffering. I lost my husband just before Christmas and I’m very much on my own as my son and his family live thousands of miles away.
Please share your feelings with your family, although I know how difficult that can be as the loneliness is overwhelming.
It’s such a short time since your loss, I felt I was in a fog and almost on automatic mode, only doing things because I had to and forcing myself to. Times on our own are the worst, I go over everything and do the what ifs and I should have said that, until I end up in floods of tears.
It’s such early days, the grieving is overwhelming, but there will be days when you’ll cope better.
Take care. x

I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you’ve had an awful time. I lost my wonderful husband last November. He was only 61 and I’m 58. He was diagnosed with metastasised lung cancer on 19th October and passed away on 6th November. It was such a terrible shock as he’d been working only a couple of weeks before. I don’t think I’ve still fully accepted that he’s gone and miss him so much every day. It’s a physical pain in my chest and I cry so hard sometimes I feel I might break.

It’s a truly awful journey that we are on, that we never expected or deserved, but through the help of this forum we are not alone in our grief and hopefully we will find a way to face each day and deal with what challenges life throws at us.

Take care x

Thank you both bot your very kind words. I realise it is very soon and raw, hard to come to terms with and a huge change in my life. I have in the past suffered with some depression and my childhood wasn’t exactly wonderful with a religious fanatic mother who was controlling and used emotional blackmail many times. Anne was a breath of fresh air for me and moulded me into a much better person with love, kindness and understanding, no wonder the loss is so great.
I have been offered to go to an ex boss of mine B&B up in Strathpeffer, he is a very kind and considerate person and I was thinking of going a week on Tuesday, I’m not sure how I’ll be to be honest and in a way am wondering if it is a good idea or not. It will be the first time I will have been away for something like this without Anne in my life with the exception of a few days with my work some years ago.
What do you think is it too soon or a good idea, perhaps others have done this and may have had good or bad experiences. I would be interested to know.

Hi again Trevor
Personally I think a few days away would be a good idea especially as its going somewhere that you know the person. I didn’t go anywhere at first, but just a day out with a friend last month was good.

I suffer from anxiety attacks which got worse when I finished work and was at home caring for my husband and not being able to leave him to go out.
The longer you don’t do things, the harder it is. I have to force myself to go out, even walking the dog, but it’s seeing other people, even if just saying hello.

Everything is daunting, doing it on your own when you’ve always had someone else with you. I’m trying to make the hardest decision at the moment, moving to another country, as my son and his family want me to move to be with them. Thd doubts wash over me, but I want to meet and hug my Grandson for the first time. I’m hoping my anxieties won’t get the better of me.
So, I’d say yes - have a few days away.
Take care x

I’d agree and say yes too. I was extremely anxious about staying away and leaving the safety of home but actually I’ve found that each time I’ve challenged myself it’s made me a little stronger. I drove 3 hours to visit my parents and was terrified that I would break down (the car or me) or something would happen and Phil wouldn’t be there for me to phone to rescue me but I did it and nothing happened. I put his favourite radio station on and sang and cried the whole way. Goodness knows what other drivers must have thought but I didn’t care, it got me through.

I was really glad to get home and felt very emotional and exhausted but was pleased that I proved to myself I could do it.

Hope this helps. X


I’ve decided to go to my friends place in Strathpeffer. I will be leaving on Tuesday morning and have the option to stay till the Sunday. I’m not sure if I am actually up to staying any more than a couple of days and being quite honest I am feeling a bit uneasy about going as the days get closer.
I also went into the drop in centre at Ayrshire Cancer support, I’ve booked an appointment with a counsellor for the 20th. I’ll see how all this pans out over the next couple of weeks.
Thanks to you all.

Trevor, my wife passed away just after Christmas aged 59 following a hugely brave 3 year battle with bowel cancer. It’s still very new for me but I recognise the loneliness you feel. It’s often hard for blokes like us, but if you haven’t tried it I really recommend that you get some bereavement counselling from Sue Ryder. I’ve had a couple of sessions so far and I think it helps, although it’s pretty difficult at the time. The only other thing for me is that my wife Hilary was very clear that she wanted me to be happy in my life: easier said than done, and I’m still doing some work, but it does oblige me, I feel, to do things when I don’t feel like it just to honour Hilary’s wishes.
I hope these comments help a little. Keep going.

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Trevor, just read the rest of this message string. I’ve been away to stay with very old and close friends. I did get emotional a couple of times, but they sre my friends and they were wonderful. We did some normal stuff, although it didn’t feel quite normal to me it was still enjoyable. Just a warning - when I left I had the first anxiety attack of my life, I think because it was ‘back to harsh reality’ but at least that shows how helpful the weekend away was - and I got over it by calling my kids from the car.
Be brave, try it out, everyone will understand your tears or sadness but they’ll also give you support and useful distraction.
Good luck with your trip.

Hello Simon.
I’m sorry to read of your own loss. At times I feel thankful that both the family and Anne didn’t suffer a long and painful illness and death. It must be hard for you too. The odd thing about Anne’s passing was the Friday morning about 20 hours before she passed. She woke up and in a very positive and lilting voice said “I’m still here”. Three words I’ll never forget, for about three hours till around 10am of the Friday morning she was very positive, funny and quite amazing. Around mid-day she rapidly started to deteriorate and by 1am of the Saturday was struggling to breath and passed around 3am in those early hours of Saturday 26th January.
I’m hoping that the trip is successful but I’m also not holding my breath. It’s a fair run and the weather is not so good but I’ll do it and see how I feel. Coming back could be a problem but I have to do it, I just cant carry on the way I am.
Thanks for your support and please take care.

Your memory of your wife waking is very similar to what happened with my wife. One of my daughters had just arrived after a long journey and so we were all together, the six of us. My wife stirred and my son said “Sarah’s here”. A few moments later my wife opened her eyes and said “I’m still here. Have you sent for the cavalry”. I don’t remember how any of us responded to that.
It’s maybe significant that my son told my wife, the following evening, that the girls had returned to their families and he and I were going to stay with her. He told her she needn’t hang on any more as everything was alright. She took him at his word and died shortly afterwards. His three sisters had always called him The Special One.
The first trip away was difficult for me but I’ve worked at it and been away several times now. It takes a lot of effort but gradually I’ve adapted and adjusted.
I hope it isn’t too difficult for you and you can remain positive about it. I dreaded the coming home but it wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. That’s the problem with over thinking.

All packed and ready to go at ten tomorrow. Storm Gareth could be a bit of an issue but I am used to driving many thousands of miles a year in often pretty rotten weather. It should keep me well fixed on the road and hopefully the sad thoughts will be further back in my mind.

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Hi Trevor, here’s hoping your trip is good to you and for you. Have a safe journey and enjoy your adventure as much as you can. Take care

Hi Trevor.
I hope you have a good journey. Drive carefully. Let us know how you got on when you get back x

The trip was a bit of a disaster. My friend up in Strathpeffer had a major family problem which meant both of them had to drive to Worcester on Wednesday morning. The problem was only found out a short time prior to me arriving on Tuesday afternoon. The evening was OK for me and I enjoyed the short time we had. Sadly coming home was more of a nightmare, it’s so so quiet and I’ve not been in a happy place since, I have to say I’m really low right now. I’ve counselling on the 20th and I really hope this will help me.

Trevor, oh dear sorry it was a bit of a mess. Despite that, I’m pleased that you got away as that’s a big step. Your returning home was terrible, I’m sure - but that is what we have to get used to, so each time helps a bit even though it hurts so much. I have lovely local friends and I pop in or call them when I’m feeling particularly low - so use anyone you can to get support. I hope the counselling helps - it has for me, though it’s early days. Is it your first one?
Be brave, take strength wherever you can find it, and keep talking to us. Yours is the only thread I’m reading on this forum, and I’m trying to be there with you.
Take care, Simon

Oh Trevor. I’m so sorry your trip didn’t go to plan but the main thing is that you did it. You pushed yourself outside your comfort zone and that’s an achievement. Some things that we did so easily before without thinking twice become so difficult.

I’m currently in Norway visiting family for the weekend. On Friday I could easily have turned round and gone home. I cried on the plane as it’s my first flight without Phil’s hand to hold but I had my daughter and step daughter either side of me for support and that was so important and saved me the embarrassment of crying in front of a stranger!

Keep hanging on in there and taking those steps. I hope the counselling helps. X

You are going through pretty much what I am going throughTrevor
Your wife was a lot younger than my husband and that probably makes it worse
I don’t know how we go on feeling like this and I’ve just posted a request for people who have experienced this pain to get back to me to give me hope that it will get better
Eating, sleeping and just “getting on with things” is all such hard work and I can only describe it as a hole inside me
I don’t know if this helps, but you are not alone in feeling like you do
In my more rational moments I think I know it will get better eventually
Meanwhile, it’s just taking very small steps
My plan for this week is to try to eat more healthy food
I think we have to keep going, it’s what my Tom and your Anne would want us to do
And I think maybe, I’m going to try to find other people living in my area who have recently lost a partner to try to join up with
There seem to be so many of us feeling this pain
I hope you get some respite from it
I do now and then

I had my first session of Counselling at Ayrshire Cancer support yesterday. The first session was mostly me talking about my life, how we met, our life together and Anne’s illness and eventual passing. It was at times difficult but I’m sure the lady was able to understand both of our lives and time together. Without this kind of chat I would think it hard for anyone to help us in this situation. She did make me feel relaxed and was very kind and caring. I have to get 6 sessions two weeks apart.

I have been in some pain though recently on my right side which radiates to my shoulder, it was quite upsetting as Anne initially had similar symptoms. a visit to the GP and a very detailed examination he is 95% sure I have a gallstone or gallstones and I have to get an ultrasound test.
I am keeping busy during the daytime but evenings are very hard and difficult, sleeping has now also got patchy with some good sleeps but other nights just an hour or two. I just miss my lovely Anne so much, life just feels so empty, the pendulum of grief just swings far too much with emotions swinging one way then another. I just pray those swings loose momentum and I can gradually come to terms with life as it is.