Loss of partner

Hi everyone. I lost my soul mate, love of my life, my rock, the centre of my world Guy on the 7th of February, 3 days after my 60th birthday. It was an advanced cancer of unknown primary source. There were no warning signs or symptoms until mid December and he was diagnosed just 2 weeks before he died. He passed at home with me holding his hand. I was strong until the moment he died and then I fell apart. Some of me died too I think. Up until a few days ago I have spent every day in bed shaking, crying, suffering numerous panic attacks and basically just wanting to not be here. Tried medications from doctors but they ended up making me feel worse. On Tuesday I decided there were no short cuts to grieving, like the book “we’re going on a bear hunt” Grief, you can’t go over it, you can’t go round it you can’t go under it, you have TO GO THROUGH IT! Having pretended for a few days to do normal things in spite of the shaking and jitters, which did abate whilst I was busy, wow, tonight I’m back to being a mess! The idea of a whole future of pretending I’m ok, finding jobs to do, when really the reality of life without Guy is unbearable! I’m sat here now with lonely tears falling. I had this notion tonight of him coming into the kitchen on a normal evening and just asking me if I was alright. How can I ever be alright ever again without you I replied! Reality setting in. Like he won’t be here tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and all my tomorrows. Cannot stop crying now! No sleep again tonight I’m thinking. Guy and I waited a long time to find each other, Into our forties and feel robbed at only having 17 years together. He was my everything and I’m frightened being without him now. However hard I try to keep busy, ultimately I will be sat here on my own yearning for him every single night.

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I am so sorry. The length of time you were together has no bearing on the feeling of loss and despair. I was lucky enough to have 57 years with Tony, 54 years of wonderful marriage, and I am broken, but I bet you feel the same. Love is love.
I don’t know what the secret is to carrying on without them - I wish I did.
I feel for you, and all the rest of us who feel this way.
Love and hugs,
AnnR xx


Hi @Elfy,

I feel where you’re coming from. I lost my soul mate last September in a similar way. We’d known something was wrong with him for a while, something wasn’t just right, but we put it down to various others things.

Like the man-o-pause, as we called it, what a man does when he’s worked very hard all of his life, and then retires aged 67 and 6 months. My husband had worked in IT - he virtually developed the idea of project management, which is a business buzz word these days. He’d had a very bad first marriage which he stayed in because of his sons, his first wife typically took off with almost all of his money.

He didn’t care much about money away, as I don’t. We had conflicting work styles, I worked as a writer used to peace and quiet all around me, he needed the buzz he got from a bustling open office of a group of people working together to achieve the same thing.

When he retired this caused a few clashes between us. We resolved this by him working in the dining room as I worked in the little room we called the study.

We’d always thought that we could never work together, but over the 2.5 years of retirement we realised that as a team we could actually work together in such a way that we could each do something we’d alway wanted to do, but in a different way, that would help us to achieve something that we’d dreampt of but thought was impossible.

We found our forever home in January 2020, when COVID was just a hint of a scandal coming from China. The house used to be our GPs surgery, he’d retired, and we stood there working if it would be like SARS or MERS, not the global pandemic we’re just beginning to come out of.

The future was an open book, that slowly closed in the months that followed. Jim became ill, and being a man, took it in a man’s way. He toughed it out. He’d always had vertical diploplia, which became horizontal/total diplopia, he wriggled out of that one by persuading the doctor that he could drive with an eye patch. He should have gone to the Emergency Eye Clinic, but he didn’t want to because the DVLA had taken my driving licence away,

He had terrible back pain and took to sleeping for around 12 hours a day. He began to stumble when he was walking, and fumble with things like can openers. He’d been doing most of the domestic work, because I’m disabled and I was waiting for urgent surgery to fix my wonky neck. Slowly I took over.

Then he began to call the GPs because of his symptoms. Because of COVID, these were tele-consults. He eventually said, he’d given up, he knew he needed to go into hospital. The GPs agreed with this, so he walked into the ambulance that came to take him. I couldn’t go because of COVID.

He was discharged as terminally ill with a brain stem glioma that couldn’t be treated (a BSG is a very nasty cancer but it can be treated, the hospital made a mistake), 3 weeks later. Thankfully he spent 12 days at home before he died in my arms.

There is no way to recover from an experience like this. My experience is that you slowly learn to live with the reality, and you absorb the pain and loss in your own body. The pain is at times physical, always emotional, and too often unbearable. But you can bear it - I have managed, with the help of friends and our dogs, doctors and a community psychiatric nurse, a psychiatrist who calls me regularly to see how I am getting on, etc…

You need to be able to ask for help, I think, and if the help you receive doesn’t work for you, say that kindly to the person who’s trying, and ask someone else. Anger will flow and ebb, as will shock and the entire maelstrom of emotions. My faith, dogs and friends have seen me through.

Christie xxx

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I echo the comments from AnnR and Christie and am so sorry for your loss.

I lost my wonderful husband in September in a road traffic accident. He had only recently turned 60, worked hard all his life and we were preparing to start our retirement. We were together 42 years (38 married).

I wish I had the remedy to the pain and heartbreak we are all experiencing - the reality is the one thing that will fix it is no longer with us. The emotions and lack of sleep are all known to those of us on this site.

Will be thinking of you.
Sheila x

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Thanks to everyone who responded to my post the other night. It really helps to know you are not on your own and that there are people out there who truly know what this hell we find ourselves live through feels like. I’m late with replying as I have to cut and paste an email into the reply box! I only have a kindle and the keyboard covers the box. Impossible to see what I’ve written


You’d welcome. I am sorry you had to be on here , but we are all here to support one another. Xx

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Since Guy passed away I am finding it difficult to sleep more than 2 to 3 hours even when that was the case the night before. It’s horrible, I wake up in a cold sweat with my blood running cold. The sense of being afraid, jitters and shaking prevents me from falling asleep again. I have always had insomnia but once asleep I would be fine for 6 to 7 hours. If I needed a nap during I have found myself starting to dread going up to bed and stay up into the early hours so that there’s a fair chance I might drop off, it also means that when I do wake in a state, it’s closer to a time when I can get up. Initially when Guy passed I could escape into sleep and has some respite from the unbearable pain but now I have to endure it to a greater or lesser extent(usually later, a bit more settled). Has this been happening to anyone else? Any tips or solutions?

Hi again Elfy,
Yes, since Tony died, I have had dreadful problems with sleep. As you can see, it is now 0049 and I am not yet in bed. I tend not to go any earlier because I know it won’t help. When I get there, I will toss and turn and it will be hours before I drop off. Then I will wake several times throughout the night. When I eventually wake up after a crap night, I will feel like I could sleep for England.
Perhaps this is how it is for most of us. I try not to worry about it as I think worrying will make it worse, but it is a pain in the bum! x

Dear Elfy and AnnR

I am the same. Stay up until after midnight in the hope that I can go straight to sleep. But most of time still toss and turn before perhaps having 3-4 hours sleep. Run on fumes most of the day, then drift on the settee if I am lucky.

Perhaps we ought to start a club! X


Yes. I think that would be a good idea. Let’s start a post called the Wide Awake Club. I think between us we could manage it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or whatever.

It’s like, what do you do when the world’s awake, and you just want to sleep from here to eternity.

Christie xxx

ps going to sleep now. Goodnight all…