Lost my husband in May this year

Hi, I lost my husband in May this year. We’d been together 32 years, and would have been married 13 years this Saturday 25th June.
We didn’t have any children, we have no close friends and all my family live over an hour away, so I’m feeling really lonely, as not only was he the love of my life but he was also my best friend.
I spoke to a telephone counsellor that my work provided free last week who told me that I’m being too hard on myself, and I realised that I have been ‘keeping busy’ to try not to think about what’s happened, and since then I’ve tried to let myself think of my husband instead of trying to numb myself to the pain, but now I just feel like I’m crying at the drop of a hat. I had to organise the funeral alone, and I’m having to deal with all the official paperwork stuff alone and while I’m doing it I’m not thinking of why I’m doing it, but then as soon as I stop and do something ‘normal’ the grief just washes over me.

Louise hello my name is karen and my husband died in February and I know exactly what you are going through the loneliness is at times overwhelming my world revolved around my husband and I was content with that he was my best friend to I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to grieve each situation is unique to the individual. I go to work like a robot try to keep my feelings to myself come home to a empty house and fall apart I have a daughter who’s 18 but she spends all her time with her boyfriend so mostly I am alone. Nobody really understands how can they unless it has happened to them people expect you to get on with your life but how when you don’t know where to begin. What I would suggest is contacting cruse to arrange further counselling I think it is important to talk about how you are feeling you are very fragile and vunerable at the moment and need support also it’s early days this I think for both of us will be a long journey everything is painful which can’t be avoided. I think coming on this forum is very courageous you have begun to reach out so count that as a first step also whenever you want to talk feel free to contact me we are all members of this horrible club that none of us wanted to join but we all understand that we need to express ourselves somewhere safe and you can to. Take care xx

Hi Karen

thanks for replying on my own post as well as on yours.
I’m not back at work yet, but am dreading what you describe - coming home to an empty, quiet house every night when I finish work. I do want to go back, but the thought of being surrounded by people all getting on with their own lives will be hard, so I’m trying not to think about going back until I’m ready to.
I’ve just had a look at the Cruse website, and noted down the helpline number and will give them a ring when they are open next week.
We are both members of a club that we didn’t want to join, and we just have to try to find a way to live through the pain we’re in, and hopefully get to the stage one day where thinking of our loved one can be less painful. You take care too xx

Hi girls I would just like to say I know how you both feel I lost my partner of 25years suddenly in May this year I didn’t get to say goodbye and my world has just fell apart I too haven’t returned to work yet don’t know when I will be able to go back but it’s something we will have to do at some point I’m also dreading the same as yourselves going home to an empty house but we can only take one step at a time thinking of you both keep your chin up and take care xx

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Hi Janey, thanks for replying. I read your other postings to Johnboy before replying here. My heart went out to you when I read that Robert died across the street to you, and that you weren’t able to be there when he passed away. Gordon went downstairs at 3.45am to make a cup of tea because he couldn’t sleep (he’d been feeling off for a few days). I went down to see if he was ok and then went back to bed and the last thing I said to him was that I had to go back to sleep as I had to get up for work in a few hours. He must have died of a heart attack shortly after I went back up as his tea was half made and cold when I got up at 6am and found him dead on the kitchen floor. I have been over that scenario time and again to see what I could have done differently, but all that does is torture me with what if’s, so I have had to take the decision that no matter what I did differently he would have passed away, and all me being up would have done would have been to prolong his pain (he would have felt so bad if I’d been there to see him die) and I would have phoned an ambulance and he would have ended up in hospital, which he would have hated as he had an absolute phobia about hospitals and doctors so his last time on earth would have been very scary for him and I’d have felt guilty for putting him through it. I have to believe that his final moments were painless and that he just lay down on the floor because he felt so tired - he didn’t look like his last moments were painful, he just looked very peaceful.
I’m still off work but am thinking I might try going back at the end of next week if I can get a phased return as the longer I leave it the harder it’s going to be. I’m trying so hard to be practical for when I go back, I’ve got timer switches for my lights so I’m not coming back in winter to a dark house, and I’m gonna change my phone to one with an answer phone so I don’t have to worry about missing calls when I’m back - Gordon was retired for the last 24 years so there was always someone in for phone calls and workmen, which will be down to me now.
If you feel like letting off steam or just chatting please feel free to reply to me, even though none of us can change what we’re going through, if nothing else you’ll know you’re not alone. Louise xx

Thanks Louise I’m having a really bad day today I was on the bus and I met a girl who used to speak to Robert and I quite a lot with her little boy and she asked me where Robert was I just broke down like yourself I keep blaming myself for things I’m also still off work I need to try to get back soon I’ve been off 10weeks now the house is so empty and quiet and like you I’m dreading comming home to an empty house I have a good circle of family and friends and Robert was one of 10siblings no matter what both of us done I don’t think the outcome would be different it’s just that we are left to pick up the pieces I’m here anytime you need to talk to someone take care of yourself and thanks again for replying xxxxx

Hi Janey

sorry I’ve not come back to you sooner, I’ve had a problem with my broadband so have not been online for almost a week.
I understand what you mean about meeting people who knew your husband, there are still a few people who my husband and I chatted to when we were at the local shops or at a bus stop, and every time I go out part of me wants to meet them so I can ‘get the conversation over with’ and part of me dreads seeing someone who I’ve not spoken to about it.
I’m going back to work tomorrow, part time at first to try to get back into being around people again. Even though I’ve tried to keep myself busy in the house for the last few weeks (once I’d dealt with all the funeral and telling everyone side of things) I’ve felt incredibly lonely with Gordon pretty much all the time, and I think 7 days a week of this is not good, so what I’m telling myself is that at least if I’m back in work it will get me amongst people (none of who can replace Gordon) as a distraction, and will mean that I only have to deal with the loneliness evenings and weekends. I don’t want to go on medication from the dr, because the reason we feel so bad is because we loved and were loved by someone very special to us, and for me dulling that pain down would feel like I was trying to get rid of the memory of our life together.
You’re very lucky having friends and family around you, take comfort from them, and take care of yourself. xx

Hi Louise,

Best of luck with your first day back at work tomorrow - I hope it helps to have something to keep you busy. It’s good that you’re able to do part time at first, and hopefully people will be understanding and supportive.

We’d love to hear how it goes - if you feel like writing about it, please feel free to start a new conversation about your first day back and give us an update. I’m sure everyone here will be wishing you well tomorrow.

Hi Louise,

How are you doing? I wonder how your first day back at work went on Friday?

Hi Priscilla

Thanks for thinking about me.
To be honest Friday was pretty stressful for various reasons, one of which was me expecting more from some people in work than I should have.
Unfortunately what I’ve discovered over the last 8 weeks is that some people say things because they feel they should, or because they don’t know what to say, but it was quite upsetting going back to work to find out that some of the things people had said to me were just words.
Having said that, there have been other people who I knew before my husband died (in and out of work) who have been just the opposite, and who have contacted me and been genuine, which has been really nice, and so I’ve decided to concentrate on the friends I have (old and new) and leave workmates as just that.
I had a good think about all this over the weekend and so I went into work yesterday in a completely different frame of mind, and I’m getting some support from work now I’m back which I hope will help me going forward.

Sorry to hear that some of your workmates were less than supportive. It sounds as though it made Friday very tough.

Well done on going back yesterday - it is good that you know that you do have supportive friends and focusing on them sounds like a good approach.

Keep checking in here if you find that it helps.

Hi Louise just seen your message I hope your first day back at work wasn’t too stressful I’m going back next week and I’m dreading it I’m still very tearful but like yourself I need to kill some time being in the house all day doesn’t help my work has gave me a number to call for some counciling I maybe call that tomorrow I’m here any time you want someone to talk to thinking of you take care xx

Hi Janey
good luck going back to work next week. The good things I’ve found about going back to work are that it gets me out of the house and amongst people, and it keeps my mind busy while I’m there. My manager is being understanding about me having to get up and have a cry in the loos now and again - lets hope that understanding lasts, because as we both know, when something this devastating happens to you it changes you forever, and the big thing is learning to cope with all the changes in your life and working out what you want to do the same and what you need to change. At the moment it feels like this unbearable grief will stay with me for ever, but I hope that eventually it will get easier and I’ll be able to think of good memories with Gordon. I would definitely suggest phoning the counsellor if you need someone to chat to, I’m lucky in that work have given me some appts with an onsite counsellor, so I think that will help me. Take care and please let me know how you find going back to work next week. xx

I will Louise I phoned counsellor this morning I’ve not stopped crying all day since I have phoned them I just hope in time the grief will be less severe for both of us in time I’m missing Robert so much he was my life trying to make a new life without him is unbearable but I need to try you take care I’m here anytime you want to talk

Hi Janey

Speaking to a counsellor can be upsetting just because you’re having to talk about how you’re feeling and having to be honest.
I think what all of us in this situation have to remember is, the reason we’re so devastated at our loved ones passing is because we were lucky enough to find someone who we loved so much, and who loved us back so much too, and so few people in this world find that kind of love.
If you had gone instead Robert would be feeling just the way you are now, just like Gordon would be feeling the way I feel now if I had gone instead.
The grief and loss we feel is normal, and as long as you have someone who you can see or call when things get really bad (I call my mum) we shouldn’t expect to ‘get over’ this, all we can do is learn to adapt our lives around it. Hope it goes ok for you this week going back to work, just remember I’m here if you need to talk. xx

Thanks Louise you are so correct our lives has changed forever and yes we were lucky to have someone to loves us the way we were loved it’s just adapting to a new life without them I go back to work on wed so I hope all goes ok and I don’t break down thank you for being there it’s nice to speak to someone who knows how I’m feeling I’m here any time you want to speak take care xxx

Hi Janey,

Did you also end up going back to work this week? How did you find it? Let us know.

I’ve also started a new conversation on all about going back to work, in case more people would like to chat about how they have coped with this. You can take a look here: https://support.sueryder.org/community/coping-death-loved-one/going-back-work

Hi priscilla I go back tomorrow hopefully all will go ok I just hope I don’t break down I need to try and be strong it’s just so hard having to accept I’m on my own now I will let you know how I get on thanks

Best of luck today, Janey!

Thank you I’ve just come home from my first day back at work and I have found it really hard thing to do I’m very tearfull but it is something that needs to be done every one has been so nice to me it’s when you come home trying to addapt to no one here when I come home I just miss Robert so much I just hope time will help me addapt to being on my own thanks priscilla for caring x

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