Lost my wife

When my wife was at home with dementia we’d be at up by 07.00 needing to go to M and S for breakfast. Now she’s gone I’m finding myself in bed still with no enthusiasm to get up. No one there to share a day out. Doing stuff on your own isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I used to go to the care home every other day . Now that’s gone too.

I’m hoping it’s just a phase I’m going through and I’ll be more active later

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I’m going through chemotherapy and it’s not helping my emotions. At times when it’s quiet and still and I’m drawn towards the photos and videos of my wife, I miss her very much. I know there’s nothing I can do and it’s time alone that will make the difference but I’m stuck. I’m stuck because looking at the photos upsets me but I cannot but look. The struggle she must have had with dementia and the physical consequences of that……, incontinence, lack of balance, being scared and eventually suffering a stroke that killed her in the end.

I used to visit her every other day and I wish now I’d gone more. It’s too easy to think things will go on as always till it’s gone. Oh to be able to just get in the car now and go see her. I miss her company even if she didn’t know me. Never take things for granted

I know how you feel. My partner died almost immediately from a massive stroke in August 23. I find it very hard to accept that he will not be coming back. I have no family either so it is very difficult. I am 75. I get very anxious about living on my own as I get older with possible future health problems. I cannot stop crying either. Answer your question will it get easier - I am told it will but how long that takes depends on the individual. I hope it will for both of us but it is very early days.

I’m so sorry you find yourself so alone. We rely on our partners so much and when they’re gone it’s hard to accept. Company and companionship is such a strong point to hold on to that when it’s gone we are all at sea.

I’ve few friends and some good neighbours and my family but when it comes down to it I find I have to handle all the grieving emotions on my own. We did everything together, relied on each other totally and being on your own is very very difficult.

Of course we both knew one of us would go first but it’s human nature to never believe that would happen. You’re right that it’s early days and time heals a little. I’ve got to keep that in mind

Tomorrow it’ll be 4 weeks since I lost my wife. I feel now just as I did when she died. Maybe even a little worse.

I’ve read a book on grief and loss, one called It’s OK that you’re not OK by Megan Devine which I found quite comforting. But as she stresses, there are no 5 stages of grief that you move through. It’s a turbulent time, a road you have to walk. The pain you can do nothing about - that’s a feeling we have to experience (and it’s a direct indicator of the love you have for your partner). But she does stress kindness to self as a way of reducing the suffering.

I’m with you on the loneliness. It’s hard walking into the house knowing she’s not there. And every time I have something to say I want to say it to her first.

This is incredibly tough. Everyone says that with time, it’ll get easier. But it feels impossible right now.

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Hello Steenbras

The book you’re reading is one that helped me a lot. There are many of books out there ( I must have bought them all!!) but not all can hit the mark when it comes to just understanding what you, and many like you, are going through.,

From being a couple to being on your own is extremely tough and I know very well that feeling of an empty home. My wife died last year but prior to that she’d been in a care home for four years so my empty house started way back in 2019.

Is does get better I can reassure you. Just trust me on that. I doesn’t seem that way now but as time goes on and you lurch from just ok to deep depression it slowly gets better.

It’s tough and everyone similar will tell you the same. Reach out, pester people for help, lower your guard for help and look after yourself

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My wife, my poor Bridget, died last year after more than 4 years of awful dementia.

I’ve just looked at an Alzheimer’s film showing that with dementia you die to things many times, not recognising those who love you, the world is a frightening place, and so it goes on. Finally you die from the body giving up or , in Bridget’s case, a stroke.

When she was here she struggled, I just about coped, was useless at really caring for her 24/7 until she went into a care home where she became content and at peace.

Life isn’t fair is it. All of us facing the grief from losing someone shout “why us, why you or why me” but death is commonplace but that doesn’t help us come to terms with it either.

I just wish I could see some reason why I need to feel so wretched with grief and why other couples are okay and live normal lives happy in their companionship.

Mate , it was my wifes 75th birthday yesterday after passing 7 months ago. Yesterday was a very difficult day. What you and I are suffering is grief, it’s normal but it is difficult. I am lucky I have had great support from family and friends but I don’t shut myself away because I know my wife would not want that with me. Surrounding yourself with friends and family helps yet sometimes laughter hides tears.
I have spoken to friends who have lost their wives longer than me and they say it never leaves you but they cope better now.
I am sure through time it will happen to you and me.
Stay strong

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Thank you for your advice. For four years she spent her time in a care home completely oblivious of who I was so our relationship became one of regular visitor who brought the same treats each time. My Bridget died in September last year.

I have photos of her smiling at me but the smile is one devoid of loving emotions. But it’s a happy smile at least. I look at the photos and cry because I can no longer go visit her, treat her, hold her, say I love you. She was my best friend and companion. I feel lonely. Why wouldn’t I.

Now I’m just getting over cancer and that’s complicated things because there’s no visiting routines to occupy my mind. The days stretch out.

It’s a strange thing in that we know they are gone but part of us still believes that they’re going to put the key in the door, open it and say hi it’s me. Well, that’s what it’s like for me. I look out of the front window and I see my Bridget walking up the garden path. It’s so real.

I also remember and picture her walking away with care home staff never to return to our house. Innocently walking away thinking she’ll be be taken to her parents.

Just to have another 5 minutes with her. To dance with her instead of being embarrassed and lazy.


Absolutely. It’s 6 weeks today that my Michelle died - at the moment every Saturday brings it all back. But just like you, even though I know she’s gone - I sat with her until the end 6 weeks ago - I still want to tell her the random things that happened during the day. I haven’t read The Year of Magical Thinking yet - that’s next. But from a preview I read that’s what Joan Didion describes perfectly. She couldn’t get rid of his shoes because he would need them when he came back!

My problem is that I’m addicted to looking at photos of us, of her, that I took throughout our married life even though I know it will upset me. I cry for her and for myself. Where have you gone? We were so happy together that I constantly believe she not dead and I can almost reach out, get in the car and visit the care home where she’ll be in her favourite chair.

To not look at memories for me is impossible and currently I can’t get pleasure from thinking about the good times like some suggest. I just miss her so much that it impacts my days suddenly, without warning

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Is that a problem? I do the same, constantly. I have my wife’s photo on my phone lock screen. I have the portrait we used for her celebration of life hanging in my hallway to greet me as I enter the house and say “bye” as I leave. I’m scrolling through my photos of her because I need that connection. It makes me cry - and funnily enough I welcome that because what we had was wonderful and this connects me with that intense bond again.

Your last paragraph is exactly how I feel. I can’t stop looking at those photos. The memories are painful but each one connects me to her and I’m ok with the emotional response. I hate the loneliness - I really do. But in those lonely times looking at the photos gives me the intense feeling that she is with me.

I lost my wife in August 23 don’t be afraid to look at pics if it gives you comfort. Don’t be afraid to show your emotions and never stop talking to your loved one. Life is difficult and yes it is very loney sometimes no matter how much company you have during the day you are still on your own at night. I have many sleepless nights but tell myself when you are tired you will sleep. It took nine months to accept going back into the living room but I have made it. When you write on these pages remember you are not in an isolated situation and when I read peoples words it gives me comfort to know how I felt and how I feel is not nice but it is not unusual. I look around me all the time and realise lots of people are struggling in lots of ways but we just don’t know. I don’t do counseling as I found it wasn’t for me but I do find comfort in these pages. What I’m going through is not unusual and I just wish I could help you more to realise we are all in this together and must share how we feel so people can better understand.

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I’m sitting here after dragging myself out of bed. I’m doing projects around the house in the hope that they’ll form a distraction away from the loneliness of losing my wife last September.

But at times I do wonder if anything is worth it. All the goodness I have around me, the nice house, garden, so what!! . It can’t be shared. She was the main driver with ideas and she lost all her abilities with dementia which lasted 5 years till her death.

I’m getting over chemotherapy and that’s another loss of my health and strength. It’s just too much sometimes and no matter how many people you have telling you to do this, do that, in the end the one thing you really want has gone for good.

I need to believe she never suffered at that moment of her big stroke that killed her. I’m advised by the hospital that she never suffered but it leaves me wondering what that moment of death is like. To be breathing all those years and when I was told at the hospital she’d died, I came into the room to see her and there she was not breathing, so final and sad. The shock remains vividly and I’m left with feelings of profound sadness for her

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Hi @Dutchman I’m sorry to read that you are unwell and after losing your wife it must be extra hard. I agree with you not having anyone to share things with just seems pointless. I get up and think what now? Life has no enjoyment for me without my husband. I hope things improve with time for us both. Take care.

Likewise, I’m sorry to hear about your health as well @Dutchman. I sincerely hope you have a path to recovery and a return to health.

I too have been feeling it lately, the bank holiday weekend just gone did not help. I no longer look forward to weekends, it just shines a massive spotlight on the void in my life that cannot be filled. The sadness felt overwhelming at times.

Thank you @Loobyloo2 and @steenbras for your kind replies.

Of course all of us wish that we had never lost our loved ones. Losing that person who shared so much with us is so very hard to come to terms with, but I get comfort in a way knowing that so many of us are in the same boat. I know that at this moment there is someone crying uncontrollably over their loss and wishing for just another 5 minutes in their arms.

Grief is normal ( I’m reassured) but when we grieve it seems we are the only people with this feeling. Just come back from shopping and couples are merrily walking about oblivious to what is to come. I sometimes hate them. I want to say to them “one day you’ll feel like this”.

I saw a couple arguing today , felt like going up to them and just saying stop it , appreciate each other as you never know when it will all be taken away , didn’t though as it would just make me look like a madman .


It’s not till you’re on your own and actually living the experience that you realise how much your love one meant to you in so many ways. We can live together, share stuff and feel we love each other but along side of that is a load of things we have to take for granted. Bridget cooked and I did the DIY.

I’m not saying we go overboard with loving emotions all the time but when they’re gone I just wish I’d shown more, done more. And those things I took for granted come back to haunt me. To couples I would say, live your lives as though they’re shorter, love each other much more, because it’s too late once your partner has gone