Moving On.

So many of us suffer from guilt or anger. Guilt because we could have done more, or so we think, and anger because ‘why me’. What did my loved one do to deserve such pain? What did I do? The answer is that none of us did anything that was not appropriate at the time. Hindsight is a cruel taskmaster.
Whatever we may feel about the past there is not a thing we can do about it.

“The moving finger writes; and having writ moves on: nor all thy Piety or Wit shall lure it back or cancel half a line, nor all they tears wash out a word of it”
Omar Khayyam.

This is very difficult subject when in the midst of grief. Things will never be the same, of course not. But not accepting what has happened can get us stuck in the past. Oh yes, I know; it’s the pain and feeling of loss and loneliness that keeps us stuck.
Looking forward is nigh impossible. But what’s the alternative? Would our loved ones want us to go on grieving indefinitely? Is it fair to them if we do? I believe they still know and care. It’s not the past that matters, although memories can be good as well as bad. It’s the future and how we behave to others that’s important.
I have changed. No longer selfish and a ‘know all’ but so much more aware of the pain and suffering of others. Loss creates humility. We are confronted with life in a way none of us expected and forces that are well beyond our control.
I am not for one moment underestimating the pain of grief. God knows I do know. But the light I have talked about does get brighter. I still live day by day, but I am so grateful that my wife and I had so much time together. It was a privilege. I am grateful for this site too and the friends I have made.
Take care everyone. Blessings.


I’ve just been writing about hindsight in another post. I hate it. It makes everything so easy and yet is cruel because I can no longer enact what now is obvious. The present circumstances remain unchanged however much we long for them to be untrue.
I definitely accept what has happened but I also suffer from disbelief that bubbles up without warning and hurts like hell. I am stuck to a certain extent, looking back to the past. It looks so good from here but I cannot go there and that frustrates me beyond belief.
The future is hard to look at because I struggle to see how good it’s going to be. After all, the past has still happened, there is still someone important missing from my life so how can I imagine that the future will be great?
I have a degree of responsibility as a parent to continue to live my life for others. That doesn’t make it any easier but it does give my life purpose. I’ve always broken down my thoughts and described my brain as having a logical side and an emotional side. Logically I know things will get better giving enough time, emotional I cannot see how that is possible.
I don’t necessarily see the grieving process as moving on but rather living with. Everyone has their own way of seeing it. I don’t want the pain to go away completely but I want to keep some of it with me. That may sound a bit strange but I’d also like to have a better ability to control it. Other than that, I’m taking it one day at a time still. This is the biggest challenge life has thrown at me. It’s hard.


Shaun. I agree, and I was not suggesting anything in grief is easy. In fact it’s a word we just can’t use. But I do feel we can move on in spite of the grief and pain. We may have to take the pain with us. So be it. That the present circumstances remain unchanged is what I was saying. We can’t change them, but the future remains untouched. We can’t grieve about something that has not happened yet. They remain unchanged because there is nothing we can do about it. There is no way we can change the past, but we have control over our future lives.
I will never forget my wife. Never! But I am not going to try and correct the incorrectable. There is a lot we can change in the present and future, and in accepting that we may be able to move along.
I feel one of our problems is we ‘project’ into the future present feelings and emotions. But do we really know what it will be like in say two years time? Like now? Everything is in a constant state of change. Our emotions are subject to that change. I think it’s good if we see it as a challenge because it gives us something to overcome. We must not make a fight of it, but recognize it is possible to move on even if only a little and so help ease the pain. Thanks for your reply. Best wishes.

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I’m not quite sure what to say but I do know that both Jonathan and Shaun have made such sense to my probably muddled up brain.
Grief isn’t easy it’s the hardest thing I have ever had to cope with. With two divorces behind me and living on my own previously as well as bringing up my two children from toddlers and if I say so myself coping pretty well, I though that I would be able to manage, but my god it’s hard. But I do accept that we can move along and become accustomed to a life, perhaps a different life but nevertheless a life.
I am always looking for that little bit of joy. Today for instance it was such a nice day that I went out walking. My dogs were enjoying themselves as we walked the tracks and woodland. I stopped at two churches and at the one I sat in the garden area overlooking the fields to the river and remembered my Brian, how he loved to walk and the river where he sailed his boats. It’s times like this when I am so grateful that he came into my life and those memories are slowly becoming a pleasure and I arrived home after being out for over three hours feeling quite relaxed.
I have said this before so sorry if you have already seen it. But on a CD of Brian singing the song has words that seem to jump out at me everytime I play it and I am now beginning to wonder if he is sending them to me. They are “Yesterday is dead and gone and tomorrow is out of sight”.
God bless
Pat xxx

Hi. Pat.
Yes, every little bit of comfort we have to grab with both hands. I’m pleased you went for that walk. The weather is not all it could be but even if it’s dull and miserable it’s still good to get out. I still go out for my breakfast and coffee and it makes such a good start to the day. It’s strange, but the lady who manages the cafe has just lost her mum. I was able to talk to her from the experience I have gained on this site. It was much appreciated. Just goes to show how we can help.
That saying from the song is so true. Yesterday is dead and what about tomorrow? I doubt anyone on this site will appreciate more than anyone else that life is full of surprises. Even without sudden death, which must be awful. So whatever comes in the way of upliftment or just a little bit of pleasure must be taken as it comes.
I know many feel it would be wrong to even think about enjoying themselves, even for a moment while still in grief. They feel it may be an affront to their loved one. But is it so? Surely, anyone who has suffered this awful pain must know that our loved ones would not want us permanently grieving. Grief is a process, and like all processes it has an end. There is such a fine line between grieving and self pity.
I am always afraid that I will be accused of not understanding the intense pain that most suffer. Oh God, I do!! But at the same time I try daily to come to terms with what’s happened and I am succeeding slowly. It does get better. Almost imperceptibly, and is still full of ups and downs. But it’s like a spiral. It does waver but always moves up just a little. I think it’s the slowness of the process that causes so much trouble. ‘Will it never end’?
I believe it will with time and a lot of patience.
To the newly bereaved I would say that what has been said in this thread you will find very difficult to believe. I was the same at first. So store it away in your ‘mind box’ for future reference.
Take care, Love, Blessings. and a hug. XX

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Jonathan, I too feel that I should now be able to face each day with more confidence. I think of Brian and know for sure that he would want me to have a life. He was a most unselfish man, he loved me and even told me to re-marry. Not that I intend to but it shows the sort of man he was, still thinking of me in his final hours. Anyway I don’t think there would be many men who would be able to put up with me.
We do understand the intense pain but if your anything like me I don’t want to stay like this for the rest of my life. I want to smile, which I am again, I want to laugh, which I did recently when watching Ant and Dec on the TV. I want to find joy in my surroundings.
By the way yesterday (Friday) we had lovely weather. No rain, no wind and bright sunshine all day and boy did it make me feel so much better. I walked for miles, kicking up the Autumn leaves like a big kid…
I’m so pleased you was able to help that lady in the cafe. We have walked that road.
Pat xxxx

I so much envy who ever sees a bit of light. I have just passed the 1st anniversary and the pain is so intense that i feel I am back in time, rather than moving on. (Thought I was getting into a better place)…
There is so much sense in Jonathan and Shaun messages but I think that someone’s reality is others dreams or wishes.
Grief has changed me. I lost confidence, gained faith, and become more humbled . But also feel sometimes broken. I miss not been able to share with the person that knew me so well and made me feel that i wasn’t alone . (Sorry it has been very difficult). But no doubt time will give me the answer on how I managed to survive 12 months without my loving husband and how i will go through another Christmas without him.
I know i will pick myself up but felt the need to write.
Blessings and warm wishes.
De x

Hi @De1, I’m not sure about the light. As time passes I find it too subtle to know if there is any light. We all know what grief is like and sometimes I’ve thought, yes, I’m feeling a bit better, maybe I’m improving, and then suddenly, wham, it grabs me and pulls me back in like some sort of punishment for daring to think it had gone away. I’m not sure I put a lot of sense into my writing and as with many people I find these forums a great place to dump my sometimes random thoughts and emotions! If my words help in any way then I’m glad. I sometimes look back and wonder how I got through what I did and then I wonder how I’m going to get through what’s coming up. Mum’s birthday is next weekend and I’m not looking forward to that. You don’t net me to point out the obvious big event coming up. I am truly sorry for your loss though and hope you do find some pace eventually. Shaun x

Hi. Shaun.
Of course we can agree to differ. If everyone on the site felt the same then what would be the point. But I feel I owe you an apology. I just didn’t think about the fact that it is only a very short time after your loss. I read a post then begin to answer as so much goes through my mind at the time. I must learn to stop and think a bit more.
No belief in anything can ease the initial pain and shock. We are in a kind of ‘no man’s land’. Nothing seems to have any relevance to anything. Lost, isolated and in despair. It’s over a year now since my wife died and the pain is still there. Moderated, yes, but still pain.
In your work you apply logic. You have to because how else could you do it? But when it comes to emotions, well, that’s an entirely different matter.
We all suffer from what I call ‘The YO YO effect’. Up one day and down the next. I like to think it’s two steps forward and one back. The movement is always forward, well I feel it is. You feel better then something pulls you back. That ‘something’ is memory. It’s so early for you and the pain must be great.
I had an old great uncle who won prizes for ploughing. (Horses in those days!) And he used to say you can only plough one furrow at a time. The whole field lies before you untouched, so plough your furrow straight and true’. It’s a big field and we may look ahead with fear and apprehension. But if we plough on slowly and try and keep straight furrows we can eventually look back and see how far we have come.
Very best wishes Shaun. Take care.


I like the analogy of ploughing the field.

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Hi. De. Thank you for your message. You are moving on. Like you, its over a year since my wife died and it’s still painful. But I like to think I have moved on, just a bit but the feeling is there. My wife was a very positive person. She would be saying what’s the use of making yourself miserable. She would not want that. It’s a consolation for me to feel that’s true.
You are so right. One person’s reality IS another’s dream or wishes. But that reality is there for all. It’s that most of us, including me, can’t put it into words or let it give relief.
If you have gained faith and feel humility, my goodness, what a big step forward that is! Don’t underestimate that experience. We all change after such a trauma. I certainly am different. Confidence takes a hard knock in grief. We feel so lost and our self esteem goes down. It will return.
Take care. Blessings. XX

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I like your post it is really positive God bless you and keep strong. I wish I could feel that way. I am grateful for everything I have and have had but seem to dwell in my misery and grief. How can I overcome this. Anne

Hi Jonathan, I loved this post. It’s so hard to stay positive when faced with so much pain. But that’s what I’m trying to do. And yes my grief has made me so much more sensitive to other people’s pain. I’m gaining strength by helping others and not being to self absorbed. It’s only 8 Weeks since my wonderful husband died . It was unexpected and sudden and my world went black. It seems a lifetime ago and a second all at once. But yes I am immensely grateful for the wonderful times we had and I’m trying to focus on that, not the years we lost. Stay positive and make every day count in their memories x

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Hi Jonathan. I would have replied yesterday but didn’t get the time to do so. I spent yesterday afternoon at Air Arena, which a place full of trampolines. It was my daughter’s best friend’s birthday so she had a party there. It was strangely uplifting to be around lively kids but at the same time slightly sad as the last time I was there was in July for my daughters birthday party and her grandma was there. I don’t get visions as such but at these sorts of times I can clearly see my mum in front of me doing whatever she would be doing in these situations.
No need to apologise, it’s always tricky in forums and especially so in these particular ones as emotions are running so high for a number of people. I know my emotions go up and down like a horrible roller coaster ride and that can reflect in how and what I write in these forums.
What I mean about my logical head is that sometimes it just gets in the way of my thoughts and creates confusion. Logic cannot gain control over emotions and the emotions can shout very loudly.
My mood does change from day to day and I’m pretty sure it’s affected by the weather and the seasons. I’ve never liked the short wet days we get at this time of the year so I always feel a slightly lighter mood when like today it’s lovely sunny and crisp. I’m trying to reestablish my old habit of exercise again so this morning I went for a walk which I’m sure is doing me some good. If I go out in the evenings when it’s dark then I get depressed and my thoughts are all over the place.
Interesting analogy with the ploughing. I have looked back already and seen changes in myself. I look back now and wonder how I managed to survive this far and how did I even breath in the days after that awful day. I’m still here and there is a lot of field left and it’s daunting. My emotions now are mainly a real deep down sadness that pervades my daily life and I can’t help but look back and deeply miss not only my mum but the whole experience of life itself when everything was normal for me.
I guess in summary, I’m trying to find myself again as I’m now forced to live my life without the one thing I’m desperate for and yet cannot have. I think you’ll know what I mean by that.

Dear Shaun thank you for replying. Its a great help to be able to communicate with people that understand the emotions we are going through . Writing here is like an scape valve and glad we can help Each other. .
I am sorry for your loss too. I know we are trying to manage this journey the best we can. Some of us going very slow, like me. 1 step forward and 10 backwards. others are going at a reasonable speed. Nonetheless our sadness and our aim to gain some peace and understanding is very much the same.
I am sure we have all gained good steps by joining this forum and be open about our emotions .
Thank you again and hope your “good” days get better and the low ones are bearable.
Take care Love De

Dear Jonathan. Sorry for late reply have difficulties in finding my way in the new system. …but getting there.
Thank you so much for our reply. I am sure I am moving on. But I also know that sometimes I want to stay in the past to soften a bit that deep pain I feel. I am sure you understand as we are going through sane period of time that entering into the second year, makes things more final and therefore scaring.
I do pray that i am blessed with tolerance, understanding, confidence and acceptance and start a meaningful new life with wonderful memories (which at the moment it’s heart breaking l to bring to light). Thank you Jonathan your messages are always so positive and wise. Love and Blessing. De x

Hi. De. Yes, I did think that after a year it would feel better, but it doesn’t seem to work that way. The time of year has a lot to do with it. What with the weather and the dreaded ‘C’ word!!! I went out for some coffee this morning and the car parks were full with Christmas shoppers. That’s all I need!!
I’m not anti social but enough is enough. Also, I still find it difficult when I see couples together and enjoying each other’s company. I do feel sad then. But it’s no good moaning. I just have to wait and allow the adjustment to take place. It is, but it’s the slowness that is so painful.
Take care De. Love and Blessings to you too. XX

Jonathan I am relieved that you feel exactly the way I do, sorry about that but I thought I was failing in some way. Also at the year stage I thought I would be feeling much better in myself. I suppose I thought when the year and first anniversary was over I would miraculously be back to being me again or at least nearly there. Well I’m not as I have found out yet again. I have been having reasonable days and actually felt much more relaxed but no, it was not to be. First two days this week was awful, back to square one. Today not been too bad again. Why, when I keep busy and my days are occupied. My life isn’t much different to when Brian was with me but I feel that emptiness and loss of direction all the time
At first it didn’t bother me when I saw couples together but lately I have become very sensitive, even when watching TV programmes. I realise that I will never have the love of a man again, the end of an era. I am finding the slowness a bit frustrating also. Grief takes over and makes life difficult and I have no say in the matter. waiting for the acceptance is the only option. No, it’s no good moaning we have to take the good moments and the bad.
Take care and don;t go near the shops, I try to keep away.
Pat xxx

Hi. Pat. Just seen your message. ‘Never’ is a long time. We never know really, do we? Life can often surprise us when something good happens amid all the pain. I don’t think expectations are good because, invariably we can be so disappointed. ‘You will be fine after a year’!!! Oh yeah!!!? Well that was wrong as is all talk from those who mean well but have no idea what they are talking about. It’s why a day at a time is the best philosophy.
No expectations, and if something pleasant come along grab it.
I gave up on Supermarkets a long while ago. I have a lovely garage nearby that stocks most brands and I go there. No queues and no hassle.
Yes the end of an era, but maybe the beginning of a new one. Who knows? Blessings and a hug.

I was dreading the year anniversary at the beginning of November, but I don’t really know why. It was just another day without Simon. I think that I also thought, in the days after, I would feel different. Like someone would wave a magic wand and I would be more accepting of what happened. Naive I know!
I’m not going shopping either. I used to love Christmas and maybe, one day, I will again.