My friend said I've changed

My husband died in October 2014 and I have found it difficult to cope. I am still profoundly unhappy and taking antidepressants for the first time in my life. In conversation with my best friend of over 40 years last night she said ‘you are not yourself’ and that I am ‘different’. I said that this was how I am now and that possibly I would never be that person again because the focus of my life is now gone. I know that I have to live through this, but I feel that she was judging me and I was coming up short. Not moving on. Not coping. It upset me a great deal as if this is something I can just get over like an illness. How do I deal with that.

Hi Vicki,

Welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your husband and how you are struggling. You’re right that a bereavement like this does change you. Some people find it helpful to think that, no, you don’t “get over it”, but you can learn to grow your life around your grief and find ways to live alongside it.

I’m really sorry that you felt judged by your friend - do you think that she meant it as a criticism, rather than a sympathetic observation? Unfortunately, the users on this site do sometimes find that friends are not as understanding as they had hoped. It can be hard for people who haven’t been through the same thing to truly understand what it is like, perhaps because grief isn’t much talked about in our society.

If she is a good friend, it can help to be as open as possible about what you are feeling rather than trying to put on a brave face. It sounds as though you gave her a really honest answer, I hope she takes on board what you’ve said.

I’m glad that you’ve found this site, and I hope that it helps a bit to be able to share things openly here. You will find that you are not alone in much of what you are going through. For example, Woody posted recently about an unsympathetic remark from his daughter, who told him to “snap out of it” after he lost his wife:

If you have any questions about this site, or there is anything I can help with, please let me know.

Community Manager


Thank you for replying. I too have a much loved dog called Polly, a Cavapoo, a cross between a Cavalier Spaniel and a Poodle. I don’t know how I would have survived without her. The only reason to get up is to let her out and take her for a walk. I dread losing her. I feel such sympathy for you losing Barney. I don’t know how I’ll copy when Polly’s time comes. She is my link with my husband too.

I have two sons and 3 grandchildren and they are very loving but as you say, not my husband. I was doing a lot better last year, but over the winter it sort of sunk in that this situation is relentlessly going to go on forever. The missing of him is crippling. I don’t want to join classes or go walking or join U3A as suggested by my eldest son. I want my life back.

I know that it is nearly 3 years, in October, but every day is just plain awful. I put on a front but inside I feel no better than just after he died. We were together 49 years, married for 48, and I am lost.

Nobody understands unless they have been through it. My friend has been a real source of strength to me, but she shocked me when she sort of implied that she thought I would be stronger and that I should somehow snap out of it.

I try not to wallow in it. I try to be normal. I too feel that I am still married.

Thanks again for your reply.


Vicki xxx

Hi Vicki, my husband and soulmate died 18 December 2013 and I am still struggling, it was sudden. My friend of 40 years said to me the other week “I’m not being funny but I thought you’d have been feeling better by now”! I was so close to telling her where to go. We will never be the same I can’t move on and have not only lost my husband but I have lost my future, we were planning to sell up and move to Lanzarote and enjoy ourselves, we didn’t have any children. I thought my friends would have been understanding and there for me but I feel I have become a chore for them so I am distancing myself from them. I am planning on moving away from the town I have lived in for 50 years to make a fresh start. Deal with your grief the best way you can and don’t be rushed into doing something you are not ready to do. It took me three years to sort my husband’s clothes out, someone told me to get rid of them after 6 months! People don’t understand, I am also hurt at my friends responses and will never be the same with them again. Big hugs xx

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