My heart aches for you all.

I have been reading all of your comments and my heart aches for you all. My beloved husband died four years ago and no, I have not stopped grieving, the sadness has softened around the edges, I have learned to cope on my own, because I have had to, our family have moved on, new homes, new lives, new wives even.

Some of you have said that after 8 weeks you don’t feel any better, you won’t feel any better for a long, long time to come, I found the second year the worst as the first year goes by in a blur of sorting things out, then along comes the second year, everything has been done, paperwork sorted and then you think, now what, well, that means you have 12 months facing you where you are thinking, last year he/she was here. Then comes the third year and again 12 months facing you and you are thinking, last year he/she wasn’t here and that is when it hit’s you that you are now making new memories without your beloved partner and he/she is now a part of your past and not your future, and believe you me, that hurt’s.

What happens is that after a few weeks/months you think you are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel then bang, you are at rock bottom again. I just want to tell you that this is normal. People are different, they cope differently, but some are hard on themselves thinking they should be stronger, you don’t have to be strong, if you want to scream, then scream, there is nothing to be ashamed of crying for the one person you loved with all of your heart, to me it only shows how much you loved them.

When people tell you to join this and join that, just say, thank you and do what the heck you want, do not try and keep busy for keeping busy’s sake, sit down and think about your partner, cry, look at photos and cry. Don’t bottle it up.

When they tell you you should be over it by now, ignore them, they have either never been through such a loss or are being insensitive and don’t understand what you are going through. Do what you want to do, when you want to do it, but most of all, get up each morning and take what comes and deal with it when it comes.

After four years I am still dealing with the loss of our future together, I live in the past such a lot as that is where my wonderful memories are. I am 75 years of age and was married 47 years and together 50 years, he was 18 when we met and we loved each other with all our hearts and I will never, ever get over it.

I am thinking of you all because, believe you me, it will not be an easy road.

Love

Sheila xx

Dear Sheila, how well you put this. My husband Roger died two years and two months ago and I am far from “over it”. So I have my little weeps and my daughter asks if I’m depressed. No, I’m not depressed, I’m grieving. There’s a difference but those who haven’t lost someone so close to them don’t really understand it. At 73 I now have several friends who have become widows and although I now live far away from them I do stay in touch and offer what support I can even if it’s just a whatsapp message to say good morning or goodnight. It’s nice to be remembered.
Love, Shirls

Dear Shirls,

It is very hard, I cannot get over someone who has been part of my life since I was little more than a child. He was my whole life and I will grieve forever, no matter where the rest of my life leads me. Most of my friends still have their husbands, so I am like a fish out of water when I visit them so I stopped going.

I hide my tears from our two sons, because I am sick of being told I am depressed, I am not depressed, like you say, I am grieving, my life as I knew it has gone and I hate my new life with a vengeance.

All our family of the past died many years ago so apart from our sons and grandchildren I have no-one. No-one to talk to about the sixties or our lives together, when we went dancing, when we got married because when you get to my age all you want to say is 'do you remember when we went on the Walzer at the feast and I was sick behind the caravan’s, do you remember when we won a prize at a jive contest at Butlin’s in 1965. We were young girls in our 4 ins stiletto heeled shoes, with net petticoats stuck out a mile under our skirts and our handsome boyfriends, in their dark suits, white shirt and dark ties looking like something out of a 60’s pop band. Those are my memories. Kissing when we were on the Caterpillar when the hood came over.

I had a wonderful life from the minute I was born, but when I met my Peter in 1964 my life was complete. This is why I grieve, I not only lost him I lost everything.

Love

Sheila xx

Ah yes I remember those stiff petticoats. I lived in Rhodesia then and used to starch mine with sugar water and lay it out on the lawn to dry on a Saturday afternoon. Bad idea. Thousands of tiny ants got into it and stuck in the net. I’m lucky I still have my sister to talk of old times with even though she now lives in Capetown and I’m in Joburg. Hey I don’t know how we managed to dance in those high heels with the pointy toes that ended up curling up, Didn’t you also carry a pair of those soft flat ‘kid gloves’ if you had to walk very far? I see they’re back in the shoe shops but now called ballet flats.

Hi, we used starch to make ours stiff, but it laddered our stockings. I lived in stiletto heeled shoes from starting work at 15 years of age until you couldn’t buy them anywhere anymore, then came the block heels which I hated. I never had a problem with the shoes, the higher the better, I found them so comfortable. Now, even looking at them in the shops makes my eyes water. I used to stuff cotton wool in the ends to stop them turning up. Winkle pickers we called them.

My underskirts were pink, lilac and blue. I went to a nostalgia fair a few months ago and they were selling dresses that I used to wear in the 60’s and all the multi coloured net underskirts, I had to put my sunglasses on as there were tears streaming down my face. All I could see in my mind’s eye was Peter and myself, hand in hand, walking along the promenade in Blackpool, wearing kiss me quick cowboy hats, a dress with all the underskirts underneath and my 4ins heeled shoes, Peter in his suit, shirt and tie and Chelsea boots. We thought we were the bees knees what a wonderful era to be young and in love. You are lucky you still have your sister, my sister was two years younger than me and if she had been alive now, my life would be so different, someone to share memories with.

Love

Sheila xx

As the song goes “those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end…”
I’m sorry you lost your sister as well as your husband. Maybe you should write your memoir. The children are not interested in our memories now but future generations will find it fascinating.

I agree totally with this. I lost my Andy three years ago. I have been through hell, as I’m sure recently bereaved people have. However, I need to say, life will never be the same again but you will form some sort of future. Life will assert itself. I grieve for everyone who has recently lost someone. Surviving is the best epitaph you can give them.

I agree totally with this. I lost my Andy three years ago. I have been through hell, as I’m sure recently bereaved people have. However, I need to say, life will never be the same again but you will form some sort of future. Life will assert itself. I grieve for everyone who has recently lost someone. Surviving is the best epitaph you can give them.

Dear David,

After four years without Peter I can manage many things on my own because Peter prepared me for things that could go wrong around the house.

What he didn’t prepare me for was to see our two sons get divorced, remarry, have another baby and then lose my two grandchildren to a witch of an ex wife. It is not having him here to put his arms around me and say, don’t worry love, we will sort it out together. There is no longer a ‘together’, it is just me, and my life fell apart the day my husband died. I don’t have any siblings, my sister died 25 years ago when she was 47 years old and I know that my life would have been so different if she had still been alive. Her husband, my brother-in-law died the year after my husband and that was it, all my family of the past gone, no one to sit and reminisce with and that is what I miss.

Our eldest son put losing our loved ones like this.

‘There is a large double decker bus and it is filled with all our family. At each stop someone get’s off until at the end of the journey there is only you left on the bus’.

I said, I so wish I could have got off before it reached it’s destination.

It is facing the future without my husband that is heartbreaking because I don’t see much of a future at all. Our family have moved on, they have their own lives to live.

Our youngest son, aged 45 asked me last week if I knew what I was doing for Christmas as they were going to his in-laws for a few days. I told him not to worry about me as I don’t mind spending Christmas alone as our other son had made plans to go off for a few days.

For 47 years of married life I put on Christmas for all the family, right up until the Christmas before Peter died and I was hoping that from then on someone would put Christmas on for me. But with the divorces, buying their new houses, having a new baby, things are so different, but that doesn’t bother me because without Peter I am alone anyway. I was going to put a Xmas day buffet on this year, but now things have changed again I don’t know what is going to happen.

I am not going to worry about it as there will be enough on the TV to watch, plenty of gin and tonics and chocolates so I will manage.

What I do know is that Peter would be absolutely heartbroken how things have turned out. All he did was look after me from the day we met in 1964 until the day he died, he asked the boys to promise they would always look after me too.

So I don’t think I will form any sort of future as everything looks so bleak.

Please don’t attack me. I’ve also been through hell and trying to get through it.

Dear David, I am sorry if you think I have attacked you in any way at all so I think I will pass your comments on to our community manager.

I’m sorry I misread your replies. I didn’t mean any hurt. I find it so difficult to live without my Andy. Although losing your love is universal being gay is a particular experience that needs a particular approach to support for grief? Sorry if

I’ve hurt you in any way

Dear David,

I am so sorry if you have encountered small minded people who have their opinions of what people should or should not be, it is their cross to bear and I pity them for it. What does it matter what we are, gay, black, yellow or pink spotted, we are all grieving and have lost the loves of our lives and nothing will ever bring them back or be the same ever again. I am so very sorry about your Andy, no-one knows what it is like being left behind until they have been through it.

I am pleased you now realise that I honestly never thought that what I had written was attacking you in any way, that is the last thing I would do, I was just explaining that the future for me will never be something I will look forward to, perhaps it is because I am going towards my 80’s and all that is facing me is illness and getting older alone.

Grieve for your Andy, cry for him and carry on loving him because he will always be with you. Grieving for someone is the greatest gift you can give them because it shows how deeply you love them.

Please take care.

Love

Sheila xx