My house doesn't feel like home anymore……..

I lost my dear husband of 47 years in November 2017. We built our home in the 70’s and cherished the time we had TOGETHER living here. We loved our life TOGETHER, shared everything TOGETHER… Now its just me, and the house doesn’t feel like home any longer, and yet, I don’t feel I belong anywhere else!

I’m able to “cope” when I am with family and friends, but when I’m alone, I fall apart. Will this empty feeling ever go away?

I’m really trying to keep myself busy, I fill every day with going somewhere, doing something, but it still comes back to being alone.

Does anyone else feel like I do?

Hello I am 21 and we lost my dad last month, he was only 50.
My mum also says she doesn’t feel like home any more and nothings seems right.

I know I’m not experiencing the same feelings as you and I am unsure what I can say to help.

Just know I’m thinking of you and please stay strong and try as much as you can to spend time with your family and loved ones, I know it’s hard to cope with but it will help you having people near.

Love Natalie xx

Oh yes, After You. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my husband in January after 40 years together and I no longer call where I live ‘home’ but refer to it as ‘the house’. Home is where the heart is and the heart has been ripped out of this place. People have suggested I think about redecorating or moving furniture around to make it more ‘my space’ but it won’t change the fact that my wonderful husband is no longer here and the warmth and love and laughter of our ‘home’ has gone forever.

I also hate coming back to an empty house. I spent yesterday with our closest friends and their house felt like a proper home because they are there together but when I came back, the emptiness and quietness of my house was unbearable. I have no answers but wanted you to know you are not alone in how you are feeling.

Thinking of you,

Ann x

Dear Natalie,
It has touched me that you have taken the time to reply to me, especially as you are going through grief yourself.
Thank you, I really appreciate your words, and for someone so young, you are inspiring………

Love to you and your mother, and best wishes from Elaine x

Thank you Ann for taking the time to reply to me.
Yesterday was an awful day for me and I had to reach out to others in the same situation. It helps me so much to know someone is listening to me….

Its so lovely to be invited to other peoples houses, especially close friends and family, but as you say, their homes seem so “normal”, so happy and its when you return back to your house it seems to really hit you how lonely it all is.

I will keep plodding on, little steps, and hope that some day everything will feel a bit easier, its early days and I think I have been charging around, here, there & everywhere, just to keep busy and worn myself out.

Today I have a day in the house, just catching up on things and giving myself a little space. Tomorrow, I’ll be off again trying to fill my time…………

Love to you Ann and I hope that you are feeling okay.

Best wishes Elaine

The house when your partner dies is just so lonely. It has a different feel about it. It doesn’t sound the same or smell the same. That person you want to be there is not and the emptiness is so unbearable some days

Thank you for responding, it does help me.

In a strange way, to know that others understand exactly what I am experiencing is very supportive.
The sounds and smells are different too, you’re right.

Thanks again
Take care and very best wishes Elaine

.To After You and everyone : my feelings about our lovely home have gone from it being my refuge to the place I want/need to escape from. Sharing my life with Peter, married for almost 48 years I have felt so secure and happy. The sudden trauma of losing him has left me anxious, lonely and lost. It has been 19 months now, during this long cold winter I have decided I need to move home. My children (both have their own families) agree, friends too. I totally agree this house feels, smells and is so different now. It is all so scary though! All decisions were made TOGETHER now its just me! I hope you all find the strength to go forward, I’m sure that’s what our loved one would have wanted. Keep busy and yes plod on. Best wishes to everyonexxxxxxBillie

Hello Billie, thank you for your reply.

It must be scary to decide to move house. As you say, you have to make the decisions by yourself, although it sounds as though your family and friends are helping you and will give good advice.

I am sure you will make the right decisions when the time comes, good luck with it all and thanks again, thinking of you ~ Elaine xxxxx

Hello After you. I am so very sorry for what you are going through. I lost my husband of 47 years just over three years ago. We had been together 50 years, from him being 18 years old. We were never, ever apart, we never slept apart, it was always him and me as we had lost our families years before. What I have found is the so-called friends we had known for most of our lives together dwindled away after the funeral.

I totally understand what you mean about the house not being the same, it isn’t the same and never will be again, nothing will ever be the same again.

There is no way I could leave my home, unless they carried me out. We brought our children up here in the 1970’s, my memories are here. I look onto the garden and close my eyes and see Peter pottering away, playing with all the dogs we used to have over 47 years and who have all now died. I see our children helping him wash the car, playing with their friends in our large back garden. Every spring I see the Lilac tree and all the other bushes we planted together come into bloom.

I am lonely, yes of course I am, but I would rather be lonely here where our memories were made than lonely somewhere I have no connection to. I still hate coming home to an empty house, I would rather stay at home than go out just for the sake of it. All my family of the past have long gone, yes I have sons and grandchildren but they have their own lives so I don’t see much of them, every two weeks or so.

I have accepted the fact I am on my own, I hate it, but have accepted it so I now have a different way of life that only affects me. I make my own decisions now which, when Peter first died, was so hard, not having him to talk things through with. Like changing bank accounts, changing energy suppliers etc. but now it is part of my every day living.

I self taught myself how to use a computer and now do online banking, in fact I do everything online, if I didn’t want to I would never have to leave the house.

When Peter died I lost all my confidence, half of me had gone, I got taxis to where I wanted to go and got one home again, but over the last three years I have had to do things my way and now I am once again the confident person I always was. I will never stop missing and grieving Peter, I still cry for him when I go to bed at night, I cry when I hear our songs and I cry when I look at our old photos. If I had a time machine, I would go back to the night we met and do it all over again.

At the end of the day all I want is my husband back and that is never going to happen so I live day to day waiting until we are together again.

It is very early days for you, I wish I could tell you that you will one day stop grieving and missing them but that will never happen. I will live with this ache in my heart until I die and see Peter and all my family once again, then I will be at peace again.

Please take care.

Sheila xx

Hi Sheila, Elaine and everyone, I love the wonderful idea of a time machine it would be fantastic and completely agree about memories. I just hope I can carry them all with me when I leave this house as I carry my Peter in my life e very day. The anxiety of caring for this house and garden are too much for me and I want to feel I can manage - its not possible here on my own. Thanks to everyone for sharing thoughts and feelings. xxxxxxxxBest wishes and hugs , Billie

Hello, I lost my husband of 34 yrs just over 2 weeks ago and I feel the same, I thought it was me at first. Nothing feels the same.
I’m sorry to hear you lost your husband in November.
I try to keep busy but as I was his carer for a short while find myself wondering what to do with my time nowadays.
I too am better in company but my family live some distance away and I spend days alone.
Mornings are the worst, the silence and isolation.

Love, Pegi.

Hello Sheila, Thank you for your response. I think we have spoken online before.
Your messages are always so thoughtful and full of common-sense.

At this moment in time I don’t think I could leave my house either. We built it together in the 70’s and its been a happy home, up until now………

I’ll never say never about moving, but I think it would be incredibly hard, but it just depends on how things go over the next few months.

You take care too and thank you
Elaine x

Hello Billie, I can relate totally with the anxiety of caring for a house and garden, I feel exactly the same. Its so strange, but lately a few things require maintenance, my husband would have dealt with them immediately, but I’m finding it incredibly difficult to find someone willing to do all these small jobs. I think most tradespeople just want the bigger jobs.

My friends and neighbours have helped me a lot, but I’m the kind of person who likes to “pay my way” and I hate to bother anyone.

I think you are being incredibly realistic and very brave and, as you say, no one can take your memories away.
Take care & best wishes
Elaine x

I have been fortunate to have a neighbour who retired in his 50’s and did odd job gardening. He has turned it into a small business and I pay him for cutting my hedges inside and out. I had artificial grass installed two years ago as my back garden is massive, it was expensive but it has been worth it’s weight in gold and I no longer have any muddy patches or grass to cut. I just sweep it with a brush. Our grandchildren can play out on it even when it has been raining and they don’t bring any dirt back into the house, it is dry in about an hour after a rain fall.

I have a list of fantastic workmen on my phone that I employed after Peter died as there were many jobs that needed doing because Peter was too ill to do and he would not let me get workmen in because if he could not do the job himself it didn’t get done. I was so lucky, not one cowboy between them, I recommend them to all my friends. The outside of the house is perfect, it was all done before Peter died, all new windows, soffit’s, doors, garage doors so everything is okay there.

I have planted all my flower beds with perennials, bulbs, flowering miniature bushes and roses. Many are ground cover so no weeding either. All in all everything is so easy to maintain. I have large tubs of perennials, roses and peach trees that only need spraying and feeding.

If, one day I cannot manage the stairs, I will get a stair-lift, like the one my husband used to have, this is my home, always has been and always will be.

Sheila x

Hi to you all
My husband and my self bought the house I’m in 13 years ago it was so run down we just finished it in the July and my husband passed away on the 26th of November 2017 when he first died I hated being in the house but now it gives me comfort he did all the work in the house himself with me trying to help there was so much love and laughter in the house as we made it into a home .
We bought it because or kids had all left home and this was going to be our retirement home for us both but sadly that never happened my kids and friends have asked if I will move and just now I couldn’t as I would feel I was losing him all over again .
Everywhere I look in my house or garden I can see or hear him laughing us painting just talking about our life’s together and the life still to come and as much as it breaks my heart being here with out him it also gives me some comfort .
Thinking of you all .
Lily

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We were exactly the same, always worked together, he was the expert I was the go for. it was always, Sheila get that, Sheila get this etc. When we decorated he started at one end of the wall and I started at the other and we met in the middle. I put past on the wallpaper, he hung it. He hung the pictures (still up to this day) and I told him they were cockeyed. Then we sat down and had a cup of tea then started again.

Every single room holds memories, he put our fitted kitchen in many years ago and it still looks as good as it always did, it is pine and so warm looking, I still love it. I have a large pine Welsh dresser we chose together so many years ago and I still display my china plates of all the countries we have visited in our lives together. My heart is in this house and I know for a fact I would not be happy anywhere else. Our sons, when they visit and have their own homes, still say they are going home to mum’s. They grew up here, their schools were just down the road, the park Peter took them on to play is still at the end of our road. It would kill me if I had to leave if ever there came a time I was too ill to look after myself.

When I first met Peter in 1964, the week after, we went on a date to a club with his best friend and his girlfriend, there was a pop star heading the bill. Little did I know that 53 years later I would still be living in the home that is a five minutes walk to the club where we had our first date. It has now gone but I walk past the land it was on every week. These are things that I can never leave behind, they mean too much to me it would be like leaving Peter behind and that I can’t and will not ever do.

A few days before Peter was rushed into hospital for the last time he said, ‘do you know love, as poorly as I am, I love my life’. We entered our home as a young couple with all our lives in front of us and grew old together. There is too much love from the past in my home to leave it behind. Peter built our car-port, he built the porch at the back of our house so many years ago, I have photos of him and myself in wellington boots, I am holding a long piece of wood whilst he is sawing it and one of our German Shepherd dogs is sat in the middle of it.

My gosh it is absolutely heartbreaking.

Sheila x

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Hi lonely
As you have put down your life it brought a smile to my face as I would be holding the wood as George cut it and pasting the paper as he put it up painting the walls he also fitted our kitchen and bathroom suite layed carpets and all I can think of through this is the laughing that we both did as it was just the two of us doing it our kids live on the mainland I live in the outer Hebrides there was so so much laughter.
Thinking of you take care .
Lily