My journey starts

Just left the hospice having said goodbye to my partner and soul mate. Been together since i was 13 and married for 39 years. She was my life.
Anyone offer any advice on coping mechanisms? Still raw but have been anticipatiry grieving since diagnosis a month ago.

Hello @Steve1960.

I am so very sorry for your loss. How brave of you to come to come to this forum so soon. We can never know how strong we are until it’s the only choice we have.

The first raw grief is the hardest to bear and I remember it well and it bloody hurt. Don’t fight it.

Coping mechanisms are developed along the way. You will find yours. For me, writing has always been a thing. I write my thoughts and feelings down in a journal to my husband. I tell him what I’ve been up to and any juicy gossip; anything and everything really. Poetry has always been a love of mine too. It has given me great comfort in my grief, along with music, always searching for those perfect lyrics. Distraction works too, even though only for a short time, but at least it allows a break from our grief. I get my distraction by keeping busy, gardening, walking, cycling, watching the birds on my feeders and being at one with nature. I find the simple pleasures give me the most.

It’s true that Grief comes in waves and whilst one day we might be doing reasonably well, going along with the ripples, another day we will be engulfed by a tidal wave. It has to be this way because if it all came at once then we simply couldn’t bear it.

Take care and know you are not alone. x

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@Crazy_Kate Appreciate your message…thats exactly the kind of response i was looking for with suggestions of how other people cope. I know there will be days where i dont want to get out of bed…and loneliness will be a particular problem once my two boys go back to work so I’ll try anything. We refurbished our garden last year together so I’m intent on keeping that as a tribute to my wife…but using the summer house is unlikely to happen as having a bbq fir one wont be much fun.

Any other suggestions gratefully received!

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I to have a summer house that jim brought me at first I couldn’t go into it but now I find it a gr8 comfort I can sit it there and remember all the good times the laughter we shared in there and the fun we had doin it up . Now I have a shelf in there with photos and some of his nik naks I play his music and it’s my place for reflection . It’s such early days for you so don’t do anything you may regret later. Sending you my condolences and a big hug x

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@Misprint…thanks for your input.
You’re right that it’s early days yet and my feelings about material things may well change as time moves on. Really pleasing to hear that you’re finding comfort; I’m hoping I’m as lucky. The funeral ahead will be traumatic but I’m trying to look on that as some kind of closure and the start if my next phase. My wife was a very positive person and if i can be half as positive looking forward I’ll be very lucky.

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I’m sure in time you will find some comfort. I’m just over a year in my journey and I still have dark days . The pain will never go away we just adjust to our new life ,but it’s very hard sometimes to find the strength to go on. Hope this helps in some way this is the hardest journey of all and nothing will ever be the same again . We have to do our best and honor our loved ones. X

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I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved wife @Steve1960, you’ve come to the right place here. We all know what you’re going through right now, at first the numbness and disbelief seem unbearable but then you will find strength, with the help of your children. I also have two grownup children and they do give me a reason to get up in the morning.
The love you shared with your soulmate will give you the comfort you need to face each day.
I lost my beloved husband suddenly almost two years ago and I have found that spending time outdoors amongst nature, whether it’s in the countryside or your garden, is the best way to release all the pain and tension, keeping your mind free for a while, just simply not thinking of anything, breathing in the fresh air. You mentioned that you wish to continue looking after your garden which you had refurbished together, honoring your wife, that’s a great start,
I also find that doing strenuous jobs, outdoors if possible, whether it’s maintenance or garden, have helped me to go on too. I’m fortunate to live out in the country, so I’ve been busy lately chopping up firewood getting ready for Winter.

Take care, keep posting, there are so many friendly people here willing to listen and share their feelings.

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@Solost thats certainly something i will try going out into nature and simply breathing. I find it difficult to switch my brain off at the moment so concentrating on breathing may help.
Glad i posted on here as i was uncertain at first but with genuine caring people like you around making serious suggestions it was definitely the right move. Thanks

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Hi you said Goodbye and was able to let her know how much you loved her I know it doesn’t make it any easier but I so wished I could have said goodbye to my husband…he simply went to work and never came home he died in a customer’s house he was a heating engineer. It was the worst day of my life. I’m only 8 weeks in …I’m trying so hard but yet I know the worst is to come. I miss him so so much. You will be busy with arrangements and it certainly isn’t easy. Take care x

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So sorry for your loss .

My wife of just 3 years, together 13.5 years also died after 5 weeks in a hospice. She had a nasty bladder cancer that gave us 12 months of hell.
One of m6 coping mechanisms when you are ready and believe me you need to grieve and get it out there was to stop constantly talking to her . I was grief stricken all day every day , I learned to say good morning and goodnight and a wee bit in between but that’s it now .
It helped me massively and still does every day .
I also through myself into sorting out our house and her affairs, I’m almost finished the house after 5 months .
Mate there’s no book on how to do things , we are all different so do things at YOUR pace ok.

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@Jude123 @Misprint thanks so much for replying.

Having the opportunity to say goodbye denied to you must be horrendous. The circumstances of your partner’s passing sounds devastating for you and my sincere condolences. The sense of instant loss must be difficult to cope with. Obviously, i had the opportunity to say goodbye, but watching your life partner gradually fade from this awful disease is very traumatic and extends grieving in anticipation. Different circumstances, same effect.

I havent really accepted things yet and i must admit i have started to talk to her albeit briefly and in her favourite places. Just filling the void that has replaced our life together is what scares me the most…and coping with anxiety has always been my weakness. Deep breaths i suppose…

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I understand totally I’m on my own my Don lives 45 mins away and my husband literally did everything around the house . We were getting an extension done and he’d ripped out our ensuite and fitted wardrobes I have a shell if a bedroom I have to tackle and now pay for the work to be done. My husband was a magician could do anything he built our house. He would have hated to have found out he had cancer and fade away his father died that way and had a similar characteristic. Losing him so suddenly though was hard with no will we have so many difficult decisions to make. Seems like the grief will never end …however I have a sister who lost her husband and my sister in law as my brother died at only 61. We say they are all up there probably frustrated with us because the grass isn’t cut straight and we aren’t doing some jobs as good as they would do. My son in particular is missing his Dad for all the work he would help him with on the house. The simple fact is I will always miss him even the annoying parts like he never put his seat belt on until he was halfway down the road. I hope all will be OK…in the future but at the moment I just can’t bare the future without him jude

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@Jude123 maybe im looking at this wrong, and please forgive me if that’s the case, but I’m seeing an extremely brave person forging ahead dealing with the horrendous mess this disease leaves. I will aspire to what you’re doing and hope to be half as strong as you. Im no expert cos im at the beginning of my journey and cant fully grasp how and when my grief will hit me but you are an inspiration.

I’ve been. Through in different ways many tim. es what you are going through. My brother died in a hospice 4 years ago having had cancer 3 times. My mum passed away at home with me and my sisters present with lung cancer and I was by my sisters side when her husband passed with pancreatic cancer. So I do know in a sense. But nothing all that loss even my father who also died suddenly at the age of 61. Nothing compared to losing my husband so suddenly . Being told by a policeman your husband is dead. No hope no nothing just the plain truth right there in front of you. I know it will take alot of hurt and upset too . To still get over. I’ve been told I’m brave but many times I don’t feel it. I hope things do get better for you and you have the support you need.

Hi Steve
Some excellent idea’s coming your way. The gardening and working hard is something that has helped me. We have allotments and I have kept them and it helped me to feel good about myself when I spend a day working. Even if my back is killing me. Walking and being with nature is also close to my heart and above all having my dogs. Their love, comfort and company is priceless. I would recommend it. Someone to care for.
In the early days I wrote a list of the things I did each day just to make sure I wasn’t sitting at home wallowing which is easy to do. The smallest thing done would go on the list.
One thing I didn’t do was say goodbye to my husband although i cared for him until his last breath. He was going nowhere and he is with me everyday, watching over me and making sure I am getting things right.
You will find great joy in looking after your garden and always trying to please your dear wife. They are always near. Good luck
Pat
xx

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@Pattidot thank you for the response…and im sure once i have come to terms with things the list idea will definitely be used. I’m struggling in the garden at the moment as i can still see her pottering around there so it hurts to spend time outside…but i am determined to conquer that and continue to develop it in a way i hope she would like.

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Hi Steve
I’m certain you will get there but don’t rush yourself. I love gardening but hated my garden, too many memories. Then lockdown and I found my interest returning. It seems to be two steps forward and three back somedays but with your determination to get through the bad days you will find your way.
Pat

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My love and care for you Steve I can hear your strong you have endured so much
Keep going don’t make decisions quickly my advice truly you will go with the nature of this I am raw too just lost my companion 45 years 12 years of care , it’s tough and raw but I know you will be alright go easy and allow your self to grieve it’s ok to do so my dearest condolences to you
I will think of you as I do all the beautiful souls here we are all in that same human boat much love and sweetness to you dear Steve x love Nikki

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@Nikkir1 thanks for the response.

Most people have said the same thing about avoiding quick decisions. We bought a static caravan in scotland 5 years ago and my instant reaction was to sell it asap. Family have talked me out of it as fees are paid til end of feb next year. Can’t imagine ever going there alone… too many ghosts there as we were almost always there together alone.

Suppose i need to give myself time but less than a week in the grief is almost crushing me. If it wasnt for my sons id be completely broken.

Dearest Steve , thank god for your sons you are fortunate a lot of us have no family I never did as my companion was my “ Ain Folk”as I like to refer
Keep hold of that caravan in Scotland for a wee while and it’s such early days , have you been in touch with CRUSE they are good counselling people but please try one to one normally at hospices they have qualified bereavement counsels who are well trained try see if you can get one to one , your not crushed mate , you are going to be able to get thru this you have already reached out to us lot :handshake: keep writing people are great they will come to the rescue allow them you deserve it , you have done a hell of a lot you have to please rest up now sleep do eat you must meet your energy up you will need that as a back up
Go out for s meal as well and do not be afraid of letting go ! We all do I did today in the park I howled my eyes out but peace came over me when I let it out mine been 6 week now only as I feel better than I did 6 weeks ago truly !!! Keep close to your dear sons they are your gift warm wishes Nikki x :rose:

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