My life is so empty without her.

My wife died on the 28th of September, 2023, after an 11 month battle with bowel and ovarian cancer. We never had those ‘few good months’ at the end that the specialist told us we’d have. Sue died at home 16 days after her last hospital discharge.

We were together 21 years and she was, and still is, everything to me. I know it’s a cliché, but she really was my best friend as well as my wife. We did everything together. Since her death my life seems completely empty and totally pointless. I drift through the days. I started back at work last week but I find it very difficult to be around people. Their lives move on but I’m frozen in time in this overwhelming sense of grief and loss. It feels like I’m stuck in a nightmare I can’t wake up from. It still feels like Sue’s popped out for a few hours and will be back any moment to sit on the sofa next to me and hold my hand.

Home no longer feels like a home now. It’s just a house filled with memories of a life that died when Sue did. The person I was died with her. My life’s in pieces and I’ve no real idea, or desire, to start again. People tell me to be thankful for the 21 years we had but all I can think about is the 30 that were stolen from us. I cry easily. I can’t look at photos of Sue when she was well as it upsets me too much. The only images stuck in my head are those of Sue when she was ill. I close my eyes at night and they just haunt me. They’re always there, day and night. She was skin and bone at the end.

People tell me that it’s very early days and things will get easier. That may be true but I can’t imagine getting that far. Little things haunt me. New series’ of Sue’s favourite TV programmes starting that she’ll never see. New music she’d love but never hear. All those plans we had that’ll never happen.

Thanks for reading and hopefully understanding. I knew it would be difficult without her but this new reality is infinitely worse than I could have imagined.


@mementomori your darling Sue died the day after my darling Roger. We didn’t have the several months that the oncologist promised. We had 7 weeks, most in hospital. I know what you mean about just seeing the “Ill face”. I have to look at old photos, when I can, to take these visions away.

I find the best way to cope is to keep busy, but a curved ball at Christmas, from the family that were supposed to be there to support me has sent me back to square one.

Keep posting here, it is a help, in a strange way, seeing people feeling exactly the same as you. It is a real support.


So sorry for your loss I feel every ounce of your pain. I lost the love of my life my darling husband Steve. I literally cry myself to sleep most nights. I constantly watch videos of him and have made a memory wall of us which is the only thing that puts a smile on my face. It’s been 16 weeks and I’m waiting to see a counsellor as I feel stuck and totally lost without him. I was having a lot of flash backs and dreams of seeing him die but they are not so bad now thank god. I hope you have some support around you and it does help talking to people on here. Take care.


i feel exactly as you do, from getting his diagnosis in july 2023 mt husband was gone in october 2023. he died at home where he wanted to be but it wasn’t a peaceful death and i am just haunted by it. but yesterday i had the first good memory of him where i could smile.


I did the same with the pictures, I’ve even got my favourite pic of him by my bed incase I do have a bad dream or I have those horrible flashbacks.


Cancer is such a traumatising thing isn’t it. My worst nightmare was losing a loved one to cancer, then last year it became a reality. My Dad, my best friend. He’d only just retired, right into the pain and sickness of cancer, 4 months later he was gone. A Paramedic, he spent his entire life looking after others only to end up in a hospice in agony 4 months later. I don’t think I’ll ever get over my strong, independant dad losing his life in such a way, or the images of his skinny, starved, weak body fighting, or the sound of him screaming in pain as they moved him. He so desperately wanted to live. I see things still recording on our TV that he set in advance and it breaks me every time. I can’t watch any of the programs we use to watch together and I can’t eat anything we enjoyed together. I stare endlessly at our old converstations on whatsapp and grieve the life we will never have together from this point on. We had so many plans. When they took his new car I nearly threw up, the car he worked so hard to buy himself…that he got to drive once.

Every day I remind myself that we had a life together, and that that life and love is the reason I feel so much sorrow. I’ve realised in recent days after a particularly bad week, that the only way to get through each day is to have set coping mechanisms, healthy ones. When I feel myself spiralling (daily), I use them. One of them is definitely coming on here and reading others stories, sharing my own and reaching out to those struggling. Another is when I start to feel sick and lost, I look at photos of him and it brings back a memory of a good time. I then tell myself through the tears and loneliness that I would never have had that good time with a person that meant the world to me if we never knew each other, and if we never knew each other, I wouldn’t be in this much pain. It might sound silly, but its a way of me rationalising my feelings and finding something positive in all the negative feelings of grief. Doesn’t always work as some days are harder than others, but these last months have taught me that we have to learn and fight to cope with grief, it wont just come along naturally. If we dont teach ourselves healthy coping mechanisms or fight really hard to shake the awful feelings, then we spiral into our own darkness, and that’s a real hard place to get out of.

When I die, I want my loved ones to grieve in a healthy way and learn to live in a happy way and laugh and enjoy the short time we have. Always much easier said (typed) than actually done, but never forget it is doable.

Here for you if you want to chat.


Welcome to the forum - we are all because of what we have in common ! My beautiful wife Elissa passed away 14/11/23 after a 4 year battle with MSA and her funeral was just 11/12/23 so all very raw

I miss her terribly and I’m devastated not to let her MSA disease take 2 lives for the price of one.

I had arranged to retire on 31/12/23 to spend more time with her but things avalanched out of control so now sitting picking up the pieces and trying to get on with my life as much as I can


@mementomori so sorry for your loss. I understand a lot of what you are sharing. My husband passed away in April 2023 also from cancer. We were told in January it was no longer curable and by April he was gone, having gone into hospital with an infection. It was all much quicker than anyone thought it would be and also traumatic the last week at home. But I want you to know a lot of what you are feeling does improve. At first I couldn’t look at videos or photos without breaking down. I couldn’t sit in the living room as all I could remember was his last week there, in pain, confused and so sedated. I couldn’t watch any tv shows we watched together. But gradually these things have improved and don’t cause the gut wrenching grief they once did. Keep chatting on here, I found it really helped.


Hi I know what you’re feeling, everything you’ve said is what I’m going through.
My wife Sandra who was 74 died unexpectedly without warning on 8th September 2023 after52 wonderful years together.
Life is not the same and will never be the same again, I’ve a wonderful family around me to help me through this the most difficult time in my life. I’ve been told little steps with day to day tasks, walking talking are good.
When I look at Sandra’s photos I go to pieces and can’t believe or understand why she isn’t with me anymore. No hand to hold no one to hug or give a kiss to, no one just to sit next to no one to share, anything everything.
This is a lonely road that we must all take a journey that is unbelievably hard and unbearable at times that seems we will not make it. But people I’ve talked to who are further ahead of us say “the very sharp corners of grief start to round off with time”
My corners are still sharp it doesn’t seem like they will ever round off but I’m hoping they will, to all of you out there who are suffering with the death of a loved one there are people who care and understand.


So sorry to hear of your loss, we have a big group of people on the same journey and hopefully we can all help each other along the road.

My wife Elissa (62) passed away last November and it’s still very raw for me but like you I have a wonderful family around me, they have always been there but especially more so after her terminal diagnosis in May 21. We have had 25 years together and 23 years married and I am thankful for the good times together and reflect on those days fondly and often ! She was a wonderful beautiful person, my wife, my lover, my best friend and so much more !


Hi its been 6 month since i lost my husband Alan to lung cancer ,within 6 weeks of his diagnosis he was gone ,my heart goes out to you ,everyday is still a uphill struggle for me ,i met a lady on this site who lost her husband 3 months ago as it happens we live near each other ,so now we meet up once a week for a coffee , and also attend bereavement support counselling together she has helped me so much ,we cry ,we laugh we talk constantly about the journey we are both facing ,i hope you can find some comfort on here knowing you are no means on your own (although you will as i do feel that you are ),take one day at a time ,thats what i have to do .


I lost my husband & soulmate Henry on Sept 7th 2023, i agree the house doesnt feel like the home that it was when he was here, i can’t listen to music/songs that he loved without crying & i cant watch all the programmes that we used to enjoy watching together, all i can see are the images of him when he was in critical care for over 4 mths, i havent been able to sleep in our bed so spend every night lying on the sofa & hoping not to wake up again…most of our mutual friends have dropped me like a hot brick & i dont even see the point in trying to carry on as there just seems to be no point to anything…not for me anyway.


Bless you ,there isent anything really i can say that will take your pain away ,all i can say is try to take one day at a time ,i feel exactly the same ,no point in getting up or carrying on ,but i know i have to i am currently attending bereavement councilling and i find it is helping me ,it is helping me understand that everything im feeling is the normal process of grieving ,sending you love and hugs .


Thanks so much for all the replies. It’s a comfort to know I’m not alone in this new way of trying to live.


I’m so sorry for your loss and to hear how dreadful your friends have become. I have some that have become evasive / aloof and don’t respond to messages so I just don’t bother contacting them anymore.

My beautiful wife Elissa passed away 14/11 and her funeral was one month ago today. I’m busy decorating and making the house the way we had both wanted and spoken. I am lucky to have had her in my life and miss her terribly but I have surrounded the house with her best photos and memories and speak to her and listen to the music we loved when we were together.

Some of them kick me off but that’s ok and normal.

She was so very poorly towards the last few months and I would sit holding her hands looking into her beautiful blue eyes. Seeing her so poorly and helpless was the most difficult part, more difficult than now in many ways.


I know how you feel, my gorgeous Lesley had major surgery in December 22 after a lung cancer diagnosis, she had chemotherapy January to April 2023 and was told she was clear and should live a normal life. She fell ill in September 2023 and died with brain tumours in October. I miss her so much, im now on antidepressants and sleeping tabs. Lifes unbearable without our soulmates x


Hi @mementomori im so sorry for your loss its early days yet it takes time to even except she has gone. Please don’t beat yourself up give it time take it at our own pace. You can’t live with someone for years and not expect to feel pain. My mum died 3 years ago and I still can’t look at her photos all I remember is the death body and face it’s so very cruel. Please get grief counselling I did and it helped me I’m not saying it will be a miracle cure but you can get it of your chest to someone you don’t know it truly helped me I stand some of my feels guilt it’s a horrible feeling but it’s part of grieving. Please take care :heart::pray:t2:


So sorry for your loss. My own wife passed away in November 23 after a long battle with Parkinson’s which was diagnosed in 21 as as MSA (Parkinson’s (type!). We knew at that point that her condition was terminal but no prognosis.

I have lots of my favourite photos of her before she became poorly and a few during her illness such as meeting our granddaughter in June 22 which was a magical moment. Seeing her so poorly, especially the last six months was harder in many ways than now.

I will love her until the end of time and always talk to her photo and think of her at her best.

I am taking small steps at my own pace and slowly finding my new normal …. I have two beautiful daughters and four young grandchildren and love spending time with them and my elder sister and family have been very supportive


I’m so glad you’re there to support each other, it must help that you both understand the terrible agony of losing your loved ones.

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Hi Ali ,yes it has helped a lot ,we also attend a bereavement support group which helps ,it doesn’t take the initial pain and loneliness away but i suppose that will only subside as time goes on ,i dont know but im praying this pain will lessen with time ,sending hugs x

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