Nearly a year since my husband died. I'm still not coping

About 10 months after my husband died, although still grieving, I thought I was well enough to have a memorial service for him. I’m glad I did, for sake of friends and family, but I’m slipping into deep grief again.

Rosie it’s been four years on 18th December since my husband, best friend, soulmate and reason for living went to work and didn’t come home and today I have cried nearly all day. I spent 3 hours in A&E as my chiropodist thought I had fractured a bone in my foot. When I booked in they took my name date of birth etc and said “we’ve got your next of kin as Brett Williams” I just crumbled I said to the receptionist that’s my late husband, she apologised and said it’s one of those questions! I felt this year in May time I was disappearing down a black hole and the dark nights, and his anniversary and Xmas looming don’t help. Don’t be hard on yourself I still have dark days and probably will for the rest of my life. Take care best wishes Marilyn

Rosie, I too am coming up to the 1st anniversary, 29th December, of losing my amazing husband. I feel more grief stricken and unable to cope than I did at the beginning of this terrible year. He died very suddenly while working abroad and maybe the shock and trauma of this and paperwork etc to get him home kept us so busy it was as if we were living in some kind of pretend world where it was all happening to somebody else. Now reality is kicking in and with it the knowledge that he won’t ever be coming home and the future and plans we had just aren’t going to happen. As Marilyn says all it takes is a word to send us back and the thought of Christmas and all the happy couples out shopping and celebrating is truly awful. I hope you find some comfort knowing that there are many of us going through this with you. Take good care of yourself, Jackie

Dear Rosie, ten months is no time at all when grieving for a lost loved one. My husband died six months ago and I am existing in a fog of unhappiness which is with me all the time. I seem to spend most of my time wandering aimlessly around the shops or in the library reading the papers. My life has lost its meaning, and I tried many weeks ago to contact Cruse for some counselling but have given up on them as, apart from one phone call promising to arrange a visit, I have heard nothing. We are all in a very bad place here but I am hoping that, once Christmas is over, we can look forward to feeling a bit better. Not sure that time is a healer but can only hope that it is. Take care. Eileen

Dear Rosie C. You are still at the beginning of your nightmare journey. I found the first year was one I spent in disbelief, I could not believe it had happened. I spent a few months sorting paperwork out and putting the house to rights because my husband had been ill for eight years when he died three years ago and the house needed a lot of TLC as it had been neglected. It had not really sunk in that he was never coming back, I kept all his clothes and belongings for the day he would come home right up until this summer, three years of waiting so I decided it was time to pack his clothes away. I put them safely in the garage in protective bags then a few weeks later rang for a charity to come and collect them. I still have all his books, records, CD’s, Cassettes from 1964 and they are where he left them and there they will stay. Even if l live to be 100 I will grieve for him until I die. Three years and three months down the line I still cry at night, during the day and even when I have been to town and the shops are playing Christmas music I can feel myself filling up. You cannot ‘get over’ something like this, it is impossible, our husband’s were our lives and we were theirs and we, from now on, have to live with the fact that our future is without them and it hurt’s, it hurt’s so much because even though many of us are lucky enough to have children and grandchildren, that great big hole in our hearts will never again be filled. Please take care and take one step at a time. Sheila xxx

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If you really loved your husband, you will continue to grieve for him. It is now well over 4 years since my precious husband died, and my way of keeping going is to keep busy. I am very fortunate in that I have good physical health, so manage to keep myself occupied from 7 am until midnight. Whenever I am not busy I just start crying, or else I “switch off” and basically think and do nothing (which is probably worse than when I cry).
I am of the opinion that grief never goes away; the best that can happen is that we learn to “put up” with it. As someone once said to me, “The penalty for loving someone deeply is the pain that is felt when that person dies”. At least I believe, that as a Christian, the parting is only temporary - it’s the continuity of life now which causes so much pain.
Annette P

Dear Marilyn,

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you strength on the 18th. Rosie

Thank you, Jackie. I understand your pain. I too am no more able to cope than I was at the beginning, and it is especially hard for me with 24 December coming up, when he had a stroke - his first - while we were away on holiday. He died on 11 January. And my best wishes to you, for the strength to reach the point when remembering the happy times takes over the pain. Rosie

Dear Sheila, I am so moved by your reply. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It is some comfort to know that I am not the only one who still cries and cannot get over it. I still cannot bring myself to touch my husband’s things. I guess I feel that they connect me too him. It is hard, seeing couples, isn’t it? You too, one step at a time. Rosie xxx

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Dear Eileen, Yes, we are in a bad place. I am so sorry that you haven’t been able to get counselling. I guess I’m lucky in that. It hasn’t removed the tears and the “fog of unhappiness” as you call it, but it has allowed me to give expression for my grief and understand it a bit. I am so grateful to this forum. You take care too. Rosie

Dear Annette, Thank you for your kind thoughts. The delay in my reply is not due to lack of appreciation, but it is hard for me even to confront this forum, it brings the pain to the fore. Yes, it is good to think that “The penalty for loving someone deeply is the pain that is felt when that person dies”. We are lucky to have found such love. Rosie

Eileen I too have found grief services and help very difficult to find. It even took me a long time to manage to join this site as something technical kept going wrong! My husband died suddenly almost 7 months ago and I too feel purposeless and devastated still. I don’t see it getting better any time soon but could never put my remaining family through the trauma of losing me too so I keep plodding on. It’s all we can do!

Sharron, I am now having to wait another six to eight weeks before Cruse can start me on counselling. There must be a lot of grief-stricken people out there. I find that loneliness is the most dreadful feeling. On Sunday I went out for lunch with my two sons and one of my daughters and afterwards felt worse than ever when they left me to go home to their own families. I so wanted to go home with one of them but it’s not possible and I suppose I wouldn’t really want to live with them. What can we do about being lonely? I go out every day regardless of the weather but evenings are the really bad times for me. I hope you get through Christmas all right. I will be thankful when it’s all over and we can look forward to the spring. Take care. Eileen

I know exactly what you mean, it’s that feeling like they are going back to their lives and you have nothing to go back to! I feel the same. Sometimes I’m so lonely I just want to message them about something silly, just to “speak” to someone but I don’t want to be a burden so I try and resist. I think I’m managing ok, it’s been almost 7 months and it’s not easy but I try and let myself be upset if I need to and keep telling myself that I will get more used to being alone. I’m going to try and pick up Crochet again or sewing, something to keep my hands and mind busy, I used to love handicrafts but haven’t been able to concentrate on them as yet. One day at a time xx

Its 16 months since I lost my partner and I still cry every day and just cant seem to enjoy anything now I try and go out and see things but then I just feel sad and come home to an empty place I hope it does get better as time goes on

Hello, Kris. I’m sorry about the loss of your partner and can understand why you are still grieving. I lost my husband only six months ago and cannot bear the loneliness without him. I have just come in from a long walk, and the silence is unbearable. I hope that we are all going to get a little better once winter is over. At the moment I just cannot seem to face up to my loss, and the sadness is overwhelming at times. Keep posting on here as I do believe it helps a bit. Kind regards. Eileen xx