Not living but existing

Oh, how tired and weary I am of the weight of this bereavement and grief. Although outwardly I am coping and functioning with day to day things, on the inside the pain and hurt is still so intense and the hopelessness of a life or future is as bleak as ever it was. I am not living but existing. People tell me I am doing well and am strong. They can’t feel how I feel.

Last week I started a new job. Part of me didn’t feel ready to go back to work and I was so scared and worried about how I would cope. The other part wanted to have something to get up for in the mornings, some structure to my life and to have some sort of purpose again. The days had been so lonely and half the time I haven’t known how to occupy myself as I couldn’t get motivated but just sat gazing into space and feeling in utter despair. So, I applied for a job, got it and started last Monday.

It has felt like being on a roller coaster. Yes, it has given me something to focus on as I am learning the job so have to concentrate and feel pleased with myself that I am managing to cope so far, despite having a few wobbly times when I have got panicky and felt overwhelmed. Other times I have felt out of my depth and wished I had never started the job and wanted to be back home again yet if I WAS at home I would be unsettled and fed up. I just cannot find peace but then why would I when I have lost the love of my life? It is a constant battle.

The fact is, whatever I do to try to ease and help my pain, it is impossible to do. I got home tonight to a quiet and empty house and felt so low. I just want to tell Dave about my day and have him put his arms around me and give me one of his lovely cuddles. You cannot cuddle up to a job can you? A job cannot replace what I have lost. I feel such an empty, lonely soul.

I keep hearing my new colleagues talking about what they did over the weekend with their husbands and spouses and I am so jealous inside. Being bereaved has turned me into a bitter, jealous, envious, angry monster who has to hide what she really feels.

Just wanted to offload how I feel. Will soon be off to bed for another restless night then waking up to another day of torture on this awful bereavement path.

Sending thoughts and compassion to all on this site suffering as I am.
Best wishes from Karen


Karen, I’m so sorry for the pain you’re going through. It’s an unimaginable loss.
I’ve just returned home from trick or treating with my 9 & 6 year old sons. First Halloween without my husband who died 7 weeks ago this Thursday. Daddy always used to carve the pumpkins with them and do apple bobbing until we were all giggling and wet through and we’d turn the lights out, put on spooky music and dance around the room.
Tonight while we were out my 6 year old suddenly enthusiastically and happily cried “look” pointing to the sky “the brightest star. It’s Daddy! It’s Daddy!”
Well that’s done it for me. I’m shattered in to absolutely a million pieces. Don’t know what to do with myself.

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I am so sorry for your loss, Karen, and can relate to everything you say in your post except that at 86, I am not able to go out to work. I go out as much as possible but coming back to my empty flat is horrible. Will this grief ever come to an end I ask myself. Last week I thought I was getting better but the past couple of days have seen me back to square one. My worst problem is loneliness which isn’t helped by where I live in a retirement flat where you can go a whole day or more without seeing anyone. I call it The Morgue. I hope you will start to feel a little better soon, Karen. Meanwhile, keep posting on here as I think it helps to relieve some of the pent-up feelings we all have. Best wishes. Eileen

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Karen, Ellen and anyone else going through this nightmare. I am so very sorry for all of us, we are now living a life we never in a million years thought we would have to live. Perhaps we lived in cloud cuckoo land, I know I did, I thought nothing could ever touch us. Many of us were lucky to have long and happy lives with our partners and many have lost their partners when they were younger and also had young children to worry about. Many have lost a child and that must be one of the hardest things that can happen to anyone. Whatever happened to us we are still grieving the loss of a loved one, the loss of our future with them and the loss of the future they should have had but will never have. It is the years facing us all without our loved ones that is slowly grinding us down, the pleasure has gone out of our lives, we get out of bed each morning, wishing we could just pull the covers over our heads and stay there and not have to face the world. When you have children or pets you have to get up for them, you have to put on a brave face and hope you get through it without breaking down. When you now live alone it is hard to get up and know there is no-one waiting downstairs for you. When you open your kitchen door to nothing, no-one to say, do you want a cup of tea love, or you to ask them what they want for their breakfast, it is absolutely soul destroying because no matter how many years we have facing us, nothing will ever be the same again. Since my Peter died over three years ago, if I need to go out to town for anything, I have to get my clothes ready at night for the following day, everything down to my shoes and handbag, I leave them on the landing until the morning, because I know that if they were not there, ready to put on, I would not go out but because everything is ready to wear I do. That is the system I have now got and it works for me. Coming home is still hard, opening that front door and no-one is waiting for me, so I do what a friend who lost her husband does, I call out, ‘I am home love’. I still have my husband’s ashes in a cabinet in the front room, which are waiting for me to die so they can be scattered together, so really he is still with me. If I could have just one wish it would be to go back to when I met my husband and do it all again, perhaps then I could have stopped him smoking and he might still be here with me. I wish the best for everyone on this site and hope one day we will all find some peace, but as I am now in my mid 70’s, my peace will come when I once again see my husband. Love to you all. Sheila xxxx


So sorry for your loss , I can relate to what your saying. I hear people talking about holidays and xmas and want to scream at them to be quiet . I can’t get through the day, every hour seems like a day and I haven’t got anything to help fill those love days. I want to hear his deep voice and snuggle up with him - such simple things that I will miss so much . Sending you love and strength - Becky


So sorry to you all i have just lost my fiance 3weeks ago he died suddenly and unexpectedly and i found him i can’t accept he’s gone he is my soul mate and best friend and i don’t know how to live without him! I don’t want to do anything can’t even get dressed i know what’s in front of me as i burried my Dad when i was younger and also my first child i thought id had my share of grief in life but here i am again hurting so much my heart physically hurts i don’t know how to carry on with my life anymore it seems impossible without my man next to me

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I really feel for you Karen, I can relate of everything that you say. At the moment my job is little more than a distraction to what I would call a never ending suffering. My wife always used to say that death is worse for those left behind, she never said a truer word.

In some ways I am so lucky that I have a job that is my passion, and I hope it will be again, but at the moment all it does is get me through the day until I return home to an empty house. No one to tell about my day or as you say cuddle up to. Even during this last year when Peggy was often not able to look after herself I would find a simple pleasure in making us dinner or even getting her a glass of orange juice. Despite our problems we still had each other. I am still at the stage where each day I have a complete meltdown as I start the engine of my car to begin the 35 mile journey home.

It may to feel like it, but you are not alone. There is a lot of compassion on this forum and everyone shares the pain and anguish of the others. Like you I am just off to bed for another restless night knowing that when I wake up nothing will have changed.

Take Care

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Hi Karen, I totally understand how you feel. I lost my husband only four weeks ago and the pain is unbeatable. I just don’t want to be here anymore. X


I feel your pain Karen, my daughter passed away August of this year after a horrendous 13 month illness (pancreatic cancer) she was only 43yrs and left behind 2 beautiful boys. I have all sorts of emotions at the same time, I’m just so angry that cancer done this to my daughter, totally ravaged her body and took her away from us. I feel I am losing my mind I just can’t cope with life without her, the physical pain is unbearable, I have zero tolerance with everybody, I know it’s wrong but it’s the way I feel. I get upset because life goes on and mine will never be the same again. I’m reliving the 13 months of pain and sickness, just can’t shut it out, the grief is overwhelming me, just can’t envisage life without her, always expecting to hear her voice. People say your strong, no I’m not, my world has collapsed.

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Dear Karen,

I just had to reply because I feel I have written this, Jesus Christ I thought it was just me every single word u have written is identical to how I feel. Bitter, jealous, angry monster!!! Wow could not have put it better myself.

Regards Dionne

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I know how you are feeling Karen. I too lost my husband. I have now closed the business and as I call it when people ask what am I doing now, I am ‘between lives’ (not jobs…) I am finding it extremely difficult to enthuse myself to start all over again, but I did have some people here today regarding some work to be carried out, which is hopefully the personal kickstart that I certainly need. It’s like wading in treacle. Yes, I agree when you say ‘hiding’ what you feel. If people have not suffered the loss, they have NO IDEA. I send my thoughts and very best wishes to you. You are not

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Dear Aunya,

My heart bleeds for u and as for that disgusting , vile, horrendous disease that has ruined our lives I got no words for it.


Dear Aunya, I feel your pain very much as I am going through the same as I lost my beautiful daughter Dawn last December she was 46 years old and it is unbearable life will never be the same again best wishes Maddie

Thank you Maddie, only those that have unfortunately experienced it know the heartache and pain, as you say unbearable, like no other, you just become a broken person, my heart is breaking, I miss her so much, I just can’t cope, it’s becoming more intense as each day passes. Warm thoughts Aunya

Hi Karen so sorry for you loss. I lost my fiance in July we also have two children aged 7 and 2 . People tell me daily how well I look and how fantastic I’m coping but on the inside I’m screaming. I find I keep it together for the children not myself and when its school time or nursery I find myself being lost and thats my worst time. I was also diagnosed with cancer in June so even getting out of bed some days is a job in its self but I’m all the children have now so painting a smile on my face and being the mummy they no is what they need . People tell me they know how I’m feeling, well they couldn’t possibly . I admire you for going back to work thats something I have being wanting to do for a few months now and wonder did it help you in some form ?
Sending love
Best wishes

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Dear Karen,

I have no words only silence, the emptiness of existence is so absolute that living becomes a burden on the soul that wishes to escape into the void, that’s how I felt the day my father passed away.

Each day is a continuing challenge which brings about endless tears full of unbounded grief which at times has the capacity to drown one self in utter despair.

Then I look at my father’s photograph, and I see a man who lived, a man who fought till the very end, a man who showed me that there is still a life to be lived in a world that is at times insufferable.

So I take his strength, and continue to be the purveyor of his breath, through us they live on because we know they have been loved.

The journey ahead will be long, and full of unseen obstacles, but know this, the hands of time do eventually heal the pain.

Hope you are able to take some comfort from these words.


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Im so sorry for your loss, i also feel bitter, angry, resentment and envious of others my beautiful 25yr old daughter died and i have turned into a horrible person. I wouldnt wish this pain on anyone.

Im sorry for your loss and completely understand my 25 daughter died witth no warning sge took a shower and just died no illness no nothing… sudden adult death is what they called it. She left a 6yr old daughter (who found her in the shower) 18month and 4 month boys. My life will never be the same im just filled with sadness nothing helps nothing changes. Some days i imagine laying next to her grave and not getting back up, but i find strength for my grandchildren. Maybe one day we will smile again. God bless you. X


Dear lonely I rally feel for you.and can relate to what you say.I have no family.I live with my granddaughter my darling sharryns child.its just the two of us .as I say we only have one another.I miss my dearest girl immeasurably.feel suicidal at times.only reason still here is for my granddaughter.sending you hugs.Annette.

Dear Annette, thank you for replying and I am so sorry for what you both are going through. I have just been talking to my friend who I have known for 44 years and she is burying her son this week. He has a wife and two young children and it is heartbreaking, I don’t know how she will cope as she also lost her husband 20 years ago and now she seems to have given up. My mother lost my dad when I was young then she lost her mother three months later then my sister died at a young age of cancer she lived many years after that but she was never the same. Until you have lost someone you really love you cannot understand the living nightmare it is. I now live in the past most of the time, remembering the happy times, watching videos of our wedding and looking at photos of my family long gone and photos of my husband and I when we were young and in love. I have sons and grandchildren but I only see them every few weeks as they work away and don’t live near to me so I am on my own most of the time. I try and get out but it isn’t the same on your own. Christmas is coming again and I am not looking forward to it at all I just miss my husband so much. Please take care. Love Sheila xxxx

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