Ongoing Grief

I’ve been on my own for 4 years now, I was married for 38 years and had my husband in my life for 47 years. My husband was diagnosed with Microscopic Polyangitis in 2000, a rare immune system problem. Life from then was often unpredictable, he’d have trips to hospitals to see experts, rushed in with suspected heart attacks and blood clots in his lungs, renal problems but eventually the experts got it under control with drugs and his life improved until 2013 when he was diagnosed with cancer caused by a particular medication he was given and had taken for a few years. We were warned that this could happen but it would be unlikely! I’m not going into details about his last 5 years, it was a roller coaster life and extremely stressful at times. We did our best, still managed to have some laughs together and I did all I could to look after him and he carried on working until 2017, he was a very strong person mentally and physically. He was a very funny and clever man.

I am still finding it very hard at times to get to grips with my grief. My husband was my life, we did everything together, which was perhaps a mistake. Our house was very noisy, my husband was a music fan with a very eclectic taste. Now the house is very quiet, I try to listen to music but it upsets me so much I just can’t bear it. Music I listen to I listened to with him and everything has a memory in it, mostly happy but somehow that only makes it worse. I’ve tried new music but then I ask myself ‘what would he think of that?’

I have a dragging sadness that just won’t go away. I’m not bad for a few weeks, I’m working, gardening, doing what I do then something will happen, a bit of music in a supermarket, I’ll find something in a drawer, cooking a meal, a memory, a photo, a tv programme, Boris bloody Johnson! (my husband really disliked the Tory party), all sorts of things and that’s it, I feel as bad as I did when I’d just lost him. I’ll cry for days and feel sorry for myself, then I’ll feel guilty and I can’t speak to anyone about it.

Does anyone else out there feel similar?

I have one very good friend, we were at school together and she has been a great support to me but she lives 250 miles away. I have a sister who gets frustrated and fed up with me so I can’t talk to her about how I feel and my husband’s 3 siblings have stopped getting in touch and strangely people who I thought were friends have quietly faded away and it’s not because I talk about my feelings and my husband to them at all. I don’t mention him.

My son is a great comfort and I love him and he helps me a lot but he won’t talk about his dad. I want to speak about him but if I mention him it’s like a tumble weed blowing by in silence.

I know I’ll never get over my loss, my life has changed in so many ways and he’ll always be in my head, everything I do, there he’ll be. I suppose time is a healer, that’s what folk say.

I just wonder if anyone out there is in a similar situation. I don’t want to talk about illness and cancer. I’m sick of it, I’d be interested to know how other people cope with their grief and get over sad humps in the road.

Regards LouiseT


Louise I do so resonate with what you say… it is so hard at times to get a grip on grief and I particularly find the silence at home difficult … like you I have friends acquaintances family who help and support but they don’t fill the void in my life or the hole in my heart …
There are many ‘sad humps’ in the road some more difficult to get over than others but you find the strength to get to the top and get over them … thinking of you, take care of yourself …

Hi Mary, nice of you to get back to me. I really do try to ‘get on with it’ my husband wanted me to do that. Coming home to a quiet house is very hard when you’ve been used to something completely different. I can completely understand how you find that difficult as well.
I’m sorry to hear you are in the same sort of position as me. Grief is a solitary thing and so different for every person. Kind regards.

It’s been 3 years for me and I am still grieving. I’m trying very hard to contain it, but I do have days so full of sadness all I can do is cry. The sadness is a part of me now. I finally do have days where it lies quietly in the background. I have no family, and friends that knew him are scattered across the country. Healing myself has been a long & solitary process, and is still ongoing.

I try really hard not to feel sorry for myself. I’m alive, I have no justification in feeling sorry for myself - harsh, but true. Sometimes I do let myself break down and sob about “how did it all turn out like this?”…but then I tell myself that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it ; that my tears won’t change anything; and that if I am going to cry, it should be for him, not myself … And at that point I make myself do “something”, “anything” to change the rhythm of my thoughts…Going outside is the best therapy for me…I’ve made some new friends…I’ve started painting (totally new experience for me)… some days it’s enjoyable now, but sometimes it’s just filling in time…

Triggers are everywhere, and I know they always will be. Most times I allow myself a quick tear, take a deep breath and carry on. I only listen to new music (which I discover on youtube), I don’t cook anything he cooked or liked (and have discovered some lovely tastes). I often feel a twinge of guilt when I enjoy things I know I would not have discovered, if he were still here. I often chuckle, thinking “Oh my - he never would have eaten This!”.

Learning to live alone has been a tremendous struggle for me, but I am beginning to see a bit of light. I still take it one step at a time, and try to find as much peace and beauty as I can. Learning to enjoy life by myself is very sad and difficult, but I am trying my best…

It’s a hard path to travel…healing oneself is an ongoing process…work on it in small steps…be gentle with yourself…