Putting on a mask

Hi I feel like a cheat to my family. I lost my Mother last November and the lost my wonderful Wife this February after a six year battle with cancer. I put on a brave face on in front of my family and friends but inside I feel terrible and ashamed that I could not have done more for my wife after careing for her for six years.


Hello @Hywglyn,

I’m part of the Online Community team and I can see that you are new to the community - I’d like to thank you for bravely starting this thread and sharing how you are feeling. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your mum and wife and how you are feeling, that is so sad to hear. Most community members have sadly experienced the death of a loved one and so will understand some of what you are going through.

You may also find the following Sue Ryder resources helpful:

  • Our Bereavement information pages
  • Our Online Bereavement Support, which includes our free online bereavement counselling which is held via video chat, our Grief Guide which has interactive tools to help you cope with grief, and Grief Coach, where you can receive personalised support via text

I really hope you find the community helpful and a good source of support and I also hope you feel you can access more support should you need it.

Thank you again for sharing – please keep reaching out and know that you are not alone.

Take care,


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Hi, so sorry for your loss . I understand what you mean . It’s a year since my world stopped . My happy life gone and lost me as well . I had been with my husband since we were both 16 . So I don’t know any other life . I also put a mask on to my family and at work . My adult kids don’t need my grief as well as there own . So they think I’m ok . But really I’m just say surviving every lonely day without my one and only true love . Keep posting on here , you can let all your feelings out to people that do understand . Xtake carex


I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother and wife @Hywglyn, that is so hard on you, and on your family too. Please don’t feel ashamed. In caring for your wife, you did everything you could, and can only have helped her to fight her illness and live her best life. I understand how conflicting it it feels to put on a brave face for all to see when feeling devastated inside. But hope you’ll find this forum is a safe place to be true to how you feel whenever it gets too ,hard to keep the mask in place. I’ve found it’s helped. Take care and please don’t be hard on yourself, I’m sure your wife would not want you to do that.

Hi, I know how you feel. It’s been 12 months December since I lost my husband suddenly, at first the children were very supportive and I know I relied on them a lot but they have their own lives to lead. My husband used to love his garden and would be out there all the time weather permitting. I must admit I liked to see it nice but hated gardening myself. My son said he would come and keep it tidy but you can’t rely on them forever. I try to do as much as I can with it but not knowing what are plants and what are weeds is hard for a non gardener. To the family and neighbours I pretend that everything’s fine and carry on as normal putting on a brave face but inside I feel I am losing control. I look at it and think how disappointed he would be that I can’t look after it like he did. I feel so guilty that maybe I should have taken more interest in it. He also kept birds which I had to re-home as I couldn’t handle them. He had kept birds all our married life. So the guilt is there too. I feel I have let him down, I don’t think I will ever get over that


Hi . I know exactly what you mean . I also feel like I’m losing control . I put an act on with kids and work . It feels like the real me has stepped back and am watching this person I don’t know live my life now . The real me has a nonexsistence exsistence now . Even my brain doesn’t work now. I do try so hard but it’s never good enough , as for husbands garden , it was beautiful . It’s only tiny . But I find it so hard I definitely don’t have green fingers . I know if he is watching me he would be saying . What the … are you doing . But I know I am doing it with love for him . Like I do everything . Xtake carex

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@Hywglyn. I thnk there’s very few on here who don’t regret something they did and didn’t do, so you aren’t different and shouldn’t beat yourself up.
One other thing we share is that we are human, with all it’s frailties and exposure to different events in our lives, which has shaped us. We can only be as good as we can be, not paragons of life.
We always forgive those who have gone, I’m certain they forgive us. It’s now time to forgive ourselves.