Second year blues...

Hello all,

My beautiful husband of 30 years died of cancer in November 2016. In the second year, I have had periods of being relatively okay, with ongoing sadness. But in Aprtil this year, and for the last two weeks, I have experienced what I would call the most horrible slumps. Suddenly, it feels like the early days again, I am anxious, sleeping poorly, crying uncontrollably and feeling unable to bear the thought of a future without my Ken. I think it may be that the second year slams some truths further home. God, it hurts.

When the April slump passed, I had some days that I would describe as quite good…but I’ve plummeted again. I feel like I’m failing.

I guess what I’m looking for is reassurance that I’m not crazy and that this will eventually pass.

Thankyou so much,

Louise xxoo

Hello Louise

I am sorry you are having a tough time. I am a bit behind you on this journey as my husband died last January but quite a few of my widowed friends have warned me that the second year can be more difficult than the first. The numbness and shock start to wear off and you are left with the reality that this has actually happened and your life is changed forever. One described it to me as feeling frozen during the first year and then starting to thaw in the second which meant she could feel the pain more acutely.

Are you in contact with anyone else who has been widowed? If not, might be worth having a look at Way Up []. I get along to some of their social meet ups and it has really helped to be able to talk to others going through the same thing or who are further along the road and have ‘been there’.

I hope you start to feel a little better soon.

Ann x

1 Like

Hello Louise. I’m feeling very much the same as you. My Husband passed away in October 2016. In fact when I was first bereaved I joined another international forum and remember reading your initial posts. I also recal more recently reading your contributions to another website and thinking how in awe I was of you at the progress you had made. But yes, This week my very thoughts were as yours, that this pain is somehow harder than when it first happened and I felt and feel as if I’d been transported back to that time. The anxiousness, fear, sorrow etc feel more profound in a way. What was mentioned in your knd reply from the forum member (sorry I can’t recall her name is quite true. Maybe as well it’s because the anniversary for both of us is coming up soon. It’s hard isn’t it. I wish you compassionate thoughts Louise. Look out for the posts from a lovely lady called “Lonely” (Sheila) she has been widowed for 4 years and writes the most honest and insightful posts on being longer term bereaved and in those her message is that it’s ok to still be grieving when many people are expecting you to have “got over it” or “come to terms” with it. Love Tina.

Hi Louise,Ann & Tina

I have been feeling a bit low these past few days. I think it is because October is looming. It was always my favourite month but now I dread it. So many dates - my birthday, our wedding anniversary, the day my husband died (2017). My mother in laws birthday and the day she died. Don’t know how I’m going to get through and now I am worrying about going into ‘year two’. The past year has gone by in a fog, I feel like I have been frozen in time. Can’t believe there’s more and even worse to come. The pain and sadness seem relentless.


Big hugs Yvonne, I can relate to the way you are feeling. For similar reasons, I feel the same way about December/January. My emotional tank is now completely empty so I don’t know where I will find the strength to get through any more. I’ve just had enough now.

Good Morning to Ann and Scorpio.
It seems we are all struggling with some very similar and painful emotions. Ann you put it brilliantly when you describe feelings of being frozen and then the “thawing” begins and then Scorpio I know what you mean when you say your emotional fuel tank is running on empty with no reserves left for the future. It’s wretched being newly bereaved but people will accommodate your emotions but once time has passed it’s a completely different story. I felt sick when I woke and remembered it’s weekend yet again. Take care all.

Hello, Beautiful sister widows,

Thankyou for your kindness in replying to me. Big hugs to those of you who are hurting, or whose losses are more recent than mine xo

Ann, the thawing analogy really works for me. My first year wasn’t exactly numb - I remember bleeding horribly, but it was still spent surviving, versus the loss hitting me at different levels.

Tina, darling, thanks for saying you’ve seen me elsewhere. Yes, I felt that progress was happening, and I suppose I need to remind myself that progress still has happened, despite that I feel like crap now. Weekends are so bloody horrible, aren’t they? He isn’t there watching the footy, reading the paper and being grateful for the cuppa you’ve made him. I will look for Sheila’s posts.

Yvonne, love, I hope you haven’t been too badly frightened by what you’ve heard about the second year - though I can understand why you would be - what could be worse than those first few months that were literally hell? It isn’t the same for everybody, and you may find that you have times where you feel that you can do this, maybe (or maybe not) mixed with times that you feel all over again like doing this is impossible. I think this is because grief isn’t a linear process; times of feeling okay can be followed by times of feeling completely unraveled again.

I’m still not used to being without my Ken… I’ve tried to find hobbies and new friends, but it just feels like I’m cobbling a life together, grabbing what bits and pieces I can. Nothing feels settled about it, I am not used to it yet.

We have been hurt so badly, haven’t we?

I feel that if I can get a few decent nights’ sleep, I’ll be a bit more sane. What a wonderful forum.


I have a friend whose husband passed away 7 years ago. She’s still grieving. How can we stop doing so? I was also married to my darling for nearly 30 years. I am having a terrible struggle with both the grief & lonliness. I can’t imagine it getting worse in the second year. If it does I don’t think I would cope. I’ve never known pain like it. The outside world who are not members of this sad sad club do not have any idea what the grief is like. Today I am getting waves of it coming over me suddenly.

I wrote a message but it got lost. I find this site difficult.

1 Like

Oh sorry, it did go. I’m feeling muddled today.

1 Like

I lost my husband in February this year.

My husband died this year march. Right now I feel I’m regressing. My bereavement sessions finished. I only was allowed 10 sessions. I have such sad moments. I do enjoy some moments with those close to me. When I read some comments I’m fearful knowing this continues for a long time. 8 miss my Ojo, we were so good together, he was my person. This is so so hard. What can I do? I find praying helps. This 8s the first forum I came across, saw the leaflet at my GP. What else can I do.

Yesterday I went for a bereavement group. As I arrived I realised may be not for me that specific group. All mature people over 60 . I’m turning 50 soon, was working fulltime but at present I’m home working only one day. I feel lost in my sad world at times. My friends work and I realise people are busy with their lives. How I miss my hubby, can’t describe the heaviness and sadness I feel.

Hi fellow widows,
I only hope that the thawing isn’t worse than the freezing. I don’t think I can cope if it gets worse than this. I lost my husband of 48 years in July. I’m trying to cobble so.e sort of life too, that’s a perfect description. We were like one person split into two,we were so close. Now I 'have lost my other half, I can’t get back to the way I was. I’m keeping busy as much as I can. I’ve made him a little garden with his favourite plants and little garden ornaments and plaques from my children and grandchildren. Ive had a house name made. It’s the coastal after his favourite eatery in north Wales where our caravan is. But at the end of the day it’s so lonely locking up ,checking doors and windows which was always Phil’s job. Still have to climb into the empty bed. Still say goodnight to.him an

Sorry pressed send before I had finished .was saying kiss his picture. Just have to keep.going . One step nearer to seeing him again
Take care,

Dear All,
It’s such a comfort to read all your messages. Some of you I know from this site and some are new to me. It’s now 9 months ,I too have times when I think I’m coping and then I feel desperately sad all over again. I feel I’m pushing my Paul away and I don’t want to lose him. Such little things still trip me up; coats and hats on the coat rack, his handkerchiefs in pockets, conkers he collected last year when we didn’t realise how advanced his illness was. It all hurts so much , especially remembering how hard he tried to make sure I’d be alright but he was too ill to make sense of anything, it was heartbreaking.
I hope we all manage this weekend , we are all here for each other ,

Much love and hugs,


Hi everyone it’s the weekend again. Used to love weekends now I hate them as on my own without husband Dell. He passed April this year very sudden went bed never woke up. I still working full time keeps me busy when I come home to empty flat that’s when I breakdown. People at work think I dealing with it well it’s all a front brave face. Will never get over it. Love to u all. Ann xx

Dear Ann
You are so brave, I am so sorry for your loss and its unfortunate you have had to go back to work so soon after the loss of Dell. My husband also passed away in April and I am still off work because cannot face going back yet. My doctor has been very supportive. As far as people at work are concerned they do not understand if they have not experienced the shock of a loved one passing away so suddenly and the huge emptiness left. Take care Cxx

Hey Veda, I totally relate to feeling muddled. I agree it’s scary to hear that anything can get “worse” in the second year, and I’m still struggling with whether “worse” is the right word. I just think that maybe some of us get kicked a bit harder by specific issues once the first year passes. I try to look at them as opportunities to heal - even though I feel completely shredded still sometimes. I think the difference is - at least for me - that now, at 23 months, I have had enough days of being relatively okay, so at least I know it’s possible to come up again. And, Veda, not everybody finds the second year so difficult. This will be your journey xo

Hi Louise

I can relate very much to the way you are feeling at the moment. It is 2 years and 5 months since my husband died, we were married 30 years and I go through so many ups and downs. I keep myself busy so that I’m tired at the end of the day and will hopefully sleep through the night and then just start the day again.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m not in the real world and just watching everyone else living their lives. It’s quite surreal sometimes.

I have a wonderful family who are very supportive but as we all know at the end of the day we’re on our own with all the thoughts and memories that come with it.

I think the key to managing my life better has come in the form of my beautiful little puppy. I’ve had him for 6 months now. He is a little ray of sunshine. I love him so much and since I’ve had him life has become a lot more fun with so much love in it. Obviously he’s not my husband but it gives me more of a purpose in life, to care for something and be loved unconditionally and gets me out of the house and in the garden more!

I don’t think I’ll ever be the same person I was before but I do try to live life the best I can as I do want to be happy again. I just think it is going to take time. I don’t know how much but I really do think that will happen further down the road.

Thinking of you. X

Thank you. I don’t think it could be harder in the second year. I would have coped much better had I had some sort of support network but I’ve had nothing. I’ve never in my whole life felt so utterly alone.

On top of losing my darling I also lost a school friend who had dementia. Sadly she gave Power of Attorney to a woman who I never trusted, someone she hadn’t even known that long. My friend had a beautiful Georgian home with many possessions. So I didn’t trust the woman, partly because she shut me out.

I used to visit my friend around 3 times a week. She was sectioned in a hospital where I live. About a month or so before my darling husband passed away the woman telephoned me & thanked me for visiting my friend. I found it very strange. My husband left this world in February & I went one day in the lunch hour to see my friend. I was told that I would have to wait around 45 minutes. I decided to see her another time. I went back around my birthday & I was informed that she had been moved to a town miles away. No one told me she was going. So I had another death to cope with so soon after my husband. It had actually given me some small purpose to visit her & through the wickedness & cruelty of this woman it was snatched away from me.

Then a bit later I got a detached retina & I had to have an operation. I was using one eye for several weeks. Thankfully I have full sight now. So I feel totally battered. We returned to the UK just over 3 years ago & we had nothing but problems culminationing with my husband’s passing. Surely things can’t get worse than all this! But time will tell. My life hasn’t been easy in general so I don’t really expect it to change.

Sorry this is long, thank you for listening. I have no one to talk to.