So what now

Christmas and New year over and I am glad it’s done that was cruel wasn’t it. What now everyone says “Back to normality” we all lost what was our normality so new year and as people are saying this all happened last year now. Every time I think so what now I have no idea and feel pained at even having to find a new normality. Xx


I don’t think there is any time scale on finding a new normality. My wife died in August so I’m maybe a month in front of you in the queue to find it. I’ve no idea what it will look like.
I’m hoping that any new normality will not just be fixed. I think it will be incremental and we will acquire it in stages. I can’t see me waking up one morning and thinking that a big change took place overnight and I’m suddenly normal. I find it really hard to know what to wish for. After 49 years together I can’t see a new normal being without the ongoing grief. I expect it to be partly new but built around the old.
Maybe we don’t find the new normal. Maybe it finds us.


You write so many profound statements, all are so very appropriate to each and every one of us, Alan and I had been married 50 years last March, and together 2 years before that. We met whilst I was still at school and we’ve been together ever since. How can a new normality, (if ever that word truly exists), overcome a lifetime together ☆

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I had to laugh at the “profound statements”. It brought back a happy memory from when I was young and idealistic. I was working with another trainer running a training course. We had worked together for years and had a great relationship. We were asked by a course member what it was that kept us working together and why did the relationship work so well. Before I got chance to think of an answer my co-trainer answered. She told the group that she let me waffle on for 20 minutes with theories and concepts, and then she summarised in 2 minutes in a way that people could understand. I remember someone on the course piping up… “just like a husband and wife then”.
Going back to “normality”… did it ever exist. I often wondered if my normality was similar to that of my wife. A lot of the time we lived in completely different worlds.

Well me and peter done everything together we worshiped the ground we both walked on and for me to be without him is not normal to me. To be on my own doing things making decisions on my own, plans etc is not normal for me. It was weird in a way but xmas and new year kept me busy I had a purpose for the kids and now as I say what next i am a nurse that cared for people in care homes with dementia and seen them through their end of life to watch my husband going through his end of life was the most devastating thing I have had to face and I don’t think I can do this job anymore for anybody so I need a new path but what that is is beyond me just now. I lost my son to meningitis when he was only 3 years old and my world collapsed I met peter after a split from Christophers dad and peter helped me through my grief but to loose your soul mate is the most destroying thing in my life I cannot see a way forward this may as people say take time but I don’t think the grief will go and living with it is soul destroying the world is not the same place it was anymore x

I think my normal ended in June 2014 when my wife was told, after undergoing an operation to remove a brain tumour, that it was a stage 4 glioblasoma and that her life expectancy was 12 months.
The new normal after that was chemotherapy, radiotherapy and then a second brain operation in August 2017. She never really recovered from that and died in August 2018.
I’m glad I had taken early retirement in 2002 and I was able to devote myself to her care. While she was ill my mother died and then my aunt died just 6 weeks after my wife. That’s quite a lot to contend with and I don’t expect to ever go back to how I was before June 2014.
The reason I retired early was that I didn’t want the same fate as my father who developed Alzheimers shortly after he retired. He didn’t know who I was when I visited him. I often wished he could have gone quickly.

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I am so sorry Elaine…losing your soulmate is devastating…time blurs the edges a little but at the beginning it is virtually impossible to contemplate living without the one person who was our world. Somehow though we do get through the days and begin to be aware of little things to be thankful for…don’t rush, take your time and let the tears fall because they need to be shed…one day at a time and the future will take care of itself. God bless x

We use the word “normal” so often…but it means different things to different people. My children told me long ago that I was not “normal” but could not tell me what they meant! My relationship with Barry was not “normal”… for 16 years we wandered across Spain and France with our little dogs in tow , we had very little money and we never put down roots…as long as we had each other we were content…we considered life to be “normal” but others might disagree!
I think what I am trying to say is that what we are now hoping for is not normality or even conformity but an ability to live our remaining days honouring our partner by being at ease with the person we now are…we can never go back , some of us will take longer than others to work out who we have become, some will choose to try to move on and others will be content to stay where they are. Personal circumstances will play their part because life is not an even playing field but as long as we try to be the very best we can then we may achieve our own personal normality


I’ve never seen it being a problem to be at variance with “the norm”. In fact I think it has a lot of advantages. My father used to tell my wife that I was a bit odd as I child as I could sit on the garden seat and read for hours. Needless to say he couldn’t read for hours. I suppose being at the right age to become a hippy was a blessing in disguise as I could get away with being odd then.
I don’t particularly want to be abnormal so I will probably sit somewhere near the middle of the continuum.
I think nowadays there is massive pressure from the institutions, the media, advertising, marketing, etc to keep well within the norm. As you say the whole thing about normal is that it’s a personal judgement. Your normal will be very different to my normal but that’s good. Just don’t let the Thought Police find out.

Well put Yorkshire Lad!
I too used to read for hours as a child…I am just getting enough concentration back to lose myself in the written page again but Orwell would not be my choice at present!
I really hope that you enjoy your time in the Lakes and that the weather will be kind to you…the natural world is balm for the soul and is probably the purest normal of all! Take care.

Hello Elaine H.
I feel exactly the same as I lost my husband only in October last year and I feel angry,sad,lonely,lost,numb,lost my confidence and trust in people lost my self esteem the list goes on but Christmas and New year were just a blurr this year because as though it isn’t hard enough what we are going through to celebrate and smile and pretend your feeling happy and o.k. when we’re not is just like rubbing salt in the wounds.
Wishing you all the strength and support you need at this difficult time to get you through the year.
It will definitely be an achievement for us all.
Sending you lots of love and hugs xxx

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Hi Elaine,

I thought I’d message you as I feel every word your saying and feel how you are feeling. Everything you’ve said I feel the exact same way. I am too, soul destroyed there is nothing I wish to do, move on for. The world is not the same without that one who was for you, your soul mate. I just can’t imagine being in this world let alone living it without him. It’s most definitely not the same in any way anymore. A new year without them just hurts so deeply x

Hi Elaine H
It’s so very true what you have said. Our normality was taken from us. I lost my Keith last April so traumatically, one minute we were shopping then 2.5 hours later he was gone from me.
I’ve been robbed of my normality and the life I thought we were going to have. As have we all been.
On New Year’s Eve I felt that I couldn’t carry on with another year of nothingness. Getting through last year was traumatic but different because of dealing with the sudden loss, paperwork, arranging Keith’s funeral and so on taking several months to complete.
This year is just empty with nothing to look forward to, because of losing the person you would want to do things with. I have no interest in doing anything. I completed the back garden that we never got around to finishing last October, but I have no desire anymore to fill the beds with plants.
One of my work colleagues told me that she hopes I can make some plans this year as I still have a life to live. I don’t feel that I do though.
I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and get through each day like a robot. This is my life now and It’s a normality that I didn’t want but will have to deal with.
Love and hugs to everyone and I hope you get through the year in the best way you can xxx. June

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Thanks for all the replys folks feels real now facing this new year thinking new year new you but what is that who is this new person I try and make plans to give me a purpose but most of it I can’t face I know I am not ready yet for anything are we ever going to be again it’s a daunting time for all of us take care you all xx

After 50 years marriage plus another 3 years before that, nothing now will ever be normal because normal is something in the past and somehow we have to live in the present and try to envisage a future we do not want. Normal is being happy and enjoying time together with the person you love. It’s over.Sorry, that sounds so awful but tonight it’s the way I feel. Take care.

Once upon a time I would have put up a very strong argument as to why that word couldn’t be used.
However I’ve now accepted that as the rest of my life will be abnormal, in that it will be flawed and imperfect, then it does seem quite appropriate. I wonder if we will just exist at different levels of abnormality. I might not go round telling people I’m abnormal, or imperfect, or even flawed.
There’s absolutely no doubt that someone who feels less than whole is going to feel different to the norm and I fully accept that I can never feel whole again. I was discussing this with my friend whose wife died over two years ago and compared it to the nursing staff when my wife was in hospital. In assessing the need for pain relief they asked how much pain she was in on a scale of one to ten. She struggled to answer as her usual response was " I’m fine". I wondered if, for day to day measurement, I could use a similar scale when people asked how I was. Would a cursory " I’m on four today" suffice.
Is that just a bit too much introspection?

I feel very much the same as you but I must admit I seem to be crying more now keep thinking is this my life now xxx

I cry at the drop of a hat now is it just the grief but I am the same is this how it is going to be now when does any change come about that can give us hope to have some sort of life for ourselves I have never been on my own since I was 16 don’t even know how to be on my own I keep trying to give myself a goal an aim but even that is a struggle x

Hi Elaine my heart goes out to you I lost my soulmate last February wanted to get xmas n year year over now I keep thinking in another 5 weeks it will be 12 months since he passed n it’s seems to be getting harder not easier !! The next person that says to me yeah but life goes on I think I will knock them out miss him so much we worked together always together 24/7 how the hell can it get better had to drop car off for repair forgot my driving liciece for hire car so had to come home but I couldn’t stop crying n screaming say to my steve this wouldn’t have happened if you was here !! It’s so hard especially when they was very special luv to you all in same boat as me take care Jojoleexxxx

Your wife was a very brave woman Yorkshire Lad. I assume that ten means you feel absolute shit and one means OK? I reckon I’m at ten today, if you can use the same scale for emotional distress, because it’s exactly 26 weeks since my husband died, his clothes are still there and this morning I took them out of the drawers, buried my face in his summer Tshirts and couldn’t decide if it was the faintest memory of him or just the familiar washing conditioner that I could smell. I can’t bear to take them all away.