Still Broken.

Is is now three and a half years since my lovely wife died of cancer, so why have I just joined the community?
I truth I still feel as broken and lost as I ever did, and even now the screen is blurry through my tears as I try to type…
I met Sandy when we were both quite young and we knew that we would always be together. We have two lovely children, have worked and lived together around the World, and always assumed that we would be together forever.
We were married for forty seven years and four days, and had known each other for some years before that, so she had been by my side for over fifty years.
My problem is that I understand she has gone, but where? How can it be that someone who has been by your side is just not there anymore?
Reading posts from others, I realise that I am not unique in my despair. Sometimes I feel really selfish because at least we had decades of each other’s company whereas others have lost loved ones all too early.
I really am so miserable, and the slightest reminder of our life together is at once warming and devastating. I have abandoned trolleys in supermarkets, rushed out of restaurants and stopped conversations.
That’s enough for this post, I think I will leave it there for now.


Hi Bob. First of all, you’ve done the right thing by reaching out and telling all of us.

There are all sorts of theories of grief. I don’t think any of them is totally accurate. I sense you are at a turning point and you feel trapped - if that’s the right word - in overwhelming sorrow.

It is incredibly difficult to lose a partner and particularly one of so many years. I lost my soul mate in September. Although it was cancer, it was very sudden. He died within 3 weeks of diagnosis, but at least I managed to get him home. Neither of us expected it. We were both trapped in disbelief and shock.

This is what helped me in my darkest moments. Firstly, I believe, and have believed for many years, that there is life after death and that at some time in the future we will meet again. Along with that, I can, at times, feel my husband’s spirit. Secondly, I know that, although pain and heartache is inevitable, he would not want me to feel as bad as this and he certainly wouldn’t want me to spend the rest of my life mourning for him.

It helped me enormously to talk to a therapist. I had an hour with her this week. Afterwards, it felt like a rock had been lifted from my soul. For me, talking helps. You could try it. A death from cancer is often traumatic and there are cures out there for trauma.

Guilt is a part of grief. Please don’t feel guilty about anything. In the context of the loss of a partner time doesn’t mean anything. We all take the future for granted. Of course, there comes a time when it’s no longer there.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. These words are so little, but it’s the very best I can do at the moment. I hope that being in this community will help you and you’ll begin to find the inner peace that you need. Christie xxx


I was just hopelessly crying in bed (yeah, just for a change… ), that I’ve really had enough of being without my husband now. I’d tried some friends and family an hour ago but felt much much worse again after they tried to cheer me up.

With literal pains in my heart I began reading this forum, these posts in this thread each one gave me something different as comfort. Then I was thinking about Christie’s post and wishing I believed that I’ll meet my husband again someday, I asked the Google speaker of my husbands to “play music” and it played a very obscure funny song that my husband used to play to cheer me up sometimes. That worked.

Thank you for your posts, thank you that even though I know I’m alone with missing my René and need to find my way myself I am not alone in these feelings.

Thank goodness for you all and I dearly hope you can find some comfort today however you can. I’m sorry you are all going through this but thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas.


Bob in france z ypur wife was so lucky x x 8 don’t know how this, I really don’t x my love and regard and wishes for you are.endless x I am an odd character as was my husband whom I lost 4 weeks ago, I dont think I will ever.feel better x I just want to be content as this is what he loved about me x my happiness with the simplest of things x I am lost, I don’t know who I am any more x all the love x I hope you have a good day tomorrow x

1 Like

These painful familiar feelings are the same for all of us when we lose someone precious. We are here to help each other through this pain. I too was with my husband for 47 years and presumed we would be together forever. How can anyone reach this stage in life and never think that one day you may be parted? We never planned for that. After nearly 6 months the pain is worse now as the memories of our happy life together come flooding back. How can he be gone? How can it be forever? Why do I cry so much? Nothing makes sense sometimes and yet the world goes on turning as if nothing has happened. There seems to be no set of answers other that take one day at a time and most importantly - remember to breathe properly. Sending love to all of you.


Hello Jean,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Of course as the years pass, we live our lives and adopt a routine that we are comfortable with . We never imagine that anything bad will happen.
My wife’s death came as a real shock because I am a positive type and trusted that science would save her. I convinced myself that she would get better and, because she trusted me, she believed it too. Cancer has other ideas.
I really cannot remember the first year after her death, perhaps nature numbs us. I do remember being in tears most of the time, or very close to crying.
I cannot promise you that it will get better, only different. These days I manage to get on with life, but from time to time I get ambushed by a feeling of dread and hollowness.
We are all different. Perhaps it is enough to talk to others in this way, and I do wish you well, and that the understanding of others will help in some small way.


Hi Bob. Please don’t blame yourself for being positive when your wife was alive. Denial is part of the so called ‘cancer journey’. Cancer is an unpredictable beast at the best of times. 11 years ago I was given a 20% chance of 5 year survival. I’ve been clear ever since. My beloved husband died less than 3 weeks after diagnosis - we were both trapped in shock/denial. I did manage to get him home for his last 12 days, but now I am rethinking every thing that I did then and torturing myself with the thought that I could and should have done better.
Your firm belief that your wife would recover would have been a huge comfort to her. However, it leaves you trapped in very great pain.
I hope very much that by being here we can help you to find a way out of that pain. Your life will never be the same as it was before your wife’s death, but it can be better than it is now.
Christie xxx

1 Like

Dear Sheila,
Reading your post I imagine our lives have been on a parallel path. Peter like Sandy was taken away far too early. My daughter is still angry that her lovely Mum was taken from us when there are others more deserving. She and Sandy were more like sisters and it was lovely to watch them together, making mischief etc.
I am writing from our home in France. We bought it twenty two years ago and in-between working abroad, we completely demolished it leaving just the shell. All of the work we did ourselves and Sandy was a wizz at compacting concrete, painting and even plastering. We used acres of plasterboard, moving it about with her at one end and me at the other. Negotiating difficult corners would have us in fits of giggles when we caught sight of each others eyes along the length of the board.
We cuddled all the time and always held hands when out and about, I miss her touch so much.
I have tried to move on by going on trips around France, Spain and recently Belgium. You are right about being out alone. I see couples of about the age we would have been, families having fun, it’s just too much.
I cannot stay here in France because the house is too full of memories and where I live is quite remote. It’s raining now and I haven’t seen anyone for days. We were happy here because we were enough for each other.
I plan to move back to UK so that I can see people on a regular basis, join clubs, volunteer etc. My daughter is a constant comfort and we talk regularly on Echo Show. Today would have been Sandy’s 70th, and so tonight I will have a virtual drink with family.
Be kind to yourself Sheila.
Bob X


Hi bobinfrance.
I lost my lovely husband two years ago after twenty-eight years together, and it is as raw now as it was then. He was only sixty and died of lung cancer despite being a non- smoker all of this life. I never thought I would be a widow at fifty-six. We were so looking forward to our retirement together and I know we would have had a great retirement as we loved walking and that would have been a big part of our lives.
This will be my third Christmas without him and I still cannot put up a tree etc. Steve loved all of that and I just can’t muster up any enthusiasm to do any of this.
My daughter will be back from university for a few days and I feel guilty that I cannot even do any of the Christmas decorations for her.
I don’t think this nightmare will ever end.
Take care


Dear Junebug,
Cancer in indiscriminate, it took my lovely Sandy who had never harmed a fly and was the most warm and generous person on the planet. Her passing was so unfair.
In the early days I just wallowed in sympathy, but I slowly realized that my daughter had lost her Mum, best friend and soulmate, my son also had lost his Mum and our friends had also lost their friend. OK, they had their families to comfort them, but I was now on my own. It doesn’t help that I live in a remote area of France.
How I long for a cuddle!
I don’t know if you have other children, but you do have one coming home for Christmas. At UNI she will have been busy and surrounded by friends, coming home will be difficult for her.
An idea! Why don’t you both put up the decorations just like the days of old. Talk about Steve, all the good times, all the laughs. Have far too many drinks. That’s what me and my daughter generally do !
For me, it’s still raining outside and I am crying again. No, it really doesn’t ever end but I do hope you find some peace.
Bob X

Aw Bob. Thank you for those lovely words.
I do only have the one child and she and her Dad were so, so close. She misses him so much.
You know Bob, I still cannot drum up any enthusiasm to put up the big, family Christmas tree and this will be the third Christmas without Steve. We always done that together and it is just too painful at the moment. I do however, have a small, fibre-optic tree so I am going to stick that up in the living room right now before I talk myself out of it!
You are in France on your own, and I am in Renfrewshire on my own - it is just so difficult rattling about this house which was once a happy, fun home. However, in saying that I would still rather be in this house than anywhere else as I still feel close to Steve here.
I hope you and your family have as nice a Christmas and peaceful New Year as you can and wish you all the best.
June X

Good for you!!!

Hi Junebug, just to but in, I lived in Renfrewshire between the ages of 8 - 18 - Bridge of Weir. I’ve only been back briefly but it seems the same as it always was.
I’m so sorry for your loss & I hope you have the best possible Christmas. I too and rattling around a big house alone, a converted barn 2 miles from the nearest village, so I share that feeling too.
Christie xxx


Thanks Christie. I hope you have a nice Christmas too. We just want our old lives back, don’t we? X

You said it xxx

@bobinfrance @Lonely
My mum just passed in April and my mum and dad were married for 47 years. I can’t live without her so I have no idea how you guys or my dad is feeling. Mine is a different hurt iv lost my mum. My dad has lost his best friend, the person he picked to love for the rest of his life, hes lost his Frankie to his Josie.
Grief is hard, everyone tells you it will get easier but I don’t see it. Iv only been married for 8 years you guys have 40 on me.
Mum and dad had their last anniversary in ICU. She had brought him a card and I found it, she was always so prepared.
She was our rock, the person with the right answers, my dad’s career and my childcare.
It was so quick we weren’t and still aren’t ready. Not her what will we do without her, we will never hear her contagious laugh or her annoying cough (in the cinema), who will come and see awful theatre plays with me and my wee boy won’t be able to ping her wet curly hair.
I love to chat on here, it helps me remember her (but not when my husband is lying next to me snoring).
I think I get around 4 hours sleep then I get up and look after my family and my treasured dad.
Thanks for listening and it’s good to try and remember the funny stuff and the happy memories. :relieved:


So sorry to hear about your Mum, Diana.
All of your family will be missing this huge presence in your lives.
I wish I could say that time is a healer but even after two years, it has not been for me.
We knew that we were not going to have a good outcome when Steve was diagnosed as stage 4, but you are in denial and think that they will be the exception to the rule and they will find some miracle cure to help our loved ones.
All I can say to you just now, is reach out to friends and family and definitely to all of us on this forum. Don’t try and keep things bottled up and just cry don’t worry about showing your emotions. I go out walking and the tears just come and I can’t stop them.
Be there for your lovely Dad and I wish you a peaceful Christmas and New Year.
P.S. It is 4.15am, and I have been awake since around 3.00am. My sleep pattern is also horrific.
June X


Hi I lost my beloved husband 18 months ago. I have 3 beautiful daughters and 7grandchildren. I’ll never get over the loss of my life but I go to church and get great relief through prayer. My thoughts are with you. It’s terrible. We were married 43 years. I stil can’t believe it now but know we’ll meet again. Wish I could help you more but I’m sure we are both the same in emptiness

Hi Bob in France and everyone else on here. I have been reading your posts and it could be me writing them. My wife of 43 years passed last July 2019. Like you all we did everything together, I still hate shopping, just a quick dash in and out. I don’t bother with coffee shops anymore. I am from the uk but my wife was Irish . We moved back to Ireland a few years ago , and it is also a remote place. But we loved this house and it makes me feel close to her. But the loneliness and empty feeling never goes away. Only this morning I was walking the dog and thinking I can’t believe I will never see her again.
But I have been to a medium and was told things that she wouldn’t have known, so I do believe we will eventually meet up again . That’s what keep me going.
I am so sorry for all your losses, but we have to try and keep going for our loved ones.
Sorry for going on a bit.

1 Like

Hi Mike.
Yep, it is very hard going , isn’t it?
The fact that we are not doing things together like shopping, walking, watching telly.
They are not in the house when you have been out and the house seems so lonely and quiet.
Like you, I have chosen to remain in the family home for the time being, but the house is just Steve. Everywhere I look there are D I Y projects completed by Steve and sometimes I do question if this house is making me more sad!
I suppose we will know ourselves if/when the time is right to move or not,
Take care of yourself, and wish everyone on this forum a peaceful New Year.
June X