Still can't believe he's gone

Hello all, I’m Maggie, I lost my partner Neil on the 6th of June, he was coming in from work at half five as usual, I just heard a crash in the wheelhouse (we live on a boat), but I just thought he was putting his bag of tools down rather noisily (he was an engineer and was always taking tools to and from work). When he didn’t come down the corridor to the lounge I wondered what was wrong. By the time I got to the wheelhouse I found him crumpled on the floor like a rag doll. I was calling to him and shouting his name, I took one look at his face and thought he was having a heart attack. I shouted my friend Tina on the next boat to go and get the defibrillator machine from the office (which we’d only had training on about a month previous). I started cpr while my friend went for the machine, then carried on using the defibrillator, knelt there, alone, while she went to look for the ambulance, which took about 20 minutes, but seemed an eternity while I carried on using the defibrillator to keep shocking my partners heart, inbetween doing cpr and mouth to mouth. The paramedics finally arrived, who worked on him for 2 hours, with ventilation, further shocking and adrenaline injections. They got him in the ambulance and I went along, but within a couple of minutes at the hospital with doctors and nurses working on him, I was taken to one side, and knew what she was going to say before she said it. I can’t believe I’m actually sat here writing this, I think I’m still in a daze, or dreaming, or have gone completely mad. My brain just doesn’t seem to want to admit that he’s gone ( and no, I don’t like using THAT word either). I thought I’d been doing quite well considering, I sorted all the legal stuff, spoke to the coroners office, registered his death, where I was told by the registrar on signing the death certificate, that I wasn’t classed as his “spouse” because we weren’t married! Well what is a person that has lived with someone nearly 32 years, through thick and thin, caring for them, loving them more than yourself, worrying about them, what is that ffs!!! On the death certificate it stated that I was “the informant” !! Well, that alone set me off crying, along with the less-than-sympathetic tone of the female registrar. So anyway, I thought I was doing well, sorting the official stuff, sorting his cremation, sorting the life insurance (which STILL is yet to be paid, and I’m nearly broke, cos we lived from one week to the next on his wage and my bit of part time work), so I’ve done everything, myself. Through the disbelief and the shock, and the days where I thought I was living in cloud cuckoo land. It’s a month since he went away, and I have his picture on the wall above the telly, I talk to him every day, I say “goodnight, god bless” to him at night before I get in bed (though neither of us was/is religious, it’s just something we’ve heard off our parents growing up). I say “good morning love” to his picture as I stand putting a light under the kettle, wondering, will it be today, or tomorrow, or next week, when I finally realise, and when my brain actually acknowledges that he IS gone, and that he’s never coming back? My head is a complete shed at the minute, I dare say it will be for some time. How the hell do you learn to live with the fact, that your partner who you spent every day with for the last 31 years, is gone?? It physically feels like my insides have been ripped out. My head and face hurt from constant crying, and the pounding noises inside my head could rival any steelworks! I sit up until the early hours most nights because I don’t want to go to bed, there’s a big gaping space where a 6 foot 2 inch bloke used to sleep, spread out like a starfish, all arms and legs, which I used to curse him for. But now I’d give my right arm to have him back there, even with his elbow in my back! It’s not right, it’s not fair, sorry but I’m now into the angry stage of grief, and I’m cursing whatever or whoever it was that took him away. At least if I’m angry I’m not weeping.

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Hi Maggie,
I am really sorry for your loss of Neil. I lost my partner of 30 years, suddenly last November. I, like you, was in a daze for days, it just didn’t seem real. It is early days for you and you will go through so many different emotions. Everyone on this forum knows exactly how you feel and knows what you are going through. We will give you all the support we can. Just take one day at a time. I do know what you mean about not being married, but as you say being together for that amount of time qualifies being married. Take care, keep posting, love Janet xx

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Hi. Maggie. No one can possibly know how you feel unless they too have suffered in this way. But on this site we all know, only too well do we know, so you are far from alone. What an awful traumatic shock it must have been. I can only imagine. If someone is ill for a time and you expect the worse at least you have time to prepare your mind.
Our brains go into a kind of protective mode. Become almost numb at first. I too coped with paperwork and got around OK until it was all over then the grief began. This is normal because so many here had the same experience.
Now in no way am I diminishing how you feel, been there. But all the clichés and soothing talk wont make a lot of difference at the moment. You are talking to him as if he is still there and of course he is. Someone you love never leaves you.

The law in regard to not being married is a disgrace. Well, in my opinion. Living with someone for 31 years then being called ‘an informant’ is heart breaking, and an affront to common decency.
The registrar I saw was kind and understanding, but it seems you were unlucky.
You are still in a state of shock following a trauma. Take it easy, day by day or even hour by hour. Stay with us and keep posting. Unloading when you are down is so important. Bless you and I will say ‘God bless’ and know He will.

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Thanks Janet, yes it’s early days, I keep forgetting it’s only been a month. Time is doing some weird things at the minute, each day seems to be going by so fast, seems I’m no sooner up in the morning, trying to busy myself with things to do, to keep my mind off the grief, then it’s that time of day again, the night time, sitting alone watching telly, not wanting to go to bed. But then it seems like an age since he went, and not just a month. I can’t get my head around it. But it’s good to know there are folk who understand, just a text away, and unfortunately know first hand what I’m going through, what we’re all going through. So sorry for your loss, and for everyone else on here reading. I never imagined a couple of months ago I’d be posting comments on this forum, it’s too unbelievable.
Bless you, peace and love be with you
Maggie xxx

Thankyou Jonathan,
Yes I suppose it’s just a matter of dealing with each day as it comes, trying to busy my mind, rather than just sitting and dwelling on what’s happened. It hurts too much to keep thinking about it, not that I want to, but sometimes it has a way of creeping up on you and hitting you when you think your “doing ok”! But it’s good to know there are folk on here that really understand, but not good cos they’re going through it as well, and I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone. But I thank you, and everyone else reading, for being there.
Peace and love be with you
Maggie xx

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Hello Maggie

So sorry to hear of you loss. I had exactly the same with the registrar - Jane and I were together for 30 years but not married - the system is ridiculous.

The really good thing I find about this site is that everybody understands in a way that people who haven’t been through it just cant.

My very best wishes to you


Thanks Nick
Not a lot I can say really, but your right the system is a joke. Too upset to say much more, having a bit of a bad morning.
Regards Maggie x

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It’s so sad that the legalities make you feel like you don’t matter. My partners son resented me but I think the guilt he carried at not talking to his Dad for a lot of years previously did not help. I was Ed’s executor and main beneficiary of his Will. He said I would have no bother from his son ! How wrong he was. I agreed to his son registering his Dads death. Is it correct that although it does say Ed was divorced (long long before being with me !!) that his spouse named is his ex wife on the certificate ?? I’m not really bothered as I have the love of Ed in me as his partner . I am still having to deal with grief from his son but I will continue to carry out Eds wishes . That’s what real love and respect is. Don’t need any kind of certificate with my name on it to do that. But yes the law needs to be more realistic.


Hi Maggie,
I have been trying to keep busy but unfortunately I did a bit too much Friday and felt ill. I had a bad weekend as Simons dad took me out to some garden centres to buy some plants and it hit me all of a sudden that I should be doing it with Simon. It’s what we used to do. I have managed to pick myself up a bit now as I had a talk to my counsellor which helped a lot. I lost all interest in everything and couldn’t be bothered to do anything. Talk to you soon.

Take care Maggie, love Janet xx


Sorry for your sudden loss. It must have come as a great shock to you. Lost my partner of 38 years on the 4th of May and the registrar apologised to me because she had to put his wifes name on the death certificate even though they’d been seperated all those years. I like you was just the informant and the one who was present at death. It is a bit hurtful but they are just doing there job. Keep strong


Dear Maggie
I am so sorry - what an awful time - both in the way you lost him and how you are having to cope now with the antiquated system and those that work in it.

I lost my husband suddenly too - absolutely no warning and coping with the shock and grief is very hard. Sometimes I still cannot believe it and expect him to come in - and then the wave of emptiness hits. I am so sorry it is so hard to go through and some days are much darker than others. It has been just over 9 weeks for me and some days are easier to get through - but the loss still slams me against the wall when I realise that our future together is no more. And it is all about the little things.
It is awful how long term partners are treated - and the law does need to change. I was never a believer in marriage - who needs a bit of paper to hold you together. However after 37 years he persuaded me - and I am so glad I did as it has avoided all the nonsense you are going through. That bit of paper never made the slightest difference - I did not change my name and I could not tell you the date as I was determined that the last 37 years would be ruined.
I have found a lot of comfort from the kind people on this forum - and I hope you will too. No one else seems to understand.
Take care
Trisha xx

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Hi Maggie, i am so sorry for your loss and it must have been so stressful for you. I was married and so didnt have the problem that you had with the certificate, but I found the registrar very cold & clinical. I also found the fact that she cut a piece off Martins passport and his driving license right in front of me very insensitive, it was like she was saying “oh well he is not here anymore, that’s that done”. I was with my sister and she mentioned it to me the minute we stepped out of the office, so it wasn’t just me. They say time is a great healer and I am sure it will get easier with time, but I am struggling this week after Martins death in April 2018. Be kind to yourself and know that we are here for each other and know what you are going through. xx

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…from one person to another I can only offer you a ((( HUG )))…as i too cannot for the life of me understand why or how, one minute our beloved is here another minute he-she is gone, as i too lost my partner of 20 years ( we were not married either ) suddenly at home whilst sitting in his armchair of a heart blockage, 11th April, same date, 4 years ago I was diagnosed with PP-MS…
I am 68, my Richard was 74…

We are the ones now left to go through our mixture of daily emotions not forgetting the organising and paperwork, we are thrown into a nightmare an overload, no wonder we go to pieces…we are not only dealing with our loss of our beloveds but everything else too…


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