Still grieving after four years.

I have been reading all these heartbreaking posts on this forum and it brings tears to my eyes because just over three years ago my beloved husband of 47 years died and I I got through the days, weeks, months and then years day by day, it was a struggle, it still is a struggle, how on earth can you ever ‘get over it or even come to terms with it’ when you spent most of your lives together, it still feels as though half of me is missing. We were little more than children when we met in 1964 and it was love at first sight, we were everything to each other, never apart unless we were working.

This week-end was my 75th birthday, my fourth birthday without my husband. Our family took me out for a meal but it emphasises the fact that there is always someone missing. They have now got on with their lives, marriage, babies, new homes, all exciting for them and I am happy they are happy, but it upsets me that my husband is missing out on everything because he was a hands on dad, always there to help them out, their 'phone calls to him asking him to do something for them or talking about a football match.

Yes I go out with friends who still have their husbands. I get dressed up, smile until my face aches then go back to an empty house, it is the home we shared for most of our married lives and this is where I find comfort, being amongst his books, records, photos etc. I left them all in the cabinets he always kept them in and our sons will sort them out when I am no longer here.

Our sons ask me why I have not changed the pictures on the walls when I decorated, I tell them their dad and I chose them together over the years and he hung them all up and it makes me smile when I think of the trouble we had getting them to hang straight.
The lovely thing is that before he became ill we went to a store and bought coloured emulsion paint, wallpaper and borders to decorate the rooms but when he became ill, they never got done. I decided a few months after he died, to get in a decorator and he decorated the rooms with the paint and wallpaper we had chosen together 10 years before.

I will never leave my home whilst I am fit and well, our sons are now in their late 40’s and tell me, even though they have had their own homes for many years, they love to visit me in the home they grew up in all those years ago, so many wonderful memories for them, they love to read his books as he was a lover of different types of transport and his books go back to the 1940’s.

We will never, ever get over losing the loves of our lives but somehow we manage to plod on, goodness knows how, but we do, but it is a long journey that we are on and we will never stop missing them until the day we are with them again.

I am thinking of all you bereaved people on this forum, especially the newly bereaved because I would not wish this nightmare on my worst enemy.

Sending you all lots of love.

Sheila xxxx

Dear Lonely;
What you write is exactly right - I don’t believe we can ever “get over it”. My husband of 42 years died from lymphoma getting on for 5 years ago and I still miss him every day. He was everything to me and we were totally “interdependent”; I am sure it would have been just as difficult for him as it is for me.
The day before yesterday my budgie died - in the past it would have been Cliff who would have taken her to the vet and sorted out all the details; and although my daughter accompanied me I desperately felt the need to have Cliff be there with me.
You are right about birthdays being hard (I am now 69) but my most hated dates are Christmas and our wedding anniversary.
I cope by being busy and am blessed with good health and lots of energy. And although I recently moved house to be nearer to my daughter; like you, I still have all the photographs up on the wall and on the sideboard. I still sleep in the bed we shared and it is my hope that I will be allowed to die in that bed.
Despite what people say I agree with you that grief never goes away if you really loved someone.
With great understanding - Annette P

Dear Annette, I am so sorry for what you are going through, for what we are all going through and no, I do not think, when you have loved someone for most of your life that you can ever get over it, it is impossible, what we do is try and live with it.
The tears still come so easily, the past is always on your mind, I seem to live in the past more than the present and the future is not worth even looking forward to.

Our fourth grandchild was born on Friday and for the first time in just over three years I felt a warm feeling in my body when I held him, I have been a frozen piece of ice since Peter died and yes I love my family to bits but they have their own lives and don’t need me anymore so I don’t see too much of them, I still have them sleep over at the week-ends when their parents are going out somewhere, but this new little piece of love made me feel things I have not felt for a few years, they told me they had called him Alfie Peter, they named him after my late husband and I sobbed my heart out because he would never meet him or know he was named after him, Peter would be so proud. What our sons Mark and John didn’t realise that the baby’s first name was the same as their great granddad’s, my granddad Alf, he was called Alfred but Alf for short.

I think once the weather gets better and I can get into the garden I will feel better, this winter has been all about rain, snow and winds, I don’t mind the rain but when it is windy as well I don’t go out.

I am so happy for you with your new little baby Alsation, we have had German Shepherds all our married lives and when Barney died last July I decided, as I cannot drive, it would be impossible for me to get him to our nearest vets if he was taken ill especially when the pet taxis are unavailable so I decided against any more. It is so strange, being in the home you have lived in for over 45 years and your husband, chldren and pets are no longer with you and all you are left with are your memories. I also remember taking our Lovebird to the vets to be put to sleep, I cried my eyes out, even something so small can give you so much love.

I too am lucky with my health, apart from my dry eyes and dry mouth problem which caused corneal ulcers and my teeth to drop out (Sjogrens syndrome) I am okay and still get dressed up when I go out. I think it did me a favour as my new dentures are wonderful, even friends of my age are jealous of my lovely perfect teeth, the trouble is I have now put weight on because I can eat anything so will have to go on a diet.

Take care and I hope your new little friend brings you many, many years of love.

Love Sheila xxx