Struggling to adjust to this new life.

It’s been 8 long months since I lost my wonderful husband David to blood cancer,I’m doing all the things I’m supposed to but life is so empty and hard.
I’m finding everyday chores difficult and I’m struggling to adjust to this boring new life I’ve now got, there is no relief or fun anymore I struggle to go out at weekends.
Its so different to my life with my husband,he was so loving and supportive and gave me a wonderful life it’s so lonely without him,I’ve been to my doctor and contacted cruse for more help.
Any advice from anyone who has walked this path I’m an optimist and want to live again.

Hi Lady posh

I’m sorry you have lost your David and are feeling so low. I wish I had some constructive advice to give you but I am feeling much the same. My husband Derek died 9 weeks ago and I am finding life empty and pointless and so hard without him.

I am starting counselling next week so I’m hoping this will help although I’m not expecting miracles. Have you tried contacting your nearest hospice to see if they will take you on for counselling? I understand there is a very long waiting list for Cruse. I have also joined U3A and Way Up to try and get myself out of the house and mixing with others but I have to say my hearts not really in any of it. Maybe it’s too much too soon.

If anyone else has any advice, we’d love to hear from you.

Thinking of you,
Ann x

I wish I could offer some good advice to you both but I am in the same boat. My husband died last June, and after being married to him for 66 years, my life is now totally empty. I have tried joining things but cannot raise any interest in anything. Each day seems to be lonelier than the one before. I have had six sessions with Cruse after waiting four months, and although the lady was very nice and helpful, I don’t feel any better for it. I believe the waiting time is six months now. It does give you the opportunity to talk freely about your husband, so I would go for it if I were you. I have no idea where we go from here because all I want now is to go and join my husband, which, so I am told, is normal. For the first time in my life I am taking anti depressants which help me to sleep most nights. All I can suggest is, keep posting on here when you need someone to listen. Now that my family have gone back to their busy lives and their support isn’t very much, I find this site a blessing. Warm wishes to you all. Eileen xx

Thank you Eileen. I don’t think anyone really has a magic wand to make things better. I will give counselling a go but at the end of the day, all we want is our husbands and old lives back and no amount of counselling can do that.
Like you, I find support from those I mistakenly thought would be there for me is ebbing away. It’s a lonely place to be, especially at the weekend. At least everyone on here cares.
Ann x

Hello AnnC,
I’m so sorry to hear of your loss,your words echo mine it’s so strange to carry on without having counselling at my local hospice but it doesn’t seem to be helping so I’m trying a telephone service with cruse,fingers crossed that this will help.
I’m sending you love and strength at this terrible time in your life all I can say to you is look after yourself and take a day at a time.
Thanks again

Virgo825 66 years is an amazing achievement we only managed 15 wonderful years together so I cannot imagine how your feeling,my mind and body cannot adjust to the enormous change that has happened, I still can’t believe that I will not see him again. thank you Eileen for your reply it was very helpful as it’s the first time I’ve used this service since joining.
Liz xx

Thank you Sheila for taking the time to reply ,some of the things you said are a real comfort to me,your right that you lose yourself I was so shocked that David took my whole life with him when he died I’ve been left so empty and lonely.
I will continue to get through each day and hope that I find some sort of normal again in my life.
Liz x

Hi. I wish i could have words of advice. I only lost my partner 7 weeks ago. Im still in this awful fog. I can only sympathise and let you know that on this weekend evening you are not alone. I too share thise feelings of nothing to focus on…or nothing to look foward to. Everything is a reminder. I have never experienced grief ever…I have 2 elderly frail parents and i know i have more grief ahead. My whole life has changed. I do hope that things brighten for you shortly.

Hello. I am so sad that you are going through this awful time, its like being in a fog and the loss of identity hits so hard. My husband of 30 years died 10 weeks after diagnosis and I felt as though I had been hit by a truck! No-one wanted to talk about it and I felt as though I couldn’t burden others with my feelings of helplessness and loneliness. Basically I sat on the sofa most of the day feeling numb.
In the end I just walked my dog in new places where no-one knew me and I seemed to make a new sort of social circle where all we talked about were the dogs. In the end of course personal details would emerge but I was never judged. I also found the courage to book local theatre tickets (it’s dark, no-one talks and I could look a wreck and no-one would notice). Small steps but those steps led to other things. Please don’t beat yourself up, there is no training for what you are going through.
I am 4 years down the line - I disagree, and dislike that ‘time heals’ banal saying (goodness how many times did I hear that said from well meaning people?) I think what I eventually did was adapt. My life genuinely has moved on, I have different friends, I do different things and go to different places - basically I am a different person. However, I will never ever forget how I felt. I do understand.

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Hello Lady posh, so sorry to hear about your loss. I too lost my husband to blood cancer two and a half years ago next week. He was ill for 14 months and was privileged to spend every single day with him during that time. We were married for 38 years and he was my rock and best friend so I have an understanding of what you’re going through. I think you have to accept that life is never going to be the same again and try to find the best way forward for you. I don’t think too far ahead and keep busy, I hate being in the house for too long, i do voluntary work 3 days a week but still dread coming back to an empty house. However although I still get very low at times, I think I am slowly getting used to being on my own. I talk to my husband all the time and do feel he is watching over me and giving the strength and courage to keep going. I hope that you too gradually get used to being on your own and find some peace

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This is my first post. What I have read here describes how I feel. My wonderful wife died 12th March 2018. Married 47yr. I loved her from the day I first met her and still do. My life is so empty. Nothing I want, nowhere I want to go, I just want my dear wife back and that cannot be. I am big enough, ugly enough and lived a tough enough life not to cry, yet I shed tears for her every day. Nothing I can do, they just start.
I so wish I could come up with a smart answer for the folk who posted on here as so many have described, better than I can, how I feel. Lady Posh has especially put it well.
Ever since I met my wife all I have wanted to do is make her happy. She had a heart problem and arthritis so was in a wheelchair for over 10yr. I was her full time carer and for the last 2yr had the evil illness of dementia. My every thought and act was “what can I do for her?” Now I feel I have failed. But realistically there was nothing more I could do. Life is empty, meaningless. I try to keep busy but without her life is pointless. I really don’t know how to go on each day. I can’t live one day at a time, sometimes just 30min at a time. Sorry to be on such a downer, but just how I have felt every day since she died…

Hello Blizzard and welcome to the forum.

Firstly, let me say how sorry I am that your wonderful wife has died and you are feeling so low. My own lovely husband of 40 years died at the beginning of January this year so I am not much further along this miserable road than you and hopefully I can understand some of the awful pain you are feeling at the moment, as will others here. My husband also had serious health problems and I cared for him for a long time before he died. It leaves a huge gap in your everyday life, as well as having to adjust to a whole new way of, well I won’t say ‘living’, maybe ‘existing’ would be better.

I think feeling guilty or that we have failed our other half in some way is something most of us relate to. I know I keep on thinking ‘if only I had done this’ or ‘why didn’t I do that’ but the truth probably is that we all did everything we possibly could and there was nothing more we could have done to change the outcome. Yes, life seems pointless to me as well - all I think we can do is hope that the raw pain will lessen in time, as people tell me it will. I just hope they are right.

I hope it gives you some comfort that others here are in the same boat, so keep posting when you need to.

Take care,

Thank you Ann.
We all need the impossible cure. As you say it is existence, not life without our loved one.

So sorry to hear that you are struggling and I can completely relate. My advice would be to try and see if you can do something that you enjoy yourself.Maybe something that you enjoyed and haven’t done for a while.Could be walking, reading,knitting, cooking,sport or watching TV. Give yourself time and be kind to yourself x

Thank you Sheila. I met my wife 2nd November 1965 and have loved her from that day forward. I know it is early days for me but don’t think things will ever change. I just want to be with her, so exist day by day, and yes, I look for her as well. I expect to see her sitting in the car, in her chair, in bed, I hate this existence without her. But like you, have to go on moment by moment. How can you ever recover from loosing the love of your life? I can’t move on, so exist in this awful time warp without her.

“I go on, putting one foot in front of the other” Good description Lonely. That is how life is. Not one day, not one hour, but one step at a time. I cannot manage more than that.

Thank you Sheila. Already had some of that. “You have to make a new start in life”. “Take up a new interest”, “It will get better in time”, “Do what YOU want to do”. I am 67yr I have been in love with my wife since 2nd November 1966, she was/is everything to me. My life was devoted to trying to make her happy. That is my only interest in life and the only one I want. I cannot do what I want, because I want her here and want to take care of her. You are right Sheila, it is not depression, it is grief. I have just got back from a 60 mile journey. In later years when unwell she would be sat in the back seat of the car and I would check she was okay each time I looked in the mirror. Of course today and forever now, she was not there. I do not naturally shed tears easily, But had to sit in the car outside my house till the tears eased up before I could get out of the car. Of course I am told this is early days, well I don’t want more days like it, early or not. I hate every breath I take because she is not here. Of course tell anyone that and they think I am going to leap off Tower Bridge or something, which is wrong. To deliberately end my life would be morally and spiritually wrong I believe. But that does not stop me feeling like I do not want another tomorrow. No Sheila, I would not wish this grief on anyone either.
I do hope you are coping better than I at this moment.
Dave (aka Blizzard) X

“Nightmare”, Yes Sheila that is it. There I times I think I will wake up and my lovely wife will say to me, “what have you been dreaming about, shouting in your sleep?” This nightmare will be over and she will be back. Then I can try even harder to take care of her. But I know that will not happen. Learning what grief is has become the hardest lesson in my far from easy life. We used to laugh and joke all the time. Now nothing is funny, nothing is amusing, in fact nothing matters any more, because without her I do not care about anything. I am so sorry to read of you Sheila, and other folk, in the same situation as I. At first I thought it was just me going insane? Maybe it is, going insane with grief.

this is such a recent loss, so raw. I lost both parents, my mother less than two years ago. I grieve them so but I know that my loss, like yours, was so enormous so life cannot be the great thing it was … at least not for a time.

I cared for my mom who finally was bedridden and my father before that. it was a lot of work but I would rather go through it again any day than the empty isolation of life now. but I cannot. those days are gone.

this is board is for those grief-struck so be a downer all that you like.

being caregivers means life does become empty because our role has ended without there being a replacement role. grief counseling helped me a lot. being in a room with 20 other people who were in the exact same emotional pain as I, was very helpful.

because in this early time of grief, you are almost on another planet where only the grieving live. and sometimes having the luxury of isolation can protect you while you go through such a painful process.

In time the nightmare will begin to ease - never go away completely - however I believe you can befriend the grief so that you can manage a life of some meaning. I thought I was doing rather well until I hit the 18 months and then an overwhelming sadness hit me. I am just beginning to come through that dark period of the past couple of months and move forwards again. I try not to worry about the future too much - just work through each day and some days are good days and others not so good. Each one I do remind myself how much I love Ronald, what an amazing life we shared and that he is no longer suffering with his illnesses.
I hope you will begin to find some comfort in each day knowing what a wonderful wife and love story yours was and that will be able to sustain you.
Take care of yourself.

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