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

Dear Lady Posh, I am so terribly sorry for what you are going through and I honestly wish I could tell you that it will get better but it is just over three years since my beloved husband, we had been married 47 years, died and I still grieve, cry and miss him more than words can say.

You just have to get out of bed each morning and try and get through each day the best way you can. I have joined clubs but they were not for me. Up until my Peter died I was a fun loving person, loved to get dressed up and go out with my husband, I was so confident but since I have lost him I have also lost myself.

I found that if I made a list of things that needed doing the night before, ironing, washing, gardening, cleaning etc. I had something to do when I got out of bed, otherwise I would have just sat listening to our music.

If I needed to go out the day after, I got all my clothes out the night before, underwear, shoes everything, because I knew for a fact that if they were not hanging up waiting for me to get ready, I would not go out.

The only thing we have to do is get through one day at a time. I found our grown children, now in their late 40’s, have moved on and expect me to do the same, I don’t have any other family, they died years ago, I have grandchildren but I am not part of their lives very much as I only see them every few weeks for a couple of hours when our sons bring them to visit me. They will soon be getting to an age when they will want to go out with their friends at the week-end and not visit their grandma, which I understand perfectly, they are at school during the week so want weekends to have fun.

I used to be the most positive person you would ever wish to meet, but I now find I question every little thing I do because my mind is not on the job I am doing, I seem to have lost my concentration.

I know there are many people who get on with their lives but | am not one of them. All my friends my age are still married, and I get fed up of hearing them boast about their holidays and what they and their husband did, I know what they and their husbands did because my husband and I used to do the same. One day they will realise what it means to become a widow/widower and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

Not only do you lose you husband/wife, you lose yourself as they take half of you with them when they go and you never get to feel whole again .

I and many others on this forum know exactly what you are going through and we are always here if you need to talk.

Please take care.

Sheila xxxx

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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

Hello Liz and thank you for replying. Our sons took me out for mother’s day today and we went to a restaurant where Peter and myself used to go from first being married in 1967. It has changed hands time and time again but it is the same as it has always been. We walked in and I felt myself filling up with tears as it was like yesterday when we last went there when in fact it must have been 10 years ago, just before he started being ill. One of our son’s took one look at me and said, '‘oh mum, I am so sorry, I never thought it would upset you because we had so many happy memories coming here over the years when we were young kids’, I said that is what has upset me and I don’t think I will ever get over going to places we all used to visit without tears in my eyes.

That is what it is like and always will be like hearing and seeing things you always heard and saw together when you were in love and thought you had the world at your feet. You can walk into a store and they will start playing a song and it is like a knife stabbing you in the heart. The hardest part is trying not to cry.

You are not alone in this, whether it be 2 years or 70 years together, we have all lost someone we loved deeply and only time will tell how well we cope, if in fact we do cope, with the devastation that we are left with.

Take care Liz.

We are all here for you.

Sheila xx

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

Dear Blizzard, I am so terribly sorry, but there is not much I can say that will make things any better. I too am just existing since I lost my beloved husband of 47 years nearly four years ago. The pain is still there and the future is no future without him.

My husband was ill for eight years, slowly getting worse until the last three years of his life when I became his 24/7 carer, he refused help from any other source as he only wanted me.

Never, ever think you have failed because you have not, being a loved one’s carer is the most loving thing you can do for them, you ensured they were looked after and loved. My husband had a dread of going into a care home, but I made him a promise that would never happen and it didn’t. Many people have to go into care homes because their loved ones cannot give them the care and attention they so deserve for one reason or another, but I was lucky enough to be able to do that one last thing for my husband who had loved and taken care of me from the moment we met in 1964.

Life is no life, it is now just a long, long journey on my own, nothing can make it better so I go on, putting one foot in front of the other. After four years of being on my own
I have still not accepted he has gone and is never coming back, I still expect him to be sitting on the sofa when I go into the room, I still expect to hear him shout, put the kettle on love. When I go upstairs, I look into the bedroom we shared and expect to see him sitting on the side of the bed waiting for me to come to bed and it hurts so much, because the young boy I met and fell in love with when he was 18 is no longer here…

People are different and as time moves on some people learn to accept it and start to live again, but other people like myself in their mid 70’s, know that life as it is now will never get any better so we try to live with the way things are as we know we cannot do a thing about it.

Please take care, you are not alone and everyone on this website are here to talk to whenever you want.

Sheila 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.

Dear Blizzard, You will, sooner or later, have friends and family who will tell you it is time to move on. It is like a slap in the face. How can you move on when the one person you have loved for most of your life dies and leaves you with just photograph’s
and memories of your lives together.

You, like myself, met your partner in the sixties, when romance was still romance, when you courted each other and the man turned up with a bunch of flowers or chocolates in his hand when you met at your favourite meeting place, or when he came to your home where you lived with your mum and dad, then you would go to the pictures, or a long walk on a lovely summer’s evening knowing you were with the one person you were going to spend the rest of your life with.

I just want those days back, my heart aches thinking about it.

At funeral’s, they display a photo of the person that has died. At my husband’s funeral, our sons displayed one of my husband and myself, arms around each other. I said it should be one of your dad on his own, but they said, mum, that is how you always were, together, you were never apart and to show a photo of our dad on his own would not be right.

They say that there comes a time when you will go a day without thinking of the person you have lost, I will let you know when that time comes, but after nearly four years it has not happened to me yet. So called friends who still have their partner’s, have told me I may be depressed, I am not depressed I am just grieving for the man I love, yes love because I still love him more than life itself and until this happens to them they do not have a damned clue as to how I am feeling.

Please look after yourself I would not wish what we are going through on my worst enemy.

Sheila x

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