Struggling to cope

Hi everyone. I’m new to this group but I’m really struggling and I don’t know which way to turn. My husband of 24 years was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2020 and by March 2021 he was gone! I think I’m still in shock but I cannot see any reason for living now that I’m on my own. I’ve never ever lived on my own and at 71 years old, it’s a total shock and I hate it. Every day I wake up and the first thing I think of is him and the pain starts. All day I’m missing him around the house and when I go to bed I’m crying for him. I do try and have a social life and I have got some lovely friends but I spend so much time alone and it’s so depressing. How on earth can I come to terms with this and find a reason for living. The way I’m thinking at the moment is that all I have to look forward to is getting old, ill, vulnerable and dying alone or in a hospital bed! We used to have the most amazing holidays every year to countries far an wide. I’ll never go on holiday again. That’s really killing me.I can’t face doing a solo holiday. I think his absence would be too strongly felt. I’m a wreck. Plain and simple.


I relate to everything you say…I am having councelling but things are getting worse not better…I keep searching for a glimmer of optimism…but not found it yet…sending love your way :heavy_heart_exclamation:


@Bev562 & @UnityMan so sorry for your loss. I too can relate with everything that was said. I’m only 5 weeks on this journey but reading posts like @Bev562 makes me wonder if I’ll ever feel normal again. We too travelled a lot and the thought of not travelling depresses me but equally I can’t imagine travelling without my husband/soul mate.


Thank you so much. It helps to know people understand. Equally I’m so sorry for your loss. I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy.


Thank you Jan. It’s so hard isn’t it.


@UnityMan @Jan17 @Bev562 thank you so much for all your comments. I can totally relate to how you feel. My husband died in April 21 and I too feel in shock. I’m not living I’m existing and the anxiety takes over. It’s awful being alone and not having that person to simply do nothing with and talk to about absolutely nothing. I find the anxiety and the loneliness the hardest to deal with. Sending hugs x


I agree with every word you’ve said Nel and I feel exactly the same. The price we pay for love! Sending love to you. X


@Bev562 @UnityMan @Jan17 & @Nel

Sending my love to you all with what you are dealing with. I feel so lucky that I still have my daughter with a learning disability living at home with me as I am hardly ever alone. Of course that doesn’t stop me missing Richard all the time but I at least have a reason to do things as she needs a lot of input from me to become as independent as possible. I also have his farmland to look after as well as house and garden.

As I have said in other posts, I think we all need a purpose in life. Mine has been thrust upon me which made it easier I believe, but maybe it’s worth taking ideas from others on here who have started new things to create purpose.
I think I’m right that it’s either @bussteve1 or @JustSomeBloke who now volunteers at a food bank. Sorry not to remember but my brain is a bit dull today as I have a migraine.

Karen xxx


I am so sorry for your loss.
I too lost my husband to pancreatic cancer and that’s an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Nursing him 24/7 for 5 months and being a full time carer for my mum with Alzheimer’s has exhausted and drained me. I now need quiet reflection time and a break.
I had only retired 6 months earlier and we should have been starting a long awaited holiday to Australia, New Zealand and Japan the day of his funeral.
Almost 3 months on, the day we should have been arriving back home from Japan, the hospice he died in held a 40th anniversary memorial event and the gardens were full of ceramic flowers. In their memorial garden the cherry blossom tree was in full bloom :cherry_blossom: and I had the most wonderful uplifting feeling of him being there with me and giving me the strength and hope to go on​:sparkles::dizzy:.
Just 3-6 months ago, I couldn’t imagine leaving home at times, let alone the country, especially on my own, ever again.
However, I went to our travel agent and just booked my first solo holiday in over 40 years!
Brave/stupid/crazy or whatever - I don’t know - but I will find out later next month (it would have been our 34th wedding anniversary).
I couldn’t face to go anywhere we’d been together at this stage - but have decided to fulfil one of our bucket list trips to Canada and Alaska we’d been planning for our 30th anniversary but Covid cancelled twice.
Last year we had a magical week celebrating our anniversary In Norway and I just feel I want to be in my own, somewhere surrounded by epic scenery and in places that we’d dreamed of. The worst thing that can happen is that I can lock myself away in my cabin. On the train I don’t know anyone so can just sit quietly, look out the window and soak up the scenery and reflect what Richard would be be thinking. It’s an escorted tour (I’ve never done that before) so there’s someone I can ask if needed as my husband was always my tour guide and holiday organiser.
When we had to cancel all our planned retirement travel for this year, the travel agent has been very helpful and supportive and helped me re-book our cruise to Japan next Spring which I’m taking my sister on (she had a significant birthday in March but I was in no mood or position to celebrate or share with her then). I had to use the cruise credit within a year - so that spurred me on too to make some bold decisions and start thinking about writing the next chapter.
Yesterday, it was also my stepson’s birthday and I booked to our favourite restaurant with our daughter in law and godson. I was dreading that too as it has so many special memories for me and my darling husband, and we should have been there for his birthday and New Year in December but couldn’t due to his illness. As it turned out, it was a lovely day of very mixed emotions but I’m so glad I did it. The chef patron was so lovely to me and remembered my husband and sat us at his chef’s table.
I’m still taking it a day at a time but I don’t want to lose my confidence and trying hard to push myself to keep his memory alive doing the things we both loved so much.
I would give anything to have my beloved Richard back doing these things with me, but I am starting to believe and feel I’m able to at least start braving these things alone with the love and support of my family and friends.
I’m sure I will have face my fears and those inevitable meltdown moments and dark days and years ahead, but just feel I have to try to keep his memory alive and not crumble.
Tom Jones wrote a wonderful song when his wife died of cancer ‘I won’t crumble with you if you fall’.
We played that at my husbands funeral and I use that as inspiration and hope, knowing I did my best for him when he was alive, but there was nothing else I could have done against that horrendous disease :broken_heart::cry:


@Alison61 that was a very moving post. I’m glad you are finding the strength to continue to do the things you both loved. I can’t imagine ever being able to but your post gives me hope. Take care.


@Alison61 Oh my goodness, what an inspirational woman you are! My eyes are streaming with tears and I wish you the best of everything as you move forward. You are one brave lady and I am in awe. I’ve always been anxious and insecure, so I know I will never be able to achieve anything like that. But I hope you can hear me cheering you on! Thank you so much for telling us your story. Enjoy Canada and Alaska. I visited Canada a long time ago and the lakes and Rockies are a sight for sore eyes. I shed more than a few tears of joy and wonderment whilst I was there with my darling husband.


@Bev562 @Jan17
Thank you so much for your kind words and support. That means a lot. I’m stepping into the unknown but the time just feels right for me.
Still taking it a day (sometimes hour) at a time but the more I try, the more I have the opportunity to smile again (especially spending more time with my little grandson). I will always be grateful and blessed with the long and quality time we had together.
Reading so many moving stories of this forum, I appreciate we did have so many good times - it breaks my heart to hear such sad stories about loss so young, tragic stories of instant and unexpected loss and those who shared an entire lifetime together.
There is never a good time to lose anyone important in your life and I thought it was bad when I lost my dad to MND 14 years ago, but nothing prepares you from the loss of the love of your life and soulmate :broken_heart::cry:
I wish you all strength, comfort, hope and peace in your grief xx


Hi Bev, I feel your pain and yes life doesn’t seem like we are living anymore. It is so sad we feel this way and so hard to carry on some days but we have to and hope the pain will get easier and we will see a light at the end of this dark and lonely tunnel. Keep strong and try and keep busy, I go for a walk most days and this helps me get through the days, friends help but nobody understands until they walk in our paths. Take care and think of the good times x


This is the worst thing for me too. Anxiety all the time.

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