Struggling to remember the good times

My husband died on Christmas Day relatively suddenly. We knew that his cancer was incurable but he had, on the whole, been quite well until the end. We have a small daughter and, the combined stress of dealing with his diagnosis and looking after a child, meant that we weren’t always as nice to each other as we could have been. We were together for 12 years and had a good relationship but all I can think of now is the times that I snapped at him or wasn’t nice enough to him. Does this ever end?!

Hi MrsMC,

Welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your husband on Christmas Day and the difficult memories that keep coming back to you at the moment.

Every couple has arguments or times when they don’t get along so well, particularly at stressful times. It sounds as though you had a lot of good times, but those memories aren’t coming to the forefront as much at the moment?

Guilt is a really common part of grieving, so I wonder if perhaps this is how you are feeling at the moment? Some other bereaved wives and husbands have been talking about feelings of guilt on this site recently.

I’m glad that you’ve found this site, as it is a place where you can be honest about what you are feeling, and where others will understand. You might want to check out this recent conversation started by And6315, who lost her husband shortly before you did:

How is your daughter getting along? I expect it is really tough looking after her on your own as well as grieving? Do you have anyone to support you?

Hello Priscilla, and thank you for your message. I am fortunate in that I have a lot of support from nearby family and friends, but yes, I do feel a guilty a lot of the time. We were so determined to keep life as normal as possible whilst we could but now I worry that I didn’t make enough allowances and that maybe he felt alone as he was being so brave for me in not really talking about his prognosis.

It sounds as though you did what felt right to you as a family at the time. Many of our members say that the feelings of guilt do ease but that it takes time.

It’s good that your family and friends are there for you. Sometimes it can also help to talk to others who are going through the same experiences. I do recommend reading and maybe replying to some of the other conversations on this site for support.

Did your husband get any care through a hospice? It’s worth remembering that most of them will offer bereavement support (all the Sue Ryder ones do).

Hello, the guilt you feel now would still be there even if his passing was perfect and you never said a bad word to each other, its just part of the grieving process.
Denial is our best friend when we are confronted with and have to deal with the situation in front of us. Once the denial has gone and we are now confronted with reality. You can not change anything that has happened and now is the time we go over all the has happened and beat ourselves up over things beyond our control.
Your mind is in a state of should have, would have, could have. This stage passes when we start to focus on the good things they brought in to our lives and making proper plans for the future.
We could have all done things differently, but we are human and need to give our selves a pat on the back sometimes. We have just been through a very tough journey ourselves and this is just part of the jetlag of grief.
Sending positive vibes.

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This is really very helpful, thank you

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