It has been 11 months since I lost my husband and sole mate. It seems to becoming harder each day. My daughter lost her mother-in-law recently and I was quite attached to her. It has been a very sad time, it was her funeral yesterday.
I didn’t go to the funeral because it was the same crematorium that my husband was taken to and it was the same minister who took the service. I went to the wake though I needed to show that I really cared for her myself.
I feel quite lost without him. I keep being told that it will get easier but I cannot see this happening. I keep saying to myself I have to pull myself together but it isn’t working. I just want to be able to enjoy my memories of us together without feeling so dreadful.

Hello Gran68
I lost my Husband a day after my 51st birthday, October 6th. It was expected but in the end very sudden. One minute I worry I am not grieving enough, the next I am in excruciating pain. I see my pain getting much worse as time goes on. Like you, I want to be able to enjoy my memories without being in pain and really don’t know how to get to this. Your particular pain is compounded by another bereavement and this must add to the torment. We were just two people living in quiet harmony but then heart disease snook in and showed us it wasn’t to be messed with. I really do empathise with the loss of your Husband and hope you get through each day in one piece.

Hi there Tina I am sorry to hear of your sadness.I don’t think even though the death was expected in our minds we don’t really think it is going to happen. I remember the conversations that we had about the possibility of it happening but when it does happen we can’t believe it. Although he had cancer it didn’t seem that bad til it went to his liver and by that time there wasn’t a lot that could be done.i know that people say it will get easier with time but to me it seems harder now than when it happened. I just miss him so much it almost physically hurts.

Hello Gran68. 48 years marriage is such a wonderful gift and you must have a huge treasure chest of memories. That doesn’t dim the pain of losing your lovely Husband in anyway though, I cant speak from experience of a long marriage myself, just 15 years and a few months. You are right when you say although the sad parting was expected it still seemed too far in the future - definitely not in the here and now. When my Husband was told he had heart failure I looked it up online and found out life expectancy was about 4 years. I was devastated but thought I could live with that if I had to but then within 10 months he couldn’t be saved. It feels harder to me too as time is passing. It does physically hurt like you say, like you have a tonne boulder resting on your chest. I couldn’t even watch the ‘soaps’ for a while after, Dennis loved Emmerdale and Coronation Street and I couldn’t even bear to hear the sound of them starting. Its the opportunities and anticipation of life I grieve for him for. He wasn’t a worldly man and had simple pleasures that would light his face up. I hope you are getting through the day as well as can possibly be hoped.

Hello Gran68, I am sorry for your loss. I can completely sympathise with the sense that this gets harder rather than easier. My husband died last October, also from cancer. He was very reluctant to discuss his illness until a week before he died when his organs began to fail. It was a horrible time watching him going. We had known each other for 36 years and were married for 30. Having struggled through the first year, I feel I am going into freefall - uninterested in anything, tired all the time and suffering a total loss of confidence. It is a real effort to get up in the morning. Likewise, I miss my husband so much just writing this has me in tears. I do hope that life gets a little easier for you.

Hi Suzie. Thank you for your message, only someone who has been in our position can appreciate what we are going through. My husband and I did discuss his illness and what the outcome would probably be, but talking about it didn’t really help. It is only when he was gone that I felt numb and it doesn’t seem real. I have so many regrets about the things that we never got around to doing some of our plans. I also wish I had made the most of the times we had together.
I know we have to move on but it does seem wrong to be living normally without him. So many things that I regret not saying or doing that I cannot see how these hurts and feelings could get any easier.

Dear Gran68, I think it is completely understandable that you are feeling numb and have a sense of unreality about your loss. I have found that as the first anniversary has come about I am slightly less consumed by thoughts of my husband (i.e. I do not think about him 24/7 as I did in the months after he died), but that when I do think about him, it almost hurts more. I, too, have regrets about the things we did not manage to do. I think we both thought that once I had retired, we would have time to do more. What I am trying to keep in mind is that we had some wonderful holidays together and for that I am so grateful. We had 2 lovely sons who are healthy and for the most part happy. Life is never going to be perfect and I am just trying to focus on what we did manage to achieve. Regrets and guilt are a very normal part of the grieving process - I feel the same, though. What could I have done better and the wish that I could retract some of the less kind things I said. We will never stop mourning the loss of those we loved and especially our life partner.
However, moving on is not something we should be feeling bad about. It is inevitable that life after bereavement will happen and that as time goes on you will form a new life. I hope this doesn’t sound callous, it is not meant to. I have terrible down days, too, when I simply cannot believe what has happened. I try to keep busy by playing tennis 4 days a week and I keep up with my friends who have been very supportive over the past year. Are you being supported by your friends and family? I hope so.
My best wishes, Suzie

Hello Gran68 and Suzie

I hope you don’t mind me joining your conversation at this point but what you have both said about regrets hits home with me. Helen, my wife, died 10 weeks ago from lung cancer that was diagnosed in March this year, and I too regret that Helen and I did not get round to doing any number of things and planning others, and not making the most of our time together. As well as the fact that I should have done some things better, there were apologies I needed to make and there were wrongs to atone for. Worst of all I wonder whether Helen really did know I loved her at the end. I know I will always have these regrets and thoughts but would our loved ones’ want us to carry on feeling so wretched? The good things we did have can never be taken from us.I know my wife loved me as your loved ones loved you, there is comfort in that and perhaps they forgive us when we cannot forgive ourselves. Thinking of you both, kind regards.


Hello Alan

Welcome to the conversation. I am sorry to hear of your loss. 10 weeks is so recent, you must still be suffering from the shock of losing Helen. Regrets, guilt and all the other negative feelings must be overwhelming at the moment. I certainly felt that after my husband died. I am beginning to understand that it is normal: things we didn’t say or do, simply because we can’t believe that we are mortal and I am not sure that it is possible to really believe that someone is going to die, as we protect ourselves by being in denial - I certainly did!

A year on, I am taking the view that I cannot change the past. I was far from perfect, but neither of us were. Like most married couples we had our disagreements and said unkind words to each other - which of course I now regret, but the fault is generally on both sides. I hang on to the good times and that is beginning to push the negative stuff into the background.

Did you tell Helen that you loved her? If not, were you able to show her that you did?

Let me know

Best wishes

Hi Alan. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, I think at your stage that it doesn’t seem real and probable the best time. You are numb and still expect to see them and it is still possible to you that it could be possible.
I am sorry to say that it becomes real after a while and you have to accept that they are not coming back.
Even though my husband had cancer for ten years and we talked about him passing you really don’t appreciate how hard it is going to be.
It is coming up to 1 year on 10th December, and it is very hard to contemplate the rest of my life without him, but I have to and I don’t look forward to it at all

Hello Suzie

Yes I did tell Helen that I love her and I hope she really felt it despite the times I just turned off in denial, especially when I was really tired and didn’t realise it - I am horrible when I am really tired and don’t realise it!

I can’t think how I will feel a year on but in an earlier post you spoke about focusing on what you and your husband achieved. When I think of such achievements I realise what a lot there is to be thankful for. We too had some great holidays, especially in our secondhand motorhome, we managed to pay off our mortgage 16 months ago despite starting off broke in a bedsit in Battersea (it wasn’t upmarket when we were living there), and perhaps best of all, our son, Luke, is a credit to his mum. That’s quite cheered me up, thank you.

Thinking of you and take care.


Hello Alan and Gran68

I am so glad to hear that you were able to tell Helen that you loved her. She will have known that you meant it. Looking after someone who is dying is enormously stressful. I don’t know about you, but my very independent husband had to cope with me dealing with his every need, which must have been horrible for him. He said to me “How can you bear to do this?” I just said, “because I love you”.

One’s children are such a blessing, so it is good to know that you have Luke and that, hopefully, you are able to support each other through this horrible time - you will both have your ghastly moments, inevitably.

You have lived what sounds like a good life with Helen and that is a blessing, also. Remember the good times when the time feels right.

Best wishes

Hi, I’m sorry to hear of your losses. I lost my husband Derek in 2013 after a long illness. I thought I had coped well until a few weeks ago. I moved house, and all the grief of losing him, has returned home in fact it’s worse. At the moment I just can’t see an end to my grief and loneliness, I’ve even considered ending it all. Hopefully we will get our lives back, but it will never be the same.


I’m sorry to hear you have considered ending it all. I’m glad that you’ve been able to talk about how you’re feeling here. There is lots of other support out there, and I would really encourage you to reach out and speak to someone about how you are feeling.

The Samaritans are always there 24/7 if you need to talk about anything that’s bothering you (116 123, or

You can also make an appointment with your GP and ask to be referred to counselling or other support services in your area.

You could also contactCruse Bereavement on 0808 808 1677 or

You deserve care and support so please, Shepherd, get in touch with one of these services.

If you are at risk of harming yourself, please call 999, go to A&E or contact your GP for an emergency appointment immediately.

Hi Shepherd

So sorry to hear that the grief has returned worse. Although I lost Helen, my wife, only 11 weeks ago I find that life is sometimes one step forward and two back - if it is two forward and only one back I instantly feel guilty. But I don’t think Helen would want me going on feeling the grief and loss that I do and, forgive the presumption, I don’t think your Derek would want you to either. What I hold on to is what Helen and I had together, that cannot be lost, ever.

One of the things I am finding particularly difficult was the intrusion of the NHS and the carer role between the personal relationship Helen and I had. This only happened over a relatively brief period of 6 months and this is not a complaint about the NHS itself, but you had a carer role for a long time - it may be taking longer than you could imagine to find yourself again.

This is a journey none of us intended to take and we all need help along the way, there will be people on this site with very similar experiences to yours and I am sure they will post in. Take care, with best wishes, Alan

Hi Alan,
Thanks for your reply, yes I was Derek’s carer for over 7 years and maybe that did take a lot out of me, as I tried to stay brave for him.

I no he would be very mad with me, as he was such a strong person, never complained once.

Hopefully I will find myself again soon. Take care with best wishes Shepherd.