Support Decimation / Loneliness

Short version: How many people do you have that you can rely on. Everyone is alone really, how do you cope with that, especially when you live alone now due to bereavement?
Is there anything you find helps? Is it better to have shallow friends or none at all? When you have lost the one person who was your world can interactions really help you or is there no point trying?

Did you experience any friends who could not cope with your grief, how did you handle that?

Long version:

My husband and I were extremely close and did everything together. To the point that after he died I struggled practically a lot with locking the door and my key had hardly been used as he always did that. I rarely went anywhere without him. Even when I went to work he would drive me and pick me up. I loved it like that as I adore him and time I wasn’t with him felt wasted to me. Even though we’d been together almost 20 years I didn’t get bored of him and really enjoyed being with him and he still surprised me often despite spending so much time with him.

He was more social than me and even seeing my side of the family was usually arranged by him, he used to encourage me to make other friends, go on work nights out and things but I just didn’t want to.

So I didn’t have many (any) really close friends. Just my Mum, brother and Stepdad who I am really grateful for and a few friends that I’d known a long time but didn’t see really often.

Most of those few friends already abandoned me months ago when finding out that I am still not OK.

Last weekend my support bubble family fell out, they are all very upset with each other and my brother is not answering my texts anymore either (I offered he can come and stay with me since they all live together). My Mum is very upset/shaken and I don’t know how to help as I can barely help myself.

Following that I was very upset so I’d texted a person I thought was one of my very few true friends. We’d met when 16 (we are 40 now) and she was a bit of a loner but I used to stick up for her.
She suffered with loneliness during our 20s/30s and never had a partner so I had gone on short holidays with her as a favour to her, despite I would have much rathered go with my husband and I was always homesick when away.

The last 5 times or so we stayed at Festivals in the UK and then my husband came too but I slept in her camp spot with her instead of him so as to not make her feel too lonely.

Of course I did have fun with her too but I feel like I often came to her rescue, my husband offering to pick her up when she had rowed with her parents and she stayed with us or came for tea when she needed support in those kind of situations. I never needed support from her until now. I did always get the feeling she was jealous of the relationship between my husband and I and early on in my relationship with him she had a massive go at me for bringing him to a pub quiz she’d arranged (despite that I’d asked her and she said yes). She told me then to choose between him or her and I said him so she didn’t speak to me for a year.

When I told her my husband had died over the phone, I had to comfort her and be very calm to her and she was not much help to me, straight away telling me I’ll meet someone else and unhelpful things like that. She dropped off some flowers at the doorstep which she found very stressful and texted me that she had a row with my nice neighbours too as she had blocked their drive when they were trying to leave so i had to reassure her over that the first week after my husband died.
Later weeks I texted her funeral details and had a short call with her as she was worried where to park at the chapel and that kind of thing.

I next talked to her at the funeral and she caused quite a large commotion which disrupted the first 5 minutes of the 20 minute service. She also went to great pains to introduce herself to everyone as my “best friend”. I found it a bit odd but thought it was all the stress of it (she has not experienced death much and is also quite socially awkward normally) and even though her behaviour upset me as it meant everyone missed the first song of the service (and we were only allowed three) I again remained calm with her and comforted her instead of vice versa when she was stressing about it.

She did come and meet me for a walk a few times around Christmas when I was very suicidal (she didn’t know that) and sometimes that helped so I was grateful to have her. A lot of the discussion was her questioning me for evidence of her various afterlife theories however which I didn’t like so much.

A few times since she has tried to get me to join Zoom videocall events she has organised for a social group she volunteers for since she needed people to make up the numbers for puzzle games and that kind of thing but I told her several times I didn’t have the mental capacity for that at the moment with strangers. She was very insistent about this a few weeks ago as she only had three participants and asked if I could invite some more people like my brother or something and also because her sister was joining and “is constantly asking me how you are”. I didn’t join it despite all this pressure from her and I think that annoyed her.

Last week I told her that I had been truly going to kill myself earlier in the year (she asks me a lot of questions). I was also trying to explain to her how I am feeling because she had been googling bereavement forums as I thought she was trying to understand how to help me (she sent me a link laughing at a woman who didn’t change her sheets after her husband died and other insensitive things that made me feel she could just be laughing at me though).
Whilst typing to me she had also smashed her mothers 100yr old vase that belonged to her grandmother. She was also laughing about this when I was horrified and her mother was very upset. I think because she has never had someone she is really close to die she cannot put her self in her mother or my position. This is why I was trying to explain it to her as she did seem to intend to help me but just couldn’t find the right way. Then she had said if I feel like that again I should phone her, even if it’s the middle of the night.

I did feel like that after the upset with my family, I felt I hadn’t someone else I could turn to so I texted her in the middle of the night. She texted back that everyone has problems and her battery was going flat.

A few days later she texted me again and we had a light-hearted exchange not related to death/serious stuff. So maybe she thought I was finally OK (as she is often surprised I am not “better” after four months) but out of the blue she suddenly sent me a text saying she had been holding it in but she was very upset that at my 40th last year she had wanted to come and see me (despite covid meant i wouldn’t have let her in and she always said she hated driving to my place) and i had said i was having cocktails at home with my husband so we would come to her another time. Also she was annoyed that I hadn’t responded to her text asking if my new neighbour was fit a few weeks back (i found that very offensive and upsetting at the time and after two weeks explained to her again that I found her constant comments that I will meet someone else upsetting). She asked if I think “this is an acceptable way to treat a friend” and told me i had a “real nerve”!.

I sent a quite calm text back saying as I’d explained to her previously, during those two weeks I had felt like actually killing myself again and so I cut contact with anything i found upsetting (which was almost everything). I also said sometimes i felt a little like she found my grief entertaining and I do not feel she listens to me properly but just waits for a gap to tell me what she thinks I should do to “get over it” but for me it is a struggle and i wish her all the best but cannot cope with this right now.
She sent me more rants back again and said we should break friends and i said I agree and wished her the best again.

Since then she texted me a reconciliation type text but I didn’t reply (however she still also was listing more “evidence” of me being awfully annoying/boring with my grief).

I have work colleagues I speak to and during work hours (working from home) I do feel a bit better so I can see that sometimes talking with people does alleviate the deep loneliness i now have. My counsellor also suggested volunteering and i was due to go this morning but chickened out. I’m still not sure if these superficial type connections are really of value though.

I am truly lonely for the first time in my life. I do only really want my husband which of course I cannot have but except for this forum and my mum (who has so many of her own problems right now) I don’t have any people I can rely on. I know I must rely on myself but I am not sure I can. How do you do it? How to cope with loneliness?


Hi Fleur. I don’t think anything will eliminate the loneliness. I am lucky in that I have3 really good friends and one who thinks of me as her sister which is an honour. I also have lots of friends I used go meet for coffee before lockdown. But even though I love to see them I still feel there is always something missing even when with my family. My friends are always there to talk. Hour friend seems like a nightmare
I don’t know how you have coped with the things she has said to you. She does not seem to have any empathy at all. In a few weeks we will be able to meet up in the Nofth West group. I really hope you will come and share your grief with like minded people. I feel sad today. No reason.
The house feels empty and lonely. I have been thinking of Ron a lot in the past few days. It never goes away does it? Virtual hugs to you. Xx

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Hope you can make message out. Few typos.x

I wish I could put things in words like you, I am at the same stage, four months I have read your posts through the months I know we have gone through the same emotions at the same time and yes I am lonely but in a strange way. I work so the lads who I work with you would think should take away the lonlyness but no even when I am with people I am lonely, does that make sense? They are getting on with there lives as they should but I am living a life that they have no comprehension of because most are half my age as for friends I can really say I have none, I lost my best and only true friend four months ago so I think I am in a bit of a pickle, my friends now are the ones on this site who are sharing a tragic part of there lives let’s hope there is light I know there is love because I love my wife and that will never end. Please keep on writing as you have been a comfort to me

Hello FluerDeLis

Once I met my partner I didn’t bother with friends.
We basically loved each other and went everywhere together, we was very much content having each other and having our boys. Family was all we wanted.
I have my boys support, they are amazing, but they have their own lives.
I have met people over the years, but I never really got close to them, my partner was all I wanted, I was always excited to just be with him.
I now feel the need for friends more so now because I want to meet with people who are bereaved as I feel we can help each other.
I too have really bad thoughts on ending it all as I honestly cannot cope without my partner, but I’m too scared as I’d probably survive.
I don’t know how to meet people and because I’m feeling so low I don’t think I have the strength to talk.
My house was so noisey and I had a busy life and I did enjoy peace and quiet for a few hours when I got it, but now, the quiet days and nights really get to me.
Amy x

Thank you very much for the replies. It helped me getting this off my chest.

I am sorry now that I wasted some time I could have spent with my husband going with my “friend” for these short breaks. Actually I was always sorry at the time but felt I was so happy that I should try to help her when she was lonely and begging me to.
Luckily it was not that often and none for the last 7 yrs so at least that’s something. The last times my husband came too at least and on nights out we endured for her social group she leads to help her make up the numbers too. He sometimes had fun at least and he liked her and made a lot of allowances for her but thought she was a bit strange. he’s right x

I am just so stunned that she feels its OK right now to have a go at me and tell me I’m the bad friend when this is the first time in our 24 year friendship that the roles were reversed and I needed her.

@lonely Sheila what did your so called best friend do after you put the phone down on her after she made that horrible comment. Did she ever try to apologise or contact you?

Ron I hope you have some peaceful hours today.

This happened to me a friend who I had known for about 8 years and was always moaning to me about her family an I went through all her problems about her husbands health. But when I told how I wasnt coping with my husbands death (I still have his dying moments played over and over in my mind) she suddenly fell out with me. She kept telling me what I should do to get over it and told me to stop feeling sorry for myself. So I sent he an email and told her I didn’t like her telling me what to do all the time, I wasn’t nasty and she written a really nasty e mail back which shown me what a nasty person she really is. I sobbed afterwards. To sent that to someone that is grieving is wicked. Now I realise she wasn’t a friend at all. All the years I had supported her. She is terrified of losing her husband and I guess I was a constant reminder of what can happen. Now the people I see are mostly widows and know how I feel. I just think you are better off without nasty people in your life because life without your loved one beside you is really hard every day.


I hope you won’t mind me joining in this thread. I’ve never married or had a family & now at 54, I don’t expect I ever will. But I’ve experienced a lot of bereavements, uncles, aunts, cousins, former friends, exes, dad, then mum 2 & a half years ago. Don’t know if this will make any sense, but when my mum died, it felt like someone had walked out the door to my life & switched off all the lights. I’ve never felt anything like it.
I’ve never really been able to make friends easily so been a loner. What keeps me going is my faith as a Christian & my dog - Caleb. He’s a great comfort & can always tell when I’m feeling sad or missing my mum. I take him to the cemetery when I go and talk to my mum too.
I do feel sad for you all though. it must be so hard now life without your partners & friends who aren’t friends at all.
Thanks for reading all this. though.

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Hi Maggie,
It’s never easy losing loved ones.
You have endured quite a few.
Mums play a big part in our lives and leave an empty feeling when they go.
You can have many friends and close family around you but that doesn’t mean you feel very lonely at times.
Grief doesn’t have a rule book for us to follow, it’s something each individual deals within their own way.
Writing how you feel about this site makes you realise you are not alone.