Surprising Triggers

After my partner passed (nearly a year ago now) there’s one song that has the ability to stop me in my tracks and reduce me to a complete wreck. And the surprising thing is that it isn’t one of ‘our songs’ but rather a new one that took on special significance since his passing.

I’m currently sat in his garden on a warm balmy afternoon enjoying a beer, as we often did, looking at a mass of colours on different plants. The radio is playing in the background and the DJ plays Pet Shop Boys - Go West.

We moved west, it was going to be our retirement move. A time when we had the space to share more adventures and be with each other in a fabulous place. Life would be peaceful there and we could relax and be ourselves

And then, before we’d really had chance to enjoy this move, and the house and garden and being close to family it all changed. The lyrics of the song pull me every time and remind me of what should have been and never really came to fruition.

As yet I’ve never been caught by hearing this song in a public place. But it’s probably not the kind of reaction that people might expect. Not sure what will happen if that ever occurs.


Hi @Wisteria,
Sending hugs of support. I have moments like that to, the lyrics of some songs just seem to carry a personal message because of things we’ve been through, or personal circumstances, it can be heartbreaking. One that speaks to me like this is Bowling for soup singing Turbulence, another is Taylor Swift - soon you’ll get better, this one came our the same year my mom was diagnosed with cancer, terminal, it felt ironic at the time because we all knew she never would get better.
Grief can be harsh, & sadly part of it is things that make us aware of the empty spaces, the memories we’ll now never have, the plans we were looking forward to, but I’m sure our loved ones are there in spirit, & will always be in our hearts :heart:.


Hi , a new advert just been on TV . A cancer advert . On how it is saving lives. It showed a radiation mask . I still have my husband’s , he was so happy to bring it home after his treatment finished. So full of hope .so looking forward to his future. WHY O WHY couldn’t he be saved, WHY our life together cut short
WHY US . I guess I should of know it would be a trigger,but just didn’t realise how much .I hate this lonely life without him .xtake carex


@Wisteria I can totally relate to that Music was a passion myself &my partner shared-every friday night we had music night-we’d put YouTube on the tv &take it in turns to pick songs.There are so many songs that remind me of him,songs that were “our tunes”&certain songs that i can never listen to again.I have found one Album in particular that is really getting me through this dark time-i listen to it daily,its Tom Grennan "What ifs &Maybes"every song is amazing but 2 songs in particular really resonate strongly with me at the moment -“Here” &"You are not alone"we both loved him &one of the last things we watched together was Tom performing at Glastonbury.I am now planning to go see him live next year-my partner &i had planned to go together but now i will go on my own.Music is so powerful & can be therapeutic&heartbreaking but i for one couldn’t live life without it.Take care of yourself.Sending love &hugs from one broken soul to another xx


@Wisteria It is coming up to a year since my Chris died and music is definitely a big trigger, but like you not necessarily songs which were “ours”

I have found comfort and strength from music. Sadly I am not yet strong enough to play my instruments again so listening has soothed my soul for now.

I was streaming a songlist on the internet and Blackbird by Alter Bridge brought me to my knees. This part in particular really hit me:

"Let the wind carry you home
Blackbird, fly away
May you never be broken again
Beyond the suffering you’ve known
I hope you find your way
May you never be broken again

Ascend, may you find no resistance
Know that you made such a difference
And all you leave behind will live to the end
The cycle of suffering goes on
But the memories of you stay strong
Someday I too will fly and find you again"

Sending you thoughts of comfort and peace. Rachael x


I recall a few months ago the local TV news ran an article directly from the ICU where my partner spent the last week of his life. The sounds of the machines brought that week hurtling back to me and hit me as though I’d been winded by a punch.

Like you say, so totally unexpected.


Hi, that must of been terrible for you, It seems the triggers are just waiting to get to us . Sort of targeting us , or it could be just this broken brain that doesn’t seem as if it wants to help me . I explained it to a dear friend on this site how it made me feel . It’s like I’m on a snakes and ladders board ,slowly climbing up the ladders , then some trigger gets to me and I’m falling down the snake ,sometimes it’s so bad ,that the ladders have no rungs and the snakes are crushing me ,taking all my breath away . Also it’s like being on a dodgem car ( bumper car) and managing to keep away from other cars , then bang I’m caught of guard and go crashing down into a dark pit of despair. It takes such a lot of energy to climb out of that pit , and try again to ( live) this lonely ( life) . But I suppose that’s all we can do keep on trying . All xtake carex


The song that always gets me is Endless love duet with Lionel Richie andDiana ross listen if you dare miss my wife so much has me in tears every time best duet ever take care xx


After the Sue Ryder Nurse told us that Mum would have months possibly weeks left a few days later I was in my bedroom and on the radio three songs of a 1990s vintage came on and I wept and howled as those difficult days of youth suddenly felt carefree. I looked in the mirror and wondered how all this crying could make me so ugly.

Months later I’m in a hotel room playing to my partner The Beatles album Rubber Soul on YouTube as she’s curious because I said it’s my favourite (she’s a Scouser herself). On comes ‘In My Life’ and when they harmonise the line, “Some are dead and some are living. In my life I’ve loved them all” I cried.

There are times when I think, “Mum would’ve loved this” or “She would’ve laughed” and I either get a tear or feel my heart sink and my head drops.


Yes, memories can trigger one of two reactions, and you never know which one’s turning up.

And one trigger could produce one emotion one time and then a different one next time.

I know what you mean about the cancer ads being a trigger. John died of bowel/colon cancer in January 2021 and Mum died of the same primary cancer two months ago. Obviously, I want both Cancer Research UK and Macmillan to be able to raise as much money and save as many lives as possible but I have to mute the ads because it’s just too raw for me.
Thinking of you.


Hi @HeidiT ,thank you for your sorry that cancer came into your life and ruined it. The thing about these adverts they don’t show you how the treatment really is .Once diagnosed with cancer it’s horrendous. You have to wait for weeks / months to start treatment ,and have so many tests before the treatment starts.then the poison they use to try and stop the cancer. Makes you feel worse than the actual cancer. Then you have to wait for results, all this messes with your already fragile mind . And of course not everyone survives it . I think the adverts should show the real cancer journey. Also how much money has been given for cancer research. A lot I think . How did they get a vaccine for COVID in such a short time . I know I sound bitter .I am . I would of gave every penny I had would of lived in a cardboard box . If that would of saved my husband . The pain and torture I seen him go through was horrendous.and I’m sure he kept a lot from me to try and protect me . Sorry for the rant .and sorry for going off topic . All xtake care x


Hi @Broken2222
It’s not a rant when you’re telling the truth, grief, loosing someone you love, & were so close to is an emotional journey, it’s ok to need to unload sometimes. Sending hugs.

I had a surprising trigger this week, yesterday I went to a social group I go to run by the charity Mind, they put on different activities each week to help with mental health, this week was a sort of music session, they started with a couple of short games, then as a group, we wrote a short song, I found I couldn’t sing along with it, there was a few lines someone suggested in the middle about breaking up, leaving me, & memories, remembering the years, it made me think of my mom.

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@Pandaprincess thank you for your kind words. :bouquet:…my mam died when I was 23 , she missed out on my life ,never got to see my kids or grandkids. I missed out on not having my mam in my life. .
Songs are so strong in triggering .my mam loved the song Honey.even now 38 years later I still cry when I hear it . Sending a hug .xtake carex

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My wife died of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, one of the fastest most aggressive of blood cancers. The consultant told us 6 to 8 weeks but I didn’t believe him,7 weeks later she died,that was 12 weeks ago today.
Every word of your post resonates within me,I really couldn’t have written a post any better.
In the end my wife couldn’t continue with any treatment and actively chose to stop,she knew what would happen and I fully supported her even knowing this pain would come for me when she died. Only now I look at the photos of her in the hospice and I suddenly see the suffering in her eyes,on her face and I just wonder how she could be so so brave,a truly amazing woman.


They got a vaccine for COVID so fast because the drug companies worked together with a lot of multi government funding. Plus it was their only focus. This is not true of any other treatment where they compete instead of share resources.


@miker , thank you for your reply, I’m so sorry you and your very Brave wife , had to go through such an horrendous time , and now you are left heart broken and devastated,and trying to navigate through this life without her . It’s just so sad for all of us now in this lonely existence ,this site is the only place we can truly put our thoughts , knowing that others GET IT. Xtake carex


@Pudding , thank you for your reply . If only they could do that with every illness. I’m sure a lot more lives would be saved, and there wouldn’t be as many lonely sad people like us , left to muddle through in this noman’s land . I often say now I’m nothing . A no one . Xtake carex


I lost my beautiful wife Patricia November 2022 to pancreatic cancer she was very brave I don’t how to explain how she coped knowing she had only a 1% chance off surviving this terrible cancer we did everything together we were supposed to celebrate our Diamond wedding in may but she got the news off this terrible disease we were going to celebrate by having a lovely holiday but we never got there we were together 65 years I miss her every minute off every day lm not ashamed to say I cry every day for her i know there are lots off you out there just like me devastated


You know what sing i like the best at moment … lost without your love by bread … describes my feelings so well … xx

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