The devastation of losing your partner

It has been 15 months since I lost Gary - literally the other half of me. When you truly love your partner, over time you grow into each other like a vine whose tendrils reach out and the frame it grows on is the support that it develops around. Losing your partner means this support has been taken away - and so the plant shrivels and parts of it dies off too. The time you grow together is not material - it is the quality of the relationship not always the time it takes to burgeon. But the grief that is felt when you lose your partner is like no other grief, the part of you that dies when your partner dies does not grow back. I have lost both parents - and whilst I mourned my parents and miss them to this day, the complete devastation I felt when I lost my husband is just not comparable. For when you lose your partner you also lose your future, your dreams and your plans. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a child as I have never experienced that pain so I do not ever comment. But I know as a mother you expect your children to outlive you as you expect yourself to outlive your parents. But life does not prepare you for losing your partner, it is something we do not consider until it happens to us.

The saying take a day at a time is the best advice I was given - at the start it was the hours - taking an hour at a time. Now I can manage a week. I try not to look further ahead than that though as the future without him is a dark place - so I don’t go there - I shut that drawer as quickly as I can. In the wee small hours it is harder to do that - but I still try. Many a night I have the shopping channel on the television which serves as just enough of a distraction to move my mind away from the empty space that is now the other side of the bed. It does not stop me reaching out my hand as if to stroke his back like I used to remembering the soft skin and how cool and it always was and how at times the snoring drove me to distraction!! I know that no one will ever love me like he loved me - just as I know I will never love anyone like that again.
I know I was lucky to have his love and support for 40 years. I consider ours a truly magical love story- but then I am sure most of those grieving their partners here also feel that. From the first moment we realised that we were the missing parts of each other and nothing else mattered. I look back at love letters and photos and whilst the raw grief has subsided - I still feel that part of me has been hollowed out. But our lives together from the early romantic, passionate days , through the days of parenthood and togetherness- to the comfort of everyday life and plans for retirement - all of it -every day was filled with love and laughter. Arguments were rare - laughter was not. He was as romantic as ever -from the red roses and chocolate flakes left on my desk at work to the flowers he still nipped out to buy until the week I lost him. He saw me in a different light - I was his angel. He was my maestro - I just wish I could find the tapes with the love songs he wrote me. He was the romantic one though - how I wish now I had been too (I was the practical one!). But he loved me as I was and how I am.

I still cry for him - the memories that hit you like a blow - the things we do that resonate when we do them alone. Just making a coffee in a certain cup, hanging washing out and remembering the day when his shirts hung on the line and the clean fresh smell of them in a cuddle, the odd little everyday things that in an instant can reduce us to tears. And of course the laughter that is missing from my life. Yes I still laugh - but not the way he used to make me laugh. And I am proud to say that summed up my life with him - laughter- my wonderful funny husband with a knack of finding the funny in everything and making everyone laugh - not just me.
He was a special person. And he left me with two special children - my son who in so many ways is so much like him and and my beautiful daughter - his princess- who takes after him in so many other ways. They are what keep me positive and provide the smiles now. That and dear friends who have been there for me.

Someone else on this forum has said they feel like they are waiting. I do too. In the early days I was expecting to find him in another room, or that he would be coming home. I still feel like I am waiting - because even the days that are not so hard and are good days - at the end of them I think OK day done what now! Where is he? Instead of ending the day with a warm glow - the end of day is like an anticlimax.

My grief will never go - but it is changing - I am growing round it - not sure I will ever accept it - or think it is fair. But just the numbers of new people on this forum shows this misery and loss is unrelenting. The tide of grief and tears is sometimes overwhelming. I do not post so often now - but I still read and draw comfort that I am not alone and that those of us who had this wonderful unconditional love find solace from others on the forum.

I am an optimistic positive person - I was before, and I am now. I keep busy - I work, I have great colleagues, I have a lovely home that we built together - with his love is in every room. I have two wonderful children and amazing friends. I am still waiting for him of course - but I can do this - (I tell him that all the time as I know he worries about me) I pray of course that he is close and knows all this. If I believe in that I really can do this!

Apologies as ever for my long ramble.

Take care and take comfort where and however you can. xx


Sad and beautiful. What a lovely post. My tears are still flowing.

Trisha, I’m in tears reading your post, so beautiful.
I’m waiting too. xx


What a beautiful poetic post. I have tears in my eyes after reading it. I am a little further on from you but feel all that you do. Please post more…

Dear Trisha,
I haven’t been reading on this site for a while. What beautiful piece of writing… You say that you were the practical one and your husband the romantic but I must say that this piece is a sign that you also have that sensitive romantic touch. It has made me cry. My husband passed away just 7 months ago and I’m still, like you, searching and waiting for him to show. It’s almost impossible to imagine that the person you shared your life with, in my case 45 years, is no longer here to touch and talk to. Life can be so cruel. Like you I lost my parents. who I loved a lot, about ten years ago and of course I miss them every day. However when you lose the person you share every day with that is a different matter altogether. As you say we become entwined with our partner. At the moment I look ahead only one day at a time. Thank you for sharing such touching piece of writing.

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Thank you Trisha for your heartfelt, heartbreaking but heartwarming post. Even to people who have not been bereaved it is incredibly moving. To those of us who have also lost our one true love it speaks volumes. Xx


Trisha this is so beautiful and moving. I can hardly see what I’m writing through the tears💙

Trisha, that was no ramble! I think you spoke for all of us, heartbreaking but beautiful. All your words rang true for me , made me cry, such raw grief that’s hit all of us so hard. Take carexx


That is a lovely tribute to your husband! He sounds like a wonderful man. It’s ten weeks today for me losing my Gerry and I too will try and be positive and optimistic. The things that bring us to tears are all so individual. Thank you for your post.

Hi TrishaF,
I could not stop crying while I was reading your post. Exactly what I am thinking apart from being positive person as I was not before and now. Andy, my love was teaching me how to be positive as I can see from myself I am still learning…

You could have been writing about me. The only difference being I only had 22 years with my darling. Too short. There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t laugh about something ridiculous and I miss that so much.
Your words made me cry as they were so heartfelt. But you have put into words exactly how I feel and can’t communicate to others.
Thank you and please take care.xx

I go along with everyone and what they have said. I’m a man and not supposed to be tearful, but you sure brought tears to my eyes.
‘A ramble’? Oh no! A beautiful post from a loving and caring heart. Thank you so much. John.


That is one of the most beautiful posts I have read. No wonder your husband loved (loves) you. You sound like a lovely person. I wish you all the best with your lovely family. I am in a similar position family-wise and I think we are lucky. Good luck and I hope you manage to enjoy the future. For me, only 5 weeks widowed, I have a long way to go but I will get there somehow and you will too. With love and hugs, Ann

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Everyone thank you so much for your lovely comments. I wish strength and optimism for you all. Life without our best friends and true loves will never be easy - we need to carry on and do what we can to find peace. How we do this, that I do not have an answer for. This forum offers us true understanding. xx


@TrishaF Thank you for your post. You are further along the grieving process than a lot of us but you described exactly the feelings I am experiencing. As I have said we are waiting to be with them again and to hear the laughter and get the cuddles and romance that we have lost. So many of us had special relationships and we are so lucky. I see couples sitting at a table and both are looking at their mobile phones. I feel like telling them to look at each other and not to waste a moment of their lives staring at an inanimate object. We will never accept the grief but as you say time will allow us to grow around it. I will hold onto that.


Heartbreakingly lovely Trish . Xx💔

Sorry the emoji didnt work . Apols for that

beautifully written, your words are sincere and from the heart, we do lose half of us, we do lose the half that was to he part of our future. as you say, losing a partner is so very different from losing a parent, grandparent, or child, we all grieve yet our grief for the loss of our partner is so very different.

thank you for putting into words the feelings, hopes and fears we can all lay claim to

hope today is an improvement on yesterday and tomorrow is an improvement on today :butterfly:


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john’s wife, exactly! Went out on Friday night for a meal with our son and fiancée to try and make something nice out of our wedding anniversary, Felt so lonely without him by my side as he’d always been for 49
years. All these couples having a lovely romantic meal, felt so horribly jealous! And there.on the next table, a couple on their mobiles all through the meal, no
eye contact, no talking, nothing. Like you I wanted to tap
them on the shoulder and tell them to hold tight to each other, never let them got. Life seems so unfair xxxx


Very beautifully put, I too had a wonderful marriage and it’s been 2 months since my darling husband passed away. I remember early in in our 37 years of marriage how one Valentines day he excitedly walked in with a big bunch of flowers for me, he thought he had bought roses but they were tulips! we did laugh at the time and he never made that mistake again. I miss him so much but I must be honest and say that mentally I accept that he is in a better place, it was heartwrenching to see him fade away and at least he is not suffering, I know he tried his best to stay as long as he could with me because he always put me first, he had stage 4 pancreatic metastatic liver cancer and was given 4 months to live but made it to 3 years, such a strong wonderful man. I have bad days and other days when I feel at peace. I did what I could for him and nursed him at home as he did not want to be in a hospice or hospital. I just take a day at a time and give in to my grief.

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