The first month of being a widower (I hate that word!!)

Hi Patz
I had a very similar experience with my husband. We’d taken our border collie for several walks and went to a couple of shops for a few bits. Had tea together then my husband went to work. He was mainly retired but worked one shift a week at the sports centre where I’d worked for 26 years. He was playing football with a group of men, short of a player, collapsed and died. No warning signs whatsoever. Coroners report said it was a heart attack. Sandra x

Aw I love this. Especially the 90 percent joy. My husband died in February and I’ve been trying to come to terms with my sadness. And you have worded this perfectly… I keep thinking of things we did together and knowing it’s never going to happen again saddens me. But at least I have those memories. Thank you for sharing your

Hi I am 2 weeks of losing my husband after 34 years .
He suffered greatly over the months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer .
No one prepares you for the horrors before us in this but I know we loved each other very much .
I have a dog and like you when walking in areas we used to go I get overcome with tears today being one .
My poor dog stars at me as if she wonders what is wrong but she is a gem so loving and adaptable …
You have itemised things very well I wish I could I am just lost …
You were lucky to have had 50 years with your lovely lady :heart:


So here I am, about 7 weeks since my wife departed. Things have progressed pretty well, and I’m now virtually where I want to be. I do have the odd spasm of tears, mostly when I’m driving and I let my mind wander, but I’m also finding sad music to be a trigger. These short crying sessions are reducing in frequency and length, but I always finish off with a happy memory and a smile.
I’ve learnt more and more that grief is an emotion caused by our thoughts, if I control my thoughts the grief disappears. If you remember my earlier comments, my results focussed hypnotherapy has been a HUGE help in achieving this control.
A week ago, I went to collect her ashes, which was very difficult. She wanted her ashes mixed with mine and spread together, so what to do with them? I didnt want them hiding, so I would forget. I didnt want them on display as a shrine, which would prevent me moving on. So I just put them by my chair, and I put my hand on them as I talk to her about the days events.
I’ve restructured my life, which is how I want (and need) it to be . I don’t try to fill in every hour, so I dont overthink things. I don’t try to keep things “as they were, when Penny was here”, there’s no point in pretending she is.
If I go out for such as shopping, I try to expand my trip in to make it an adventure with the dogs etc. Sometimes I go exploring new walking places, sometimes I just sit outside in a pavement cafe for coffee and a piece of cake. It’s amazing how many people just love a chat!

So try to be positive, face the emotions (so they heal), be aware of your thoughts so that you can control the negative ones and replace them with happy ones.

But if all else fails, buy a ukulele and join a local group :stuck_out_tongue:

We can do this !!!


Always try to end each memory with a broad smile, we always remember the last thing much better.


Your method of dealing with your grief is so well organised and from my experience you are doing the things that work. I have followed many of your steps. The one thing that upsets me us that friends and even relatives stop talking about your spouse or partner. But I never miss a chance to talk about my wife. You never really lose the grief but by continually recalling nice memories it helps. That and keeping busy works a bit. Lying in bed just talk to her and say goodnight to your favourite photos.

Keep up the good work.



tykey thank you for that post, inspiring and thought provoking. My wife passed away on April 29th and basically I have been a mess but doing what I can as I know Carole would want that. I talk constantly to her and have photo’s dotted around the house, I can now smile more at her and wish her goodnight every evening, I need to banish any negativity and replace it with the thousands of good thoughts.



Thank you so much for your inspiring post!
Tony, the love of my life passed away 12 weeks ago and I have struggled with life . Hiding away at home and dealing with regular bouts of tears and despair.
He has left an unfillable hole in my life. Although my family and friends are amazingly supportive, I am lonely………lonely for his company.
I am immensely grateful to have had such a wonderful relationship and memories and for my lovely daughter and granddaughters. They give me a reason to carry on.
Your positive post has lifted my mood and I intend to take more than one leaf from your book, particularly the one about ending thoughts with a positive and happy memory. I have lots to draw on.
I love your idea of a gathering to remember your lovely Penny with people sharing their memories too.


It’s coming up to 2 months since Penny passed away, and I thought an update is in order.
I’ve seemingly come to the end of heavy grief, but of course I have the odd emotional moment, which are becoming shorter and shorter. I keep my thoughts in check and spot very early when the negative ones want to make an appearance, it’s almost as if my brain now shoots them down in flames as soon as they appear and replaces them with a very happy memory, like that night she blurted out that she loved me, plus a few others I can’t repeat here :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: . I always end with a smile. My life is different, but pretty full, playing my ukulele, my guitar, walking the dogs, reading, plus the things which have to done, such as hoovering, dishwashing etc etc. But I still have time to sit and think how much is good with my life (and it is!!) The thing I have most trouble with is music, it’s amazing how many lyrics are about loss of some sort or bring back memories
Of course the intense fantastic support I had from many people has subsided as we all get on with our lives. We all want to talk about it, but on one hand we don’t want to become a bore to other people, but I’m blessed with people always making a bit of time for that, so I make sure it doesn’t go on and on. I talk to Penny every night for a few minutes and she listens!!
So don’t despair if the light at the end of tunnel seems a long way off, you will get there in your own time. I woke up one morning and I had left the dark tunnel overnight, don’t know why, but I suspect my hypnosis training made my REM sleep sort it out overnight, as it did my PTSD.

Far and away, the most important factor in getting me through this initial horrendous grieving state has been to control my thoughts.
We all recognise those times when we let our minds wander subconciously and then feel angry /frustrated/depressed etc etc. I used to do that when out walking the dogs, but I kept thinking about those hateful people at work, and arrived home feeling worse than when I set off. All I wanted to do was go and deck them!! (The walk was supposed to be joyful, at least the dogs enjoyed it). We cannot have feelings or emotions until we have thoughts to generate them, so control those negative thoughts, and the emotions will reduce and eventually go away.
I achieved this by having a course of “Result Focussed Hypnotherapy”. It was for PTSD, but the principle is the same, and has had amazing results.
There is a light at the end of our tunnels, we can get there, but we need a plan or strategy to get there earlier

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Thank you for that message tykey. I have been trying to banish the negative thoughts since reading another of your posts. This gives me hope and strength to go on. I know Carole would want me to continue, although that sounds trite I have to believe it.
Sending love

Hi Joe, keep practicing the banishment of those negative thoughts, it takes time as your brain rewires itself, lots and lots of repetition though. I think its a lot quicker and effective if you have some help. If you have a look on YOUtube, there are lots of free programs to help. Even better if you splash out on a hypnotherapist working with a results focussed approach. I can send you the contact details of who sorted me out. He doesnt have to be local, we did it on Zoom, which worked extremely well! Stick at it!

Yes plese tykey, and thanks.

Not at all trite, Joe! Just true :heart_decoration:

I’m still progressing well, of course I almost always still remember Penny, and I still have short emotional and tearful spells. I realise they will never disappear totally, and in truth I don’t really want them to.
I realise that I need to create the rest of my life as I want it to be, and not be stuck in the awful days after she died. It would be disrespectful of her to waste what we achieved together, wouldn’t it.

I’m willing to donate a proportion of my life looking back to the good times, but I’m determined the bulk of the rest of my life will be fulfilling, worthwhile and happy.
I realise that loneliness is a huge threat, so I’m tackling the practical side of that challenge by cultivating my friends and doing things (I’m now in TWO ukulele bands, and my guitar playing has improved above the level of rubbish.
I can’t fill 100% of my life by “doing things”, that is unrealistic, so there will be many times I’ll be alone, even though I have my two lovely dogs. They are good at licking, smelling, walking and rolling in hedgehog poo, but not talking.
I’ve now become aware of the REAL difference between loneliness and ALONENESS, which was explained to me by my hypnotherapist as an aside. Loneliness is negative, aloneness is a state where I can be happy being alone with my thoughts, sounds, smells and sights.
I might be a philosophical bloke, but It’s beyond me to explain it in any more meaningful way, so you would be better googling “The difference between loneliness and aloneness”
I watched a programme on TV which made me realise how important it is. It’s about someone’s walk through the beautiful Derbyshire Peak district on her own, recording her thoughts, explaining how nice it can be to be alone for a while. It’s quite apt, because next week I’m taking my caravan up there for three days (or more), and I’ll be walking in her footsteps with my thoughts and dogs, although my routes may be slightly different and include a pub lunch or two.

Here’s a link to the programme.


Thanks tykey, your posts are so uplifting and I truly appreciate your words.
I had a meeting with Will, didn’t actually have any hypnotherapy but he was a great help. For the first time I have managed to sleep in my bed with the aid of an audio he sent me, my second meeting is Tuesday, he is also a big help. Just certain times I struggle more. I have managed to put a few work hours in but it is all a strain, I get this is “normal” and just do the best I can. This adjustment between loneliness and aloneness is something I think will also help. Hope you enjoy the Derbyshire Peak District and cheers again for your kind words.
Joe x

I’m really delighted you made a good start, I still use the audio from time to time. It’s not a quick fix, and we have to keep working at it, he told me it would take 8 to10 weeks, you should see an improvement bit by bit each week, almost without realising it. After 10 weeks, I realised my PTSD issue had disappeared almost totally. So keep working at it, be honest with yourself, keep listening to the audio and things should improve. (You’ll become that young tree waving in the breeze :stuck_out_tongue:).

Please keep in touch and let me know how it’s going.

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Here’s an update about my trip to the Derbyshire Dales, now into the third and final day.
I’ve always had the view that the solution to bereavement, won’t appear just like magic, I have to get out there and find the solutions. It reminds me of that question, “how do you eat an elephant?”, Answer: a bit at a time.
I came up here to prove I still had a future life, what might it be (what do I want it to be?)
I have taken every opportunity to become part of the pavement cafe culture. I might include I’ve eaten pub meals on an outside table! Aided by my 2 beautiful dogs, I soon opened conversations with people. It’s sometimes surprising that other people like to talk, their lives are as mundane as ours!
I sat outside a cafe in Bakewell, and started chatting with a lovely lady who had lived on her own for many years, and she told me it’s a wonderful life! She had realised that she was happier being in her state of “aloneness” and refused to look at it as “loneliness”
She asked me what I would like my life to be like, and coached me into a plan, and what was I going to do about making it happen. Very soon I had planned a cruise to watch the whales in Alaska, and a driving holiday around the Outer Hebrides. So I have a plan!!!
I’ve also had chance to sit and reflect, plus some lovely walks. I’ve become happy with accepting I’m alone, but not lonely.
Before I came up here, I was very scared I would miss Penny all the time, plus if things went wrong, I’d have no one to share the problem with.
In the event, things went wrong with the caravan, but I sorted it ok. Of course I thought of her, but I didn’t get upset a lot.
So I guess the message is that changes don’t just appear, we have to get out there and make the changes happen. So get out there and sort out what you decide how you want your life to be.
So my future now is looking quite good (but different)
Go for it!!


Good morning Tykey. Another very inspiring post, so thank you for that. Me and Stacie where due to visit York in April and Dublin in May and one day she wanted to go to Transylvania and back to Italy again, this time to Florence. But we never got to make these trips.

Last night I booked to go to York on my own on behalf of Stacie, because I know she’ll be with me. My mum asked won’t I be lonely going alone but I know she’ll be with my doing all the historical tours and visiting the sites that she would have loved.

Thanks for posting, can’t wait to hear about your trip to Alaska! Stay safe.



Awwww Dan, Stacie will be with you every step of the way. X

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Thanks so much Janey. How are you? x