The hole and the pain.

I am sure its not just me. Does anyone else feel like there is a huge hole in their lives now? A great physical emptiness that you feel nothing will ever fill.

Something else unexpected. Its real physical pain. My gut and my chest literally hurt. I have tried going for walks, seems everyone says it will do me good, but it doesn’t. When I get back all I feel is tired and my legs ache. I am sure they were the same before Jackie died but when I got home I always had lots to do for her. Perhaps it distracted me from the pain.

Is this me being over dramatic?

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I don’t think you’re over dramatic… If you blew up the earth to show the ignorant how it feels and a million tiny chunks of it separated out into space I don’t even think that would be too dramatic for this feeling.

The death of my husband is throughout my day and night even more than his life was somehow. It’s like something replaced my healthy blood that used to quietly and happily pulse around all my cells enriching me with this horrible substance . Every heart beat it is there, too thick, too poisoned to let me do anything how i used to. Sometimes I can feel it violently firing itself around in there banging inside my skin. Sometimes it hurts physically and I have a lot of gut problems too as you mention.

There are moments when my brain almost forgets what the horrible thing is (like sometimes on waking) but I have a weird feeling in my body that quickly reminds my brain what the horrible thing is.

A lot of the stuff around me still looks like our life but it’s some weird not-right version where every single thing is somehow tainted. A lot looks the same but doesn’t feel the same.

I hope your pain lessens. Mine is more bearable than at first as I get more used to it but it’s there all the time yes.


Hi. Thank you. You have described exactly how I feel. I knew it would be bad, but I didn’t realise it could possibly be THIS bad! It is truly a living nightmare and sometimes, it is hard to go on. We must though, we really have no other feasible choice.
Thank you for your posts. I find them helpful.
AnnR x


Hi, yes this is exactly like I feel too, and so much worse than I imagined it could ever be.
I too have gut problems and tension headaches, didn’t realise how badly it would affect me physically.
But as others have said, we have to go on, a minute, hour, day at a time x

Dear @Frank2,

Absolutely. I just feel as though 90% of me has gone, and I’m simply a barely functioning empty shell. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel any different.

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Dear Frank, I believe I have recently said those exact words to someone — you’re not alone at all. I also feel I have a hold in my heart. This is what it feels like to me : I married a very nice woman in 2011 - we had been dating since 2005 (off and on of course). We got married in 2011, and we went thru our ups and downs (like everyone else). We struggled financially and she always a faithful and loyal partner - was there for me always thru good and bad times. I’m a diabetic and everyone was concerned. She was 5 years younger than me. We got our first home in 2015 ---- we worked hard to make it home for us and our children. four years and six months later she died of a fatal heart attack in our home. Everything is the way she wanted it - I never changed it. Today I am an empty shell of what was once a very happy man.
I’m going to leave it that as I am not wishing you or anyone a guilt trip. Frank, your heart is in the right place – I, for one, find that to be so true. Like you, I am in there too! Please take care!!!

Thank you Herb for your reply. We all have some idea what each of us are going through but no one but the actual one suffering only truly knows.
I keep being told that I should get counselling but that is easier said than done. I told my doctor I need help. He rang the hospice and they rang me. The hospice said because of Covid they do not do face to face counselling but they would put me on the waiting list for after Covid has finished with us. Phone counselling? Nope never been into that. Not good on the phone. Same with video counselling.
So my doctor thinks job done he has passed me off onto the hospice. But the hospice has nothing much to offer.
Will just have to plod one.
Thanks for the reply Herb.

I have a stomach anxiety all the time - it wakes me up and keeps me on the edge. My husband died on NY eve in his sleep and I haven’t stopped crying since or having panic attacks. The pain is too much at times and as you say no help available. I wish you well frank and I think there is no magic answers unfortunately just time I presume

I so understand COpthorne. Its 15 weeks for me. I have had so many stomach issues.
Loss of appetite and lost a stone and a half in weight.
The last two weeks have seen a slight improvement, but still nowhere near normal.
I try to take each little step forward as a positive.
Still lots of tears everyday, but some better moments creeping in.
Lots of love and hugs xxxx

I have lost over a stone in weight. Am eating but think that the stress just burns off what little food I can be bothered to eat. The tears continue to fall. Not sure how going to get through the weekend when it would have been 39 years married. Just so lost, lonely and to be honest afraid. #

It’s 18 weeks for me. My physical health is deteriorating, I have just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip and am in severe pain and my mobility is greatly affected. This came out of the blue and so suddenly, I had no previous issues, I feel like I am falling apart mentally and physically and the future frightens me without my husbands emotional support.

Dear Christy

Sorry to hear this. I understand your feelings. Before we had someone we could rely on and now I too worry what will happen if I feel poorly. I lived with my parents until I married at 22. Never lived on my own until my husband’s death in September. Son lives abt 15 mins drive but he has own life and kids - cannot expect him to be running to mine everytime I do not feel right. Daughter lives over 4.5 hours away. Suddenly feel so vulnerable. My husband was always able to reassure me if I was worried. Now alone and afraid.

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I know, I cared for my husband for the last few years and the thought of nobody being there for me is terrible. I do have children but they have busy lives and their own children to take care of. At the moment I feel very vulnerable and I find I am catastrophizing most situations whether it be about my health or something going wrong in the house.

Hi Sheila and Christy, in a way I’m relieved to find that I’m not the only one who has had lots of physical issues, I’ve never been a person who has been ill very much. I’m still off work and don’t feel ready yet to go back.
Also like you I feel so vulnerable and scared, before if I was poorly, he would reassure me or I would forget about it because we would be chatting.
Now every little thing gets blown out of proportion, even minor things get me worried and like you I worry about who will look after me and not wanting to bother my son if I don’t feel well.
I’m afraid too. Keep strong and lots of love to you xxxxxxx

Dear Jacko and Christy

Grief really amplifies everything. I try telling myself that but when the issues keep mounting and the one person you would normally turn to is no longer there it is extremely overwhelming. There is one friend of the family and a also a former neighbour who have gave me advice and helped where possible but sure if not them, their wives will get sick of me calling on them for help.

My son has highlighted my increased levels of anxiety. Breaks my heart because he should not be worrying about me. He has a young son and another on the way. At some point going to have to learn to better hide these worries.

Take care xxx

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Thank you for your response and although I am pleased to know this anxiety in my stomach is quite normal I am sad you are experiencing the same problems. I am eating as my son has moved back in for lockdown and to keep me company so I’m cooking to make life as normal as possible I wish you days of normality with some smiles Hugs jan