The Year

It’s was a year for me on Wednesday. I went to the area where we lived for 20 years, where we had so much fun, and sadness, and a life! I’ve passed through it often in the last year, on the bus, head buried purposefully in a book, fooling no one. It’s not like I can stop the glance towards smiling ghosts on every corner, the thrill of falling into memory, shimmering together, laughing through other windows, her and I, then the jolt, focus zooms out, back on the bus.

So I decided it was time to go out on those streets, to own my penny lane. Shops have changed, pubs have developed in the way that pubs do, kids went home from school, cars drove around. Greggs had a queue. My wife and I had never really mattered to this place, other than through our own telling of it, it’s memory of us, we just moved in it, together.

I wandered into the park, chose a bench and sat looking at the moon through the winter trees. Our friend called me, and broke down. “It’s Just Shit”. And it was me sitting in that park listening to my friend cry, trying to think of the right thing to say. It happens to us all. I have no monopoly on grief, people need the love we can give.

Then to a pub, a pub we love a lot, a drink, light of summer in November, sitting there in us, in the moment, not giving a thought to any of this, remembering what we had, what I still have and realising it was always going to be enough to get me through. Our love, our time.

Out again on the street, wait for the bus. Back past all those places I feared this year and knowing that I own them again. She would have been happy about that.

I have had a year of these thoughts, but what’s a year got to do with anything? A period of time in which the earth moves around the sun, tilts and gives us summer turn winter, cycling on. Spring will come and I’ll think of my wife. I’ll cry again and know I’ll keep learning to understand, ask questions, look for the answers, more ways to change, more ways to love life.


Hi @Walan,

Thank you so much for sharing this with the community :blue_heart: I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I just wanted to let you know that you have been heard and you are not alone.

Take good care,

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What a wonderful and poignant post. I haven’t got to the year milestone yet, next February, but have (all be it sometimes by accident) gone through places where we’d lived. At first it really hurt, and in a way I’m sure it always will, but it’s good to see the positive side in things and celebrate the life you had. I’m now seriously considering moving back to the town where we lived for many years and where our kids grew up. There’s something warm and comforting about some places and the memories they hold, especially when they’re happy ones, whereas in this house/place all I can see is darkness. My all come to terms with this in many different ways but you should, and I don’t think you are, never be afraid of showing your feelings outwardly even if it means you cry outside as I think it’s definitely worse to hold it all in. Well done and hope you have a good weekend. Gail xx


@Walan oh my goodness that’s an emotional and wonderful post, thank you, lots of love x


@Guineapig65 I think that’s what surprised me, I felt more happy than sad, just lots of good memories and certainly a lot of laughs, both then and on my return. As with you I’ve realised that this place I’m living in now is not like that, we moved in 2 months before my wife’s diagnosis, there’s little joy to remember here. I don’t think I’ll go back to where we used to live, I want to see what else is out there, no idea where yet, just waiting to get the car on the road.


Well done @Walan what a great way to spend the day. Brave some would say but we have to face what was ‘ours’ at some point to heal. I’m glad it was a good experience for you and yes, facing the future, with the car, is a good start. It’ll be great to see where it takes you xx

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@Ali29 Thanks, it was very much a spur of the moment thing, it just felt like the right time to do it. I always knew the first anniversary would be a tricky affair, no fond memories of marking the occassion to rely on. Just me without her one year on. But I’m happy that I went there, she was with me a lot of the time, I felt that I could let her back in fully, and for me that really marked the day in a way I’d never thought possible. On we go xx


@Walan that was a beautiful post and I hope that as time passes I can emulate some of your positivity.
You will move to somewhere where you will feel comfortable and make new memories to tell your wife about.
I am moving/have moved to where we planned to , once she had the all clear… as it was where we were happy and the sound of the sea has a very calming effect on me. The last house we lived in in Sheffield was her parents house and holds no attachment for me. It is now our daughters’ house.
Thank you for all your eloquent posts.
Take care…Pete

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@PJ64 Thanks, it did turn out to be a special day so I’m glad sharing it is helping in some way. Like you we had a lot of plans but many of them are just not achievable for me any more. It’s been hard to come to terms with but I’m starting to see opportunities in the future rather than barriers, mistakes to be made, revelations to be found. One step, then another, the ground covered soon grows.


A year ago last week
I went back to peek last place we walked
Sun shone there
Autumn leaves stare
Retraced our steps
Sad to the depths
Alone now new way
What more to say
Today put on layers
No longer 2 players
I held you in my :heart:
Try to make nu start


Oh goodness me what a lovely post, so sad and so true, lots of love xxx

Yep memories everywhere … i went past where my husband used to work … could see him there … tears started … sad - but we have to keep going for them and hope we find some happiness sonewhere - there is happiness to be found again … we just have to search for it and as my lovely dentist said he would want you to be happy and i know he would because if anybody loved life - he did xxx

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Hi the trouble is they were the ones who made us happy how do we find happiness now they have gone. I’m trying to keep busy and make a new life, but it beats me often and I’m left so sad. I miss my old life, I’m collecting his ashes tomorrow and I hope it is comforting to have them home. Wish me luck x


Yeh i know you’re right they did. But youre really early on @Kathy6 and you can find a bit of happiness down the line … its a very slow process … but we have to grieve first and as my bereavement counsellor told me theres no way around it :frowning: good luck getting his ashes tomorrow and i found it really comforting bring him back home xxx



I get it … all has become nothing… if anything, Hope it will get better for you.

Here is my experience to share:
I spent my year 1 hiding at home.
Year 2 hiding at home
Why, because it is too painful
venture outside, without
the physical him…
Everything seems so far away,
Honestly, I do not relate.
Why am I even here ?

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Wonderful post!..where sorrow and pain meets healing and hope. When we learn to let go and reach a point of acceptance of life and death. Love is letting go, love is not about pain and holding on and death always precedes a rebirth. I liken grief to the winter season and where a bulb planted in the ground is buried under the heavy soil in total darkness subjected to the cold harshness of the elements and it very slowly starts pushing through the soil towards the light and the warmth of spring and light this bulb begins to grow, bloom and flower, standing tall and alone surviving and then it’s full colour begins to shine and it made it through and repeat it will do the same again through the seasons. Nature can teach us a lot about grief
Lyn x


Lovely words :two_hearts:

Yes love idea like a bulb
No wonder when the bulbs appeared in the spring I felt uplifted.
The minister said when we buried my husband there is a seed in there and he is not there. I couldn’t understand what he meant. But it makes sense if remains change into new life. Or planting seeds grow into flowers. That is why I planted seeds and bulbs. I found it good to tend them when they slowly grew and got sad when predators ate them or I couldn’t protect them but like in the Bible it says some seeds fall on stoney ground but good seeds grow. When I look at my efforts lots just fell by the wayside but I ended up with a garden full of flowers and veg. I ate the veg. I admired the flowers. And some are still there.
Some pop up again. My dad’s old wonky tubs still there after he died in 1994 to remind me. Nature is good. Before my husband died he said watching me struggling: Let it die down naturally. This year I am doing what he said. My dad said to me that I wouldn’t be able to save his lovely garden and he was right. I couldn’t. It had taken him a lifetime to figure out how to do it. It is the second year and other people think I should look forward not back. I can’t help keeping where it felt safe but I guess I have to keep struggling to try to push my nose through this bereavement fog. But I feel weary. Today I agreed to see if it would work riding an e bike. My bike won’t work. He used to get it going for me but no one else has managed it. So I must see if I can try to go forward. Someone asked me if I could wave a magic wand what would I wish for. I bet lots would want our husbands back. Pointless because it isn’t happening. So plan B then whatever that is. I always thought what I would do on my own but where is the energy ?
Will it suddenly appear? Will I wake up and do these things with a weary old soul and body or just fall flat on my face again like when I do try to move forward? Have to get up like toddlers do and just put one foot in front of the other. So I am going to write five birthday cards today. Set a target. Tick it off. Baby steps.


@Enorac what you write is so full of love and tenderness. God sees your weary heart. The way you describe your garden, it seems that it is taken care of in a different way… may be not like before, but perhaps in its own beauty in a different way, it adapts to where you are now. I have the same issue, for I do not feel like tending the garden anymore, so it is not kept well, few plants died off due to not watering it regularly. Now it is in the hands of God, and yet there are still some rasberries, golgi berries, mullberries and flowers of all sorts. God takes care of it for now… So please take the time you need to rest and nurture yourself. No need to worry too much. In the Bible it says, sparrows do not work, yet God takes care of them…so we, God’s children, He will even more so make sure we are fine… The brain fog will eventually lift… in time., mine is starting to … yet I am forever changed. Perhaps I am closer to the spiritual kingdom than this earth that passes away. Take good care, a prayer for you and your son. that God protect you both everyday. LolaA