Thoughts on socialising.

It is ten months now since my David died. I am just wondering how all you lovely people are coping and what you make of my ramblings here tonight.
When David was alive I loved meeting up with my friends for coffees and lunches knowing David was happy at home walking the dogs, talking to people he met when he was out and about and pottering about in the garden. As a couple we walked together sometimes too, had picnics out and had our together friends.
David died very suddenly and when I could I went out for a coffee or lunch but never really enjoyed it, knowing he wasn’t here to talk things over with when I got home.
Now I am unable to meet up with friends, I see my family on my phone, keep up with friends on the phone and walk my dogs. And do you know what, I feel more content now than since I lost the love of my life. I feel I don’t need to pretend, can talk to him whenever I want, don’t need to rush to do things.
Does anyone else feel like this just now? I feel such a different person, one where nothing seems real. Just me, my dog and David, spiritually not physically. Weird feelings.

5 Likes

Yes, I can understand that and have had simlar feelings myself. Before lockdown I felt pressured by family , friends and even the counsellor to "do things " get on with my life, get back to normal, keep busy.
I don’t want to do things etc. I just want everyone to go away and leave me alone. There’s only one person I want to be with and the only life I want is the one I had.
If this lockdown continues it will stop people trying to “fix things” for me. Sadme.

7 Likes

Hi Hainey. I am exactly the same as you. Brian and I did most things together although we wasn’t joined at the hip, we both had other interests but it was knowing they was on the other end of a phone or at home when you returned.
I still kept up our interests and one of those was walking, we was ramblers and now I walk with my dogs and find that I am now enjoying my own company which was what I decided was for me. I kept our allotments, his and mine and this also has proved to be therapeutic and although friends tried to include me I just wasn’t ready to be in crowds of people and preferred my own company. I was slowly coming out of my shell and becoming ready to socialise again but the lockdown came but to be honest it doesn’t make much difference to me. I still enjoy my walks with the dogs and work at the allotment and my garden. I don’t crave the company of friends or family although pleased when I see them.
So I understand completely where you are coming from and you will be ready to do the things you want to do when you are ready.
It’s acceptance… and I have decided that I will always love my husband but I will move forward with him and will do it in my own time and if I want to remain reclusive and am content like that then that will suit me. Life has changed and I am accepting that also and it does make things a lot easier as I am no longer trying to get through the grief but accepting it as part of my life.
Good luck

4 Likes

Hi. Pat. The pain of grief can remove a lot of inhibitions. I think that things that mattered so much become irrelevant in grief. A new car, a new carpet, all the domestic things that seemed important at the time now seem to fade into insignificance. To me it has become more about empathy and love for our fellow beings in distress. The old ideas have no place now. Friends, yes of course, very important, but the right friends.
Yes indeed, acceptance is so important. Some so called ‘friends’ have left, other more understanding ones have taken their place. I have made friends with many on the site and I appreciate that more than anything. We all sing from the same song sheet. The pain is still there at times and more so in these difficult days. Your posts are always welcome.
Take care. John.

3 Likes

Hi sadme.
You sound very much like me in as much at the moment, we are in our own comfort zone. It may be some time in the future we will feel ready to get back into the social side of life and that will be fine if it happens. I personally feel I maybe tried to be too brave!!! too early and this quiet time has allowed me to really think of the 57 years we knew each, dated each other and enjoyed 53 years of married life.
I know earlier if my son asked where I had been, what I had done, on a particular day and I could say I had been out shopping or met a friend for coffee, his reaction was, oh that’s good, glad you had a nice day. Little did he know!!! He just has so much love for me and wants me to get some joy from life again.
Now because I can walk my dogs, garden, paint, do my jigsaws without having to do something on the merry go round I am more content within myself and I am what matters just now. Being a mum, sister, friend was hard work when all I wanted was to be a wife.
I hope you find some solace in doing what you are doing, and remember you matter. Hopefully down the line we will be able to smile and rejoin everyday life but still carry our loved one in our heart.
Take care. X

2 Likes

Hi Pattidot.
Thank you for your reply. I too am trying to bring parts my old life into my new world. I am so glad I have our dog, she brings me lots of love and means we can get out and walk. We are fortunate to live in the country so her and I can hit the fields and never see a soul.
I am taking life as it comes, if this quiet life is how I can cope more easily then so be it. At least I have had time to reflect and maybe find some way to move further down the road, surrounded by love, animals and nature. I will carry David in my heart as always.
Best wishes.

2 Likes

Dear Hainey, Sadme and Pattidot,
It did me good to read that for some this period of lockdown has been beneficial. It sounds like you all have had time to reflect and make some changes in the way you cope with your grief, and the well-meant efforts of others to make you do things that you would rather not (yet) do. I remember when my mum was widowed, we kept telling her to do lots of things and in the end she reluctantly did them for us, but looking back I can see that it made us feel better, but not her. Thanks for your posts,.
Jo64

2 Likes

Hi hainey, your words could well have been written by me. I also live in a wonderful area for walking although I am not going too far away from home at the moment but still have walks that take me to the countryside or seafronts.
I did and still do exactly as you are doing and took life as it came and trusted in my own instincts on what I could cope with and enjoy. I walk with my lovely dogs, they make me smile and I have their unconditional love, I grow my veg and fruit and potter in my garden and greenhouse, I take in the beauty around me from nature and like you I carry Brian with me at all times. This lockdown has not been hard for me as I have all I need around me although I do look forward to seeing my family again but I now know I can cope reasonably well.
Take care xxxx

3 Likes

I’m so pleased to read your post. I recognise what you are saying.
My husband died on 1st January this year.
Although I am lonely and grieving , at least I can do it on my own without having to put on a brave face.
This situation is not good for everyone of course .
We all have to deal with our close in our own way .
My isolation is working !!

1 Like

What gets me is, when you tell people that your husband of 40 years has died. Your soulmate, your best friend, your reason for living and they say things like "Have a nice evening. I feel like screaming. ‘Did you hear what I just said’. I have felt suicidal everyday of my life since my David died. I have nothing to live for. There is nothing that I want to do. The only thing that stops me is that there could be a God out there who would send me to Hell and that l would be separated from David forever. Can anybody understand where I am coming from?

3 Likes

I thought it was just me that was “enjoying” the lockdown!
To be perfectly honest if I never saw or spoke to anyone again it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest!

I lost my Husband in January 2013 when he was just 39 yrs old from Leukaemia. 8 months later I lost my Mum to Dementia. Then just 3 moths later, 3 weeks before Christmas 2013 I lost my home. Unfortunately my Husband didn’t have life insurance so I was forced to sell our beautiful little bungalow before the mortgage company repossessed it! Within a year I went from having everything to having nothing and was left alone to bring up our then, 4 yr old Son!
My Husband was diagnosed when our Son was just 8 weeks old! What should have been the most happiest time of our lives turned into a “waiting game” of when my Husband would die!

Before losing everything (my Husband, my Mum and my home) I had a very happy and full life. I had a wonderful job, which I absolutely loved and was extremely well paid, lots of friends and would often go out with my family and friends on nights out, day trips and holidays aboard! Since losing everything, I can’t stand being out, being with people or do anything! Not only do I wish everyday that it was me that had died and not my wonderful Husband but I just can’t be around anyone anymore! I wish I could just stay in without ever having to go outside again!

My Son is now 11 yrs old and has just started puberty. He constantly has mood swings and has just recently learnt how to say “no”! Just recently he’s been using the N word a lot, especially when I ask him to do anything, including school work! Now before you all pipe up and lecture me on just how “lucky” I am that I am only hearing it now, I know! However it doesn’t make it any easier for me trying to deal with it on my own!
I’m disabled and the only “real” way of staying fit and pain free is by swimming! Since lockdown I have been struggling to sleep again, I am constantly exhausted and I’m in so much pain, just trying to walk is a real effort! I just don’t have the energy to battle with him and let him get away with it! I know it’s wrong but to be honest I’m passed caring now! Some days I feel like taking all my painkillers and never having to worry about anyone/thing again!

(Post removed by author, will be automatically deleted in 336 hours. Deleted by accident? Click the flag button or email online.community@sueryder.org to request it re-published.)

Hi frankie,
I’m really sorry to read your post and I am fortunate that I still have my home and partner. But 11 months ago I lost my beloved mum suddenly and am still struggling to come to terms with it. She was everything to my daughter and I. She helped bring her up with me when I found myself pregnant and single and just 10 months before she died, she came to live with us so the blow has been awful.
My daughter just turned 13 last month so I’m dealing with a grieving child as well as a hormonal one and I do find things very tough.
Of course my problems are not comparable to you having lost so much more but i just wanted you to know that you are not alone. Di you have friends or family you can lean on more to help?
I only have my sister but we really don’t see eye to eye much. She thinks I should have got over mums death months ago.
Cheryl x

1 Like

I can totally understand where you’re coming from.
I get the same said to me, if only they knew how we feel x

Dear Lesley_L
Yes, some people’s reactions do make you feel like you want to scream. What they say can sound so insensitive, even if they may mean well. I think I can relate to the feelings you describe about life no longer worth living without your husband. Not from personal experience, but from what my mum went through. I read in your profile that you met your husband when you where 14 and that you had been married for almost 40 years when you lost your David. My parents met when my mum was 16, they married in 1951 and my dad died in 2017. My mum had never been on her own, and without dad she often talked about not wanting to live any more. She had suicidal thoughts, but just like you, believed that my dad was in heaven and that if she she wanted to go there too she had to fight these thoughts, We found out later that she had promised my dad not to take her own life. It was very hard for me and my sisters to see her battle with these feelings. We did all we could to make her feel how much we loved her. Slowly she began to do better, even after she broke her hip and ended up in a care home for a while, but a year later she broke her other hip. This was just before my sisters and I had planned to spent a week of our summer holidays with her, wanting to take her out. After the operation she developed complications and in the end doctors had to tell her there was nothing more they could do for her. By that time, she really wanted to live! She somehow had come to accept that there was a reason she was still with us and no longer wanted to die. We made her last few weeks as comfortable as possible and she died peacefully and naturally, looking forward to be reunited with my dad. Dear Lesley, I hope that you can find reasons to live again. If your dark feelings are too overwhelming, please seek help. I am sure your David would not want you to struggle alone.There are phone lines you can ring, such as the Samaritans. (Let me know if you would like to give you their number.)

Dear Frankie1,
What a lot of suffering you had to go through in a short period of time, Each loss on its own would have a huge impact, so to lose your husband, your mum and your home in one year must have been horrendous. Did you seek and get any help at that time? I think you have done amazingly well to not fall apart! On top of that you have brought up your son on your own. What has helped you cope all those years?
And now you are again in a difficult situation. Being in pain takes its toll on the mind and the body. Are you getting any support from your GP to help with pain relief?
I can relate to the joys and sorrows of living with a teenager. We have a son who is 18, so have just reached the other end of the teenage years. A challenging time, but also rewarding when you see your son grow from a child into a young man. It sounds like your son may be taking things out on you at the moment. I hope you can find a balance between showing him your love and being firm in setting boundaries. I found it at times very helpful to look at forums for parents of teenagers, or talk with people who had already ‘been there and done that’ to get some advice. Does your son have good friends?
I can understand that at times you feel so overwhelmed by it all that you feel like taking all our painkillers. Please don’t! Your life is still worth living, and you have a child that depends on you. Imagine what it would be like for him to lose his mum. If you have a very dark moment, please seek help. There are helplines you can phone 24/7, such as the Samaritans. (Do let me know if you want me to give your their number.)
You deserve help and support. I hope you get lots of responses from people on this site who have been through losses.
Sending you love and a big virtual hug,
Jo64

I feel just the same,I think it’s unusual because it seems most people who are grieving feel worse at the moment but we’re all different aren’t we.I have felt more at peace on my own with our animals and feel closer to Roy.As you say,not having to pretend.Yesterday I had to go in to work,it was awful (and this is a job I have always loved)I spent half the day in floods of tears and totally overwhelmed at the prospect of having to get back to ‘normal ‘ People are kind but I know myself that I am not doing my job anything like to the standard I used to.Today I am physically and emotionally exhausted…after one day! Just wish so much I could stay at home forever,it seems I can cope with my sad brain better this way,but I’m only 50 so too young to retire.
Thankyou for posting,I thought I was alone in feeling this way.
Love and peace to all,Corinna xx

Also,all this is tinged with a terrible guilt,because I feel like a spoilt brat,feeling the way I do when so many are worse off,Corinna xx

Dear Hainey,

I lost my husband nearly six years ago and for the first time since lockdown, due to the pandemic, I feel at peace. No-one telling me to go out and do this and that, no-one telling me to join this and that, no-one telling me to go for a long walk in fact, no-one is now interfering in my life. I can get up in the morning, and have breakfast, read a book or watch a film, then I do what I have to do, have lunch then go in the garden or whatever. I find now I am at peace with myself after all these years without my Peter and can just sit and reflect on the past, listen to my music and remember what was, I still cry, I still miss my wonderful husband but since the pandemic started I seem to have accepted Peter not being here. Perhaps too many people were telling me what I should do and not bothering to ask me what I wanted to do. I felt as if I was being organised all the time.
Now I just feel peaceful.
Love
Sheila.x

3 Likes

Dear Sheila
It is only 19 weeks since I lost my husband but I totally recognise what you are saying.
People mean well, but being organised is not always what we need.
I hope one day I will feel peaceful too. x