Trying to cope and stay together

My wife of 25 years died from cancer on the 15th March. I have two daughters 23 and 18 who live with me. The funeral is on Monday 26th which we are dreading. We are so vulnerable at the moment but will be the centre of attention. It’s not going to be easy and we are working and communicating closely together to help get us through. I worry so much about what next after my wife’s funeral and how we will cope in the coming weeks. I feel so useless to support them both and trying to be their Mum and Dad. My youngest daughter is sitting her A levels in May and amazingly returned to school 3 days after her Mum died. Not sure it has all hit her yet…worry how she will be affected after Monday. Talked about some counselling help but she doesn’t want to at the moment.
Any advice or strategies to get us through the next few weeks will be wekcome. Also how would we go about accessing some CRUSE counselling sessions?

Anybody recommend any guides or books to help us through? It just frightens me when people say it will be at least a year before you feel different…how can you cope knowing that these feelings will last so long into the future?

Thank you for any advice or guidance you can give us.

I am so very sorry for what you are all going through. Your circumstances are very reminiscent of what happened when my sister died of cancer 25 years ago. She left behind a husband aged 46 years, a son aged 17 and a daughter aged 15. It was so hard on our family, our mum had lost my dad when she was 50 years old and now she had lost her daughter.

My brother in law became a mum and dad to his children and they all supported each other. My brother in law died two years ago aged 69 and his children, now in their 40’s were devastated, they had lost the one person that kept the family together.

That is the only way forward, just be there for one another because that is the only way you are going to get through this. I lost my husband of 47 years three years ago and I will be honest, nothing will be the same again. When a loved one dies you lose the future you were supposed to have with them so it does not make any wonder why it takes so long to come to terms with it. You cannot get over it in a matter of months, you cannot love someone for 25 years and expect to stop grieving straight away, you will always grieve but the most important thing of all is to talk about your wife, never stop mentioning her name or remembering the happier years. Look at photos, play music, it will make you cry, of course it will, but I would rather cry for the person I loved for most of my life than not. They deserve for you to grieve for them. The more you grieve, the more you have loved, that is an old saying. You had what many people never have and that is a wonderful marriage and loving children.

My friend has just lost her husband aged 52, her daughter is 17 so she contacted Cruse from the website and is now waiting for an appointment for counselling for her daughter. Getting through the next few weeks is just about putting one foot in front of the other, there is no easy way, you get up, but wish you could stay in bed, you do what you have to, in my case on auto-pilot, and get through the day as best you can. It is not going to be easy, there are mountains of forms and paperwork to sort through but you do it day by day, important things first, followed by non-important things.

We are all here for you, we have all been through some similar heartbreak and believe you me, this website has been a god-send, knowing you are not alone, so please keep in touch.

Please take care.

Regards.

Sheilax

Hi Rahod
I am sorry you have lost your wife so recently. You and your daughters must be in turmoil at the moment. I lost my husband on 7th January and have daughters too, although they are a little older than yours.Please don’t think you are ‘useless’. You are doing the very best you can under terrible circumstances.
We were dreading my husband’s funeral but actually found it quite uplifting and comforting - so many people came and it was amazing to think how many lives he had touched.We did everything we could to make the service personal and meaningful to us. Yes, it was very sad but we got through as best we could. We leaned on each other and our family and friends and it brought us all much closer together.
We have since bought a beautiful memory box and my daughters and I have all contributed different things that reminded us of my husband and our lives together. We will open together on significant dates and whenever we need to be that bit nearer to him, although he is always in our hearts.
I have no personal experience of Cruse but I understand there is a very long waiting list. It may be worth trying to access counselling via your GP. Your local hospice should also be able to advise you about their services.
Wishing you and your family strength.
Ann x

Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words. They do help and it helps in not feeling you are alone during this awful time. You just feel that you become the topical talking in your area … there’s the family who’s Mum died of cancer.

Your experience of your husband’s funeral sounds really nice Ann and comforting to you all as a family and certainly helps me think more positively about Monday.

I do hope you and your family are feeling more positive. People keep saying it is going to be a rocky road ahead but it’s nice to know we are not the only family travelling the same road at the moment.

The information on CRUSE is useful. It is probably to early to know the support we might need over the next few week and months, it is just knowing what’s out there and how to get help. Any further advice welcome.

Once again, thanks so much for your replies, reflections and experiences it made really made a difference today to know there there are kind, caring and supportive people out there who can relate to our situation.

Warmest wishes.

Rahod