Trying to cope with the sudden Loss of my husband

We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary March 30th this year, little did we know that exactly 2 months later I’d be attending my husband’s funeral after he passed away suddenly on May 19th this year. I was told on the Monday he’d got two infections which should be cleared in time for him to come home on the Wednesday to Friday of the following week, then on the Thursday afternoon I was taken into a side room and told they’d found a malignancy, he passed away on the Saturday morning 6.45 am, one and a half days after being given the bad news. He had not visited GP for over 40 years, and every test they did generated further tests. 2 years ago he was bitten by a spider in Grenada and every few months or so the symptoms reappeared, he drank pure coconut water for two days then the symptoms would vanish, the tests they did concluded the spider bite was contributory to his passing. I’m still in a glass tunnel filled with mist, the emptiness and loneliness is overwhelming. We have been together since just before my 16th birthday. I’m finding the confidence I used to have is disappeared completely in a flash. Even the simplest of decisions is very difficult. Getting used to shopping for one, sitting alone in the evening not wanting to do anything,

I have certainly found who my true friends are, and some have been very sharp with comments. Suddenly many are an experts on my bereavement, they all have their comments and bits of advice, one 'kind friend ’ even insisted that because I was questioning the point of me being here (On one of my.losest days) insisted I should phone a crisis centre and should be taking medication. Why do those who’ve never experienced the loss of a partner suddenly take it upon themselves to know more about what I’m feeling, what I should and shouldn’t be doing, even to the point that as it’s coming up for 5 months next weekend since his passing I.shoukd be getting back to everyday life Nd pulling myself together.

Grief is unique to us all and no one can say how another copes or reacts. There’s no quick fix, just nature. I believe in the spirit world and take great comfort in talking yo my husband, this has generated comments such as I should make am appointment to see a psychiatrist as in their words ‘I’m losing it and should be sectioned’. There are some very unkind people who I’m systematically removing from my for me of friends. I do have some really wonderful friends 2 of which I’ve both lost their husbands o we the past 12 months.

People ask how I am, I tell them then their reply is - he’s in a better place, you’d only have to nurse him if he was still here etc etc. I am glad he went the way he did, in not knowing, he didn’t have any symptoms of cancer or anything else really apart from the re-occurrence of the spider bite symtoms. I’m finding some are really heartless and quite upsetting with their remarks. Only last week, my sister remarked that I should go on a cruise because lots of people on their own go on cruises, this really upset me, the least little thing tends to do so at present. If only these people would just stop and tho k about what they’re saying and realise their comments are very upsetting and at times very hurtful.

The loneliness is a big battle, not seeing or speaking to another soul from one day to the next, invitations we used to have as a couple have ceased completely, usually all for the same reason… oh we didn’t think you’d want to come on your own - why do some suddenly think it’s their right to make decisions for you without even asking. I feel I’ve become an alien overnight.

Hi day at a time ,im very sorry for your loss ,friends are part of your nightmare there on lookers .Your whole world has been blown apart and to them mixing with people on a cruse ,will suddenly make you happy ,as you know the way you feel it most definitely wont. 5 months everything is still raw ,put the 50 years together with it and all logic is thrown out of the window .Take the life you have at your own pace.Maybe go to your doctors (im on medication)or maybe phone the Samaritians (i do that too) .They like here will listen let you cry and offload they dont judge .Please dont be offended by my suggestions .Colin(im 59 my darling Denise passed 04032016 on her birthday she was 41)

Sorry for your loss I lost my partner suddenly in May to a heart attack he was only 48 I was in shock for the first few weeks all I can say is take one day at a time people do say the wrong things sometimes people don’t understand unless you have been through it do what’s right for you and not what other people think is right.
Take care
Christine x

I’m so sorry to hear of what’s happened to you. I lost someone very close to me two weeks ago (mum’s partner - together for over twenty years). I am a naturally emotional person and have found myself really expressing my emotions these last couple of weeks. It’s something I feel I need to do - if I bottle it up I think I might just explode. A lot of my family members have found my ‘emotions’ very difficult to deal with - apparently it’s not normal to be so emotional, and I should ‘be stronger’ and ‘be positive’ and perhaps I have mental health problems as I can’t cope. These comments have been difficult to hear and have made me question whether indeed I do have problems - can’t I cope? Is this not normal? After reading many comments on this site (a wonderful site) and some books I’ve come to the conclusion that it is indeed very normal, and arguably crucial that we go through the mentions and express ourselves.

I also have a feeling that most people say all these things (ie be positive be strong etc) because they simply can’t ‘deal’ with me being so emotional. If I’m happy then it makes life easier for them.

You do what is right for you.

Thank you everyone for your kind words, I had booked to see a counsellor at our local hospital on the advice off my GP, one hour before the appointment they phoned to cancel as the counsellor that had been assigned couldn’t get child care, found this very disturbing and wondered how many more appointments in the future would be cancelled I’m the same way, a friend who had lost 2 partners recommended some one who I’ve seen twice now in a private capacity, it has helped a little but as she says, there’s no quick fix, this is true. Now everyone seems to know what is best for me what i should and shouldn’t be doing. I don’t expect them to drop every thing and have the world revolve around me, but it would be nice to know I’ve not suddenly become invisible and surplus requirements. I’ve actually had a little bit more support from my husband’s friends, which whilst thus is very kind it’s also very upsetting to realise those in thought i could rely on now treat me like a leper.

Thank you again for your kind words and support, I really do appreciate it,

So very sorry that you have joined those of us who have been left behind but glad that you have found this site and all the wonderful posters who will offer help and support.
It is very early days for you…for each of us getting used to carrying our grief is so hard…possibly one of the hardest things we have ever done…but somehow, almost in spite of ourselves, we breathe through each day and some of the jagged edges become smoother. Please don’t let outsiders upset you. .we live in an “anything can be fixed” world and they just don’t have a scoobie of how we feel…our distress embarrasses them and they just don’t know how to react. Unfortunately, many of them will find out one day. As regards the loneliness I can offer no solution…I guess it is the other side of the grief coin and will vary according to our circumstances. I live in a very rural area and go for days and days without seeing another human being…I live inside my bubble with my dogs and all my photos and memories and try to find things to wonder at and be grateful for…I have just spent my third birthday since Barry died on my own…but it is not as bad as it sounds and I have achieved a degree of acceptance and peace which I never thought possible. I no longer think “what ifs” but am glad for all the joy we knew…one day at a time! I wish you love and hope…don’t give up…the love you shared will never die and will sustain you in the days ahead. Take carex

1 Like

I too celebrated my 48th wedding anniversary on 30th March and my husband died on the 13th MAY after major surgery and surviving ICU for 10 days.We never had any children but I have found the comments made particularly by my husbands brothers have been the most hurtful “you just tend to get on with things “ My husband was the one and only love of my life and like most people on this site I do not want another partner.I have never felt so distressed, heart broken and lonely in my life.No one could ever care or love me as my husband did but I am sick of people suggesting I get on with things .I feel that my life has ended and I have nothing to look forward to in my life ever again.I have not yet reached the point where I can look back at the wonderful life I had with my husband but can only say that unless someone has lost their husband or partner then they will never understand how we feel.
My niece, brother but most of all my friend have been invaluable and my friend comes up 4-5 times a week, eats with me allows me to talk about my husband and I know with their help I will get through this.
I also hate the status widow but I am sure that all of us on this site are in some way helping each other by sharing our experience and discussing the dreadful comments that are made to us by people we know well because I am sure these comments are familiar to us all.It is also reassuring to know that the dreadful hurt and anguish I feel is “normal” for my situation and I am not going insane or having a mental breakdown.
I have experienced most of the emotions and comments that have been discussed here but I have been given some positive thoughts :-
Grief is like glitter you can never get rid of it
Don’t stress your distress - scream ,shout, cry and get angry it’s normal
Don’t say your fine to ANYONE that asks you, if they don’t want to hear how you really feel then they are not a friend or worth knowing
Thank you all for sharing I send you all kind thoughts as it’s really helped me

Thank you amelie’s gran
I live in a large city but I suppose the loneliness is more about not having your partner
I have a business which has been run in my absence by staff. I am amazed at how thoughtless some clients and family have been in ‘expecting me to be back at work” as this will “be helpful and help me move on” To be honest it is the last thing on my mind at the moment though I have been working from home a few days a week and ventured into my office for 2 days last week and the 2 clients I met were comparing my loss to the loss of their parents. I could not ever understand, until my own husband died how different the loss of a partner is to the loss of your parent and although their grief is relevant I find that people I meet have to keep comparing their emotions to mine.I would just reiterate that the loss of my husband is unbearable and I feel that the pain is physical and no one can understand this until they are in this situation.It is so helpful that eveyone is sharing their emotions and yes, it’s normal.
Thank you

Everything you have written I can echo except for the way in which our partners died ( mine died 6 months ago) but all you are feeling, thinking, experiencing and having to cope with I could not have written better myself.

I didn’t write what you have written simply because it is too much effort, not that I’m not experiencing it.

The crass comments of so many people make this role even harder to navigate.

Please accept my sincere and heartfelt condolences on your sad loss. I’m guessing it will eventually get better, I hope it does because I would want to live as I am doing for too long.


Thank you Christine, and so sorry for your loss, no one can say how they’ll react or cope after a passing until it actually happens, everyone’s experience and how they cope is unique to them, the support on here is overwhelming and I’m finding great comfort in knowing I’m not going insane. ☆ blessings :black_small_square:

Thank you For a, and so very sorry for your loss, my thoughts and blessings ate with you. It’s a very hard and lonely road to travel, and travel we must. I’ve thoughts of giving up fromtime to time , hopefully this too is another phase we have to deal with. ☆

Thank you Colin and blessings for the loss of your loved one. I have been prescribed sleeping tablets, anything else us currently on a back burner, having had total knee replacement surgery in January I’m still weaning off tramadol, (after.a fall had to to back on full medication mslingthe withdrawal journey slightly longer) I also have a very good counsellor I’ve met with twice so far, the counselling is on the basis of if and when I feel in need of a further session, I feel this way I’m not using the sessions as a crutch but more of guidance and direction when I feel in losing my way. Thsnk you again for your kind words ☆

I read your story, and how I feel for you because I lost my husband in June 2017, 3 months after our 53rd wedding anniversary. (He died the day of the Grenfell Tower tragedy). I’d been with him since I was 16 as well. I can well understand your comments - lost confidence, so lonely, I’m so slow doing anything now, very sleepy. Can’t make decisions etc so I really feel for you and understand where you’re coming from.
Have you got a local Hospice Bereavement Service? They are good. So is the Community Matron who could probably come and see you, arranged by your doctor. They’re brilliant. Hope this helps. I’d ask if I were you.
I read your story, and I just had to reply, it’s me all over. Do take care. I’d definitely ask about these people. Age Concern have found me a befriender, but I’ve only seen her twice, but she’s very nice.
Do take care, and remember I’m feeling exactly the same although I am a bit further along this journey, having been a widow now for 16 months. It will take us a long while I think, but everybody is different so they say. Some of us just feel it more. You were probably soulmates, as we were. Take care.

Thank you so much, each day is different, I can start a day feeling a little better then within a moment I’m so low and unable to cope with anything, another day I can wake feeling dreadful and as the day progresses I improve. I’m still not eating properly and in the first 3 weeks or less my weight plummeted by 12lbs. Anything normal became irrelevant, it’s so very hard as you will know yourself, I am so sorry for your loss and hope you begin to see the stars in the sky again, I look up to the heavens and feel he’s watching over me. Taking every thing just a day at a time with no expectations is all I’m able to do. The comfort and support from this website is wonderful, I know there are many in my situation yet still feel completely alone.

Thank you again. ☆

I am so very sorry to hear about your loss, it is very hard when you have spent such a long life together. Do keep talking to your late husband if that helps you. I do this too, quite spontaneously at times, but mostly intentionally. I talk to him sometimes just in my head, but often out loud at home, in the car, it helps me not to bottle things up and to keep him close to me. Ignore what other people say, you are certainly not going mad! My husband died 17 months ago and I still become very emotional and cry often. When the crunch came he was given a prognosis of up to nine months so we thought we had a little precious time to spend together, but then he died only a week later very traumatically and I relive his last few hours very frequently with flashbacks. We had been married almost 40 years and for me there will never be anyone else either. Following his death I kept myself too busy and just kept trying to move forwards. I even moved house, but took on too much of a project and now am bogged down with it all. I suppose I was trying to block out all the pain I was feeling, other people didn’t help at all, saying I would soon be back to my old self. If someone hasn’t had the life changing experience of losing a long term partner they have no empathy and cannot feel or understand that life will never ever be back to what it was for us. I was not sleeping, over eating, particularly in the long evenings when I was alone, but kept going. Then on the first anniversary of his death I went on holiday to Ireland, which had been on his bucket list, that’s when my grief really hit hard and I have been struggling ever since, GP tried various antidepressants, which just numb the reality of the situation, they certainly didn’t help. He then recommended Cruse Bereavement, which you can refer yourself to, I did that four months ago and am still waiting. It feels like no-one is there for you when you need them. I have two cats and they give me a reason to get up most mornings, but there are days when I struggle to get out of bed. I try to remind myself that my late husband would have wanted me to have some sort of life, he wouldn’t want me to be this unhappy but as you say it is very hard to find any kind of purpose. You have to find a way, and the inner strength to make a very different life for yourself. It sounds like you and I are about the same age and are both grieving following a very long and close marriage. I would be very happy to give you my contact details, but because this site is confidential I am not sure how, or if we can do that. If that’s something you would want perhaps you can contact Eleanor who manages this site. I will leave that entirely up to you, but I am happy to offer any support, be a sounding board, just being there, if I can help I will.

All your posts so resonate with me … and everyone else here I expect. I am so very sorry that you have lost the one person who made life beautiful but it is good that you have found this site and everyone here gets it and will try to help.
Twenty eight months on I still relive Barry’s death and talk to him many times every day. I have created a bubble around myself and my dogs and just get through each day as it comes…I think about lots of things but not the future…today is enough.I guess we just learn to live with grief rather than fight it all the time…at least when the tears come now I know that they will pass.
I haven’t had counselling but have scoured the Internet and read lots of books and articles…(would the service offered here be of any use to you Florian?)… some of it helps but there will never be real solution and I think we have to accept that and just try to let the love we shared grow within us as we breathe through each day. If you want to contact each other you can use the private message function on your profile.
Take care…keep posting and listen to your heart x

Thank you so much for your reply and the advice. I am very sorry for your loss, no matter the time scale I can understand and know from my own experience that it doesn’t get any easier. I tried to look forward by planning my own future by moving house, but it has just added to the stress and distress and I feel as if I am never going to get out of this muddle. I cry alone because if I become upset when with others, they either tell me not to start them off, or they apologise for upsetting me, but from either response I just end up not feeling supported because what I really want is someone to hug and hold me while the tears come, not to have to hold everything in. From what you have said about putting a bubble around yourself you have a personal environment where you are not judged for still falling apart when others probably think by now you should be ‘getting over it!’ I am sure when you are with your dogs, like me with my cats, you are not being judged and they give you unconditional love and comfort. Take care, and thank you again.

Reading everyone’s experiences in losing a loving partner helps me to cope a little better, doesn’t make it go away by any means as you will all know, but knowing I’m not insane and that I am doing what us natural to me, as what every one of you are doing us natural to you too, is a great comfort. Think living with his loss and learning to continue without him is the hardest part at present. I go to bed earlier as the night’s are getting longer, just writing my thoughts and some feelings down is another comforting feeling x Thank you and I hope you take comfort from each other too x

Evening Florian, I’m trying tonight the messages you sent me, not a clue how to get into them, hope you can help ☆

Afternoon, thank you for your kind and helpful response, so sorry your life has been turned upside down especially in similar circumstances to my own, people who haven’t experienced what everyone here has gone through have no idea if concept of how we feel, how we cope or not cope, one of my husband’s coydibs phoned 2 possibly 3 weeks ago, wanted to know if I had any of his family’s photos she wanted them as they’re not photos of my family, then asked if i was over it all now. Just before I hung upon her I reminded her that the photos were part of my children’s family and as such they have them now, I just hung up and not heard another word since. It’s as though overnight I’ve become an untouchable, really seeing a very different and unsavoury side to some people lately. I truly hope you begin to look back on your life together and take comfort from all the beautiful moments you shared together, I’m finding great comfort in remembering past times. Sometimes I’ll get a little reminder totally out of the blue and that triggers memories long forgotten. Blessings and take care ☆

Back to top