Unable to cope with wife's death

Having a hard time just one month after losing my beloved wife, cannot cope. After 23years of marriage I’m left with three teenagers.nightimes and early evening are tough.

Hi Ravinder im sorry for your loss and welcome to this special club .Have you seen your gp (medication does help i take it )also the Samaritians they never close (there there for people in distress i asked them ) Stay in touch on here theres loads of people in this special club (some will fully understand your nightmare) Colin

Hi Ravinder,

I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad that you have taken the step of posting here and already had one reply. You will find that there are lots of supportive people like Colin here who understand what it is like to lose a loved one. I hope that you find it helpful to be a part of this community.

I notice that you said you have been left with three teenagers - that is tough, as you will all be grieving in your own ways and you will have to learn how to parent without her, alongside coping with your own loss. You may find this information on supporting a teenager with grief helpful: http://support.sueryder.org/practical-emotional-advice/how-can-i-support-teenager-or-young-person-grief

Gingerbread is a good organisation that offers support to those who are parenting alone: https://gingerbread.org.uk/

Thanks Colin, been exactly one month tonight since I lost my wife of 23years, Balbir.
The kindess, most caring person ever was, all I heard from various fellow humans whom she touched and met.
She worked in the NHS since the age of 16, a cancerian by birth.(renowned, caring, kind, good humoured, never said bad of others.)
Always together, never apart when we where out and about.

Now greiving for one whose broken my heart in two.

Hopefully I can find some comfort by sharing experiences with fellow Grievers.


Hi Ravinder,

You should take comfort where you find it. This site will help put a little perspective on what you are feeling, There are so many on here with their own story and it helps to read them. Whilst gaining some perspective there is sound advise and huge support as we are all a bit fragile with feelings of despair at times.

For me, it’s good days bad days at the moment. I lost my mum in April and it’s been a busy and problematic year so I thought I was getting over it pretty well but it has been hard in recent weeks. I think I took too many distractions on which may have suppressed how I was truly feeling. Of course I had my moments along the way but this hit me so unexpectedly. You need to do what you feel is right for you, it’s good to have distractions but don’t be like me, take the time you need to get over this loss.

I can only imagine how it must feel to lose a partner. My loss is a parent so I know it’s a different type of life that needs to follow. In the here and now however the personal sadness is the same for all on this site regardless of the set of circumstances we have all been dealt.

Find peace where you can and take up any support you can find from family or friends.

Keep posting, it truly helps to offload…x

Like you at the moment I to am experiencing good, bad days.
Ask her for strength to get me and the kids through another day on a daily basis, I know she hears me as I talk to her like she has not left me and I think what Bal would say or do at certain times or in such circumstances.
She was my red haired lady, wife, soul mate, confident, mother and wife to our three lovely polite kids.
Whom we bought up with pride, dignity and manners sadly lacking these days. We met on Valentine’s day 1993 and got engaged shortly thereafter within the confines of our SIKH religion and married five months later two days before her 26th birthday.

Always caring willing to help and assist people in what ever way she could, whether at work or home. We worked shifts bringing up our children and like most parents assisting their every needs over the years.
Happy marriage based on compromise, understanding one another, always together when and where ever or what we did like cleaning, shopping , housework etc.

She needed a aortic valve replacement which I found out to my dismay at the end of October, took three days of work, commencing 14 November but made it a week instead, twice her appointment for her low iron level prior to her OP was cancelled, she was just normal that week except she went Xmas shopping on Friday morning with our daughter Saffron, told me instead she was covering for a colleague at work.
Overnight I tugged her at 4am in morning, she just smiled at me,saturday morning we found her on the sofa after Bal called out in distress, listless,motionless.
Arriving at hospital shortly after she was stablelised.
upon transferring her to QE2 hospital in Birmingham she put her hand out too me, held it firmly with all her strength.
Was her way of saying goodbye to me, kids and give us STRENGTH with what we would face eventually.
After a 10 hour OP she never woke up and passed away 10 days later on ,29th November at 5am peacefully.
I kissed her forehead three times telling my beloved wife that she will see me when it’s my turn, I’ll see her but no else will know except us.

Her operation was fine but some dreaded thing called sepsis took her from us.

Sadly missed, worked in the NHS and all I’ve heard about is people praising her kind values.


Your wife sounds like a beautiful and special person, you talk so fondly of her. Hopefully in time the hurt will give so that you can reflect with pride and happiness in the joy that she brought you, your children and all those people who have taken time to give her accolade.

Thinking of you and your three children, take care of each other and let us all know how you are getting on…x

She was and will always be described as you have done so along with minions of others.
She’s broken my heart and untied the knot with which we were bound by on our wedding day.
Lonely in heart and mind, suffer in silence with my grief although not in front of the children.
Finding it difficult to cope without her wise words of comfort , distraught, feeling low especially during the evening’s and nights.

She was strong, resilient and warm but never thought of her self as being good looking, when ever I said it to her.
She hated being described as such, very HUMBLE with her persona.
Just a simple wife at home, at work she was a team leader within the NHs.
She would dress in her joggy top and bottom with her blue slippers at home plain Jane .

Wish I could have taken her place but only the good do first.
Could carry on about Balbir and says things about her forever. Someone who was worthy of it.

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Hi Ravinder
So sorry to hear about the loss of your wife Balbir. I lost my wife, Helen, 16 weeks ago to cancer and we had longer to prepare for it than you did, the suddeness of it all is a shock in itself. How are your children? They will be grieving badly too, not in the same way a partner does, but in their own way - it is tough to share with teenagers but I am sure Balbir would want you to support each other and your daughter Saffron may well be feeling guilty about her shopping trip with her mother - you need their support just as much as they need yours.
I do not know the Sikh way of meeting death and grief so forgive me if I have offended - I am only speaking from the heart. My son, though older than your children has been a great support to me. Thinking of you all, Alan.

Alan I appreciate your kindness and concern for my loss, yes it was unexpected something we as a family are now trying to accept. Likewise may I offer you my sincere condolences with your loss.
My kids are grieving privately in their own way whereas I cannot do so, mostly cry openly when I’m feeling low thinking of Balbir almost throughout everyday, night.

In the Sikh religion we grieve and believe as in Christianity that once someone has passed away, they will enter the kingdom of our devine guru.(GOD) if they have lived a life of kindness and believe in him and the teachings of our religion.

That last week was what my wife was meant to do, again relating to our religious beliefs I never suspected anything was wrong.

During that night 18/19 November Bal had moved away from me, she knew.
I touched her shoulder at 4am and teased her with a joke, only she turned her head and smiled at me without a word.
Deeply struggling trying to manage her loss and to grieve, communicate with my children.
David we both share in each others grief.
Thank you.

Ravinder, thank you for your kind words. Although brought up in the Church of England I believe there is only one God whom we all share. I also believe that your Balbir has entered into the Sikh kingdom, if I could not believe that my wife Helen would not enter the kingdom of heaven I would believe nothing. I hope your children can be open to you, or each other, or other members of your family when they want - there are times when we need to grieve privately and times when we need to share. Your children are no doubt savvy enough to have already located any online sites they might want to help them through the loss of their mother but can I just mention, www.childbereavement.org.uk.

Helen too knew that she was very close to death and I believe that she hung on until the exact day and month on which her father, to whom she was very close, had died 11 years previously.

Thinking of you all

Alan I hope we can continue our conversations from time to time as it’s helping me to understand my grief and loss a little more.
I’m sure we’ve found some little glimmer of comfort by sharing our thoughts on the loss of a loved one.


Hi Ravinder
Thank you for your kind words, it is all so difficult to understand. Today I was keeping busy, grabbed a breakfast at Sainsbury’s (as we sometimes did), bought some dining chairs that we meant to do before Helen was diagnosed, bought a lampshade, went to the bank, kept my good humour for hours in the outside world. Then I came home to an empty house and cried, as though all my pretending to be normal would bring her back, as though it would earn it somehow, like a good child.
Wishing you and your children peace in this new year.

Good to hear from you, I too had a rough time today as I had to write several letters to various places relating to my wife’s affairs.
Sad thing to do, something I never thought I’d have done.
Like yourself Alan I came home to a empty house with no atmosphere, just a empty silence.
I cooked dinner for my kids but our appetites have disappeared and a lot goes to waste, we shared our household chores
and where always together no matter what and seek each other’s opinions on any subject matter relating too,generally anything or:
Music from rock to classical, swing music and then of course the 70s and 60s period.
World politics and affairs and almost everything else in between.
Wide and varied catalogue.

Anyway Alan I appreciate our community relationship via this website, I think we are getting to communicate with each other, sharing our thoughts and feelings about your wife Helen and of course Balbir.
Take care and let’s keep in touch when we can.
I live in Birmingham and was wondering where abouts you reside,i know lots of people probably live all over the country who talk on this site.
Thanks again.

Hi Ravi
I live on the north Kent marshes on the isle of Sheppey, luckily by the sea. Helen grew up in a little village by the sea in Cornwall but it was difficult to move back there but we were glad to moved here.
I have some good memories of Birmingham, I can be a glass half empty guy so I like to remember the good times as much as I can. If I don’t I feel I am selling short the life Helen and I had together. My son, Luke, did some studying in Birmingham and we visited him and his then wife near Canon Hill park. He’d also lived at or near Acocks Green. We ate at the so called Balti capital of the UK (is it true that the balti was invented in Birmingham) and we went to Villa Park twice to see Crystal Palace play. The Birmingham road layout a nightmare but the people very friendly and welcoming.
I had only just retired when Helen took ill so perhaps I have too much time on my hands. I imagine with 3 teenagers that you will be working (if not on leave at the moment following Balbir’s passing) and therefore busy so thanks for the time and best wishes to you all.

Alan may I first and foremost thank you for your prompt reply, I’ve only seen the isle of Shelley on the television via some programme or documentary. I’ve moved to the UK in 1966 when I was 6 years old, my dad was a Desert Rat during the war, fought against Rommel.
He signed up at the age of 18 and was a Sargent in the infamous 8th Army under General Mountgomery.
Anyway Birmingham is the curry capital but it originated in India, different types of restaurants consisting of several ethnic minorities; Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani.
I’m not a Aston Villa fan but follow west Bromwich as I live near there, your correct but most people are friendly brummies although some can be rude.
My hands are full looking after my kids, I cook, clean and do all household chores, I have the time because I suffered a stroke 4 years ago and therefore not working.
Bal was the main income earner obviously my situations altered and I’m now seeking employment with my background, hopefully I can resume that role in some environment.
I worked as a sheet metal worker in the heating/ventilation ductwork trade for 25 years as well as some other types of work, lm not a drinker but used to on occasions before I got I’ll.
Cornwall Alan is a lovely part of England and I wonder which town/city your wife Helen came from.
Bal and I use to travel to various sea side day trips via coach although not this year but we’ve been too and walked southend-on-
sea pier, scary over 1.5 miles into the English channel but Bal did it.
Alan perhaps we can meet up somehow, somewhere face to face and only then can we comprehend each other.

Hello Ravinder

Meant to reply earlier but I am a bit up and down at the moment, one step forward (don’t ask in which direction) then two back. Yes, it would be good to meet sometime but perhaps leave it a bit - I don’t want to set off to meet and then turn back half way there ! I do find coming back to an empty house difficult, I expect with three teenagers on your hands you might not find it so much but then there are difficulties you are having that I’m not. Everyone is going through this in their own way and far from comprehending someone else I find it difficult to understand myself !

Good luck with finding work, at least ductwork is not affected by the housing slump so commercial and industrial properties will still need supplying. Helen came from a little village called Porthpean just outside St Austell and was born and bred Cornish which is part of the Celtic race of peoples like the Scots, Irish, Welsh and Bretons. (Helen hated being called English.) A couple of minutes walk and I can see Southend across the Thames Estuary - there used to be a tiny passenger ferry between Southend and Sheppey but that ceased some 10 years ago. Helen and I used to swim off one of the Sheppey beaches in the summer but we never attempted to swim to Southend and back.

Best wishes to you all and take care of each other.

Sorry to hear that your going through good /bad days, I think it’s just part of the current process relating to our greiving as I’m learning only to well.
Alan the only place I’ve visited in Cornwall was Weston-Super-Mair with Bal in 2014, we enjoyed our day out by taking in the sites, sounds.
I have a job interview on Monday it’s for a sales company as I’m applying for almost any job.
Yes my kids are struggling also but at times it’s hard to communicate with them, just feel like I’m being blocked out by then, do not make or share any conversations about Bal, so I sit in silence and bide my time.HARD!
Very pleasing to hear about Helen and her place of birth in Cornwall and thanks for your explanation regarding the differences between being called Cornish and english, what races are related to Cornish people I find fascinating.
I understand the reasoning why you don’t want to meet up (understable for obvious reasons) so less just communicate like we do.

Again appreciate your communique you take care.


Hi Ravinder
I know it is notoriously difficult to communicate with teenagers at the best of times but what I do with my son (o.k. he is older but the principle still applies) is to try and draw him in. I say things like “I wonder what Helen would have done here…” or if I make a cock up “Helen would have laughed at that wouldn’t she …” or I play back some of the good memories you and the children shared with Balbir “Do you remember when…and what did you do/ say then”. I know teenagers can have sharp tongues but it will only be because they are hurting, and I know you might be the only one ending up crying but it may give them the lead they are looking for. Hope you get that job Monday, I’ll be thinking of you and yours.Best wishes.

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