We need understanding

I long ago gave up trying to express my grief to most people. They never react as I need. A bereaved person needs to be quietly listened to, allowed to talk. We repeat ourselves, we don’t need advice, we certainly don’t need to hear nonsense! People try to help but just don’t say the right things. The worst times are when they tell you you ought to be over it by now. They think a couple of years and it is all done with.

I can never tell anybody about how I don’t want to live any more. Oh lord the reactions! They assume I am suicidal - actually no I am not. I know very well that is wrong and I am too cowardly. I just feel life is not worth anything without my husband. I need to express that. Even worse is when ignorant well meaning folks panic and say I ought to see the doctor, get anti depressants etc. This is not what I need to hear at all.

What do you think we need? I believe a gentle listening friend who sits quietly without panic, doesn’t judge or assume, is all I need. Just hear me without interruption. Yet it seems impossible to find this unless with Samaritans or a professional counselor.


Hi Rachel, I also feel very much like you do and it is hard enough to cope without the advice of well meaning folk!! I have had so much unwanted advice, the worst one being ‘well you never know you might meet someone else’ unbelievable but then he is still married. So now I just have a small circle of friends who are mainly in the same position as me and don’t dole out the unwanted advice, I find the problem is that I now don’t want to join new groups or go outside my comfort zone which isn’t how i used to be at all but it feels safer. I think what we need is what we can’t have sadly and can only live with the memories,
You are not alone in how you feel.
Wishing you well.
Love Jenny x


You have it spot on Rachel & Jenny.

We get up each morning out of our comfort zones. Our lives have been turned upside down.
I’m not becoming a recluse but I’d rather have my own company (or a few good listening ears) than someone else’s trivial crap conversation.

To be told a prize bingo will be “a laugh & WE need fun” - - .
(Neighbour still has her husband obviously)

Take care.
G. X


I’m very fortunate, in some ways, (clearly none of us on this board are truly fortunate by virtue of the fact that we’re bereaved) in that I have a small number of good friends who trod this path before me.

So they truly do understand.

I also find them inspirational in that I’ve seen each of them absolutely broken at the beginning of their grief but bit by bit, over many years, they have, without exception, evolved into their new normal.

I am sorry to say that when they were bereaved, I truly had no idea of the full depth of pain and anguish they were experiencing.

I offered a listening ear, tissues, hugs, sympathy, empathy etc,etc, but, I really did not truly know how very, very hard it was for them though, hopefully, they wouldn’t necessarily have known that at the time.

It’s only now that I realise this.

Does it help having people around you who’ve been there before you?
In all honesty, I don’t know if it does because ultimately, although they can understand the situation, no-one can take way the overwhelming feeling of loss - no-one can relieve you of the pain.

At the risk of coming across like a complete mad woman, I find the best person to talk to is myself!
It helps me organise my thoughts and I really do know how it feels for me.


Totally agree. Apart from my children and close family, I just don’t want to talk to anyone, I would just feel worse, not being understood.
So if I can’t have my husband, than I’ll just have myself.


I feel as you do. There is no purpose in living without him but I am too cowardly to kill myself and it would put all sorts of things in motion that I don’t want to do to other people. I know that bravery and putting one foot in front of the other is all I can do but it is miserable and I worry about everything and do not have him to listen when I want to talk about things. I hear people say that they are rudderless and that describes my onward journey. I have no direction. I agree that we need the Samaritans and/or professional counselling. Take care. xx


Oh you offer great insight. None of us can truly understand another’s pain unless we have suffered in virtually the same way. For me the company of other widows is the best.

There are things I have no experience of, such a miscarriage, divorce, loss of a parent. Yet I can listen and sympathise but I know I must control my tongue. It is ok to say i cannot imagine your situation but I am so sorry.

The worst experiences for me are when someone tries to jolly me out of it or advises me to see the doctor or ‘get professional help’ as in a counsellor. We bereaved already know all that, we will do it if we want . What we need is comfort and peace.