I’m so sorry to read that you are here because your partner died @Wong. I remember when my dad died - my mum was in her 50s - and how acutely bereft she became. Everyone experiences loss and grief in a very personal way, and I can only say that she felt profoundly lonely without him, and I think perhaps always did. Even with children, and then later grandchildren, there was a place in her that was alone without dad. There were so many of life’s experiences she was never able to share with him, including their first grandchild (I was pregnant when he died) and I think it must have taken great strength of mind to learn to live - in a very different way - without him there with her.
To lose a partner is to lose so much of one’s own life narrative, shared experiences, hopes, plans - so much. I remember she used to say, when she did talk about it, that there was no-one after he died to remember the names, a face in a photograph, something funny or sad that only he would have known about. They met working in Africa, and came from very different backgrounds, and we lived an unconventional life in some regards. I think that made it hard for her afterwards, because she had to make a new life for herself with different people, somewhere she hadn’t lived for many years.
My siblings aren’t able yet to talk about mum, so in the weeks since she died I have rarely talked about her except to my husband. I miss her presence so much - her wit, her laugh, her wisdom when I need it - just the safeness of her being in the world. I get scared sometimes that I’ll forget things because I don’t talk about her. Because of the life we had, she was my reference for so many memories of places we lived, friends we had, even the pets we loved or the schools I went to. Unlike my husband, I can’t just drive to somewhere and say ‘that’s where we used to live’ or ‘that’s my primary school’ or ‘look that’s the park I used to play in’. Those places are all so far away, and without mum to remember them with it all seems so unreal now. And when I look through her photographs, she isn’t here to remind me, make it real again.
Sorry for the ramble - really we all just miss our loved people so much.