What gives you any comfort or joy now?

Since my husband’s death I found things I used to find fun are not anymore working.

I have had short bursts of easing of the pain though with going for a walk, gardening, watching birds in the garden, playing with our cats. listening to music. Reading “its ok that you’re not ok”, Watching the series “after life” on Netflix or “gogglebox” on channel 4. A conversation very occasionally yields unexpected pain relief and of course this forum.

What about you? Any tips or ideas what works for you?

I find listening to music or podcasts helps and getting back to work has definitely helped me.
I usually enjoy walking, although most of the local walks are walks that I would have done regularly with Karen so I can sometimes find it “emotional”.
Going for a cycle ride will usually help clear the build up of rubbish that occupies my brain. Sadly it’s cold, dark and damp so my cycling is shorter and less often than I would like.

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I’ve binged through all seasons of ‘Derry Girls’ on Netflix and ‘Outnumbered’ on BBC iplayer, and there are hypnosis channels on YouTube you can listen to for sleep aid and anxiety relief… Michael Sealy has quite a soothing voice and is a popular channel. I find FaceTime with one of my partner’s best friends helps too.

We are all taking one day at a time, would love to hear some more suggestions, @FleurDeLis, thank you for starting this thread.

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Walking, doing yoga on zoom or in person, reading an talking with a couple of good friends who have also been bereaved of husbands has helped. I also managed to send Xmas cards abroad yesterday which felt like an achievement. Being with my cats and also it is very important to me to carry on volunteering for the animal rescue we started with in 2014. I am lucky I have my fantastic sister and bro in law 15 minute walk away and he has installed Netflix for me. Take care all x

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Gardening, walking and talking on here have been my comfort. I haven’t had enough concentration to read and i struggle to settle when watching tv.

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Walking has also helped me, with my lovely dogs as companions.
Gardening at my allotment and in the garden has proven to be very therapeutic.
My Grandson also put me on Netflix and I found two series that are proving very beneficial. Heartlands, which I am now watching for the 3rd time and beginning to feel part of the family at their Ranch and Virgin Valley a new series which has proven to be very popular.
Gym, Yoga and dancing also give me focus.
I have always been a big reader but find it hard to concentrate at the moment. But I will get there eventually.


Hi Richard
I do understand exactly how you are feeling about your walks that bring back memories of doing them with Karen, but do persevere. My husband and I was big walking enthusiasts and members of the Ramblers. Brian was a walks leader so the walks do bring back memories but now they are good ones of my husband fit and well. Just before he died he asked me to take him with me on my walks and I do. I carry a photo and tell him what path we are on. It was hard at first but it does become easier.
Keep up the cycling, we was also keen cyclists but I have now given this up in preference to being out walking with the company of my dogs.
Good luck

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Thanks a lot for these ideas. I think I will Netflix some tonight in bed from my phone trying some of your suggestions whilst my mum watches the soaps on the telly (i need to wean myself off those soaps, that’s not my life though they were the highlight of my day for more than a month as they do anaesthetise your mind). I did a 6 minute yoga at my chair the other day as although I managed to keep up my yoga in the early days a couple of times (I think I was still in shock and it had been a daily habit) I lost it for the last 6wks or so and need to build up some strength again. I did Yoga for After a disaster and Yoga for Grief. Today I did Yoga for Depression just now (15 mins or so). I’m not sure if I will manage it every day. In case it helps anyone start, here is 6 minute yoga guided silently that you should do sat at your chair.

Oh Bristles…I can’t send comfort or joy but I do send my love and friendship. Take care x

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Hello Bristles. I am sorry. I feel like that the majority of the time, without little moments of relief it must be… well, a death sentence… or a life sentence… I feel terrible and like that most of the time too, I’m sorry there are no moments of relief for you but yes maybe I am kidding myself calling this comfort and joy… its just what I used to call it “before”.

My life with my husband was all about comfort and joy all year every year. We were not fancy but loved being comfortable at home together having fun together. Sometimes we thought about going on holiday (our acquaintances/colleagues often had fancy holidays like safari or this kind of thing ) but we preferred comfort and joy at home so spent our money on that instead.

Maybe joy is too much of a stretch now but when someone tells me something nice and true about him or talks about him for a long time (like the other day my friend asked me to tell her how we met and telling that to someone who knew him and was asking me interesting questions from the parts she knew gave me close to joy). Though then indeed I cried/sat very sad hours after once alone again.

Last night I followed Pattidot’s suggestion of heartland on Netflix and the episode was about someone grieving and it was interesting and gave me some comfort too. I didnt manage to finish the episode but look forward to doing that. I watched it alone in bed on a tablet wrapped in blankets.
A week or so ago watching “after life” made me laugh out loud which surprised me (it is about a man whose wife died and how angry he was at people and the stupid things they say, I related to some of the evil comments he said to people’s faces iin retaliation and that is what made me laugh).

None of these are close to how I felt in my old life but they are moments of relief through that take me away from this awful suddenly changed reality. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep finding these moments. Maybe over time the stores will deplete. I hope you find something if only for some minutes but maybe there is nothing as like you say the one thing we really need we cant have… keep breathing…

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today I’m quite struggling more than yesterday and I’m wondering what are we biding our time for. I made myself get out of bed just after the other post as stepdad will be here to take me to hospital appt. soon but why am I bothering I asked myself in the shower just now (I used to talk to my husband in the shower but today think that was a happy delusion. he’s not there or anywhere i know…). I’m only taking an appointment from someone who wants to live so thats a waste. Moments of comfort are nicer than Moments of misery but still the result is the same. Passing time until our own inevitable probably lonely and painful death. The platitudes don’t help do they. Nothing does really.

Dear @FleurDeLis ,

I finished the Netflix’s ‘Afterlife’ very quickly, it resonates so much when the man was talking to the widow on the bench in the cemetery, about what he enjoyed the most was doing ‘nothing’ with his late wife, they didn’t even have to talk, it was just nice to feel each other’s presence… How i missed that feeling…

I feel like i still get panic attacks when i go out, and I don’t enjoy eating and tend to choose plainer options… i am due to move to the new apartment in 3 days, this week was a lot of sobbing and packing. I wonder if it’s going to get any better.


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It varies daily for me. Some days I find comfort in talking about my Mum, other days I think about her and just cry. I haven’t picked up a book in years too but I went to Waterstones with my Dad the other day and found a book that looked interesting and I read it within 4 days and during them 4 days I can honestly say I felt a lot more positive. I think it because if I am reading something, my mind is in the story, rather than what is happening around me. So yeah, I think books are probably what is going to get me through at the minute!

Well done Charlotte, you have given me the encouragement to try and become interested in my great love of reading again. Always a great reader I have found it difficult since losing my husband but I agree wholeheartedly when engrossed in a book you can lose yourself in the story and characters. So thanks for your encouraging post. I am going to raid my bookcase once more or better still I was reading a good book when my husband was very ill. I sat by him day and night and was reading a book he had recommended. The day he died I had put the book away half read and never touched it since, perhaps now is the time to have another go.
Best wishes


Aw yeah I’m glad you’re thinking about picking up a book again, I hope it helps you like its helped me :heart:

Hi Charlotte, I am so sorry you lost your mum at such a young age and understand why anything that brings even a brief respite from the overwhelming grief is welcome.
Your comment about your mind being in the story and that reading is what is getting you through reminds me of two things.
I have an embroidered sampler which belonged to my grandmother and it says
“A ship is a breath of romance that carries us miles away and a book a ship of fancy that can sail on any day”.
Also many years ago following the sudden death of my seven year old cousin from a brain haemorrhage, her mum survived by non stop reading. She would go the library and stock up and then lose her herself In books. She was criticised by some family members as her other two children and husband were left to run the home but it was ultimately her survival mechanism. It wasn’t a quick fix but it kept her alive for her other children.
Since my husband died suddenly in November 2019 I had been unable to concentrate on reading a book. Recently I have managed a couple of pages before my mind wanders off. However it’s a start and I would love to be able to lose myself in another world.
I hope that reading continues to provide you with an escape from the confusion, exhaustion and total despair that accompanies grief and gives you some much needed respite we all crave. Take care.xx


I know what you mean about your mind wandering off, it happens to me when I read sometimes too. I find myself getting less and less engrossed in the book and my mind begins to wander onto my Mum. Instead of trying to force myself I allow myself that 10 minutes or so to just relax and think about her and get upset if that’s what I need and then I carry on reading once I feel up to it! It’s hard I know, sometimes you just need that moment to remember your loved one don’t you… I’m really sorry to hear about your husband recently too, thinking of you during this Christmas period xx Take care to you too xx

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