What's the Point?

My ‘Word of the Day’ thread reminded me of a message I received recently, from a dear friend, who lost her husband around Easter time this year. She said that once she finishes travelling around the UK, in her newly acquired campervan, she must find some purpose in life and is looking to autumn to do that. Maybe she has a point. We all need some purpose in life. Our purpose, to a large extent, was our loved ones and they’ve been taken. I’m fortunate in that I go out to work but is that my purpose in life? It’s a tricky one. Perhaps my purpose is to continue my life in the best way I can, for both of us and in doing so, know my husband is proud of me. I guess without purpose we drift aimlessly and then might come the question, “What’s the point?” I don’t like that question. There must always be a point…xx

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Kate,

It’s so opportune to raise that point today, because it flairs up in my mind regularly, and today is one of those days.

I spent all of yesterday (Saturday) on my own, and only spoke with my parents in the evening by phone. By and large, I coped yesterday but today, I find I am struggling. It is now just over 7 weeks since my wife passed, and I can barely bring myself to touch her things around the house because they bring back memories, and the memories hurt so much - I miss her so, so much.

I feel I am only functioning on a superficial level, just doing the bare necessities to get by, but not having to think too deeply or think why I am doing certain things. For some reason I am also shaking like a leaf today and I don’t understand why. I’m in the unfortunate position that our house is not yet paid for and with 5 years of the mortgage remaining, I feel as though I’m living on borrowed time. My wife Nicki was our breadwinner, and financially I now feel as though I am afloat in a rough see in a dinghy. I can’t afford to move, nor would I want to, at least not at this stage, we have too many memories in this home, but now it is just a house without Nicki.

With Nicki gone our house feels so big now and I am worried about my ability to maintain the property. I suspect I am still too fragile emotionally to deal with most of these issues and perhaps I shouldn’t contemplate them at this stage, but I’ve always been a born worrier and it’s difficult to change.

On days like today I really do wonder what the point is now, I feel I have lost so much and am struggling to find the strength to look on anything positive. I know Nicki would want me to carry on and live the best life I can, but I don’t know if I can or if I want to. I’m sorry this isn’t a positive post but, as I said, today is not one of my better days.

Dear Alsto

Dear Alston56,
Many of us will be able to remember and empathize with how you are feeling having lost your beloved Nicki. Ten months since my husband died suddenly I still have what I call shaky days. It’s very unnerving and distressing but it does pass. In the very early days I too shook like a leaf - a bit like those images of shell shock. It is exactly that. We have lost our soulmates and it is the hugest shock to our minds and bodies. I think shaking is an inevitable part of grieving and is probably more noticeable when you are on your own. It could be that the anxiety about your finances makes this worse. I think one of the horrors of bereavement is that it’s often accompanied by financial insecurity and until it happens it’s impossible to imagine just how debilitating it is.
With regards to your outstanding mortgage, have you contacted your mortgage provider and explained that your income has dropped due to the worst of reasons. Many providers now offer mortgages until the age of 85 and it could be that this might be an option for you. With such little time outstanding it’s in their interest as well as yours to try and help you stay in your home.
I also think that at some point every one of us on this forum will have asked themself what is the point without our other half. Some days it is impossible to get motivated. Seven weeks is barely enough time to register what has happened.
Others who are further along can offer reassurance that things get easier. Keeping as active as possible seems to be the name of the game. I find gardening or walking distracts me on those shaky days.
Don’t apologize for not being a positive post. That’s the whole point of this site. If life were a breeze we wouldn’t be on it!
Grief is disorientating and we’re all trying to get back on our feet. Hope you have a better day tomorrow.x

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Dear @Jobar,
Thank you so much for your post, I read it over and over several times.

I’ve always been the type of person who keeps their emotions well under control, but my wife’s passing really blew the lid off the emotional kettle this time. Nothing has ever affected me as much as this has, and I doubt nothing else ever will. My mother (in Scotland) tries to reassure me and tells me not to cry, but that’s exactly what I’ve done two out of the last three days. Not something I’m used to doing but I just feel that my emotions are running wild and my usually logical brain has turned to mush. Earlier today I found a card that my wife wrote to me last Christmas - it wasn’t a Christmas card as such, but in it she wrote about how we were so strong as a team together and her hopes for this coming year, including getting a couple of Labrador pups. Seeing her distinctive writing and her heartfelt words just caused the floods of tears to open up. She was always good at putting things into words.

Your advice about the mortgage is very helpful, I hadn’t actually thought of that and it could help with my immediate predicament. I will check that out on one of my hopefully better days.

I have had two very close (not geographically) friends tell me they think I am doing a little better each day - though it doesn’t feel like it from my perspective - and both of them have experienced their own loss, one of a father and grandmother, the other a brother and mother. So they are speaking from experience, I guess.

Fortunately Monday was a better day than Sunday, which wouldn’t have been too difficult. Just going to try and take each day at a time.

Thank you again, and do take care. x

Hello Alston,

Your loss is far too recent for you to even contemplate a purpose in life. I’m sorry you’re feeling so wretched. There will come a time when those memories will bring a smile before a tear. Our memories are something to treasure and can never be taken away. Of course you miss your wife, of course you do. How could you not?

I’m sorry you have the added stress of financial worry. It’s difficult going from two incomes to one. I know all about that but fortunately I am mortgage free. It’s a good post from Jobar with good advice. Please, contact your mortgage provider as she suggests.

‘What’s the point?’ is a big question and not an easy one to answer, if at all. Having a purpose is easier and I guess our purpose can change. Your loss is so very raw at the moment so forget purpose for the time being and concentrate on yourself. Just getting through each day is purpose enough. I hope today was a tiny bit better. Sending love and strength x

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Hi Alston,
I hope today is like yesterday in that it’s better than Sunday. It’s not surprising that nothing has ever affected you in the way losing Nicki has. None of us could have imagined the impact of losing a soulmate and it remains impossible to describe to someone to whom it hasn’t happened. Going to pieces is not something we have been used to in our society but that is exactly what we are - in pieces. Putting ourselves together has no time scale or formula. Like you, I find seeing my husbands handwriting particularly painful and when I think of what we had talked of and planned just before he died I could crumble. I can look at photos of him when he was young because I tell myself at that point he had a future but more recent ones I just can’t.
I agree with Kate that just getting through each day is purpose enough at the moment. Whatever we look like to the outside world is not an indicator of how we are doing. Friends and family want us to feel better but it doesn’t work like that. Sorting Nicki’s things is not a priority. Getting through each day somehow, is.
I hope you have some success with your mortgage provider. They will have a bereavement department who will be used to your situation. Sorting practical issues can have a much more immediate solution but I understand how finding the energy to tackle them is often lacking. Without my sons’ help I would never have got to grips with paying bills etc but unfortunately the world doesn’t stop when our individual worlds are blown apart.
Sometimes this forum and friends can help with practical issues. Even little snippets of help can make a hopeless day that bit more manageable. Like you say - each day at a time.
Take care.x

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I feel your pain, i lost my husband july 24th…i am having days when i think what is the point in life? Tho i do have 2 children aged 12 and 14 and a dog, all of whom i love with all my heart and i will live for them and hope to make my husband proud ! I am just taking 1 day at a time…

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