Hi. It’s been 7 months since I lost my husband. Of course I understand it’s difficult for people to know what to say to the bereaved person, but when they ask “how are you?” I never know what to say in response. In the early stages people were very sympathetic and had a lot of time for me. I could say to them how I was feeling, but now I’m sensing a subtle change. I’m sensing that those who supported me are not so attentive as before and I get the feeling that they think I should come to terms with things and get on with it. Now when asked how I am I feel obliged to say “I’m okay thank you,” but the truth is, I’m far from okay. Nobody sees the tears I shed. Not a day goes by when I don’t cry; however, I cry alone. I then put on a brave face when people are around me and I suppose I do that to make them feel more comfortable around me. Nobody is going to understand what it’s like unless they have lost their life long partner. I almost wish people didn’t ask me how I am. If I say I’m okay I’m lying but if I keep saying I’m not okay I get the feeling that they’re thinking I should just get over it. It’s come to the point that I hate it when anybody asks me how I am. Does anyone out there feel the same way? Or could anyone suggest to me how I should reply to them?
Hi Sakinah, I usually just say ’ I am actually crap but I am getting on with things as what alternative do I have’ that way you have let them know you are not doing too well but you are making the best of the hand you have been dealt
I say “I don’t know how to answer that”.
Hi and thanks to all who replied to me. I appreciate your input. To the lady who said her friend complained about her husband, I one hundred percent get where she’s coming from. I remember when my husband was still alive but extremely unwell during the lockdown. I was looking after him around the clock and a friend messaged me on WhatsApp complaining of being bored and unable to do anything. I just messaged back telling her if that’s your only problem you’re blessed. She did quickly message back apologising to me but I now have no patience for people who moan about trivial things and still have their loved ones with them. She used to sit and watch back to back series in Netflix with her husband during the lockdown What I wouldn’t have given to be able to do the same with mine.
Hi Tillwemeetagain. It takes something profound and life changing to realise who are the people who are genuinely there for you. I feel your anger, I truly do. There’s one person who I’ve known for years who I always thought would be there for me. We used to plan how we’d do this and that when we got older and our kids left home. I always thought she’d have my back. My sons and their wives are working, have small kids, busy lives etc. My family members all are wrapped up in their busy lives. (I’m not saying they done support me. They do what they can and I’m very grateful for that). But this person is not working. She sits at home all day doing nothing… She came to see me 8 weeks ago and we talked about the things we’d do like go for walks in the park, go to a coffee shop and watch the world go by. now that the restrictions were easing. She told me she’d be having me over to sit in her garden when the weather picked up. (I don’t have a garden). Since her visit 8 weeks ago I have not heard from her, not a call, not one text. I gave her the benefit of the doubt thinking she might be ill or have problems of some sort, Recently however I found out from a mutual friend that she has been calling her, telling her that she’s well, life is going good for her and that she has all the time in the world now the kids are gone. I supported her through some very difficult times in her life and never thought for one minute that I would not be able to count on her. 8 weeks, let alone one day when you’re lonely Is an eternity. I feel so angry and betrayed, especially now I know for sure that she’s been fine, no illness no issues. I’m devastated and heartbroken and know I’ll never be able to trust her again. Life can be very cruel.
I think it’s probably best if you can be a loner. That way people can’t let you down, they can’t hurt you. I guess I am headed in that direction. Will just have to get used to my own company. I love to read so I spend a lot of time on my kindle. Anything to pass the time and get through the days.
I know exactly what you mean, you’ve described it perfectly. I too am approaching 7 months without my best friend, love of my life, the guy who made me his priority, who looked after me so lovingly & was my cheerleader.
I tend to say I’m breathing in & out, putting one foot in front of the other but to answer honestly I hate this life without my husband & I just tell people that.
I have many friends, work colleagues & some family who are trying hard to cope with me but I’m hard work, I know it.
Sometimes I just want to be left alone, it reflects what I am, what I feel & what I don’t feel.
I think I can imagine how heavy your heart is without your love.
Hi Lonely and thanks for your suggestion. This lady is married to my husband’s first cousin. We go back some 40 years. When she married my husband’s cousin they eloped as his and her family didn’t approve. My husband and me were the first people they contacted after they eloped and we supported them. They eventually returned and sorted their differences with their families and everything settled down. I am close to her kids. My and her youngest son are inseparable. In fact her daughter called me just last week and on speaking to her it’s clear that her mother is okay, She even said that next time she’s in town she’ll be coming to visit me and bringing her mum with her. Her daughter stays in touch with me more than she does! I know through the family that she’s calling other people. I have been there for her through some very stressful times. When she needed a friend to talk to I was there for her. I love her kids and don’t want to spoil my relationship with them and it would because she’s their mum and they dote on her. I know also if I call she’d say to come over or let’s meet up but it would be fake and not from the heart. I’m deeply hurt.
I’m in a similar situation none of my husbands family have made contact either while he was ill and after his passing just 1 sister who we saw he is from a family of 6.the relationship was never great with them however people are meant to come together at times like this I will never forgive them never.
They choose to ignore us all at his funeral
Never came to the tea afterwards how could they do this to us. Never reached out to see if we needed help with anything.
Hi Ali21. So sorry to hear what you went through. Life is really cruel and it takes something tragic like this to bring out the best and also the worst in people. Yes wouldn’t you think that this should make people forget their past issues and come together. Life is short. But it takes something like this to know who you can count on… it’s a real eye opener. Take comfort in knowing you’re not alone in this matter. I wish you well
I echo what you feel and think. It’s been 5 months. I cry everyday when I’m on my own but if anyone asks I say " I’m fine" I don’t think my family want to see how much I’m still grieving. So stiff upper lip and all.
I’m having to move house to downsize which is a daunting task on my own but I’ve had to sort through my partners clothes and treasures and discard so many and it’s torn my heart apart. I’ve kept small things that are poignant reminders. Things that still have his smell. His phone with messages to me. Where else to share these thoughts but here where there are people who understand and feel the emptiness and crushing pain.
People have their own problems mine are just tedious for them. Can’t blame them really in the past when my soulmate was around I didn’t understand what someone losing a spouse was facing. I don’t even tell many people my wife has passed and just me, my daughter, her mother and brother were present in her funeral. It’s because we 4 are the only people who cared about and loved her in this world. Don’t really want to bother other people who didn’t want to come who didn’t care. This was my wife’s wish. Life is a lonely journey sooner or later we have to walk alone.
I totally understand what you mean, its been 3 months since I lost my partner Alex for me it seems that people think the grieving should end after the funeral but this is when you need people most afterwards. Friends mostly my partners who were supportive before have all disappeared. There are days when i am more down than others and when people ask how i am its i am fine or plodding along when all along I just feel like a broken mess. Xxx
I say “ I’m getting there but I have a long way to go what option do I have “ and they just smile and say I know and I’m thinking in my head “ but you have absolutely no idea” and they say “ your doing amazing and all that does is confirm that they haven’t got a bloody clue.
I agree that these so called friends have lost someone but I feel we grieve differently for parents to what we would a husband, wife or partner so unless they themselves have lost what we have they just can’t know what it’s like. Because we are grieving differently then we must need a different kind of support and that must also mean we need a different length of time to grieve . So I suppose what I’m saying is there is no wrong or right way to grieve we are all different .
But I totally understand what your saying Sakina and I feel exactly the same and you said in the early stages well I consider 7 months to still be the early stages .
Take care and keep chatting on her it’s been a massive help to me
Hi Elizabeth B. I’m so sorry to hear about your Alex. It’s simply amazing isn’t it?, that people you’ve known for so many years just vanish now. There are friends of my husband who we’ve known for so many years and spent so much time with, and some of them have never even contacted me to give their condolences. Maybe they feel awkward and I know it’s not easy for them, but really, they should “man up”. I know my husband would have reached out to their wives. But then again my Talat was one in a million and I find myself comparing everyone else to him. Please take some kind of comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one who feels like a broken mess. The last week has been a really tough one for me. My heart goes out to you.
Hi Kazzer. Thanks for your kind words of support. I’ve heard that losing a spouse is different to losing a parent. After all, it’s your life partner. I was with my husband longer than I was with my parents, both of who I had lost by age 20. This year we would have been married 45 years. How do you come back from that? I’ve really been struggling this last week.
When people ask me how iam I find I haven’t been replying to them I’ve just quickly said how are you in the hope they don’t repeat the question
But why do we have to do this?
Do they really want to know how we are.It has been 2 months now since my husband passed and I’m crying alot I’m not hiding it if I cry then so be it if people can’t deal with it.
Hi thank you for your kind response , yes im shocked really by lack of support from so called friends but I agree some folk may find it difficult to deal with and quite right to my Alex also would have been first to offer support if thier partners were in similar circumstances. Im sorry you have had a bad week and hope you feel better soon xxxx
My husband would have been the same. He would have been round to make sure his ‘friends’ wives and family were ok and see if they needed any help. He was there daily for our elderly neighbour when her husband died and she misses my husband so much.
I have sat in all day waiting for a call from one of my husband’s friends who was meant to be doing a small job. I eventually texted him a few hours ago. Got a reply, no apology, no explanation as to why he had not been round just saying he could make another day. I was once important to someone and now he has gone. My husband never allowed anyone to just sit in limbo if they were expecting him, sometimes he would even put off something we were doing to go and help out. These things, rightly or wrongly, just make me feel so worthless now. I know too well from experience that the alternative day will be much the same and then the tears (many of frustration) will begin to flow again.
Hi Sheila 26 I understand where you are coming from,
Friends who you thought could rely on bail out on you . I was even gobsmacked as to how many avoided me at his funeral. I am lucky to have a good support network of my own. I have also had more support from friends on Facebook that I hardly know. I do hope you get some comfort from this group that you are not alone, I know I do sending love your way xxx