Why does everything go wrong when husband passed away

Hi Eliza
I guess this is the last place we expect to be, but it does help, talking to others and reading their stories and sharing the same feelings realy helps. I too have been told ‘the children will help you through’ my boys are 30 and 28 and they are hurting. but they have been brillaint and it is great to be able to talk about their dad with them. but it is hearbreaking. Xx

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Hi Eliza, hope you find this site helps you. So sorry for you and all that has gone wrong. It’s bad enough for us having to shoulder things that were once shared but to have to be responsible for children while you are grieving must be almost impossible . Things going wrong just seem like the last straw when you thought you were coping a bit better with everything life has thrown at you. Not being able to get my wellies off a while ago had me wailing and missing Malcolm, who always patiently wiggled then off for me, those Hunters seem to create a vacuum! Then yesterday I had to get my new cat to the vets , something we would always have done together. Little things really, but emphasising how alone we now are. Also I’m sure grief must affect the brain, I am constantly forgetting what I have done with things I had in my hand two minutes earlier And like you, leaving things, once my shopping in the hairdressers and also my pass on the bus. Nice to know we’re not alone! Keep posting, sending lovex

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Hi all. All this has happened to me since gregg went. I just thought it was me struggling and having to deal with all the crap of the flat we shared , including the council wanting to chuck me out of the flat as we never got round to marrying we enjoyed holidays more . But it is so frustrating you think you are managing and then another pile of crap arrives at your door so more and more to do to manage to get on each day. I always did the garden and gregg did the housework and cooked , I always walked our 2 dogs. The list goes on and the one thing I struggle with is food by the time I get home from work and kept my brain busy and stop myself from crying and breaking down there is nothing else I want or can do so still living on supper off cereal and glass of fruit juice xx

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I love this site - it makes me realise that everything I feel and go through is not unique to me and I’m not going mad! It’s exhausting doing everything alone and I am SO fed up with people telling me how strong and brave I am. Who knew I was such a great actress? When I walk through my door it all falls apart and there’s only me to pull myself back together. And my memory! It used to be amazing and now I have lists for everything otherwise it doesn’t happen…also exhausting! And yet, not exhausted enough to sleep through the night. I’m walking every day, running 3 times at least every week, cycling at least once, constantly doing housework, seeing family and friends etc but I can not get tired enough to sleep! Malc used to call me Rip van Winkle because I could sleep for England…but not anymore. How things change eh? I had NO idea it would be this painful and whilst I can feel some small improvement 11 months on I still feel like I’m watching someone else’s life play out - it doesn’t feel like mine.
It does help to read all your posts though; I check in every day to see how everyone is doing and send hugs out xxx


“Watching someone else’s life lay out” Oh Rippy I know what you mean, that’s just how it feels to me too. So unreal, nightmare and sleepwalking all rolled into one. And the thing is, these people trying to be nice, telling us how strong and brave we are , how well we are doing, haven’t got a clue have they. We adapt ourselves in public so that we don’t upset people , then we let it all
out when we are home, on our own. Yes it’s true, we did have no idea it would be so painful, only when you’ve been through this can you really understand what devastation it causes. And I’m finding the only people I can talk to honestly are those in the same situation, at least on here everyone understands! Sending love to all fellow sufferers xxx


Ladies, each of you has my heartfelt sympathies for the loss of your partners and the position in which you have been left, in having to cope with repairs and maintenance in your homes and gardens. So many of you too have had to cope with periods of illness leading up to the loss of your partners, and I cannot even begin to imagine how you coped with that. It may sound trite but I honestly believe that women are emotionally much stronger than men, and I doubt I would be able to achieve some of the things each of you has.
I’m in a slightly different situation from each of you, in that I am the survivor of my wife’s passing (I find it difficult to use the word “death” sometimes). I used to do bits and pieces around the house, though I’d be pushing it to describe myself as a handyman, and I also tried to keep the greenery in our largish garden under control - not always successfully. But now, I can’t even tell anyone I’ve cut the grass, I’m more careful if I have to use a ladder, I lock the rear door of the house when I’m unsighted at the other end of the garden/house. As already mentioned, things just need to get done, there’s no longer any sense of achievement that can be shared with anyone.
I too find myself being very forgetful - even just going from room to room. I put things down and can’t remember where, and I forgot to lock the conservatory doors one night. Minor things have broken - a pin broke off the plug of the hedge strimmer, I smashed the face of my watch after dropping it on the tiled bathroom floor, the (electric) garage door stopped working because of a loose printed circuit board. The one thing that I AM thankful for is that it was not my wife who was left on her own. She had mobility problems from birth and she would never have been able to cope with even simple issues around the house, never mind the garden.
Sending my very best wishes to everyone.

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God, it’s so hard coping on your own isn’t it? And things do go wrong , obstinately, and I know I get upset out of all proportion when I can’t do something or break things or like you forget things. Last night I managed to go to bed with the french window unlocked and I’ve managed to let things boil dry on the hob, what strange things grief does to us. Time to try and get some sleep , hopefully! Take care x

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When I told a friend that I felt exhausted from all the cooking, cleanly, shopping, gardening, organising things to be mended because they had broken, because we always shared the jobs. He said simply, “ you have lost half your work force”. Blunt but true. I’m learning to slow down and try not to do everything . One job a day. It’s miserable not being able to share. I miss the closeness, the hugs, knowing smiles, the banter, planning for the future and finishing each other’s sentences. It was my second wedding anniversary without Steve yesterday.
Instead of the gut wrenching tears of the early days there is now just a sad resigned acceptance.


Sorry you had a sad day yesterday, I can imagine sad resignation being what happens. I’m not there yet, just had my first anniversary at the end of July , 3 months after Malc died. I share your feelings, the loss of closeness, the hugs, private jokes ,the person who knew you better than anyone and was always in your corner. And it’s so true, we have lost half our work force and it’s exhausting, physically and mentally, trying to deal with so many things that just magically got done when our soulmates were here with us. So hard to come to terms with it all. Sending love and empathy x


Grieving is indeed exhausting. All those jobs we now have to get on with and sort out alone can be physically tiring and seemingly endless. At the moment I somehow muster the energy to tackle most things but it’s that lonely future which really drains me. Talking to a neighbour last week he was enthusiastic about his house next door to me which has been undergoing alterations over several months and is now complete. The house has been ‘ageproofed’ so they can stay put and enjoy their retirement. It’s that anticipation of a future together I miss so so much. That happy anticipation has been replaced by a dread of a future alone. Not just alone but without the one person who made it worthwhile.
We think we can prepare for the future and in some ways we can in practical terms. Some are more adept and more willing to adapt than others but nothing can prepare us for the loss of our soulmate. I can’t believe how we were preparing for old age we never reached. Although beyond heartbroken, I take comfort reading how others learn to cope with practical issues that arise. Hope others do too.


Reading how others are coping does give comfort, strangely, I think it’s somehow reassuring to know we’re not alone and there are people on here with whom we can communicate honestly . It’a good to let that mask slip occasionally! And I don’t mean the Covid one! I try not to think too much about the lonely future ahead, with all its broken dreams, it’s just too frightening . In a way nothing feels worthwhile without your special person by your side and it’s true, it’s heartbreaking not being able to tell them or show them what you’ve been doing in the garden. I remember my Dad saying just that after my mother died and I didn’t really understand but I certainly do now. How lovely for those neighbours to be age proofing their house, planning for the rest of their lives together, so sad that we can’t be doing the same. Take care everyone and enjoy the sunshine if you can x

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And Alston, I did it again last night, left one of the french windows unlocked. Malc always did all of that, locking up and turning lights out , not to mention moving my book
and turning out my bedside light if I’d dozed off while reading at bedtime. All those little things that we just took for granted. x

@bjane, it’s that mind-all-over-the-place state that we’re in, I know my own thought processes are pretty muddled most of the time. I was the very same as your Malc - checking all of the doors are locked last thing - making sure we were both safe for the night - and switching off the lights. Now it doesn’t seem so signficant just doing it for myself.

And @jobar, everything you say is so, so true. I was 10 years older than my wife (I’m 64), and I was worried about getting older and perhaps being less able to do physical chores around the house, and look after my wife too. I had even thought of writing some documentation to help Nicki with things like our computers, emails and internet account passwords, that sort of thing, in case anything ever happened to me and she was left on her own. But I never ever thought Nicki would be taken from me so suddenly instead, and so soon. All those plans, hopes and dreams, ripped away in the blink of an eye, the person that made me who I am and made my life worth living, now gone. I so miss her presence, her personality and character, the laughs we used to have.

And here’s that latest of my “things-going-wrong” episodes. About 2 to 3 weeks ago, I ordered a brass plaque from Timpsons (in my local Morrisons supermarket). The plaque was to put on a wooden cross to mark my wife’s grave. I took a computer-print of the engaving I wanted, and spent about 10 minutes with the assistant while she took my contact details and filled out the order form. She gave me a yellow carbon copy, which I have since lost, and told me the plaque would be ready in 7-10 working days. I had heard nothing from them by yesterday, so I called in to Timpsons. The chap I spoke with could not find the order, but took my name and number and said he’d call me later that day - which he didn’t.

So, I called in to Timpsons again this morning, spoke to the same chap as yesterday, only to be told that they couldn’t find my order and that the plaque would have to be re-ordered. I was so angry and frustrated, I just wanted to scrrrream, but re-ordered it instead. However, as I was sat writing this post, I suddenly thought no, it’s just not good enough, I’ve waited 2 weeks for nothing, and I’m going to complain. So I found a number for Timpsons Customer Service, and I spoke to a very nice lady called Katie, who is going to check things out and call me back later today. Why can’t things just go right, like they should?

There, my rant is over. Do I feel better? Nope, not really, just…numb…and tired. I hope you are each having a better day. Take care everyone.

I feel for you re hassle with Timpsons. we’re just not in a fit state to have things keep going wrong like that. And the awful thing is the person we’d come home and rant to isn’t there, in your case of course it was about Nicki anyway. I’ve been waiting to hear from the DVLA for ages about Malc’s car and I finally heard today. First thought was to tell him! I wonder when it finally really sinks in that they aren’t ever going to be around any more. About the doors being locked and being safe I feel the same. it doesn’t matter now. As I posted somewhere else a while ago, the worst’s happened now, there’s nothing left to be afraid of . Hope you hear from Katie soon and she sorts it out for youx

Jonathan, hope you’ve had a not too bad day today, at least the weather is on our side xxx

That was Jobar!! My new phone does this all the time, sorry!! xxx

Alston, your words resonate so much. Plans, dreams, hopes all gone in the blink of an eye. A partnership formed over years ended so suddenly.
For some reason today I have found motivating myself to do even the simplest thing impossible. I just cannot see the point. Housework and gardening beckon. I bought myself a battery lawnmower as I couldn’t start the motor one but right now I don’t care if the grass grows a foot tall. I could take myself off for a walk or a drive out somewhere but none of these seem worthwhile. I could suggest meeting a friend but I’m hypersensitive to ill-judged comments and I come away feeling worse.
Admin doesn’t fare any better either. Barclays Bank and the council tax department have reduced me to despair this week with their carelessness so I understand your frustration with Timpsons. You’re not ranting. We do deserve better. I too feel weary and numb to an extent I would never have imagined in my worst nightmare.
I am ashamed to admit that although I should be pleased for my neighbours and their ageproofing, it’s tinged with envy. Not a nice trait but it’s how I feel. There was only five weeks between my husband and I so we always thought our aging needs would be simultaneous. Sometimes I worried briefly how we might cope if we were both ill but I never anticipated his sudden death. I understand how the shock of losing Nicky has been so disorientating. Even the things you always did like the computer stuff takes on a different significance and perspective. I always did the cooking but it’s not the same now.
I hope Timpsons comes up trumps and do what they said they would. Also hope your day gets better. I seem to have moaned but my intention was to empathize! Take care.

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Hi Bjane, I’m feeling very sorry for myself today I have to admit. No idea where this has come from but it just came over me in a wave this morning. A huge great tidal wave! Definitely a sinking not swimming day.
I think of all of us in our individual homes, assuming responsibility in a way we hadn’t foreseen. We’ve probably come a long further than we think. I do hope so. X

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Jobar, I feel the same way about your neighbours! Lovely for them but awful for us, we’re bound to feel envious. Seeing a couple about my age group walking along holding hands does it for me, a cruel reminder of that lost closeness. Sorry you’ve had a bad day, I feel for you as I’ve had a few bad days lately. Like you said., it just seems to hit us sometimes with no warning, although today I knew what it was. I’d been to the hairdressers and then realised that there would never again be Malc waiting patiently to take me home and tell me it looked nice. The tears just shot down my face and I tried .to keep my head down and hide it. Got on the bus and shut my eyes and the bus driver decided to be chatty about the weather and I have to admit I wasn’t overly responsive so it didn’t go on for long , thank goodness! But I do agree, we’re probably all doing better than we realise and should maybe just go with the flow when those waves strike. We’ve always got all of us on here so we can keep each other going. Hope you encounter calmer waters tomorrow! Sending love x

I think it’s the realisation that this is it forever and a day that’s so daunting. It’s been a culmination this week of mindless bureaucracy and like you doing things we would have done together.
You are absolutely right we keep each other going and I hope for calmer waters for all of us. Xx