Why keep struggling on and how to do it anyway?

As this second year since the death of my beloved Christine has progressed, I have found it increasingly difficult to cope with my grief and a progressive feeling of disconnection with the world I have awoken into. It is a daily struggle to keep going.

Folk talk of struggling on because of their children. My children are long grown up and have lives of their own. “You will find happiness again” or “You will find a new way of living” some say. But this makes no sense to me as Christine will not be by my side. Some folk have aged parents, or others for whom they care. But my relationship with my surviving parent has always been difficult and having cared for my wife through the years of her illness I honestly don’t think I could do that again. I am fortunate to have some very good, long term friends. They try to be supportive but there is now a gulf between us and of course they have their own lives to lead. I am fit and in generally good health. But this counts for squat and is in a perverse way a burden. “Time heals” many have said. I don’t think this is true. The wound I have is to my soul; the deepest cut of all.

The only things that make any sense to me are that I have the one thing that Christine does not, and that she would want me to find a way of carrying on. But how do I go from this to generating some energy, some will to keep struggling. I miss her terribly, I feel incomplete without her. Just what future am I struggling for? I am at a loss in so many ways.


Having kids at home keeps me upright, aging parents support me and I support them.
Not having these don’t know where I’d be, I imagine the empty house and loneliness is unbearable for you.
I in theory have at least 30 years ahead of me, so many years, so many special occasions without him. To me my future looks bleak, emotionally financially the lot.
To be completely honest I’m jealous you got enough for your children to be grown but at the same time I can imagine you could be Healy of my kids being at home keeping me going.
I don’t know how we find a way to keep going and hopefully it time start living instead of just existing, I just hope we all do x


Yeh its a tough one isnt it ? Similar situation to you. My kids grown up too. We gotta keep on searching for something that will make us happy again i suppose ? Keep on trying and one day you may find it. In the meantime just keep on looking after yourself … self care, self soothing they call it … do as much as you can to make yourself feel nice, still remembering your wife and taking her with you. Do you have a journal where you can write in and tell her stuff? I do that all the time. Really helps xx


Sounds like this depression is very pervasive when it doesn’t lift. I worry about my son as I do not know how to help him. I try but it makes me feel lower that he is too. My husband dying and if course his father a year ago has made it worse for us both. Thing that keeps us a bit lighter is his three young nephews and my grandsons. I do not have energy to volunteer apart from the caring I do do at my age. But can’t think what else.

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@JerryH I know what you mean, it can be a constant struggle to keep going. I’m pretty stable these days but, as always, have times of hurt and longing. Now rather than fight them I’m trying to just let them happen and accept that this is now part of my life. I guess in some ways it allows me to have some form of ownership over my emotions, helps me to understand that they are now part of me and my world. I’m starting to understand that quite often these feelings now arise or are amplified by events in life, if I receive bad news or circumstances present me with a problem I have noticed that I can often start to refocus on my loss, and that this brings anxiety that I will spiral back towards that horror show. I find it incredibly draining to be the sole decision maker, the one and only social arranger, the definitive problem solver. Sometimes all I want is for someone to decide what’s for dinner. I realize that these are all valid emotions, that I’m always going to experience being on my own this way.

Much like you I don’t have anyone else around me really, no children, all of my family and most of my friends are far away. It’s just me trying to construct a life from the wreckage. As with you the only real spur I have for this is that my wife no longer has any of it. That she wanted it so much. That she wanted me to go on. But I’ve realized that its not a betrayal of her to feel sorry for myself, to allow those emotions in, I felt sorry for myself plenty when she was here, it’s a part of life.

I’m finding that if I allow myself space to feel like this, sorry for myself, my situation, feeling lost, my future without my wife without judging myself, that things run their course, I allow my responses to evolve, find new ways through, and for me this brings me back from the edge once more. I start to put one foot forward once more and start up the hill again, but with a lighter step because I know there will be set backs on the road but I can rest, regroup and overcome.


Thank you everyone that have responded to this thread.

I too have the prospect of decades ahead of me. I cannot cope with that thought at all. It is just horrendous.

@Deb5 thanks for the suggestion of a journal. Upon reading your suggestion my initial thought was that all I would write in it is “I love you” and “I miss you terribly”. But I guess the thing is not to prejudge or censor what you would put in it. Just let it be whatever it is.

@Walan what you say really resonates with me. Thank you. One word that really stuck out was “accept”. I think that it is because I simply cannot accept/cannot understand that Christine is no longer by my side that is making this living nightmare even more grizzly than it needs to be. “… trying to construct a life from the wreckage.” it’s not so much the “life” part (I’ve given up on that I feel) but the “trying”? Whatever, it is so hard at the moment. I can feel myself getting ground down.

“Self care” and to “allow myself space”. Yes, I can understand that. I think I would add “be true to yourself”. By that I mean that I’m getting far less inclined to mask, to fit in, not to upset other folk by revealing how ghastly I feel at the prospect of living without Christine, to appear to be coping, to be moving on etc etc. I’m not. This is who I am and it permeates every aspect of living at the moment. And I know that there are many like me who are swimming in this same sea.

Thank you all again. Best wishes.


Yeh just write in your journal anything yòu want … how youre feeling, how much you are missing them etc Im glad we could help you a bit. X

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I kept a diary since week one. I talk to my partner as if he was here but through the diary.

I read the beginning pages the other day and it’s was interesting to see how far I’ve actually come. This week however had been incredibly hard. Like @Walan said,

It’s what I do and it gets hard for a while but I pull myself back up because my partner would hate me to be miserable and it’s not something I want for myself.

I hope you can get some peace soon.



But your are trying, you’re on here asking questions, expressing how you feel, trying to work through things. It’s been much the same for me, it felt as if I was getting nowhere, but when I took the time to reflect back on how I had been on that first day I realize that I’ve come a long way. I know now that things can’t get any worse than that. Now I admit to myself that I can have joy in my life again, it was little by little at first but I hold on to these instances now and build on them. I still miss her more than I can ever hope to explain but I’m determined not to let this chance that I have slip away, to have life again. I’m part of the way there, I’m tired, but I still keep putting one foot down and lifting the next one.

I think you’re doing the right thing by being open and honest with those around you about your inner self and how you’re feeling. I’ve taken that course since the start, it’s had mixed reactions but finding those who are willing to listen and take the time to hear you has been both illuminating and extremely beneficial. It’s a path we all walk here, you’re not alone in all of this.


I have done lots of things breaks at Lake District and Whitby . Climbed mountains and been out to cinema and theatre . I am trying to make thing s better for my son who has ptsd due to a call to come home when my husband had suddenly passed and I was in Benidorm. Life is never going to be the same but I have to make the best of it now my gorgeous Andrew would want that I know


Yes they would want that … but its just so bloody hard isnt it :frowning: so gruelling sometimes … trying to fight this grief , day in day out. I am glad i have my puppy :dog: bless her. Dogs are very astute - she picks up my moods all the time and she follows me everywhere :slight_smile: bless her. She is a true blessing indeed ! And the times ive cried in front of her ! I feel guilty sometimes but you just cant help it can you ? When that wave comes, it comes !!! Lets hope we all have better days soon … i think we deserve it !!! Xxx


I’ve written to Roger every night since hevwent, 40 days today. I tell him things, and especially how much I love and miss him. It has helped me I think.


Yes it really does help because you have that connection still. My bereavement counsellor said they now believe that it helps people to keep that connection after bereavment … any connection , talking to them, writing to them whatever x


Thank you again @Walan what you say is very helpful.

Yes, I can see that unmasking, being honest about how I am feeling can elicit mixed reactions. But so be it. My energy levels for engagement are very limited now and while I don’t intentionally want to alienate people (well not often anyway) what energy I have is best spent with those who have some understanding and insight.

As @Deb5 said, it is bloody hard and gruelling fighting grief day in day out. Some days now there is no fight left in me. The wave comes and knocks me flat. I just give into it and after a while a weird sort of calm arises. I have two cats (they were our cats). They come and curl up with me for the day, other than getting up periodically to demand feeding. Life goes on regardless indeed …

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@Deb5 I feel it all the time whatever I do or wherever I go . He was my everything .I miss him with a fire . I went through the decking for second time . He told me were to walk safely but I on the other hand I was trying to keep it free of tree leaves as he always keep it clean and tidy and I tried so hard . God I miss him so


I feel sad at the moment he would be taking my son to see the fireworks. I am sad I am making lots of meals, eating one and freezing his meal and one other for luck. It is the only way I have learnt to look after what is best. I write on my laptop about how I feel. Sometimes I let it go away and sometimes save it. Today I was fed up then turn around my son and little grandson are coming to help me plant his grave ready for his anniversary of his passing. I rush round get some daff bulbs, pretty plants and pansies and some flowers from our garden. Some little butterfly on sticks for my five year old to put in too. It feels like a joint effort and answered prayers the base of his bench has been freshly laid ready to put his memorial by his grave overlooking the sheep. He are finalising how his headstone will be looking at the others. Then we do what he would have done to help and re plant the church tubs like he always helped me with and the little one is sweeping up the bits and putting the rubbish in the bin and it warms my heart because it is like his beliefs are carrying on what we taught our son and what he has taught his son and it feels hopeful and suddenly I feel good. That the daff bulbs the little one put in the holes will flower again in spring and remind me of yes my husband planted seeds that flourish again and it feels like he will pop up again to leave his mark. That he did not just go


I know how you feel my wife passed 4years ago i still miss her very much and if i remember correct some one on here said you never get over it you just learn to live with it i have found that very true it get less painful but its still there hope it helps


Jerry H , yes it does seem to get harder and harder. Today is the 2nd anniversary of my husband’s death and although I have been through individual and group counselling, and yes I know he died, somehow it still does not seem real and never will be. To top it all today I am still at home, on my own having tested positive for covid last Sunday. You have to find your own way through. Mine have been to be as busy as possible and out and about ( except for this week!) I walk with a group of bereaved people and I am in a a few what’s app groups of similar people. There are lots of other things but they keep me busy and help me to have a life. Those sorts of things May or may not help you but all I know is they get me through each day but no, they don’t lessen the hurt, longing or pain of Losing him and yes you are right, it does cut right into the soul. However, we keep going and be true to yourself.

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Mmmm …easier said than done finding your way in life now without your darling husband/wife. I just dunno what i want 10 months in. I still feel so sad without him and i miss him being here ! I hate living in this house by myself ! I feel so frustrated by it all because this isnt what i want. I loved being married and i dont like living alone even though i got my lovely puppy … she is in angel but its not another human is it :frowning: im going on holiday in 10 days with my daughter and granddaughter … i just need to.hold on to that cos this solitary life is so miserable !! Thats what i cant get used to :frowning: my dentist said to me yesterday he would want you to be happy - well that’s easier said than done - im not happy at all - im very unhappy x

Hi @Meseaber, thanks for your post. Best wishes to you on what I guess will be a poignant and difficult day for you.

During the first year I did find that being “busy” was helpful. Essentially it helped me avoid withdrawing from the outside world completely, which I suspect would not have been a good thing. But as the time has passed “business” is no longer helping. Without wishing to sound too monkish, my feeling is that I am trying to find some sort of balance between being busy, contemplation/confrontation of my grief and just plain solitude. Somehow I am seeking some sort of accommodation with my grief whereby we both co-exist in a world which is now fundamentally wrong because my wife is not with me. I am broken yet still alive. Somehow I am still keeping keeping on.

Without a doubt, the only folk who I have found that truly seem to understand are the bereaved themselves. The shared experiences, feelings/emotions and words of support are vital. For me, finding this forum has been a huge relief.

Absolutely, be true to yourself! But I don’t know fully who my “self” is anymore because my “self” was actually a composite to an extent that is only now beginning to dawn on me. Also, as @Deb5 observes all these things are easier said than done. If only the thought was sufficient for it to be so!

Thanks again for your reply and I hope that you are not feeling too unwell with your dose of Covid.

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