My wife who had MS has recently died at the age of 51 years due to pneumonia. I was her full time carer, for which I gave up my career as a design engineer and was therefore with her 24/7. Now, I feel completely lost. I have not only lost my wife, but my reason for being. I feel my life has also ended as I don’t k ow what to do now. Plus, all the financial support we received has all gone now, so I have big financial worries to compound the stress and grief I am feeling. I have no family or friends, so no emotional support. The only support we had were my wife’s nurses and carers and they are all now gone. I feel completely alone and abandoned. The thought of starting a new life from scratch is frightening and overwhelming especially without any guidance or support. I am sure there are many others who have gone through similar experiences. Any advice would be appreciated.
Just wanted to reply to you.I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your wife at such a young age. You must be devastated and will need time to adjust. My husband died unexpectedly in October and I am still trying to cope one day at a time. You mention having financial worries but I think it will be too soon for you to think about working. The only thing I can suggest is a visit to your doctor who may be able to help you and then later when you feel able a visit to the job centre who may be able to advise you about any benefits you can claim and any courses they have to help you find work when you are ready. You cannot rush these things. Your life has been turned upside down, like the rest of us on this site, and you will need to take time to grieve. Being a carer is exhausting and you need to take care of yourself now. Hope this helps
Thank you for the reply and your thoughtful words. I am also sorry to hear about your husband. I take it you were his carer too. Losing a partner is hard enough, but to lose the main purpose of your life is doubly difficult. I was an extension of my wife, I did what she couldn’t, like feed her, get her drinks whatever. All my decision making was based on her needs first. Now I have to make decisions for myself and that is a strange, alien concept! Basically I now have to start my life from scratch. At 57, that is not something I want to contemplate.
I agree about taking to time to readjust, especially about the financial side of things. The problem is her ESA, PIP, council tax reductions have all stopped NOW!! However, all the bills, mortgage etc still need paying. They are not going to be willing to wait till I sort myself out. I plan to see my doctor next week and I am seeing my wife’s McMillan Nurse, who offered palliative help to her, next week as well to discuss matters. So hopefully I will get some support. It’s good to know they are people on here who have been through similar experiences.
I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear you have lost your dear wife and all that brings with it. Your story resonated with me as I am in a similar situation, having lost my husband a month ago. I cared for him for many years and gave up work four years ago to look after him. I too have financial worries on top of the grief so understand what you are saying.
I wish I had some answers for you but can only suggest as others have that it’s one day at a time and try and look after yourself as best you can. I know this is a strange mindset when you have been a carer for so many years. I think we are probably deeply exhausted and need time to prioritise our own needs which is so hard when you have spend years putting the person you love first. Rebuilding life from scratch seems a monumental task when all you want is your old life back but I think we have no option but to go forward somehow and see where we end up.
Please come back here for support when you need to - we all understand.
Thanks for your reply and it does sound like you have gone through a similar experience of once been a carer then life changing so drastically. Everything seems so overwhelming and daunting. Not just having to deal with the loss of a partner, then a period of grief and gradually getting back to some sort of life that existed before. The life that existed before is completely gone! Having no close family, lost all friends, as being a carer is an isolated existence I have no real support, hence why I am here. So good to hear from others who have been in the same boat. I will take heed and take things slowly, one step at a time. Thanks again.
In your own time, look at joining Wayup: http://www.way-up.co.uk/. It’s a lifeline for me.
Thanks Ann for the link. I will definitely have a look.