My husband died 4 months ago. I want to talk about him with others so that my memories of him are clearer and I don’t lose any more of him than I already have. I seem to be the only one amongst friends and family who brings him up in conversation but I want others to do this too. How can I encourage them?
I don’t know how to encourage them, my René is only gone three weeks ago and some people already had started changing the subject except close family on his side and mine. I really fear not being able to talk about him so will follow this with interest as all I want to do is talk and think about my husband.
Can you tell us about him? what was his name and what things did you like to do together? how did you meet? (if I overstepped then of course please ignore).
Hoping you can find someone to talk with if not us. The best is when other people tell you new fun stories about them i think or the other side of a story you’d heard. Are there family members from his side you can ask to light a candle together and give a toast to his memory on videochat or something?
Hi FleurDeLis. Thank you for asking about him. We loved walking together, he was the most loving man in that every day I got a kiss and a hug and was told that he loved me. He was there for me 24/7. He knew me better than anyone else and vice versa. He loved me despite the less loveable parts of my character. We met at university and were together for 40 years. He has left a big hole in my life.
Tell me about your husband?
It is ten weeks since Karen died, she is never mentioned unless I actually bring her name into the conversation. It is as if she had never existed. It is extremely distressing for her to be “forgotten” already
I wonder whether some people, in my circle of friends and family anyway, are trying to protect me, and others are trying to protect themselves in that they are not ready to talk about the person who has died because it is too painful. Why do you think people won’t/can’t talk about them?
Hi Lucy1, my husband and I also loved walking together, mainly in nature reserves locally looking for birds with binoculars but sometimes we would drive to the beach (or rather he would, I don’t drive) and collect pebbles to take home and put in the rock tumbler to polish. Usually at least one day at the weekend we would go for a walk. Every other weekend usually my mum and stepdad would meet up with us on the walks and he really got on with my mum too which I found lovely.
We were also very tactile and after only three weeks I am missing having that affection. After a walk we would get home and watch films or comedy programs onTV having a drink together in the evening, usually I would be resting my feet or head on him. We were best friends and I don’t really have real friends as we spent all our time together, mainly at home or in the garden when not out for a walk or at the garden centres. I am 40 and we were married when I was 25, we met through an online computer game some years earlier but we didn’t talk at first as we were on opposite teams and he is Dutch and always only spoke Dutch even though he had very good English since his teammates were Dutch. I was on an international team and we spoke English (I am English).
Did you also walk in similar places? That is so beautiful that he showed his love for you every day like that over 40 years. I also feel a big hole in my life, in fact I don’t know who I am without my René. We don’t have children but had hoped we still might. We do have 4 cats though who also miss him as he was the one spoiling them.
Were you doing the same course at university or met on a social event?
This is the thread I was going to start today - talking about our loved ones when no one else will. We have to keep them alive in our memory. Mike and I were just like you FleurDeLis - absolute soulmates, very tactile and we just lived for each other. He was kind, caring and never said a bad word about anyone. Today is the date I first realized I had fallen in love with him. The day he died was the date of our first kiss. I will love hime till the day I die - he was and still is my life.
My heart goes out to you all. I have taken the opportunity to talk about Gerry, and then sometimes I will say something like,‘oh by the way I still love to talk about Gerry’ as I think sometimes people do not know whether to mention him or not, so I make it clear. I remembered that many years ago when my Dad died, this was a problem for my Mum, nobody talked about him. I have also made it clear to friends that I want them to talk about their partners and spouses, the usual conversation even the usual moan about them. It is not easy though is it? Take care everybody, x
Hi Fleur-de-lis. We have lots of lovely walks that we enjoyed together around where we live - it’s very rural. My husband, Julian, loved the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands and Islands too. I’m the one with the binoculars and I’m a wildlife geek but he became interested because of our relationship. He loved the mountains and lakes and knew their names better than the names of birds.
I am assuming people don’t mention her name as they either don’t know what to say or they think it might upset me. When the reality is the complete opposite.
When in fact you could hardly get any more upset than you are already, as a result of her death.
Good advice, JanetT, thank you. I bring my husband into conversations regularly to demonstrate that it is not a taboo subject. Hopefully people will follow suit in time. With my 30 year old kids, I send photos which they may not have seen with a memory relating to the picture eg Look how happy Dad looks - no surprise that we were in his favourite place, the Lake District
Hi again RichardM. Would you like to tell us about Karen?
Thank you for asking about Karen
Karen and I met in 1981, brought our first house in 1984, married in 1991, had our boy in 1992. Karen was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2017, which was successfully treated. She had a different more aggressive bowel cancer in 2018, by the time this was spotted it was already at Stage 4. The cancer moved to her ovaries in 2019, which were removed, then the cancer returned in her peritoneal in June this year, she died at the end of August.
I’m not stupid, I know the survival statistics for Stage 4 bowel cancer, but Karen went through all the operations and chemotherapy with such a happy, positive attitude I was utterly convinced that she was one of the ones who was going to survive, my world totally collapsed when the oncologist telephoned me to tell me that all Karen’s treatment was being withdrawn and she only had a few days to live.
She was a beautiful, friendly, loyal girl who was extremely popular and had the knack of being able to chat and make friends with total strangers. She loved walking, particularly along a beach, cooking, baking and going out for a coffee with friends
I was so lucky to have had the joy of her as a wife, best friend and soul mate for nearly forty years. Life is much more a grey, dull and joyless affair without her.
From reading the posts on here, I can see that people eventually become accustomed to life without their partners, but it is not a quick process and the initial devastation takes a long time to work through. It is sad, lonely journey all of us on here are having to take.
This is actually your topic, would you like to tell us about your husband?
@Lucy1 I also was the one more into the birds but René joined me and learned more and liked to try to find the one I wanted to see.
It sounds like you and Julian had a lot of adventures. René and I honeymooned around Scotland but only made it up as far as around Inverness. He loved it and we hoped to go to the islands but didn’t make it. Which place was your favourite and did you see any good birds together?
We hoped to move somewhere more rural, we liked walking in the day and stargazing at night but couldn’t always see what we were after due to light pollution, did you ever look at the stars together sometimes too?
Hi Jean, here is a heart as today is the date you realised you’d fallen in love with Mike. Do you know what made you realise, was it a specific thing he did or just a knowing?
@RichardM the way you lost Karen sounds absolutely torturous, I am sorry you both had to go through that.
It sounds like you and Karen had a lovely life together. Did you have favourite things she would cook or bake that she would make you?
“devastation” covers how I’m feeling, that is a good word for it.
@FleurDeLis Wondering who initiated the withdrawing of all treatment conversation and how Karen responded to it, is an image which always brings tears to my eyes (it has now). I should have been called in to be beside her for that conversation.
I can cook sufficiently well to survive and not use ready meals, Karen spent some time in the last year or so showing me how to bake a cake or two, but my cooking is pretty basic and not at all a patch on hers.
Google Russel Watson song someone to remember me. Have the hankies, ready though. Its on you tube. Beautiful song.
Hi FleurDelis, You asked how I knew I had fallen in love with Mike. i suddenly saw such a kind loving expression on his face and knew he was the one for me. That first flash of feeling such love never left me all through our life together. We were twin souls and still are. Thanks for asking. I feel sorry for your loss too. It’s a hard road but we will get there. Much love to you.x