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How Long

(34 Posts)
Msida Thu 29-Oct-20 19:03:19

I have mentioned that I lost my husband a couple of months ago and it still really hurts

I know that a few others have lost their precious husband and I just wanted to ask how long does it take for it to stop hurting

How long does it take to not get up in the morning and he be your first thought, how long is it til you can listen to music without feeling so very bad

Please tell me it gets better, please tell me the pain does go away

M0nica Thu 29-Oct-20 19:17:09

I haven't lost a husband, only a very dear sister. The pain does not go away, but you get used to it.

The first year is the worst, I kept thinking 'This time last year, this time last year', but sometime after the year is up, life does start to lift a bit. That is why the recently bereaved are encouraged not to make any life changing decisions in the first year.

We all grieve in different ways, and years after the loss, somehing will catch you unexpectedly and your eyes will well up

When will it stop hurting? No one knows, but gradually you will get used to it.

Thoro Thu 29-Oct-20 19:19:52

Very early days for you. You don’t get over it but you do get used to it. The hurt at the start is very acute but as time goes on the pain happens less often.
My first husband died 21 years ago and although I’ve been remarried many years I can still cry at certain songs and think about him frequently (especially now with grandchildren.)
Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve but there is life after loss. No one can say how long it takes as it’s different for everyone. Thoughts are with you x

Daddima Thu 29-Oct-20 20:08:11

I’m still struggling a bit since the Bodach died in January, and having had to shield hasn’t helped, as I haven’t been able to get used to doing things and going places on my own. This makes me fear that my grieving will take longer, as I’ll miss him more when we get back to normal, as I’ve got maybe too used to hiding away, if that makes sense.
Everybody is different, and grieves in different ways, so nobody can tell you how long things will take. There are still lots of pieces of music I can’t face listening to, clothes that I can’t bear to get rid of, but I’m in no hurry. Just take your own time, cry when you have to, enjoy the happy memories, and remember it will become bearable.

The Heavy Stone

My grief was a heavy stone,

rough and sharp.

Grasping to pick it up

My hands were cut.

Afraid to let go,

I carried it.

While I had my grief

you were not lost.

The rain of my tears

smoothed it.

The wind of my rage

weathered it,

making it round and small.

The cuts in my hands have healed.

Now in my palm it rests,

sometimes almost beautiful,

Sometimes almost you.

phoenix Thu 29-Oct-20 20:19:10

Daddima thank you for posting that, it's beautiful, poignant and has truth in it.

I lost my 19 year old son to suicide in 2008, and it sometimes still likes a sad weight that I carry.

OceanMama Thu 29-Oct-20 21:14:35

I'm sorry you're hurting. Two months is nothing at all and so very fresh. It does get softer in time, though the hole is always there to some degree.

hollysteers Thu 29-Oct-20 23:55:21

Bereavement is one of the hardest, if not the hardest things we have to bear. I lost my husband four years ago and although that might seem like an eternity to you at the moment, the unbelievable pain does lessen over that period and life can be very enjoyable. My heart goes out to anyone suffering a bereavement recently with Covid restrictions, what a double whammy. Getting out and about and being with people helped enormously. My grief was compounded by guilt and regrets, so if you don’t have those, that will help.
Yes, certain music still a problem, but I now find myself thinking of happier times, holidaying together etc.
Pierce Brosnan, when he lost his first wife said “There is a shadow over my heart”; nicely said.
I found poetry helped, also writing out my feelings in poetry and keeping a journal.
Daddima what lovely lines 💐

hollysteers Fri 30-Oct-20 00:03:30

I think it’s important also not to turn your spouse into a sainted figure, which can become unhealthy and stop you moving on into acceptance. Without prejudice, remember the faults as well as the good things about the person. I know that sounds cruel, but I did that when I lost my mother and husband as one can be driven crazy with grief. It gives a perspective to think of them as a flawed human being with good and bad points and not an angel!

hondagirl Fri 30-Oct-20 07:04:43

People say it gets better with time, but there is no rule. You may gradually have days where you start to feel a little better and they may become more frequent as time goes on. However, the grief can hit out of nowhere.
I lost my husband about 18 months ago.
I regularly go for a walk with a married friend whose husband isn't really very outgoing and so I tend to do things with her. This week we were joined by another married friend as we were walking not too far from where she lives. The talk turned to a cruise that both couples had booked in 2021. It turned out that several other couples whom I know were also going on the cruise. There was also talk of weekends away that the couples had taken or intended to take (I am in Queensland, just to clarify so this is possible at the moment). I suddenly realised that I would never be able to go away again for a weekend with my husband or go on holiday.
When I got home I just broke down and cried for the rest of the day. It's not easy and you have to just go with it rather than fight it. Be kind to yourself.

Justwidowed Fri 30-Oct-20 10:17:09

You will see from my name that I have lost my husband. It is rather strange that this thread should appear now.This weekend is the one I am dreading,my DH died 12 months ago tomorrow and Sunday would have been his 80th birthday. My family are unable to come as we are in Tier 3 but I am hoping for some phonecalls.I think the first year is the hardest but time will ease the sorrow.I am much more cheerful than I was and rarely cry,I have a good sense of humour which certainly helps.My DH had Alzheimer's as well as severe lung problems and he would not have been able to cope with Covid or understand why family couldn't visit.
I enjoy being reminded of him ,looking round my lounge there are 16 photos of us and he has his arm round me on virtually every one.
We had been married 37 years ,it was second marriage for him and third for me .My previous husband died two weeks before our 1st wedding anniversary. I never thought or wanted to marry again but 18 months later married my DH.
My advice would be to enjoy the memories of your husband and remember the things that amused you both.

Shrub Fri 30-Oct-20 11:24:02

My husband died 13 years ago when I was 57 and I don't know now how I kept going for the first few years. I think it helped having a goal as I was determined to move away, straightaway. I find as hollysteers says I seem to remember his faults more than the happy times we spent together, which we did. I wish I could remember them more without the sadness and regrets attached. I have had some amazing times since and it was right for me to move.

Msida Fri 30-Oct-20 21:24:11

Been so very helpful reading your posts., everyone so helpful and I czn refer to them when ever I need to

I can not thank you enough for t as king the time to share your experiences and to go e advice

It helped loads thank you

OceanMama Fri 30-Oct-20 22:45:30

I'm going to say it, not because I want to worry anyone, but because it was helpful to me to have heard it. When my daughter died I was told by many that the second year is the hardest. I didn't believe it, but I found this to be true. I hope it isn't for anyone here but I'm sharing it so that if it does prove to be true, you know you aren't alone and it can be normal.

Mancjules Fri 30-Oct-20 23:29:55

I lost my dh to the virus in March. He was a healthy 63 year old so the shock was immense. I am still coming to terms with losing the person who made my life complete. I can't say the pain and emptiness eases...it is just different. I can see a way forward even in the dark days. Hold on to that...no rush just work through it.

hondagirl Sat 31-Oct-20 05:40:34

I do agree actually that the second year is harder. Those first sympathies have disappeared and everyone expects you to be getting on with your life.
I think that the first year I was living in a parallel universe and especially just after my husband had died. I don't know if this is your brain's way of trying to protect you. I definitely find now that I seem to be coming to the realisation that this is it and that he is not coming back. There are reminders everywhere in the house and I do find that really hard.
During the first year I went alone on a trip to Europe to visit my son and then travelled to New Zealand to spend Christmas with my daughter. The thought of traelling anywhere on my own now I find very daunting.

craftyone Sat 31-Oct-20 05:56:57

msida, you are asking exactly the same question that I asked after my husband died. There was no-one to ask, I got on a local (country) bus and sat behind two older women who looked as though they had been widowed. I asked them and they were so kind. They said that it becomes easier to live with and indeed it does

Grief has stages and everyone goes through the stages at a different rate. At first my heart was pounding so much, I could hear it in my ears in bed at night so I concentrated on repairing the actual physical symptoms which are caused by cortisol. I did this by just sitting and looking at some trees, hypnosis cds that helped me sleep, meditation and quiet cycling outside on my own

Little by little, the stages unwrapped themselves and there is much online about the various stages. I made myself busy, I cleared, I maintained the house, always busy and the work helped

Year 4 I decided that I would move and I did, packed up everything myself, still busy. That was the year that I went through the last stage of acceptance and being able to forge a new life for myself.

In the 18 months after I was widowed, I lost my dear sister in law exactly one year to the day and my sister, 6 months later

Msida what did help very greatly, was to have a short list, every single day before going to bed, something to get up for, a few things to do. Also I made very sure that I ate well, just simple food and perhaps all in one pan eg rice, fish and easy veg. The first thing to do though is to help your physical self, the mental healing will follow

hugs from me, I know exactly what you are going through

Daddima Sat 31-Oct-20 07:29:05

hondagirl

I do agree actually that the second year is harder. Those first sympathies have disappeared and everyone expects you to be getting on with your life.
I think that the first year I was living in a parallel universe and especially just after my husband had died. I don't know if this is your brain's way of trying to protect you. I definitely find now that I seem to be coming to the realisation that this is it and that he is not coming back. There are reminders everywhere in the house and I do find that really hard.
During the first year I went alone on a trip to Europe to visit my son and then travelled to New Zealand to spend Christmas with my daughter. The thought of traelling anywhere on my own now I find very daunting.

Strangely enough, I was talking with a friend yesterday, and she said exactly the same thing, when I was telling her I felt Covid was meaning I couldn’t grieve properly. She said it was only in the second year that she realised it was ‘real’. I think I know what she meant. At the Bodach’s funeral another friend said, “ That’s the easy bit over’, and I know what she meant too.

OceanMama Sat 31-Oct-20 07:38:02

I think, as well as it being more real the second year, other factors that make it harder are that others have moved on and there can be an expectation that we should be too by now. Also, the first year can be busy with things like sorting estates and, sometimes, involvement of the medical examiner. Having to do all these things is surreal and keeps the mind busy. When that is all gone and the world just keeps turning, there is a new reality to face and become accustomed to.

Msida Sat 31-Oct-20 09:13:32

Thank you craftyone that was so helpful each word written helped

I am a problem solver but my brother sat me down and explained that this isn't something that can be solved, it's beyong your control he said, that really hurt but of course was true.

Yesterday I had a walk to the shop and as I am walking I look at people and the traffic and think but my husband has died, how dies everything just continue to go on, I started to cry because I couldn't cope with that emotion. I had heard people say that but had never felt it myself

I feel more than fortunate to have discovered gransnet I don't know what I would do without it at the minute

T h a n k y o u 🧡
I think keeping busy is a big one and so important defnetley

25Avalon Sat 31-Oct-20 09:29:46

It’s a hard hard time in unchartered waters. When my son died I was in limbo for 4 years waiting for the inquest. You never get over it but you learn how to cope. And a very important thing I learnt was compassion. I received this from the most unexpected people, all of whom I learnt had suffered the loss of a loved one. I am giving it to you from the bottom of my heart. flowers

craftyone Sun 01-Nov-20 07:18:41

I remember when I realised that no-one cleared up at home any more, if I left any dishes, they were still there in the morning. I was alone for the very first time in my life, no-one there to do anything for me, even to make me a cup of tea, that was a pretty big hurdle to overcome.

Significant dates came and went but I made sure that I went out, it was always national trust then, people around but sitting by myself at lunchtime. People in groups or twos, hardly anyone on their own, only me. Don`t be afraid to go out, you need to get a change of scenery. I go out on my own all the time but I mostly do it via cycling, it helps my health and I see moving scenery faster and best of all, no one pities a lone cyclist

MawB2 Sun 01-Nov-20 08:55:00

Strangely enough, I was talking with a friend yesterday, and she said exactly the same thing, when I was telling her I felt Covid was meaning I couldn’t grieve properly. She said it was only in the second year that she realised it was ‘real’. I think I know what she meant. At the Bodach’s funeral another friend said, “ That’s the easy bit over’, and I know what she meant too

I agree Daddima. People are generally kind and make allowances for you in the early months and there can be so much to see to, you are on autopilot much of the time.
By the second year you are expected to have “got over it” and everybody is hugely relieved when you pin a smile on and venture out.
I think that is when it really hits home that this is for ever, that life will never be the same and that you have become a different person. Without wanting to or being prepared for it.
Because there is no preparation, you cannot rehearse grief, being left behind affects every tiny bit of your life. I have found it harder to make decisions, for instance, even though I was often the instigator of changes in our life or home. Choosing wallpaper or colours- I find I can’t be bothered with projects (what is the point?) or even in the days when we could still go to places, I can’t summon up the enthusiasm because I have no one to share it with.
While Paw was alive he was quite often not well enough to go to things but I was fine on my own, however now that is my default position, I hesitate or cancel. Sorry to go on, third anniversary coming up but not “getting there” if there is a “there”, just going on going on.

Bellasnana Sun 01-Nov-20 11:17:33

I read the following in a recent parish magazine and it resonated with me:

‘Grief: When something major happens in our lives that turns everything upside down, it is a natural reaction to want to make sense of it all.

Some see grief like a journey on a train. You get on the grief train and a process happens to you that you seem to have little control over. The train passes through stations called shock, anger, fear, searching and despair, but sooner or later the train arrives at its destination called acceptance, and you get off ready to begin a new life.

Others see it as a car journey where you are driving. You can control the pace, speed and, to some extent, the direction.

For others it is a long walk, where for some the journey never ends.

Whichever picture relates to you, they are all about a process of change and adjustment. The more you can understand this change, the easier it is to adjust. It can be very beneficial to read accounts of other people’s losses. It helps you to see how normal your reaction might be. Although your story is unique, you are not alone,’

It’s five years for me since DH died but since then I have also lost my one remaining sister and two very close friends, so the grieving goes on whilst trying to make the most of life and not dwelling too much on what is past.

Your name makes me wonder if you have a connection to Malta, Msida?

Msida Sun 01-Nov-20 18:48:40

BellasnannaYesI am Maltese Msida is the place I lived when I was little with my Nan, came back to London when I was 9 but was born in London.. Have you been to Malta smile

Msida Sun 01-Nov-20 18:54:19

I have read loads saying that it's hard, and that is so understandable but is there anyone at all that has gotten through it and maybe even found someone new and is Ok now