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My Wife Died

(54 Posts)
Peewww Sun 03-Jun-18 13:18:35

My wife died on new years eve after a long illness. For the last few years she was bed bound and I looked after her, with help from carers and with virtually no practical or emotional support from our two sons or their wives. We had no social life having relocated just before she became ill. I feel I am not grieving for her loss as she is free from pain and I grieved whist she was ill, but I am so angry and hurt about not getting support from the boys or their wives when she was ill. I suggested to one son his wife could support me at the funeral but I was told "I would be lucky" I think she does not do emotion. The other DIL lost her mun when she was 14 , and seems to have issues. At one stage she was not coming to the funeral and did not want to travel in the cortege. I felt I needed support so asked two nieces who were all happy to help. I don't think my sons were too happy about this but never said.

I have had no contact with the dau's in law, no visits to see how I was actually coping, no food parcels. On the advice of a counsellor from CRUISE I mentioned in in an email that I had been advised to tell them about my anger and hurt. I went to see grandson swim and his dad indicated he didn't want to talk then, No contact since even though he is only 40 min away. The other son, one phone call since the funeral. We always felt we were fitted in with visits and scarce telephone calls which we put down to pressure of work so nothing has really changed except I have now given up expecting anything. I know I can contact them but the anger and hurt is overpowering. I should say I have had many episodes of depression, anxiety, BPDO and bipolar which I think arose in part from stress caring for my wife. One of my sons helped in talking as he is a psychotherapist but nothing now, I know they miss their mum but they have support from their families. I am trying to build a life bit by bit but don't see much point. I am too busy being angry, a trait I picked up in childhood with dysfunctional parents, It just takes so long to meet new people

ninathenana Sun 03-Jun-18 13:31:21

I'm so sorry to read of the loss of your wife and how family have neglected you since. I find that very sad. I don't have any words of wisdom but I didn't want to "read and run"
I hope perhaps getting it of your chest has helped a little and I hope you find a way through your troubled times.

stella1949 Sun 03-Jun-18 13:42:06

So sorry to hear your story. I hope it helps to talk about it. There are always friendly folks on this forum. Sending you best wishes - and a hug.

petra Sun 03-Jun-18 13:45:28

I'm so sorry for the hurt you are feeling. I have no words of advice Re children who don't care.
But you could have plenty of virtual friends on here smile
Try not to be so angry, it doesn't achieve anything.

paddyann Sun 03-Jun-18 13:52:57

I think your DIL's have their own issues to deal with so you cant expect them to step up and "support " you.If being around you is detrimental to their own well being then they need to stay away.
Your sons are a different story they should be around ,even just to chat about happier times.Maybe if you tell them you just want to talk about their mum to people.who knew her,then they would understand .Perhaps full on grief is hard for them to cope with and they are still dealing with their loss so being around you if you're depressed and miserable is something they cant handle

.If you can make their visits less about your grief and more about moving forward without your wife /their mum and meet somewhere away from the family home that might be the answer.Not everyone grieves the same ,so you should perhaps contact Cruse and get a councellor to talk to.I wish you well with this awful part of your life and hope you get the help you need .

Day6 Sun 03-Jun-18 14:07:16

I am sorry you are feeling sad and alone Peewww.

The lack of care and visits from your sons is an issue, but so is this bit.

I am trying to build a life bit by bit but don't see much point. I am too busy being angry, a trait I picked up in childhood with dysfunctional parents

You also said you have given up expecting anything

You are at a stage of mourning still, even though you mourned the loss of your wife while she was very ill and you cared for her. Just the caring probably gave you a role and a routine.

You have lost her and the structure of your days, and you are sad and angry too. Your boys are being thoughtless imo, but they cannot fix you by visiting more. It would be ideal if they came and listened, helped you find coping strategies maybe, or counselling perhaps and ways forward. You didn't have much of their company before, so as you say, nothing has changed.

I think you will know when the time is right to help yourself. It looks like only you can grab the bull by the horns unfortunately. Perhaps go to your GP? He or she may be able to help - with medication, if you need it - or by putting you in touch with appropriate counselling for grief and anger issues.

I wish you well, and hope you can move forward in time.

Anniebach Sun 03-Jun-18 14:08:54

I am so sorry, you are not depressed and miserable you are grieving , don’t stifle your grief , at least you contacted CRUISE, it will take time but you will move forward .

We all deal with grief in our own way , we have to. Try to let the anger go, it is exhausting X

Oldwoman70 Sun 03-Jun-18 14:27:11

My sympathies - it is hard to lose a partner and not have the support of family. Remember there are those of us on GN who have been through the loss and, although it is different for everyone, we do understand and are here with virtual support.

harrigran Sun 03-Jun-18 14:40:52

I am sorry for your loss, it must be still very raw.
I do not think it is a good idea to tell a relative that they have hurt you whilst you are grieving, you will increase the hurt and will probably alienate your sons further.

BlueBelle Sun 03-Jun-18 14:51:21

Oh peewww I m so sorry to hear this, it is so difficult losing a close family member particularly someone that had taken all your time up to look after, you are suddenly left with this big vacuum and nothing but you and your grief in it, it is lonely, sad and difficult and I do think it’s often worse for men as they are not the best at opening up about emotions
Reading between the lines it sounds as you ve not had the easiest of life starts and it doesn’t sound as if your sons are that close to you as you say you never heard much from them before but you and your wife put that down to them being busy
I would take the daughter in laws out the equation they are what they are, but the sons should be MUCH more supportive but you can’t make people be kind and caring perhaps they just don’t know how to handle your grief and their own (although it’s a bit ripe one being a psychotherapist)
I am glad your nieces stepped up to help and hope they are still in contact with you
Please accept help from anyone you can and as much as you can See if there’s a ‘ men’s shed’ in your area it’s a good way of making friends a few men gathering to chat, garden, play cards or just have a coffee etc
In the meantime do come on here I m sure you will find a lot of kind people to help you through this difficult time

kathsue Sun 03-Jun-18 14:53:42

So sorry for your loss.
Anger is one stage of grieving and it will get easier. Your sons are being thoughtless but they are grieving in their own way. If you can, try to put your family's behaviour to the back of your mind and try to find other people who will listen to you and empathise. Where I live there are different organisations for bereavement counselling and I go to a group, once a month, for ex-carers which is very helpful.
If you find one service doesn't help try somewhere else.
It is up to you, I'm afraid, to find a new life for yourself. It won't be easy and it will take time but I'll say 3 things

1 Look after yourself, keep as healthy as you can.

2 Accept any help you are offered, don't try to do it all by yourself.

3 Let go of any past resentment. It only holds you back.

I wish you well flowers

alex57currie Sun 03-Jun-18 15:24:39

Hi Peewww,

I don't normally contribute on Gn , but this just melted me. You've had wise excellent advise from solid gransnetters. You can't change how others act/behave, only yourself. I've learnt not to expect anything from anyone. When kindness comes my way I see it as a blessing. It's not healthy to have such anger. Was it Nelson Mandela who said "holding onto bitterness is like drinking a glass of poison and waiting for the other person to die"? or words to that effect. The only one suffering is you.

Maybe you need to change the dynamics here. Maybe your sons are just just thoughtless/selfish individuals. Only you'll know.

What about getting a rescue dog? I know 2 people who did this after their loved one died. It transformed them in their grief.

Onwards and upwards.

lemongrove Sun 03-Jun-18 15:48:34

A very sad situation for you.
Why not think about making a move to somewhere new?
Is there anywhere that you have always wanted to live?
I think you have to make a life for yourself now, your wife would want you to be happy.
A new start, join a couple of clubs and see what happens.
You don’t say how old you are, so if you don’t feel up to something like a change of scenery, try and join things and make new friends, U3A, etc.
Families can be disappointing at times.

annodomini Sun 03-Jun-18 16:11:34

Even if you have little or no experience of DiY, I understand that Men in Sheds is therapeutic for men in your position. If there is a branch in your area you may well be able to meet others who have become newly single and make new friends.

paddyann Sun 03-Jun-18 16:12:27

Can I add that when my FIL died my MIL expected me to organise his funeral "as I'd done it before" sadly I'd done it just 3 weeks before when my mother died and it was the last thing I needed.I didn't visit her much in the weeks after as I had my own grief to deal with and I know she wasn't pleased that I stayed away .
There are times when we need to put ourselves first and if your DIL have issues with death its best for you all if they deal with their issues before trying to be a support for you ...of course they also have your sons grief to deal with and any GC .
My late mother used to say that grief makes us all selfish ,she was angry with my dad when he died even complaining he died before their organised 50th wedding if he did it on purpose .Give it time and life will go back to some semblance of normality I'm sure .
Meantime you should keep in touch with your sons and arrange to see them and the GC when its possible.Unlike another poster I dont think moving so soon is a great idea ,you'll have friends and aquaintances where you are so stay put for now at least .

Luckygirl Sun 03-Jun-18 16:16:44

So sorry for your loss, and that this anger is so hard to get past. You will though in time. flowers

cornergran Sun 03-Jun-18 17:33:47

I feel very sad for you. There’s much advice here, see what sits comfortably with you. Can I add that for me a visit to your GP is essential and if you can keep meeting with your CRUSE counsellor. If that counselling has ended you might find it helpful to form a relationship with a more general counsellor, perhaps to think about relationships in general.

Grief is individual, no two people grieve in the same way, your sons are experiencing their own grief process which is unlikely to coincide with yours or indeed each others. That doesn’t mean you have to be separate, please try not to be angry with them, anger can be both exhausting and destructive. If you can meet with them for a coffee or a meal and chat about their lives that could be a beginning.

General advice after bereavement is to make no dramatic changes, such as a house move, for at least the first year, the feelings go with you. I hope there are friends in your area for you. You will always find someone here to talk to. I hope you can feel more at ease with yourself and your family soon.

Teetime Sun 03-Jun-18 18:04:59

peewww I am so sorry you have had a horrible time and you don't seem to have anyone close to you for comfort. I won't offer any advice I don't think it will be the right thing to say as I don't know you but you have my thoughts and good wishes and I do hope you will continue with Gransnet and make some new friends on here. there is always someone here willing to listen and often quite a few people can empathise with your sorrow.

Marydoll Sun 03-Jun-18 18:12:24

*peewww, I felt so sad reading this. You will find many good and caring people on GN, who are happy to listen and offer comfort and

Eloethan Sun 03-Jun-18 19:41:18

I am so sorry you are feeling so sad and angry. I can quite understand why you feel lonely and abandoned.

I believe there are bereavement groups where people who have lost loved ones can talk openly about how they are feeling. I think Cruse is the most well known one. I don't know if this is of any interest to you but sometimes it helps to just be able to talk with other people who may be experiencing similar feelings to yourself.

I don't know how old or how mobile you are but perhaps, when you are feeling a little better, it might help to join some other groups or clubs (ramblers, pensioners' groups, etc, etc), or take a course in something which interests you or learn a skill that you have always wanted to learn.

I hope, in time, things get better for you.

MawBroon Sun 03-Jun-18 20:38:24

Sincere condolences on the loss of your wife Peewww

This is the hardest time for you and I am so sorry your children are not supporting you as they should. I would not presume to know their thinking, but you may have to resign yourself to somehow coming through it on your own or, if possible, with the support of friends.
I lost my DH in November after a long period of illness involving 24/7 Care from me so have an idea of how you may be feeling, although of course we are all different .
Feelings of anger, guilt, depression are perfectly normal along with the sadness and empty space in your life. I know it is a cliché but it is early days.
Do stay with us on GN there are many others who can empathise and will offer a shoulder if you need it.

OldMeg Sun 03-Jun-18 21:38:23

What an amazing thing you did, caring for your wife through the last years of her life. You were a wonderful husband and a very strong man to do all that. What a pity you’ve been let down by those who ought to be supporting you through this difficult transition.

Can I suggest you forget them for now and do something for yourself. You say you’ve no social life. Could you move closer to friends you left behind when you reallocated perhaps? Or to your nieces? At least take yourself off on a holiday. You deserve a chance to unwind and find time to come to terms with losing your wife.

Sulis Mon 04-Jun-18 10:06:11

Dear Peewww, I have nothing to add to the excellent advice you have already been given, but to send you a massive hug and hope that things will get lighter for you very soon. smile, sunshine, flowers. Much love xx

Deni1963 Mon 04-Jun-18 10:13:33

Such good advice here. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. Us individuals in terrible circumstances have expectations - when there not met we are so hurt and disappointed. Some times when we think family will pull in, they don't. I suppose it is accepting that disappoint. I've learnt if I have no expectations I can't be disappointed. It's sometimes a hard way to live, but we can't control the actions of others.

A very big hug, fill your life with friends, hobbies, and things you love doing, and if you write, put it all on paper.

FGMadge Mon 04-Jun-18 10:34:43

Dear Peewww - my condolences on the loss of your wife. It takes a long time to learn how to live your life after bereavement and it's an ever-changing situation. There are lots of good suggestions given above by Gransnetters but alex57currie has the best one - start by having no expectations of anyone even family members. It's hard work, but building a new network by joining groups and meeting people means you will start to look outside yourself again. Have a look at to see if it might be your sort of thing.