Gransnet forums

Bereavement

Yet another aspect

(51 Posts)
annsixty Fri 10-May-19 09:42:58

I have posted on the other current thread and now another "problem" has reared it's head.
I have realised that I haven't been out on my own since my H died and now I find I can't do it.
Is this normal?
Will I find the courage?
Each time, not many, I have had a reason and someone else has been involved.
I got up this morning thinking I would do some shopping.
I just can't do it.
I don't drive so would have to walk to the bus, I might meet neighbours who perhaps don't know, I would certainly meet someone on the bus which is a community bus ,running just a few times a day and used by locals.
I am surprised by this, I am outgoing and friendly, I am quite scared by the realisation.

Feelingmyage55 Fri 10-May-19 10:02:34

I have not been in this situation but can empathise. I could not face people after I miscarried and walked to different shops. It was the sympathy I could not cope with. Could you just for once take a taxi? You would not be alone but at the same time you would not be with family/friends. Do the minimum of shopping and get the bus back - or if you cannot face the bus, take a taxi home. Expensive, I know, but at least you would have been out and broken the task into manageable sections. Next time, take the bus. Deep breath and buy something to tempt you to eat a nice supper.

aggie Fri 10-May-19 10:12:31

You and me both Ann!! , some mornings I have to just go round the corner to the shop and I get as far as the front door and divert into the bedroom and take my coat off sad
Other days I blindly sail through and get where I want but skuttle home when I have finished . I couldn't get on the bus on my own , the Kids think it is just my age , but it isn't that .
I have lost my lift to the art class , DD! wants me to take a taxi , but I can't face it
Anyway ... big girl pants on , I am off to the shop for my paper , otherwise I will not have spoken to a living soul till DD1 comes in this evening ............
You are not odd , but we have to just get out or we will shrivel up shock

Mamissimo Fri 10-May-19 10:16:27

I think Feeling has made a good suggestion because it would enable you to get out in the “safest” way possible for the first time and would give you the satisfaction of having done it in the gentlest way possible. It’s vital that you don’t become trapped at home because you’re worried about seeing people.

It’s one of those daunting steps that you just have to take - be of brave heart and call a cab - your H wouldn’t want you to be unable to go out.

humptydumpty Fri 10-May-19 10:18:15

My sympathies, Ann - you say on other occasions other people have been involved, but I'm assuming this didn't involve the journey you describe? Could a friend/family member do the journey you describe with you the first time?

annsixty Fri 10-May-19 10:22:19

Sorry you feel the same aggie but pleased it isn't just me.
I haven't said anything to anyone as it only struck me this morning, maybe my family will think it is an age thing as well,.
I am not asking for secrets to be divulged but I am nearly 82.
Perhaps I should get out my shawl, find some knitting needles and wool and buy a rocking chair.
The thing is, I don't want that, I want to get out and do the things I haven't been able to do for years.

annsixty Fri 10-May-19 10:24:07

I have been to the shops * humpty* but first a family member and then a friend took me by car.

MawBroonsback Fri 10-May-19 10:33:49

As your resident amateur therapist AnnSixty, yes I think this is normal.
To be honest, everything you feel immediately after the months and years you have coped with and your very recent bereavement may be regarded as normal - normal for now, normal for you and nothing to feel any worry or shame about. Your body as well as your emotions have taken a massive battering. I would say take each day at a time. Pop out to a shop if you feel like it, but don’t overthink it. If you choose not to, that is fine, but sometimes interaction with an entirely neutral stranger can make you feel you are one more step on the way.
If a friend can do something with you -coffee, lunch, just a walk, so much the better but do not push yourself.
I went up to Birmingham by train just a very few weeks after Paw died as DGS was poorly and the terror I felt on the staton platform (especially as an express thundered through) really shocked me. I was in no way suicidal but felt myself drawn towards the platform. I actually “hid” behind the timetable board for reassurance.
The first time I went “out” on my own, was to a quiz night among friends in the village hall, all of three months after Paw died and that was a huge effort.
All I would say is, how you feel today is not necessarily how you will feel tomorrow or next week.
Good days and bad days, or more exactly, bad days and not so bad days.

annsixty Fri 10-May-19 10:49:47

Thankyou all

Nonnie Fri 10-May-19 10:53:39

Please don't beat yourself up about this. I'm sure it will happen at some point. Just do what you can to occupy your days until you feel you can walk outside the house. Even if only a few steps outside the front door to start with. We all cope one way or another and it is different for each person.

EllanVannin Fri 10-May-19 11:23:55

Any traumatic experience will make the best of us feel this way and suffering a bereavement is no exception so you have to allow the mind and body to heal and the only way to do this is by degrees.
One day at a time-----as the song goes, and that's exactly how you face this issue. When you do have the better days, take full advantage of them as they will help improve your worse days by telling yourself that you can achieve something when feeling better and that the " disability " is only temporary. Don't dwell too much on your " off days " as it doesn't really matter if you're not up to going out.
Sunny warm days are more encouraging.

humptydumpty Fri 10-May-19 11:32:47

ann that's why I was wondering if someone could go with you the first time as you describe in the OP, without using a car?

jacq10 Fri 10-May-19 11:49:58

I have been through this as my DH died at the end of last year. As he had lost central vision in one eye he could not drive and started using our local bus. Within a few weeks he got to know so many people as I realised when I used to accompany him sometimes. After he passed away I knew that when I went on the bus his fellow passengers would be asking for him as they often did when he was in hospital for short periods and I just didn't want to face them. I used the car and sometimes walked to town and if I spotted anyone we knew from the bus I made a point of telling them. It was very hard but better than doing it on the bus. As someone has suggested it would be good if you could get out and about with someone and don't worry about being upset - a lot of folks have been through this and know how hard it is. I have lots of "not so good" days but I just enjoy my own company and memories and either the garden or a good book. Everyone is different and you have to do what you want to do.

aggie Fri 10-May-19 11:55:09

Someone with you is a help , the first time I decided to up to the bowls club my DD1 "had to go to the shop " ie she walked me up to the Hall talking rubbish the whole way , I managed to get in , have a chat , sat and watched a few ends and sweated my way home , the next time I was ok on my own ! But I was to go on the Flight to Edinburgh on my own( with assistance) , but DD1 again decided to take holidays and came with me , I was ok but I decided I can't go on my own , it is too much . I did used to go on the bus on my own as I can't drive , but haven't tried , I might have a go at that soon

purplepatch Fri 10-May-19 12:17:04

It's strange how we react isn't it? Yet absolutely normal - not surprising a unique event can produce a unique reaction. After all, most of us widows are going through a process that has never happened before to us.

For me, normally a very independent person (worked alone in countries all over the world and got lost in more than I can count), (!) I had a total loss of confidence in driving somewhere I had not been before. "What if I break down? No DH to ring as back up etc. etc." The fact that I had never rung DH before if I broke down but just got on with sorting it out, never occurred to me. A total logic bypass.

I've got over it now but it shows that any reaction, no matter how out of character for you or unexpected, is "normal". annsixty, I agree with others, calling on a friend or a family member or a neighbour you know well will probably help you make the first step, but be kind to yourself and rest assured it will at some point be OK. flowers

GrannyGravy13 Fri 10-May-19 13:15:07

Annsixty I have been in a similar situation after the death of my Mum. She lived 5 minutes away from me and we always went shopping together locally and to the big shopping malls.

The first time in our High Street people asked where she was, they hadn’t heard the news. I found it very hard as they all wanted to talk about Mum (she was a very friendly person and knew all the shopkeepers etc).

It will get easier, don’t rush into anything just take things one at a time when you are ready.

💐💐💐💐

Tweedle24 Fri 10-May-19 13:30:05

I mentioned this on a previous post but am going to mention it again. There is an organisation called Way Up which is for widows and widowers over 50. You can contact fellow widowed people on line and each area arranges events. My local area has a monthly lunch which is comfortable as everyone is the same boat but is not miserable. Some of the members meet up outside of these regular me etings and even go on holiday together. way-up.co.uk

bikergran Fri 10-May-19 14:15:36

I think its as you say, its meeting people that are not aware and will of course ask .

Also I think when you do go out you have the urge to get back home as fast as you can, its like a safety/comfort zone.

take care

Lily65 Fri 10-May-19 14:19:09

I would say Anne, start with something very very small. If people don't know and ask just pre prepare a reply in whatever way suits you best.....He passed away or what ever suits you.

bumblebee34 Fri 10-May-19 16:53:44

This all sounds completely normal for the bereaved to me............well it certainly was in my case. I found I could never cope with what I called ‘normal’ social situations, particularly in the first year of bereavement. The lifesaver for me was joining a local social group for those whose partner in life had died, I found I could do social situations in the company of those who were going or had gone through the same thing and completely understood if I broke down in tears at a certain piece of music or similar trigger point.

It definitely helped me through and along with a few others have now helped to set up another group in the general area. There is a real need for this sort of thing I think, both groups have grown to having lots of regular members. Perhaps there is something similar in your local area you could try.

bumblebee34 Fri 10-May-19 16:57:46

I should add that I wasn’t ready even for this in the really early stage of bereavement but bereavement counselling run by the hospice was a lifesaver at that time.

mumofmadboys Fri 10-May-19 19:07:14

Try and get out every day Ann even if you just walk to the end of the road and come home again. It will all help build your confidence again re meeting people. Wish you well.

lemongrove Fri 10-May-19 19:53:58

If it’s happening to you Ann then it’s normal, we all react to bereavement in different ways.It’s early days, things will
Get better for you.flowers

Jane10 Fri 10-May-19 20:15:02

Sometimes just random chats at the bus stop or on the bus can be strangely refreshing or at the very least distracting. Meeting complete strangers in fleeting interactions can be reassuring. Of course I live in a city and the chances of chatting to people I don't know and won't ever see again are high. It may be very different near you.
Whatever you manage to do, it's a start and there's no rush.

Urmstongran Fri 10-May-19 20:57:54

Oh bless you ann you have been through such a tough time recently and must still be raw. I agree with mumofmadboys and trust the anxiety you have will settle down soon.
💐