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Pain of loss

(32 Posts)
Skyblue2 Wed 05-May-21 17:20:50

Hello dear Gransnetters. Can anyone advise on how to cope with the pain of loss? I have recently lost my mum, a close friend, my husband of 32 years and a much loved pet. I feel a big space in me that hurts and I miss them all so much. How do you deal with pain - is it with you for the rest of your life? I wish I could be with them.

silverlining48 Wed 05-May-21 17:51:49

I can’t advise but you have had multiple losses in a short time so the pain will be very sharp. I wonder if taking things one day at a time, don’t expect too much of yourself, you will have bad days and that is the price of love. One foot in front of the other and seek the love and support of friends and family. It takes time, a long time, take care of yourself and come back on here when you need to. There are many of us who have lost those dear to us. All will be well, in time.

keepingquiet Wed 05-May-21 19:43:23

I am so sorry this has happened to you. Life can be so unbearably cruel at times.
We all express our grief in different ways but for me the immediate relief comes from tears. Allow yourself to cry.
Gather those who knew your loved ones around you, and also tell strangers about them. Some find bereavement counselling can help.
Be kind to yourself- take time to do things you enjoy too. This may be hard because you don't want to enjoy anything when you're in a bad place, but even small things will lead to getting 'yourself' back.
Like everything else, nothing ever lasts for ever but this loss will change you even if and when the pain subsides.
Wanting to be with them is understandable but selfish- there are people around you who need you and would be equally stricken by a further loss.
You have a long hard road ahead but it will get easier. Life always goes on. Seek out people who know and understand, I hope you will find some here.

CafeAuLait Thu 06-May-21 01:13:20

That's a lot of loss to deal with. We all have our own ways of coping and sometimes that is resting up when needed (grief is exhausting!) or keeping busy. I found giving myself permission to just do what was needed in the moment helped a lot. I also get into nature a lot. It does get easier in time. Being realistic, it is always there, but it eases in intensity. Grief counselling can help too.

Marketkat Thu 06-May-21 10:38:45

I’ve had lots of loss in my life, besides my son and brother.
You won’t ever get over your losses skyblue, they are part of who you are now, I lost my son and my brother in 4 weeks of each other, 2 years now and I grieve for them everyday. It is nit selfish to want to die, I want to die everyday and whilst I would never do anything to harm myself I just wouldn’t mind if it came my way. Wanting to die is not the same as being suicidal. Many people who have had little or no loss in their life think we can just decide to be happy, but it doesn’t work like that. We are sad for a very specific reason and we have a right to be how we feel. I live my life the best way I can without my son who was my life, I am not the same person I used to be, I miss her, but I wouldn’t have missed having my son for all the world, he was the best son I could have asked for. So I may have the odd smile or laugh or just be getting on, but nothing changes the fact my son has died and I want to be where he is.

silverlining48 Sat 08-May-21 15:40:50


silverlining48 Sat 08-May-21 15:41:37

Sending you flowers ? and a hug x

Whiff Sat 08-May-21 18:24:44

Skyblue2 the short answer in my experience is you never get over the loss of your husband. The loss of parents ,friends and pets is a different sort of loss and you can given time get over it especially if they had a long and happy life.

I was widowed at the age of 45 my husband was 47. It's been 17 years and I still grieve for him everyday . When he died I lost half of me and have never been whole since. You just learn to cope with the loss. When he died my present and future died. I had to make a new present and future and it's hard. We had been together since I was 16 he was 18. 29 years as a couple married 22 years. This month would have been our 40 th wedding anniversary.

As you had been married a long time I imagine you where young when you met. I have had to do a lot of firsts since my husband died and it's hard . In my experience it doesn't get any easier as he has missed so much. Our children where 20 and 16 when he died. Both are married and we have 5 grandson's now. He always wanted to be a grandad.

What has given me comfort is I talk to him everyday out loud. I have shouted, swore and raged at him. What shocked me after he died was the anger and rage I felt . I thought I was wicked feeling this way then realised it was normal. No emotion is wrong . I tell people if you want to cry, shout, scream or hit a pillow do it it will make you feel better. I learnt the hard way. I thought I had to be strong and hold it all in. What a fool I was. The early years would have been easier if someone had told me what I had to learn on my own. What has also given me comfort is both our children have his DNA and our grandsons have part. I am an atheist so I don't believe we will ever be together again. But if you have faith and believe you will be together again picture him healthy and fit not as he was.

Beveveament group was useless. The nearest to my age was 68 year old man all the women were in there 70s and 80s. And the woman running it had done a course and was married. I only went because my children thought it would help me.

I believe only someone who has experienced something can help other people go through the same thing. Some off you will disagree with me. But I say this out if experience.

I hope something I have said helps.

Whiff Sat 08-May-21 18:26:26

Forgot to say my husband made me promise to live the best life I can and have kept that promise .

Skyblue2 Sun 09-May-21 19:13:32

Thank you for all your messages. We all have to experience loss it seems. I think we are all the walking wounded!

Kim19 Sun 09-May-21 19:30:28

I'm currently struggling too. I guess you find the strategy that gives you the most comfort. I was in total agreement with Princess Anne recently when she said the pain is extraordinary even if you know it's about to happen. I had thought I had come to terms with the inevitability. No sirree. However, I talk to her and try for laughs at the wonderful and crazy times we had together. I'm still struggling with an acute one from many years ago but that pain is more comfortable now. I guess we all muddle through and find our own coping strategy. I put the pain down to the high cost of loving and, given the choice, I would never have been without the joy of those loves for one single moment.

Grammaretto Sun 09-May-21 22:35:32

Skyblue I am sorry to hear you are so sad. It is such a lot of loss all at once.
My DH died almost 6 months ago and sometimes I think I am making progress. I miss him every day. I miss his wit, his sanity, his presence, his love.
Friends and family are good and kind but they can't fill that hole can they, and they are suffering too.

We just have to carry on and hope for some better days to come.

Whiff Sun 09-May-21 23:27:07

We all struggle everyday without the other half of us. But we are lucky to have had them in our lives. Some people go their whole lives and never find love like that. When we lose the other half of us we lose the only person who knew us inside and out the real us. It's still very early days for you all. Even after 17 years I think I am ok and find tears running down my face and have no idea why. Don't try and be brave you don't have to. Bottling your emotions up will only make you feel worse. I did that it nearly destroyed me. I don't want anyone else to go through that. We have to live life to the full or what is the point of loving someone so much and then losing them if we lose ourselves. I know my husband wanted me to carry on . He made me promise him a lot of things as he knew I would keep those promises and it's what I needed to live without him. He knew me so well .

Our loved ones didn't want to leave us. But life is not fair. But we have to make the best life we can one day at a time.

My husband was my one and only. And I had to tell him to stop fighting we would be alright . He died a few minutes later. It was the hardest thing I have ever or will ever do. But he was in agony and couldn't breathe even on full oxygen. And that haunts me to this day. But it was the right thing to do I had to let him go.

CafeAuLait Sun 09-May-21 23:36:53

That was very loving of you Whiff, to give your husband the peace to go when he needed to in spite of your own hurt at him leaving. What a lovely gift to him.

Whiff Mon 10-May-21 07:44:53

Cafe thank you. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But we all do the best for our loved ones no matter the cost to ourselves.

My brother paid me the biggest compliment when he met his third wife. He said he finally had what we had he found his other half and my sister in law said the same thing. I told him finally he found someone for me to love. The day they married our mom said he has someone who deserves him. She even had a little dance at their wedding. She died 5 months later.

There are so many people who never find there other half ,those of us who do are very lucky. But losing them is heartbreaking but at least we had that love. It doesn't matter if you have been with your other half a year or 50 the loss is the same.

Because of that love we have to carry on and it's hard. As I said in my experience it gets harder as the years go by but you just learn to cope better.

Some people I know have found love again and I am happy for them . But for me I still love my husband as much as I ever did. Still go by Mrs and wear my wedding ring. Hate the fact I am classed as single. To me I am still married. Sounds nutty I know but that's how I feel. If forms haven't got widowed on but have single I cross it out and write widowed.

Take it one day at a time . And don't think you have to be brave. But cherish the love you had and talk out loud to your loved one. It does help .

glammanana Mon 10-May-21 10:13:27

Whiff I lost my wonderful man 17mths ago now and there is not a day passes without me talking to him and shouting at him for leaving me after 44 yrs of marriage.
He was adored by our ACs and DGCs he was the glue who held the family together,the one thing I can't get over and never will is the fact he died on his own unexpectedly whilst on his way to collect our DD to take her to work,after a lifetime of being together with his family he was on his own when he most needed us.
I could never consider another relationship as he was my true soul mate even though I call him all sorts of names for leaving me on my own.

henetha Mon 10-May-21 10:22:27

There's no easy answer to this. It's so sad that you have lost all these dear people and your pet as well. Losing people we love is part of life but very hard to endure. It will ease in time.
I know that's a cliche, but it's true. You will learn to live alongside the pain. I send you all my heartfelt sympathy.

JaneJudge Mon 10-May-21 10:25:07

I'm sorry to all of you who have had so much loss. I have too and it's not something that ever leaves you. I saw a therapist but I remember them saying to me, you will never get over it, you will have to learn to live with it. That sounds much harsher written down but it's true, it's a process but the sadness never goes away.

Cruse bereavement do local groups under none covid circumstances, I think they might have a helpline too x

Marmight Mon 10-May-21 10:36:52

Whiff has said it all. I could have written that.
The sadness envelopes you like a cloak and just occasionally it blows open and life seems easier for a while until something, anything, draws the cloak around like a black shadow and off you go again until the next time.
Just go with it Skyblue. You’ll eventually find your own way of dealing with all your terrible losses flowers

Whiff Mon 10-May-21 13:29:14

glammanana don't torture yourself even though I was lying on the bed with my husband and our children at the end of the bed. He was unconscious so he was in a way on his own. He must have heard me but I have no way of knowing.

Would your husband have wanted you to to feel this way. He was your other half and am sure he wouldn't want you feel like this. You don't know but his last thought was probably about you and not wanting to leave. Unfortunately life is cruel and we don't get to chose when and how we die.

After he's diagnosis of grade 4 malignant melanoma and told he wouldn't live 5 years. My darling husband spend months crying in my arms at night until he went to slept. He didn't want to leave us. When he was terminal and woke in the night he made me hold a pillow over his face so the children won't hear him screaming until the morphine sent him to sleep. I won't wish what we went through on anyone. It has haunted me for years. That's why I told him to stop fighting and we would be ok.

It's good you can voice your feelings out loud. I do it all the time. Like I said took me years to realise what I felt and did was normal. Just wish I had known that the first few years it would have been easier for me and I wouldn't have felt guilty all the time.

You learn to cope but for me grieving for what I lost never stops. I am lonely but not because I am on my own I am lonely because the one person I want and need I can never have. Making a new present and future is hard . Having to make all the decisions is even harder. But we have to do it we owe that to the halves of us we are missing.

I like to think my husband would be proud of me. And think you all know your husband's or wives are proud of you to.

Look at the courage you have all shown by posting on here and Skyblue for starting this thread.

Pollyj Mon 10-May-21 13:34:47

I am writing this as I sit out in the shed with my little cat, who is dying. Yesterday the pain of it all came together with other pain. I lost my mum last year, both in-laws after that, I left my job and now this. I felt like I would break under it as it all came together in this little animal who is my constant little friend. I rang my poor younger daughter and wailed.

after my dad died, years ago now, it was almost too much, but the pain transmutes. It never goes, but the pain lessens. They say it is the cost of loving. ‘The pain now is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal. C. S. Lewis.

I also believe they are still there, somewhere, for reasons too long to tell here, and that we will meet again, but yes, it hurts like hell. Feel free to message me if you like, any time, if you have no one else to unload too.

Whiff Mon 10-May-21 15:03:09

Pollyj I am sorry for your losses. Also losing your much loved cat who is also your family. I don't have pets but do understand how your cat or dog is your family. Or more so in a way. They don't judge or criticise they don't expect to much of you. But are just there for you all the time. I hope your cat isn't in pain and the grief you feel with there passing is just as acute as losing a human.

Whiff Sun 16-May-21 07:11:26

Pollyj I hope you are alright and your cat wasn't in pain.

Well today would have been our 40th wedding anniversary today. And don't know how I feel. Which is unusual for me. I normally know why and how I feel things. I don't feel sad but I suppose I'm just missing the what we should have had.

My husband died in February 2004. So we had been married 22 years. It's funny but we had ready planned what we would have done for our 25th anniversary. We where going to Dubai during there winter. My husband had been there for work and loved it but it was there summer when he went.

For our 20th we went to Paris for a long weekend. We stayed on the out skirts of Paris it was cheaper. There was this fabulous restaurant opposite the hotel where we went for dinner. Waiters where lovely and the food out of this world. We didn't visit museums even thought we loved them. Had a boat trip on the Seine, saw the effiel tower but didn't go up . I was in my wheelchair in those days it was the easiest way to do long distances. Our solicitor told us to go to the top of the semaratain ( not spelt correctly) it was a large department store. You could see the whole of Paris from its roof top restaurant. Saw Notre Dame and drove round to see the sites. But walked in the parks .It was boiling hot all weekend. It was special because we normally just went out for dinner on our anniversary .

Our wedding day could have ended in disaster. My dad got held up in traffic fetching my youngest cousin and her mom . She was my youngest bridesmaid. The hire company had sent the wrong glasses my husband had to go and fetch the right ones he also got held up in traffic.

We where catering it for ourselves. It was 1981. Holding the reception in the church hall opposite the church. All week had been spent in prep . Cooking turkeys,joints of pork and baking hams. The day before making pasta, rice salads and coleslaws. Cooking a whole salmon for the evening reception and decorating it with flowers made of tomato and cucumber flowers covered in aspic. I was a trained cook. In those days my brother was a baker so he made all the bread rolls specially and huge gateaux's . The head baker made our wedding cake. I was up at 6am making salads and starters. Mom and my older bridesmaids where at the hairdresser's. I was just wearing my hair lose.

Mom was organising setting the tables helped by my husband and brother and dad when they got there. I remember going out the front door which had a yale lock. My aunt took me up to check the room . My husband made sure to be out of the way. Not to see him before we got married.

On going back home found I hadn't got a key neither had my mom. But my brother's bedroom window was wide open . Dad wasn't there. So I had to hide round the corner while my husband brought my cousin and using a ladder he climbed in the window got my keys and hide them on the drive so I could get them and back in.

My mom only arrived at the house 10mins before the car was due to fetch her and the bridesmaid. When my husband and brother ( best man) got to the church it rained and the wedding before us wouldn't come out until it stopped. They were soaked.

Got to the church with my dad and the photographer took so long on photos I was 10 mins late getting into the church. Left the price stickers on the bottom of my shoes which caused a giggle.

All our heels where sinking into the grass for the photos. The driver took us round the block instead of us just walking across the road. Just as the last guest came in it hailed.

Mom and dad had been collecting bottles of spirits when on offer since we got engaged when I was 18 . I was 23 and my husband 24 when we married. We had cans of party 7's ( beer) . All the drink was free. We even had champagne for the toast friends who worked in supermarkets used to tell my parents when there was good deals on alcohol. Dad made home made wine and made a killer punch for the party on the night with brandy in with the wine. Don't think many when home sobber.

We had 80 to sit down and another 20 on the evening. The car was covered in shaving foam and rude signs. Which had to be cleaned before we went home.

Because we catered for ourselves we had to stay sobber and my parents. After all the guests went I remember having to clean the hall putting the tables etc away. I had changed my dress for the evening. And at 1am was sweeping the hall. Then home.

Our honeymoon was in a Hoseasons chalet in Cornwall. We went on the Sunday. Calling on my parents and loaded up with left over wedding food in cold boxes and a couple of bottles of champagne they had set aside for us.

Even if no one reads this I feel happy writing it all down. It was such a wonderful day lots of love ,fun , laughter and dancing.

If anyone does read this thank you.

V3ra Sun 16-May-21 07:49:18

Whiff what a marvellous, detailed account of your wedding day. Such memories for you.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, thank you for sharing and I hope you enjoy reminiscing today. Happy 40th anniversary.

Daisymae Sun 16-May-21 07:55:31

Whiff - I'm glad that writing down your thoughts has brought back so many happy memories. I hope you have a good day. ?