Gransnet forums


Feeling Alone after Bereavement

(22 Posts)
MollyMay Fri 30-Jul-21 13:21:03

Hello...this is my first post. My husband died 2 months ago. I was 18 when we met and we were married for 48 years. He had been ill with lung cancer since Christmas and died a lot sooner than everyone expected. I thought I was coping well ...organised the funeral...a number restricted wake which was difficult ...doing probate myself and generally keeping busy . I was having sad days but thought I was doing ok.
I had an operation to remove gallbladder a week ago which I had to put off while my husband was ill ...and 2 days later started spotting so have to go to hospital next week for tests....i,m really worried about that ...of course im thinking the worst and its just all become too much. I m worried what I thought were gallbladder issues..loss of appetite and fatigue may have been masking other things. If my husband was still alive he would have been so supportive and I just feel so alone.
My family have been wonderful but it isnt the same as having my husband 's support . Its bringing home to me my loss I suppose . I think just after he died I was so shocked I just went into automatic pilot mode .

Mouseybrown60 Fri 30-Jul-21 13:34:16

I am really sorry to read about the loss of your husband MollyMay. You must be feeling so lost. Also I can sympathise with your health concerns.
I can’t really give you any advice but I hope someone else can help you.

Mouseybrown60 Fri 30-Jul-21 13:40:19

Am bumping this thread up so that MollyMay can get some advice regarding widowhood and her health fears.

Sar53 Fri 30-Jul-21 13:40:41

My sincere condolences to you MollyMay on the loss of your DH. I'm also sorry to hear of your health worries. Xx

MawBe Fri 30-Jul-21 14:04:31

Sincere sympathy flowers
I absolutely see where you are coming from but the added complication of your gall bladder op is possibly the last straw.
I found the first 6 months ( DH died 3 1/2 years ago) quite unreal. I was in shock, still cried myself to sleep, burst into tears at the slightest thing ( music, a play whatever) and felt huge guilt at being able to go out with kind friends who took me under their wing or family. Everybody made allowances.
It gets harder though- the better you are perceived to be coping, the more you may find you have to. I don’t mean to sound depressing- but there are a few of us on GN who have been widowed in the last few years and I think I am not the only one to feel this way.
It will get better- that is, you will find you can cope better, sleeping and eating all fall by the wayside in that first year.
The pain never goes away but like an injury (or more exactly an amputation) you will find you CAN live with it.
In the meantime though don’t struggle through smiling bravely - be honest with your family and friends, take up any offers of help, company or a cuppa if you feel like it - but don’t be afraid to say (sometimes) if you don’t.
I found power washing the patio quite therapeutic but I did try to speak to somebody each day - even a friendly face in a shop where I had to take a deep breath and pin on a (sort of) smile .
There is no right way to grieve - that is, every way is the right way if it is right for you.
I hope you have some sympathetic ears and some shoulders to lean on - there are many here on GN flowers

Flexagon Fri 30-Jul-21 14:10:26

Welcome MollyMay.

There are many widows here, including me, who will recognise how you are feeling.

Of your current medical worries, I believe spotting is very common after gallbladder surgery so try to stay calm until your hospital appointment. Easier said than done, I know.

Yes, we do go into auto-pilot, put on a brave face, make all the arrangements, then suddenly it hits us and we feel utterly drained. Loss of appetite, not being bothered to cook (in my case), feeling exhausted - is all part of grieving. Don’t forget that post-operative tiredness is also very common.

You’ve had a double whammy of bereavement and personal health worries. No wonder you are feeling lost. What you need right now is some coping strategies to at least get you through to when you have your hospital check and hopefully have your mind put at ease about that.

What do you like to do MollyMay? It there some activity you can do to take your mind off things? Clearly you can’t do anything physically taxing at the moment but what about gentler hobbies?

Grandmadinosaur Fri 30-Jul-21 15:41:13

A warm welcome MollyMay I’m so sorry to read of your recent sad loss and my heart goes out to you dealing with your own health issues.
I think you are right in saying as time passes it hits you more. I lost my mum 5 months ago and my dad who coped well at first is now starting to feel the loneliness.
Sending love and a virtual hug ?

AGAA4 Fri 30-Jul-21 16:42:52

I remember how alone I felt after my husband died. I used to give myself a treat each day a bunch of flowers or a coffee in town.
I had ups and downs and some days were very hard but I just accepted that this would be the case. Be kind to yourself and do whatever you feel like even if that is doing nothing as you need thinking time. flowers

MollyMay Sat 31-Jul-21 20:17:48

Thank you all for your kind messages .

MissAdventure Sat 31-Jul-21 20:25:08

Ah, Molly, my sincere condolences for your loss. thanks

Luckygirl Sat 31-Jul-21 20:38:07

Kind thoughts winging your way MollyMay - I am a few months further down the widow route and absolutely know how hard this bit is. And having health problems to deal with as well must be so very hard. I hope that your gall bladder worries soon get sorted.

I do know what you mean about not having someone there to reassure you. My OH was a doctor and we all used him as our own private on tap medic - not having that reassurance when unwell is very strange to me.

I hope very much that your hospital visit and tests have a good outcome for you.

Do come back and let us know how it goes. x

CafeAuLait Sun 01-Aug-21 01:35:21

MollyMay, even without the health issues, the 2 month mark is lonely and challenging. No doubt you feel it all the more with your health issues making your husband's absence even more prominent. I hope you have someone else you can talk to and share with, though I know it's not the same. This can be a good place to share too. flowers

Allsorts Thu 05-Aug-21 07:37:38

Two months is so little time, so sorry you have these health issues without his loving support. I think when I look back, that first year was so unreal, everything, you have had your own health issues and this pandemic to add to that. Do as others say, be very kind to yourself, when it gets too much, get out of the house for a walk if you can, drive to a park, anything, treat yourself if you want anything.
There are always those on here who understand.

Chloethom Wed 11-Aug-21 01:40:31

Hello Molly-May

My name is Chloe and I am 30 years old. I discovered this post on GransNet whilst searching for advice on how best to deal with my Grandmother’s loneliness. She is in her mid-70s and lost my Grandfather in October 2020. I can’t quite believe it’s not far off being a year since he passed. I really do feel for you, it cannot be easy but if it’s any consolation - I think you are truly very brave and strong. Since my Grandad passed, I have been dealing with unexpected anxiety over the future and the fear of losing my partner and being left alone after a long happy life together. I can only imagine what you are feeling day to day. As someone mentioned earlier, it seems that the gallbladder surgery was just the final straw. I think when you’re dealing with grief and juggling life, you learn to cope with what energy you have - but you don’t realise how close you are to breaking point until something weakens you even further. Then you realise you’ve actually been running on empty for quite some time. I know you have a close family and I know this may not help but if you ever want a chat, I am happy to exchange email addresses with you, have a phone call or a zoom/FaceTime/Skype video call. I’m not a therapist but I’ve been told I’m very good at helping people through something. I’d like to think someone would offer the same to my Nana if they knew things were tough for her. Just remember you are so strong, and I don’t know whether you’re religious or spiritual but I truly believe our lost loved ones walk beside us everyday. Loss is so hard to comprehend. I am beside myself with the loss of my grandad even now, so I can’t even imagine how hard it is for a life partner. All my love! Chloé x

MollyMay Wed 08-Sep-21 12:00:26

Thankyou all for your kind messages.

Healthwise, after numerous tests I have luckily had the all clear. The hospital could find no reason for my symptoms. To say I am relieved is an understatement. The only reason I could come up with was stress but who knows.

Meanwhile, I am having ok days and not so ok days but trying to keep busy. Family and friends have been wonderful and I count my blessings that I have had their support .

Sometimes I still can't believe that my husband is no longer with me . It just seems so wrong that he isnt there ...and I know how silly that sounds . I just assumed we would grow old together.

I still feel that I am just going through the motions sometimes but I think that it it is better to do things on automatic pilot than not do anything at all. Hopefully as time goes by things will improve.

Thank you all

Soroptimum Wed 08-Sep-21 12:09:39

So good to hear you’ve had the all clear Molly May, must be a weight off your mind. Take care. Best wishes flowers

nanny2013 Thu 30-Sep-21 21:41:32

Dear Molly May. I am so sorry for your loss. Mine situation seems similar to yours. I lost my husband last year at the height of the epidemic. We were informed over the phone that he had pancreatic cancer. Eight weeks later he passed away. In all that time We never saw a doctor. We were in a state of shock. My life suddenly changed. We went from making plans for our retirement to how can I go on. I'm lucky i have family and friends who were very supportive but it's not the same. A few weeks after he died I ended up in hospital. The doctor said it was not surprising i had been living on adrenalin for weeks. You need'nt worry about your gallbladder treatment. You will be fine. Nowadays it's done by keyhoe surgery not the big op it was years ago. Take things slowly. Cry when you need to and take support from your friends and fami!y. You supported them. It's your time of need now. It's a year now since I .lost my husband I'm trying to move on but I have so many emotions like helplessness and anger to contend with. My family and friends are there for me but it's not the same. I'm trying to be positive and a couple of days ago something happened which made me think that my life is not over and things are becoming easier. One year on there are still things which have me crying my eyes out but they are getting less and I have such wonderful memories as I am sure you have. You are stronger than you think and you will get through this. Bless you.

Skydancer Thu 30-Sep-21 22:04:00

Chloethom you sound as if you have an old head on young shoulders. Your post shows extreme kindness and compassion for others.

travelsafar Thu 30-Sep-21 22:14:22

I too lost my husband this year and I miss him every day. His smell, his arms around me for hug, his sense of humour, even his grumpy days when I could have quite cheerful throttled him. He had a very quick wit and could make me laugh so much. Some days the oddest things can cause me to cry, I feel vulnerable without him and after having covid it has left me with heart problems and made my mobility worse and I know he would have helped me with day to day living and just been there for me. I totally understand how you feel especially after having an operation. My heart goes out to you. Let's hope that time is a healer for both you and I and all those who are in the same situation. Take care.

crazyH Thu 30-Sep-21 22:20:54

So sorry for your loss flowers

merlotgran Thu 30-Sep-21 23:09:34

Hello MollyMay.

I lost my DH in March and like you became ill because I was so taken up with his care and on auto pilot, I didn't see it coming. I know how you feel and it can seem far worse than it actually is because you're on your own.

I have good days and bad days and nothing days when I can't seem to get motivated but it helps knowing that others have gone through it and there is always support and advice on Gransnet.

I'm sure you will feel more positive as you continue to recover from your gall bladder op.

Best Wishes.

MollyMay Fri 01-Oct-21 12:52:20

Thankyou again for all your kind messages. My condolences to all that have been bereaved.

Chloethom...Thankyou for your very kind message. Your empathy shone through.

Nanny2013....Our situation sounds very similar .We didnt see a GP in all the time my husband was ill. Lots of phone calls but he was never actually seen . We only got a diagnosis after calling an ambulance and my husband being rushed into hospital. Once there they did all the tests. Seeing a GP wouldn't have altered the outcome but I think we would have felt more supported at a very difficult time.

travelsafar and merlotgran I hope you are both feeling a bit better healthwise. I think being poorly brings it home to you how alone you are. Its lovely to have the support of family and friends but it isnt the same as having your husband there supporting you.

I too have bad days and not so bad days and weirdly its the little things that defeat me. All the major problems i've encountered so far i've been able to deal with but some of the smaller issues have made me cry...very silly I know.

Once again...thank you for all your kind messages