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Recently widowed and suffering with loneliness

(89 Posts)
MarilynGradden Tue 21-Jun-22 10:11:43


I am recently widowed & am really struggling with loneliness.
It’s a very tough time. My husband fought hard with a brain tumour, but it got the better of him in the end. He was the love of my life & I feel like a half of me has been ripped away.
I have great friends, but at night is the worst time as there’s no one there to chat to.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sun 26-Jun-22 16:49:32

I wonder if your GP could refer you knspol? I went to regular carers' meetings at the hospice and then to bereavement meetings, also a volunteer came to the house. They are very experienced with all that damn paperwork too. I realise that this is not for everyone. It was very helpful indeed and made me realise that all the emotions I was going through were perfectly normal.

They were worth their their weight in gold and helped when things seemed so very bleak.

H1954 Sun 26-Jun-22 17:06:01

How I wish I could give each and every one of you a hug! This thread is indeed very sad and I do hope that by sharing your feelings and experiences it becomes a support and help for one another..........I do hope that makes sense.

After losing my parents I realised that bereavement is more a way of learning to live without a loved one rather than getting used to the loss of them. I lost my dear Mum ten years ago but as Dad was frail and was in the early stages of Dementia my main focus was on supporting him. It was only when Dad died just three years after Mum that I actually started grieving for her.

Even now, I get upset at the merest things, I have plants from their garden and a few ornaments etc. simply looking at those reduces me to tears.

Naturally, losing an elderly, sick relative cannot compare to losing ones husband/wife and I do acknowledge that the grief some of you are feeling is all consuming and overpowering.

Please know that you are all in my thoughts and I genuinely hope your pain eases in time, take comfort in your memories. 💐💐💐

Su22 Mon 27-Jun-22 07:57:08

It is lovely to read all the postings and to realise I am not alone and other people feel the same as me after losing their husband/ wife. Stay strong all you lovely people I know some days it is easier said than done flowers

harrigran Tue 28-Jun-22 00:49:54

Eight months on I still have days where the sadness overwhelms me. Yesterday I was sitting at the computer and just started crying, we used to sit in the study together on a morning.
In the lounge I sit in his chair because if I am in it I don't have to look at the empty chair, likewise at the dining table.
I know I am never going to get over the loss, I don't have enough years left.

SachaMac Tue 28-Jun-22 21:20:50

I am with you there harrigran I feel the same. I’m sorry so many of us on here are in the same boat but it is good to read the comments and know we are not alone. I don’t think I will ever truly get over the death of my DH. We met when I was 17 and we were married for over 40 years, he was the love of my life.

I’m hurtling towards the first anniversary of his death & in many ways I feel worse now. I’m finding I’m reliving the events of this time last year. I think initially you are in a daze and run on adrenaline.

I have good neighbours & friends and a lovely family but can still feel very lonely in a room full of people. I honestly don’t think I will ever get used to coming home to an empty house and having no one to talk to about my evening. Unless you have been there it’s hard to understand how truly awful it feels, It can also be hard keeping friendships going with people that you always went out with as a group of couples, these friends still invite & include me but I find it very difficult going without my DH and I think they probably do too!
All we can do is keep trying, wishing all of you the very

Whiff Tue 28-Jun-22 22:01:35

SachaMac I relived the last week of my husband's death for 14 years. And was a wreck on the anniversary . My children never knew. They usually just text to check on me . On the 14th anniversary my daughter phoned and it all came out how much I suffered and never let them know. She told her brother and they didn't understand why I hid it. But I was protecting them from my grief they had enough of their own. I made sure never to let me effect me that bad again.

I think I'm ok and find tears running down my face. As the years go on the loss gets worse but you just learn to cope. But the loss can still be overwhelming at times. But I think I am lucky to have loved and been loved so much. People live their whole lives and never know that feeling. So although our time was cut short at least I had it. And out of that love had 2 children and now have 5 grandson's who all carry part of his DNA. So he lives on. It gives me comfort knowing that.

SachaMac Tue 28-Jun-22 22:55:32

Whiff I’m sure you’re right, we bottle things up on anniversaries to try to protect our children from our grief and by doing so lead them to think we are doing ok. My own mother did exactly the same after my dad died very suddenly in his 40’s, I suppose history repeats. I’m sure I had anticipatory grief from the moment my DH was given his diagnosis.

I agree, our husbands live on through our DC & GC and that is a great comfort. He always used to say that I was his rock but I think it was more the other way round.

Thank you for replying and for your understanding.

Whiff Wed 29-Jun-22 06:41:29

I openly talk about things that have effected my life. Death,long term illness , estrangement ,losing weight after being morbidly obese, and stress of moving house . Because I have found it helps other people talk about things and it helps me as I feel useful.

It's amazing how many bottle up their feelings after the death of a loved one thinking to protect their children and or grandchildren. Everyone feels grief in a different way and handles it differently.

Since being widowed I talk to anyone anywhere . And to myself and my husband out loud everyday. I got talking to an old man outside my doctor's last year. His wife had died from Covid. They both had it but he was worse and couldn't understand why she died and he didn't. He was 89 and she was 86 they had been married over 60 years. He went in first and when I came out he was still outside. So we talked for a good 20 mins before walking to the bus stop and talked until his bus came.

I haven't wrote that to make out I am a good person but to show people need to talk and sometimes it's easier to talk to a stranger especially one who understands.

It doesn't matter if you lose the other half of you if you have been together a year or 60 . If you are lucky enough to have them no matter for how long the loss is the same. You are never whole again but that's my experience.

I am always glad if people find another half but the ones who have never forget their first half. Well the people I know of.

We always knew my husband was going to die but when he did it was still an awful shock. I had to tell him to stop struggling and we would be ok. He died a few minutes after. I didn't want him to go but had to for his sake. He always said the cancer was like a blackness inside him eating him alive. But only said it to me. He was what I call a man's man. Who saw his role in life to look after those he loved and to protect them. All the men in my life have and are like that.

I always wish people I pass in the street good morning etc as you never know if you are the only person they talk to all day. I know how much a good morning meant to me after my husband died.

Grief I have found is different for each person but also the grief I feel for my husband is different from the grief I feel for my parents and my children's grief is different to mine.

Grief is as individual as people are. When a partner dies your present and future died to. I never thought of that until my husband died. I often wonder what he would think about my life now and the things I have done on my own. He always said I had a black thumb turns out since I moved house I am a gardener. This isn't the life I thought I would have but because of the promises my very wise husband made me keep as he knew what I needed to live without him I have a good life. And because of our time together I have done more than I ever thought I could. I am lonely but only for him. I have never wanted to find another man. I still love him as much today as ever. I still see him with that stupid grin on his face.

For me moving over 100 miles from where we lived nearly 3 years ago has given me a new start . Everyone I meet knows about my husband but they know me first. I didn't realise I had lost me until I moved. It was still our house, the bedrooms where still the children's rooms and I was still wife then widow,mom ,daughter etc. Moving I found me again. My bungalow is mine not ours . May sound selfish and odd but it's given me a whole new life . But I have been widowed for 18 years. For many of you it's early days . I found the first 10 years is still early days.

Take it one day at a time and only do what you want to do. Don't feel you have to do everything at once. Yes something's have to be dealt with straight away but not everything. Give yourself time to adjust to facing life in your own and it's so hard but it's the price we pay for loving and being loved. A price I willing pay.

I know I have repeated myself and have rambled on but that's me in real life. But it's how I cope with life.

You can find your way just take your time. 💐💐💐💐

Whiff Tue 05-Jul-22 06:48:58

After reading your posts just wondered how you where all doing?

And to say do not put pressure on yourselves and think you have to be brave and hold your feelings in. If you do you only hurt yourselves I know from bitter experience as I did that. Realised how foolish that was. No one expects you to be brave but you. When the other half of you dies doesn't matter if it's your ,husband ,wife ,partner , opposite sex or same sex been with them a year or 50+ it's the same you lose half of yourself and in my experience you are never whole again. You still have the past but your present and future die the moment the person you love takes their last breath. Making a new present and future is very hard. Even after 18 years for me it can be a struggle or having a wobble as I call it.

To all newly bereaved and I count that as up to the first 10 years but like I say this is my experience others may say I am wrong but it's how I feel. You can be your own worst enemy by trying to be brave.

The horrible thing is I found how many people including my husband's relatives disappeared after the funeral . And how suddenly other woman acted as if you where after their husband/ partner. Suddenly you are " THE WIDOW". At first if their husband/partner helped out doing a little job for you say cutting the lawn it was ok to do it once or twice but after that they either came with him or he was busy. I employed a gardener as my garden was to big for me to cope with. They knew this as I started to look a few weeks after my husband died.

It's as if you become a man hunter looking for my next husband/partner. To be honest when I realised what was going on I did think it was funny. At the time I was 19+st size 32 had health problems which effected my limbs and walked with a stick. I am no raving beauty but I look ok not ugly . Why anyone could think I wanted to replace my husband was beyond me.He was my one and only the love of my life and still love him as much as ever.

I have had people who we both know as soon as they saw me dart into the nearest shop. First time it happened was few weeks after my husband's death. The woman stopped dead look of horror on her face and rushed into the nearest shop. By then I was 46 year old and was hurt but carried on shopping . The now 64 year old me would have gone after her and asked what her problem was . But losing the other half of you changes you in ways I never expected and took me a long time to realise just how much.

I still had both parents and mother in law dependant on me . My husband died in 2004 my mom was the last to die in 2017. It wasn't until I moved to a different part of the country in 2019 I realised in my old house I existed and didn't live my life to the full. I also realised I had lost me . I had always looked after others and didn't realise how that took me over and put others needs before my own.

Moving over 100 miles I found me again. People got to know and pleased to say like me . I am not someone's wife then widow or the kids mom or any of all the other labels we have. I am me . I live my life to the full finally doing what my husband wanted for me. To live the best life I can and I do. I love my new life. Yes I am lonely but only for my husband not because I live on my own. I like living on my own. Its funny how life takes you on different paths. But I promise life is well worth living. If the last 2 years have taught us anything it's that it. Covid has take far to many young and old.

Like I have said it's not easy and take it at your own pace. But this is my experience. Life isn't fair and will throw obstacles in your way but you can find your way round them or blast through some. But make the best of your time left on this earth.

Take care of yourselves 💐💐💐

nanna8 Tue 05-Jul-22 07:04:48

There are some very brave and lovely people on here and I thank you for those lovely words. Heartwarming that support is available from a distance and I hope it will help those of you in this position.

karmalady Tue 02-Aug-22 08:10:03

It is important to try and not remain static for too long, sitting in a chair grieving can bring you down. Being widowed is a sharp bend in the road through life and somehow we need to get around that corner.

I think that other women in a couple do often run scared, as though we widows will set out to snare their husbands. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have seen it with my very eyes but I don`t need their husband to hang a mirror or put a shelf up or maintain my bike. I have utterly no interest in other men. In fact I had to shut down a colleague of my husband whose wife, my friend, died

Part of being able to get around that corner in the road is to learn some new skills, not to be afraid of trying. Not to be afraid of dealing with other people such as negotiating with builders, finding a gardener and so on. Learn how to handle a good drill, use and research wall plugs and how to fix holes

I am glad that I moved too, I waited 3 years and then decided to be closer to buses and shops but really I also wanted to develop my own home, in my own style. To blossom again as me.

It can be very difficult to accept being alone and to get out and about, there is sub-fear now about driving unknown routes, about walking in strange unknown places. I too say hello to everyone that I pass on my little walk to the shops and many a time, that person will stop and start a little conversation.

It is not just about grieving a husband but it is about grieving a togetherness that has gone forever. Becoming solo after together is not nice, nor easy but we can adapt if we try

Serendipity22 Tue 02-Aug-22 08:28:04

I am so very sorry this is happening in your life. I have no suggestions but i felt the need to say something.

Thoughts with you x

Esspee Tue 02-Aug-22 08:44:37

The early days after a bereavement are trying but I never expected the waves of anguish which can strike out of the blue quite randomly.
It is 18 years since my husband died. I have moved on and am very happy but just over a month ago for no seeming reason I got really weepy. It seems to happen a couple of times a year. My neighbour told me that after 20+ years the same thing happens to her too.

1summer Tue 02-Aug-22 09:06:50

I am just sitting here reading this beside my husband who is in the latter stages of dying, it will be hours or a few days.
I feel so sad for him suffering and for me knowing the grief and loneliness I will experience going forward.
But this has helped me to know what to expect and that other people are feeling what I may be feeling.
I will read this thread again in a few weeks/months as I think it will help me understand and cope with a different life.

GrannySomerset Tue 02-Aug-22 09:17:23

My thoughts are with you, Isummer. Saying goodbye, however welcome a release death is, can never be anything but heart breaking.

Kate1949 Tue 02-Aug-22 11:27:44

1summer flowers

sukie Wed 03-Aug-22 02:08:14

Thinking of you 1summer flowers

Hiraeth Wed 03-Aug-22 05:34:58

MawtheMerrier Beautifully written ,everything you wrote happened with me as well . Now 8:years later I’m thankful and grateful for the 38 years of married life . Now I know what other widows are going through .
A beautiful post but so sad

Whiff Wed 03-Aug-22 06:13:06

1summer I feel for you as it's not easy watching the love of your life dieing. As I have said on here I told my husband to stop fighting and we would be ok and he died a few minutes later. I never wanted to let go but had to for his sake. And it's the hardest thing I have ever had to do. What made it worse for me I have had something wrong with my limbs all my life. I always thought I would die first not my fit healthy man.

When he finally dies you will feel every emotion possible including rage and anger. I learnt the hard way don't fight any emotion let yourself feel them . It will make your grief easier to bear. My husband was 47 I was 45.

After a death there is so much to do but still give yourself time to grieve. I didn't want to wash,brush my teeth or eat. But had to force myself to do it. As I would be letting down my husband . I can't say your grief will get easier as for me it's been 18 years and the grief has gotten worse but I have learnt to cope. Even now it overwhelms me but I don't fight it as the only person I hurt by doing that is me.

I would encourage you to talk out loud to your husband when he is no longer with you. I promise it will help. I have to shouted and swore at my husband then I see him with that stupid grin on his face and I feel better. Others may think that's awful but I find comfort. There is no right or wrong way to grief you do whatever is right for you. Only you knows what you will need.

It's hard to make a new life without your husband but you will be able to do it when it's time. I know when my husband took his last breath I not only lost the love of my life but my present and future. But you can life a good life not the one you want but you must give yourself time. Only do what's needs to be done and ask for help don't think you have to do it all yourself. I thought I did and made it worse for myself.

Unfortunately I found people disappeared after my husband's funeral and some people expected me to get over my grief in a few months. And that's hurts. But I also found people who I thought would disappear because they were more my husband's friends than mine where with me for years.

My thoughts are with you. You have a hard road ahead of you but the love you and your husband share lives on after he dies..💐

Allsorts Wed 03-Aug-22 06:29:36

Marilyn, as you see by all experiences talked about on here, you are not alone, nothing prepares you, I still don't really talk about the nightmare of my husband's illness. Wexarecalwwe different. You will start very gradually to have good moments, good days. He was your other half and so you do not feel whole, but life will improve, it's such very early days for you. Be kind to yourself, it is lonely but when you go anywhere try and speak to people, most are glad to talk.

fiorentina51 Wed 03-Aug-22 09:11:17

I was widowed 4 months ago. My husband died very suddenly from cardiac arrest. He had no symptoms and apart from suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, was very fit.
I've done my best to keep busy, probably overdone it at times but I think it's what I need to do.
My friends and family have been very supportive which has helped me deal with my grief.

I'm still trying to get my head around my "new normal" way of life. I don't like it but it's what I've been dealt with, just like millions of other people who have to face living without the person they loved the most, their other half.

I too find evenings and night times worst. The solitary meals etc. Also attending social events on my own, which we used to do as a couple seem very strange still. I'm getting used to it though.

I have a daily weep sometimes descending into an outright sobbing and wailing session but I usually feel better afterwards.

I really don't have any advice to add to the wise words already written on here by others more articulate than I but I hope all who are bereaved will gain some comfort from what they read. 💐❤

Whiff Wed 03-Aug-22 09:43:02

fiorentina I am lonely but only for my husband not because I am on my own. I still hate the empty bed after 18 years. Still sleep on my side. Doing things on your own is hard. I had to do a lot of firsts as I had been with my husband since I was 16. I laugh at myself sometimes all the things I had never done on my own .

Grief has never left it is my constant companion. But I cope better . It very early days for you. As said before I count the first 10 years as early days of grief. I once asked my son when do you think grief ends he said probably 20 years. But I now know it will never end. But have accepted that fact long time ago.

Making a new present and future is hard. Having to make all the decisions after being a couple is very hard. Luckily only made a couple of iffy ones. My husband made me promise to live the best life I can and I do. That's what your husband would want you to do , and all those who have lost spouses or partners .

I have what I call wobbles where I end up a sodden mess. But it helps. No emotion you feel is wrong. I thought I was wicked because I felt so filled with rage and anger then realised that's normal. All our emotions helps us get through each day. So it may take years but you will suddenly notice you don't cry everyday and when you do cry it does last as long as it did. But take your time. 💐

Granny23 Wed 03-Aug-22 10:59:49

I am finding it hard discovering who "I" am. firstly I was a Daughter and sister and that continued to be one of my roles until my parents died. Left school and became a worker at 15 ( until I was 60). I met my OH when I was 17 married straight from my parents house at 19, became a wife and DIL and within a few years was a Mum to 2 and eventually a Granny to 3. Also a very active community/political/charitable volunteer.

Now I have lost most of these roles. I don't work, No longer a daughter, wife or carer. My DDs look out for me rather than me helping them, my DGC are all taller and more competent than I am. Most of my long time friends have died. I have ceased to be useful and become a burden. I spend too much time brooding and mourning what I have lost. As to the future??

silverlining48 Wed 03-Aug-22 15:01:33

Granny, you are still you. Still a mum and a grandma and no doubt very important to your family.
i do understand, though you and I both know brooding does not help but makes things worse. We are no longer responsible fir others which is hard after so many years of care, but we are still responsible fir ourselves, our happiness or not.
If you can, try to find something to occupy those times when you feel most alone. You sound a bit low, might a visit to the surgery help, that should keep you occupied.
Best wishes and flowers

Whiff Wed 03-Aug-22 18:04:38

Granny what are your interests ? Do you knit or do a craft? Do you want to exercise? I go to a GP referral exercise class I am the youngest at 64 our oldest is 94. It's core aims are strength and stability class is 45 mins then hot drink and biscuits costs £2.50.

I go to a craft group at my local library it's free we take tea,coffee and biscuits. We all take something and have a cupboard to keep them it in. Most knit or crochet but some sew, I cross stitch. But it's for any craft.

Is there a U3A near you. They have a talk every month plus outings and different groups to join.

Google things and you will be surprised what is out there to do. But you have to make the effort to do it.

There are a whole bunch of new friends for you to make. Be brave and try. I promise you it's worth it. And makes sure you get out of your home every week .

And people will get to know you not wife or widow ,mom or nannie . It's very freeing .