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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.

Janburry Mon 12-Sep-22 09:00:39

Thank you all for the virtual hugs, flowers and kind words it's much appreciated ❤️

SachaMac Sat 10-Sep-22 09:02:17

So sorry Janburry it’s an awful time I know, my DH died at home just over a year ago. I felt as though I was in a surreal haze for a while, just take things a day or even an hour at a time, grief can be exhausting.
Pleased that like me you have your family around you, they will be a great comfort. Sending hugs flowers

Greenfinch Sat 10-Sep-22 08:50:52

Thinking of you at this very sad time janburry.

karmalady Sat 10-Sep-22 08:47:38

janburry, I want to give you a big virtual hug xx

grandMattie Sat 10-Sep-22 08:39:08

? janburry.

Janburry Thu 08-Sep-22 16:08:39

Thank you mawthemerrier, you have mentioned everything l am feeling and helped me look to the otherside, l feel comforted knowing it will become manageable, my husband suffered for 7 years with lung cancer then severe COPD, to have another tumour diagnosed very recently it was very aggressive and he passed at home on Sunday, l have family around me helping which l am so grateful for ❤️

Allsorts Sat 20-Aug-22 07:23:57

Thinking of you all, especially those in the first few years of becoming a widow, the gut wrenching wretchedness of losing your other half. I look back and it's as if I got through in a dream/nightmare, but somehow I did, we all do, we carry on and make a different life. We have to learn to rely on ourselves, I am very independent and often take on too much. Yesterday a good example, trying to be supportive I committed to something which was too much, I almost colasped as it had been too long a day for me and hard work, I can hardly move today. I had a few tears coming home, if I'm out if action there isn't anyone that can help, even a cup of tea and a sandwich would have been lovely.. Went to bed without eating but too achy and head aching to sleep. Big lesson learnt, say no more. It's not weak it's realistic.
On a happier note I have booked a holiday, first since before lockdown. taken quite a few since my h died and enjoyed them all in differntt ways. I try not to sweat the small stuff and like to have something to look forward to.

grandMattie Sat 20-Aug-22 06:56:11

Thanks, Whiff. Trouble is that at the moment the most I do is sit. I always accept invitations, but don’t feel the energy to do much else.
There is a lot to do in downsizing. I know, we did that 10 years ago, from 5 bed to 3. Now, realistically, I shall go from 3 bed house to 2 bed flat.
Also, house hunting in Bristol from E Kent is hard.
Anyway, life goes on…

Whiff Sat 20-Aug-22 06:09:24

granMattie glad you have a buyer. 6 months will give you plenty of time to declutter and pack . All the very best for your new life in your new home. ?

grandMattie Thu 18-Aug-22 06:32:39

Incidentally, sadly, the old quote “it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all” is so very true…

grandMattie Thu 18-Aug-22 06:30:51

Whiff, DH and I had discussed our widowhood many, many times as his original cancer diagnosis was 20 years ago. I would have gone to live near/with my precious Philip but he died first. I feel I must move closer to DD as a 5hour journey in an emergency is too unfair on my remaining children. It would also mean that I shall feel more secure.
DD would like me to live in a retirement village. Not that keen, but I don’t sweat the small stuff. I carry my contentment in my heart, not where I live or what stuff I own.
I have a purchaser for my house but shan’t move for at least another 6 months. Fortunately, they are happy to wait.
All everyone’s advice is wonderful and very helpful but, in the end, one has to do what works best for oneself and one’s loved ones.

Whiff Thu 18-Aug-22 06:09:23

Fartooold and your darling husband words can't express the admiration I feel about your view on feeling children with a short life expectancy deserve a forever home.

Life is not fair and you have suffered enough tragedy in your life . But your home must be bursting at the seams with love. Love and happiness are underrated emotions and yet they are the only things that make life worth living.

Time does not make the grief we feel for our loved lesson as you already know you learn to cope. All your lovely children are feeling the lose of their beloved father in their own way. And they will help you the best way they can. But take comfort in the fact you are loved so much by them .

Grief is physically and mentally exhausting. Just putting one foot in front of the other takes effort when all you want to do is curl up into a ball and shout I don't want to play anymore.

For me I have never felt whole since my husband took his last breath . But I feel so lucky I had someone who loved me so much .

I hope you can take comfort in the fact all though you haven't got the support from your darling man anymore you had his love for long time . And some people go through their whole life and never find that love or the other half of themselves.

Hope you are able to have some time alone to grieve by yourself. Even if it's only half a hour where you can just let consume you. It amazed me how much that helped. Some of would say it's wallowing in self pity but it's not it's what everyone needs to do when they have lost the other half of themselves. Because it's the only way I found in my experience I could face the next hour,day ,week ,month and years.

I don't know what else I can say except to say but loving someone and being loved is worth all that it entails. ?

Fartooold Tue 16-Aug-22 20:11:48

Thankyou ladies for your understanding. Sadly my lovely man died the day before our beautiful boy’s anniversary of his death in 2003 and to add to it all 2 years ago our youngest adopted son our precious son died. It sounds like a soap opera but as a paediatric nurse I felt children with short life expectancy deserve a forever home. Now you have it my life story. I miss my mate so much as do the others. I just have to get on with it and hope B, E &L know I am not cross with them, bless them. Thanks for reading

Whiff Mon 15-Aug-22 10:45:20

grandmattie I rattled round my house when my husband died aged 47 in 2004. Both children had moved out within 2 years of him dieing. It's what I wanted . My son went to uni and my daughter back to where she went to uni. But as much as I wanted to move I couldn't had both parents and mother in law dependant on me. I have said this before on this thread. Don't know if you have read the thread from the start.

You have had a horrific double whammy as you call it. I was 45 when I was widowed and the thought of being on my own for the next 30 years terrified me. But I also knew my husband was my one and only. The last 18 years while they have flown by have been very difficult.

I moved 3 years ago to the north west from the west Midlands and live closer to both my children and their families. My daughter lives 10 mins away from me and my son 40 mins. I see my daughter and grandson's every week . But due to reasons I will never understand my son decided 2 years ago he no longer needs or wants me in his or families life. I haven't done anything wrong and never saw it coming.

Because of my health knew when I moved I needed a bungalow. And happy to say I live in a lovely 2 bed bungalow with a smallish garden back and front and wonderful neighbours. I found people in the north west friendlier than all the years I spent in the West Midlands . Health care here is far better. Plus it's flat where I lived it was hilly.

As your husband only died last month you are still in the early stages of grief plus all the legal matters to do with your husband death won't have been settled yet and will take months .

If you can give yourself a year before you want to move. Do you know where you where you want to move to and have you thought about what sort of property you want?

On the house and home forum there is a thread help stress etc buying and selling. They helped me when my sale fell through for the second time.

Grief does not lesson as the years go by. My grief for my husband is worse but you learn to cope. 18 years since my husband died and I miss him more than ever. I am now 64. He always wanted to be a grandad I have 5 grandson's but as I said only see 2. He missed both our children's weddings and seeing them grow into the adults they are. I have never been able to help them financially but am very proud of the fact both couples have always worked and both have there own houses they paid for their own weddings.

I was 16 went I met my husband he was 18. He knew I had problems with my limbs but that didn't bother him. 34 years ago my health got worse but my darling man just said we alter our life to suit what you can do and be a normal family. I thought I would die first not my fit healthy husband. Finally after 34 years I have a diagnosis for what's wrong with me and was born with it and it's rare only genetic blood tests could detect it. I can never thank my neurologist enough for having them done . So finally I have a name.

The first person I wanted tell was my husband and it broke my heart I couldn't. If he hadn't been the man he was I wouldn't be able to do what I do.

I am lonely but only for him. Not because I live on my own. I like living on my own . By moving I live my life to the full where I lived before I existed . Here people got to know me not wife then widow etc. But me and it's so freeing.

If I could have my husband back fit and healthy I would do anything but I can't. Even after 18 years I have what I call wobbles where I find tears running down my face and shout this shouldn't be my life. But I don't fight the feeling and it goes . And I am fine again.

Grief in my experience can consume you but it doesn't mean it has to stop you living your life to the full. But never fight your grief as you only hurt yourself.

My husband made me promise to live the best life I can and I do.

Luckygirl3 Mon 15-Aug-22 09:31:53

I too belong to Way Up, but as I live in the middle of nowhere I cannot take part in any of the meet-ups - I chat to others there on the forum and also by private message. And they have zoom get-togethers too.

It is a great boon; but is no substitute from the life I wish I was leading! At least folk on there "get it" and recognise how fundamental the loss of a life's partner is.

Joy241 Mon 15-Aug-22 09:18:17

Have you looked at WayUp? It is a national organisation with local groups who meet for lunch, go on trips etc. Different groups arrange different events.

I was reluctant to join, thinking it would involve sitting around talking about how unhappy they are. It is not like that at all. The group I belong to is friendly and supportive. We “put the world to rights” over a monthly lunch at a local hostelry and some of the members go away on nationally organised holidays. Apparently, some members have met up and found new partners, but that is not the objective. It is a chance to get out and meet new people.

The website is but there is an Organisation called WayUp, without the space, which is a networking site for working people. I am assuming you are over 50, but, if not, there is a group for younger widowed people.

GrannySomerset Mon 15-Aug-22 09:13:07

The hardest thing for me at the moment is not being first with anyone. Good as children, friends and neighbours are I am nobody’s prime consideration and it hurts more than I could ever imagine. Like Luckygirl I feel I am on the sidelines of other people’s lives. Will this change? I doubt it.

Hiraeth Mon 15-Aug-22 09:01:05

Well said Luckygirl3

Luckygirl3 Mon 15-Aug-22 08:53:44

People say that time heals but I am not so sure. It certainly helps as regards the initial raw grief, and time gives you the chance to find a new pattern to your life; but that sense of having half of you ripped away has not left me in the last 2.5 years.

And it is so hard that society is set up for coupledom. I sometimes feel as though I am soldiering on in a life I did not choose, whilst watching others live real lives.

Hiraeth Mon 15-Aug-22 06:54:21

grandmattie grief is like living in a state of overwhelm especially as you have had two losses in the last year .
It takes time to adjust . It takes time for the heartbreak to heal .
Find people that help you process your grief .
I know I’ve been through it something I never ever thought would happen to me .
Stay safe ?

grandMattie Mon 15-Aug-22 06:36:55

I have had a double whammy. Last September, my darling “baby” son died alone, very suddenly. I thought life could hardly get worse.
Last month, my DH of 45 years died of metastatic cancer. In his case, we had a bit of notice, he was very ill for four months before he slipped away. He died at home as I had promised him.
My problem is that not only am I rattling around in our house on my own, and my income has halved, but my remaining children live very far away, one at the other end of the country, the other in India. I shall have to move house very soon, before I lose my mobility or marbles or both.
The worst thing is that DH was only 77, I’m 74, and my family live well into their 90s. I hate the idea of living another 20 years on my own. To me, that is the most troubling.
Every person cope their own way, but it’s horrible isn’t it? ❤️

Whiff Mon 15-Aug-22 06:26:05

Fartooold don't feel guilty you have nothing to feel guilty about. You have children which are totally dependent on you and because of that you can't grieve properly. 5 weeks and all that time you have had to put them first. You haven't had any time to yourself let yourself grieve.

In my experience losing the other half of of yourself is a pain like no other. It's been 18 years for me and still I am missing half of me. But that's ok . I was lucky I had a wonderful man in my life for 29 years.

For you it's far worse you had your husband for 55 years. He was there for you and your children. Because of your children living at home and they have downs it's harder. You are having to hide how you feel as they must be lost and not fully understand their dad is never going to be there ever again.

I found grief all consuming . I knew some of the things I would feel but the rage and anger I felt shocked me and felt wicked but realised it's all part of the grief. And I had to let myself feel all the emotions. My usual advice to widows is don't fight your emotions cry,scream, shout hit a pillow if you want to but for you for you it's different.

You are not being grumpy you are grieving. Can your other children take their siblings out for a day a week and give you time to yourself. A time where you can let go and let the grief wash over you. Since my husband died what has given me comfort is I talk to him out loud everyday. I know you can't do that with the children about. But perhaps after they have gone to bed you can. I have shouted and swore at my husband for leaving me but I then see him standing there with that stupid grin on his face and I feel better.

I had an uncle with downs he idolised my dad but when he was told dad had died he went down hill and died exactly 2 months after my dad. But my uncle was born in 1950 and it wasn't until he was 50 they found out he was born with a hole in his heart. He was 57 when he died.

Your children must be a lot younger as you say the 17 year old is in a home. I have a friend her eldest daughter has downs and lives very happily in a home 200 miles away. She said the guilt putting her into the home was crippling but it's what she needed and is very well looked after and visits regularly and she comes to stay with her 4 times a year.

Do you have support from the Downs charity?

5 weeks not only are you dealing with your grief but those of all your children plus sorting out all the legal things that have to be done. Hopefully your older children can help you with that .

My children where 20 and 16 when their dad died and I know how hard it was for them especially as we knew from 2001 he wouldn't live 5 years he lived 3.

For all your children especially the ones with downs at home it's must be bewildering. It is hard enough on all your other children but for them it's harder.

Do you have someone to talk to a friend or relative that you can say how you really feel and cry your heart out and they hold you? I hope you do as it's what you need.

I hope I have said something to help but unfortunately I am not in your position. But greatly admire you and your husband for adopting 4 children as well as have your birth children. Taking on 3 children with downs shows what loving parents you are.

Here is a safe place where you can voice how you feel and know you will be responded to and understood. So post when you feel the need . ?

Fartooold Sun 14-Aug-22 16:55:11

Oh Ladies you are summing me up.My best friend and husband of 55 years died 5 weeks ago I am lost, lonely and so sad. My birth children although living away have been so supportive, we also have 4 adopted children 3 with Down Syndrome, all adults but living at home and 1 aged 17 with complex health needs, sadly she has had to go into residential care, nearly 250 miles away. I feel so sad, guilty and lost. The other 3 are delightful but I am so grumpy with them as I miss my soulmate so much. I think they understand but I feel so horrid. Thankyou for reading and have taken on board your previous advice, and will make more effort’

Whiff Sat 06-Aug-22 07:22:40

Serendipity people loved your bed reminders thank you for them. ?

Whiff Fri 05-Aug-22 20:03:50

Thank you I will post it now. It will give everyone a lift as some are having a hard time at the moment. X