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One month on

(30 Posts)
Bankhurst Sun 04-Dec-22 11:31:20

My DH died at the beginning of November. We met in out mid-50s and had 24 wonderful years. We talked constantly (for 7hrs on our first date) and loved doing things together. I have interests of my own and have ideas for others I may develop, but how does one cope with the loss of companionship?

fiorentina51 Sun 04-Dec-22 12:08:47

Thinking of you.
It's been almost 9 months since my husband died. We had been a couple for over 50 years.
The way I try to come to terms with my loss is by keeping busy. Friends and family have been a Godsend in this respect. Lots of invites and inclusion in activities. I also do voluntary work.

At the end of the day, I still come home to an empty house but I'm slowly getting used to it.
I miss my husband very much and I guess I always will. I cry often, sometimes daily but generally try to get the most out of life as I know he would want me to.

There are others on here who have been widowed longer than I and I'm sure they will offer you good advice. I hope it helps you.

tanith Sun 04-Dec-22 12:09:10

It’s very difficult Bankhurst my condolences on your loss. I still find it hard with no one to sit and do nothing with and it’s been 4 yrs. People do find local groups and expand their circle that way but I find that very difficult, my iPad provides some entertainment. I’m not sure what the answer is but I’m sure you’ll get lots of suggestions here. flowers

Whiff Mon 05-Dec-22 19:28:10

Bankhurst you don't ,you just learn to cope with each day. When you lose the other half of yourself you lose your present and future. And it's very hard to make new.

It's very early days for you . I don't want you to do what I did and thought I had to be strong for my children . So I ended hurting myself by not letting my feelings out until I was alone in my bed. What a fool I was .

What ever you feel is right. If you want to scream ,shout ,swear or hit a pillow do it. Talk to your loved one out loud everyday . I promise it will give you comfort. I have shouted and swore at my husband and blamed him for dieing . Then I see him with that stupid grin on his face and it's all ok . What shocked me was the rage and anger I felt. Thought I was being wicked feeling like that but it's normal . You will feel every emotion under the sun.

You must look after yourself. I didn't want to bother washing or brushing my teeth but I had to and it's hard because I felt what was the point.

My husband died in 2004 aged 47 I was 45. He was my one and only. When the person who is the other half of you dies there is no one in the world who knows the real you. As you where the only 2 people who knew eachother and loved everything about eachother even the things that drove eachother mad.

In my experience love never dies but neither does grief. For me the grief has gotten worse over the years as my husband has missed so much. But I have learnt to live with it and make a new life for myself on my own. Because at the end of the day we are all alone . I still hate the empty side of my bed and still sleep on my side. But my husband is always with me in my heart and mind .

Take each day one at a time and then a week has gone by ,a month a year .

It's to early for you to feel that way so just give yourself time. Only do what has to be done the rest can wait until you are ready.

Take care .

There's not a day that goes by I don't wish he was with me . I am atheist but what gives me comfort is my children and grandson's have part of his DNA.

But I feel lucky I loved and was so loved in return as some people go through whole lives and never have that.

Iam64 Mon 05-Dec-22 19:51:29

My husband died in early October 2022. I’m going through all the stages of grief, sometimes over the course of one day. We had 42 years loving years together. I miss him all the time. I’ve been busy with all the admin, which isn’t finished yet.
So many firsts - his birthday and now Christmas. It’s hard. I have good family and friends. I’m doing the best I can. I talk with him. Today I did some Christmas shopping, cards, wrapping paper, 4 gifts. A bit of me wants to opt out but I don’t think that would help me or my loved ones.

Whiff Mon 05-Dec-22 23:09:46

Iam64 my husband made me promise to live the best life I can. Your husband would want you to do too. It's hard for 14 years I lived through the last 2 weeks of my husband's death like I was watching a film . I had to carry on as I had both parents and mother in law to look after but for those 2 weeks I was robotic . It was right back to 2004. And having to tell my husband to stop fighting and we would be ok he died a few minutes after I said that . For those 14 years he died all over again. The only person suffering was me. No one knew what I went through. Our children always used to text me to check I was ok . But on the 14th anniversary of his death our daughter phoned and it all came out how I had felt every year. Both our daughter and son said I should have told them. I made a vote to myself never to let myself feel that way again. I only let myself feel sad on the date of his death but I don't relive it anymore.

The firsts are always hard . But so are the first 10 years of firsts. As I class early grief as 10 years. My experience anyway.

I had been with my husband since I was 16 he was 18 together 29 years and married 22. What would have been our 40th wedding anniversary was very hard don't know why.

My husband loved Christmas so I have always put the tree up on the first as we always did and the decorations.

Self care is important after the death of your other half. Because as I found to my cost if you don't look after yourself it's makes the grief harder to bear.

I have written on a lot of threads on this forum . But these are just my experiences . I would hate anyone to suffer the way I did. Hence I write the same thing . At the moment I am helping my best friend her husband died suddenly 2.5 weeks ago. Even though she is a family counsellor for all her training and years of experience doesn't help her. But from what she says I am.

I am glad you talk to your husband it does help . It's very early days for you . Like I say take it one day at a time. Only do what needs to be done legal wise. Everything else can wait until you are ready. Took me 8 months before I could send my husband's clothes to the charity shop.

I slept for months with a cuddly snowman which my husband is won his last Christmas.

My cousin cuddles his wife's pillow after 5 years as it's the only way he can sleep..

You are the only one who knows what you need to help you. Do it no matter how silly it may appear to others. But whatever gives you comfort do it. 💐

Bankhurst Tue 06-Dec-22 14:28:18

Thank you for your kind replies. It helps to ‘talk’ to those who understand

AGAA4 Tue 06-Dec-22 15:51:15

I'm so sorry Bankhurst. It's all very new and raw for you. My DH died many years ago and the early times were hard but you will find a new way of living as I have done and find that memories aren't as painful and will remember the happy times you had together without feeling sad.
Look after yourself as grief is tiring and take comfort from those around you 💐

GrannySomerset Tue 06-Dec-22 16:11:01

My sympathy and understanding, Bankhurst. My DH of almost 60 years died in January, my closest friend of 75 years in November so I can absolutely relate to how you feel. As Whiff so wisely says, there is no right way to respond to the loss of the person who knew you better than you know yourself. Finding a way to carry on takes a long time and more courage than I sometimes possess, but the alternative is unthinkable, so each day I start anew.

Whiff Thu 08-Dec-22 10:15:26

I cross stitch. My latest finished work. Hope it means something to you as it does to me. Although my husband didn't live to look like that . My hair is going silver grey.

halfpint1 Thu 08-Dec-22 15:11:15

My best friend of 55 years died in April this year and it still feels like yesterday.

Buttercup19 Fri 09-Dec-22 05:14:32

I’m so sorry to read of all your losses, I too lost my husband, best friend & soulmate in September 20 we were married for 44 years, I throw myself into projects to keep busy and have also joined a charity group and have made some lovely new friends. I also set up a bereavement group on Facebook for ladies and have made lots of friends and some of us meet up for coffee/lunch. I’m not sure if I can put a link on here as I’m a newbie but please send me a message if you’d like details.

harrigran Mon 12-Dec-22 23:17:40

It is almost 14 months since DH died. We were together for 58 years. I do not go out anywhere on my own and need help with shopping, luckily I have family who make sure I am okay. The grief does not lessen and I have had to learn to live a different life.
If you have your health and mobility then you can build up interests outside of your home.

Whiff Wed 14-Dec-22 07:25:25

Just wondered how you are all doing. The lead up to Christmas can be a hard time without the other half of you. My husband was a big kid at Christmas he loved it. But never allow myself to feel sad on the day if you need to I have a cry Christmas eve but never Christmas day.

Going to my best friends husband's funeral today. He died suddenly 3 weeks ago. I have know her since we where 18 and both her and her husband knew mine.

Trying to help her has brought back all the feelings of how I felt when my husband had just died and the lead up to the funeral . Our children and I didn't cry at the funeral but afterwards. But today I will only see her and I will be in floods. Unfortunately they couldn't have children.

My daughter is taking me she has know her all her life and her husband. So imagine she will be in tears as well. It's a burial never been to one before only ones at a crem.

Take care everyone and make sure you keep warm as silly as it sounds I found grief can chill you to the bone. Yes I know I have weird ideas and views but have all the tee shirts that go with them.😊

Iam64 Wed 14-Dec-22 07:51:30

The funeral of such a close friend’s husband will be sad, especially at this time of year.
My husband died in the first week of October. I’m doing my best to enjoy some of Christmas, though it feels an emotional roller coaster. I’m blessed with being able to see four nativities, by the nursery and primary school classes my young grandchildren attend. My husband would have loved this.
I’ve put up a tree, decorated it, done cards and bought a few gifts. All much lower key than in previous years but I feel I’m doing ok - in a sad determined way.

How about others ?

Whiff Thu 15-Dec-22 09:49:53

Glad you put your tree up Iam64. Your husband would have wanted you to. It's very hard all the firsts but then again every date that is special to us is harder. And for me harder as the years go by.

We got to the funeral just as the vicar started reading the eulogy my friend wrote . A journey that should have taken 90 mins took an hour longer. Good job my daughter came for me early. The service was lovely but I was in tears knew I would be. Because it was a burial and they wanted a simple coffin it was made from wicker it was very beautiful. If you can say that about a coffin but it was.

The wake was held in a lovely pub and the food was lovely. My friends husband's had 3 loves my friend ,food and his football team depending on how hungary he was which came second but my friend always first. It was a room filled with love and laughter. Which made it easier for her.

Take care everyone and keep warm.

Hetty58 Thu 15-Dec-22 10:05:32

I coped by concentrating on the independent aspects of my life (study, friendships, hobbies etc. that hadn't involved him) and going out a lot. The worst place to be was at home, where he was so obviously missing.

It became clear that a large element of my identity was missing too, the being a wife, partner, carer and friend to him. I tried to fill that gap by concentrating on my career and the children. I felt that I was building a new identity, a whole new me. It took a very long time to adapt, I went off the rails a little - well, quite a bit - but got there in the end. All done just one day at a time!

Iam64 Thu 15-Dec-22 18:36:35

Hetty58, thanks for your post. I realised this week, I’ve been thinking of myself as wife/widow.mum/gran/relative/friend first, with me somehow all those things yet with the person I am somehow invisible.
I shall try to remind myself to take care of my identity and feelings as well as others

Whiff Fri 16-Dec-22 06:21:11

Hetty58 that's exactly how I felt. I had lost me. I have written about just that on other threads on this forum. We get so wrapped up in all our labels and put others needs and wants first.

After my husband died in 2004 aged 47. I still had the children home for a couple of years,parents and mother in law dependant on me . The children left . Helped mom look after dad he died in 2007. Mom became very dependent on me. She still went out shopping on her own but I looked after all her finances and rang me night and day for silly things. Was my mother in law's emergency contact so again phone calls anytime. Mother in law died in 2015. Mom lived with me last 18 months of her life and died in 2017.

All this time I have been battling with my health problems which effected my limbs and the overwhelming bone crushing grief. But because they needed me I realise I disappeared.

But my wake call was few months after Mom died. I didn't realise I was seriously ill just thought life had taken its toll and my body was telling me to rest. Finally had to call the Dr to visit and ended up in hospital on an acute ward with jaundice. 2 of the tablets I had been taken for decades to help treat my symptoms had given me jaundice. I don't recommend having jaundice but it was the wake up call I needed .

It took 5 months before my gastrologist discharged me from his care then told me people with my bilirubin levels normally died. But because I couldn't do anything for months I reassessed my life. And decided what I wanted . Just 3 things move to live closer to my children. Having all my mobility problems and jaundice made me realise I had to live in a bungalow. Lose weight I was over 19st size 32. And get fit.

Well I moved 100+ miles to north west and have a beautiful 2 bed bungalow. Lost 5st since 2017 still want to lose a stone and bit but if it takes me another year so be it. Now just over 12st size 14/16 top and 16 bottom. Joined a sit fit class before my move and once I moved. It closed because of Covid but found another one June last year run by the council. Unfortunately they pulled the funding March or April can't remember when. No luck finding another class so far that isn't 2 buses away.

By moving I found me again . People got to know me before all my labels . Where I used to live I still was known by my labels . Moving for me was the best thing I could have done. Got better health care and at the age of 64 finally have a diagnosis of what's wrong with me and it's rare and I was born with it. 2 years ago found out I was born with a hole in my heart. Would still not have know that without my move.

My whole life has changed for the better. But the grief for my husband has gotten worse but I cope. But when I have a wobble I cry,shout,scream ,swear or hit a pillow. As I learnt by bitter experience if I held my feelings in I only hurt myself. Still talk to my husband everyday out loud and it still gives me comfort.

I found me again and found a new and better life . Would I give it up to have my husband back fit and healthy you bet but I can't. So I am doing what he made me promise to live the best life I can. And that's what everyone who loses the other half of yourself must do and it's bloody hard. But it's something you must do.

I didn't move until 2019 but I feel I have always lived here. I am happy. Took me an awfully long time to get there but putting others first I don't regret for a minute as I was needed . Still am but I am asked to help it's not expected of me anymore and that's the difference.

Making a new present and future isn't easy can take years but it can and must be done. We only have one life and we have to live it to the full. It doesn't have to cost much money wise to do that but emotionally it can cost but I have found its worth it . But it's been getting nearer to 19 years since my husband died. So I have bitter experience. If only one thing I say helps one person than me writing the same thing on different threads is worth the tears.

The most important thing you must look after yourself and keep as healthy as you can. Self care and self love isn't selfish it's a necessity to be able to live the rest of your live without the other half of yourself. 💐

grandtanteJE65 Fri 16-Dec-22 14:42:16

So sorry, Bankhurst, but it sounds as if you are on the way to coping well, and believe me, the first month is the hardest, and it is behind you now,

The loss remains - it would be unkind and stupid to say anything else, but it changes from the raw, aching void and the least little thing making you weep or curse, according to you temperament, to gradually becoming possible to look back with a smile and remember all the good times - without the searing pain of loss, but just a dull ache.

Sorry! I know that doesn't sound like an improvement, but actually it is.

Take your time, deal with what you can manage, or with what absolutely has to be done now, and leave the rest. Don't rush into any major changes, but start considering what might help by all means.

If you enjoy travelling, start playing with the notion of where you want to go this coming summer or spring. If you are a person who likes pets, you might want to consider seriously if you want one n ow.

The empty feeling in the house retreats a little if there is a pet in it, but it is no use fooling ourselves, they are a responsibility too and a fairly great hindrance if you want to be free to go away at the drop of a hat.

Every single person is unique, so no-one can replace the companionship you have lost, but other forms of companionship are possible, and some of the activities and ideas you mentioned having my lead to some good friends in time.

travelnan Fri 16-Dec-22 15:13:52

My husband and mother died within a week of each other. It was the saddest and hardest time of my life. Although it was 20 years ago it still hurts. My sympathy to you OP you seem a very strong woman flowers

Greyduster Fri 16-Dec-22 15:47:05

Take your time, deal with what you can manage, or with what absolutely has to be done now, and leave the rest. Don't rush into any major changes, but start considering what might help by all means. Very good advice. I lost my husband of almost fifty six years in April. We were rather joined at the hip, and then he was gone. You go along thinking you’re doing okay, and then right out of the blue, something simple and innocuous will kick the legs right out from under you. You’ll never be prepared for it, but you will learn, bit by bit, to deal with it, embrace it even, strange as it may seem.
There’s no manual for this. We all fly by the seat of our pants. Best advice is to be kind to yourself, Bankhurst. 💐

Whiff Sat 24-Dec-22 06:41:46

Just wanted to wish you merry Christmas. Get through the day the best way you can. My husband loved Christmas so I never allow myself to be sad on Christmas day Christmas eve if I want to but surprisingly had my Christmas cry yesterday. Been helping my best friend get through the sudden death of her husband and it's brought back all my feelings of the early days after my husband died . So my grief has been overwhelming for a few weeks but as usual pulled myself together. Funny how I think I am coping ok then something sets me off. But I don't fight the feelings as learnt long ago I only hurt myself.

Have the best day you can and remember it's only one day and the idea of a happy family Christmas is a myth . Just do what you want when you want as it still very early days for a lot of you even old timers like me it's hard. So be kind to yourselves . 🌲

Whiff Sun 01-Jan-23 06:44:32

To all here it's seems wrong to wish you happy new year when your hearts are broken.

Just get through the year the best way you can. Unfortunately time does not heal but you learn to cope . Please remember whatever you feel isn't wrong everyone goes through the same stages of grief but at different times and different order. Everyone has their own way to handle them but please don't hold your feelings in you only hurt yourself. I know I did that and hurt myself . Looking back I realise I was punishing myself for being alive. As I have had health problems my whole life but it was my fit healthy husband who got cancer and died.

Will be 19 years next month and the grief shows no sign of easing but I have embraced it and my love for my husband is as strong as ever.

Never be frightened when you need to cry,shout ,scream or hit a pillow do it. You think you are coping and suddenly the grief overwhelms you but let it take you . If you do you feel back to yourself sooner.

After years or decades as a couple it's very hard to just being by yourself. I didn't realise I had lost me . And it's hard to find yourself but I promise it's worth it but it's not a quick journey to that point.

Take care of yourselves as you still have a life to live and your other halves would want you to live that life to the full. 💐

Iam64 Sun 01-Jan-23 09:06:35

as I have had health problems my whole life but it was my fit healthy husband who got cancer and died
Whiff, I’ve had auto immune conditions from childhood. They’re reasonably well managed and controlled these days. Somehow over the 6 months of caring for my husband, I didn’t get a cold, seemed invincible. I’m now managing a flare of RA but it’s a reminder that I need to rest, care for myself.

How have we all been over this Christmas period with heightened emotions? I’ve been ok ish, then a tsunami of grief overwhelms me and I weep.