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(84 Posts)
Rileykids Thu 12-Oct-23 17:40:24

Is anyone else grieving after 3and half years after losing their partner.

GrannySomerset Thu 12-Oct-23 17:45:47

I am sure there are others, It will be two years in January since DH died and I have found this second year much harder. Accepting a new normal I didn’t choose is tough.

bumblebee34 Thu 12-Oct-23 18:02:23

My DH died in 2008 and it took me almost to year 4 to start feeling there was some sort of normality returning to my life. I don’t think you ever really totally stop grieving, you just learn to build a new life around the grief and at some point I seemed to be able to just tuck him into a corner of my heart for safe keeping.
Even now after 15 years, every now and again out he pops and the tears can suddenly flow even though I have been in a new relationship since year 5.
I think you sometimes have to force yourself to do things that enable you to rebuild a totally shattered life but it is often one step forward and two back I found. Don’t give up and keep putting one foot in front of the other and I am sure you will get there 💐

Whiff Thu 12-Oct-23 22:26:57

Rileykids I was widowed in 2004 aged 45 my husband was 47. Not a day goes by I don't grieve for the love of my life . We had been together since I was 16 he was 18 . Couple for 29 years and married 22. Our children where 20 and 16 when their dad died .

I was born disabled also have a whole in my heart. My fit healthy husband got grade 4 malignant melanoma and after the cancer removed he was given 5 years to live . He lived 3.

He was a wise man he knew what I needed to live without him that was some promises but the main one was live the best life you can. But after he died had both parents and mother in law to look after even though I was ill myself. I couldn't live the life I wanted until after my mom died in 2017 the last to die. I moved over 100 miles to the north west in 2019 and finally live my life to the full.

My husband died at home I had to tell him to stop fighting and we would be ok. He had 6 tumours and couldn't breath on full oxygen. He died a few minutes later. But there is never any ok.

Half of me died when he did and haven't been whole since. I call the first 10 years of widowhood early days . Don't ever expect the grief to end you just learn to live with it. But even now it can overwhelm me . But the rage and anger I feel about him dieing gets me through everyday.

Don't try and be brave I thought I had to be and I was a fool. If you want to scream,cry,swear ,shout or hit a pillow do it. But don't hold the grief in. I thought I was wicked when the rage and anger hit me but it's part of grief. Like I said it gets me through another day. I talk out loud everyday to my husband I have shouted at him for leaving me , swore at him when my house sale fell through twice and when my son decided to dump me as his mom I raged at my husband. But every time I see him with that stupid grin on his face and imagine him saying feel better know.

This is just my experience. The phrase I hate is late husband as he was never late in his life. I said he's dead. But to me I am still married . Love and grief never dies and in my case I don't want it to.

I love my husband he was my everything my rock. My love for him has never faulted and I wouldn't be me without him still with me. I am an atheist so don't believe we will be together . But my husband lives on in our children's DNA and in our 5 grandson's. And that gives me comfort.

But like I said this is only my experience. I am now 65. I live my life for the both of use.
I am on several threads on this forum . Hopefully some of things I have said here or written on one of the other threads had helped someone.

Missiseff Sat 14-Oct-23 11:22:46

I've got my husband, family a friends but without my two estranged adult children and two grandchildren, I'm incredibly lonely.

polnan Sat 14-Oct-23 11:31:38

ah! I so relate to this.. I go to the local church where there are quite a few older people, mostly women, most alone,,

but when asking "how are you" Fine comes the response..

I am not fine.. I am lonely, my dh died 4 years ago this coming month.. I still miss him , a lot... I am not fine, I am lonely, but people can`t cope with it , well that is what I feel,

occasionally someone will let on that they are lonely, but then cloak comes on again, and we are all expected to be fine!

I get it, I do... but... yes, I am lonely, 4 years on.

Cossy Sat 14-Oct-23 12:16:06

I feel so sad for those who are lonely, it’s a terrible thing and quite easy to feel lonely even when surrounded by friends and family. I’ve only been retired a year, facilitated by the sad death of my Mum, who I still miss terribly. At 64 (65 in December) I do have a number of health issues, but still able to drive and walk a bit. I’m “blessed” (?😂😂) with three adult children still living at home, 1 son and 1 stepdaughter living away, four dogs and a grandson and a small amount but long standing friends, one of whom lives in Canada, but we have known each other since nursery school, two old friends from secondary school, one friend from college and two from my first job in London, plus two other local friends I met a few years ago. I feel so grateful to have such loyal, lovely friends and even through the many hard times they’ve stuck right by me.

I can only suggest those feeling sad and lonely consider counselling, if appropriate, and then try out some local groups or online courses to fill their days, learn new things and meet new people.

Grief affects us all in so many different ways, there’s no set timescale, no wrong or right, we all handle things differently. I wish you all good times ahead 😊

Jayne16 Sat 14-Oct-23 12:24:19

Yes, four years in January

Cabbie21 Sat 14-Oct-23 12:32:05

I don’t feel lonely very often at home, but I do when I am out. I hate walking alone. Going to National Trust places, I feel perfectly safe but still lonely as everyone else seems to be in couples or family groups.
I miss having someone waiting at home for me on my return. There is nobody to check in with, to talk to about where I have been, what I have done.
I have been away on my own a few times before DH died but always with a purpose. Now I struggle with the idea of going away alone. I am looking for ideas of what I will enjoy and feel I can cope with. I have decided it has to be either self- catering or a hotel with evening meals as I do not want to be going out at night to eat alone.
It is years since I have been abroad, as it became too much for DH and unless it is an organised group I don’t feel confident about negotiating airports etc. My energy levels are not what they used to be. Yet I hope I have a few more active years in me.

GardenofEngland Sat 14-Oct-23 12:35:33

Yes I'm lonely and pretend to be fine. My husband died 18 months ago but it could be 18 years 18 hours or 18 minutes it still feels the same. I have family and friends and it's nice to feel needed by them but I sometimes well most times I would say I feel like my life is not real and I am 'acting' a part.
I go on holidays to our happy place which gives me some comfort and lovely memories but I don't think I will ever feel whole again.

karmalady Sat 14-Oct-23 12:48:53

eight years for me and I realised that I could move on in year 4. I was always busy the previous 4 years, made myself busy, de-cluttering, clearing and going to my haven allotment, always people to chat to up there

Very similar to cabbie, always on my own when walking, national trust, just wanting to go out for a break involves going on my own. I do stop and chat with people who seem in a similar situation but that is transient

I was making progress, joining specialist hobby groups, prior to lockdown but they folded and that left me in limbo. I do go to some general groups here but really nothing in common, nice superficially but not really enough to satisfy that hole left when I was widowed

Home is very much a nest for me, I have worked very hard to make it so. I moved by myself, did all my sorting and packing. Did all the diy, putting up mirrors, pictures, rails etc. The garden too, was a building site and is now a cottage garden but again that is transient and it is all finished. I would love to have my husband to share a pot of tea but such is life. We al have that return ticket and every couple ends up as one.

There are so many lonely and alone people, many are stoic. I am glad it was me that was widowed and not my husband left on his own, I was and still am, the organiser and best at coping. Now I take my place as the centre of my family wheel, the wise woman to my family, albeit without the cottage in the woods which would suit me down to the ground

Lesley60 Sat 14-Oct-23 12:52:14

My friend lost her husband 5 years ago and is still grieving as if it was a month ago her house is like a shrine to him

LuckyFour Sat 14-Oct-23 13:03:55

The best thing I do is volunteer at my local National Trust house. I do one day a week but you can do as much or as little as you want. I have made many friends and there's time to chat in the mornings before we start and at the end of the day. There are regular catch up meetings, we are valued, and it's fun meeting different people every week. It's great learning about the NT property and being able to tell others about it. We are able to claim travelling expenses too so you're not out of pocket. I highly recommend it. Don't be lonely, be brave.

Thisismyname1953 Sat 14-Oct-23 13:15:14

My husband died over 16 years ago . He 57 when he suddenly became ill and it was only 7 weeks from diagnosis till he died . I miss him every day as , apart from working, we did everything together.
I live with my daughter and her family now and see my son and his family a few times a week so I’m never lonely but still miss my husband .

Gundy Sat 14-Oct-23 13:21:57

There are some incredible stories here, and some incredibly sad ones. Like, life may be passing some people by. Sometimes it takes years - but how many will you allow yourself?

The only grief I’ve had in my life is losing my/our parents many years ago. I’ve not been widowed but - at the risk of sounding terribly insensitive - I’ve said many times to friends “I coulda killed him!” (regarding an abusive ex-husband) That’s a different kind of grief to live with.

No comparison to these stories of losing the “love of your life.” But I do want to say… try to recapture your sense of self and don’t grieve so long that you will die of loneliness.

Know that there are people out there who can listen, help and get you back on track for the time you have left. In closing… if your family or friends have pulled away, you need to think about why that may have happened.
USA Gundy

madeleine45 Sat 14-Oct-23 14:00:56

My dear husband died 6 years ago and i miss him every day still. I found ways to keep going, but then 18 months ago I had to leave my home, which still felt part of him, as I have cancer and a very bad back. Physically it was the right thing to do as I moved to a ground floor flat , and there are buses and trains and near the hospital. This way I am as independant as I can be. But it was the most difficult move and I have moved 19 times as an adult, because it was covid, no friends or family could help me move, I had to leave my beloved garden on three levels and worse than that - I am a singer - and had a large but lovely piano. This would not fit in the flat so it was very tough and all t he things that would help me were not available. I understood that it would be tough but what I had not realized was that I would feel as though my husband had just died.again. having to leave all the things that we shared and no piano or garden was tough. Still is, and I am having to cope with treatment etc as well. Thank goodness for radio 3 and every morning there is Bach before 7. I try to be dressed and have my coffee and sit there and listen to my beloved Bach and then face the day. Have made some friends and joined a group but due to my health issues I cannot even go back to a choir so as music is such a big part of my life it is hard. Cant go walking either now, but for me swaledale gives me solace and joy, and I drive up the dale and take my coffee and sit in the wonderful countryside, remembering the things we did and it makes me feel it is worth going on. So whatever is your favourite thing to do, go for it. There is little to be said for being a widow, but when I have been awake with my back at 5am, if the day looks decent I put the coffee and a sandwich in and go off to the coast or up swaledale. I sometimes sit there with the place to myself, binoculars at the ready and just enjoy the peace and tranquility. Then by about 11am , when the places start to fill up I go home.Less frustrating than sitting at home unable to do the jobs I wanted to!! Be kind to yourself, have a note book and jot down anything that is good, maybe a flower you found in the garden or a book or concert you might like. I also use the madeleine effect! that is my second name , so I say to myself What would Madeleine like to do today, or what would my husband b e suggesting we do? Then go and do it . When I feel really depressed and bad I dont go out to anything much so I decide I deserve a treat! Or rather Madeleine deserves a treat and I need to take her!! If you just think of something you would enjoy you may find new friends to share with, and of course much as we loved them, anyone you share with needs give and take, and now is the time to do just what you enjoy. So if you never made curry because he didnt like the smell of it , go for it. Or if he was quite happy for you to buy a bunch of flowers but queried it if you bought two lots at once. Well go mad , buy 10 bunches and have a house full. My granny was very important to me, and on her birthdaya and on the day she was killed I always get either a plant or flowers and give them as a little surprise to someone who is not expecting a gift. I dont tell them about her, that is my private thoughts but it is in her honour and it gives me pleasure to cheer someones day unexpectedly. So get the list going, whether it is wanting to go for a walk or a round the world cruise, somethings are possible from the list. Just dont let it turn into thinking what you would have both done together. also if you are still living in the same house or area, try and change , walk up a different road, try some cafes you have never visited so that that awful wrench when yhou see someone sitting in "his" seat at the cafe you used , especially if they look a bit like him. The best of luck in finding your way along.

AGAA4 Sat 14-Oct-23 14:36:50

My DH died 25 years ago this month in his early 50s. Although a long time has passed I know you never get over losing someone close.
I have occasional lonely feelings but have moved on as I have had to do. Six GCs have been born since then and I have been involved in their lives and those of my ACs. I have moved out of the house I shared with him, changed job and retired. I have new hobbies and new friends.
I know how hard it can be and how lonely life can become but I knew it was up to me to make a good life for myself.

Cabbie21 Sat 14-Oct-23 14:47:58

Some positive thinking there, AGAA4 and Madeleine45 and others, thank you.
I’d love some ideas for holidays, short trips in the UK etc?

Naesodaft Sat 14-Oct-23 14:51:24

Yes, it will be 6 years in December since my DH died and I still miss him every day. We had been together for 40 years and apart from work did everything together. I still talk to him and wonder what he would say about things that happen. Being on your own after being part of a couple for so long is difficult and while I do things on my own or occasionally with friends it’s not the same without him. He was the only person I was ever 💯 myself with and I miss that very much.

Gin Sat 14-Oct-23 15:29:59

There was a very interesting programme on Women’s Hour recently about loneliness particularly for widows. It explained how ‘Chatty Cafes’ began and now they are all over the country. They provide places for people to drop in for a chat where they will be welcomed and can meet up with others who wish companionship. They are in cafes, hotels and other non threatening venues. It sounded a great idea. I have tried to find the link on ‘Sounds’ but failed but there is information on the Web.

Whiff Sat 14-Oct-23 16:01:51

I am not lonely because I live on my own I am lonely for my husband. I like living on my own. Doing what I want when I want. Living the life my husband wanted for me. And having my daughter and family close by . Plus all the new friends I have made by joining a sit fit class and wonderful craft group. I am happier than I have been . Just miss my husband all the time.

queenofsaanich69 Sat 14-Oct-23 16:04:22

Thank you Madeleine45,that was such good,kind advice

MaggsMcG Sat 14-Oct-23 16:29:20

Mines 2 and a half years, and it comes in waves. I can go months just thinking nice memories then suddenly it will hit me and a feel really sad. We were married just over 50 years. Everyone grieves differently some more than others some less. None of it is wrong. My friend's Mum was still grieving 10 years afterwards.

LucyW Sat 14-Oct-23 21:33:52

My dh died suddenly nearly five years ago. He was a fit, active 54 year old. Miss him every day and always will. Can find little glitches very challenging and get anxious. Have lovely friends, a part time job I love, fantastic colleagues and a supportive son but would give anything for one more minute with dh. Recent health problems meant I was in a lot of pain which severely curtailed my getting out and about but am better now. Still get incredibly nervous about silly things like going into a cafe on my own and the thought of going on holiday alone terrifies me but I know I have to make myself do these things. I don't cry every day and enjoy a good laugh but there are times when the missing him is as raw as it was the day he died.

Dempie55 Sat 14-Oct-23 22:12:08

Three years since my husband died. First year was shock and admin, second year was acceptance and heartbreak, third year was pulling the threads together to fashion a new life for myself. After 40 years together, I will never stop thinking of him and missing him, but I don’t cry so much now. Still feel lonely at the weekends but try to fill the time with cinema, theatre, art galleries etc. I’m now looking at holidays with a craft theme, eg painting or pottery, think they might suit widows.