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a sensitive question....but i am interested.

(42 Posts)
travelsafar Thu 13-Aug-20 13:10:40

If you suddenly lost your long term partner how would it impact on your life. I have often read posts from people grieving for a loved one. I have sat and thought about this and wondered if it is the same for everyone. The reason i ask is that someone i know had this happen to her and it was almost as if the dead person had not exsisted in her life once the initial shock had passed. That was the impression she gave anyway, who knows what she was like behind closed doors. Sorry if i have offended anyone by asking this question.

Elegran Thu 13-Aug-20 13:27:11

As you say, you have no idea what she is/was feeling. I wonder what you were expecting? That she would swathe herself in black, weep constantly, keep telling you how devastated she was, refuse all invitations from her friends, and talk of joining him soon?

Some people do all of these things. Some do them for a while, but stop in case their friends get tired of continually comforting them. Some do them in private. Some don't even feel any grief - but they are usually the ones who have not had a very good relationship with their "loved one". In some cases, even, when a partner has had a long and debilitating illness, they are pleased for them being at last free of it.

However a widow or widower acts in public or in private after they lose a partner, it is a life-altering experience. Nothing is ever the same again. Don't think that because they are not mourning them loudly and publicly they are unaffected.

lemongrove Thu 13-Aug-20 13:30:25

Good answer Elegran I completely agree.There are so many variables with each different couple travels that it can’t be a case of one size fits all.

Calendargirl Thu 13-Aug-20 13:31:24

My DH and I have been married for nearly 48 years.
We don’t spend all our time together, we have our own different interests, which suits us both fine, but the thought of life on my own is scary.
Waking up alone, seeing his empty chair, cooking just for me, all the little jobs he does, sharing laughs and fears, ....
I can get quite down if I think about it, so try and make the most of now, and try and look after him to keep him as fit as possible.

Cabbie21 Thu 13-Aug-20 13:35:13

I had a colleague whose husband died in a building accident, in his early fifties. She came back to work very soon after and showed no signs of grief, then or over the next couple of years. She said she had an inkling that the accident was going to happen and she simply accepted it and got on with her life. I was amazed, but I had to admire her courage.
We are all different.

NotSpaghetti Thu 13-Aug-20 13:36:07

I feel like CalendarGirl.
Maybe the more we have had (oh, I am so lucky) - the more enduring pain will follow.

And some of us wear our hearts on our sleeve in both good and bad times.

FarNorth Thu 13-Aug-20 13:39:51

A person can't really know how they will react to such a thing, until it happens.

And we can't know how they are really feeling unless they tell us.

Puzzler61 Thu 13-Aug-20 13:40:20

I have never dwelled on the fine detail of “what if” it happened. However I must have considered it subconsciously as I have a need to know where all important documents are, and I know what would be required of me practically if I was to be bereaved and on my own. (Finances, mostly). I am younger by 4 years (though that means nothing).

TrendyNannie6 Thu 13-Aug-20 13:41:01

Well for me, my husband is my absolute world. My rock my everything, we have been together 36 years, and I can’t even begin to think how I would feel or act, I’m a very independent strong minded person, but the thought of not seeing him again, doesn’t even bear thinking about, my heart goes out to everyone that has lost a much loved partner,but some people will judge and say cruel things like oh he or she didn’t shed a tear at their loved ones funeral, that always makes me annoyed, not everyone can show emotion, it’s a very personal thing,

boodymum67 Thu 13-Aug-20 13:45:19

How would YOU react?

boodymum67 Thu 13-Aug-20 13:48:25

My OH of 50 years and I rarely agree on anything and life isn't always how I`d like it.

I have found myself wondering these questions. But for me it would be a total nightmare as I am very disabled and do need his help constantly. I do have carers to help but a lot of the time, it`s just me and OH.

Illte Thu 13-Aug-20 13:57:19

I remembered an aunt, widowed after 60 years of marriage saying "I made up my mind to be cheerful." and when my husband died I made a concious decision to follow her example.

If I could have removed myself from life without it upsetting anyone else I would have done so. But since that would only make things worse the alternative was to make my life as happy as possible so that they could be happy too.

Our children were in their early twenties, just starting out on life. The last thing they needed was to be responsible for me.

Marketkat Thu 13-Aug-20 14:18:02

Sorry this very personal. My brother died 20 months ago, 5 weeks to the day that my son died. SIL got loads of sympathy from my siblings after all they were married 45 years and wasn’t that awful, I agree it was awful, they diverted their attention towards her. My SIL has a new man in her life while I continue to grieve for my son. I only had him for 30 years, he was an absolute joy. Whilst you can get a new partner there is no replacement for a lost child, siblings are not so supportive toward her now.

PetitFromage Thu 13-Aug-20 14:39:35

I don't know, although according to DH's oncologist, I will find out within the next two years. Why do you ask?

Elegran - excellent post.

Illte - your aunt sounds very brave, as do you. What else is there to do but soldier on as best you can, so as not to be a burden on anyone else, least of all your children?

Marketkat - I agree that losing a child is the greatest loss. flowers

kittylester Thu 13-Aug-20 14:40:54

I can get quite tearful about it at the moment. He has had a couple of small health scares over the past couple of years and has an appointment next week which might prove to be yet another. Add that to the flipping virus and I can get quite anxious.

NotSpaghetti Thu 13-Aug-20 14:48:06

My heart goes out to anyone who has someone close to them die.
I think it's probably the little unexpected things that catch people out that are hardest.

Not everyone finds it easy to show emotions and I expect that sometimes you have to put your own pain aside to protect others.

TerriBull Thu 13-Aug-20 14:50:23

I hate thinking about it. I think Esther Rantzen expressed her thoughts very well in an interview I read, when she was talking about the loss of her late husband and not finding a significant other since, she said this "I've got plenty of people to do something with, but no one who I can do nothing with", I knew exactly what she meant, it isn't always the highs, but the comfortable togetherness which is a quality I'm not sure can always be replicated sad

I do read the posts about the loss of a spouse it makes me very sad for those posters and also focuses the mind on that eventuality.

tanith Thu 13-Aug-20 15:01:10

TerriBull that is it exactly I have no one to do nothing with and no one who makes a ‘T’ with their index fingers to ask if I’d like a cuppa several times a day. 😢

TerriBull Thu 13-Aug-20 15:01:38

I have a neighbour, he's a very nice man, over 80 now but quite fit still plays tennis. His background is public school. His lovely wife died a couple of years ago, and to all intents and purposes he masks his feelings incredibly well, I think possibly that is all part and parcel of an upbringing where being sent away to school at an early age toughens some up. She was undoubtedly the love of his life and whilst he appears pretty jolly on the outside, I have no doubts he misses her like mad. This was a very long and happy marriage they had a house in France where they spent a lot of time, he sold that quite promptly afterwards, I don't think he expected her to go first she was ten years his junior but unfortunately she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was dead within a few months of that diagnosis. People don't always wear their hearts on their sleeves and we can't know how they are behind closed doors.

TerriBull Thu 13-Aug-20 15:02:33

I'm so sorry Tanith flowers

AGAA4 Thu 13-Aug-20 15:15:02

When my husband died I lost so much, my very best friend. I had at the time a 12 year old daughter so I had to carry on with day to day life for her.

Some people may have thought I was not grieving but how wrong they were! Just because we were going out and about to give her some enjoyment at a very sad time for her, there were those who I know thought I should be miserable and crying all the time. This was the last thing my husband would have wanted for either of us.

Urmstongran Thu 13-Aug-20 15:21:56

Himself said to me the other day ‘you know, you ought to drive more often - if you were on your own it would be an added stress’.

I told him not to worry about me I’d get a taxi.

EllanVannin Thu 13-Aug-20 15:22:44

The fact that I've been on my own for over 25 years says it all I suppose. I was only 54 when he died.

BlueBelle Thu 13-Aug-20 15:25:41

I think you’re all lucky to have found someone to miss so much
I was relieved when I was left alone (not through death although he’s since died and I felt a bit nostalgic when he did but nothing more) but it’s sad I haven’t got anyone to grieve for

timetogo2016 Thu 13-Aug-20 15:28:08

I think it`s the relationship they had with their other halves.
My x Mil cahnged eveything in the house,kitchen/bathroom/furniture litteraly the lot within a few weeks.
And a neighbour did the very same.
Then another person i know just went to pieces and it took her years to come around bless her.