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LauraGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 24-May-17 15:30:21

How I’ve kept my spirits up since becoming a widow

Have you lost a partner or a spouse? How easy have you found it to move on? Gransnetter Fiz describes the loneliness she felt following the death of her husband and tells of how a few small changes made a world of difference.


How I’ve kept my spirits up since becoming a widow

Posted on: Wed 24-May-17 15:30:21


Lead photo

How have you been affected by bereavement?

As a new widow I felt lost and useless. My husband had vascular dementia and I nursed him willingly for three years, which became more of a battle towards the end. I felt so alone without him and missed the man he used to be and the full life we once had, but I knew I couldn't spend the rest of my life feeling like there was nothing left for me.

I belong to a tight, small circle of old friends, now all widows, and we have given ourselves a new lease of life by sharing the cost of a taxi and having a lovely relaxed outing once a week. It's booked in advance for the same time each week, with the same driver who now knows us very well.

It helps if your friends are fairly easy-going and share the same outlook on life as you do, and in this respect we are blessed. If we want the opportunity to shop we choose a nice place to eat within easy reach of a supermarket or the large Marks and Spencer, and when we just want to enjoy lunch and a chat in pleasant surroundings, there cannot be many places better than the Panorama Lounge in the Floral Hall at New Brighton. Looking out over the river and listening to the voluntary musicians playing our kind of music certainly gives us a lift. There is a box for donations for local charities, but giving is entirely optional.

It helps if your friends are fairly easy-going and share the same outlook on life as you do, and in this respect we are blessed.

At about 3pm we sink into the taxi, tired but not exhausted, and enjoy our journey home having a chat and a laugh with our driver. That’s perhaps the most important requirement. You do need a kind and good-natured driver - and I think we are lucky to have one of the best!

Of course, after a happy outing, anyone who lives alone may feel a bit down. The front door closes and the silence is almost tangible. If you are tired, this may be relaxing but, to help me through, I make a cuppa, put up my feet and start thinking about where we might go next week. Even if my spirits have plunged, I try doing this to give myself something specific to look forward to.

Shortly after my husband died I also realised I had to change the atmosphere of the bedroom. It was the first time I had slept alone since early childhood, having always shared a room with my younger sister. I started recording light-hearted and humorous programmes on my bedroom TV and watched them before settling down. I made a point of avoiding emotional dramas and tense crime series, enjoying "Not Going Out" and "Would I Lie to You?", and even laughing out loud at Lee Mack's northern humour.

I know we are advised to keep our bedrooms technology-free, but surely it can't be so bad to have your bed shaking with laughter?

Florence, or Fiz for short (an abbreviation of the Italian name Firenze), has two daughters, six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and another on the way. While she admits that much of the 'fizz' left her after her husband died, she’s thankful for her caring and loving family.

By Fiz

Twitter: @GN_Liverpool

westieyaya Fri 26-May-17 10:33:28

My husbands death, four and a half years ago was in very similar circumstances to Fiz. I had been his 24/7 carer for 2 years and had, during that time, grieved for the man he had been.

I've made lots of changes to my life, downsized into a flat, but although in my early 70's i know few widows in my age group. The ones I know are in their late 80's and don't want to go out and about. I would really like to meet like minded widows to share even just a coffee with.

I've tried contacting the Gransnet Gloucestershire editor, but received no response

mummychicks Fri 26-May-17 13:07:13

My Partner died 7 years ago yesterday, I nursed him for 3 years.He was 50 when he passed. Iv always been a bit of a loner and very independant but the friends I had or thought I had disappeared after my partners death. I became a 1 rather than a 2 and was dropped very quickly. Have been trying to make new friends but as i no longer work im very much out of the social network. I like my own company and I dont feel lonely as such but, I do feel alone and isolated.
My 2 grown up sons live with me but I would love some friends, even if its for a coffee and catch up now and again. Im in South Glos

Farawaynanny Fri 26-May-17 13:51:12

I've been a widow for 6 years after my husband died due to mouth cancer. I found life lonely and joined an on line group for widows/widowers called WayUp. They offer support from others in the same situation and there are meet ups all over the country for coffee, meals, walks etc and also holidays. I can highly recommend it. For those under 50 there is a separate group called WAY. Also a group called Jolly Dollies.