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    • Buggins
    • By Buggins 25th Jan 18, 8:49 PM
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    Buggins
    Self help thread. I am a widow coping getting on with it
    • #1
    • 25th Jan 18, 8:49 PM
    Self help thread. I am a widow coping getting on with it 25th Jan 18 at 8:49 PM
    Just wanted to put this thread on to replace the missing one. Worried that some people who have been following the old thread might really need it sometime and won't get the support they need/want. It has, and still does, help me.
Page 9
    • wort
    • By wort 10th Mar 18, 8:35 PM
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    wort
    Thank you all, my sisters are very close to me and I'm very lucky I know.
    Today dd1 took me to lunch and it was wonderful, but since I got home and entered the house I can't stop crying, I hope you don't mind I needed someone to talk to, and although I know my family wouldn't mind I feel I don't want to bring them down. Not that I want to bring you wonderful people down, I Hope you understand.
    I really don't know what is wrong I've been crying for 2 hours non stop , I feel my heart is being ripped out, I just want him with his arms around me, I'd give anything to hear his voice.
    I'm usually so strong and don't let my emotions show this crying and desperate need to talk to someone is overwhelming, please forgive me.x
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 10th Mar 18, 9:05 PM
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    Torry Quine
    Thank you all, my sisters are very close to me and I'm very lucky I know.
    Today dd1 took me to lunch and it was wonderful, but since I got home and entered the house I can't stop crying, I hope you don't mind I needed someone to talk to, and although I know my family wouldn't mind I feel I don't want to bring them down. Not that I want to bring you wonderful people down, I Hope you understand.
    I really don't know what is wrong I've been crying for 2 hours non stop , I feel my heart is being ripped out, I just want him with his arms around me, I'd give anything to hear his voice.
    I'm usually so strong and don't let my emotions show this crying and desperate need to talk to someone is overwhelming, please forgive me.x
    Originally posted by wort
    Wanted you to know you've been heard. Have a virtual hug from me.

    I got copies of his will today, so stark written down and when I saw the words about 'any issue's I bawled my eyes out that we never children. Now I'm crying again at the clip for the upcoming Casualty storyline.

    Mother's Day is always hard but this time feels much worse. My mum died 24 years ago.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 10th Mar 18, 9:12 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Wort..........oh you poor darling. Sending you a virtual hug. Cry as much as you need, sometimes you just have to let it out. No need to apologise on here.

    This afternoon I tried to sort out some photos. Nope. Still cannot do it. Started to cry so I put them back in the box and in the cupboard out of sight. And it is now 3.5 years. One day.

    A grey miserable day here. I was due to meet a friend for the cinema. Really felt like cancelling but did not want to let her down. I really could not face getting ready and I thought I will just go as I am. No one will see me. It is dark in the cinema, it will be dark when we come out and then we are only going to Pizza Hut so no need to dress up.

    Then I thought no, come on. So I got changed, put my face on and then for sheer devilment put on a red coat and a slash of red lippy to match.

    Sometimes you just need colour in your life and sometimes it just has to be red.

    The film??? The Greatest Showman. I cannot recommend it enough. I loved it and felt like singing and dancing along with it. Some little girls in front of me did exactly that, bless their little hearts.

    So glad I made the effort. It really lifted my spirits.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 10th Mar 18, 9:15 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Torry......sorry to hear you struggled with the will. It is horrible having to deal with that kind of stuff.

    Sending you hugs too.
    • wort
    • By wort 11th Mar 18, 10:35 AM
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    wort
    Thank you Torry and LL.
    I'm feeling calmer today but can feel the tears very close , I'm expecting my other dd with my grandson later so don't want to start crying.
    Torry we all have regrets ,it's so hard isn't it. My mum died just before my wedding in 2001, I was just glad she knew about it and was happy, we'd been together since 1987!
    LL photos are difficult, you wish you could reach in and touch them, and all the bittersweet memories that they bring , I was trying to recall wether my wedding dvd has his voice on it, but I no longer have a dvd player set up. I don't know how much I could watch of it anyway.
    I'm glad you enjoyed the film, I got dressed up to meet dd1 for the meal, I tell myself I'm not going to let myself down by not looking the best I can.
    The last film I saw was coco which is a Disney one but it's very sad, at least for people like us that have loved ones who have died.
    I hope you enjoy mothers day in whatever way you can much love.x
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 11th Mar 18, 12:59 PM
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    kittie
    The film??? The Greatest Showman. I cannot recommend it enough. I loved it and felt like singing and dancing along with it. Some little girls in front of me did exactly that, bless their little hearts.

    So glad I made the effort. It really lifted my spirits.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    omg, I was watching that same film yesterday afternoon, a few hours before you saw it. DD, her husband and the 2 grandchildren. I really did enjoy it too. What a co-incidence, another one!!

    wort, please have a hug from me. Baby steps sweetheart, every time you let the pain come out then it leaves room for some healing. The people who never heal are the ones who lock themselves inside that enclosed bubble and cannot ever set themselves free to live as a single person

    I battle potential loneliness all the time but have turned it around to embrace it, it is the only way I can live. Haven`t seen anyone today but I did see swans on my cycle ride and that was uplifting
    • Elona
    • By Elona 11th Mar 18, 4:49 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 2,253 Thanks
    Elona
    DD and sil have just taken me out to lunch and another dd and bf took me out yesterday so have been in a social whirl. I am seeing another dd tomorrow for a coffee and then go to the U3A film show in the afternoon.

    Wort and torry
    Tears are close to the surface as DH would have been the first to make a fuss of the day and it seems even more unfair that he is not here. Determined not to dwell so making a cup of tea and finding a vintage comedy to watch.

    Hugs to all
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 11th Mar 18, 6:22 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Today has been a struggle for me too. Trying very hard to stay positive and not succumb to despair.

    Does it ever end......
    • itsanne
    • By itsanne 11th Mar 18, 11:26 PM
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    itsanne
    Wort, there's absolutely nothing to apologise for!

    Hiding your emotions is probably not the best thing to do, but I sympathise. It's impossible to really tell it how it is all the time - no one would ever want to talk to us.

    It's odd the way the whole thing can become overwhelming almost randomly. Sometimes there's an obvious trigger, but at others it's impossible to identify why that particular time is so unmanageable. I wonder if it's simply that the amount of effort required to 'manage' builds up until it becomes unsustainable, a bit like steam building up in a pressure cooker. I suspect we all experience those times and, unfortunately, I also suspect they'll never completely go no matter how much time passes. Certainly, fifteen months on, in many respects I'm finding the second year even harder than the first - it's very difficult to get my head around the reality of where I am now instead of how things should be.

    LL, sorry you're having a particularly bad day today. You have a wonderfully positive attitude, but in a day like today it's okay to acknowledge the awfulness of the situation too. Hopefully tomorrow will be one of your better days.

    Take care, all.
    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
    • kittie
    • By kittie 12th Mar 18, 7:13 AM
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    kittie
    I wonder if it's simply that the amount of effort required to 'manage' builds up until it becomes unsustainable, a bit like steam building up in a pressure cooker..
    Originally posted by itsanne
    yes, I 100% agree and itsanne I also thought that year two was harder than year one, maybe because that is when the reality sets in, always doing things alone, making important decisions alone. At the end of year two came the flat path, the one when I started to become used to it all, when I got into a routine such as putting things away when I had used them, doing dishes as soon as I could. Taking more care of my appearance. Keeping on a level path with bills, house maintenance and cleaning and believe me I also became very bored. Was this all I could expect for my life, interspersed by a few holidays, working on the allotment and solo days out?

    Year three is my year of change and challenges and new aims. I still have some difficult times, particularly mothers day and my birthday. One last night watching call the midwife, reawoke memories. I don`t end up in floods of tears, stoic me, no point. I did get that tight grip inside me. I know I am healing well so remain hopeful for a relatively content future, has to be that, the alternative is horrible
    • poppy811
    • By poppy811 12th Mar 18, 9:35 AM
    • 78 Posts
    • 1,075 Thanks
    poppy811
    Wort Torry and LL, it is awful when these feelings of sadness and despair come over us. I think I am doing OK and then it suddenly hits me. Call the Midwife gets me every time but because I nursed for 40 + years I have to watch it if only to realise how far we have come. I know I am lucky with friends etc. but the future does frighten me. Kittie you are right I am afraid the second year is somehow worse, I am constantly having to give myself pep talks so that I make the most of the day. I hope we can all rebuild but goodness knows how
    • kittie
    • By kittie 12th Mar 18, 5:45 PM
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    kittie
    I have been having a think about getting through year two and I remember being very dependent on that daily `to-do` list. I bought a new one from sainsburys, all the weekdays on one page. It wasn`t to beat myself up about getting through jobs but I needed to do it to give me a focus, what to eat, what to do. I needed to have something to get out of bed for. I tried to factor in nice things like my (several) trips on the west somerset railway, ooh I love steam trains, always have, so bought myself a lifetime pass and I was in heaven when I went on a tour of the engine sheds

    The daily notes continued for almost the whole of year two but I eventually found myself writing things down after the event and that is when I knew I was well on the road to healing. Year three was a preparation year, I had to imagine the worst situation for me, which was getting older and I listened to people talking about going into oap apartments. I made my mind up, that wasn`t for me but I had to release my ties with this house and that happened over the year by removing a great number of `things` from this house. I am not down to nitty gritty because people stay with me sometimes but the nitty gritty will be the next and final step, when I am really old and not before

    So I see my life panning out in hops and every year is different and I think that this looking forward is what stops that potential black hole from appearing.
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 12th Mar 18, 9:35 PM
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    Torry Quine
    Yesterday and today have been awful. I can't stop crying and haven't bothered getting dressed, there's no point.

    Reading people saying that year two is worse is scary!.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Mar 18, 8:32 AM
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    kittie
    torry, it is worse, or feels worse, because it was not expected to be worse. The way to tackle year two is to think of it as the foundation year for healing. Little by little you do get to the end of year two. There is unfortunately no magic cure, but planning things for each week helps and it helps to include something nice, so that each week going forward is something to look forward to. It did not happen by itself and I had to be pro-active
    • Elona
    • By Elona 13th Mar 18, 9:05 AM
    • 216 Posts
    • 2,253 Thanks
    Elona
    kittie

    You beat me to it. I think that year two is not really worse but that it feels as if we have not had the improvement we expected so it brings into focus the future.

    When I moved house I had to make an effort to think ahead and plan for eventually needing to live on one level with things like a big walk in shower instead of a bath downstairs and a nice kitchen with a breakfast bar while the disruption was not too much stress etc. I found someone to help with the small garden and also someone to pop in once a week and help with cleaning and tidying. Apart from the work they do it means twice a week someone calls round and I need to be up and dressed for a certain time. The volunteer work at the library on Wednesday afternoons and then a recently joined slimming club just after that fills in time and gets me out meeting people. The U3A yesterday and meeting a dd for coffee in York took up most of yesterday and I really enjoyed it.

    Because upstairs has space for dds etc to stay overnight it means they can get together here and catch up, then stay for breakfast and /or lunch if they like. Two weeks ago it was middle dd's birthday and I had three of them staying over and having a girlie pamper evening while watching dvds together.

    Hugs to all
    • wort
    • By wort 13th Mar 18, 10:39 AM
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    wort
    Thank you , it really helps to hear people's coping strategies.
    I've been off this week and maybe the extra "thinking" time hasn't helped. I'm back at work tomorrow, and really need a good night's sleep ,I've really struggled to sleep this week, and I've woke up exhausted today. I feel unable to do anything and possibly could doze this afternoon, but won't, as that will make it harder tonight.

    Elona that sounds lovely having dds round for girly time. X
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 13th Mar 18, 10:45 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Both Kittie and Elona have explained the conundrum of the second year very well. No one warns us and we blithely assume that of course year 2 is bound to be better than year 1. In a way it is because we are over the worst of the gut wrenching pain, the panic attacks start to subside and we start to notice the world again.

    I think the first year is all about the shock and the immediate impact on our lives. To a certain extent we are cushioned somewhat because we are numb. Then of course we are busy dealing with all the financial stuff and the practicalities so the adrenaline kicks in and keeps us going.

    I think it is only during the second year that the long term implications begin to sink in. We start to take stock and to think about the future. Sometimes that future can look a bit bleak. And of course our bodies have not yet fully recovered, in my case fibromyalgia but it could be anything. Remember grief and stress compromise our immune systems so we often feel physically below par. And with the best will in the world it can be hard to remain positive and upbeat when you are battling exhaustion and/or pain. Sometimes the effort is just too great.

    I agree Year 2 is a foundation year and possibly year 3 too. I found it was during year 2 and year 3 that I began to start thinking about a way forward, how I wanted to live.

    We all know the prescription is to “keep busy”. At least that is what everyone tells us. However, there are times when it seems like we are keeping busy for the sake of it and realistically we are just killing time.

    I can only speak for myself but what I feel is that I need a “purpose”. Sounds a bit worthy but I think you know what I mean. I am still looking for inspiration. I am hoping my college course will point me In the right direction.

    For me holidays are not really the answer. I know a lot of widows and widowers just seem to drift from one holiday to the next. I can understand why they do it, they cannot face being alone in an empty house so they seek to escape, but holidays are not real life. I think we need more. Well I do.

    I do feel a bit brighter again now. I think the series of red letter days in such short space of time laid me low for a while but I do feel a. Bit perkier now. I am steadily dec,uttering and today I am off to the tip and the charity shop and then will go food shopping.

    I am still struggling a bit with the aftermath of my fall but have started doing a bit of yoga each day. Hopefully this will also help with the Fibro.

    Just looking forward to better weather, and a bit of warm sunshine.
    • itsanne
    • By itsanne 13th Mar 18, 11:19 AM
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    itsanne
    Yesterday and today have been awful. I can't stop crying and haven't bothered getting dressed, there's no point.
    Originally posted by Torry Quine
    We've all been where you are right now. Your grimest days will pass - you will get through this. Unfortunately, there will be days like that. However, there will also be days, or part of days, where you will feel a bit more 'normal' (and possibly even a bit guilty when that happens). Gradually, the very worst days become fewer and there are more better days.

    There's no easy way through this, but people further on say they do feel they have a life again - it isn't the one they thought or hoped they'd have, but it's a satisfying one nevertheless.



    Reading people saying that year two is worse is scary!.
    Originally posted by Torry Quine
    Sorry, Torry, I didn't intend to make things worse. I tend not to post when having a particularly bad spell precisely because I don't want to alarm people more recently bereaved.

    It's very early days for you - the second year is not worse than where you are at right now. Also, not every aspect is worse: there are things I can manage without difficulty now that were very difficult last year, and some 'firsts' are genuinely easier the second time (eg being away from home, travelling alone).


    There are probably a number of reasons why the second year proves difficult. Part of it may be, as Kittie suggests, our own expectations. So much seems focused on getting through the first year, the first anniversary, the first birthday etc that it's as if once that's done it will be easier - and it's not. We discover that it's not, but other people, not experiencing what we are, still assume that it must be and support can tail away.

    If you've always done everything together, it's hard to try to do things without your partner. By the second year, you are trying to do more but find that meeting people to do things with is difficult. Not only do you have to meet people, but you have to interact with them in a constructive way when you have lost confidence and don't feel cheerful - and you don't want to be viewed as 'the widow'!

    I think a lot of protective mechanisms make it possible to function in the early days, but they gradually diminish until we're faced with the constant reality of the situation - while at the same time we still desperately want to reject it. Fifteen months in, I know this is real but often still feel that it can't be. I still can't plan far into the future - far too painful.

    Keeping going takes energy - a lot of energy. By the second year we've already had a year of 'trying', yet there seems no end in sight. Because we don't actually feel any better than in the first year, the prospect of things continuing like this indefinitely is both depressing and scary - is this all we have to look forward to? (Of course, as said above, it's not, but it can feel that way.)

    Hopefully Kittie is right about year three being different!
    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 13th Mar 18, 11:24 AM
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    Torry Quine
    It's seven weeks but I'm still feeling the same as when I found him. Everything hurts and I just cry all the time. I feel my life is over.

    itsanne I apologize for being harsh.
    Last edited by Torry Quine; 13-03-2018 at 11:29 AM.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • itsanne
    • By itsanne 13th Mar 18, 11:29 AM
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    itsanne
    Lessonlearned, you posted while I was typing - great post!
    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
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