Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

six months

Next Friday will be the six month anniversary of my wife’s untimely death. It simultaneously means both everything and nothing to me.

Everything because I can’t believe how much our families and friends have been through in that time. Nothing because I suspect that what we’re going through hasn’t even started yet.

Everything because it’s been the longest six months of my life and I’ve never felt so many emotions so intensely. Nothing because, looking back, I can’t believe six months have passed so quickly and so much of it feels like a blur.

Everything because my whole outlook on life has changed. Nothing because I feel so powerless now that I understand that I have no real control over the future.

Everything because it’s 25 time longer than the previous longest period of time (seven days) that I hadn’t seen my wife in eight years. Nothing because I’ve started to understand that time is a measure that holds little value in grief.

And so as we approach the six month anniversary I can imagine that there are people out there who’ll assume that long enough for a person to have begun to heal. In my experience it’s not. Time is simply a medicine dished out by untrained practitioners. But for me it’s a placebo and I’m familiar enough with the taste of real thing to know I’m being taken for a ride. The truth is I feel every ounce of sadness and loss I felt six months ago.

Yet I’d be lying if I said that my feelings nearly six months on were exactly the same. I know this because I’ve been keeping a diary in the form of this blog and when I look back I can compare. I wrote a piece called Imaging It back in January, which aimed to explain how it immediately felt to loose my wife so suddenly. I covered elements of confusion, guilt and physical pain that I no longer feel with the same intensity. If I had the same physical symptoms, for example, I’m sure I would be extremely ill by now. And if you witnessed me as the shell of a man I was back in November I’m sure you could assume that time was indeed healing. Yet it’s not. I guess I’m just on a journey towards slowly learning to survive with an open wound. And I guess there’s little other choice but to survive when there’s a young child there who needs you more than ever before.

As well as the six month anniversary, next week will also mark several milestones for this blog. It will be four months since I published my first post. By next week there will have been 100 posts and the blog will have received half a million views. And it was with all of this in mind that it occurred to me to revisit Imaging It, because it gave a real insight into the grief I felt immediately after my wife was killed. And although I don’t believe time heals, I’m starting to face the reality that it changes.

So I’m going to tell you what it feels like for me some six months on. The most important part of that sentence is not the measure of time but the part that says ‘for me’. I understand how natural it is for human beings to compare themselves to others. I know how it feels to get cross at people for pushing their beliefs on me. I appreciate that one person’s six months might be another’s six years. And above all, I know myself and I know that all I’m doing with the blog, all I’ve ever done with it, is document how I feel at any given moment in time. Perhaps after seven months I’ll change again. Maybe I’ll regress. Who knows if my feelings will be closer to month one than month six? I’m only certain of one thing. I’ll be the only one feeling my exact feelings. You’ll be the only one feeling yours. We’ll share common ground but we all grieve in our own way in our own time.

I mention this only because I’ve felt some upset and discomfort recently for being criticised for my grief.

I’m not angry enough.

I’m too positive.

I’m just out for myself.

Perhaps inevitably, given my current fragile state, I could hear a thousand positive comments and concentrate only on a handful of negatives. But that’s my grief. When my wife first died I was more preoccupied about who hadn’t got in touch than who had. These days I can’t even remember who did and who didn’t.

But the struggle I’m having with my grief is also telling me to grow a thicker skin. It’s telling me that all that matters now is the approval and the well-being of the people I love or respect. It’s telling me that I set out to help people and if there are still people who can find solace or empathy in what I write, then it’s worth carrying on. It’s telling me to be the gauge of what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s telling me to face the reality that you can’t please all of the people all the time. And it’s telling me not to waste my increasingly precious energy trying.

So this is what grief feels like for me six months on.

It feels like sadness.

Sadness because the person I shared my life with is no longer here and never will be again.

Sadness because any precious moment of happiness I feel, however brief, is followed by a crippling sense of foreboding and loss.

Sadness because it tears me to pieces to think of my son not being raised by the mother who adored him so much and who was planning to make his life so special.

Sadness because I fixate not just on my own loss but that of my wife’s family and friends and I feels theirs too.

It feels empty.

Empty because whatever I do, however much I occupy myself, however much I try to honour the memory of my wife, I feel nothing. No pride. No sense of achievement. No progress. Just nothing.

Empty because a part of me died with my wife. She was part of me. We were part of each other. The physical part has gone and with it it has taken so many of the positives emotions that I always held so dear.

It feels endless.

Endless because I know I’ll never be healed.

Endless because I’ll never see her again.

Endless because I’ll never see the old me again.

Endless because there’s no conclusion, just an unknown expanse of time ahead of me to always miss her.

Endless because a huge part of me doesn’t want the pain to stop because it’d feel like I were doing my wife a disservice in death.

Endless because I have the feelings of both myself and my son to worry about for as long as I’m lucky enough to be alive.

Endless because it never leaves my mind for a moment and I find it hard to concentrate on anything else.

Endless because I rarely sleep and so there are now more hours in the day yet I don’t have the energy to fill them with the things I used to love or the things that made me a healthier person.

It feels like disbelief.

Disbelief because when anyone talks about my wife’s grave I shut down.

Disbelief because I don’t think I’ll ever truly be able to get my head round what’s happened.

Disbelief because, well fuck it, I just can’t fucking believe it’s fucking happened.

It feels lonely.

Lonely because my days never come to a natural close with a ‘goodnight’, a kiss or a cuddle from the person who told me it was time to go to bed.

Lonely because however much company I’m in, I still feel alone.

Lonely because intimacy has gone.

Lonely because I’ve lost my wife, my best friend, my co-parent and my partner in fun and mischief all in one go.

It feels disappointing.

Disappointing because people I bump into often assume that they don’t need to mention what happened because it happened six months ago.

Disappointing because some people avoid talking about my wife as if she never existed.

It feels shared.

Shared because I understand now that I feel some comfort when I comfort others.

Shared because I believe that if we pass kindness on it will come back to us.

Shared because so many people out there are looking out for me and my son.

Shared because I’ve let the people who I initially pushed away back in.

Shared because I stopped trying to be a hero and started to accept and truly appreciate help.

It feels hopeful.

Hopeful because I’ve let moments of happiness back into my life and I’ve sad to hell with the consequences and the hangover that they might create.

Hopeful because of my son’s sunny disposition and his beautiful outlook on life.

Hopeful because he tells me, “It’s not raining, Daddy, it’s happy” when all I see are dark clouds ahead.

Hopeful because he can answer for himself at two-and-half when people ask where his mummy’s gone.

Hopeful because when the other kids at nursery discuss the necklaces that they are making for their mummies, my son doesn’t get upset. He just says he’s making his for his daddy.

So today my grief is not the Gollum I spoke about in the original version of this post. But it still feels ugly, isolated, wretched and schizophrenic enough to be Sméagol.

N.B. Please do feel free to share how it feels or felt for you at six months too. In fact, please do share how it feels or felt for you at any point in your grief. I realise that for many people this blog is not just about my story but also about all the stories shared in the comments. And for me that’s just amazing because it feels like we’re all in it together.

Six months on my grief is still ugly, isolated, wretched and schizophrenic enough to be Sméagol

Six months on my grief is still ugly, isolated, wretched and schizophrenic enough to be Sméagol

107 comments on “six months

  1. mags
    December 2, 2016

    How do you know how I am feeling – you have put into words what I could not, I miss him so much and feel desperately lonely after 8 months – I don’t really want to live. Dreading my first Chrismas without him.

  2. Mat
    February 5, 2017

    Hi just went through my first Christmas alone ,l took a trip to Cuba the pain of being without her threw a time we cherished was to much to bear.l did find peace in my trip ,new faces ,time to be alone ,and not being reminded ,how much she is missed,which she is.l would do this again and recommend it to relax the soul .

  3. Elle
    February 14, 2017

    You’ve hit on so many things I’m feeling. For the first few months my coworkers innored my grief, and me, looking away when it was obvious I’d been in the washroom crying. They had no idea how to talk to me or behave around a grieving person. Now, 6 months and 10 days after, my boss and colleagues all act like I should be back to full speed at work, when the reality is most days I cry all the way to and from work, and slog through my work day like a zombie. Friends have been wonderful, but I’m afraid to show them how much I’m still hurting, because I don’t want to lean too much on them and feel like a burden. I’m afraid my continued sadness will drive them away. I feel so much pressure to be “better now” and I’m just not. The new reality of him being gone forever hasn’t fully sunken in even after 6 months. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I can’t sleep because what used to be a special day we celebrated our love for each other will now and forever be filled with longing for my husband. We didn’t have children, so it’s just me left to grieve. My heart will forever be broken, and I feel like slapping people who insist on telling me life will get better with time, or compare the loss of an 89 year old parent with the accidental death of a vibrant, intelligent, fit 58yr old man who was my husband, whom I’ve known and loved since I was a girl of 18.

    • andrewfeben
      February 17, 2017

      Hi Elle
      Today would have been our 21st wedding anniversary. I’m going to get a single red rose and take it to the grave and give it to my beloved. I don’t know if there is any connection, if he knows, but on Valentine’s Day I found a single red rose pressed in the back of a scrap book he made up to his 21st birthday and I think it must be the one I gave him when we first began dating because he said nobody had ever given him flowers before. So here we are on the 17th Feb and I’m going to do it again, symbollically at least.

      I have no idea if what I’m going to say will be helpful and before I begin I should also say that I still cry at some point most days, still sleep badly and haven’t got back into a proper routine. I retired from teaching so no longer have work to provide any structure or “escape”. I also have a strong faith which has sustained me, He’s been so good to me.

      For the first 14 weeks I just cried all the time. I read everything I could about grief, bereavement, loss of a spouse (which is unlike any other loss), including counselling I formation. I then joined an online group for widows/ers which led me to a local group. The online forum (this one) showed me that some people were still feeling much as I did years down the road and I knew I couldn’t survive that, I’d be better off jumping off a high bridge under a huge lorry. So I faced every thought, every pain, every wave of awfulness with acceptance and prayer, whether I felt like it or not, and kicking and struggling at times. The sadness, the pain, the sense of loss, the missing my wonderful husband goes on but I gradually become more used to it and make sure I keep busy as well as having my sad moments. The local group has been a lifeline. We go out and have fun together, theatre, meals out, bowling, dancing for dummies, etc. and we all have such a depth of care and understanding of one another. I also have amazing friends, family and church family alongside me. When people say hurtful things (which is rare but does happen) I tell myself that they mean well and sometimes I explain gently why it hurts.

      I am certain that my love for my husband will never die and there will be sadness in some measure always. Yet I am also hopeful that I can still do something useful in the time I have left, that there will be moments of joy, that peace will ultimately prevail as I live with him in my heart but not physically with me. I hope for a new life with new treasures along the way, whatever they may be.

      It is ten months for me now and this period is hard … signing Christmas cards with just my name, New Year with friends in a party of 5, both our birthdays, Valentine’s Day, wedding anniversary, a year since my hip replacement, followed by his short 3 week knowledge of an incredibly aggressive cancer which destroyed his body in that short time, then the funeral and the ongoing shock and deathly silence all around me.

      It’s all so painful, yes, and will never be completely healed – but I just keep choosing to be as positive as I can, to trust that I will get through this as countless others before me and since have had to do, to fill most days with company and things to do at some point during the day (there’s plenty of time for weeping) and wait for the worst of each storm to pass. It has been a very up and down journey so far but I can see progress overall when I look back. I try to be patient with myself and continue to love my other loved ones. I still have a way to go but I know I’m on the way and I love the glimpses of sunshine after the rain. We all have our own journeys but take heart that you are progressing along your own way. Why don’t you look for a WayOn group near you – or even start one if there isn’t one already? There are so many of us!

      Look after yourself, be kind to yourself, keep hoping and looking for the glimpses of fun and laughter, peace and joy that will increasingly come your way. And know that your loved one would want you to be okay so no guilty feelings allowed!

      If any of this is helpful, hold on to it, but please just let anything else fly away from mind. I wish you increasingly peace and joy in the midst of your pain.

      • Katharine Kirby
        February 13, 2018

        Reading this reminded me so of myself, widowed four months ago, after 47 years of marriage, by the same kind of aggressive cancer that ate him up within a week of diagnosis, but had been secretly destroying him for longer, symptoms masked by diabetes 2.

        Family, friends, all as good as can be to me, they are clearly suffering too, in their own ways. Fellow widows telling me it doesn’t get better, often worse I don’t need. Steer a course away. We were happy, I am a lucky, happy positive person, that is still with me. I am sad sad sad yes and subject to tears at music, thoughts of being sorry for myself and him for not having a retirement, kick in.

        One thing that makes me think – people can spend a year planning a wedding but we widows/widowers have to do a funeral in a few days often for the same number of ‘guests’ – at a time when we are distraught ourselves. Thank goodness for my clear head, that surprised me by staying around, and for gentle kind professionals who made it all possible. And the family member who paid for it all!

        Keep looking up at the sky and think of those who have gone ahead rowing around over us, looking down at our scurrying about trying to do everything ourselves, the shared tasks we did as a team over all those years..Shopping, walking the dogs, feeding the poultry, caring for the cats, grandchildren, children, hauling in the logs for the fire, filling in pot holes; I am having to rediscover muscles I never thought I had!

        Love to you all…

    • BFrame
      February 18, 2017

      Dear Elle..I lost my husband of 27 years, best friend and “soft place to fall” one year ago(next week). He left for the airport one morning, I kissed him good bye and said “see you tomorrow night” and that was it. He died of an aortic dissection at the age of 58. So I know exactly how you feel. I felt like I must be crazy. I felt (and still often feel) like a ghost walking amongst the rest of the “living” world. I carry him with me every second of every day. So, I can say that 6 months is still so very fresh!! I’m just starting to come out of the fog from the past year and the realization that this is “really happening” is hitting me. I joined a grief support group after 8 months that met once a week for 2 months and we are trying to get together once a month to catch up with each other. The process was painful but to be with people who walk in your shoes is very comforting. I also started seeing a counsellor and can go and say, to her, anything I have been feeling without filtering it. I always feel so much more grounded when I leave her office. There are many triggers every day that take its toll on me emotionally and physically. Like the previous writer I have read everything I can get my hands on and , unfortunately, feeling the grief, howling and wailing, is when you are moving forward, one inch at a time. God it hurts!! It can’t be rushed. Listen to yourself. Give yourself permission to do as much or as little as you want. Try to find a few people in your life that aren’t afraid of being around you. Even if they don’t know what to say and just listen to you talk, cry or scream. I’ve told my friends that not only does it take a village to raise a child, it talks a village to help someone through this because it’s a long process. Tell your friends that you need them. They will need you one day and you would be there for them, I’m sure. I would also say not to get too ahead of yourself. I try to look ahead only by a month or so. I can’t go much further than that or it’s too overwhelming. I hope something in this helps, even a tiny bit.

      October 2, 2017

      I am right here with you birdsong. Look me up at our soul survives. On the hard days study your atmosphere the spirit remains.

    • Rachel
      November 5, 2017

      It’s a hard thing to admit that, as amazing as your friends and/or family have been, you’re actually afraid to share too much of your grief incase they feel they can’t deal with it any more and start to distance themselves. Just that you are saying that speaks volumes about the fact that this is not a one-way street; you are still thinking about how they feel even when you are torn apart. Time is so incredibly elastic and meaningless; the first few days, weeks, months after my husband died were longer than the entire rest of my life put together; yet to everyone else it was still one day, one week, one month. Four months after he died had been four months to other people; I had managed to graduate from living one breath at a time to one whole minute at a time. ‘Real’ time as I’d known it before didn’t exist for me although the rest of the world continued around me measuring time the way it had been, and, for them, still was.
      After a while I lived in a weird ‘parallel universe’ kind of state where things like ‘we need milk’, ‘I have renew my car insurance’ were true and had to be dealt with but seemed impossible that they could exist at the same time as HE’S DEAD. I couldn’t reconcile the two yet I knew that they were both true and, whilst one wouldn’t change I still had my son to look after so I had to.
      I miss him so much and I always will; it doesn’t go away, it gets easier to deal with and becomes part of you; not how I ever thought it would be but, and I really, really mean this, as much as it hurt to lose him and still does, if I had known when I met him what I would have to go through I would still do it, he was worth it. Not everyone is lucky enough to find that so I count myself incredibly lucky to have had that everything-I-ever-wanted love with someone I still miss this much. Sorry for pouring my heart out quite so much, your honesty just made me want to reply n before I knew it I’d rambled on. It does get easier. The overwhelming feeling of loss is gradually exchanged for happiness when you think of them.

  4. Jac
    March 6, 2017

    This is beautiful, help makes so much sense of somthing that makes no sense 🙂 ii for you feel sunshine on your shoulders and that warmth radiating down into your heart.

  5. Sharon
    April 2, 2017

    Thank you everyone for sharing. It is six months since I came home from work and found my wife dead. I am truly all alone in the world. But God has put people arround me that have reached out to me. It was an unexpected death,we had just moved to a new state. I am still wailing. Everything and anything will make me breakdown. I have lost family before and friends that I loved. BUT, nouthing compares to this loss off my spouse. I don’t know who I am or how to be,anymore. I know she’s with God, not in pain, and I will see her again. But it doesn’t help. I feel frozen in time. I had no idea that it would be like this. I keep looking for a do over . Hearing others express their feelings lets me know I’m not crazy. Thanks.

    • andrewfeben
      April 3, 2017

      My husband died on 19th April last year and I felt pretty much like you do at 6 months. God has been incredibly good to me and so have friends, family and my church family. All I can say is that grief is a hard task master and nothing can hide that fact. I keep taking one day at a time and walking through it telling God exactly how I feel. Some days are better than others but I still have times when I feel just heartbroken and weep. Overall I can see much progression and I have times when I feel ok too. The balance gradually shifts towards feeling better but with up and down periods. I wish you love, peace and some joy on your journey. One of the things I’ve found a real blessing is a local widows/ers group where I’ve made some lovely friends. We understand each other’s ups and downs but we socialise and have lots of fun: dancing, theatre, meals out, canal boat trips, bowling etc. Good company has been essential for me and I trust that God will continue to send good people your way. And it IS good to know that you’ll be reunited in Heaven one day.

      This is a poem that “appeared” in my mind at three months:

      Written Tues 19th July 2016 and tidied up Sat 23rd:

      For My Andrew

      Exactly thirteen weeks,
      Exactly three long months
      Since I was forced
      To say goodbye.
      A cruel twist,
      A Great Shock,
      Savage Disease
      Wasted your body
      In matter of weeks.

      Minute by hour by day by week by month –
      The deafening silence;
      No sound of your voice
      Or your shoes clicking
      On the stone floors.
      No car,
      No calls,
      No laughter,
      The void where friendship stood,
      And Love.
      Someone to share with,
      To care for,
      To Love.

      All just memories now.
      Each one stinging like an arrow
      Each time one sneaks up
      And knocks me into the pit
      Of despair.
      I miss you.

      Alone now
      How can I get through this

      And yet I know
      One day
      I will see you again.
      We will both be changed,
      And live for all
      And Love.

      One day
      My memories
      Will bring me more joy
      than sadness.
      And my heart
      Will be at peace
      And filled
      With Love.
      I love you.
      My Andrew.

      One day I hope I can write something to reflect how interesting, lovely, loveable and bouncy he was but for now this is it really.

      I’ve read a good book called “Reflections of a Grieving Spouse” by H Norman Wright if you find reading helpful.

      • peter
        July 10, 2017

        I’m 6 months down the line after my wife passed away in January 2017. Everyday is like pushing treacle up a hill (its a local Irish saying here)…. I just feel I’ll never get over this sense of total loss.
        This poem has been a real encouragement to me today… I know that one day I’ll see my beautiful wife again…. better still…. we’ll both be changed… no more pain….no more ravages of desease…. no more tears …no more loss….TRANSFORMED TO BE JUST LIKE JESUS!!
        Because He love I can face tomorrow!!

  6. Homer martin
    April 14, 2017

    Most of your thoughts are what i feel as well. Good luck on finding peace. Now i’ll try not to spend the day crying.

  7. elena benton
    May 25, 2017

    In reply to the 6 month anniversary of my significant other’s death, i just wanted to say that in 5 days it will be my george’s anniversary of his sudden and unexpected death from acute liver failure. I am feeling just as raw and horrible as i did at first. I’ve been feeling eapecially emotional and physically drained the past few days and i hadn’t even remembered the upcoming anniversary until a little while ago. I feel like i am regressing instead of progressing.

  8. Linda
    May 31, 2017

    Saying ‘goodnight dear’ to a photo makes me weap some nights and smile others. How can 6 months be so long and go by so fast at the same time. My husband and I should have had 15 or 20 more years together. Now I understand even that wouldn’t have been enough. Thank you for sharing your thoughts for others to know they are understood.

  9. Athena
    June 9, 2017

    I appreciate you all sharing your stories of grief, they have helped me “today”.
    It has been six months since my husband passed away. We knew he was really sick but we always hoped he’d get better. It would seem that death is a little easier when you know a person is “sick” versus something that happened suddenly like tragedy or accident but its no difference. This year we would have celebrated our 20th anniversary. If I can just get past these firsts. First birthday, first Christmas, etc. I have to admit these first are the worst. I will say though, there was one comment the blogger made about if it weren’t for his small son he would just fade away to be with his spouse. Yes, our young daughter is the one thing that gives me strength and keeps me with a positive outlook. I often have to think about what will she do if I go out of my mind and can’t keep it together. So, for every one of you that is grieving, just know that God will heal us and our loved one needs to see us smile for they are watching over us and do not want to see us in tears. Trust, we will never forget the true love we have in our hearts for them. Never.

  10. paul
    June 27, 2017

    It’s been almost 7 months since my wife passed away from complications of cancer. I so thought she was coming home from the hospital, I went and bought her a new robe and nightie to wear when they released her. I thought I was getting over her. I didn’t realize how much I depended on her presence. Her death has affected me more than any other of my loved ones.I don’t have dreams of her. I wish I would. I wish that she would visit me in my dreams.Just one more chance to tell her I really loved her. I have no idea if grief counseling will help. It seems that I stayed busy and put the grief on hold. Now, as I recover from hip surgery, I sit by myself in an empty home and feel so lonely.I am unable to go out and do those things that kept me from grieving, so I feel the brunt of emptiness. Last night I finally went through her purse. I was afraid I would break down going through that which was the closest thing to being her. She never threw away receipts. She had a ton of spare change in it. There are many, many more things stored in cabinets and closets that I have to go through, and each will remind me of something about her. How do others get back to normal?

    • andrewfeben
      July 5, 2017

      Hi Paul

      It has been nearly 15 months for me and I can still have complete meltdowns! I’m not sure I’ll ever be completely “normal” again but maybe my experience might be helpful.

      Firstly I acknowledged that my way of life, my love and companionship, my hopes and dreams for the future, my old age companionship, my continuity from past to future, was all broken along with my heart. I poured out all my pain of separation to God, in whom I trust absolutely. Each time I cried out to Him, someone phoned, knocked on my door, FaceTimed, texted or something – any time of the night and day.

      After 3 months I wrote a poem and friends became more regulated in their contact while God spoke directly to me each time I cried out. I joined a widows group locally and continued to go to church where I was deeply cared for. I went off to visit friends and family. After about 6 months different family/friends/church family began helping me to sort things out at home, all the samples and paperwork from my sweetheart’s business, accounts, Probate, clothes, gardening, etc. I found it much better not to do those things on my own while I was in shock and feeling traumatised.

      I also faced doing things on my own – two weddings, a funeral, visiting long distance friends and family, even though I cried on every long journey in the car.

      For me it helps to go out and see someone or have someone round every day but also to have time alone to grieve in whatever way I need to. I look at photos, listen to all the flashbacks I have as memories are triggered by the least things, cry if I need to, I’m patient with myself.

      Now I also get jobs done around the house, sometimes I do them and sometimes I have to pay professionals depending what the jobs are. I go on holidays with friends, out to theatre, cocktail bars, concerts, dancing (learning Ceroc and ballroom) with the widows and I play in the band at church and do lots of things with people from there too. Company is a big help.

      I wish you every blessing and success at moving through this grief process. I think I will always miss him, always have a degree of sadness, even if I were ever to meet someone else. Normality creeps up, as time goes by it lingers longer each time it comes so that intense grief gradually lessens and hits less frequently. I can see the progress I’ve made but I still have a way to go and it can’t be rushed – the only way is through it. Distractions help but sometimes they leave the grief bottled up to burst out in a greater way later. Every person has their own experience of grief too but there are many common threads. It has been wonderful to have so much fun with other widows(ers) while we also have such a deep understanding of each other.

      I wish you all the best … Carol

  11. Mary
    July 18, 2017

    Wow…so similar to how I have felt and am feeling coming up on the six month mark of the sudden death of my husband. It is very comforting to know that others are out there who truly understand. Thank you.

  12. RonP
    July 18, 2017

    Lost my wife of 53 years in Jan of 2017. I though that I had my very own personal Hell. But I’m finding folks like you all very kind, loving and willing to share your feeling with others. Some people say to me that I’ll get use to my new normal. Well its hard to believe that as we felt that we were soulmates. I won’t feel normal until I back together with Joanne. Thanks for creating this blog.

  13. Brenda Sue Caselton
    July 19, 2017

    This is as well my six months.. I lost my love in a horrific DUI… The woman turned left in front of his motorcycle.. and gone, 28 years I was Blessed to have him. She was twice the legal limit. She is wealthy and I have learned she may not ever feel the impact of her choices that day. Nothing is like you ever think it is or nothing is like people think it is… The perpetrator has all the rights and protections. The victim gets the death penalty and we all get life without him. I have no true maliciousness toward her.. She is a human being with an addiction and not my place to judge. I am a true believer in God and know He is ultimately in control of everything. I trust his sovereignty. I cannot allow that kind of anger to take me out.. the grief is enough and stands on its own. I thought I was doing pretty well, getting back to work full time this past two weeks.. and for some reason, the 6 month mark is taking me out.. my brain is half or absent most of the time, I have no tolerance for the sustained level of stress my job requires… I have changed my home environment as much as I possibly can to allow me to tolerate living in the home we built together.

    Grief is the elephant in the room when I am with anyone.. no one knows what to say.. some have to high an expectation while others do not.. no one quite gets it.. until they get it.. and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone….

    It is so hard to move forward without looking back. Its like an emotional wall of humidity.. you walk out the door and the wall just takes your breath way… So many things take my breath away any more when it comes to grief. Music is slowly making its way back into my life, that helps, prayer of course helps, I have made a huge mess in my dining to hopefully pick up a paint brush again.. all coping strategies.. when I would rather just shut down and shut out the noise..

    Thank you for the opportunity to share. God Bless you all and your healing. Take Good care! BC

  14. Alan
    September 2, 2017

    I feel all of this for my wife who left with breast cancer a few months ago. It doesn’t get easier. I cried in the street tonight as I was walking home. We were always together. Now I’m always alone. I miss my Grace so much it is a big tearing ripped out chunk of me. She was my life and now I’m nothing. I’m crying as I write this. Sorry

  15. Sharon
    September 26, 2017

    I lost my soulmate of thirty three years suddenly while he was abroad.they buried him within 24 hour as this was there culture.With out a goodbye or whisper in his ear he was gone. I’m lost I don’t know how to begin again, it’s like everyday I relive it I am totally broken and as it was always just me and him. I’m trying to cling on to life as he would want me to but everything is so empty I feel like I no longer belong.

    • andrewfeben
      September 26, 2017

      Bless you, that is so hard. You don’t say when this happened but all I can say is just keep taking one baby step after another, somehow life goes on even though it doesn’t feel right or good, but somehow we get through one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. Grief is hard work and it hurts so much. It’s 18 months since I lost my soulmate and, though I still have some dreadful moments and lonely times, I also have times of peace and contentment. The first three months were the worst for me. I hope you have friends and family around you too, and neighbours. I also found my church amazing. Gradually the waves crash over me less harshly, less frequently, and I can see hope again sometimes. It’s good to go out somewhere every day or have friends visit. I feel for you. It will slowly get a little better but it’s a place we’d much have preferred not to know about.

  16. Alan Holmes
    October 2, 2017

    First time I have seen this first time I have cried, been seven months since my wife was taken after fifty two years together,all I think of is the things I should have said and done but didn’t, my family think that I am coping well that’s not so, maby thing will get better time will tell.

  17. Andy
    October 22, 2017

    Each and ever feeling you have I understand. I too am at a six month period. I still have no understanding why I was left. Why cancer finished my wife in months. I understand being dead inside. I could stand in a crowd of 50000 and feel alone. My best buddy my life my absolute angel has gone. Life for me is not happy or fun. I can’t even switch my pc on as I just don’t have the desire to do things. I only pray that people who read messages understand there are other too around the world hurting. You never know or realise the level of pain the person next to you struggles with daily. If I am lucky I will see my wife again and get to experience all the things that made us both one x

  18. Alan Holmes
    October 22, 2017

    Eight months since I lost my wife, and all this time I have been trying to act as though all is well, for my family and friends, for the most part it is and then there are days when I feel so angry for no reason at all, other times I just feel so sad, every day I speak to her as I always did perhaps I am not willing to let go why should I, maby one day the hurt will go until then I will just have to be a rock for my family.

  19. Zach
    October 24, 2017

    Its been a little over 4 month since she passed away suddenly our daughter is 9 1/2 months. I truly felt every word you said thank you for saying it.

  20. Anne John
    October 29, 2017

    I lost my husband 7 months ago. His passing was too sudden that i was hoping it was just a nightmare and i will wake up and things remain the same…at the same time i keep wishing he will come back to me in no matter what form. He did came to me in my sleep, saying nothing but just to give me clear message that i have to move on without him. As much as i wanted to move on s good i could, i get really down. Everytime i was so down, i do nor find comfort from the living no matter how good their intention are… i brike down until i am too tired. He would came in my sleep, saying nothing but just a comforting smile and kind gesture in just a few seconds. Amazingly, that really comforted me.

  21. MIKE
    November 9, 2017

    Its been 7yrs and I’m still at a loss Thank God that I HAVE MY DOG

  22. Susan
    November 28, 2017

    I cried when I read this. My husband died six months ago suddenly and a horrible accident and everything you wrote I can relate

  23. Steve
    December 1, 2017

    Today makes 6 months since I lost the love of my life, my best friend, my wife of 33 years. I’ve read the other posts and to all of you, I am truly sorry you are going through what you are. The comments about letting people know how sad you are really rings true. You want to tell them when they ask, but you don’t want to have them avoid you so they don’t have to have that uncomfortable conversation. Such a lonely time in my life. I just spent my first Thanksgiving without her. 35 years of doing the same thing, on a day we both enjoyed, is no more. I am just rambling because I can’t seem to even prepare a complete thought these days. I guess I found this blog to make sure I’m not crazy. Thanks to each and every one of you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I pray that you will all find comfort and peace.

  24. Patricia Robertson
    December 3, 2017

    Today, Dec, 3, 2017 is my six months of grief. My husband died June 2. Feels like yesterday, but it feels like years also. You certInly put into words many of my feelings.

  25. Ana
    December 9, 2017

    Six months today, thank you for putting in words what I can’t .. A big hug!

  26. Roshni La Chapelle
    December 11, 2017

    I do understand your pain and grief I do feel the same way my husband died on the 25th of June 2017 and Christmas day will be six months. I feel so much grief and pain I dont know what to do again . My son is 10 and really misses his dad.I cried everyday for six months. I do miss him so much

  27. Colin craib
    December 19, 2017

    I lost my wife three months ago today to stage4 lung cancer and I used to wonder when she was alive what would life be like if anything happened to her, I know now it’s horrible and I feel so lonely without her we were not the most intimate couple with each other but I miss her humour she always had the last word in anything I even miss the arguments we used to have,I miss running to the shop for her,I miss the stories she told me about her family growing up ,There is so much I miss the main thing I miss about her is when there was problems with in our family she was the one who would always look on bright side and calm everything down I don’t have that in me ,we have two daughters and three grandchildren and she loved them so much so do I ,But they have there own problems in life and I not so understanding with them but I help them out a lot with money etc,My workplace has been godsend taking my mind off it a lot but I sometimes think my workmates are thinking I have got over my wife’s death very fast but Iam not,just lately just anything that reminds me of her like her cup which she drunk out of or a song she liked comes up on the radio I break down And the tears flow ,A workmate said to me the other week would I be looking for someone else now I felt angry in a way when he said it but it did get me thinking what will happen in the future to me Iam 47 will I get over it someday I have not been with a other women than my wife for 25 years,I went on the staff Xmas party last week I did not won’t to go but workmates pleaded with me to go it was a good laugh we ended up in a nightclub I felt ancient as most of the clientele looked 18 to 20 then I felt guilty being there saying to myself ,jenny my wife would be looking down on me saying what are doing in a nightclub with so young people.i I don’t know what the future holds for me I know this first xmas without her will be awful but I have to make special for our daughters and grandchildren.

  28. Margaret
    January 7, 2018

    Thank you for putting your feelings into words. I lost my husband 6 months ago. So suddenly. Unexpected. The first few months are a blur as there were so many unfinished projects that had to be handled before winter. I was so busy I didn’t allow myself to grieve. I had lots of company and it was revolving beds with changing sheets and getting meals ready. Then the phone calls and company stopped. Just like that. It has hurt that old friends of ours as a couple just haven’t called or stopped in. I am fortunate that some have and they have been my rock. I think everyone saw me as going and doing and figured “ she’s over it”. I am not “over it”. The projects and fleury of activity has slowed. I now have time to think of how alone I am and the tears flow freely. Our children had died previously in same accident so I really am alone. People mean well but always manage to ask in front of others “ so how are you doing”. So I put on a brave face and say fine. Do you really think I’m going to tell you how I’m doing? Call me is you need help they say. No I won’t call them. They all have their own lives and family. However, if you know my gate or door needs fixing why don’t you ask when I’m going to be working on it and show up to help. No I won’t ask you for help. So at six months for me I allow myself to grieve in private. I miss my husband of 51 years. Miss him lots. We would visit and talk lots everyday. We were both handymen so to speak and did our own repairs together. Now I have to hire someone. For those that have always hired they don’t understand what’s the big deal. All decisions that should be molehills feel like mountains because there is no one to share with. It’s hard. It’s very lonely. There are days I barely move and I just want his arms around me. So I grieve and cry in my own time. No one sees. No one hears. The doorbell rings and the happy face is on again for their sake. I hate the pretense of saying it’s all ok. What else can I say. Unless you’ve been through the loss of losing first children and then a husband you couldn’t know my loss. I don’t want to make you feel bad so it’s just better to say all
    Is good. I’m not sure they even notice the swollen eyes. Maybe once all the firsts are over it will get easier. I’m sure it will.

  29. SB
    January 10, 2018

    I lost my partner…my fiancé but we balked at the term because we really didn’t do a traditional engagement or want a traditional wedding. The man I was going to marry passed away suddenly the night we had a conversation about the need to see a lawyer as we look toward moving in and combining assets (he has children so we wanted to be smart).

    We met a little later in life…I’m in my 40s. It was the first sober and honest relationship we both purported to have. It feels like something opened in my heart and is now slamming shut in fear of ever daring to think I’m capable of a life that speaks to hope and joy. I was warned that around 5 months there can be a ‘dip’ as reality sinks in. Yet I’m still surprised by how desperately I find myself yearning for him when I thought I was starting to lift out of the darkest hours.

    I’m told this will pass and then there will be another dip around 9 months or whatever…I just want for so much that no longer exists. Its very lonely when the shock wears off and you realize that people who have not been through this will no longer understand the intensity of grief’s return now that time is passing and life is resuming. That in order to keep going I have to return to the things we loved to do…alone. That absence, when the time comes, I imagine will be paralyzing at times.


  30. SB
    January 10, 2018

    I also understand what you mean about the projects. I am not a handyman but we were going to renovate together with him guiding me…was going to be a fun adventure. Now I have a home of projects as well and I cant afford or justify paying someone to come in to do things like mouldings which I hear is doable? lol…
    It’s very overwhelming and frustrating because grieving alone and in private, as it happens after everyone leaves, well, I want my home to feel connected or organized or complete or different. Something…something other than discombobulated. Not sure how to explain that.

  31. Bill
    January 15, 2018

    I lost my wife of 31 years to cancer on September 2 2017. It’s been 41/2 months and I miss her so much. I knew losing my lovely wife was going to be hard but I had no idea it would be this hard. I cry every day. I’m hoping for the day that I stop crying and begin to feel better. I miss my wife so much.

  32. Dave
    February 4, 2018

    I’m also 6 months into my grief of loosing my wife
    It’s a very difficult time and for me more so as we had been sailing around the world for the last 10 years achieveing incredible milestones.We had been happily married for 40 years.Im slowly coming to terms with myself and luckily I met a lady who is inderpendently wealthy and is very well balanced, what’s more she is a very good physiologist and Although I don’t want to get involved we will certainly become good friends so I will let you know how the healing processes continue

  33. Colin craib
    February 4, 2018

    I lost my wife to lung cancer on 19th September today was her birthday my grandkids were singing happy birthday to her picture had to through to the toliet and broke down so I know what you are going through just little things set me off people say it gets easier but at the moment it’s still raw.

  34. Jeff
    February 17, 2018

    I have the same feelings as expressed. 6 month anniversary of my wife’s sudden death. I feel all of the emotions you write about. It has helped me to realize that I’m not going crazy b but rather still experiencing uncontrollable grief. And that’s OK. Thank you.

  35. Claudio Belli
    February 18, 2018

    I agree with you. It’s been six months since my wife died. I am so sad because my son won’t have his mom. How do you ever get over what happen. My son is my rock he is only 11 years old and he is strong and alaways tells me everything is going to be ok. I try to be postive and happy but would lie to you if that were true. But last thing told my wife that I will make sure are son will be taken care of and he will live a good life But it’s been so hard and am hoping am making the right choices. So all I can do so is live each day and keep my promise to my wife. They say it gets better as time goes by, but it does not I miss my wife even more as the days and months go by.

  36. Pammi Kalley
    March 26, 2018

    My wife passed away on Friday 5th January 2018, after fighting a brave and courages two year battle with Ovarian cancer, she passed away at home with me and the rest of our family members by her side. she was one month away from her 58 birthday and we’d been married for 32 years. Its nearly three months now since she’s passed away but the memories are still fresh in my mind. She was a beautiful, kind and loving person and she was everyone’s best friend. I miss her so much its hard to explain and having read the blog it has all the emotions I feel all day every day.
    Life without her is so empty and meaningless, I cry everyday thinking about her and how the cancer changed her, from being a healthy and beautiful person to a shadow of her self, what hurts most is the flashbacks I get of how she was during the final stages of her life, it is so unfair that someone like her had to endure such an illness.

  37. Jane Strauss
    April 2, 2018

    I have been sitting wondering if my feelings of fear, desolation, hopelessness are normal at 6 months (I lost my husband on 19 September 2017). I am beginning to realise that grief is unique. We each experience what we need for as long as we need to. I am one of the strongest women I know, but this loss has broken me and changed me and changed the course of my life. I wish I could find my old strength, I can’t…it’s gone. I hope to evolve into a better me, a more caring me. This grief thing is the pits, it hits you from all sides and unexpectedly, just when you think you have it controlled. We will all get through this on our own way and our own time, and that is more than ok.

  38. Steve
    April 2, 2018

    I am sorry you must go through this Jane. I hope you are able to find your “new normal”, and you will. Stay strong, find happiness, it is so easy to get lost in the grief. You will come out on the other side but the journey is yours, no one else can tell you which road to take. May Christ’s Peace be with you.

  39. Christine Letters
    April 15, 2018

    I was in a blur when it happened and just did what had to be done but l find six months on l feel so sad cheated and lost.l imagine l hear his voice or key in the door and find myself saying goodnight and talking to someone l know is gone.there is no future to look forward to no plans to make just existence.the despair is constantly with me.l try not to show it but we were together 40 years we were best friends who were married ldont think it would change and we would go together l feel guilty l let him go alone.

    • Kate Kirby
      April 15, 2018

      I am your sister in the six months since way, Christine, and I find I am ok when I have people around me, but hate driving back from somewhere on my own, music can stir up the memories and make me feel my husband was cheated of a happy decade or two. I am worse when I am tired I think we have to really focus on looking after ourselves now in the same way as we looked after our men. xx

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