We are Macmillan. Cancer Support
It will be eight weeks tonight since my dear Husband died and it seems like a lifetime and yet only yesterday at the same time. i woke this morning to a lovely sunny day but then realised i have to spend the weekend alone .. again... I have no children and no family living close, my friends all have their own families and lives to live at the weekends... like we did. We would spend all our weekends together and I never realised how much this meant to me.He did all the cooking as his hobby really. and I would get on with various jobs in the house or garden, but all the time we would be sharing and talking together. Now there's no one........ The dog is lovely but doesn't have much he can share other than his walks food and his unconditionla love. And he is also part of my problem in that he cannot be left at home at all as he has separation anxiety and would wreck the house if I left him even for a short time, so he goes everywhere with me in th back of my car!!
Now it is so lonely just no one to share things with and today I probably won't talk to anyone. To cap it all my phone isn't working so I really wil be alone all weekend. What do others do? I'm dreading easter and the other bank holidays as it will be the same as the weekends. I tell everyone I'm doing fine but they don't know how much I'm missing him, and most times I just blot it out. Then reality hits again. Fed up with people telling me it's early days as that doesn't help at all, it just makes me feel even more desperate that it will never get better than this.
Is this all there is for the rest of my life? I'm only 60 and just retired too so I'm really feeling the double loss.
Laing, my husband died 6 weeks ago today. I'm a mere child of 58 and won't be able to retire until I'm 65. I know what you mean about weekends. As I love rugby I've been watching the internationals on TV, but I miss talking to Laing about the games, especially the games when Scotland did well, like last weekend.
As a same sex couple, we don't have the consolation of another generation, but we knew it came with the territory back then. I would sometimes make dinner at weekends and Laing would be there to advise me which saucepan or bowl to use. He would sometimes make blueberry muffins for breakfast, making the dough Friday afternoon and then cook them Saturday morning, the scent wafting about the house. Yes we shared and chatted, not necessarily about anything in particular.
It's a bugger the phone going down, any idea what the problem is? We all respond to our loss differently. I'm not immune to tears, but I guess as Laing said he never thought he would live to be 60 (his parents both died in their early 60s when he was in his late teens early 20s) I was more ready for this time than I realised. As lung cancer doesn't have the best survival statistics going for it I suppose that made it seem all the more inevitable. My pain is he died a week to the day after we got married, a week to the day before his 57th birthday. We would have celebrated 37 years of friendship (we were friends the moment we met) on 14th February. I've come through all of this relatively unscathed, but at this stage I suppose I"m more on auto pilot and I had lots of friends supporting me in the first weeks.
If you get offers of company, going out somewhere, take them upon the offer. You can always put in your own provisos, such as the dog coming with. Life doesn't end because you retire. My late aunt went to the University of the Third Age and started painting. I'm not claiming she was a Turner or Picasso, but she was able to make some lovely pictures. Sadly, other members of the family got their hands on them before me! You're never too late to explore more about yourself.
You are not alone as long as you are here. I may live by myself, but I have got the support of the most amazing people from Macmillan. You have my support too.
Here's giving you a virtual hug and a virtual squeeze of the hand, the best I can offer. It is probably what we miss most of all. I know I do.
I echo Tim's reply-this site offers such support and solace. You might also try the Way Up site which is an organisation run for and by bereaved spouses/partners (over 50) (There is another site 'way' for under 50s.
We all deal with grieving differently -I coped at the beginning but have found that four months on it gets tougher and yes I find the weekends can be very lonely. At the weekend my stepson goes away to visit his girfriend (and I encourage him) so the weekend is often just me and the tw dogs. I have been invited for supper twice by old friends and it was enjoyable but the next day (Sunday) I get sad thinking of Mel not being there with me.
Like yourself I had just retored and Mel had taken early retirement when she was diagnosed. And sometimes I wonder about the future and loneliness. But as I said on another posting-cancer destroyed one life and I won't let it destroy my life or that of Mel's parents or her two stepsons so I keep on moving forward-taking a day at a time, knowing that the next day is sometimes ok and at times enjoyable. I also go to CRUSe counselling which you may find useful-I find it invaluable.I'm also volunteerig to work woth Cancer Research UK as one of their'ambassadors'. Possibly in a month or so you may want to consider voluntary work?
Hope this helps somewhat
Hi Monica, I have joined today, so that I can tell you, I’m at the same stage as you. Its just 9 weeks today that my wife died. I met her when I was a young innocent of 16, we married when I was 18, & I’m now 61; married for 43 years 7 months; together over 45 years. For the last 22 years we even worked together, selling/fitting camper parts, so not separated even for work. Just like you we worked in the garden together at weekends. And you know what they say about ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone’? well…. I ripped my trousers the other day…she would have had them off me before my feet touched the floor she would have had them on her sowing machine & patched em (there only used for gardening).
We tried not to make plans because something would always crop up to stop them, so most things we did on the spur of the moment. When we did make plans last July/August it was to build a camper of our ‘own’ & then go where we want, when we want. THAT’S when she was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder, last week of September. Chemo started October; stopped 5th November saying ‘your too poorly to have any more’!? couple of days later had scan, few days after that was rushed into hospital with high levels of calcium; the ‘normal’ rate for calcium is 2.5. if it goes up to 2.7 or down to 2.3 your hospitalised, that’s how critical it is. My wife’s was recorded at 3.8…they didn’t know how she was still alive! It was at this point we worked out the cancer had spread.
I really do believe, it was the chemo that spread it, because nothing else came into contact with the cancer to spread it into the blood & remember the first scan showed it to be present only in the bladder. Officially they told us 4th December there was nothing they could do for her (merry Christmas – that’s me being sarcastic).
My wife died 10.10am 31st December – new years eve.
I have NEVER been alone in my life, until now. So please believe me when I say, I do understand your feelings of loneliness, & the feeling that its getting worse rather than better. As the others have said, I too have good days & bad days. Though the good days seem to last longer & as for the bad ones…well I can tell you that I cried so much last Thursday, that my head felt as if it would explode…& it did; my nose bled for half an hour. Mind you, it stopped me crying.
And of coarse the hardest thing to do is take your own advise; I tell others in this situation ‘it will not get better or go away, but you will come to terms with it & learn to live with it, but it will take time’. Knowing it, does not help much when its you that’s in that situation.
I don’t think there’s a cure for feelings such as ours, if anyone comes up with one, they’d make a fortune. So just keep yer head up & look forward to the warmer weather….
Monica, if I knew where you lived I would come & give you a hug…but that’s me being selfish, because it would mean that I get a hug from someone who knows….
If you do something temperary it will remain temperary.
If you put it off, it may never get done.
I have just logged on and read your post, I am so sorry to hear of your husbands passing my heart goes out to you. I dont visit the site as much now but I do still recieve messages and your post touched a raw nerve.I lost my dearest husband and best friend on 20th August 2011 which seems like so long ago but still hurts like it was last week. I am a good bit further along lifes journey than yourself but like yourself I miss his presence and companionship so much.
I wish I could give you some tips or advise to make it easier for you but I really don't have any, I just wake up each day and face whatever comes.I am lucky I do have a family who I see often and they help a bit but no matter how much they give of their time it does not ease the loneliness when I close the door after they leave.I find myself often just needing to get out of the house to take away the quietness.I also tell people I am fine and coping, well, that is what they want to hear us say.
I know I am stronger now and that time is healing the hurt but I still wish I could have back my old life,and I am sure that is also how you feel,we don't know what twists and turns lifes journey will take us on but I try to believe that somewhere along the way happy times will surely come again.
I wish I could reach out and just give a comforting hug sometimes i think that would help so much.Let yourself grieve but do try to push yourself forward your husband would not wish you to be sad,take small steps and be kind to yourself.I wish you well.
Hi Allan, Ive just read your post and am really sorry for your loss..Its early days and you must be utterly lost..
I lost my husband nearly 3 years ago who was the love of my life..never apart in the 36 years of marriage and ..like yourself ..this has been the first time i have been alone . Its been a long journey to get where i am today and yes it does get easier but the tears and the emptiness are still there .
Theres no kidding myself the void left is a part of my life which no one can fill not even family or my beloved grandchildren ..as you say..there is no cure .
Take baby steps ..you will cry rivers ..all part of the healing process and grief.. dont be hard on yourself talk about it as much as possible let it all out .... I wish you well Alan..
You starting your reply as "Dear Monica" reminded me of Laing'a love for Nancy Banks Smith, the most wonderful TV reviewer, in the Guardian. Too long to explain here the reason why, suffice to say, you put a smile on my miserable old chops.
I thought Laing and I had no friends to speak of, well I am ashamed to say we do (and they love him still as much as when he was alive so the present tense and plural are accurate). First one of our oldest friends came from Switzerland to help me through the first few days. That's friendship. I thought we were good friends but not that good. Shows you how wrong you can be.
I've had offers of help and e-mails from all over. The proprietor of the cafe where we used to go for lunch in Venice e-mails me from time to time. He is such a sweetheart, and we thought we were just regular annual customers. Shows you how wrong you can be, again.
It is a sad fact of life that it is only in adversity you find out more about yourself and others. Well, I've learned not to underestimate people. Obviously Laing won them over with his good looks and charm and they are feeling sorry for me (tongue somewhat in cheek!).
No matter what Alison, you are not prepared "for the worst", an expression I now don't recognise, since Laing was released from pain and also he sort of implied he might be a burden to me. A burden!?!? I did everything for him for one reason only, we may not have uttered the words "in sickness and in health" but that's what a true relationship is all about. If I had to go through this again I would willingly do so if I ever meet somebody with whom I could form a relationship. He wouldn't, naturally, be a replacement or anything like that, he would be my new other half.
Phew, another short e-mail turns into an epistle of biblical proportions, I apologise. Good night all, sweet dreams and here's giving you all a good night hug.
If you have any questions about Macmillan we would love to hear from you
You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2014
what are these?