How to understand and cope with the loss of your wife

My wife was unwell for the last 6 months of last year and had 3 spells in hospital 2 of which were in intensive care for 7-10 days. During those periods there was no indication that she had cancer and she was being treated for urinary infection and an infection she caught in hospital. On 16th October she was diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer we were told her diagnosis meant that she only had 6-9 months to live. Whilst we found that difficult to hear we had much we wanted to do together, we did not get the chance and she died in my arms 6 weeks later. Life feels totally unfair and my wife said to me “why does god take the good people”. I cannot answer that question, we have been married for 38 years and together for 40 years. We have two children who live at the opposite ends of the country so to see either one takes 5 hours and the other 7 hours to get to, because of COVID I see no one like many I am alone with my thoughts and this is my first step to attempting to deal with my loss and have steered away from getting any bereavement support but feel I need to do something as life feels futile and worthless. I had thought I may be beginning to cope but clearly I am wrong. My wife’s ashes still remain at the funeral home which I need to collect but have and continue not to do so as I feel that when I do that is the end and I like many I am sure sill live with denial thinking she will come

  • Hi somerpol

    Sorry you have had to join this group, but every one here understands what you are going threw.

    It is not an easy journey and i will say that now, but every thing you are going threw some one here can relate to it.

    I am 16months in and yes as time has   gone on do not cry every minuet that part has become easier.

    Though it was only last Wednesday that i asked for help from the counselling service related to the Hospice that my hubby was in.

    It is so hard and like you i was with him married 53years  but together longer, a life time..

    One day at a time is the only way to go small steps, every one here are great and always some one to listen and reply, we support each other.

    I would not have got this far with out their support.

    I do have my hubby's ashes at home and i seem to talk to him more now than ever before, i tell him everything that may have happeded.

    during the day.

    Even when i have had a bad day, as the lady at the Hospice said it will always be Ellie and Tom, as you move forward you will take him with you, he is always part of your life, and so will his children and grandad children,, that made me fill a lot easier.

    You will go threw so many different emotions all understandable and never know where they come from all part of the process.

    Please use this group when you need and have to, you have took a step forward and that is hard to do,

    Take Care Ellie xx


  • Hello Somerpol

    so sorry that you find yourself here but it will help you. 
    It’s been over 9 months since my husband died and it’s still very hard to deal with. 
    My husbands ashes are in the bedroom, I had planned to scatter them but not been able to due to Covid-19 and now I don’t think I can let go of them. 
    I still talk to my husbands photo at home and ask for his help out loud when I struggle to do things

    I haven’t had any bereavement support but have friends that I can talk openly with, but this site is great as everyone understands what you’re going through

    Life is unfair and that’s a fact

    Sending love xx

  • Sausagedog1,

    Initially I struggled to let go when my husband died, I felt I had to stay strong, arrange funeral, sort everything. But, the day I took the ashes home I walked in the house with the ashes tube in my arms... and sobbed

    Like you I had plans for my husband's ashes which were thwarted  due to Covid.. and now I dont feel that I want to let them go.  I also have a tin that contains some small bags of his ashes that were left over after I had some memorial jewellery  made.

    If I have to go away from home overnight  I make sure I take the tin with me... I know to many people it is simply a bit of ash but to me it is the very essence that was and still  is my husband.

    I dont know if or when I will ever feel ready to let them go... or if I keep them until my time comes in the future and we can be scattered at rest together.


  • Thank you for your kind words. For me collecting my wife’s ashes from the funeral home is difficult, I know it is something I have to do and I hate the thought of her being there all alone and I get feelings that I have abandoned her. Which is the same as I felt when I convinced her to go into the hospice as I selfishly felt I needed a break having been her sole career for the 6 months prior to her death. If only I had known at the time she would only live for a further 11 days I would never had done that. I find it very difficult to live with that decision and I know she did not like being in the hospice and thought I had left her there. I now feel as though I am letting her down again and do not know how to live with those feelings. She was the love of my life we were friends. When she was coming towards the end of my life and I tried to get her some help in the house she said to me “I am your wife you are my husband we take care of each other”. Those words resinate with me every day and I just feel that I am letting her down in death as I did just before she passed away. I know I need to collect her ashes but in one way it is me accepting she will never return to me which I just cannot accept at this time.

  • So sorry for your loss.

    it is 16 weeks tonight since I lost my wonderful, loving and caring husband. Monday evenings are always hard. 

    I struggled with getting my husbands ashes from the funeral parlour. I thought I was ready and made an appointment to collect them along with the photographs that we’d used in the order of service. When I sobbed looking through the photos with the lovely young man at the parlour, he gently pointed out that I didn’t have to take them until I felt ready, so on that occasion I came away without them. But as it got nearer to Christmas, and I had my sons and my daughter in law with me, I felt able to bring him home. I wanted him here for Christmas. So here he still is, in the garden room, somewhere he loved to sit, planning the next garden project. I know I’ve got to make the next step but I can’t think about it when it is so cold and wet outside. And yes, I talk to him all the time.

    And Somerpol,  I still have times where I think I can hear him in another room and expect him to come in bringing me a coffee.

    I’m still taking each day as it comes, on a bad day it’s each hour. I have photos of him all round the house- in almost every room. And I shed plenty of tears. But coming on this site really helps me as reading the posts of others in similar position reminds me that I’m not alone.

    Take care


  • Somerpol

    You did everything you thought was right at the time,, i have questioned  some decision's i made at the time, but they where right then.

    In one way when you collect her ashes you are taking her home, and that would be quiet nice.

    My hubby always said  if anything happened to him i was to scatter his ashes in a certain place and i have to be honest  at the time i said i would, but now i can not do that.

    He was a HGV driver all his life and wanted to go on the M25 and i just cannot do that., and i have to live with that.

    So he can wait in our home till it is my turn, then we will be together again.

    Take Care Ellie x.  


  • Hi somerpol 

    Me and my husband had been together 20 years for the first 8 weeks I lived in denial it was easy to do because he used to work away and it was less than 4 weeks from diagnose to him passing with regards to the ashes i wanted them home as soon as possible it is strange whot you fixate on , out of all the things the undertaker talked about the one thing that played in my mind was the bit about them not being responsible if anything was to happen to his ashes all I could think was that would be my luck and his family would never forgive me . I have been able to cope without any bereavement support i think this group and keeping myself busy with work has helped me cope .if needed reach out to any help you can everyone goes through the stages of grief differently 

  • Dear Somerton

    For what its worth my friend - bring your love one home to you. To be with you as she was in life. Then she will be there with you in a form of physicality as well as Spirituality. Its then you will be reunited and together again. I did this and my dear wifes ashes lay to rest alongside the bed we shared in life. I find this a great comfort. 


    At the end of all our journeying will be to find ourselves back where we started knowing the place for the first time. TS ELIOT.

  • Hi somerton , I totally agree with Geoff. , I have my wife’s ashes at home and it ie like she is here with me. I also find it a great comfort. 

    Love you always Winnie xx
  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to Geoff999

    Geoff, I have my Lynn’s ashes next to my bed too.  It is most comforting having her close.