Bereaved family and friends

For anyone who has lost a family member or friend to cancer to share their feelings and support one another.

Newly bereaved. Nothing prepared me for it.

JBJ48
Posted by

I have just recently lost my amazing husband after two years with cancer.

Knowing that his cancer was incurable was hard but we often talked and said how glad we were that we had some time to plan and prepare as we faced the inevitable. I can't think of anything worse (for me that is) than to lose someone suddenly and unexpectedly. I don't pretend that it was easy for him but I know he found some comfort in knowing the time was limited and being able to make the most of his good times. 

So my love died, and everyone rallied around, as they do, in the few weeks afterwards, then .....NOTHING! 

Why do people do that? Why do they think they don't need to be around for me after the funeral? I am SO incredibly lonely. Twenty four hours in a day is way too long to be on one's own. Of course, I do go out and make a point of seeing people, having a coffee or doing a spot of shopping but if I didn't do that, I'd see no-one. No-one visits, or invites me out or asks if I need anything. No one offers any practical help and I am way too proud to ask. It's difficult to admit that the person they all think is so strong and resilient is actually crumbling away. I am fearful of everything from sleeping, to opening letters, dealing with mundane matters and speaking on the phone. I loathe the weekends which are long, quiet and boring. These are my worst days. We've just had two bank holiday weekends and the various strands of my family all held get togethers / bar b q parties etc. I received not one invitation. Not one! I find it unbelievable. 

I know I sound very whiny and self-pitying but in the main, I'm not. I am just incredulous. I know it is still early days and I am sure (hope) things will get better but I still have moments when I wonder what it's all about. 

Any advice or tips form others who have lost someone please? How do you get through it and  bring meaning back to life?

Thanks, JBJ48

Sunny43
Posted by

Hi JBJ48. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. I’m in a different position, I lost my beloved mum to bowel cancer last september. That’s what is so helpful about this site, we are connected to people on here because of awful cancer. When mum’s funeral was over, relatives stayed in touch for a couple of weeks, then they go back to their normal lives. My relatives are lovely people and if I really needed them, I could just pick up a phone. Everyone, deals with grief differently. I have a lot of those big and not so big waves of grief. I find the weekend the worst too, I will be glad when it’s monday.  I wish there was a magic cure for grief. What’s got me through the last few months is family, friends, the lovely people on here and believing that mum is still around and watching over me. Mum might not be here in physical form but, mum will be always beside me in spirit. If you want to keep in touch just send me a friend request. With this site, you realise your not alone and people on here will help/support you. Take care xx

Hope_29
Posted by

I’m so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, people are cowards about death. I don’t know how else to say it, but most people do their utmost to run away from their mortality (I was once the same before I went through it myself), and seeing another person’s grief is almost too ‘real’ for many people to deal with. It’s very sad, and silly considering life and death are inevitably interlinked, but there we are.

I don’t believe many people avoid someone to deliberately be hurtful, but it certainly exposes their weakness and it can cause great pain as you know. I have been astounded by the disappearance of old friends who basically ran a mile a few weeks after my Mum died. I know it’s so hard, but try to keep your heart open and I promise new people will enter your life in time. It takes a while and honesty, but often the friend for a reason/season phrase is very true. 

Please keep talking to us too, as we all care x

Hope_29
Posted by

Just to add that some people may think they are giving you ‘space’ to cope with your grief. I know it sounds like a rubbish excuse but to some people they may think you want to be alone at this time. Be honest if they ask how you feel. Take care x

JBJ48
Posted by

Thank you Hope_29. You could well be right - people can be absolute cowards and it certainly makes sense to think that they find their own mortality almost too much to deal with when faced with death and bereavement in others. I do however have to accept that some, hopefully in the minority, really don't care and that would be a shock to most I think. 

I've had two lovely replies on this forum so thank you for that Hope and Sunny. 

On a positive note, I had a most unexpected invitation to go out for lunch yesterday from someone I would only have described as an acquaintance and surprise surprise, I accepted. It was lovely. They were so caring and concerned for me which is amazing given that we don't really know each other that well. They said they had experience of people drifting away after the funeral so we were immediately on the same wavelength. It was a very warm experience and came at just the right time so never a truer word Hope. 

Thank you again. Sending warm wishes to both of you and grateful thanks for taking the time to respond to me. 

JBJ48