Bereaved spouses and partners

A place for widows and widowers to share their feelings and support one another.

What's happened to me

Posted by

So it is now 15 months since Paul died and I am not comfortable with where I am now.

The early days were so so difficult and I expected that and thought I would be able to move on eventually and possibly even feel more able to cope but this just isn't happening. 

I can only describe my life now as 'flat'

I have a new beautiful granddaughter born at the beginning of February who I love with all my heart but something (someone) is missing and I'm not sure I will ever be able to feel really happy ever again.  This frightens me

Before Paul became ill and subsequently diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer we were a newly married couple with everything to look forward to. The treatment (chemo, picc line etc) was traumatic for both of us. Paul dealt with it better than me. He was a thinker and never lost hope of being cured. 

Becoming a full time carer, seeing a loved one suffering has taken it's toll. I've had counselling (3 rounds from various places) but just feel flat.

Dr prescribed antidepressants which don't help really.

I'm working from home, maintaining the house, caring for my children and beloved golden retriever and now I have the most beautiful granddaughter who I have spent the afternoon today with enjoying a huge amount of cuddles.

I just don't understand why I still just feel 'flat'

Love to everyone feeling this pain xXx

Posted by

I'm at 13 months and can identify much of what you say. It's just me and the cat, no children so although I try to get out most days spend long hours alone.

I finished my six sessions with CRUSE last week. 

I feel like I'm marking time with no prospects for any meaningful future.

My antidepressants have been increased but I'm not convinced it makes any difference.

Sorry but I'm not really helpful but just wanted you to know you aren't alone in your situation

My life ended with my soul mate on January 22nd 2018. Can't imagine any future
Posted by

Hi I understand what you say that flat feeling. I think because the constant caring and lifestyle was so different this actually is normal. It's  what most people experience  but I'm  just trying to think it's  different again. There is a huge hole and I sit and wonder what to do with myself. I am working part time but it was a stop gap mainly.

Take care xxx 

Posted by

Hi Honey666,

I can very much relate to what you have described in your post.

I too feel that my life is flat. Everything is going okay really but just the happiness, joy, enthusiasm are missing. I do what I do because I have to do it or parts of me even want to do it. Yes, flat is the right description also for me.

Yes, it is frightening that perhaps we will never ever feel as happy as we once were when your Paul and my Paul were still by our side.

Like the two of you, Paul and I had only been married for a very short time when he had to start Chemotherapy. Everything that we had been looking forward to was suddenly gone; we were only living from day to day thankful for yet another day together but knowing that there would not be too many days for us left. Yes, it was traumatic. My Paul was so strong and dealt with it all so well. I think I just went into caring-mode and didn't come out of it until long after his death.

I haven't done counselling but may do so in the near future. I am not sure yet.

I too am taking antidepressants and I wouldn't want to know what I would be like without them. I think they do help. But, even with that, my life feels flat too.

Working from home must be very difficult. I run two businesses, one therapy business where I go into my practice to see clients, and that is always such a relief to me when I can leave the house and go to work. The other business, transcription work, I am doing from home and I sometimes find it really difficult to be here during the day on my own. Often I work from home in the mornings and then run to work in the afternoon and often have even my lunch there before I see my first client just because I don't want to eat on my own at home.

I think what is happening to us is pretty normal. We have seen our husband really sick and get worse and worse and there was nothing we could do. And then we lost them and with them a future that we had so much hope for. Of course all this was very traumatic and I think we just can't get over that - will probably never get over it - but hopefully, as times goes by, learn better to live with it.

Big hug


I don't like "moving on" because it sounds like leaving our loved one and all that happened behind. But I like "moving forward" because it means that, in spite of my tremendous loss and the pain about that, I move forward in my own life taking Paul with me.
Posted by

You are very eloquent  as always and so completely saying how i feel too. Thankyou 

Posted by

Hi all,

i just want to add a thought, which may or may not be helpful.

i have only taken antidepressants for a month some years ago at a time of acute distress. They reduced my distress, but left me unable to fell anything, happy or sad. I had important decisions to make at the time, which was impossible to do without being in touch with my emotions. I didn’t feel at all myself and decided I’d rather be distressed, so I stopped them.

im not suggesting you stop your antidepressants. However I just wonder if the flatness that you feel might be made worse by the medication. 

Posted by

Hi Leintwardine,

That's a very interesting thought that I've been having as well on many occasions. And it's true: Antidepressants take the edge of feelings - but of the sad and anxious ones as well as of the happy and cheerful ones. I do see that as a big problem in our society that too often antidepressants are prescribed to make a person feel better when in fact they really would have to, with some help, go through whatever they are feeling and have to feel it - you know, get some counselling or therapy to work it through.

But my sense is, looking at my own experience as well as the ones of other members here on the forum, that the flat feeling is not so much due to the fact that the antidepressant has taken the edge of what we are feeling but simply because we don't know what to do with ourselves without our husbands/partners. It's like: Yes, I got up this morning, yes, I will have a friend coming for dinner later, yes, I will have to do a bit of housework... But there is no real joy in all of that, no happiness about it, it's motions you go through to keep alive and to do your best, but they don't feel right and certainly your whole heart isn't in them. Do you know what I mean?

Love, Mel.

I don't like "moving on" because it sounds like leaving our loved one and all that happened behind. But I like "moving forward" because it means that, in spite of my tremendous loss and the pain about that, I move forward in my own life taking Paul with me.
Posted by

I entirely agree, that’s why I said “made worse by” rather than “caused by”. I share all the feelings described, and I’m not on antidepressants.