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Bereaved spouses and partners

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

Lost, confused and emotionally void

Lizzy-K
Posted by

My husband Sam, passed away on the 8th of May he was 62 and had been diagnosed last August with stage 4 oesophageal cancer. He'd had health problems for the last 10+ years heart disease,  arthritis,  anaemia. 

I was able to nurse him at home without any intervention, i learned as I went along with phone support and instructions.  For Sam to pass away peacefully with just us all there (myself, his two Sons and my Son and Daughter) was exactly right  for him. we coped with a small funeral no wake just takeaway pizza and because of coronavirus we didn't feel so bad with it being that way, we were lucky we got to say goodbye. 

Today i realised that I am numb and void of any feeling. I don't know what I'm supposed to be feeling or thinking anymore. 

I don't think I have cried since he passed away, only at the funeral, the rest of the time I have been functioning in neutral. Maybe because I was able to prepare myself for the outcome I think i went through a grieving process from December onwards as his Chemotherapy finished he started to fade away.

One thing which is comforting is that you are all out there, supporting each other, writing about your experiences and just being there, it's helps thank you. 

 

 
Cry because it's over but smile because it happened 
Owl58
Posted by

Yes we are all out here. Sitting in the dark. I nursed him by myself and like you learned as I went along. When he died I was so tired and so numb. Then the awful grief. I didn’t eat and lost 2 stone. Looked great but so what without him.  Now I am just lost.  Like he’s gone but I don’t know where he is and I don’t know how I am supposed to deal with this. I talk to him all the time in my head. Strangely I didn’t cry at his funeral   Got a lot of funny looks from other women. Perhaps I was supposed to throw myself on his coffin and get  the sanctimonious vicar to send us both into the fires of hell via modern day remote control( a Viking arrow on fire is much more romantic). I am trying to sleep without pills or alcohol but all I do is think of him. I am so lonely without him. We all have a hard road full of potholes to travel. Be kind to yourself.  I am grateful that he loved me.   

NellieJ
Posted by

Hello both of you, and how painful sitting with the feelings of numb, void and being  alone or A Lone as someone posted a while back. The energy that goes into nursing someone and whilst knowing it is only going one way and that things are inevitable maybe still can never prepare us for the enormous silence that follows.  One thing I learn from this site is that the whole kaleidoscope of feelings, including numbness seem to all be part of it, in no order, with no logic or pattern.

Credit and testament to you both for nursing and taking care, that itself takes huge grit and steel. My hope is that we are all strong enough to hold and manage all the different thoughts and feelings even when they hurt us or seem wrong to have. I think there is no wrong here, just our ways of getting through. 

In my friendship group, I dont know any other people who have lost a partner.  This site gives me the companionship and understanding that people who have  not lost a partner might lack.

I also think there is something about loosing a partner and all the intimacy of the relationship that is different from loosing a brother, father, mother.   I mourn the loss of my partner, but also the loss of the relationship and also mourn for me and my alone-ness. Its big, 

Thinking of you

Lizzy-K
Posted by

Hello both of you,

Thank you for your replies and thoughts.

I've never really thought about what a close loss must feel like -

NellieJ - you are absolutely right it's not the same as loosing any other family member - I lost my Dad (78), Step-Dad (89) and Nan (98!) all within a short space of each other but then I mourned the people they had been and I was able to think about the lives they lived and how they'd lived them to the full.

I think this time I'm mourning the loss of the future - the plans we had, the things we were going to do together now all the "kids" are grown up and doing their own thing but the biggest thing that hurts is that Sam had so many ailments over the last ten years it distorted his perception of life and he missed out on so much, then the cancer diagnosis seemed to turn him around a bit and he was planning to make the most of things - not to be.

Owl58 - you hit the nail on the head other people don't understand why we're not behaving like the "wailing widow" - I hate that word so much - Widow/Widower makes me think I should be sat in the corner with a sign around my neck or a big arrow pointing at my head!

Most of the time I keep myself busy - I'm still furloughed from work (good and bad in that - dread the day I have to face everyone but look forward to some company). I've learn't a few new skills although it took me 3 days to paint the smallest room in the house - but each time I do something I think will Sam like it, have I done it right, will he approve!

There's one thing I know he wouldn't approve of - I've framed a few pictures and put them on my desk - he hated having his picture taken, preferred to be the other side of the camera but these are all natural and lovely and now I can look at them every day and smile!

Thank you both for being out there and I'm thinking of you both.

 
Cry because it's over but smile because it happened 
Sheilaj
Posted by

Hi Lizzy K,

I also nursed my Bob at home alone and he died in my arms in our bed at home and it was what he wanted but so hard and not peaceful and I have flashbacks of that. I cry every single day, some days more than others. He was 64 when he died and I just feel so very sad all of the time with the biggest ache in my heart that won't go away. Its the loss of our future that makes me most sad the thought of the rest of my life alone is dreadful. I sleep with his shirt and his picture every night, I talk to his picture and tell him what I've done. I am also furloughed and to ease the boredome and lonliness got a temporary job picking orders at Sainsburys from 4.00am - 9.00am which has been good for me as makes me go to bed early and gives my life some structure.

I also have managed to paint a spare Bedroom and really impressed with my new found skill and I just want to tell Bob about it as i'm sure he would be impressed. I hav also gardened to try and keep his prescious garded to his standard and yesterday I went out and bouht a new car all on my own, needed to downsize my car to save costs as I now also have the added pressure of running a house on my own and paying the Mortgage which also scares me.

Basically it's just shit and i'm struggling. 23 weeks for me and I can say it's not getting any easier at all!!!!!!

I can only plan one day ahead as can't think any further ahead than that (Is that normal)

Thanks for lstening

Sheila

Lizzy-K
Posted by

HI Sheila,

I think planning one day ahead is all that any of us can do at the moment, even without coronavirus and the restrictions thinking too far doesn't seem possible.

It sounds like you are keeping yourself occupied and I'm sure Bob would be very proud of you especially finding another job.

I'm just trying to negotiate a different mortgage to lower the payments to give myself a buffer, went online with moneysupermarket and their brokers can access different deals that the banks don't necessarily offer. I'm not sure if you know about the Bereavement support from the Government if Bob paid NI at anypoint during his working life then it's worth applying if you haven't already. My moto is every little helps at the moment and anything to take the pressure off.

Don't know about any of you but I'm fed up with holding on the phone to speak with people for over an hour at a time (I know that they can't help it) but sometimes by the time I get through I've forgotton what I wanted to discuss.

What I find so very sad for all of us is that the future has been stolen and these men were so young.

Take care & keep going the way you are!

 
Cry because it's over but smile because it happened 
Sheilaj
Posted by

Hi Lizzy,

Thank you, yes I have claimed this and must admit like you said every little helps when there was nothing put in place such as Mortgage Protection, death insurance, life insurance etc etc. (Hindsight is a marvellous thing) Bob was fit and healthy at 63 and died at 64 after the evil cancer did it's worse and took him away from me. Like you said every little helps so i'll take the £100 per month and work a second job and downsize my car and even managed to get m Sky Payment reduced by £100 per month by getting rid of it and just using Chrome Casts instead (Amazing what you can do when needs must)

I hate doing these things and it's so hard when grieving but somehow you find an nner strength and I have surprised myself at what I have managed to do but I just beg him to "Come back" every night as I don't want to do this on my own!

Sheila