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Betsy Posted 2 years ago
Hi can anybody help me to find my way after being widowed this year? Life seems so empty now and I’m struggling to find a way forward.
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3 likes & 28 replies
    • VFP 4th December 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Betsy

      I completely understand your situation, as I lost my husband in July. We were together for ten years – the best years of our lives and we never took anything for granted. Losing your beloved partner is bad enough, but having this happen during covid/lockdown is punishing. You have to deal with things on your own, solve problems by yourself and you can’t even have friends or family over (except if you are in a family bubble but even then the virus is always in everyone’s minds). Now I have bad days and better days and I get through by constantly a) counting my blessings – I am so much better off than so many people in this world; b) refusing to be defeated by grief – this is a real battle and I prefer to be on the winning side of it; c) summoning up all my strength and resolve – I refuse to let fear and weakness take over – my husband would not have respected that approach; d) returning to doing the things I liked doing before he fell ill, I mean things you can do online; e) looking after myself and f) trying to be patient, knowing that one day life will get better. I always want to be a role model to my children (and grandchildren) and present myself as strong in the face of adversity even if I am not feeling strong.

      Everyone deals with widowhood differently, and to me, losing myself to grief is a real threat, so I fight against it, because the alternative is out of the question,

      So take good care of yourself and consider that most people have to cope with the passing of a loved one and the inevitability of their own passing at some point. It’s the price you pay for life and for love.

      Viv

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      • Betsy 4th December 2020 at 1:39 pm

        Thank you for your words of encouragement Viv and I’m sure a lot of what you say is right. I just have to find a way to go on for myself. Its hard when you’ve known such happiness yet I’m also thankful for our years together nearly forty. Its like a sledgehammer has hit me and it seems to be getting more painful instead of easier. Maybe because I had such a lot to sort out financially etc after his death, it sort of made the pain more bearable but once everything more or less sorted its given me more time to reflect and for those repressed feeling to surface. Once again I thank you for taking the time to answer me it does help knowing someone out there cares.
        Betsy.

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        • VFP 4th December 2020 at 1:59 pm

          Once I got through all the administrative work, funeral (very small) etc and I suddenly had time to myself, I decided to treat myself. I took a fiction writing course with Future Learn – wonderful course and you do it with other people online. I am taking another writing course now. I also bought a smart TV and started watching Netflix – never did that before! I had no idea how interesting The Crown is. Having a 14 month old puppy is a mixed blessing, but she forces me to get up in the morning and take her out for a walk.

          Looking after yourself is your first priority, and it helps to join forums like these. We are so isolated these days, that it sometimes helps just to read people’s comments about things – it’s like hearing background chatter or a radio – to feel that you are not alone in the world.

          Don’t hesitate to message me if you feel the need.

          Viv

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        • Betsy 5th December 2020 at 3:35 pm

          Thank you again you are very kind.
          God Bless you, love Betsy

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        • waterbrook 21st December 2020 at 11:30 am

          I concur with everything Viv and Phil have said here. Excellent advice

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      • Corrine 18th December 2020 at 11:09 pm

        A wonderful reply x

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    • PhilB 4th December 2020 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Betsy, I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling, but unsurprised. You have been dealt a body blow of the worst kind and you are going to be all over the place right now. Nothing works, nothing makes sense, it’s all just hard. Not even sad, just everything is hard to do. You’ll have people talking to you about the 5 stages of grief. It’s rubbish. There is nothing linear about grief. One minute you’ll be ok and managing, the next in floods of tears, the next laughing (hysterically). That’s to be expected.
      Don’t try and plan anything, make decisions or make choices. Right now you need to be in survival mode, the only goal being that you get to the end of the day. Treat yourself gently. If you want to stay in bed all day, do. If you want to go out for a walk, do. Your usual routines are now going to be up in the air, which is tiring in itself. Do things differently. Move the furniture around. Sleep on the other side of the bed. Watch different programmes on tv. Just survive. Grit your teeth a d put your head down for at least a year.
      Learn, over time, to live with your grief. It’s not going anywhere. Explore it, understand it and over the course of time accept it. At the moment you’re living with a box. In that box is a big red button, and a balloon. (Work with me on this!) At the moment your loss, the balloon fills the box, pushing on the red button (grief) all the time. Slowly the size of the balloon will reduce, so it won’t push the button all day and every day. Eventually it will reduce in size so that it doesn’t push the button hardly at all, but it’s still there, and that button will get pressed. Your grief will never go away, but you will learn how to handle it, what to do when it hits you, and to develop coping mechanisms to deal with it.
      But that’s all a while away yet. Your box is full of nothing but a big balloon of loss and a panic button of grief. You just have to hang in there, exploring your new life. It’s horrible, awful and you are going to hate it. I’m not giving you a pretty picture am I? Sorry, but flowers and puppy dogs is a long way off. But you will get there.
      Oh, and talk to people. They will not know what to say or do. They will pretend nothing has happened, they are terrified you are going to burst into tears, and they won’t know what to do. Oddly enough you need to take the lead with them. They’ll be useless. Caring, but useless.
      Talk here, find a therapist, a local bereavement group, church if you’re religious, don’t hide it all away and bottle it up. That works in the short term, but only for so long, trust me, I know.

      Hope that helps!
      Phil

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      • Betsy 4th December 2020 at 1:15 pm

        Thank you so much for replying. A lot of what you say makes sense to me and I can relate to the balloon as its just so real as to how I’m feeling at present. I know in my head others deal with this problem and come through it eventually, but my heart just feels like its broken and cannot be repaired. I struggle each day to stay motivated to overcome my feelings and emotions and your words have helped some, so a big Thankyou for caring.
        Betsy.

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      • MarianHaste 18th December 2020 at 4:06 pm

        That is such a fantastic answer Phil and so nice of you to take the trouble to pen it and post it. There are some lovely folks about.

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        • PhilB 18th December 2020 at 4:17 pm

          Aww thanks Marian! Always nice to be recognised! My wife died 11 years ago on December 30th so coming up to another anniversary. I have had plenty of time to consider grief and bereavement since then….

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        • MarianHaste 18th December 2020 at 4:24 pm

          Aye, Phil. It won’t ever go away, but the ache from a loss gets a little more dulled each year. Good on you.

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    • Deleted User 4th December 2020 at 4:56 pm

      Hello Betsy, I was widowed nearly three years ago, and yet still feel the loss as if it were yesterday. My lovely husband developed dementia, an absolutely devastating illness, and sadly he had to go into a nursing home, as much as I tried to keep him at home for as long as possible there comes a time when you simply can’t manage any more, and of course that brings its own feelings of guilt and as if you have failed as a wife. There is a very good bereavement counselling organisation called Cruse, they are I think in various parts of the country, obviously difficult in the current situation to get an appointment, but I intend to try in the New Year. There is a lot of help out there, and you can find a lot of information on line. Grief can be a long process, you will eventually come through, you never get over it, but you do learn to live with it , and there will come a time when little things will give you pleasure again. Sending you lots of good wishes, stay strong, I know it is very hard.

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      • Betsy 5th December 2020 at 3:33 pm

        Hello Penny, thank you for your encouraging words. I am so sorry to hear of your loss and know a little of what it feels like, the guilt that is, as my own mother developed Dementia and like you there came a time where she needed, for her own good to be admitted into a home. I used to feel so sad saying goodbye to her after visiting when she would ask if we could stay the night with her. She still thought she was in her own home! Life can be so sad at times but I do remember the good times more now so I do accept that grief gets easier to bear with lots of time to heal the wounds. God Bless you for your compassion and taking the time to speak with me via this website. Love Betty

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    • anngarrard49 5th December 2020 at 9:19 am

      Hi Betsy
      Cruse bereavement is good. Well done for being honest. I actually volunteer for Cruse. If you message me back I can give you my telephone number and I will talk to you as a friend. If you want the Cruse telephone number I’ll find that for you if you need it.
      I feel for you. I have been there. It does get better but it’s horrendous at the time. Please feel free to contact again.
      Best wishes
      Ann

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      • Betsy 5th December 2020 at 3:23 pm

        Thank you Ann I do feel that I would like to talk with someone but I’m afraid it may be too hard at present as when I try to talk I just start crying as its so painful to recall. Because of Covid I am cut off from my family who all work with young children making it impossible for me to mix with them at present owing to my age. I’m 78 years old so no spring chicken but I’ve never in all my years experienced a hurt like this one. I might take you up on keeping in touch at a later date, if that’s possible, and the phone number for Cruse would be very helpful.
        Yours Thankfully
        Betty

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    • Roxy 7th December 2020 at 6:46 am

      Hi Betsy it’s not good I’m in the same boat lost my hubby Oct 3rd and Iv really been struggling , I’m lucky to have such loving family but that doesn’t stop the desolate feeling of loneliness we feel , one step at a time is all we can do hun, one day at a time no rushing no pressure in our own way and time xx bless you x

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    • Betsy 8th December 2020 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you its the most awful devastating feeling inside I have ever felt, and it hurts so. I’m sorry for your loss which is more recent than mine, it must be so painful for you yet you took the time to speak with me. Thank you. I pray we will get on top of this especially the isolation you feel its as if the world is still going on without me. I wish you all the best in your journey and pray that next year we will both be in a position to deal with our feelings and move forward. Love Betsy.x

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      • Roxy 14th December 2020 at 7:42 pm

        Thank you Betsy , I’m praying we can move forward one day but it’s so hard when you feel so lonely and alone , it’s good to talk hun I have a councillor she is lovely and I find her a great help xx

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    • Julie K 12th December 2020 at 6:16 am

      Hello Betsy, I am so sorry for your loss and truly understand your feelings. I lost my darling husband of thirty years and thirty three days in June this year. This came just six weeks after loosing my darling dad. Not being able to attend my dad’s funeral because my husband was dying was very hard to bear. One of the things that keeps me going is the bravery of my husband over his last few months. I just think now it is my time to be brave. I am heartbroken and realise that my life will never be the same again. But now it is a different life I am navigating my way through and it is very much one step at a time. I was offered bereavement counselling early on,I didn’t know if I needed it or wanted it,but accepted the offer. It still is a very positive presence in my life. It is an hour once a week where I can release/explore/analyse my feelings and emotions and sortof clear my head for another week. If you do not feel ready to talk,why not try writing down your feelings in a sort of journal. It may help to let those feelings out. This is also something I do,not every day but just when I feel I need to. Also I have wrote a few poems to express my feelings,this is something I would never have imagined myself doing. But I am happy to give anything a go which feels right for me. I think thats the key,do what feels right for you. You are special and individual and so is your grief. Another thing I have found is a group called Jolly Dollys . This is a group formed by widows for widows,and support each other online and by very social locally organised groups. It may be something you could look into which may help to be among people who truly understand what we are going through. I don’t know if any of this will help Betsy,I certainly dont have all the answers as I am very much a novice in learning to cope myself. This is the first time I have ever written anything on a forum such as this, but I could so relate to your pain and just shared on the off chance there is any of it any help to you. Kind Regards
      Julie x

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    • Betsy 12th December 2020 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you so much Julie for taking the time to write. My husband also died in June, so we have something else in common. Like you I feel my heart is broken and I just don’t know how to go on and yet each day I realise I got through yesterday somehow! Trying to do all the domestic jobs that used to take the two of us seems so overwhelming and there is so much to learn about this new chapter in my life which I don’t feel confident in or ready to take on. I know I need to get myself out there but what with this awful virus I am afraid to, just yet anyway. I have always been a homebody and didn’t really need hobbies and other people as for the last three years was nursing my husband through lung cancer. My days were so busy there wasn’t enough time in the day to feel lonely or down. He came through the cancer only to have a fall in the back garden which broke his hip and needed an emergency operation to correct. He wasn’t strong enough after all the chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and had several heart attacks during the following few days. Then he suffered from delirium which is a common side effect in the elderly following this kind of operation evidently. I sat with him during most of the eight days sleeping in his room in a chair just in case he woke up and looked for me. I was with him when he took his last breath he never regained consciousness. I just feel so sad that I never had time to say goodbye to him properly or to hold him as he was so unresponsive. I am sorry I seem to have unloaded on you and that’s a first for me. Maybe this is a good sign that my feelings are finally surfacing and I’m able to write this down. I wish you well on your own journey because none of us know where it is taking us, so a bit scary. God Bless you Betsy. xx

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      • Julie K 13th December 2020 at 4:23 pm

        Hi Betsy
        Maybe writing things down will be a starting point or a release for some of the emotions on this rubbish journey we find ourselves on. It seems there is a lot of support on this site. Take care and remember the good times. xxx

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    • Roxy 12th December 2020 at 8:15 pm

      Hi Betsy I lost my husband on Oct 3rd this year and I’m devastated x I find the good days if that’s what their called just bearable but the bad days are terrible it’s a very lonely walk this grief Lane xx I’m always here for a chat xx

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    • Betsy 14th December 2020 at 4:16 pm

      Hi Roxy nice to meet you and thank you for your reply. You are so right about the good days being just bearable, they are not good days at all, just periods of time where you manage to think of something else that doesn’t cause a pain in your heart. I really didn’t realize how a heart can break literally until now, and how the physical pain of it seems so intense. I do feel for you its only eight weeks and I cannot even remember what I felt like then, still in shock I think but I do pray that your pain will become more and more bearable as we travel along this awful journey forced on us by circumstances which we cannot control. May God Bless you and please feel free to write whenever you feel up to it I am always here for you. Bye for now Betsy xx

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    • Deleted User 16th December 2020 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Betsy,
      I lost the love of my life and soul mate Anne after 50yrs of marriage. Im 17 months into bereavement and grief. Personally I didnt find any indepth advice particularly helpful as it comes from the intellect where as we are living with our emotions and feelings. All I can say is simply this. Take each day as it comes. Cry buckets when the need arrives; its very therapeutic. Allow yourself periods of complete quiet and see what comes up. Accept that feelings of maybe guilt, regret, anger, loneliness and despair are perfectly natural. Eventually, and without you realising it, everything will slowly change for you.
      Love and Light
      Geoff

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    • Betsy 17th December 2020 at 3:26 pm

      Thank you Geoff, those kind words really helped me to see where my pain is coming from, the heart not the head. My husband of forty years was everything to me, he was my second husband and helped me to love fully and to trust again. I have never experienced pain like this and it is draining. I pray one day I will awaken from this awful nightmare and find some light in my life again. I wish you well in your own journey and pray that you will also find happiness again one day. Lots of Love and wishing you a Peaceful, Healthy and Happy Christmas.
      Betsy.

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    • Amy 31st December 2020 at 10:00 pm

      Know how u feel I lost my hubby 10th aug it’s so hard

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    • Betsy 3rd January 2021 at 1:09 pm

      So sorry to hear this Amy its just devastating especially so over the Christmas period. I wish you well in the new year and pray life without our Darling loved ones will get easier to bear.
      Feel free to message me if you ever feel like a chat. xxx

      Reply
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