Death of Ex-Wife

My ex-wife died 10 weeks ago at the age of 29, whilst on holiday with my daughter. I'm confused how I am supposed to feel and what is right.

The death was sudden and we have a 4 year old daughter together (who is actually coping better than me at the moment). But I feel all over the place at the moment.

I initially thought that I was doing fine and just getting on with everything, mainly being there to support my daughter.

There is so much I feel and don’t feel. My rational brain initial said that I had already grieved the relationship when we split, and we had both moved on. But I think I actually felt numb. Whilst she was no longer my wife, she was the person I married, had a child with and spent a large part of my life with.

It all makes me feel terribly sad, and the circumstances were/are exactly that. At the moment I am getting very little enjoyment out of anything, other than being with my daughter and to be honest, life seems all very pointless (the mundane Monday to Friday grind I mean).

I feel bad for feeling bad, but I know I am not coping. I have been to the doctors and they have given me some antidepressants, I sat in a restaurant the other week and started crying for no reason. I am also suffering with really bad heartburn etc

I don’t want to feel sorry for myself, I just don’t know how to feel.

I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your ex-wife. It is understandable that your feelings are confused, but your feelings of grief are valid. As you say, she was a big part of your past, and still your daughter's mother. Please try to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve - bottling up your emotions tends to make things worse in the long run.

Writing things down here is one good way to get things off your chest, so please keep posting if you find that it helps. I have found some other posts from users who lost ex-partners when they had children together. You might find it helpful to read and reply to these.

I'm glad to hear that your daughter seems to be coping well. We have an information page on Supporting a bereaved child, which you might find helpful. The charity Winston's Wish also has lots more advice and resources on how to support children with bereavement.

Hi, to say I feel sorry for your loss will not help, I can hear the pain and most of all the confusion you feel. Grief comes in many different disguises and you didn’t think it would affect you which is why you seem confused about your feelings. I think some counselling, talking it through may help, or spending some time privately talking it through by yourself, have pen and paper handy if that would help. Think carefully regarding the ‘pills’ and read the leaflet that comes with them. Grieving takes time and also takes it toll on your physical health, so saying take care of yourself is correct because when it hits us hard we forget good food and exercise and start going down with all manner of things, like your tummy trouble. Things in life take time and coming to terms with your loss, understanding why you feel the way you do and finding ways around it, will take you time but you will and then you will look back and understand life and yourself better.
I do hope just being on this site helps and you will feel good again about your life, just give it time.
Blessings S

I feel that I dont have the right to grieve or be upset. As it is my ex wife I dont feel that I have that right. I am trying so hard at the moment, but it juist feels like I am swimming through porridge.

Hi LittleOldMe
Of course you have the right to grieve and be upset. A loved one doesn't have to be current, a loved one is someone we shared a connection with and what that connection meant to us. I think we all think we have a plan when it comes to coping with what life throws at us but we tend to forget our 'feelings'. When loss is permanent it's finality hits us hard. We have no opportunity after they have gone to share or reflect with them our thoughts and emotions. You share a daughter together and where we have history we have feelings. Your daughter will need you more than ever and your life has now changed due to circumstances out of your control. It's scary. Grief takes us out of our comfort zone. Swimming through porridge is very accurate whilst you are processing everything. Allow yourself time to grieve, take things slowly and please never feel you have no right to 'feel'. This is your life, your emotions and you are entitled to feel what your heart holds. Take care and give your little one a big hug

Hi you are allowed to feel this way, don’t forget you are grieving your past your present and your daughters future, you have the added burden of explain*to your child and dealing with her emotions. You obviously still had love for each other in the sharing of the beautiful child you created. Take comfort in her and the piece of your ex that you still have. Time will help you to better understand your feelings. I hope you find peace. X