The pain and loneliness


I lost my beloved husband after a relatively short battle with very aggressive cancer. After an operation to remove a kidney they discovered that his tumour had spread far more than they thought. He came home and I cared for him for nine weeks. I watched him deteriorate both mentally and physically and although there were times I felt I could no longer go on, I did. For the last 5 days of his life he went into a hospice where my children and I could visit, it was a wonderful place and the best thing for him. I was with him when he died peacefully but although I knew his death was imminent, nothing prepared me for the emptiness and deep pain I feel at his loss. We were married for 32 years and together for 35 and I loved him totally. Although like all couples we had our ups and downs our marriage was very happy and we were totally committed to each other. We did everything together and I now feel so desolate and the nearest to despair that I have ever felt. I have moments of sheer panic that I will never see or be with him again. I have many wonderful friends and my family who have been wonderful but they don't fill the empty void that he has left. I used to look forward to the weekends but now I dread them and Bank holidays. I have never been on my own and I just don't feel life will ever hold any joy again for me and I really don't want to go on without my husband. I can't think these feelings will ever go away. One of the awful places that I go to is that I focus on the negative things like arguments or rows we had years ago. There are so many positives to think about but I am consumed with guilt and sorrow that I said things I now regret as I would do anything to have him back. The times I could have cuddled him but didn't, the times I was grumpy or depressed when now I think if I could only have him back, there would be nothing to be depressed about. I beat myself up continuously yet I know in my heart that I was a good wife, he said he could have had none better. I don;t understand why I am like this.

In reply to Valatschool

Hi there I lost my wife Jane last November heart failure due to kidney disease,we were married for 43 years and like you did everything and enjoyed life together.
I am on my own now no children,no real family and certainly no friends just me and my little dog so weekdays,weekends ,bank holidays all the same .
I miss the times whenever we had any problems her words would be don't worry we'll sort it out or we'll get though this ,now it is me on my own left to sort them out a totally different life to the one we always led.
We to always had our rows and disagreements many a bad word in haste but we always pulled together things said and forgotten.
I feel guilty on many accounts working long hours,as she said she was feeling lonely as I do now .
Guilty from the fact they would not consider me as a kidney donor for her due to ill health,age and compatibility.
Guilty for being 5 minutes late when she passed away followed the ambulance in car thinking she was to be admitted due to her health problems .
I too wake each morning thinking how can I go on without her fear of how many years I have before I again join her,whatever she knew I loved her body and soul and I know she did too but being without her as been a total nightmare,can't sleep,eat or enjoy things we did together and miss her more and more each day.
Sorry I may not be of any confidence to you but that is how many of us feel in this illness called Grief MM69

Grief often is accompanied by guilt. I doubt there are many here who have not felt guilt at some stage.
What we did the was right at the time. Looking back, and hindsight can be a great deceiver, we may think that we could have done better. We could have made someone more comfortable, spoken less harshly and so on.
I know my wife will have forgiven me any mistakes I had made. She was like that.
At the end she had dementia and that is so painful to watch.
But it's important to forgive ourselves. We are human and we react in the way we do because we have feelings and emotions.
Both your posts are from people in real pain. Not many words are available to give you comfort at this moment.
Grief is a process that we need go through with as much courage as we can muster, and that's far from easy. But courage we all have. It may not seem so at this moment but it's there.
At the moment and so soon in grief our minds are 'negatively orientated'. We tend to fasten on to negative thoughts and make ourselves upset. This too is to be expected.
You have had a deep trauma in your lives and it's inevitable you will feel low and look on the dark side.
I'm not going to 'jolly you along' with useless cliches and platitudes. It's darned hard going and very painful, but I have seen some light ahead and I move toward it.
I lost my wife last November too. It's still painful but it is getting just a little better. I take it day by day. I have good friends who help. They are new friends because the old ones disappeared after the funeral!
Take it easy, well, as easy as you can.

Losing the person we love more than anything in the world is the most devastating thing we ever deal with.
I lost my soulmate on April 1st, she was diagnosed with cancer just six weeks earlier in February.
The range of emotions we go through changes in an instant. I've cried in places where I should have been able to hold it together, I've screamed and yelled at God, got angry for no good reason. You're experiencing the same feelings we all have.
I believe totally that my sweetheart lives on as part of me, she encourages me and gives me strength. She is now my own personal angel. Whenever I've reached a really low point she and God have come to my aid.
I have been doing all kinds of things I would never have done before unless she was with me to do them. As a child I almost drowned and have been afraid of water ever since. She got me in the sea when she visited me in England before we got together permanently at her home in America. I trusted her absolutely and overcame some of the fear. This week I've been in the sea twice alone in person but not in spirit. I haven't managed to let go of a breakwater yet but I lifted my feet and floated. I couldn't have done it if she wasn't still with me.
It's only been five months, but I'm getting stronger, my trust in my angel and renewed faith in God keeps me going. I know the path ahead isn't going to be easy, but I know I'm not alone and when my time comes she will be waiting to hug me in God's kingdom.
Prayers and good thoughts, Carl.

In reply to Valatschool

Hi Valatschool
I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t often post on hear as I sometimes find it sets me off again but today for some random reason I find myself crying and on here for support.
Like you I lost my husband after being diagnosed with cancer for only three weeks. We had a week at home together, then a week in hospital following a stroke and then a week in a hospice which was such a welcoming, supportive and amazing place. I was with my husband holding his hand when he slipped away. I knew it was coming but nothing prepares you for how quick it happens. I’m four months down the road of my new life and I’m due to go back to work next week. My life feels like it has completely changed and I feel so sad and angry about it. I too find the loneliness and emptiness so painful and whilst I can recognise that it’s not quite as bad as it was I hate being on my own. I constantly think about the life we shared and loved and the support we gave each other.
I think what I’m trying to tell you is that it does get easier but it continues to creep up and take you by surprise but the feelings you describe are ones that we all experience and share in the group we have found ourselves in. You are not alone x

Thank you. No, nothing prepares you for the loss. I knew my darling Adrian was dying but didn't realise how quickly he would pass away. Also watching him die with that terrible disease was the hardest thing I ever had to do. He also had been diagnosed the year before with Alzheimers and his cancer accelerated his dementia so at times near the end of his life he wasn't himself. I thought today about all the plans we had made. I never took him for granted because he had had cancer 28 years ago which they had cured but I did take for granted that he would live longer. I wish I had known this was going to happen because I would probably have done things so differently. I have cried so much today. Nothing eases the pain and loneliness I am feeling.

Val. I can assure you that even if you had known what was to happen you wouldn't have done anything differently. You did your very best, you cared and loved.
I knew for years but even when the C took hold in the last weeks, we still talked about a future, you know, silly things like the vegetables we was going to grow on the allotment, the way we was going to alter the garden, the walks we would do next when he got better, even where we was going for our next holiday. Somehow the need to have faith kicks in and I wouldn't accept that I was having my Brian taken away from me by this terrible illness. Of course I knew, when I think back, but at the time we hang onto a thing called, Hope!!!! Please don't beat yourself up anymore. I have done all that and still do at times but it will do no good. We must remember the love we shared, that is precious.
Pat xx

I have been reading a book on mindfulness and finally feel it is getting through to me and I have found the following words most helpful (not written by me)
Overcoming loneliness
* Be very watchful about feeling sorry for yourself and then trying to fill the hole within through indulging in unhealthy habits.
* Resolve to be active or creative.
* Develop an appreciation of being alone.
* Develop friendships without talking too much or too little.
* Remember that quality in communication is preferable to quantity.
* Experience connection with plants. animals and nature.
* Keep a diary of everything new that you experience each day.
* Write out your feelings and remember that many others share with you a similar experience of loneliness.
* Be mindful of the times when this particular feeling is not present.
* Acknowledge as fully as possible the times of connection with life and the here and now.
* The greater the desire to escape this emotion the greater the feeling of loneliness.
* The less the desire to escape it then the greater the likelihood that this feeling of loneliness will lose it's grip over our lives.
Hope these words might help.


"An appreciation of being alone" - I realized a few weeks ago that this would be a major hurdle for me. Even though I often did many things alone, he was always there to hear about them, or comment. I know that this was the way for many of us. And the things we did together are irrefutably changed...but I do try some of them as well as some small new things...
"Be mindful of when the feeling is not present" It's now 10 weeks, and I had 2 days that I did not was a such a relief, albeit was just below the surface but did not rear its ugly head...At first the feeling was All The I do have moments where it is tucked away in the background..
I live in a beautiful Canadian forest and nature is soothing and healing. Within the first few days it made me realize that everything was going on the same all around me, no matter how my life had changed. It offers me moments of connection with the true beauty of life, no matter how devastated I feel. It makes me realize that I am alive, and that there is beauty around me, and its my duty to soak it in.

In reply to Pattidot

Thanks for taking the time to share all that, Pat. I appreciate it greatly. Could you tell us what what book it comes from. I found it very thought provoking and pretty much aligned with my thinking. x