Author Topic: Saying Hello  (Read 242 times)

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Offline LanceH

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Saying Hello
« on: January 11, 2019, 07:37:45 PM »
Hello all,

I've joined this to read through some of the experiences of others and hopefully help myself a little.

I lost my wife to Myeloma on the 6th January this year following over 6 years of the disease. Regular treatment allowed us to do many things together over that time, gratefully. The last 4 weeks of her life was a rapid and frightening decline though. She was 57, we'd been together for 34 years.

We have 2 daughters in their early twenties, both were with me in the final days. One has returned to University and the other spends some time at home, which is welcome.

After getting the legal formalities out of the way, I decided to return to work on Weds 9th, which was driven ore by a need to be amongst friendly faces. I also went on the 10th, which was also OK. I didn't go today, the 11th - I somehow felt unable.

The thing that's making me feel very low is rattling around in an empty, quiet house with so many of her possessions everywhere (and her food in the fridge and cupboards) reminding me of her.

My daughter and I have a Bereavement Counsellor visiting on Tuesday and I'm driving across country to visit my mum this weekend, on my wish.

In terms of the practical matters, I'm managing to keep the place clean and tidy, eat properly and sleep reasonably well, although usually broken. My wine intake has increased.

I'm struggling to find people or groups in the area that I can join. This is something I feel would help me... or would it? Wandering in to a pub may or may not help.

Lance, Rutland


Offline Stevie wee

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Re: Saying Hello
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 08:38:02 AM »
Hi lance I lost my wife 12 weeks ago, it seems like a lifetime ago. I still have my wife's things around jacket on the coat peg, shoes on the stairs. I still expect her to be coming home. I don't think any of her stuff will going anywhere. I draw some comfort in having it around. Th rattling round the house I understand but I couldn't move. Imagine having to get rid of things you had chosen together or even stuff she had wanted. I am going to decorate a bedroom and try and find someone to rent it to. As long as they are clean and tidy that will be fine.
I'm back working although being a cab driver I can just head for home if it gets too much. I like you have kids but they have to get on with there lives, grandkids that I love dearly help me as well. I hate to say it but the one thing that frightens me more than anything else is loneliness. I think that as soon as people hear your a widower they run a mile. I'm 57 and have always been so happy content, confident. I'm a changed person now, anxious sad and suffering in silence. I'm glad your eating OK, I find it really hard to eat. 2 stone fell off me in a few weeks, and 2 to 3 days without food was common. I seak to Denise all the time and she occupies my every  thought. I miss her so much and long for the day we meet again. What else can we do. All the best x

Offline Karena

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Re: Saying Hello
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 11:15:32 AM »
Sending you  a warm welcome. I is almost 8 years since my husband died so i am much further away from the initial pain than you - i still miss him daily and i still have some of his stuff around - but that terrible acute pain is not the same - i think grief is something we learn to live with rather than "get over" because how could we "get over losing some-one who was so central too our lives. I had to move house soon after and found myself hanging his dressing gown on the back of the bedroom door and kidding myself he was just working away - unfortunately that meant also leaving neighbours and a place i loved so it didnt help with my isolation.
I found returning to work challenging - and made some mistakes fortunately nothing that couldnt be put right - but it also felt quite pointless - why do a not very useful job to survive a life i didnt want but that too passed
Whilst i wanted company when i was on my own - when i had company i found i wanted to be on my own - its a very mixed up time and emotions change from day to day. - You dont need to put her things away until you feel you are ready to do so -so dont pressurize yourself to do it.
Over the time i have found myself more comfortable in my own company -in the early days i tried to join things and it just didnt work out - perhaps because they were the wrong things and i dont really have a place to fit now i have moved  - and so for me my social life became this forum,travelling and free online education.

Travelling came about when i decided the best thing i could do if i couldnt live life for me was to live it as though i was living it for him,and be his eyes on the world - so i went back to the places we loved to go,and then to some of the places we discussed going, It all takes planning and along the way you find there are dragons to be slayed - feeling paranoid about being a lone person in a crowd lead me to taking a camera everywhere - because some-how that legitamises your presence.
being frightened of flying is multiplied when you are on your own -and i still get really anxious in the build up -but having everything tighly organised so i know where it all is from the moment i get to the airport helps, as it turns out its the airport rather than the actually flying that creates the biggest anxiety.

Each goal has hurdles to be jumped - and if walking into a pub is a hurdle then firstly ask yourself if thats what your goal is - or is it just because of feeling lonely that you want to do that because i found joining something for company when the thing i was joining wasnt interesting to me in its own right was a hindrance.

 Then find ways round whatever it is thats stopping you - would you feel more comfortable for example if the first time you go with your daughter - maybe to have a meal -then find out  what is on at the pub - do they have live music, a quiz or live sports on tv - something that could break the ice with other people in there other than the actual drink - so you dont have to introduce yourself as a widower  but as a fellow football/quiz/music fan.

The online education was basically me trying to fill time - i picked a few courses i thought might be interesting -i thought they were pretty random - then something just fell into place that connected them - and i am doing graphic design/marketing, and on the ground work, (when i can get there, i have to fit it round work leave)  for  school garden projects in Africa, Dolphin and whale conservation, and next week - Turtle conservation - along the way i have met very interesting people - they are not my neighbours or even in the same area as me -but even when i am alone i dont feel as alone.

Being here, being able to write down my thoughts and emotions, and finding other people here was the first and most important step to doing all this and it has taken a long time - it is a long journey and a rollercoaster as well and initially you need to start with small steps take a day at a time and try not to look into a future and see it full  of lonliness  but one of ways that you can keep your wife close to you - not just with her stuff, but by gradually starting to live your life again, you will not be leaving her behind but you will  start taking her forward with you in a different way. :hug:

Offline LanceH

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Re: Saying Hello
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2019, 04:13:09 PM »
Thanks both of you for your thoughts and sharing how you are.

I went to my Mum's (a 58 year old guy going to his Mum...) last weekend (so nearly a week since Karen passed away). She lives 3 hours away and she couldn't have been more warm and kind. It did me a world of good - she lost her husband 6 years ago and now chooses to live alone.

I went back to work again last Monday and managed Wednesday and Thursday too. Tuesday my youngest daughter and I had a visit from a Counsellor, which was nice - it was more an opportunity for her to let us know it's OK to ask for help. On that Tuesday afternoon, we visited 3 possible venues for Karen's celebration of life and decided on the place we expected to choose... one of Karen's favourite places and where we can scatter her ashes as a family in to the water. Later we sent out invitations.

Tuesday felt like a good day with all the above done and dusted.

The rest of the week was OK - still things to sort out and made some more headway. Getting there and less to worry about in the middle of the night!

Today, Saturday, my youngest is out over night for the first time since well before Christmas. So the quiet is getting to me a bit. I've done a few involved things to keep me occupied and thrown a few more things away that I come across. There's so much more, I daren't look too hard. I guess there's no rush.

I have contacted a local group that I'm going to meet on Tuesday evening - only a small one and sounds like a bit of a mixed lot. But I feel I need to do something like that. I haven't been to a pub on my own yet - I think the suggestion made above about going with my daughters is a good idea in hindsight, although some colleague friends have taken my out for a drink or curry, for which I'm grateful.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 04:32:20 PM by LanceH »