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  • I don't know how to cope after death of my beloved husband



    1 reply

    I lost my dearest husband 3 weeks ago today. It was a deeply traumatic journey of just 6 crisis filled weeks that led to his death. He fell, struck his head hard, and had a stroke. As a result he had scans and it was found that he had terminal malignant melanoma that had metastisised into many parts of the body as well as the brain. He was being investigated for a series of medical issues through the summer but the cancer did not show in blood tests and other tests, and no professional spotted the real culprit. By the time the scans came back after the accident he really had no chance. Despite this I tried with all my heart to find ways to buy time and to strengthen him, and he was very positive and recovery focused throughout his initial 3 weeks, but he deteriorated frighteningly fast and slipped away from me. All through this 6 weeks I have been in profound shock, and since his death this has continued, and I have many and frequent flashbacks that are so distressing. He was the absolute centre of my universe and love of my life. I am now feeling desperate, in despair, terrified, lonely beyond words. We had no children and I have no family near to me. Friends try to help but all my friends are married and cannot understand what it's like. I'm trying to connect with people who can comprehend what this is like for me, which is hard as there are no bereavement support groups local to me. I feel like half of me has been cut away, that there is absolutely no future and no point to living, that most of me has died anyhow, that I will not be able to cope without him. The smallest things are hard for me, not to say almost impossible. I have lost much weight which I didn't have spare in the first place, and am very thin, with little interest in caring for myself. I blame myself very very much for his death, for not seeing what was happening and asking more questions, pressing people for solutions. I am not very assertive and now I think I was too frightened to investigate what could have been happening, so that he might have had a chance of treatment. It is as if looking back I couldn't be bothered to try harder or was frozen in some way, or thought everything would magically be alright. It is terrible to review the past and not be able to change it. I don't know how to live with this guilt either. I wish there were some more support for bereaved people, all my GP has offered is anti depressants. It has been suggested to me to join forums, which isn't my style but I am trying to follow this advice. I know that there is no solution out there, and I know that I have to just feel what I feel and if I survive, which feels unlikely at the moment, then it might get slightly less unbearable one day. That's what people say. So I don't really have a question, just writing it all down as has been suggested to me. 

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  • Clare

    Hi Cecily, 


    I am sorry to read about the recent loss of your husband and all you have experienced over the last 9 weeks. Losing a loved one and having it take place in such a short amount of time can be very shocking, as you have mentioned. The powerful, painful emotions and flashbacks that you have described can be a normal part of grieving but this does not make them any less difficult to cope with. You mention the guilt that you are feeling and that you blame yourself for not asking more questions. These are thoughts that a lot of people tell us they experience; after the death of a loved one it can be natural to go over what has happened and to feel that we should have done things differently. It can be hard to take time to look after yourself when you are feeling this way but it is important to be kind to yourself whilst you are grieving. We have information on looking after yourself here –


    It's understandable that you want to connect with people who have also been bereaved, who can comprehend how things are for you now and I’m sorry to hear that there is not a bereavement support group in your local area. I hope that although a forum is not your natural style that you will find it helpful. You may want to take a look at an existing thread on the community where others are speaking to each other about the loss of their husbands and how they are feeling, I hope that the others there may be able to share with you what has helped them through when they were unsure they could survive their grief.


    We are also here for you on the Support Line with a listening ear. You can talk to us here on the community, over the phone on Freephone 0800 090 2309 or through webchat


    Take care,


    Clare – Support Line Team




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