H,i I joined here a couple of years ago but never got involved as much as I should. I was married for 26 years to the most beautiful soul who for the last 2-3 has had Vascular dementia and also had to be hoisted into a wheelchair due to immobility… Unfortunately she passed away on April 29th. She was my life and even with her issues was happy and smiley, living her life in a kind of bubble I guess which worked well for us both. I had carers in whilst working reduced hours. Now I am just not coping, unable to think clearly and constantly crying, sleeping very little and just feeling sad and desperate for my wife to smile at me again. I am at a loss of how to continue and struggle just to get up and about, I know my wife would be saying “come on Joe, sort it out” but I can’t. How do people manage after the death of their most loved? My Mum died when I was 21 and my brother ten years ago, I am not immune to grief but this is something that is literally driving me crazy. Any help appreciated.
Joe x

Hi Saint Joe
It’s early days and the emotions you are feeling are natural.
3 years ago I lost my lovely husband to vascular dementia and strokes with other health issues. We had been married for 52 years. I felt lost and lonely. Even though it had been a very long good-bye.
I won’t say it gets better, but I have learned to adjust, and realised by husband would not want me crying or to give up.
I didn’t go to bereavement counselling. Would you consider it?
I’m sorry for your loss.
Others will be along I am sure with suggestions.

Hi Joe,
When I was 54 I found my husband had died in his sleep, due to a massive heart attack.
What you are feeling is quite normal, but awful at the same time.
I decided to shop in the next town so I didn’t see too many people I knew, to make it a little easier. I never cried during the day, but cried buckets every night. It was a relief when I couldn’t cry any more.
My memory was awful, I had to write everything down.
Just try and get through the next hour, and the one after that. Don’t look too far forward, or back. Just concentrate on what needs to be done.
One paperwork job a day is enough.
There is a forum called “Way Up”. Be sure to join, they you will see that everyone else is feeling the same.
You WILL find a new life, I would recommend a book called “Starting Again” by Sarah Litvinoff. Usually on ebay.

My Uncle died about 12 years ago. His sisters still grieve for him and one mentioned on Facebook that yesterday would have been his birthday. I dug out a photo of him with his sisters, including my Mum who now has dementia, in happier times.

It did the trick and got the two sisters who are ok reminiscing about the fun they had as kids. Photos can often help to remind you of the happier times.

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For two months, I didn’t get any meaningful sleep. It was quite normal for me to end up doing accounts at 3 in the morning.
After 2 months, I went to see my GP, told him that whilst my head didn’t want any pills, my body was utterly exhausted.

He gave me some Amitryptiene, that helped me relax, so even if I woke up during the night, I could rest peacefully in bed, rather than accounts or ironing at 3am. I’m very sensitive to medication, the whole pill was too much for me, but half a pill worked well. I bought a pill cutter from the chemist, and gradually reduced the dose, over a few months.

Gradually I learned how to tell if I was feeling very stressed or not (not helped by having a very serious car accident that nearly killed me 3 months after I was widowed!) and so could predict reasonably well if I was feeling OK or anxious.

There is no shame in admitting that you need help at this stage. It’s learning to live a whole new life that you didn’t want. Your wife will always be with you in spirt. I try to live every day to the full, for both of us.

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Thank you all for replying. I have spoken to the doctors who have given me some antidepressants.
bowlingbun you seem such a wonderful person with your words of help and encouragement.
I am not used to sharing emotions outwardly with friends or family as I feel everyone has their issues and I don’t want to add to them. I know that is daft and am I trying my best to reach out, thank you and sending love. x

There is an excellent forum for those over 50 who are widowed, called “Way Up”. Be sure to join.
When you think you are the only one feeling in a certain way, you will see that lots of others are feeling exactly the same way!

Hi Joe

So sorry for your loss.
It is very early days yet and normal.
Have you noticed that you are actually crying a little less now? The tears will naturally subside, your body will take care of you in that sense, it will reach a point where it cannot cry anymore, this is protecting you from crying forever.

Be kind to yourself, this is a different grief, a different love and a different loss to the ones you’ve had.
You will be somewhat bereft, in shock, numb etc.

You have a lot of decompression to do from her deterioration and your protection and care for her.
Ask your GP about grief counselling or the hospital even if they do a grief counselling service if she passed in hospital.

Definitely try that forum which Bowlingbun mentioned, I joined a group for twin loss and it helped to normalise things, that forum might help you normalise things.

Give yourself time to process things, let it take it’s course, you can’t rush it and expect to be ok and back in the world within a few weeks. You have the devastation of her demise, part of you could still be her carer and protector and not knowing what to do with itself because it hasn’t caught up with events.

I hope you find comfort in all the love and care you gave her and knowing that she felt loved, protected and cared for. You have every reason to be proud of yourself.
I am sure that those who care about you are worried and would want to help how they can, let them.

I lost my identical twin to a sudden death 2.5 years ago, I’ve lost my dad to cancer and there have been many deaths in our family, but losing my twin was and still is devastating. It doesn’t get any better, but to give you hope, it gets easier in some ways. Apparently the 3 worst forms of grief are and in no particular order, losing a child, losing a twin and losing a spouse/partner due to the procreation bond.

Thank you Breezey for your kind comments and I am truly sorry for your losses. My brain is trying to work things out but all a bit mushy which I guess is expected. Just trying to banish all the negativity going on up there and posts like yours are helping me to do this.

The Victorians wore black for a year as a sign of mourning.
i used to think this was rubbish, but now I understand. It takes at least a year to even begin to adjust to the loss of a partner.
Wearing black meant people would understand and not have to ask or explain.

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Hi There is a group on here for former carers.We get together every two months I lost my beloved Husband n January 2022.Having been his primary carer for 30 years.So it’s difficult to start again.Here for you if you need a chat.Kind regards Amanda h