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If you've been widowed please give me practical steps

(26 Posts)
Ilovewineandchocolate Thu 04-May-17 20:52:43

To be happy again....I don't want to moan, but I feel like I just exist. I want to be happy again, have something in my life that I'm positive about. I work full time, and have two children. Life is work and kids, and not much else. I know that's the case for most people, but I guess I have a big does of loneliness and guilt, and sadness on top.
And advice appreciated, I feel completely cut off from friends, thank you x

BifsWif Thu 04-May-17 21:36:49

I didn't want to leave your thread unanswered Op, and I'm so sorry you're feeling this way.

The bereavement threads might help x

MrsELM21 Thu 04-May-17 21:39:21

Bumping for you OP, hope somebody can help x

MaidenMotherCrone Thu 04-May-17 21:40:33

How long has it been Op?

Chasingsquirrels Thu 04-May-17 21:44:06

Hi Ilovewineandchocolate.
I don't have any tips as I'm nowhere near being there yet.
I'm assuming it will just take time (it's 6 weeks since my DH died) and at the moment for me I'm feeling worse not better.
Why do you feel guilty?
Do you feel you have cut yourself off from your friends or that they aren't there for you?
Sorry, lots of questions and no help.
flowers

stumblymonkeyreturns Thu 04-May-17 21:47:02

I don't have the answers but could you maybe buy a book on bereavement that might help in some small way?

I'm not suggesting reading a book will stop the pain, but can maybe give you some stories of people that have walked this path before you?

I'm sorry that you're going through this flowers

TanteJeanne Thu 04-May-17 21:47:38

I don't know if this will help or not... but it's the truth for me! I am five years down the line and I am just beginning to feel ok again- up til now, I have just been going through the motions, aiming to "get through" the minute/ the hour/ the day/ the weekend/ the week etc. It IS hard being on your own ( I have no parents either)- I feel the drudgery, the poverty and the sole responsibility for everything weigh me down...
HOWEVER!!!!, my DCs are now old enough ( 14 & 9) to leave for a couple of hours here and there so I can finally go out briefly in the evening. Best of all I've joined a swimming club for adults so it's sociable and exercise and something just for me.
I'm not saying it will take you 5 years- my DH sort of killed himself so it has been complicated. I'm trying to say, stick out the hard times because easier and better times will come. In the meantime, gratefully accept any offers of help and try and find one thing to do for yourself. Just one little thing can be enoughXxxx

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Thu 04-May-17 22:00:27

So sorry for your losses Wine and Squirrels. I'm 5.5 years along, and it does get easier, I promise. Although I do still swing from sadness to anger. I can honestly say I don't remember how I got through the first few months, but I do know it was horrific. I also know, that although we (me and dc) have stopped existing, and now live, we will never be the same. flowers for both of you

Ilovewineandchocolate Thu 04-May-17 22:03:08

It's been two years. I feel guilty, because I'm here and he's not, and I'm aware I should be making the most of my life. Also, before he died, ( from sepsis, so It was completely out of the blue), I was unhappy, and I caused him a lot of pain. I needed space. Now I'd do anything to see him.
I feel cut off from friends because I'm so angry. I sit there listening them chatting about the most mundane things, and I just think, you have no idea, how would you feel if your partner died tomorrow ?? Stop bloody moaning ,!

TanteJeanne Thu 04-May-17 22:10:36

I know what you mean about the anger. People used to say to me, just chatting in the playground, "Did you have a nice weekend?" And I'd want to smash their faces in . A nice weekend? How the fuck do you think I could possibly have had anything remotely approaching a 'nice weekend'. My husband is dead. My life is shit. My kids have gone mad. How could I possibly have had a nice weekend????
And then I'd say "Fine thanks. How about you?".......

Ilovewineandchocolate Thu 04-May-17 22:20:48

That is EXACTLY It.
So I just lie about how I am, and how I'm feeling. And now I just don't want to see them,.
I'm afraid that in time I'll lose my friends too. I don't know how to get out of this dark hole.

TanteJeanne Thu 04-May-17 22:30:39

TBH I think counselling is what you need- the help of professionals to process and try to understand what you have been through. I got help really quickly - in fact in retrospect I think it was too early..- from my local branch of Cruse. Do they operate where you live?

As my DCs were young and I couldn't afford babysitters, someone came to my house for an hour a week for 6 weeks. It was hard to talk/ cry/ shout freely knowing my DCs were upstairs... but it did allow me a certain amount of venting.

I'm not good at emotions myself but I think if you stifle or deny your emotions, they find other ways to come out- through physical illness or depression eventually. Sorry for the cheerlessness!!!
If Cruse aren't an option, investigate other charities who offer bereavement counselling. My DC1 was helped by a local charity ( and CAMHS) but the waiting list was about 8 months.

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Thu 04-May-17 22:42:32

Oh yes....been there !! Pasting that smile on, just to do the school run. wine, your friends will absolutely, definitely understand. And if they don't, they are not worth worrying about. I was, (and still am) very lucky, in that my friends were/are brilliant. I also found throwing myself into my job helped a lot. But you have to be kind to yourself - its literally an hour at a time

SelenaValentina Thu 04-May-17 22:48:08

I'm a retired counsellor and, sad to say, it looks as though I'll also be a widow well before the year's out.

Putting former professional head on, however, 2 years is the 'average' time for grieving, after that it can, not always, be classed as 'abnormal' grief. Like so many things in life, it all depends.

In your situation, Ilovewine, given the events you've outlined before your DH so suddenly died, and the speed of sepsis, I would possibly be thinking about post traumatic shock - but obviously you are not a client, I don't have the full story and I may well be way out, so I'm tentatively just hazarding a probably way off course guess.

I wonder if you might find counselling an idea to think about? Done properly, it's a way of offloading emotional blocks in a safe environment to someone independent. To me, the main gain is hearing the thoughts whizzing around in your head being said out loud so they can be better considered by you, dealt with accordingly for you to then be able to move forward into acceptance/adjustment to the situation. It's not always easy to do that with friends, is it? They often have so much of their own stuff going on anyway and/or some hidden agenda.

flowers and to everyone else in this situation. Feel very free to ignore me!

TanteJeanne Thu 04-May-17 22:50:22

I was unhappy, and I caused him a lot of pain. I needed space. Now I'd do anything to see him.

Is this the bit that eats you up Wine?
I don't know how, but you need to let this go. You were just a person living your life the best way you could. I don't know the details, but we do what we do... and as long as we do what we can manage at the time, you can't look back and torture yourself like this.

Dowser Fri 05-May-17 00:22:14

I used to work for cruse. It is good to talk.

I'm so sorry you've been robbed of your husbands. Heartbreaking.

We had a scare last January when my dh had a small stroke. The stress and anxiety of losing him tipped me over the edge.
I love him so much! I had to go to mind in the end, I was really losing the plot.

I can only imagine what you lovely ladies are going through.
But yes, do go along to cruse to discuss your feelings. It does help

Somerville Fri 05-May-17 12:31:25

Bereavement therapy is what helped me get from day-to-day surviving for the sake of my kids, to happy. Well, bereavement therapy, running with my dog, reading lots of books, and masses of support from friends and family. But it was the therapy that helped me to see the importance of most of the other things, and make time for them. And that made me realise that people didn't know how to support me unless I told them.

It took me a few tries to find a counsellor I clicked with. and then it wasn't an overnight process in fact it was bloody tough and I often felt a bit worse after sessions. But it helped me let go of my guilt over various things and to challenge my negative thought patterns like never being happy again. and I think it could help you a lot too. flowers

TanteJeanne Sat 06-May-17 10:09:49

Look up Ataloss.org
They should have details of all bereavement services / charities in every area.

Ilovewineandchocolate Sat 06-May-17 17:20:30

Form reading your posts, I think counselling will help. I am going to look into it next week. I also feel like I need to have something for myself, but I don't want to ask for help with childcare/ babysitting, I don't know why.

TanteJeanne Sat 06-May-17 22:03:43

A lot of people in our position seem to join WAY- Widowed And Young- a group for those who have been widowed young. I think they do events- there are a series of picnics coming up in a few weeks, in towns/ cities all over the country. They also do online peer support. Your current friends haven't been through what you have and perhaps they don't know how to empathise or help you. People from WAY have all lost a partner and many of them have children. I think you might find support and understanding there.

Chasingsquirrels Sat 06-May-17 22:46:35

I've just joined WAY today. I'm not sure what to expect yet, and as a forum it seems a lot slower than MN (but that's a number game, and I'm glad there aren't more numbers).
How are you this weekend Ilovewineandchocolate?

grobagsforever Sun 07-May-17 08:56:03

Hi OP. I was widowed June 2014 very suddenly. I was 33 years old and pregnant with DD2. So nearly three years on now. You asked for practical steps so here are mine:

1) Get some regular childcare so you can do something for you. See friends, a hobby, whatever. If you can't afford a sitter then do swaps with friends, ask family, whatever it takes.

2) Join WAY and find some local widowed friends with children the same age. It's a godsend. I hang out with mine at weekends, chat to them on messenger and we've had several holidays together. We're off to Italy on Wednesday!

3) Are you happy in your work? I recently changed mine and it's given me a whole new sense of purpose

4) Exercise is key to fighting the sad thoughts and lethargy

5) Set some goals and work towards them. In year 1 I took the kids to Disney to and learned to drive. In year 2 I did the London marathon and started dating. In year 3 I got a new job. Build your life.

My life is far from perfect. I miss DH everyday. But I have so much good in my life now. Many new friends. My children are doing well. I love my job. I have a lovely boyfriend.

All best wishes and PM me if you want.

Ilovewineandchocolate Sun 07-May-17 18:30:26

Thank you everyone for replying, and grobags you sound amazing. I don't imagine for a second life is easy for you, but you've achieved so much, I lost my husband in December 14 and haven't achieved anything in the time since. I need to stop wallowing and think about what I want to do with the rest of my life. I always think of why I can't do something, but I should be focusing on what I can do.! So far I've decided
I need some counselling
I need to start running again
I need to find another job. - I hate mine!
I need some regular childcare so I can do something and meet people. That is going to be really hard as I've become so introverted, but I have to do it.

grobagsforever Mon 08-May-17 08:01:15

That's a great list OP. I really believe positive, proactive action is the only way to get better. I had a lot of counselling - if you find the right person it can really help. Do consider joining WAY also.

TanteJeanne Mon 08-May-17 10:10:37

You HAVE achieved OP.
You have survived a harrowing experience. You have worked full time (FULL TIME!!!!) and provided for your children. You have got up and got on with it every day, in the worst of times.

But you are ready for the next stage- you do deserve to be happy but you have to start this process yourself, and seek help and support.
Your plan looks good- you have inspired me to think about a plan of my own!

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