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I'm struggling to cope with the death of my husband

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 03 June 2016
Dear Patricia Marie,

I don't know whether I am looking for advice, help or just understanding. Five years ago my husband died and although everyone says I am coping well, I am not. In public I try, but I am still in shock and grieving – have other ladies had the same experience? Will it get easier?

In 1992 my husband bought a Morgan, and through the Sports Car Club we met many nice people, and three have been especially kind and supportive. They are not local though. My support group here are mostly the age of my daughters, who are both married with children and work – one in Yorkshire, one near Lincoln.

Please tell me it gets easier and I shan't always be near tears and longing.

Patricia Marie says...

Dealing with the death of a loved one is an extremely difficult and traumatic experience, no matter how much time has passed since their death. I feel there is a real sense of loneliness around you. You have lost the physical presence of your husband, and the space he filled within your world continues to leave a feeling of intolerable emptiness. The transition from wife to widow can understandably be extremely painful.

Grieving is a vital part of recovering from loss, but it seems you haven't grieved properly, and at this moment are clearly suffering. Be gentle on yourself, and know that you don't have to hurt forever or manage this alone. Cruse Bereavement are a fantastic organisation providing help for those struggling with personal loss. There is no substitute for learning from others who have experienced the death of their spouse, and the group counselling which they offer could help you share your grief, thereby making you feel better understood and promoting healing. Even better, friendships could be forged, through shared experiences. Whilst the support of friends and family is also vital, they may not fully understand, and don't often know the right thing to say, which is why group therapy is such a valuable resource.

The path of your life has changed, but, whilst always remembering your husband, you do deserve to be happy. It's good to hear about the club you both joined, but perhaps you could now consider joining some local societies, that would incorporate your hobbies, or, indeed, enable you to experience different ones. You may enjoy new found interests which will shift your focus to the future rather than the past.

It may seem at this moment that you won't ever recover from your loss, but by receiving the help you deserve, you will be able to move on from this difficult time. At this moment, life may seem rather grey, but if you look for the colour, it will gradually return.

I recommend 'Death and how to survive it' by Kate Boydell, a unique, practical and uplifting guide to coming to terms with the loss of a partner.

Cruse Bereavement Care: 0808 808 1677

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