Falling apart

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
My partner of 27 years passed away 2 weeks ago. Funeral on Monday. I am falling apart. No family support as such. Friends are doing their loveliest to keep me on an even keel. Am on antidepressants and sleeping pill but sleep is hard to get. I am distraught and feel at such a loss. Bereavement counselling is not in evidence unless you can afford 50£ an hour. Tried CRUSE but it wasn't that good to be honest. I am feeling lost angry and have no sense of purpose in my life now. I know he is not suffering any more but he was a rock. I don't know how who or what happens now. Looking after him for the last 3 years of my life wasn't always easy but now he is gone I feel so alone.
Hello. I am recently bereaved. Partner of 27 years died 2 weeks ago. Funeral on Monday. I feel out of control and angry.
Feeling helpsess. Trying to be strong.
Not sure if I can offer much advice, as we're pretty much both in the ame place at the moment, having justhad the funeral 2 days ago, of my wife of 24yrs. And am pretty much 'doing alone' where family/friends are concerned.
But what I can do is give you some pointers where I picked up a little support over the past week or two.
I too looked at the Cruse literature, and never got any further, as their 'options' didn't resonate with me as being of any use. BUT at this stage in the process, I'd run a mile from any service that expects you to pay for counselling of any description.
There may be a few avenues to investigate, that on the surface sound daft.

Age UK offer bereavement counselling ... sounds weird, as if like me, your no-where quite near to 'pensionable age' ... however, my local registrar of Births/marriages etc gave me their leaflet, and when it comes to dealing with loss they open their doors to all.
Even the local NHS hospital Patient services have free counselling services free for these weeks of completely manic uncontrollable swings from one extreme emotion to the other end of the scale.
(I must confess, i'm being a sterotypical 'bloke' when it comes to counselling, and haven't got to a point yet where i think it might help)

I know it's different for all of us, but expect a few more hits to your strength over the next 5-6 days ... Up until the funeral on Tuesday, i was still in full on 'caring' mode, trying to organise the service and the reams of paperwork that involves, then yesterday, the day after it hit hard. 16yrs of doing nowt but looking after and caring for my wife, every decision made was made taking her needs into account first and foremost. The hit of realisation that not only was she gone, I'd lost my full time job too. Dealing with all the different agencies, filling out paperwork, instinctively filling in the sections about my partner, stuttering over remembering my own D.O.B and NI number, as for years I've been rattling off the wife's details.
Through all of this, different agencies, GP etc have kept trying to bang home one single message. Put your self first .... I know they're right, but it just doesn't feel right, and it doesn't fix the sleepless nights, hearing the noises of your partner turning restlessly, even though they arn't there, making two cups of coffee in the morning instead of one...there's no quick fix for that either, filling the supermarket trolley with food you hate, but they like, and then realising and leaving the store with nothing, because it's just to much hassle thinking about what you want to eat. (apparently this is supposedly quite normal behaviour!!)

Sorry not much help, as we're stumbling through the unknown, the uncertainties, and the abject fear of going it alone.. But there are quite a few more knowledgeable people among the members on these boards, who've travelled a little further down the road we're on, who will, no-doubt pop in with a lot better advice, learnt from their own experiences.

Just remember to breathe once in a while.

Ian
Eira_1509 wrote:Hello. I am recently bereaved. Partner of 27 years died 2 weeks ago. Funeral on Monday. I feel out of control and angry.
Feeling helpsess. Trying to be strong.
Eira there may be some useful and practical help through posts in the condolences section. This is a terrible time for you - do you have help and support from family and / or friends?
As a widow of nine years, I know that the next few months are going to be a real roller coaster ride. I did a deal with myself. I would go out every day, usually in the morning. Didn't want endless questions, so I went shopping in the next town. I might only be out for an hour, but that was better than being a total recluse. I put all the paperwork in a big ring binder, most important on top. I dealt with ONE thing every day. Two was a bonus. I cried at home, buckets and buckets, but managed not to cry in public, apart from the funeral. I kept forgetting to eat, then woke starving at 3am. So eat something, even if it's only cake and cereal! Garden centres do great food - by the time I'd cooked a meal for one most of it went in the bin as I then couldn't face it. DON'T make any important decisions. Have a notebook for ideas, but your head will be all over the place for at least a year. I could have sold the house, the steam engines, everything in the house too, the house we renovated and loved for 30 years. Fortunately I didn't. As the grief subsided I began to love the house again. Don't worry about buying too much food, getting two cups out when you are making cocoa at night (I did this regularly!). Be kind to yourself, accept that you are going through an enormous change, allow yourself a few mistakes. Beware "Widow Fog" - the memory is awful, so write down important things!
dearest eira and ian,
sincere condolences on your sad losses!

i lost mr bigbear august 2013.

thinking of you both at this sad time.

i feel composed, almost solemn trying to think of some wise words...

i had an assesment for nhs free bereavement therapy this morning

if youre in the mood my query in this section
about counselling came back with lots of good advice,
but at the moment sending monster hugs to you both
as and when needed!

i found a useful thing to say when people offer condolences and you want to be positive
"we all you through it
its never easy!
thank you for your support!"
often a hugs followed!

just off to blend some cauli and celery soup
hahaha the pan is far to full!!!
not sure how to takle it!!!

will take a look at it
and ponder
think i'll let it cool down before i do anything!!!

will check up on news of you both on this little thread as often as possible!
love hugs and deepest sympathy and respect

bigbear x ;) :)
Hello everyone
Well Xmas and New Year - I managed OK apart from when I was at home where my mum doesn't even ask how I am doing, or mention his name...that was hard. I know that is just how she is, very self centred, but the day afterwards I woke up in tears missing my baby so much. Rang and texted friends and had a chat with a good friend, whose Dad had recently died about the same time as my hubby - then the rest of the day was spent with friends having a lovely afternoon tea.
Now I am back to the reality of everything, and being alone. That's what I am finding hard - coming back to no one to talk to/ care for/love. Cry most days - woke up in tears one day last week. I am sleeping on my side of the bed still...crazy things like that, walk around the bed to get into it. Was going to take his clothes to the charity which helped him in his recovery but I think that brought everything back into sharp focus again, so couldn't do it. Black bags everywhere with clothes in...so I have to get them sorted. I am still sorting out the practical side of things, the funeral bill has come in now too - all little reminders. I still sometimes think it all can't be happening. I found some counselling at last through my local carers' group and also my GP. What I found mad was that one centre didn't offer free counselling if you were over 50....bizarre or what. I am going to counselling - at least it is a neutral voice to talk too which I think is helpful. I am still off work which is good at the moment, I know going back it is going to be hard as well as that might trigger different memories. It's the old life and routine that has gone, and there is such a big gap. I am sleeping a bit better, my routine is changing, but the loss...oh that is so hard to bear. I hope everyone is having as good a day as possible. I am trying to keep busy and get out and about, meet new people, doing activities I like such as walking groups etc. Well must do some tidying up, had a friend over the other couple of nights, so must vac pac the quilt! All the best everyone.
Eira
Hi Eira, slow down a bit. Accept that you will probably always sleep on "your" side of the bed. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but you'll always do it. I certainly walk round my bed to my side, and my husband died nearly 10 years ago.

I gradually ironed and folded everything neatly and put it in cardboard boxes. I did this in the evening, then had a good cry when no one would see or hear me. As one box was done and full, I took it to the Salvation Army in Bournemouth, who were very happy to receive it. It's easier doing things bit by bit...and crying with each one. Let the tears flow, I know it's painful, but don't hold them back, you need to go through this before you come out the other side. The SA are always desperate for used footwear, that can just go in one of their collecting bins.
With the funeral bill, just give it to the bank, and they will pay it directly, even if probate hasn't been granted yet.
Eira, I won't softsoap this - it's going to be hell on earth for you this year. You'll wonder how you're going to get through each day - but somehow you will. You'll be on the floor with grief, and rage, and desperation and disbelief.

Slowly, incredibly, incredibly slow, a kind of 'ice' seems to form under your feet, so that you are no longer drowning in that freezing sea of grief. A kind of numbness nets around you, and you start to welcome it, as it stops you feeling quite so much. Little by little, day by day, that increases. Until the time will come when 'most days' you aren't 'too bad'. You will still plunge right down into the freezing sea again, quite regularly, and often unexpectedly - you'll see a photo, have a thought, a memory, someone will say something, and down, down, down you'll go.

You adjust. You never heal. You adjust. My MIL said to me on the day my husband died (she'd lost her own husband over twenty years earlier herself) simply 'You'll get used to it'. It sounded so brutal, but it is true. We become 'someone else'. We become 'a single woman'. We become 'a widow'.

The pain fades .....mostly. But we are never healed, never. But the scar tissue becomes less and less painful.

We find 'little joys' in 'little things'. A sunny day, a good meal, something nice on the TV, a glass of wine (not too many!)(though my MIL took to the gin when she was bereaved for the first year - it was a necessary anesthetic for her....)

As for his things, well, I can admit that seven years on my husband's wardrobe is quite untouched (apart form me putting more things in there of his!). I see no rush to get rid of anything of his. His study is still the same - pretty dusty! His ashes are on the shelf, just above the chair he sat in at the desk he worked at. I go in daily to have my 'chat' with him. :)

'One day' I'll sort things, but 'not right now'.

So if you do want to delay or keep things, it's up to you, what you want to do. My MIL had her husband's stuff packed up and out of the flat in a week -that's what she wanted. I'm the utter opposite. Neither is right or wrong, just what feels right for you.

There is no timetable for grieving. It is a landscape all of its own.

In terms of bereavement counselling, have you asked if your local hospice organisation does it? Mine did, and it really helped. Let me pour it all out, and I could say anything at all.

There are online widows and widowers' groups. You might try WAY UP (Widowed and Young, but for the over 50s). I found them helpful. Some of the focus is on 'keeping your life going' (and recovering a shared social life) but there is a separate section for the newly-widowed, where we can 'bleed' together......
After nine years, I have adjusted to being "single" again. My life is very different, but my husband is always with me, in my heart (and my dreams at times). I've survived to find bits of the "me" from many years ago. Our lives together were great fun but very hectic, and then at one stage we had four elderly disabled parents and a son with learning difficulties to look after. Now I'm retired, all the parents have died, and my brother too. I have, brick by brick, built a new life for myself. I can laugh again, have fun, go on holiday to Crete (I can thoroughly recommend the Mistral Hotel in Maleme just for single people) and life is worth living again.

I have learned to throw things away that I don't need to keep to remember my husband, clothing especially. Everything went to do some good in the world, things I knew I didn't need anymore . However, I still have his 12 ton steam roller and his traction engine, which my sons now care for!

In the first few years, I could easily have thrown away everything, but had been told not to make any major decisions for at least two years, good advice which I'd like to pass on. There is no way to take a short cut through grief I'm afraid, but live in the knowledge that one day, things will be better.