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I feel lost - Carers UK Forum

I feel lost

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Hi, I am Di and new to this site but am willing to try anything at the moment. I lost my partner of 23 years recently after caring for her for eighteen months. She passed peacefully away at home with me holding her hand as she slipped away, During this time I cared for her having taken time off from work.I know she is at peace but I now feel totally lost , without a meaning to go forward and don't know what to do. I try and keep busy and sort things out but every day I start with a list and get nowhere as everywhere I look or touch reminds me of her. I end up just in a total mess and cry without reason. She was at home for the last few months really poorly and I now find that my life that used to revolve around her and her needs is now empty. I know everybody I speak to says time is a great healer but that's all I have at the moment. Does anyone else feel like this or am i just unable to move on.?
Hi Di,
welcome to the forum. Your feelings sound totally understandable. Your life did revolve solely around your partner and as carers our lives become limited due to our caring role. You have a lot to come to terms with, the passing of your partner and the ending of your caring role. Others on here have gone or are going through the same grieving process as you. Have a look at the Former carers section you might want to post on there too.

I didn't care for my Dad, but he died unexpectedly a couple of years ago in tragic circumstances and I found CRUSE helpful.

Hello Di and welcome to the forum :)

There is no pattern to grief, everyone deals with their loss in different ways - no one way is right or wrong. The only thing that does help is time - for some that time comes sooner than for others, again there is no 'right' time or 'wrong' time.

23 years is a long time and you must have a lot of wonderful memories of your time together to call on - these are the ones to hold onto; the 'bad' memories of recent times are the ones that you need to let go of. Easier said than done I know, but by concentrating on the good memories the bad ones do gradually fade away.

Before my Dad died he said "don't cry at my funeral, you will not be crying for me but for yourselves - I will have gone to a better and happier place". I know he was right but nevertheless many tears were shed even when we were remembering happier times; tears are nature's balm.

You will move on - maybe not this week or this month, maybe not this year - but the time will come when you realise that you can remember your lovely partner without tears and then you will know that you can begin to move on. For now let it be enough that you cope day to day; be kind to yourself - eat properly and get as much sleep as you need. Talk to your GP, maybe a short course of anti-depressants or some grief counselling would help ? And talk to us, we will 'hold your hand' in cyber space and try to help you through this sad time.
Oh, Di, you are not 'crying without reason' - you are crying for the strongest reason of all - grief at the loss of someone you love! (I don't say 'loved' because we NEVER stop loving them - we always love them, and always will!)

When I lost my husband to cancer some years ago my world ended, it was as simple and brutal as that. I simply did not know how I could wake up each morning, and get through the day ahead.

Yes, time does 'heal', but firstly it takes a LOT of time, and secondly, the healing always, always, always leaves scars and sensitive wounds. Even now, years later, I can just 'walk over the cliff' of grief, without warning, at any time, and miss my husband with a tearing pain that is agony and disbelief that he has gone from this life (but, I hope, has entered the next phase of his existence).

We all develop ways and mechanisms of coping, and surviving, and what works for some may not work for others. I find 'keeping busy' helps, and so, too, does joining the fight against the disease that killed him (cancer in his case). I feel that helps to protect others from going through what he and our family went through. Whatever the physical illness, there is usually some kind of support group and research going on, and that may help you - and show you others who are in your position as well, who may also help and support you.

In terms of support for the loss of a partner, I can definitely recommend two organisations (depending on your age.) There is 'Way' which is Widowed and Young (I think it's about up to 50), and then there is Way Up (for those over fifty). Again, it can depend a great deal on what each of us finds helpful, but for a good couple of years I felt the ONLY people who could possibly understand my grief were other bereaved partners (It's called 'widows' but it doesn't mean only 'married' or 'female' by the way....)

Grieving isn't easy - it's the hardest thing in the world. We have to 'reinvent' ourselves at the same time, go forward when all we want to do is go back, back, back to happier times when the person we love was alive.

I can't say that you will ever 'get over' it - I think, personally, that would be 'wrong' anyway. We shouldn't 'get over' someone dying tragically in whatever circumstances ,we should always 'protest' their loss, however they died.

From my own experience, which may apply or may not, I would say that the future after bereavement brings what I call 'small happinesses'. We find we can take pleasure in 'little things' whether it's a summer's day, or a meal with friends, or something good on the TV, or the company of a cat or dog. We learn, after a while, to find enjoyment again. It probably seems impossible for you now, and that is natural, but it will come, imperceptibly and day, by slow day, by slow day.

Kind regards, at this dark time of your life, Jenny