New forum member

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
More than two years after I lost my dear wife and soul mate I am still not coping with having no reason to go on.
I was a dedicated carer for more than 10 years, and despite difficulties I I honoured my promise to keep her safe and
at home. From day one after I lost her I had that huge gap in my life, and for the first time in my life felt totally alone.
Guess that is so common to the users here, but still personal to the individual. Now I am 70 and the past couple of
years have really been so hard with little contact with others. We had just moved so lost all of my old neighbours etc.
as well.
Just writing this makes things seem "shared" so bear with me please.
I will now read previous posts and get some idea of how common this is.
Thanks for reading
Hello Denis and welcome
Yep, being bereaved after caring is a double whammy as not only has the person been lost but so has the job, and the purpose. There is a series of threads under this heading ... mer-carers where you can read how others find it, but do remember most of these were started fairly soon after.
Have you contracted Cruse, they are a specialist charity for the bereaved

The 'having no reason to go on' really resonate alas. I too am widowed, but I have the IMMENSE comfort of having a son, and for his sake I 'go on'. (And for my family too - it would devastate my brother were I to 'give up and go after' I suspect not a few of us widowed feel is the 'only thing left to do'.....)

Two years is not long, not long at all. I asked a friend of mine whose husband had left her and their children about 15 years earlier how long it had taken her to 'accept' her new life as a single mother, to 'accept' her marriage was over, and she said (which shocked me at the time) - 'About six or seven years'......

I'm nearly 10 years out now, and my husband is with me each and every day, and always will be. BUT, and this is the big 'but'....I am used to it. I know that sounds hideously banal, but it is true. It's become 'the new normal'. I don't like it, how should I, I grieve every day, but I now find pleasures in what I call 'little things' - enjoying the garden, reading a book, seeing my brother and family, meeting up with friends, etc etc. (As I say, I'm immensely fortunate in having a son so I 'must' go on, and he, of course, is the greatest joy in my life).

Being widowed is incredibly lonely. We sit at home, alone, and the empty place besides us tears at us. 'Absence has a Presence' I always say - we can FEEL them 'not there'. My particular self-immolated pain is watching those 'Escape to the Sun' programmes about retired couples heading for Spain or Devon or whatever, and then I want to howl - 'we'll never do that!' I sob to myself. Our futures have been stolen from us, both of us - my husband's and mine.....

BUT, there it is. We play the hand we're dealt, as my (also widowed in middle age) MIL says (she now has the appalling mockery of her long, long life, as she has advanced dementia - and where is the justice in that? My husband dead in middle age and his mother with her mind dead at 93??)

OK, in practical terms, as well as Cruse, do consider Way Up. It was started as WAY for 'Widowed and Young' for those who suffer far worse than those widowed in middle or old age, whose whole lives have been ripped to shreds, without even the long years of memory to comfort them. Way Up is their extension for the 50+ generation. I found it immensely helpful and comforting. It provides a corner for a 'communal howl' (!), where each and every one of us is still 'bleeding griefl' and we can say whatever we like there and know that others feel it too, and know what we are going through.

It also provides a space for when and as we want to 'move on' -(which does nOT mean 'leaving behind!) - but simply to share 'small pleasures' with others who, again, know what we are going through. We are all 'emotional amputees' perhaps, all without our other halves, and in that sense we are all alike. All 'hopping' through the rest of our lives as best we can.
Hi Denis, I too am widowed, also joined Way Up. It's a group where you don't have to explain what you are feeling, everyone is in the same boat. A forum for widows/widowers sounds really depressing, but since everyone is on the same road, same journey, but at different stages, it can really help. I went to a few meals, and a weekend away in Bath with them. After 11 years I've come to terms with things, and moved on, so not an active member now.
When did you last have an enjoyable holiday by yourself? I've been to the Mistral Hotel in Maleme, Crete a few times now. It's spotlessly clean, lovely food, usually eaten overlooking the Med, lovely trips out. Many people there have been carers, you can do as much or as little as you want.
For me, my trips there gave me back a lot of confidence and happiness. It is most definitely for those who are single, and not looking for a partner.
I can't imagine how hard it must be for you, I am in my middle years and married to my soulmate and would be lost without him.

My situation is different to yours, I am in my 40s and care for my 2 elderly parents whilst looking after my 2 small children. I was at rock bottom when I found this forum and I have found so much help, support and advice here to improve my situation here, so I hope you do too. I am also sure that with 10 years of caring behind you, that you have an awful lot to give.

Have you thought about looking for some volunteering work? I am looking to return to the workplace and have been doing some volunteer work myself and can testify that it is the young retired such as yourself are the complete lifeblood of pretty much any charity shop, small museum, local community projects, country parks and gardens, age concern lunches, historic transport etc etc. I volunteer at my local museum and then there are many people such as yourself who are widowed and put so much back into their local communities. I know from experience that it is really daunting to initially turn up and know no one, but in my own experience I've been really welcomed. And I have found it really rewarding.