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I can't bear life without my husband

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 11 December 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I can't bear the thought of Christmas, or in fact next year, without my beloved husband, who died three months ago.

What is the point of my life without him? How do I even start to get on with my life now he is gone?


Patricia Marie says...

Dealing with the death of a loved one is an extremely difficult and traumatic experience, and the pain is significantly heightened at this time of year when others are joyously celebrating the festivities. It's not going to be easy this very first Christmas without your husband, but instead of focusing on life without him, perhaps allow yourself some time to remember the special times you enjoyed with him. I often suggest to those grieving that they could light a candle in memory of their loved ones. Keep a photograph of your husband nearby, and open up to your family and friends, as they care for you and will be conscious of your loss. At times you may feel overwhelmed, but this is perfectly natural. Starting to address your grief, often through tears, does provide relief, and promote healing.

Cruse Bereavement Care offer professional help and support, including group counselling which I feel could be particularly beneficial, allowing you to see that if others can make it through their losses, than so can you. Learning coping techniques may give you hope for the future, and, even better, perhaps supportive friendships could be forged, through experiences shared within the group.

At this moment you are clearly suffering, but you don't have to hurt forever or manage this alone. Be compassionate with yourself as you work to relinquish old routines and establish new ones. Life without your husband will inevitably be different, but, given time, you will hopefully soon realise your life is still very much worth living, and certainly not over.

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: www.cruse.org.uk 0844 477 9400

Newly widowed

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 28 May 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am newly widowed and feel completely and utterly bereft. I had the most loving husband for over 35 years, and feel I cannot continue to go on without him by my side.

I have a loving and supportive family, but miss the company and love of my husband. I was lucky to have a good, kind and doting man, which makes his loss even harder to come to terms with.

I have had counselling which has helped a little, but nevertheless, can't help feeling my life is over.

How can I cope with such dreadful heartache?

Patricia Marie says.....

You have lost the physical presence of your beloved husband, and the actual loving space he filled within your world is now an intolerable emptiness. I feel depths of sympathy for your grief. I believe we go on living for the sake of our beloved dead, experiencing each moment for them, and with them. If only you were to embrace your husband's spirit which lives on beside you in your every living moment, this would provide great comfort.

You experienced love in a way not many people do, yet the downside of loving so intensely is that the pain is so much more acute, simply because you have lost the love of your life. In the midst of the darkness, it can be almost impossible to believe one can get over such grief, but I want to encourage you to hold on to hope. Celebrate all you had with your husband and keep your precious memories alive. At this moment, life must seem rather grey, but if you look for the colour, it will gradually return. Continue with your personal counselling, and for additional support, do contact Cruse Bereavement Counselling, who offer excellent help and support for those suffering from grief. Alongside the love of your family, hopefully, you will begin to feel better, and start to see your life as being different - not over.

I recommend 'After You' by Maryalicia Post. This memoir is about one women's emotional journey through loss, healing, and happiness after losing her husband of 30 years.

Cruse: 0844 477 9400 www.cruse.org.uk

My daughter aged 13 died 6 months ago

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Wednesday, 06 May 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I do not know what to do, or where to go for help. I keep having panic attacks, and can't go on feeling this way for much longer. My daughter aged 13, died 6 months ago, after suffering a devastating degenerative condition. She gave me the greatest purpose in life, and now she's no longer here, I feel lonely and abandoned.

When my daughter was alive, I received much support from family and friends. However, since she's gone I have had little or no understanding from my close ones. In fact, if I mention my daughter, the conversation soon changes, leaving me frustrated and tearful. They insist time is a great healer, which offers no comfort whatsoever. I don't want counselling as this will not bring my daughter back, just wanting my friends and family to listen to me.

I am lucky to have another child, and a caring husband, but he gets annoyed with me for expecting too much from people. I am very close to my mother, but as soon as I mention my daughter, she becomes extremely upset, so I withdraw from opening up about my feelings. So I ask you, am I wrong for expecting others to be there for me?

Patricia Marie says.....

The loss of a child is the most devastating experience a parent can face, and you should not be expected to 'get over' the pain it causes at any stage.

For thirteen years you took care of your daughter who was totally dependant on you, and as you so rightly say, gave you a purpose. I make a heartfelt request to you to see that your purpose as a mother still goes on with your living child.

Let me ask you not to see your husband as annoyed, nor your friends as lacking compassion. It's not uncommon for friends to pull away during a grieving period, as they often do not know what to say. Have you considered your friends could be feeling guilty that they have children who are alive and well? They may well want to help, but don't know how - so tell them what you need. And don't push your husband away, as he too is having to deal with his own grief, as indeed is your mother who seems to be struggling to come to terms with the loss of her granddaughter. Your quarrel is not with them, but with what life has thrown at you - taking your beautiful daughter from you. Whilst you have every right to feel angry, by expressing it to others, you will only be hurting yourself.

Counselling won't bring your daughter back. Nothing will. But it will allow you to explore the feelings that you are clearly both needing and wanting to express. Grief can feel very lonely, even when your loved ones are close. I think you would benefit greatly from attending a bereavement group, as sharing your sorrow with others who are going through similar experiences could be comforting, and will help you to feel understood. Furthermore, I urge you to see your G.P for help with your panic attacks.

When you're lonely and wanting to feel close to your daughter, light a candle and enjoy those special memories you have - which can never be taken from you.

Your life is forever changed - but it's not over. It must seem at this moment that you won't ever recover from your loss, but be patient, and allow yourself time to heal. I believe with the right help and support, you may begin to find a way forward that acknowledges and continues to incorporate the love you will always feel for your daughter.

Cruse offer bereavement support groups in most areas: 0844 477 9400 www.cruse.org.uk 


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