Alone again...starting over.: Having lost my... - Care Community

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Alone again...starting over.


Having lost my husband last December to Vascular Dementia after the illness lasting over 5 long years,i am finding life very difficult to comprehend and often just want to shut myself away and become isolated but I do know this is not a good idea,so I do go out with friends for lunch occasionally,but I cant wait to get home and I cannot even think of going out in the evening,in fact I dont care for driving very much,as David used to do all the driving when he was well. I nursed David at home for almost all those years and its left a terrible void.

Added to which I now have so many legal things to deal with and solicitors are not my favourite people,in fact in my opinion they are legalised thieves,but we have no option but to use them and all the paperwork reduces me to tears.

I dont sleep at all well,and I go to bed at such ridiculous times,often at 6pm and in and out of sleep all night. My doctor asked me how am I doing and I answered 'I would not kill myself but I wish I was dead' and he said that is a common reaction.

What does keep me on an even ish keel is our 3 little rescue dogs for they are my salvation,without them I would be lost. Grief is a terrible thing and we all approach it in different ways,but I must,and I will get through this.

20 Replies

Entirely natural to feel as you do. Be kind to yourself. It's still very early days. One day at a time is all we can do until the pain and grief eases a little. Thinking of you.

Karen x


Losing your dear husband to dementia must have brought you such sorrow and sadness. You will get through and are doing really well to try and engage with others.

Please take good care of yourself and remember we’re here for you.

Don’t be afraid to reach out dear secrets.

As klr31 says, one day at a time. Xxxxx


My husband died in May and I know exactly what you are going through. He had dementia for many years too. With dementia, we lose the person we loved before they actually die, it is horrible. Please try to get some counselling, it really helps to talk it through with a person who is not involved.

You need to keep going out as much as you can, staying in will only make things worse. Your husband would not want you to shut yourself away. Find out about local clubs, follow a hobby - anything you can to get your life back. It will not be a life you want - I hate this new life I have been given - but you need to try to make the best of how it is now. I have found others left on their own like me and we are starting a social group to help us make the best of our lives now.

I am always around if you need to message me.


sassy59Ambassador in reply to Hidden

A heartfelt reply Jan. xxx

secrets22 in reply to Hidden

Thankyou Jan,your words resonate with me completely,dementia is such a cruel disease,we see our loved ones die in front of our eyes.

I am actually having counselling and it does help enormously,but when one is home alone its when the realisation hits hard.

Winter days seem to make things worse with the darkness enveloping me,hopefully with the lighter nights I will get out more.

I too hate this different life,and I hope you gain great support with the group you have started.

My thoughts go out to you.

Hidden in reply to secrets22

Yes, it is hard being home when you are on your own. By the time it gets dark I am indoors and see no-one until next day, When it is cold and dark it is hard to get organised with activities in the evenings. I find having no-one to talk to (even if he didn't answer or understand) is difficult and one of the things I found hardest was the silence if I woke in the night with no-one next me breathing. It is not easy. Keep in touch, even chatting on here helps.

Bella395 in reply to Hidden

I anticipated the silence when I would be alone. I leave my Amazon Echo playing when I go out. I decided that I would like another Echo (the Dot) for my bedside table. OH wanted to buy one for me so I waited until Black Friday when it was on offer. I have found it to be very helpful, particularly when I go to bed and get up. You can even let it play white noise such as the waves, rain etc.

lell1 in reply to secrets22

Hello there secrets22!

All the usual things said and done. People have come into your life, and gone again. You are tired of the relentless responsibilities that are continuing to distress you. At home it is just you, not too bad during the day when you have things to do. But in the long dark evenings, it is soo lonely, so quiet, so empty? Going out with friends/going to groups doesn't help when you get back home and open the door. This is the early days of bereavement and grief Secrets22.

Nobody tells people that when having counselling, most of the thinking goes on at home later in the day, or days later! I strongly feel that counselling may not be your best way this point! You need to grieve, not rehash the what ifs etc. Do positive/productive stuff. Do you have any hobbies that you feel that you would like to take up again, or new ones? You have your dogs, and they are wonderful company I'm sure. Have you thought about going to the local citizens advice to help with form filling and sorting practicalities out? I agree with your thoughts on solicitors! You could also try a local carers group for support? Can't change the fact that you've been a carer for years and now you have had a life changing event you may need some care! Or even a local care provider/local adult services could potentially provide someone to sit with u in the evenings for a while and just chat? You may have to pay for this, but it doesn't have to be every night?

Be kind to yourself, you can't do this if you carry on doing what you have been doing for years. It's no longer needed, and you have a whole new world that you can try out. If it doesn't work, try something else. But remember, you are to do this for your self, not to while away time.

I am so very sorry that you are feelings so low. The death of a loved one is so hard to cope with and like you say, everyone has their own way of dealing with it.

It sounds as if you devoted the last 5 years to your husband and now you do not have that role, you are really lost.

What you are experiencing sounds understandable given the circumstances. You are trying to spend time with people and that is the first step which you should be very proud of because it's such a difficult thing to do. I am sure that over time it will get easier and you will start to enjoy life again.

It's wonderful that you have your rescue dogs who depend on you and give you a routine and reason to live.

It sounds as if you have sought help from your GP. Sometimes medication can help you get through, but that's a personal choice and not everyone wants to go down that road. The organisation CRUSE can also help with counselling if you need someone to talk to and get things off you chest.

I wish you well and hope that the next year brings you some peace of mind.

Helen xx

Hello Secrets and Jan

My heart goes out to you both. I hope you both find a way through your grief. I wish you well. X

Secrets22 - what can anyone say that would be a comfort? It seems impossible because grief is a lonely business. I too am now bereaved, my OH having died just two days ago so I can relate to your feelings although you are a little further on this journey than me.

We all deal with things differently and there is no right and wrong - we just have to do what we can to carry on. I am lucky to have the support of people who will listen and I am so grateful for it. Like you, I have dogs (two) and they will keep me going. They have been a little neglected regarding attention and walks so now I hope to be able to love them and give them a better time of it. I will try and push myself to put them in the car and go off to different places for walks.

As carers, you and I have emerged from years of living in a very stressful situation and it will take a long time to ‘come down’ from that level of anxiety.

I am sorry that I can’t be of much help but I feel for you secrets22 and hope that in time you will begin to take small steps to feeling better.

Lynd in reply to Bella395

I am so sorry to hear your news Bella.

Take care x

Hidden in reply to Bella395


Thank you Lynd. I didn’t want to hijack secret22’s thread but just mentioned it in fellowship with her. I thought it would help to know that she is not alone - we travel this journey together but apart.

It’s very early as for you.

M glad you’ve got your dogs to help you along.

I'd like to extend sincere condolences to both Secrets22 and Bella395. I don't feel I can add anymore than has what's been said, purely and simply because I've never been married so I can't imagine the loss you're both feeling right now. Give yourselves time to grieve, the lighter nights are coming and with them some sunshine which will make going out easier for everyone. When you're ready look into any social groups in your area, at a church local to me they have all sorts of activities going on, and you don't need to attend church services, although I'm sure you'd be made to feel welcome if you did. Another group this church hosts is a country market where you can get home made preserves, cakes, biscuits and they serve coffee. If, over time, this appeals to you, and you are a good cook my market is always looking for people to contribute goods to be sold, thinking of you both, look after yourselves, and I'm sending you both gentle hugs filled with loads of love (I hope you don't mind sharing my reply) xxxxxx

secrets22 in reply to Jennymary

hello Jennymary and thank you. I do in fact attend my local church and they have been marvellous,and they also have a lot of events through the year,and I will join with some of them when I feel ready.


Hi secrets22

You are being so courageous and even though you are suffering dreadfully with your grief you are showing your strength and determination to try to make yourself a new way forward. Others have said this so much better than I can but I hope you’ll find all of our words a little bit of comfort. It’s not easy.

I’m so glad your dogs are helping to keep you going. Thank goodness for the little crumbs of comfort we find in our darkest times.

Bless you secrets22. As you can see, the community’s thoughts are with you.

Very best wishes to you and please remember we are here. X

You have to give yourself time to grieve. You are going through a major traumatic change in your life. I am so sorry that you have lost your life partner. Now you need to set up some new challenges for yourself. There are many others in your 'boat'. With the company of your dogs, you could set up a local dog walking group in your neighbourhood. I am sure others would join you in some local walks. My U3A (University of the Third Age) have made me very welcome, I now participate in 3 activities a week and go to coffee morning. I now have a supportive network of new friends, and I support them too. Thoughts are with you. Make the effort, it will work for you. Xx


Hi MIchael. Glad you have found U3A! I recommend it to everyone, it has been a life saver to many people I know. I do many thing with them and it makes me get out and get involved.

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