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I was widowed 8 months ago, suddenly and unexpectedly - a terrible experience watching my husband as he lay on the floor with his life slipping away while we waited for the ambulance crew ( who, incidentally, were fantastic ).

As I look back on the next 3 months all I see is a black blur, struggling to cope with my loss and what others expected of me - mainly people wanted me to eat as I recall!

My son and his wife took me to Spain so that we could ignore Christmas; this was the first lifesaver. We were able to eat Spanish food and enjoy the way that they celebrate which is far less commercial than here in England. We walked on the beach, watched the sunset and held each other and cried which I now realise began the healing process.

In December the company which conducted my husband's funeral invited me to join a bereavement support group, at first I was reluctant but eventually I gathered my courage and went, and thank goodness I did. I have met lots of people in the same boat which means that I have been able to let down some of the barriers and have conversations about all sorts of things and for a short while think of something other than my loss; this was the second lifesaver.

As well as this I have joined an art class and I have found that I have to concentrate so hard that I go for 2 hours without thinking of my husband which seems impossible but which I think is a very positive thing as we are all aware that we have to move on but just don't seem able to find a way; this is lifesaver number three. I paint at home and my paintings tell me my true state of mind - there are lots of black spiky efforts!

I have tremendous support from friends, neighbours and family, I am SO lucky, but in spite of this of course my family and I still often feel wretched but we are able to talk about it and that helps enormously. We make a point of being together on the monthly anniversary of my husband's death, also those dreaded 'special days'. Now 8 months on I think that I am no longer 'a little insane', I have started to notice the spring, I am enjoying my new friendships ( always making a third to another couple doesn't work for me). I don't see a future yet, I can't see the point of life without him, there's no fun in getting my own way if I haven't had to negotiate with him first, and of course I miss that too.

I know that we all deal with this differently, but I hope that my experiences can help someone else find that first step back.

Love and peace to all



Dear itsfinished,

My experience happened three years ago when a phone call in the early hours of the morning exploded my familiar world out of all recognition. For months I went into decline but in the midst of untold suffering and bewilderment, was the realisation that although I had shut down, life was still going on.

I was left to deal with the trauma and the aftermath of my husband's betrayal, unsupported, with nowhere to turn, with more questions than answers. I had to find a way to survive and I grasped at every opportunity that came my way. It was a roller coaster ride through heaven and hell but small price to pay for the life I have now. It has taken me three years to rebuild my life in terms of home and financial security and although I have come a long way, the emotional scars are taking longer to heal.

I would like to thank the BBC for pointing me in your direction and thank you listening to those who inspired you to develop the website ... it is a prayer answered and one I have no doubt will give support to many.

Name witheld


Here's a poem I thought I'd share I'll dedicate it to LB.......

I Let You Know

I let you know what I needed to feel complete, for a while it was good a kind of unspoken agreement. You made me feel like the happiest girl alive, this did not last. Two people s'posed to be in love yet I was alone - not to be this way, I doubted you then.

I let you know I felt unfulfilled, you did not ask why - couldn't have cared. Other guys showed interest. I never waned. I wanted you to ask why I was unhappy. You had your own agenda. I missed you when we were apart. I let you know.

Naively thought it was gonna be different. A different story started two people so close - so far apart. The wedding day arrived I went as your guest not your girl. The meaning of this day reverberated round the room - things became crystal, what I needed to feel alive you could never give me. I let you know.....

by Anon


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