Why Do I Feel Worse Now Than I Did Right After My Husband Died?

Grief counseling was invaluable to me after I lost my husband, Sid. He was only 56 and died very suddenly.

There were so many feelings during the grief process that seemed to come out of nowhere. Of course it didn’t make my loss less painful, but just having my feelings validated seemed to help a tiny bit.

In our group session one night, our counselor explained the difference between a sudden loss and an anticipated loss. In an anticipated loss, it is as if you are standing on a beach and you see a huge wave coming right at you. But your feet are hopelessly stuck and you cannot escape the wave. You stand there frozen—terrified as the enormous wave crashes towards you. It hits you and tumbles you over and over like rag doll. You find yourself on that beach, bruised, battered and totally disoriented.

The difference between that and a sudden loss is that your back is to the ocean.

I thought that was a great way to explain it. No matter how the death occurs, it is devastating. You still feel awful—but with a sudden death, you just didn’t see it coming.

Because you are in such shock followed a sudden death, the grief is often delayed. My counselor explained that to me, but I guess I didn’t realize how much worse I would feel months after Sid’s death.

About six months after he died, I felt I was doing okay. Not great—but okay. I had lots of supportive family and friends and I was making my way through the maze of paperwork that is overwhelming after a death.

As I entered my seventh month of grieving, I hit rock bottom. I thought that is what I hit the day Sid died, but I was wrong. It was hard to believe, but I was more depressed than ever and felt completely hopeless.

My grief counselor reassured me that for some people—particularly a person whose back was to the ocean, so to speak—feeling worse many months later is perfectly normal. Again, that news did not make me feel a whole lot better but it did help me see that I wasn’t crazy. And that in itself was helpful.

When you think about it, it makes sense. Most of us are surrounded by friends and family right after our loss. People are bending over backwards to help us and be there for us emotionally. But as time goes on, people get back to their own lives. That is normal. But for those of us in the throes of very personal grief, getting back to normal seems impossible. So no wonder we sink into that deep dark tunnel of despair when we are no longer surrounded by all that love and attention.

I think that is what happened to me. I was totally alone for the first time since Sid died, and the shock of his death was wearing off. Coupled with that, I had too much time to think. And that is when reality set in. He is really gone.

I felt worse than I did right after he died. The delayed grief my counselor had warned me about hit me with a vengeance. Just about the time people expected me to be coming to grips with Sid’s death, I was having more trouble dealing with it.

How could this happen? Aren’t you supposed to feel worse right after someone dies? Thank goodness those questions were answered by my counselor. It does happen and it isn’t unusual to feel worse a long time after your loss. Although not quite the same, grief from a sudden death can often return like post traumatic stress.

Unfortunately, I just had to face my grief head on. But months after a death, that seems particularly hard to do. It is almost like you are reliving that awful day you lost your loved one again. And it doesn’t help that people’s expectations are different seven months after a death than they were seven hours after a loss.

All I could do was continue my counseling and work through the grief the best way I could. Life eventually did get better but it was hard to handle the delayed grief.

We are all different in how we cope, but I can only hope that some of my experiences, like dealing with delayed grief, can help someone else see the twists and turns on this dark journey. But I also want others to know there is always light at the end of this journey we call grief.


Melinda Bailey 2012










Melinda Richarz Lyons

More Articles Written by Melinda Richarz

Melinda Richarz Lyons earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Texas and has been a free lance writer for over forty years. Her articles have appeared in many publications, including "Nashville Parent," "Cats Magazine," "Reminisce," "True West," "Frontier Times," "Kids, Etc.," "Cincinnati Family Magazine," "The Tennessean,"The Fort Worth Star-Telegram," "Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love," and "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandmothers." Ms. Lyons is also a published songwriter, and was the 2004 co-recipient of the Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Award for Best Song of the Year. She is the author of several books, including "WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty," "Murder at the Oaklands Mansion," and "Crossing the Minefield," the story of her journey from grief to recovery. She has four step children and nine grandchildren and currently lives in Tyler, Texas with her husband Tom.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Sarah Foster says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. The analogy your grief counselor shared about the difference between anticipated loss and sudden loss was extremely well put. It definitely put things into perspective. I think your grief can come back and hit you really hard months later no matter if it is an anticipated death or a sudden death, but in varying degrees. I completely agree that a sudden loss of a loved one would hit much hard when all of your supporters have continued on with their lives and left you with your thoughts. The best anyone can do is take one day, hour, or minute at a time and keep on struggling through the grief.

  • Heartbroken says:

    My husband of 32 years passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack almost a year and a half ago. I am still not over his death & may never be. Life without him is so lonely. I dont you ever get over the lost of you mate that you loved so much. I miss everything about our relationship. Even though he had heart problems with several heart attacks I still was not prepared for his death. And, I dont think I will ever be the same again.

    Just Heart broken forever

  • Kathy Wood says:

    I feel the same way at times. tomorrow is week 5 for me. I didnt realize until this moment why I was so upset last thursday and couldnt function. it was the day he died one month before. I woke up crying that day and cried for most of the day at work, went home and cried some more. I went through the same panic I did the day the nurse called me and told me I had to go home he wasn’t going to last much longer. I kept shaking and couldn’t stop, my heart was racing, and felt like I was losing him all over again. Everyday is a challange and I feel like I am obsessed with his death, I am here at work on my break and thinking about it, I think about him being gone every min of the day. I know that someday I will feel better about it but now all I see is that my husband is gone and I am alone once again.

    • Mary says:

      I lost my husband 8-15-15. He was 55. He had serosis of the liver. It had gotten a lot worsr over the last 6 months. He had to go to hospice on Tuesday and died the flowing Saturday. The whole time he was there I kept thinking he will pull through this time as he had always done. He would get in really bad shape in a few days he would get well enough to come home that happened about 3 times. This time he did not. I was in the room when he died. It still feels like a dream. I wish it were, I miss him so much. I feel like I am n a daze.

      • Sheila says:

        I feel the same I lost my husband 3 months ago until now still can’t believe that he’s gone he died on organ failure I start cleaning his closet just can’t do it still missing him so much we have to kids and 5 grandchildren i live alone the worst feeling is at night we usually watch tv together.. I don’t know how to move on we are married 30 years..

        • James Duke says:

          I lost my wife seven months ago going on eight to a vehicle accident she just went to run an errand 5 minutes from the house. She had just retired early and I took a new role at work to be home more and to start enjoying life. Three months later we lost her mother to cancer I was so worried about everyone else I never slowed down to grieve. Now I find myself hurting more and in a darker place from time to time than I did months ago. I go out with friends but feel guilty that I should have done more with her and for her that she should be going out with me right now. I believe you never get over the lose of some you loved deeply you just learn to deal with it and put on your best happy face. I have praised her, confided in her and cursed her all in the same sentence. You take it one day, one hour one minute at a time because there is no rush to let go.

  • Pattie S says:

    i feel worse now than i did when it happened i thought it was bad when it first happened but its worse now. i miss him so much it digs my heart out day by day. he was killed on our property in a roll over off our hill. i wasn’t able to hug him or tell him how much i loved him i wasn’t able to even get close to him do to the police and ems, i know they were concerned about the about MARK and should be , but i begged to see my best friend, husband, Mark was everything to me. and i feel like i let him down by not being there. but the police said the car was unstable i understand that but i just wanted to hold him and give him my love and say some prayers the last person i know he saw was our wonderful Don. i am very thankful don was there for my MARK but was glad he saw someone he knew. i am not jealous just very hurt that i couldn’t be there for him. we were together 20 years and i never wanted anyone or needed anyone but my MARK and my CHILDREN AND THE LORD. i was happy being his wife and best friend. but i feel so lost without him. why are these feelings so strong now ? any help i would be open to .

  • Judy says:

    Oh my. I am so glad you wrote this. It is over three months since my husband died during surgery. I didn’t think he’d die. The doctors assured us things would work out and so I didn’t go to see him off into surgery because the weather was terrible, zero degrees, and it was so early in the morning. I told him I would be there when he came out. Well it turned out he died without me ever getting to say goodby. I wish now I would have been there when he was wheeled in. We were together 31 years and had a lot of trials throughout our marriage, but I could always count on him to be there. Now, he’s gone and feel I wasn’t there for him in the end. I am having a really hard time living with that. I don’t think about that as much as I have this anxious, panicky feeling that won’t go away. I can feel my heart pounding in my chest. I cry a lot. I know this is grief and I have to go through it. But how long? No one knows for sure.

  • stewart says:

    My wife passed away suddenly 4 weeks ago from prescription overdose. I miss and think of her almost all day every day, I dont fall asleep until 3 or 4 in the morning and only sleep till 8 am. I find myself walking around the house all day long in and out, moving things around trying to pick up the house. I am scared to hear that things may get worst for me in the months to come. After I cry for a while or try to do some work or tend to her garden I come back in and feel like maybe I will make it through this, but then I read of others experience months later and how they are hit with all those feeling and then some.
    We were together for nearly 23 years, she passed away 1 week before our anniversary. Did i mention when she od and I was not sure, I could have called 911 sooner than I did and she would be here today most likely, this thought crosses my mind often throughout the day, especially when I go to the kitchen where she finally collapsed. Sometimes as I drive to the store to buy food, I think of what if I just went off the road.
    death no longer seems to be such a stranger to me now, in fact since i am in my 50’s already, I even think sometimes come get me, I am not afraid of you anymore, in fact I don’t think I care. Its ok. but i have 2 younger kids and they still need at least 1 parent and so for now i feel i need to be there for them.
    I have been reading so many posts and websites over the past 2 weeks, and read so many people who have died, i was never so aware of so much death. Im afraid of other things too, like a life alone, I miss snuggling with her at night, lying by her side, talking with her about the day, the kids, what we are going to do about this or that, all i have now is to look at any empty space on the other side of my bed.

    • Kim says:

      It is now May 2017 and I was reading your post… My husband was killed 7 weeks ago in a ATV accident… Please tell me the pain gets better… I don’t know if I can stand this feeling of devastation for months… years… My kids are grown so I’m all alone with my dog… If you happen to find my post please let me know how you are doing now…

      • Amy says:


        We are in almost the same situation. Mine has been gone for 8 weeks today. He was T boned and it was an instant passing, everyone assures me.

        The last 8 weeks have been hell and I can even imagine doing this emotional drainage for years to come.

        I miss him horribly and I feel lost, as the initial wave of concerned folks have moved on to their lives, for the most part.

        • Angelo says:

          Amy/Kim/Stewart, I am also curious how you all have been dealing with the loss. My wife died on July 17th. She was only 31 years old and we had only been married for 2 years (together for 8 total) and have a 2 year old daughter. I’ve been trying to keep it together for my daughter but I find my pain in this loss increasing as time goes on instead of diminishing. I am going to probably seek out a counselor, but it would be helpful to know others are able to deal with it.

          • Kristi says:

            I can totally relate to all of you. My husband of 36 years was hit by a truck while he was on side of the road standing. He died on January 12, 2017. If I didn’t have my faith in Jesus I don’t know what I would do. Also, great support from family and friends. Time does heal; but healing is slow for sure. I will pray for all of you.

  • Thao Doan says:

    My husband of 18 years past away very suddenly at the age of 46y.o exactly 13 weeks ago.I send all my sympathies to all who is going through the pain that i am enduring.I have 2 teenage sons who needs their Mum very much and that is what keeps me getting up in the morning and face each day. Would’nt it be so much simpler to crawl away into a black hole and hide and never have to come out??The emotional,mental and physical pain is so intense you wonder how you make through the day and you can’t see past all the tears.But you realize that life does go on,and the bills keep coming in and you are just another person another number when you try to explain to someone over the phone why your bills are late this month.I sincerely beleive that we will all be ok with time and i’m going to be optimistic about life but i’m not too sure of how i find happiness.I turn to my religious belief for prayers and comfort,and i urge anyone out there if you have a faith try praying.I didn’t think i am the praying kind of person but when something so devastating ,sudden and meaningless happened to you one normal evening just like thousands of any other evenings you share with each other there is nothing on this earth to explain or ease the pain,not even your children ,parents ,sibblings or friends can help you.It’s a long dark journey that we have to face alone ahead but we are resilient creatures and we have responsibilities so to every one out there who has ever lost and loved my heart goes out to you all and know that one day we will all feel lighter.

  • Cheryl Churchill says:

    It is literally 6 months since my husband Martyn passed away from cancer. We only found out about the cancer in November 2012 and were told with chemo he could live another 12 months but sadly before he could start the procedure the cancer spread to his bones, he went into hospital the week before Christmas for an emergency operation and the day after New Years day 2013 was taken to a local hospice where he died on 17th January. I thought then the pain was unbearable but now six months later it has hit me like a sledgehammer that he is gone and will never be coming back. He would have been 65 on 30th July and last year we had already booked a special holiday for September 2013 to celebrate this special occasion. We had no idea of the news that was coming in November. I actually googled today ‘why 6 months after my husband died is the pain getting worse’ and this site was first on the search list. I’m so glad I found it. It helps a little to find out what I’m feeling is normal, I thought I was going crazy.
    I am going to Keswick in the Lake District for his 65th, it is a place we loved and where I scattered his ashes back in April. I’m going to lay a bunch of his favourite flowers under the tree where his ashes were scattered and then go on one of our favourite walks. I’m also going to do a Hawk Walk at a local wildlife centre, Martyn loved owls, falcons, eagles etc and for his birthday I was going to buy him an adventure day flying falcons, I will do the Hawk Walk instead in his honour and as I fly the birds I will think of his spirit flying free over the Lakes we love. x

  • Nyla says:

    I am glad I found this site and it is current. My husband and I retired and moved to Mexico to a place we vacationed for 20+ years and have been here 4 years. He passed away Aug. 28th. I can relate to so many of the things written and am scared of how long this process will take and if I will ever “find myself” without being a part of “us”. I miss him terribly. He was my best friend and my rock. I had been independent when I met him and became very dependent on him through our friendship and love. Now I am lost.

  • Carole says:

    My husband died a week ago after a long illness. He beat the odds and lived longer than expected. I could tell he was getting weaker the last month, but it had happened before and he always rallied. This time it was not to be, they told me he could not come home to die due to the oxygen level he was on. Machines were pumping his heart and keeping his blood pressure and pulse up. It was time to pull the plug they said. The only recourse was a ventilator and once in, he would never get off. He did not want that. When they turned off the machines, he died in my arms in only 15 minutes. His heart was gone. I spent the last 3 years taking 24 hr care of him on a home IV. Sometimes he felt good enough to walk to the car and walk through the store using the cart as a walker or the electric cart. I served all his meals at home, watching the sodium, etc., bathing him, watching TV, renting him DVD’s. he was happy home with me and his cat. Now I am lost and not sure what to do. Sometimes I’m fine, then break down at the smallest thing. Life seems unreal and I am not sure what I am supposed to do

  • Usha says:

    I really relate to what you are sharing and thank you for doing this as it validates and explains to me what I was going through. My husband died over two years ago of cancer. As it was discovered in the very last stages, he barely lasted for eight months and was gone. He was quite active till two months before his death. And so it was sudden in many ways. And for me too, I sank into a depression around six months after he died. I had to take mild medication for nearly one year after that. So I would say it took me one and a half years to get over his death even though I was utterly functional all throughout.

    But I am facing something strange now that I wonder if any one of you have ever experienced. It is now two years since he died and I don’t really miss him although I really loved him and we were inseparable. This feeling of mine, of independence of him, I find strange. Is this denial too? Or maybe I really have moved on and that is okay?

  • Dotty Tsipopoulos says:

    One thing I can say is that regret is part of loss and part of mourning. For those of you who feel they should have done this or that, it is a normal feeling and does not mean that you did anything wrong. When we think back about almost anything, we will ffind things we should have done differently. I lost my husband three months ago in an accident and find myself wishing and wondering how I could have prevented his death. But I have come to understand that we can’t predict the future and we can’t live our lives anticipating loss. This feeling of regret is starting to lift now. I’m sure there are many things my husband would have regretted as well, yet I would never feel that we owed me an apology. We loved our spouses and we did the best we could in this imperfect life. Your regrets will dissipate with time, as your grief takes its course.

  • Sondra Sego says:

    My Husband passed away unexpectedly on Dec 1, 2013. Today is 5 months and It’s really not a great day for me at all, Since he has passed not one day has been good..I wake up thinking about him, I go to bed thinking about him..We were together 35 years married 34. I am 50 years old, he passed at the age of 53. He wasn’t looking right the last year of his life and he had gone to the doctor he was diagnosed with high blood pressure so he went on medication for it ok, so once he got a good bp he tossed his medication which i didn’t know. Then he proceeded to tell me that the doctor took him off the pils not true. He didn’t care much for going to doctors, although this man never really got sick he may have had head colds but not bad enough where it made him stop working..He was the sole provider for our family..I stayed home took care of the kids.He wasn’t telling me what was going on inside of him i can see it on the outside and begged him to go back to the doctor, but he was the type of man that thought he could overcome whatever it was that was going on..He i believe didn’t realize how serious it was as he was retaining fluid the last two weeks he was complaining of being cold he was discharging blood and didn’t tell me..He and i didn’t have relations for six months and i saw why he was filling up with fluid in his genital area he didn’t want me to see that..The day before THanksgiving he had a doctor’s appt and he cancelled it, if he didn’t he would have been brought up to the ER his body temp was low due to the fact that he was loosing blood..I am so damaged because he didn’t let me help him..I get angry too because he took it upon himself to make his own diagnosis..Ik he was stressed out because of business, customers not paying him,we were depleting our savings account and always worried how he would make ends meet. but in the mean time, here is my poor husband , organs not functioning correctly he knew it, he was retaining fluid in his belly, and his ankles and water pills were just not letting him release enough water..he needed to be in the hospital..I will not let myself, my children blame themselves that we could have done something for him , it was up to him to do this he chose not too..He worked 7 days a week and the last two weeks as i said earlier he was complaining about being cold, that was because of the loss of the blood and his bp was dropping. The day he passed away, he worked that day was on the ladded welding came home, went back out to fuel up his truck came in sat down, i covered him because he was cold..he said it was because the winter’s were getting to him he hated the cold, yea i understand that, but this was a different kind of a cold..He thought he was sick he was getting all these over the counter medications which probably did him more harm then good because none of it didn’t do anything for him..The last thing he said to me, can i get a capful of Nyquil i gave it to him he laid back down got up went into the laundry room i heard something i ran in there he was unresponsive i screamed call 911 they were there in 4 minutes he was gone..everything he had done at the hospital was all fake.. it took 8 units of blood before it took and his color came back he looked at peace, but im dying inside knowing this wasn’t good they told me he had brain death..He would never come back even with the blood that was put in him..He had a cathetor in him and his kidneys failed nothing came out..My poor husband i miss him so much i sit here and cry as im writing this..He was such a good man always thought of others before himself, and i cannot believe that this could happen to him..I told him a month before please do not make me a widow he promised me he wouldn’t he wanted to go back into the union and just do business on the side and move down to north carolina..so it confuses me did he know he was dying or just thought whatever was going on with him he can overcome it..but when your loosing blood and dragging something is wrong and retaining fluid..he was supposed to have an MRI done on his kidneys because the doctor had seen how his stomach was petruding out..I have the right to grieve in my own way.. I cry all the time, im severely depressed, there are days where i will not speak to no one answer my phone i just cover myself with a blanket..I am on anti depressant also on valium because of the panik attacks im getting also being on edge.This does help me somewhat..But i am a disabled widow with a 14 year old boy that will be graduating middle school and it hit me the other day his father isn’t going to be there at this ceremony..the emotions im going through wow i am so blown away..Im home alone as im writing this and this hurts too when im alone here im expecting him to come home from work get ready to cook dinner for him and sit down together and watch tv..It will never happen..My heart has been crushed into millions of pieces and it will take a long time to put those pieces back together..This man touched so many people and i was overwhelmed when i had his service that 350 people came to the funeral..I cried , it touched me that so many people cared so deeply for my husband..But now today marks 5 months almost a half a year i just cannnot believe that im alone, i thought we were supposed to grow old together..A part of me had died when i lost my husband i cannot feel for things the way i used too..sometimes i feel ok im going to get through this then just the littlest thing sets it off about my husband not being here no more..I had him cremated because i wasn’t putting him in a cold ground after he said he was cold, his wishes were not to be buried but to be cremated..so i have him on my corner living room table with an angel that has been lit for 5 months straight..I never ever thought that i would ever have to go through something like this..My children are taking it better then me, i am expecting my second grandchild a little boy in may 2014 which my husband knew he was going to be a grandfather again but his first grandchild was his little princess he loved her so much when i think of that too, why did he give up why..i ask this question everyday why why why..Sometimes i feel why am i here, then i think my son needs me i have older children but my 14 year old needs me..My husband passed away from a massive heart attack, there was no blood in his body..When the doctors told me this, they couldnt believe how he came in a man of his age that hurts too.They actually told me he was one of the worst cases to come in the way he did..I want to hold his hand again i want to cuddle with him again and i know this isnt going to happen and its totally crushing me..I say to myself i though time was to heal wounds but its just gotten worse..There are days where i feel like i have been just told that you need to call your family up here to the hopstial all of his organs are failing..Oh my god how fast. In my own thinking we tried to keep him alive, but again everthing they did,didn’t do a thing..even though once he recieved all those units of blood and his color came back he looked good but as soon as they started to ween him down he would just get worse off..I knew it was over..We all stood around him with the priest then everyone left the room they took all of the breathing machine out of him, and i just laid on his chest until his heart stopped it didn’t take long..but i laid there i didn’t want to leave him after he was gone..i laid there on his chest for a half hour..The love of my life, my best friend has been taken from me..I am very very Heartbroken..My son told me and got mad at me and said Ma do you want to die of a broken heart get help..I do not want my life to end i just want my husband back and i know this will never happen..

  • peggy says:

    I came across your website by chance, how fortunate was. It has been 7 months since my husband suddenly died and I seem to be far more emotional than I have ever been. I thought I should be moving forward at this stage not going backwards. Your article has helped me understand that my feelings are normal. I have not had counselling but perhaps it is something I should be thinking about.. We were married for 55 years and I feel now I am at the bottom of a deep hole with no way out. Your description of a wave crashing into your back is so true with a sudden death.

    • Joy says:

      My husband if 57years passed away five months ago I have always had an emotional problem of being alone now I am. So many things happened since he passed . Dealing with all their paperwork finances social security office sent me a wild for months
      I got so ill one thing after another I’m still ill I finally left my home and I’m staying with my daughter .
      After everyone’s comments I feel better but maybe I do need some counseling it’s going to take some special learning for me to be able to live on my own . I was having problems with my eyes when my husband died and I five months I am now legally blind so my grief has doubled that I’m beginning to understand that what I feel is normal and I know I can’t go I’ll be alone anymore
      I’m glad everybody post. I still don’t tell my mom but it sure has upped I pray you find your way to

  • Vanessa says:

    My husband of 16 years was killed by his brother April 7 2014 in his mother’s home. We have 4 children ranging from the age of 13-27 and a grandson who is 6. Not only did I loose my husband, I lost my best friend and my children their father. My family and his now divided because of this tragedy. I know that everyone is hurting, but this pain is something I have never felt before. It hurts to even breath. I keep hoping for a physical pain that is comparable to this pain because I know that eventually the physical pain will go away or I can take a Tylenol. There is nothing I can take to make this go away. So many times I thought about suicide, but who would take care of my children and I know that he would be very angry. These past months I have been in this zombie state not realizing that I hadn’t hugged or kissed our children since it happened. They were so afraid of me dying from a broken heart. My absence was keeping them from grieving. So I continue to get out of bed and pray for the strength to make it through the day for them.

  • Sandy Blank says:

    My husband died march 25,2014, it has just hit me, the sadness is overwhelming. Our only child died 13 years ago. The two I love most in the world.

  • Betty says:

    6 months today I lost the guy I have been with since I was 14, 51 years married, 4 kids , they love me but are busy with their own lives. I had a mother that was very dependent on me and I swore to myself and keep that promise, that I will never be dependent on my kids but I am so lonesome and feel so empty , how does one heal. I so miss just having someone to share my days happenings. I never want another love but so miss not having a guy friend just to play a game of cards, laugh with , go out to dinner. I am blessed to have casual friends but unless I am hyper busy, I cannot cope. I am dreading the holidays . I will forever be sad .

    • Joy says:

      I am In the same. Place after 57 years yes one does miss just having someone e to talk to that is not your child.one wants to say things and feel things as companions do. Ihopeyou find a person to share with.

  • Nancy says:

    It’s been 6 months to the day that my husband died. He was my best friend in the world, and I am lost without him.

    Since he died suddenly, the first few months were so hectic I had no time, it seems, to think or even grieve. And then it hit me about 2 months ago. The grief, despair, the ache, the guilt has so consumed me I am unable to function half the time.

    Minor decisions that have to be made paralyze me, as I have no one to bounce them off to. Taking a shower is a chore, the newspaper sits on the driveway all day, frozen dinners seem so much easier than cooking. If it wasn’t for the dog, I doubt I’d get out of bed.

    Thirty years gone in that instant.

    And now his clothes don’t even smell like him any longer.

    And I cry.

  • Virginia Madsewn says:

    My wonderful husband and very best friend in the whole world died on January, 14th, 2015. I am now feeling worse than ever. It is so true what people say about the reality setting in. I felt numb for a while, and I can see now that that was a protective measure to keep me from going off the deep end. I cannot look at his clothes, or do anything right now. I feel like I will never get over the loss, and that life will never make me laugh again. My whole life is different now and I do not know what will become of me in the future. He was a fantastic husband and I loved being married to him. He was the bravest person to face what he did with such grace and concern for his family. I am going to a Grief Support Group, and I think it is helping, as the people there have all been through a terrible loss and they are so kind and compassionate. I hope I will not always feel this despair and pining for my husband and our life.

  • Liz says:

    I am so grateful to have found this today. My husband died in his sleep 5 months ago (I never woke up-found him in the morning-) and I thought I was ok, but I feel today like a scab was ripped off and there is no real healing underneath. I have barely been managing at my high-stress corporate job but was asked to take leave today because I melted down and couldn’t stop crying. I have been wondering what’s wrong with me- I’ve always been very resilient, but even though I thought I was doing fine, I feel like I am in a worse place than I was a month ago. This article helps me realize it’s not just me…

    • Janet says:

      There isn’t a widow or widower out there that can convince me this gets better. Manageable maybe for the lucky ones. Our loved ones are in a better place perhaps and we are living in hell.

  • smith Amber says:

    Thank you!!!! Sudden death of my 36’year old husband brought me to my knees. This is me 5 months later my grief overwhelming. Also so much anxiety and fear which is new to me and scary. I continue towards the brightness of life. I continue with therapy and pray one day I will feel enjoyment.

    • SMANLost says:

      Yes, I feel extreme anxiety and very fearful along with all the other emotions…I had to go to the Dr. because I was going crazy and my blood pressure was 210 over 120 and he had to put me on blood pressure medication…I thought I was dying also along with all kinds of other crazy thoughts…but I think I was dying otherwise why was my kidneys shutting down and my blood pressure so high. My counselor thinks I have ptsd because I had to watch my love die a slow and extremely painful death.

  • Maureen says:

    I looked after my husband for eight years following his cancer diagnosis,he was my world and I was his.
    I know we were lucky to have eight years after diagnosis,we lived and enjoyed every day together,we were never apart,we held hands all the time,told each other we loved each other everyday.
    He wouldn’t let anyone else do anything for him,so I gladly did everything to care for him.
    He died at home as he wished and I held his hand when he left this world.
    I thought 14 months after his death I was beginning to cope but this last week I have shed so many tears,I went to our special place yesterday,where we said many years ago we wanted our ashes scattered,it is in a private wood where we used to live and the owner is a dear friend of ours,and where I will join him one day.
    Without him I just go through the motions of living I just want to hold him one more time,to feel his presence again,I will love him till it is my time to join him.
    Thank you for all your comments and I know my loss is the same as yours and I feel for you all.

  • SMANLost says:

    I feel very similar to everyone else here…it’s been over six months since my life partner and love passed away…it was sudden, shocking and very painful for her…none of the doctors make a proper and quick diagnosis and this led to her death. Knowing she may have been saved if quick and decisive action had taken place is one of the major grief thoughts I have…I know I need to forgive the medical community but the bottom line is she was critical and needed someone to help save her life and no one did…that is my reality. I now have to live the rest of my life, I’m 53, without the one person who really understood me and the one person I could actually live with without that person driving me crazy…I loved her so much and our lives were completely intertwined with each others and now I feel as though half of me has died with her. I still can’t believe my beautiful woman is gone forever…it sucks and it ain’t getting any easier. I hope I can feel joy again sometime but without her to share our joy together, it is going to be a challenge. Good luck to everyone who has to deal with the death of a loved one…it is without a doubt an extremely difficult situation that I’m finding out takes a very long time to normalize if ever again.

  • Joe says:

    Wow. The very reason I found this web-site is because I did a search on feeling worse now, 61/2 months since my wife’s passing, than I did in the first month. My story holds many similarities to the other letters posted. My wife had just turned 60 when she passed away. We were married 34 years. Like someone had mentioned earlier, there is no good way to lose someone. I can’t even imagine the shock and horror of a “sudden death” loss. Some very sad, tragic stories here. My wife was one of those whose health wasn’t great for years, but really worsened in the last 10 or so. She never complained. Towards the end, she took her hospice at home, where I (and family) could care for her like I have done for years. I never minded helping her get around, dress, wash, etc., the hard part was watching her deteriorate, and lying next to her at night, listening to her struggle to breathe, and just waiting for that moment to happen.

    My post-loss story, is also a culmination of the other letters that I have read here. Like most of you, we hit it off from day one. Her passing away is certainly much harder than I had imagined. Waves of sadness, anxiety, heart racing, physical aching, and complete emptiness come and go. Also previously mentioned, is that friends and family, many warm, caring, and wonderful people, naturally go back to their own lives and routines. That is to be expected. Sometimes you think you are doing ok, and then you hear one of “your songs”, and you stop what you are doing for a minute and re-live the memory. Last Christmas, I sat in the car outside of our first apartment for fifteen minutes, where we spent our first one together 35 years earlier. Then this last Valentine’s Day, I trudged through the snow for a block to zip tie a dozen roses to the shepherd’s hook next to the grave. I then had to ask a counselor friend of mine if I was crazy for doing these things. She said “not at all, you are honoring her, you cannot just shut off 34 years of marriage over night”. Like one person had mentioned earlier however, the bills continue to come in, but I do like when I can stay busy at work. Thanks to everyone for all of these posts. Lot’s here that I can relate to. I hope everyone here can eventually find peace in their hearts.

  • I feel worse in three months after my sons death age 35. I could not understand this. I’m crying more and more memories are flowing in. It was a sudden car

  • I feel worse in three months after my sons death age 35. I could not understand this. I’m crying more . It was a sudden car accident.

  • Linda Bourne says:

    I lost Kenneth 25 weeks ago tonight on Boxing Day at 7 – 40 pm. He went into hospital at 1-30 am Boxing Day Morning, with a slight cough. The Paramedics who took him to hospital said he had pneumonia and Sepsis. The sepsis was new to me. I went to fetch him out at 5pm and they were fighting for his life. They hospital hadn’t sent for me it was an enormous shock to walk in on his final moments he had already gone, and even now i think he will come home. I wished with all my life i had been with him it breaks me to think I wasn’t with him. I feel a physical pain just wanting to hold him to talk to him. We had just Celebrated 50 years of marriage on 18th December so it was just one week and a day after that that he passed away. So sudden so final. He was just 70 I am nearly 70.I love him so much I am doing well people say but I have dark days where I can’t take on board the suddenness of it. Yes people are very good when it happens, but it was only 6 weeks after that my eldest son was telling me to pull myself together and “Get a life” . God forbid he never goes through the pain i feel..
    Mrs Linda Bourne.

    • My hubby of almost 52 years died 12/4/16. He too died of sepsis related to a kidney stone. He had had many kidney stones in the past and he never put two and two together we this backache. I finally convinced him to go to urgent care for his “backache”. We never considered it was anything but a backache. He walked into the hospital at ten am, called me at eleven that he was being admitted to rule out pulmonary embolism, and of course i immediately went. Tests later showed mild pneumonia but no pulmonary embolism. Blood pressure was low, breathing fast and beginning kidney failure. All which I know are specific symptoms of sepsis along with some other labs. He really didnt,.look that bad. Sent me home at 4 for his ipad. Came back a while later and still in er…no fluids, no antibiotics, no further blood testing. Transferred to room about 7 and had horrible trouble breathing, put on a ventilator, sent to cst scan where they found the kidney store, suffered a massive heart attack and i allowed the removal of him from ventilator. None of the cardiodiologists would touch him as too unstable, the urologist would not either. we had had many long conversations and we knew each others wishes so i did what he would want. The ICU nurse said his heart attack was massive and if he even lived he would have needed a transplant no 70 year old with other problems is going to get. I am numb and cry little but Instead of crying I shake…not cold just shake. i so need to cry it wouldhelp ME but so far very little has come. I think it is all bottled up in me.I Miss him terribly, i blame myself for not absolutely nagging him about going in before, i blame myself for everything. I think i soon will follow him of a widows, broken heart

  • Janet says:

    I am like most of you. My husband had a sudden massive heart attack whilst watching his favourite team play at Wembley Stadium on 28th May 2016. I was in London with him but visiting my daughter when we got the call to go to Hammersmith Hospital. He had just turned 65 and we were looking forward to a happy retirement together. I cannot get past all the plans we had together and like other people it jut gets worse and worse. The feeling of hopelessness, missing him and loneliness even though I have fantastic family and friends. I just cannot see a future without him.

  • Cathy Gartley says:

    I am so thankful that you shared your story. I have been trying to understand why I have been extremely emotional the last couple of weeks. My husband of 32 years passed away 3/27/16 after ememergency surgery. I have cried every day since, but more so now. My tears were usually at night when I was alone, but now there several times a day. I could understand why I was getting worse and not better. Again thanks for explaining about delayed grief.

  • chrissyk says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my husband suddenly 5 weeks ago. I feel lost and afraid. I hate life right now. I hear it gets better with time. But the more time that passes without him I feel worse. I’ve read a lot of comments and many people say months down the road they were worse off. I can’t imagine feeling worse. I wish I had a fast forward button. So I could get past all the pain.

  • Valerie Kott says:

    The first anniversary of my husband’s death is coming up on the 26th of October. He died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was 59. My daughter and I found him. I still replay this evening over and over in my mind. The anguish sound that came out of my daughter, my first visual of him was just his foot as he was lying on the floor. Attempting to give him CPR even though his body had already turned cold. I’ve had a very very difficult year but at times thought I was doing well. Now that his anniversary is coming up, I find myself being very anxious and think of him constantly. I don’t know how to make this transition any easier on myself.

  • Sue says:

    It’s just over three years since Jack died, eight years of oral cancer took its toll on us both, together for fifty years, married for forty seven, ups and downs. The loss is harder now than when it first happened, think I was so busy keeping myself together, now each day I wake and it hits, there is no joy in my life. I have moved and have made a good life for myself, near our children, have friends, and volunteer so try to keep busy. But the one person l want to share it with, talk to, is not here. I would like to walk away from myself at times, and I think people expect that after three years l should be comming out of this process, but I’m not and l would avoid people because sometimes I just can’t put on a brave face. I read stories that are far harder than mine and think to myself that I’m so lucky,but it doesn’t help. I just want some peace, and wonder if that will ever happen.

    • MC says:

      It is 27 weeks today since the love of my life had to leave. He was only 47 years old and died of pancreatic cancer. I am grateful we had the knowledge and time to say goodbye. I took care of him at home and he died at home peacefully. He turned his head to me and smiled at that last moment and that was sustaining. He loved me dearly.

      I read all your stories and I feel all of you. I’m so sad for all of us in this club. My only peace is knowing that I was one of the lucky few to know what true love feels like. I miss his presence every second. I miss talking to him. Love to all of you.

      • Pauline miller says:

        I lost the love of my life to pancreatic cancer in June, I nursed him at home and am haunted by the journey I saw him go through over 8 weeks. I try to be brave but talk to him all day every day, it’s the only way I can cope. Life doesn’t shine anymore, I feel like I am counting time until I can go with him but at 53 mine could be a very long challenge. I daren’t tell my children how I feel because by being solid they don’t have to worry about me, but inside my life ended with my best friend, my husband. I am exhausted by looking for projects to keep myself busy because I daren’t have spare time, then I just fall apart. I didn’t realise that my life which seemed such a gift would turn into such a suppressive existence. Love to you all, my heart goes out to everyone grieving and feeling pain.

  • Karen says:

    11 years and I am still struggling. I also struggle with the fact people think I should be over it. I try so hard but it’s just not meant to be.

  • sherry spiker says:

    I just lost my Husband Danny today and I think I am dazed. My children are all here for me but I still feel lost. He died in his sleep. He was 69. I love him with all my being and do not know even why I am here without him. We have been together 49 years. I am sitting here crying and missing him already and lost…I really feel lost. We were always together and now after 49 years…he is gone and I am still here. The pain is almost unbearable….I want to be with him….I know that is selfish but the pain of this is just impossible. I am now living in the shoes of so many other women…and I feel weak. He would not want me to feel like this…but he was so much stronger willed than me. I am just lost

  • I am going through the very same thing, this article has helped. Pray for me, the pain is worse now than before!

  • Audrey Mottishaw says:

    Thanks. That article has helped me. It is 13 weks on Monday since my husband suddenly died. I have been more emotional this week, bursting into tears at the slightest thing.

    I am doing all the normal things like attending Groups we attended together and others by myself. I have had a lot of support from friends and family, but after 61 years of marriage I suppose it is to be expected. He was my soul mate – I had know him since I was 15.

    I had an operation for colon cancer in February and for my husband to die 6 weeks after I got the all clear, seems ironical. He had been worried about me since last November.

    I know time will heal. I am a lucky woman as I have no regrets and we made the most of our retirement. I just thought we had a few more years. I am 81 and he was 84.

    Anyway, thanks for your article. It has helped. I don’t feel like going to counselling. I am going on holiday to friends in Spain soon which is something we did regularly as a couple, so it will be different travelling by myself. I am not sorry for myself. I just miss him being around. Although I do talk to him as though he is there sometimes.

  • Timi Petersen says:

    I lost my husband in Nov I have not been able to process the loss it happened suddenly and brutal for me
    While he was in ICU I stayed will him until his last breath. It was horrific.. I spent the first year idk trying to pretend it was happening to someone else. I was dreaming stuck in a nightmare. My councelor at the time tried to help but left at the first five months. I was surrounded by people who only talked about the loss of their mates who have been gone for years
    One friend saidshe compared my lose to some guy she broke up with
    I didn’t try to be sad around my friends and kept up a strong face
    My husband was a artist musician a legend. I promised him I would keep his memory alive. It’s been a year and a few months I am alone and sad lonely and I don’t even know who I am anymore. I feel like the people around me are not helping me more like dragging me down
    I don’t know how to act anymore I just miss my husband my life . We we’re only in our early fifties . Anyway thanks for letting me share. Peace

  • Diane says:

    Thank you, I am experiencing the same thing. My dad died 4 months ago and I feel everyday it’s getting harder to cope, my mum passed away when I was 21 and my daughter when I was just 17 (I’m now 36) and I was really close with my dad. I miss him so so much and find it impossible to live without him, he was truly amazing. The way he died definitely has played a major part in the sadness I feel, he was told on the day he died he has HIT (heparin induced thrombocytopenia) but he was fine, we were not expecting it at all, we didn’t even know he was given heparin but later found out he was given it 5 weeks previous. I feel the hospital should have known or picked up on it within the 5 weeks. I just don’t know if this will get any easier, I can only pray it does.

  • odom says:

    I am so glad to find this article. I have been told that sadness is worse 2 years after a loss and was wondering if I am at a lower point now because of knowing that. My husband had a sudden death and I know the shock and conscious effort to lift myself for my kids numbed and helped me the past months. Now, I feel the nagging loneliness. I do hope it will pass.

  • Ex promised never to leave me again says:

    My husband is back!!! I had a problem with my husband 8 months ago,which lead to us apart. When he broke up with me,I was no longer myself,I felt so empty inside .Until a friend of mine told me about one of her spells that helped her in same problem too that she found on a television program. i emailed the spell caster and I told him my problem and I did what he asked me. To cut the story short,Before I knew what was happening,not up to 48 hours,my husband gave me a call and he come back to me and told me he was sorry about what has happened, I’m so grateful to this spell caster and i will not stop publishing his name on the internet just for the good work he has done for me.If you need his help,you can email him at [email protected] com…..thank you sir great Dr.Mack for all that you do and i greatly appreciate

  • Jo Powers says:

    A perfect analogy for what I’m experiencing. There are moments when I wish I wish I weren’t a mother so that I wouldn’t have to go on living. Its a daily struggle to find a purpose beyond merely being alive.

    • Rebecca R. says:

      My beautiful husband passed away just over 15 months ago. I miss him so much and continue to struggle every single day. I think about him throughout each day and night.

  • Deanne says:

    I am at 5 months since my husband of 21 years died in a farming accident.
    I did a google search for “i feel like i did the first month after my husbsnd died” and this article came up.
    It’s a a relief to know I am not the only one who feels less capable now. But it’s hard to work and function when you feel the expectation of others is that you should be doing better, not worse, with time.
    I appreciate how the writer explains death/grief as a wave you either see coming or not. You are battered either way.
    Thank you for sharing your stories. The only thing that seems to help me is reading the stories and experiences of others who have lost their spouse.

  • Laura Otis says:

    I have been through the loss of two husbands. It was not any less impactful the second time. Knowing what to expect helped with the “crazy” feeling.
    Unfortunately, the USA generally does not recognize the issues involved with grief. IE paperwork, working through unresolved estate/trust issues. These things delay the process of grief and add the sense that something must be wrong with me syndrome. One can not possibly focus on grief when trying to assemble and process the death paperwork. When I was still working ( I lost my second husband) Standard procedure was 3 days. Even though my work was done, just because I kept to myself and got through the day, I was told to “get over it” (six months after his death)
    My last husband was not physically in the best of shape the last few years, he opted for quality rather than quantity. Even through expected, the shock was still impactful. Again, people that do not understand the emotional carousel ride were insensitive. The Victorians had it right 2 years of grief recognition gets most of the “issues” resolved. Yes, one still misses a loved one every day, but the memories are happy ones, the black and gray areas seem to fall away.

    Grief counseling and having a belief in the Holy Spirit gets you through.

  • Salvatore logreco says:

    Thank you, it’s been over 3 months since my wife died unexpectedly and I am getting worse as time goes by, so thank you for your story.

  • Patricia Benninghoff says:

    My husband passed away 8 months ago today. We were married almost 38 years but we had been together for 43 years. We were very close and did everything together. We were very blessed with 3 beautiful children and 3 amazing grand children. My husband got sick with a disease called pulmonary fibrosis and for 3 years we faught it with everything we had. We even went to Duke for a second opinion and there we found out that he also had an autoimmune disease. So basically his body was also fighting itself. Over the last few years we got very close. We spent a lot of time with our family and friends. We also took care of his elderly parents and my mother lived with us and we took care of our beautiful granddaughter while her parents went to work because we didnt want her in daycare but that was a decision we chose to do together and we felt good about it. Our granddaughter gave us so many beautiful memories together and we would never trade that. So we did all that and still tried to deal with all he was going through too. Im having such a hard time being without him we did eveything together i went to every doctor appointment with him and my loss is great. Don’t misunderstand i have a wonderful support group our children are amazing i talk to all of them everyday because they either call or come to see me. We are a very close family. I also have some amazing friends too. Im having such a hard time dealing with his passing and i miss him so much. He was a wonderful husband,father and granddaddy so it is very hard to let go. Some days are so hard and then some days are a little easier. I guess i should also tell you that in a 9 month span i lost my daddy ,my mother and then my husband so it was a lot to take on. Sometimes i feel guilty going on with daily things not that i would ever try to hurt myself. What im talking about is doing things around the house that he was unable to do over the passed 3 or 4 years cause i keep thinking he should be here to enjoy being here and seeing this. I know in my heart that he would want me to do these improvements and he would want me to be happy but i just still miss him so much. I know in my heart that i did everything within my power to take care him and to take him to the best doctors but that doesnt stop me from thinking what did i miss. Everyone tells me that is normal but it still hurts so bad and i cant sleep at night. I blame it on the fact that we spent so many nights sitting up holding hands watching tv together and when we did go to bed i would lay there for hours watching him sleep just to make sure he was breathing. I consider them nights a blessing because we were together. Im just having such a hard time because i feel like i have lost my best friend. I feel blessed that we had such a deep love for each other dont get me wrong we have had our bad days but for the most part we had a good life together and now j just have to forgive myself and try to find a way to be happy if i can. I will always love him and he will always live in my heart. Is there any advise you can offer to help me ith my pain. Thanks ahead of time.

  • Suman says:

    It’s been 7 months since I lost my husband. There is not a single day when I haven’t thought about him and that fateful day when I just lost him. It was so sudden, he Wass all but 41 and never had any health issues. We were married for 15 yrs with 11 Yr old son now. He was the best friend and life partner ever. I love him so dearly and just like that one day passed out at home and died. Fate has its ways… Sadly! He was celebrating his 41st birthday and I was to return home early from work and I was planning a surprise party with family and freinds. I don’t know how or why it happened have reconciled that it was meant to be this way but the pain grows deeper everyday. As I type this message am crying and I cant stop! Am sitting at a hotel lobby waiting for a cab and my mind is blank and all I can think of is him! There are no triggers to my feeling it just hits me from nowhere everytime. While I want to be strong for my son, there are days I want to scream out crying so much. I pray for him every day and thank God for my blessings am left behind, but the pain doesn’t fade away ever. I don’t think it will ever I have to just learn to live with it. I hope and pray for better tomorrow.

  • Robin says:

    Melinda, first of all I’m sorry for the loss of your husband. Thankyou for sharing what you went thru. It’s been 10 months since my husband of 16 years left me. He was only 58. What you wrote has helped me so much. I thought I was going crazy, but after reading your story I see it’s ok to have these feelings.

  • Emi says:

    Your article did help me as I too lost my husband seven months before out of a sudden heart attack. He was out of station on tour and didn’t receive even the basic life support. I got a call next morning when he was already shifted to mortuary.

    You are right saying that grief becomes harder to cope as days go by…

    God bless you!

  • Debra Hope says:

    My husband of almost 19 years died May 9, 2018. I’m the beginning I had a drive to get everything done, all the paperwork, housework, organize, clean … But the last 3 months I haven’t done much at all, just the hard necessities, and that has been a struggle. My friends don’t seem to understand or don’t want to talk about my loss, family is back to thie r life, I am feeling like I can barely breath. I signed up for a brief support group and I know that will help but this really sucks. I just want my husband back, I don’t want to go through this, I am so lonely and miss him so very much!

  • Dave says:

    I thought I was doing ok after the death of my wife. I had returned back to work and was staying busy with church and other activities. I even had a new relationship. Then came her 6 month anniversary and I was so depressed. I missed a couple of days of work and had no motivation. I even told my girlfriend I can’t do a relationship now. Life was so different now and I was sad aot of the time. I know all will come to pass and lm looking forward to that day. I will continue to do what needs to be done, and remain faithful to God.

  • G Mews says:

    Hi My husband died suddenly of a heart attack March 2017; the shock and business that needed doing distracted me. I also went back to work. I quit eventually due to added workload after the organization said “We are worried about you and want you to have work life balance” These words were lies.

    My husband also died a horrible death after we stupidly decided to donate his body parts. He was moved to a nursing unit after he did not die in a timely manner the nursing unit that night was a hell hole run by the dregs of nursing. And my mother was a nurse so I know the difference. I had to watch him suffer as he was no longer of any value to the organ donation people. His care changed from caring to cruelty.

    I am now writing this new years eve and I am worse than I was. I can barely cope, I am angry, sad, feel hopeless and I know that if I had had notice I could have perhaps prepared. I.e. my mother died of cancer and we went through it with her for two years. I was relieved when she died as she was so sick. I did not get to say goodbye to my husband who I met when I was 17 and I am now sixty. I did not get to retire with him and we had plans and no there is nothingness and hopelessness. So yes dying unexpectedly is harder in my opinion.

  • Bricka says:

    I did not get to say goodbye. It was an unexpected cardiac arrest and by the time my husband was found unconscious it was too late. Its almost been three months. Thank you for this article, I too wondered why I was not in full bloom grieving. After he unexpectedly died, I had a funeral to plan and I had to deal with a stressful work situation at the same time. Its starting to hit harder now and I sometimes think, “how can someone be here one minute and be gone the next.” I still can’t believe he is gone.