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Grief or depression or shock or all of these I don’t know?


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Everyday is different following my husbands passing. A lot of times I find it so so heavy to carry and too frightening to managing further than day by day survival for myself and also for our children.

My best friend, soul mate and loveliest husband and father to our two children 11 and 8 was diagnosed shockingly on the 22nd of Oct this year ‘2020 and passed away at home the 26th oct this year. 4 days! We had 4 days! The week before he, a teacher, was teaching a class of 30 children primary school age and walking 38000 steps a day with our dog. He complained mildly of constipation and right sided pain at the beginning of October but X-rays and uss showed nothing. We carried on as normal. Sunday he was in bed with pain out of the blue, by Monday The jaundice happened over night. GP referred to hosp ?gallstones?pancreatitis. No.... pancreatic cancer with liver mets and lung nodules. “You have days, they said”.He was 51, I am 34.

A nurse myself with oncology experience I ask everyday, did I miss something, but honestly he was so strong and brave and just got on like normal with the mild symptoms which at the time we thought were ‘nothings’ stress?. We left the hospital an hour of that after diagnosis and I cared for him at home, calling in teams and my friend to help when I was too emotional too. I held his hand the whole time. The day before he passed he sat up bolt up, glazed eyes he searched the room for me and gave me a kiss. Then shockingly stood up and walked to the toilet aided by his brothers. Where he rested his head on my shoulder with a little sigh. Barely any words as he was so withdrawn/unable but the lack of words I felt was powerful. And so In less than two months down the line of what felt like yesterday but each day feels so long, I feel robbed/sad/shock/denial/proud of him and his strength/loss and emptiness. My children lost their dad in less than a week, me my husband, soul mate and best friend, and more importantly he lost his future a legacy now in the hearts of me and the children.

3 months on... gosh that feels wrong I am mental and yet functional sort of, symptoms include; - [ ] Anxious a lot of the time but esp in the mornings, chest pain, sob, over whelmed

- [ ] Socially awkward

- [ ] No enthusiasm or hope, regret, disbelief

- [ ] Unable to sleep

- [ ] Limited appetite

- [ ] Frightened

- [ ] Always 6 oclock

- [ ] Thinking about our children, worried I am enough, doing it right, making the best decisions

- [ ] Worried about Work, can’t contemplate it

- [ ] Anxiety going anywhere new

- [ ] People saying trivial thoughtless things, unable to piece my words together if caught off guard

- [ ] LONELY

- [ ] Short term memory problems- all the time. Unable to focus often

- [ ] Resentment of my friends and husbands family who haven’t supported me and the children

- [ ] Depressed- no forward

- [ ] Emptiness

- [ ] Disbelief

- [ ] Pain!!!! Love!!! So much love and pain!!!!

Sorry very long message. Any one understand? Have any guidance? Have spoken To doctor

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Goodness, this makes me so sad reading this, you sound in so much pain. Taking one day at a time is probably the only way at the moment. I too will soon be experiencing your total devastation, this is such a cruel dreadful disease. Have you spoken to your doctor about taking some anti depressants to help you get through, even if only for a little while?

Sending big hugs to you xx

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Dear CJG4CJG ,

My name is Lynne and I am one of the nurses that work with Pancreatic Cancer UK

I am so sorry to hear about your loss, please accept my heartfelt condolences.

I just wanted to send a quick note; I hope that is OK

I am pleased you have felt able to reach out to people on the forum and I can see that they have been able to support you and you them. I do think you have made the right decision to chat with your GP, they may be able to offer advice and give you information on any support local to you who can support you and your family while you try and navigate through all this. Please know that we are here for you too, if you any advice, support or just a natter please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can email us on nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk or you can give us a call on 0808 801 0707

With warmest regards


Pancreatic Cancer Nurse Specialist

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I relate to your list of feelings!

My lovely husband died from Pancreatic Cancer on 2nd August and I miss him so much. It is the absolute horror of this devastating cancer that keeps me awake at night. To see your strong and healthy husband/best friend deteriorate so quickly and suffer so much, it’s indescribable.

Stephen spent his last few months in hospital and, because of Covid, I wasn’t able to spend time with him, just a few minutes in the corridor, so difficult.

I did get to spend his last day and night with him and can relate to your memory of your husband’s last day.

Stephen was heavily sedated with morphine but suddenly at about 1am he was completely lucid. I lay on his bed with him and we talked about our wonderful life together. It was so special. He went back to sleep and died the next evening. I was with him and he squeezed my hand just before he left me.

Nearly 6 months on I’m feeling like you. I read your list and thought yes, that is exactly how I feel! I’m 67 so don’t have your worries about work and young children but I share all your other feelings.

The Covid lockdown doesn’t help, not being able to see family and friends or go out and do normal things. Too much time and nothing to do, I can’t even motivate myself to do the crafts that I used to enjoy so much.

Thank you so much for sharing you feelings, reading this has made me realise that I’m not so alone.

Tomorrow is another day and we must be strong! Every time I get weepy I can hear Stephen saying “pull yourself together, life is too short for tears”

Lots of hugs to you and everyone who is going through this absolute hell of Pancreatic Cancer

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  • 10 months later...


I can feel everything your words write. I lost my big lovely brother and best friend last March.

Watching a close loved one deteriorate so fast - I spent each day with him ( his last year) on the conveyor belt towards all his appointments and treatment. I'm so glad of the special time we had, but I felt each symptom he had. It became my fear - I may have PC too.!!! My chest tighned, my rib cage felt sore, I was depressed and anxious it's the normal reaction I'm sure. I was SO angry I couldn't ' fix him' with every once of energy to desperately thinking this would not be his end. But it was and months on I'm still visiting this site I feet close to those relatives and carers of the victims of PC. Im 9 months on from losing him I've put myself in for an ECG because I've felt like dying. I've had blood tests I'm sure my symptoms must be grief. I'm up on a high one moment then so low I can't get out of bed  it' is GRIEF. It takes a long time and perhaps the days will improve for me with his unbearable absence. It is just that sun will still rise and my children will push me onward to live each day best as I can. It is what I know my bro would want. "Get on chin up and live your life" he would say if he were here. I thought about 'what if it had been ME and he had cared for me' "I'd want him to get on with life say that I'm at peace. I'd not wish sadness and grief to make him loose sight of good days with my children.


I hope you have better days ahead.

You may not return here on PC forum you may never read this,  but it's good and therapeutic for me to unload the feelings. I've been so angry but I think I'm getting there. Day at a time. 

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