How Long Should We Grieve A Partner?

How long is it to acceptable to grieve the loss of partner?

I have a close family member, who is also a close friend as well as family, we were more or less brought up together, playing at my grand-fathers house every weekend and all summer.

We’re both single, both been out there looking and we sometimes speak about our experiences.

She’s a widow, a couple of kids and a partner taken in their mid-40s, a tragic loss and although they are financially secure, there are emotional ramifications.

Recently on the anniversary of his death, she took the day off work., took the kids to school, made their favourite dinner and then they watched a movie together.

We’ve spoke about it since, to her surprise and relief, the kids didn’t mention their dad at all and didn’t seem bothered.

But she was upset and there were tears in the days before the anniversary and throughout that day as reminders came in via texts and Facebook of her loss.

Other people, friends of his, were leaving messages on her Facebook, telling her how much they missed him, their grieving seemed to heighten her sense of loss.

This is all normal and natural, of course it is.

However, what they don’t appreciate as his friends is that the hard reality is that before her husband took ill they were heading for divorce anyway, should this lessen her sense of loss?

I know that she grieves for her ex but also because their kids don’t have a dad and she feels their loss for a future without him doing all the things which fathers typically do.

To her credit, she spent a few years ensuring that the kids are emotionally secure , which is echoed in the fact that they weren’t upset last week.

She has now been in new relationship for over 2 years, but last week she closed off her new partner for the day.

He was understanding, but apparently was quiet over the next few days as although he was aware the anniversary was coming and had been trying to be supportive,. When the day arrived he felt shut-out as he had been the previous year.

She called me and we spoke about it, the new guy had asked her how long this will take, will this be a thing she does every year around this time, crying and telling him all about it then closing him out for a few day to spend the time with her kids?.

He asked her what would happen when the kids are older or he and she lived together?

A reasonable set of questions in my opinion and I don’t have the answers, so how long should you mourn the death of an ex-partner?

I’ve thought about this and my only advice would be as long as it takes, just try not to allow the past affect your future.


Yesterday, a bunch of us including my cousin, members of the family, her and his friends and her new partner all did a charity abseil from The Forth Rail Bridge in support of Macmillan Nurses who were fantastic in their time of need, providing palliative care and pain relief for him and support and advice for her.

An extract from their thank you email below ..

I find it incredible to think that they are funded by charitable donations and not through the NHS

Hi everyone

May I wish you all the very best of luck for your abseil on Sunday! Thank you so much for supporting Macmillan, it’s very much appreciated.

Every day 22 people in South and East Scotland hear the devastating news they have cancer, and 11 people die from the illness. This will see the population of people living with cancer in the area nearly double between 2010 and 2030.

This huge increase will in turn result in thousands more local people feeling isolated and alone, every day, even after treatment ends.

We help people in many ways, from specialist nurses and doctors, to help and advice for people who have financial worries as a result of their cancer diagnosis. In 2013 675 people in South and East Scotland called our Macmillan support line, we identified £375,481 in unclaimed benefits and 851 people received a Macmillan grant totalling over £264,000.

We need to raise more money than ever before to enable us to reach more people affected by cancer and provide them with the services they need. 98% of our funding comes from public donations. We simply couldn’t provide our services without the support of people like you.

We are having a stall in the grounds of the Hawes Inn on the day. We would love you to pop by and say hello.

Thanks so much again. Best of luck!

Kind regards



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s