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I'm not allowed to say goodbye


Registered User
Feb 7, 2015
After three weeks of lockdown, my husband died in the care home on Saturday morning, I was unable to be with him.
His breathing had got worse and he died before the paramedics were able to get there, the only consolation is that he died in his own bed with staff who cared for him holding his hands. That day all the staff who were on duty said goodbye to him, I could not.

I am trying to arrange his funeral at the moment, I can't get the death certificate from the doctor because it is being sent directly to the Registrar, I don't know what he died from as he wasn't displaying any symptoms of the virus.

As far as the funeral is concerned, after speaking to the undertaker I can't see him in the Chapel of Rest, I am not allowed to take his clothes in and although I have paid for a funeral plan they will not provide a car only the hearse, I have to make my own way there, alone.

The new rules are that the coffin will be behind the curtains so that you can't go near it. You can have a service but I would be the only person there, as family live abroad and can't get back. I have opted for the direct cremation which simply means he will be cremated and I 'll be informed when that ashes are ready, but they will hold them until better times.

I am devastated, I feel that I have let him down and just parcelled him up but I know that if I had to stand in the crematorium on my own it would destroy me. However, I totally understand why these measures are in place but it doesn't make it any easier.

Since November 2015 I have visited him almost every day and I wonder in the lockdown if he felt I had deserted him and just gave up, that thought torments me. We always had a 'sparky' relationship but he was the love of my life and most certainly a force to be reckoned with, a larger than life character. Dementia took him and now after 40 years, I can't say goodbye.

Stay safe.


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
I am so sorry. We live in strange times.

I have thought about what I would do if OH died. I have decided that I would have a direct cremation and then when the restrictions were over I would have a service with hymns, eulogies etc, followed by interring his ashes and then have the wake afterwards.


Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
Am so sorry Kathy on top of losing your loved one having to endure the enforced restrictions must be so upsetting, I can't imagine how that must feel for you. It immediately took me back to when dad died in his care home and I was fortunate to be able to do all the things you can't. You were there for him when he needed you most through the illness, you haven't abandoned him, decisions are having to be made but he would know that if times were different you would do things the way he and you planned.
Could you look at his funeral as 2 halves...and when all this has calmed down, hold a memorial service to celebrate his life and then a wake for family and friends.? Sending you warm wishes and thinking of you in this very difficult time for you


Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
I am so very sorry @Unhappy15 To me this is the cruellest thing about this awful disease. It is not fair and not your fault but take a little consolation in the fact that you visited him almost every day for almost five years. You were there for him when you were needed most while he was still living.

Try to be kind to yourself now.


Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
I am devastated, I feel that I have let him down and just parcelled him up but I know that if I had to stand in the crematorium on my own it would destroy me. However, I totally understand why these measures are in place but it doesn't make it any easier.
Hi Kathy, I can understand your feelings of devastation - but you haven't let him down. What I have always said its what you do for someone when they are alive that matters, nothing else. I appreciate that it is difficult to get closure in this situation, but as @Cat27 you can have a memorial service and also scatter or bury his ashes when you are able to. Thinking of you - stay strong.


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
How very sad @Unhappy15. I can understand how hard this must be for you.

I think a memorial service in time would be a lovely way to celebrate your husband's life and pay tribute to him. Perhaps light a candle and have some quiet time on the day you know the cremation will take place.

I've just had the details of a funeral which is to take place tomorrow and friends have been invited to 'attend' a live webcast. I don't know how I feel about that but of course I will be there tomorrow at allotted time.

Wishing you strength.


Registered User
Feb 7, 2015
Thank you all so much for your lovely comments and good wishes.
Because of the situation I feel that everything has changed and yet nothing has changed. I'm still unable to do anything, at present I am just waiting for the registrar to call so that the funeral can go ahead, but they must be inundated.
The cause of death was given as 'frailty in old age' so at least he was spared this dreadful virus.
When this is all over I will have a memorial and go back to the care home to thank the staff who really did care for him, it always gave me peace of mind to know he was happy there.
Thank you all again, take care and keep safe


Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
This has been really hard for you Kathy but please remember that for many reasons we cannot always be with those we love as they leave us, very often they wait until relatives have left the room before breathing their last. I couldn’t be with my Banjoman, I stayed out of the way of his family, but I was told that, although unconscious, once they left he seemed to visibly relax and just slowly wound down until his breathing stopped.
As I was not his executor I didn’t have to go back the the Care home so I sent them an e-mail with a photo of The Banjoman and I happy together during the good times and thanked all the staff for the care they had taken of him. His brother said the Manager printed off the e-mail and put it up on the notice board so that everyone could see it. His executor also took in tins of sweets and biscuits for every one to share.
Having cared for my husband through lung cancer and The Banjoman through dementia the one thing that I found helped with grief after they died was to try to find something ‘positive’ to hold on to. In my husband’s case it was the fact that although we knew he was dying, his heart stopped suddenly, unexpectedly, death was instantaneous and he was holding my hand just as he wished. With The Banjoman it meant that he no longer had to suffer the indignities of Lewy Body Dementia which had stolen his physical and mental capacity, curtailed the pleasure he had taken and given in his music and which had left him a shell of his former self.
Of course this is doubly hard on you with all the restrictions currently in place so that it seems that you cannot even start to grieve properly but please remember that there are many people here on Talking Point who are thinking of you and the other members who are coping with the loss of their loved one.


Registered User
Feb 7, 2015
Thank you so much Carol for your lovely reply.
Like so many people at this awful time you just have to get through it for the person you love.
I was relived when I heard that he more or less died of old age, he was 85, rather than the virus. Of course dementia robbed us of the last six years but up until then Joe always lived life to the full and even in the care home he always managed to have some lady sitting with him, I always said he was a 'babe magnet'.
It is difficult not being able to lay him to rest the way it should be, but like you, I am trying to take the positive that I can make his memorial a celebration of some one who was loved and a life well lived.
Stay safe Carol


Registered User
Oct 9, 2019
I can only imagine the pain you are feeling and I am so sorry for your loss, it must be even harder to bear for being alone. I haven't seen my Mum for almost 4 weeks and I worry about not ever seeing her again. There are so many of us here in the same situation and all of us are carrying the extra burden of having to be isolated at a time when we need support the most. I hope you find some comfort in knowing we are all thinking of you in this moment. It's the best we can do :)
Wishing you strength for the coming days.

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
This is terribly sad for you Kathy. Horrendous times for many people. Your husband will know that you cared, you shouldn't torment yourself as there is absolutely nothing you can do about this situation, it's not your fault. Take care of yourself and remember happier times with your husband.