My wife is terminally ill and I don't know how I'll cope once she's gone

DEAR DEIDRE: MY partner is terminally ill and I don’t know how I’ll cope after her death.

I’m 50, she is 45 and has stage-four melanoma. The doctors have said she now has just days, or possibly weeks, to live.

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She has accepted this but I’m not coping.

We had so many plans together and have always talked about retiring abroad.

Now none of that will happen. All I have to look forward to is her funeral and clearing out her possessions.

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How will I carry on alone? I feel guilty for being so selfish when she’s the one dying.

She is still here yet I’m already mourning her.

DEIDRE SAYS: You have nothing to feel guilty about.

You are a loving partner and I am sure you are doing everything possible to make her final days good ones.

You are experiencing what is called anticipatory grief, a type of grief you feel when you know you will lose someone, even though they are still alive.

There is more information about this on the Cruse Bereavement Care website (, 0808 808 1677). Please contact them for support.

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