Agony aunt column: Ask Lucy

Today we introduce you to our latest columnist, Lucy Saunders, who will be providing a regular agony aunt column - Ask Lucy.
Lucy Saunders SUS-160623-152004001Lucy Saunders SUS-160623-152004001
Lucy Saunders SUS-160623-152004001

If you have a question for Lucy please email her at [email protected].

Hi Lucy, I lost my husband 5 years ago to cancer. I had 3 children at the time and after he passed away everything became auto pilot.

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I kept myself busy and threw myself into loads of activities and keep fit classes and spent most of my time doing school runs and looking after my kids.

I also went through a phase of wondering what I had done to deserve losing my husband so young and recently for no apparent reason, I have been suffering from depression and feeling very low and cannot be bothered to see anybody or do anything,can you help?


Hi Jane,

It seems like you kept yourself ‘busy’ as a ‘defence’ as not to think or confront your grief.

There are five stages of grief that one may or may not go through.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

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It sounds like you have been through the denial phase by keeping yourself busy then the anger by wondering to yourself ‘why me’ and now the Depression phase of feeling sad and possibly missing your husband.

Maybe now is the time to see a bereavement counsellor and give yourself time to mourn and accept your loss and allow yourself to feel the grief as it comes over you.

Resisting it will only make the healing process longer.

I wish you all the best, Lucy.


Hi Lucy,

I am 55 and am feeling very low as my children are starting to leave home.

I have been a stay at home mother for 23 years and I feel very tearful and sad all the time and anxious.

I also don’t feel my husband understands.


Hi Kate,

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This is a very natural ‘transition’ phase for you and your children to go through.

‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ symbolically, is exactly what it is.

You built your nest and looked after your chicks and now they are flying away and you feel you have lost your ‘role’ and you are needing to come to terms with that loss.

The kids have kept you busy and looking after them was your ‘job’ and now you may feel redundant and unsure about the future?

Although you say your husband doesn’t understand, he may be feeling it too but in a different way, so talk to each other about how your feeling and keep the communication open.

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It is important to ‘grieve’ for that phase of your life but also its time to find ‘you’ and your relationship with your husband again as a couple.

Don’t be hard on yourself allow yourself time to find your life again exploring what you would like to do ie studying, volunteering, working, travelling, etc.

I wish you all the best. Lucy


Hi Lucy,

My daughter and I just don’t see eye to eye.

She is 19 and feels that I disapprove of her all the time.

I was a little bit disappointed in her A level results and she hangs around the house not knowing what she wants to do.

She doesn’t want to go to university and I feel she should otherwise I worry what she is going to do.

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It drives me mad and we get into slanging matches all the time about her future.

Can you give me advice what to do?


Hi Sarah,

It sounds like your daughter feels ‘pressured’ to please you, to do what you want her to do.

Your daughter sounds like she does know what she wants to do, she doesn’t want to go to university and needs time and space to think what and where she wants to go with her life.

It’s a very uncertain time for adolescents when they leave education and they come to realise they have to go out into the big wide world as adults and not children at school anymore.

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There is an enormous amount of pressure on young people to be expected to know what they want to do and they must feel pressured and that can feel

unbearable, especially if they have friends who seem to have a life plan and know what career path they want.

Support your daughter and let her be an adult and find her own way, I know its hard because you seem concerned and worried about her future but it will

all work out for the best when she can live her own life.

I wish you all the best, Lucy.

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