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Bereaved Spouses

A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.

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This might be a rough time for many of you. Do what you feel you need to do to get through it. Remember, someone is here almost all the time to talk to you.

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Discussion Forum

Navigating Widow-hood

Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019. 5 Replies

Finding the new normal

Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24, 2019. 12 Replies

Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 22, 2019. 12 Replies

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Comment by Jane P. on November 4, 2013 at 7:29pm

Mark, I am sorry to learn of your friends passing but sometimes God does work in mysterious ways.  I have a very good friends but unfortunately she lives in my home state so we speak to each other by phone every day.  One day I was helping someone and met this wonderful couple. That meeting turned into a wonderful friendship which I thank God for all the time.   So don't give up hope you too just might meet someone who understands and will welcome you as a good friend.

I hope your grief meeting is working out for you tonight. My group is comprised of all widows/widowers and we all understand each others pain and frustrations. And that too has flourished into some very good friendships.  Thinking of you and praying for the best. Hugs, Jane P.  

Comment by Mark Jackson on November 4, 2013 at 5:14pm

Not quite there yet. I turn 54 November 15, I'll still call and find out.

Comment by Marsha H on November 4, 2013 at 4:58pm

Hi Mark ...  I am so sorry about your best friend passing away.  It is a shock to most of us that the friends who still have their spouses don't understand how we feel, but in all honesty, when we had our spouses we didn't think of death or if it reared it's ugly head with a friend we knew we couldn't possibly understand how they felt.  However, as I've always said it's disgusting to think they don't make an effort.  My husband and I were there for friends who had a child or spouse pass away and managed.  We simply listened to them or hugged them and made sure they were doing OK.  We didn't push them, but were available.  Today it seems it's a taboo subject to bring up or pure laziness on the part of the so-called friends. 

I am glad to hear you are going to grief counseling and you will have much in common, but often the sessions are intense and everyone handles their grief differently and I found it wasn't making friends so much but just expressing yourself.  It can be exhausting. 

If you are 55 years or older you can phone a senior's center and ask them if there are any groups of widowers that get together in your area (this, I find is much healthier.)  I'm trying to do the same thing.  Fresh grief is always the most difficult time unfortunately.

I would like to give you hope in the fact that miracles happen and my next door neighbor Dan is a wonderful person and has helped me out so much and understands the predicament I'm in.

I realize it is much easier for women to talk to women then men talking to men, so, if one of your married spouses (female) is a good person and a good listener you should feel free to talk to them or even a single female friend.  Hope this helps Mark and we know the plight you are in right now.

Please let us know how your grief session went. 

Big Bear Hug (because you need it)

Marsha 

Comment by Mark Jackson on November 4, 2013 at 3:18pm

Jane and Marsha your both are right. My only problem is the one loyal friend I could count on passed away about to mouths before Cathy. Most of our friends are married and your right they  don't under stand. I am going to a group support meeting  to night. I am hoping to meet some new people there. we'll see how it go's. I'll let you know.

Mark

Comment by Marsha H on November 4, 2013 at 4:32am

Barbara ...  Glad to help and stop feeling guilty ... you ate the evidence! LOL  Be positive and keep going to church and realize that you'll make another Pot Luck so no harm done.  As I said, I never made that birthday party and if they can't understand then so be it.  I have to live and deal with the way I feel and they don't.  If they judge me for it the they were never my true friends to begin with.

Move ovah darlin', for some reason I was crying off and on over the weekend and it surprised me.  I guess I just feel darn right frustrated at myself.  I'm not a really patient person.  LOL

You're doing fine Barbara and don't rush your feelings and remember ... you don't owe anyone an explanation for the length of time you need to grieve.

Love & God Bless

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on November 4, 2013 at 4:27am

Mark ...  Your post just disappeared.  However, I got enough information as to what you were asking about 'should you tell your friends how you really feel.'

I think the second biggest hurt and betrayal I felt was after my husband passed away and all those friends we knew and helped throughout the years for 20 or 40  more years simply seemed to disappear. Even a few that stayed loyal up until a few months ago dwindled away and now I am lucky to have 3 - 4 good friends I can rely on and a small immediate family. 

I suggest when someone asks you a question as to how you are feeling say, 'It's tough, I'm trying and life goes on' and change the subject or walk away because these people are never going to truly understand how you feel because they still have their spouses or they may be single and they haven't had to experience the death of a loved one.  I remember people asking me the same thing and when I would answer a glaze would come over their eyes and you knew they were tuning you out.  It's partly ignorance and partly their own fear of their mortality and also the mortality of their spouse.  I also have had a couple of friends suggest I date off the Internet and I will admit I'm not ready for that and not that sort of person.  I would rather meet just a friendly companion through a group or someone one of my friends knows.  I will never live with or remarry.

There are going to be times when you feel so many have abandoned you or think you should be over your grief in a short time and I simply ignored this and took my time in grief and I don't owe anyone an explanation for that!  I am seeking new friends as well so at for a little while one can get away from the stigmatism of being a widower/widow. 

You are not alone Mark and even though some friends may not want to hear how you really feel (pick one loyal one you feel you can express yourself to) and as far as the rest do the best you can in the situation and try to meet new friends along the way.  Most of us have been through ignorant to bizarre advice from well meaning friends or even family. 

Hang in there Mark. We're here for you.

Marsha

Comment by Marsha H on November 4, 2013 at 3:25am

Robin ...  I am so very happy to hear that you had a wonderful day with your friend and were able to laugh and enjoy each other's company and hey, you got chores done!  Good going!

I won't lie and say that you will always feel this way so early in the grieving process and I went through days such as thing and was and still am feeling blessed for good days, but, when we do have a dip and have cries or feel down and then have those wonderful days like you did it's a reminder that deep grieving isn't forever and we'll balance out our lives in time and the tears of remembering our loved one won't be so frequent although we will never forget them.  I too try to enjoy the small things in life and since my husband passed I 'stop and smell the flowers' more.  Instead of running hectically through life I go at a slower pace and enjoy what is around me.

Hugs

Marsha 

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on November 4, 2013 at 12:33am

Dear Marsha, Mark and Helen -- you never fail to help me -- I needed a little "confession" as I felt so guilty about skipping out on church and the gathering after services -- and you let me know, once again, that I am not alone.

I had a major crying, sobbing, nose-running, hiccoughing, melt-down this morning, then settled down to a pretty quiet Sunday, and fed my pot luck to my sister, daughter and best friend, for dinner tonight.

Robin -- what an uplifting post!  I am encouraged to also try to find something positive in each day.

And, now, I think I will go to bed with a book and read for awhile.

Many thanks, much love and -- prayers for all of us.

Comment by Roseanne Rogach on November 3, 2013 at 10:07pm

Robin - it is wonderful to hear you had a great weekend and found joy in your surroundings.  I think it helps a lot to counter the sad thoughts with thinking about the blessings in your life.  Praying you continue to have good days!

Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on November 3, 2013 at 2:44pm

Barbara  You are not a coward.   To go to a pot luck supper on your own without your love is overwhelming.   Just as I was overwhelmed last night and still feel much the same way today.  One day you will manage to stay even if just for a few minutes as Mark said will be a huge step forward for you.    Having said that I have been for coffee with one lot of friends,, a cup of tea with another and supper with a third.   The third lot have organized a theatre visit on the 12th and I have said I will go and yet through all these interactions with people, inside I feel as if my heart is still a bloody sore.   The one person I want to be doing all these things with is missing - my Morley, my husband.   I will go to the theatre, I may even sing along with some of the songs but inside I am dying because the only man who ever gave me unconditional love and support is no longer with us and all these things I am doing because people expect it of me and I try (black glasses at hand as I too cry every day of my life) but nothing means anythings without my love, my rock and it is as if I am acting in an elaborate play and only when I get behind closed doors does the real Helen come out probably in tears, certainly in deep depression.   This post traumatic stress thing is something else - how does anyone ever overcome it and especially is there is no specialist at hand to tell you what to do to try and overcome it.    I guess I just go on doing what I did today and what I will do at the theatre and keep the tears and sobbing for when I get behind those closed doors.

 

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