Memorial Day is coming up....Most people are having barbecues with family and friends...I don't feel like going or having a good time...Does anyone else feel the same way....Denise MacCallum

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Dear Denise,

No, I do not think I will be waiting to grill, jump in a pool, go to the beach or the like....I have been wondering what to do about Memorial Day; part of me feels like it is more for those who have lost their loved ones in the service of our country, but another part feels it is a day to remember _all_ loved ones who have died....

I'm also struggling with my husband's birthday, which is 11 days earlier, on 20 May - I'm not sure what to do; I don't know how I'll feel - he would have been 56, being a 1954 Baby....I would normally take him out to dinner, and find a highly disrespectful, teasing card.

This year - I don't know.....and I find myself thinking about the 1st anniversary of his death on 29 June 2010 - I know that day is coming.

Peace, grace and healing be with you - Yaca Attwood Perkins
What you are going through is part of the grieving process. The 1st anniversary is always the hardest, but you will get through it. No, it wont be easy, but you will survive it. It's hard not to focus on the dates. My husband, Reggie and I would have celebrated our 6th anniversary on 4/27. This date was so special to both of us, but when he is no longer here it's very difficult. Last year, I bought a dinette set. This year, I just stayed in the bed, but I survived it. We somehow have to create a new life, it's hard, but we must do it. Don't be so hard on yourself, don't make any plans. Just take the day minute by minute. If you feel like doing something, than by all means do it. Because your husband was special in your life. I wish you the best.
Memorial Day will not be so much of a problem for me. Yesterday was our grandaughter's 1st Holy Communion and I was anticipating it to be a bad day but it was actually worse than that. Seeing all the grandfather's at church just broke my heart. I now have my birthday, Mother's Day (which will be the 6 month anniversary of his passing), our daughter's birthday, then Father's Day and shortly after that his birthday and then our wedding anniversary and then the 1st anniversary.

I don't know how others feel but I sometimes get very resentful when I see a couple about our ages walking together. Although I am happy for them, I am so upset that I no longer have that. I also get upset when people (who have not experienced this) tell me this is something that half of us are going to have to go through at some point so we just need to deal with it. I just wonder how they will feel when their turn comes. I hope they expect no sympathy from me.

Also, the people who treat you as though you are toxic because you are now alone and they still have a husband. I have a next door neighbor who I have been friends with for over 35 years. She was out of town when my husband passed. Since she came home, which was before Thanksgiving, she has not had the time to even say "Gee, I'm sorry" but rather avoids me like I had something contagious. Her husband has been great and has offered any help that I might need. I would not even think to ask him to help me with anything. If I can't do it, it doesn't need to get done. It really makes me feel so bad though that after all these years she couldn't take a minute to come over. Maybe I expect too much. On the other hand, she has stopped my youngest and oldest daughter's and my sons-in-law and told them that she wants to invite me to lunch but I am never home anymore. Wow, I go to the cemetary every day. I am sorry but people like that just make me crazy. I don't know if it is just me or if anyone else has experienced this kind of "friend".
My husband died unexpectedly one year ago so I have gone through all the "firsts". I honored his memory on "the" day by going to church and praising God for my 40 years of married life. Went to lunch with my girlfriend, then walked to the cemetery where she said the beautiful Jewish Kadash prayer at the grave. I know my husband will greet me in the next life when I die; my dependence on God this year has quadrupled & I have found great peace.

The newfound joy of being alone is that I can do what I want. I can go to a picnic if I so choose. Or not. I can leave early or stay late. Play with the little ones or find another person who looks lonely and strike up a conversation. Make my own tradition. Write a letter to a soldier or get involved with Wounded Warriors Project. Life is so precious! I don't know how much time I have myself to make the world a better place. I am not the center of the universe.

As far as inconsiderate remarks, I shake my head & concentrate on the handful of people who have been with me on my grief journey. "Oh, I meant to call you," is my favorite comment from a neighbor who lives 2 doors away. She was called immediately when the death occurred & has looked away from me when passing me on the road for the last year. Only when we met face to face in the market did she say something. All I can say is, it will happen to her someday. She isn't immune. Shrug off the ignorance & fear of others & keep close to you your supportive friends.

The girlfriend I just referred to above called me a week before the anniversary & said she was going to spend the day with me doing whatever I wanted, if I wanted, just so I wouldn't be alone. I'm so blessed! Every morning & night I get on my knees & thank God for each & every blessing in my life.

Connie said:
Memorial Day will not be so much of a problem for me. Yesterday was our grandaughter's 1st Holy Communion and I was anticipating it to be a bad day but it was actually worse than that. Seeing all the grandfather's at church just broke my heart. I now have my birthday, Mother's Day (which will be the 6 month anniversary of his passing), our daughter's birthday, then Father's Day and shortly after that his birthday and then our wedding anniversary and then the 1st anniversary.

I don't know how others feel but I sometimes get very resentful when I see a couple about our ages walking together. Although I am happy for them, I am so upset that I no longer have that. I also get upset when people (who have not experienced this) tell me this is something that half of us are going to have to go through at some point so we just need to deal with it. I just wonder how they will feel when their turn comes. I hope they expect no sympathy from me.

Also, the people who treat you as though you are toxic because you are now alone and they still have a husband. I have a next door neighbor who I have been friends with for over 35 years. She was out of town when my husband passed. Since she came home, which was before Thanksgiving, she has not had the time to even say "Gee, I'm sorry" but rather avoids me like I had something contagious. Her husband has been great and has offered any help that I might need. I would not even think to ask him to help me with anything. If I can't do it, it doesn't need to get done. It really makes me feel so bad though that after all these years she couldn't take a minute to come over. Maybe I expect too much. On the other hand, she has stopped my youngest and oldest daughter's and my sons-in-law and told them that she wants to invite me to lunch but I am never home anymore. Wow, I go to the cemetary every day. I am sorry but people like that just make me crazy. I don't know if it is just me or if anyone else has experienced this kind of "friend".
Thanks Irene. It is good to know that it is not just me. It does make you feel really bad though when you have been friends for so long and now she avoids me. She is a very social and outgoing person so I am sure that it is not just that she does not know what to say. I thank God for the good friends that I have and you are right, she will have to deal with life. In all honesty though, I hope she doesn't feel the way I feel right now. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
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Connie
I know exactly what you are talking about. I too am very resentful to see other couples holding hands, and just being together. Why did I have to lose my husband. I am desperatly trying to get my life back but its just not working. The only time Im ok is when Im at work so I try to work as much as I can. They dont realize olr know the half of what your going thru. As far as your neighbor TALK to her and let her know you feel. You might be pleasanlty surprised. She probably just dont know what to say to you. Just put her at ease. I did this with my neighbor and now we talk all the time. Good luck Dotti
Connie said:
Memorial Day will not be so much of a problem for me. Yesterday was our grandaughter's 1st Holy Communion and I was anticipating it to be a bad day but it was actually worse than that. Seeing all the grandfather's at church just broke my heart. I now have my birthday, Mother's Day (which will be the 6 month anniversary of his passing), our daughter's birthday, then Father's Day and shortly after that his birthday and then our wedding anniversary and then the 1st anniversary.

I don't know how others feel but I sometimes get very resentful when I see a couple about our ages walking together. Although I am happy for them, I am so upset that I no longer have that. I also get upset when people (who have not experienced this) tell me this is something that half of us are going to have to go through at some point so we just need to deal with it. I just wonder how they will feel when their turn comes. I hope they expect no sympathy from me.

Also, the people who treat you as though you are toxic because you are now alone and they still have a husband. I have a next door neighbor who I have been friends with for over 35 years. She was out of town when my husband passed. Since she came home, which was before Thanksgiving, she has not had the time to even say "Gee, I'm sorry" but rather avoids me like I had something contagious. Her husband has been great and has offered any help that I might need. I would not even think to ask him to help me with anything. If I can't do it, it doesn't need to get done. It really makes me feel so bad though that after all these years she couldn't take a minute to come over. Maybe I expect too much. On the other hand, she has stopped my youngest and oldest daughter's and my sons-in-law and told them that she wants to invite me to lunch but I am never home anymore. Wow, I go to the cemetary every day. I am sorry but people like that just make me crazy. I don't know if it is just me or if anyone else has experienced this kind of "friend".
Hi Connie -

I get a little messed up on my replies and think I just posted your message again.. Oh boy - sorry about that.

I understand your feelings about your neighbor who has been your friend also for many years.. I lost my husband just before this past Christmas.. Soon I saw my female friends drifting away and becoming more distant.. I thought - I lost my husband and now i'm losing my friends?? My friend Teresa who lives in New Hampshire (I live in upstate New York) lost her husband to cancer when he was only 30 years old.. She never remarried.. We are both 63 now and I am thankful I had my husband for 44 years.. But back to the friends - I talked to Teresa about the female friends becoming more distant.. She experienced the same thing.. She said they see us as a threat now because they see us as single or available .. Personally I never want to marry again but they (friends w/husbands) don't see it that way.. Even my friend Terri - gosh we have been friends since we were in 5th grade together!! Makes me sad.. Anyway -Teresa bought me a book and it has helped me a LOT.. It helped her too when she lost her husband.. I think it will help ALL widows and I highly recomend it to you and everyone who has lost a spouse.. It's entitled "Learning To Live As A Widow." My friend found it on e-bay but you can find it in the library or a book store too i'm sure.. I hope you can find this book Connie - It will help..

I too don't look forward to holidays of any kind.. My kids invited me out for Mothers Day dinner but I am sad and I just don't feel like being out in public on that day - I just don't feel like celebrating ANY day just yet if that makes any sence. Its how I feel and I can't help that.. Quiet with family would be ok for me but not public yet. We just have to take one day at a time Connie.. Don't expect anything from your neighbor or anyone and you won't be disappointed.. When you are sad - take 10 or 15 minutes to just sit down and cry.. We all have to go through it and its good to see on this site that we understand each other.. God bless you Connie.. I get a little lost on this site sometimes because i'd new here but you are welcome to be in touch via e-mail too if you like.. jennifer_rose_1@hotmail.com
When I met my wife and started going to church with her she had told me about all the men eyeballing her because she was a widow, and the wifes ignored her because of that. I can't blame them, Loni was gorgus and intelligent. I saw it for myself the very first time at church. Too bad, she's mine ! Loni was the most beautiful women I had ever met, and the most inteligent. Loni fell in love with me because I listened to her, about her husband that had passed away three years before and everything she had to say. And I'm not too ugly !
I could make Loni laugh most every day, and when she was feeling sad I understood that also. I would tell her that if she needed to cry don't hold it back because of me. Missing her previous husband was natural, they were married for 30 years. We would talk of him often, and that was O.K. with me too. It was part of Loni and who she was. The only thing that bothered me was if we were at someone else's house for dinner and all they would talk about was him, I would think to myself, HOW RUDE, to me ! Loni would handel that though by changing the subject. Then it would ture back about him again and again. Loni would have enough of it and we would go outside and have a cigarette together, not that it would change them from starting all over again. We quit going to there house's anylonger for dinner, Loni decision. I never said a thing about it.
Not everyone was like that, but most.
And these were suppost to be smart people. Not in my book !
Tom
When Loni and I were married, we had the reciption at our house the next day.
The men that were there all talked about Terry, Loni husband before me, and left me out of the conversation. So I spent the day talking with their wifes and got to know them. It was nice. If they are going to be that way, there's nothing one can do about it. Their wifes knew what was going on, and I'm sure the husbands heard about it later. Not all men are that stupid or rude, just most I guess !
Not me !
Thanks Jennifer. I will put our e-mail address in my contacts. I had read in a book about the 'toxic widow'. Boy, if she is afraid that I am interested in her husband, she really has problems. He is a nice neighbor that I have known for almost 40 years. Our children were raised together. I have no interest at all in other men and if I did, it wouldn't be my next door neighbor.

I asked my children if they thought that she did not like him taking the garbage can out to the street for me. They didn't think so. My baby is home from college now and she can take care of that for me.

People are really strange. I guess Mom was right when she said it takes all kinds of people to make a world.

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You are right Connie - people are strange but people are human too and when your life changed theirs kind of did too.. I don't think you should ignore your female neighbor/friend or her husband.. Don't treat her the way she has ignored/treated you because this only builds bitterness, resentment and hatred in you. This is not want you need or want for yourself as a person. (Widow or not) You need to be the friend and neighbor you always have been. Two wrongs will not make anything right again if you know what I mean.. If your male neighbor is kind enough to take your can to the street - then let him do this.. It's his way of saying he is sorry for your loss - its his way of helping you and this is a good thing.. If you take his kind deed away from him then I think it may make him feel rejected or that you don't care for him and his kind act.. As for his wife - she will eventually see for herself that you have no interest in her husband other than being the same neighbor and friend that you have been over the years.. Actions will always speak louder than words.. Do you see what I mean Connie? I would love for a kind neighbor to help me with little things but I don't have that.. It's all on me and its a LOT.. I have 3 acres of lawn to mow and to weed wack.. This is very hard for me but I love where I live and I don't want to leave here.. I know i'll have to get a neighbor boy to do some of this physical work for me but of course i'll have to pay him too.. Money is less around here too thats why i've tried to keep up with these physical things alone.. My garbage man is doing a VERY kind act for me and that is, he drives all the way up my driveway and takes my can right from the garage.. This is a GREAT help to me and I sure appreciate it.. So Connie - let your neighbor take your can to the street. It blesses him for doing it :)

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