How do you talk with others about your loss

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by Jeffsjohnson, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    It’s hard to understand how the people closest to us aren’t supplying the support we all expected. But it seems to happen to each of us. People just don’t understand the gravity of what we’re going through unless they’ve been there. I’ve even tried to explain, the pain, the loneliness even the guilt that we’re suffering. One of my brothers seems to have understood what I was trying to say. He’s been more available and offered more support. A lot of people also have the misconception that if they bring up our loss, say their name, that they’re upsetting us. No one is reminding anyone of us about our loss, we think of them 24/7. And crying is good for us, and we want to hear their memories. In short, I think we make people uncomfortable, they don’t know what to do with us. But it’s not rocket science, it’s pretty simple. So we’re in pain from our losses and then hurt by the people we’re closest to. Quite a quandary. And that’s why this site is so helpful. We all know and understand.
     
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  2. GiGiD

    GiGiD New Member

     
  3. GiGiD

    GiGiD New Member

    This is exactly what I am going through. My husband Gary passed away April 2018. I thought I was doing better but I think I am worse now than when he passed. He was my husband, best friend. He wasn’t perfect, but he was my love. I just am so lost and lately I feel as if everyone has backed away. I just am so lonely.
     
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  4. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband. No one is perfect but our spouses are perfect for us. Gary was perfect for you. Losing our one and only and then our friends and family aren’t available for us, makes the nightmare even worse. My husband Ron passed Nov 2018. We did everything together and he wasn’t even sick, lost him to a sudden heart attack. The loneliness is awful, life feels scary. No one to turn to, no one to talk things over with and no hugs. It starts to feel like, ok it’s been long enough, come home. I feel my best when I stay busy, and I use Ron as my inspiration to keep going. I still need him to be proud I was his wife.
    Gary does t want you to suffer, he’s not touchable but he’s in your heart and a part of you. He always will be. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep moving, keep making Gary proud.
    Sending you hugs!
     
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  5. JMD

    JMD Well-Known Member

    I love what you’re saying about your husband as your inspiration and living a life that makes him proud. Michael lived the same way for me when he was here. So - each day I try to do something for him. He would want me to be happier than I have been without him and I try to remember that. This is a tough journey. Thanks for the posts.
     
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  6. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Thank you! We had such a wonderful happy life together. I’m doing everything that we did together in our home and with our yard. I feel I’m doing these things to honor and love the life we had. I made a memorial garden for him, that gives me peace.
    You are so right that this is such a tough journey, nothing can prepare us for this amount of pain. But honoring our husbands like we’re both doing has been helpful to me. Our husbands do want us to be ok, there’s no question in my mind. Easier said then done.
    There will be better days ahead, we need to work towards them.
     
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  7. JMD

    JMD Well-Known Member

    I believe those words. I do believe that Michael wants me to be OK and not hurt forever the way I do. So, I am doing the same - carrying out our plans for our home and vacations the way we had talked. Love and honor the life we had. There are some people that have told me that is not ‘normal’. That I need to to create a new life without him, move on, I even had someone tell me the first week he was gone that I was young enough to find someone else. I cannot begin to tell you how much pain and anxiety those well-meaning words caused me. I could not love him any more now than when he was here with me. Maybe even more. Last night in my grief support group, one of the leaders used the word ‘stabilize’ when talking about healing from grief. I connected with that as a possible goal. I know I have to keep him present in my life somehow.
    We were planning to landscape a garden in our yard - I was more of the gardener than he was, but we did that together, and he loved to eat the food that we grew. I am going to keep that plan, but make it a ‘healing garden’ where I might honor him and feel closer to him and God. I don’t know if you’re willing, bit if you have a picture you would share of your garden space I would love to see it. Please know your words and understanding are helping.
     
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  8. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    JMD,
    I’ve had those things said to me too, you’re young you’ll find someone to share your life with. Are you really saying that me? OMG ! Recently an acquaintance stopped while I was mowing my yard. Something Ron wouldn’t let me do. I have RA so certain things are difficult. He stops and seems genuine in caring how I’m doing then throws out a name of someone we all know that lost his wife about 5 years ago. And says when you’re ready you should find someone to share your life with. Now I’m afraid to mow my lawn, I don’t want to see him ever again. And he admitted he drives past my house regularly. Talk about uncomfortable.
    I’ve also dealt with people saying to make new memories. Well they haven’t walked in my shoes, so they just don’t understand. People mean well, just don’t know the right things to say. Truth is of course there’s new memories, but my life without Ron is crippling, and that’s who means the world to me. This journey takes time and we all move at different rates and deal differently. Honoring our husbands just shows our love and respect for them. And I plan to continue. I’ve been with Ron since I was 16 and him 19, together 44 years married 41, owned a business together, together 24/7. As you know, love grows stronger every step of the way.
    Stabilize does make sense, I like that word choice.
    It’s awesome that you gardened together, I think it’s great you plan to continue with that plan. Perfect way to show your love for Michael and to honor him.
    My birthday was last week, we had made a plan that on my birthday in 2020, we would retire. Ron wanted to retire a few years back, but I didn’t feel ready, so we made this plan, for my birthday, and we’d go to sign me up for SS. I turned the age he was when he passed. There’s guilt that I asked him to wait and he never got to experience retirement, we never got to travel the USA or do home improvements. It was a very difficult day and I’m still thinking of it.
    I’m glad something I’ve said has been helpful to you, it feels comforting knowing we’re not alone. We seem to have things in common.
    So I’m adding a few pictures of the memorial garden. In the center I put the very first air compressor we bought for our business. We kept it all these years and was moved twice when we moved our business. So when I closed and emptied our business I decided it would go in the center of the memorial garden I planned to make. Hope I didn’t add too many pictures. But the one of the full garden doesn’t do it justice. I know Ron would love it.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. JMD

    JMD Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the post and the pics. I like the idea of the air compressor in the garden. Michael was a plumber and was all about tools. His dad was in the same trade and left him all of his vintage tools. Michael in turn left them to his nephew. They were close. I have not been able to address his belongings yet. I’m having a hard time thinking about retirement also. We were not yet retirement age but were putting a lot of energy into planning and it upsets me that he did not get to enjoy any of his hard worked years. I am still in very sad mode. Focusing on doing the next thing on my list and something everyday out of love and honor for him.
     
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  10. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    About cutting ties.,.
    I’ve had to do this twice in the last month. One was someone I hardly knew, the second was my 30+ friend I had mentioned in an earlier post. Resentment against my friend was mounting as I realized that this was not an isolated incident but a pattern of underestimating my abilities. A series of “your not strong enough to” in reply to my deciding to take on new challenges. I am continually relearning the lesson that, no matter how much I love someone, I need to love myself enough to realize that I shouldn’t tolerate and make excuses for someone who makes denigrating comments to me. I’ve heard so many health care professionals and fellow grievers talk about this issue. Your support made the decision much easier to act upon. Ironically, my friend had just helped me with cutting off an online date for making me feel bad about myself. In both cases I’m sure neither one of them had a clue as to how their behavior adversely affected me. In each case, it disrupted eating and sleeping which affected my mood and energy level. Once I emailed them and blocked them I felt immediate relief. I feel a little stupid for being so slow to understand when I was being put down, and for making excuses for them which only prolonged the stressful decision making process. Oh well, at least I did the right thing in the end. I think I’m going to sleep well tonight.

    —Jan

    On Sep 13, 2020, at 11:09 AM, Jan <jankata@runbox.com> wrote:

    Thanks Karyn. I’m still sleeping well.

    —Jan

    On Sep 10, 2020, at 6:41 PM, Grief in Common <griefincommon@gmail.com> wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this Jan - I appreciate the depth to which you are exploring your emotions. It sounds like you are truly learning a lot about yourself along the way.
    Please take care - hoping you can get some good sleep and that things are okay with your friend.
    All my best,
    Karyn


    On Sep 10, 2020, at 9:13 PM, Jan <jankata@runbox.com> wrote:


    Hi Karyn. I wrote down some thoughts about taking care of my husband, instead of the anger/guilt pep talk since that’s N/A in my case. My emotion is sadness, and it isn’t really unwelcome.


    <homework 3.pdf>

    —Jan
     
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  11. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    Ignore the Karyn stuff at the end just a bad cut and past
     
  12. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    You’re welcome. The air compressor had to be saved, too much meaning came with it, and I had no place to keep it. So memorial center piece, everyone loves it in the garden. Closing our business was so hard, I have more tools then I know what to do with. I did give some to family members. Let the belongings wait, I did our business because I had no choice, but other things is a slow process. You should let it wait, take care of things in your time. Like you stated, work off your list, one day one step at a time. Loving and honoring my husband is what keeps me going. I’m sure that’s what helps you too.
     
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  13. JMD

    JMD Well-Known Member

    Thanks. My guy was a tool guy. I’d give anything in the world for more time with him. His brother resurfaced last night. Lifelong problems. He has been relentless in calling his son, Michael’s nephew, for information about Michael’s belongings. He is insistent that Michael and I are not next of kin and Michael wanted to leave everything to him as his oldest sibling. Has even requested a copy of our marriage certificate. I’d laugh if it didn’t make me so anxious.
    Michael was close to his nephew and we saw each other and talked as much as we could. His nephew is trying to help but is caught in the middle of his father’s crazy behavior. I am just amazed at how people can treat others who are grieving. Looks like I am going to be cutting off a toxic relationship.
     
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  14. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Don’t feel stupid. We’re not thinking quite right, and it takes time to sink in what’s happening. It took me a while too. I actually thought my sister meant well, but I was mistaken. I hate to say it but it’s like people get jealous that we’re getting support. I’m glad you stood up for yourself. You are more important then anyone or anything. I’m glad that you felt relief immediately. That means it was necessary. You have enough going on, don’t need people putting you down and adding more stress to your grief.
    Losing our one and only is life devastating, we need people who sincerely care for and about us. I hope you sleep well tonight. And that you are able to eat better.
    Sending hugs!
    Robin
     
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  15. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Wow! I’m so sorry. Requesting your marriage certificate is so hurtful! Doesn’t care about the loss of his brother, just wants his things. How sad. You may need to cut ties with someone that doesn’t have his heart in the right place. Do what you need to do, whatever might give you peace. Take care of you. Have positive friends and family in your life. You need to put you and your best interest ahead of anything else.
    I’m learning that people as a whole don’t know what to do with us or for us, we make some people uncomfortable. But what Michael's brother is doing is not ok.
     
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  16. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    Thanks for your support. It feels good. You know, I just realized that I’ve been letting people get away with this kind of behavior for years. The new me is actually smarter.
     
  17. JMD

    JMD Well-Known Member

    :0) Yay!
     
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  18. judestewd

    judestewd New Member

     
  19. judestewd

    judestewd New Member

    It depends on who is asking. If it's a friend that you have history with that person I would give a short explanation of where you're at in your grief journey if you're feeling confident in sharing. Otherwise most people just ask to be nice but really won't think too much about your grief until they see you again. And then they always ask the same question "so how are you doing", they don't remember what you told them the last time they asked . Does that help?
     
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