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Do/did you put your grieving on hold or change the way you needed to be to accommodate others?

Following Deb's passing, I was very aware of everyone elses grief and accommodated them for the most part. I am not talking about my kids, that may or may not be a different subject. But, family, co-workers and friends. We had a memorial at the one year mark, my children told me to restrict it to family only. I excluded Deb's closest friends, but called them to inform them of the kids wishes, three years after her passing they have little or nothing to do with us.


The other part of this was, that after about 4 months or so, I saw a woman at the market who was a friend of Deb's, she asked how I was, I told her terrific, and you would have thought I killed her dog, I lowered my head and said, "as good as we can be". She was happier with that answer and went about her business.


So, would our grief be diferent, if we didn't have to worry about other peoples thoughts and feelings, I am interested in your opinions.



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    My family is very supportive however I still try to put on a dry face not a happy face same goes for friends.  I too have a couple of friends who are also widowed and with them I can let it all hang out.  Most people do not know how to deal with someone grieving.  They are afraid of saying something that will make us sad.  I don't know when I'm not sad.  I lost my husband on March 12th, 2011.

yes, I too pretend because I have to.  people either avoid me or just want to hear that I am okay.  I am still very raw and it is difficult to pretend when someone asks so I rather they don't  I don't want people, especially my daughter (25) to worry so I do pretend the best I can

I just told someone that believing I am "feeling better" is something he /she feels for himself...not for me. It is kind of like seeing someone in a hospital's ICU unit be moved to a less serious can tell yourself that the person is not as sick, is getting better...and that you need not worry as much or visit as often because, after all... They are "getting better".
The problem with this thinking as far as widow/widowers go is that is is, probably, just not true...people need to see us get "better" for their sake...we are too painful a foreshadowing of their futures...just seeing us is too much for some people.

Thank you Cies for your insightful words.  I was raised in an abusive environment w/o love and total rejection.  You carry those thoughts w/you for the rest of your life and I'm finally getting some help for them.  However, having a happy marriage w/two perfect children and loosing it overnight then loosing your life b/c "others" can't deal w/your grief, brought back all those childhood memories.  I continually asked myself what I did to "drive people away."  It wasn't me.  I continued to live in misery until I up and moved to another city and made new friends.  No one knows about my past, I've just buried it.  Nothing is going to change, my husband is not coming back, my adult children have "moved on" and no one in my family cares (they have their own problems), no one in his family cares (he was estranged from them).  It's almost like that part of my life didn't exist b/c I am not "allowed" to talk about it, grieve over it, etc.  So I start over or try.

I am now facing a mysterious illness myself w/no answers.  People ask "How I am doing, but once again, I realize they don't care.  It is like "thinking about my illness" just like "thinking about the loss" of my husband is a foreshadowing of their own future so they just change the subject & once again leave me feeling isolated.

Hi Paula,

Strangely, I have some of the same feelings as you do even though our experiences differ slightly.  My husband passed away two years ago and his family came after me in court for matrimonial assets. They waited until he died to come to me and demand that I turn over a property to them which his parents had rented from us for decades.  we allowed his parents to live there and charged cheap rent because the parents were robbed by another son who had drained the equity from their house and the mortgage payments became unaffordable.  While he was alive, myself and kids were their darlings. My FIL died weeks after my husband and all hell broke loose.  The sons (including the robber) and other members of the family convinced my MIL that it was her house and so a big fight broke out among all of us. They wanted me to hand it over so they can sell it and split the proceeds. We went to court and I won and now no one cares about my kids or even the memory of the person who took care of his parents. We are grieving on our own and maybe one day we will find a way to move forward.  As of now, we struggle with the unfairness of the situation.  This experience has taught me that in future, I will let people handle their own problems and I will definitely not get involved in family drama. I really want to "move on" but I am stuck.  I am pissed that my husband never really saw his mother for who she really is and has left me to figure this out without him.


the family of our deceased is a real trip....they will take you to the cleaners if you let have to put your foot down....and get a good lawyer...just because his parents paid rent doesn't mean they own anything of his...if the house was under you and your husband's name then it belongs to you...and you should be able to prove that..maybe you can find a letter to show that they were only renters...and that should be evidence enough that they dont own a thing... june

i think its kewl that you really won on all fronts...because you won your pride back...and thats the most important thing that you can teach your children...if that family is stupid enough to do that then they are not worth seeing or hearing from...and it really spears the children from any grief...teach your children pride and honor and all the good things life really has to offer like lots of laughter, smiles and love and friendship...have lots of fun with them....thats all that they really family is all gone..and when the kids come to pick me up i make sure that they feel so much love and laughter and you can do and give....and don't look back...just have fun with them and dont let anything else interfer....

I would say definitely! My husband's family made it a point to make their grief much more important than mine and belittled whatever it was that I was feeling. It was a very difficult year after his death. I kept telling myself that I needed to be aware of everyone else's grief and made excuses for them not coming around. However, I hit about the 9 or 10 month mark and said enough. On the one year mark - I made a promise to myself that this second year would be about me and setting up a life for my son and I and make sure that we are grieving in our own way.

My mother-in-law is quite a downer and doesn't move forward. She is also a widow and has not dealt with much of anything over the past 10+ years. I am not that person. I have to move forward.

Making this decision has been one of the best I've made in a year and a half since my husband's death.

It is hard all the same.

dont go where anything is hard to do.........and never feel forced.....just do your own thing and make that a happy thing to do....june

jen  his family was so mean to me as he was dying and this point 20 months later i could care less if i come to see them or don't...they are like strangers in another world...i build my new world around people i soninlaw...and my one year old grandson...and my wonderful girlfriends who for the life of me never give up on me and always make sure i am content....these are the wonderful people of my life...i feel very blessed to have them..and ffor some crazy reason...i don't know why i am having all these male friends call on me too..but im really not sure what to do with them as of yet...because i lost so much energy being a caregiver to my husband and his family...i just try to play a very low key until my strength returns.

how do i get into the chat room to talk.. i dont know how to do it

Totally -- and things got much better once I realized I didn't HAVE to accommodate other folks' feelings... I could allow them to have theirs, without denying my own. Too often I think this results in our cutting ourselves off because we just can't stand to be around other folks with their weird tolerances (and their expectations of us). But you've already heard that sermon...

I do think we start to heal in a different way once we understand that (1) there isn't a right way to do it and (2) it doesn't matter if other people think there IS. It takes excellent boundaries and terrific confidence to do that without just avoiding people altogether.

I agree that kids are a completely separate subject, but then, many widowed people with older kids have HUGE conflicts with their kids, sometimes over related issues, so maybe not?


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