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I've noticed a huge gap between me and family,friends. My wife passed this past July 3rd and it was as if everyone in my life has evaporated. I have 4 grown daughters, all with lives and school and I don't hear from them unless I call. Same with friends for the most part. I'm sure they don't have words, I understand that. But my girls !?!
I'm home full-time now, so I'm available. And I've made sure that they know to call if they need anything or just want a good cry.
I've had one call for a good cry, that's it. I don't think my girls realize how bad I've needed a good cry with them. Any advice from someone that has experienced this ? Thanks...

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I haven't experienced this (I am young, and my son is still at home with me), but I would ask myself, what does it hurt if I'm the one making the call? I know it's easy to feel like you're a bother to others, but unless one of your daughters outright asks for distance, I wouldn't be afraid to call and ask for what you need. So far it sounds like you've offered yourself to them...Have you let them know that right now you really need their support too? That you need to hear your wife's name, and be able to talk about her, and to cry with them? Just my thoughts. Hang  in there. ((((hugs))))

(((HUGS mls64)))

Widow/ers get a new phone book after the death of their spouse ...

Sadly, it is quite common for family & friends to vanish into thin air for a numBerkeley of reasons whether or not they make sense or are acceptable ...

Some people don't know what to say or do fo the grieving - for some it's just too uncomfortable ...

I was told a couple of times by a few friends they didn't want to interfere - I had the strongest impression they were referring to dating ... Arrrgh!

Not sure of the ages of your daughters, however, I do know w/mine (11, 12 & 32) they were having as much difficulty as myself in navigating the grief path ...

Even though my eldest was 32 years old, he didn't understand the power of my cathexis w/his father in leaving me a shattered mess ...

The only suggestion I can offer is to broach the subject yourself - maybe if you make them aware of your needs they will respond in kind ...

Take care ...

Like Debbie had said, my daughter's have enough on their plate and I'd rather be kicked in the head then bother them with my own needs.
My difficulty is multiplied by the simple fact that I'm a homebody to start with but also recently diagnosed with essential tremors and no longer work.
So now I am home full-time. If I ever left the house before it was with my wife. So leaving is difficult, and staying home is difficult. I am surrounded by my wife. On one hand I wouldn't trade it for anything. The memories, etc and on the other hand it's Non-Stop memories and processing. And I am exhausted!!!!!
I joined back up with the YMCA about 6 weeks ago, been trying very hard to make it a daily routine but I'm only managing a couple of days a week. Grocery shopping takes me about an hour and a half. Little by little I'm working my way through the house trying to sort through things. Absolutely everything is sentimental but I'm trying to let some things go. I'm forcing myself to get rid of some of these things, I don't want to be that person that is surrounded by my Departed loved one and grieve myself to death the rest of my life. My oldest daughter's are twins and 29. My wife's children from a previous marriage, I started being a father figure to them when they had just turned 3, and had them adopted legally by the time they were five. So to them I am dad and me they are my daughters. Our middle daughter will be turning 24 next month and our youngest will be 22 in a week. The three oldest girls all have significant others, full-time jobs and trying to finish off their college educations. My youngest Works a full-time job, does online schooling and of course is constantly active. My youngest also moved back home right after my wife passed away to help her old man out but she's never here.

I want to process all of this, to tackle it head on. I was in the Millwright trade for decades, coordinating work, jobs and crews so it comes natural to me to want to coordinate and organize my new life.
But with my current situation it becomes overwhelming at least a few times a day. I would like to have the ability to get in my car and just take a long drive, rent a hotel room for a night, and drive some more of the next day. But I can't manage to be away from home that long. I struggle with going to the YMCA or the grocery store. Needing and wanting to be back home in case I was to miss something.... I'm guessing that's separation issues.

You've been widowed "only" a couple months. Your grief is still so fresh and raw. What you are experiencing is normal for most of us and it is extremely hard work just getting through each day -- and night. Have you thought of finding a grief group in your area? Sometimes these support groups are sponsored by a hospital or church or some social agency. They may or may not be right for you, but it might be worth exploring. You'll find others in the group can cry with you. You also have a new diagnosis for yourself and that is another thing to grieve. Maybe your doctor would be able to help you find some support. The Y is a good place to be, even if only for a day or two a week. Have you looked into a Senior Center? Lots of activities and programs for those of us 55+.

Your children and grandchildren care about you and want you to be healthy, They are busy with their lives, hurting themselves, and their lack of contact is not because they do not care. Their relationship with your wife was different than yours and not as intimate as with a mate.  Please, give yourself some time to heal. It takes years, if ever. It has been over four years for me and sometimes it still feels like yesterday because grief can blindside you at the most inopportune moment. I do attend a grief group at my senior center. It's called Circle of Friends. As one lady said, "Once you've been widowed you are always widowed. You can't get your loved one back, but there are reasons for you to go forward." So...be patient and kind with yourself as you would with a close friend. Be well.

So I've learned in the past couple of days, pushing for conversations with my daughters, that they honestly don't know me that well. What my daughters knew was that their mother was soft, gentle, easy to talk to, and much easier to persuade then I was. Looking back on all the years when my girls were still at home was the only thing they knew of their dad was that I was tired in the evening when I got home from work. I always expected my daughters to do for their self, to be self-reliant and responsible for their actions. Compared to the wife I was definitely the hard ass ! Since I worked on average between 60 and 70 hours a week, 95% of their communication with a parent was with their mother.
Don't get me wrong, we have plenty of good times when it came to Vacation, camping trips, etc. But those were few and far between our day to day lives. And looking back on it now, if I were them I think I would rather talk to my wife also.
So now instead of being straightforward, like I've always been, I have to learn how to speak more Softly. To consider the words I use instead of going straight for the black and white. I have to consider their feelings.!
And I know that will be a little bit of a struggle for me. Not that I am a insensitive man, I love my children with no end! But my straightforward personality, point blank, to the point, black and white, is my natural state. My wife knew that about me but my girls don't. They see my forward personality as being cruel. And I hope they can manage to learn that at no point was there ever anything I said that was meant to be cruel, mean, insensitive or most importantly unloving. I would like to think that in their heart of hearts they know their father loves them.
All four of my daughters are good kids, my wife did achieve spoiling them to a degree, they all have a hard time doing things for their selves in some cases. I just learned yesterday that one of my 29 year old twins has never handled her own car insurance. My wife has always taken care of it for her. And if it were me, if my daughter was responsible enough to drive she would have been responsible enough to handle her own insurance.
But it is what it is at this point. I wouldn't trade any of my daughters for all the gold in the world or all the tea in China.! They're my girls! They might have flaws but it turns out so does their dad ! And since my love for them Trump's absolutely everything else on this Earth, I will do what I have to do to be the loving father that they never knew they had !
Barbee, I'd like to hear your two cents on the following.
Communication with my daughters has slowly started. There are a couple of points I would like to make. The first one being that my daughter's communicating with me is completely different than when they communicated with their mom. In the course of my daughter's lives it was "Mom" they went to for any issue.
I was always the nose to the grindstone kind of Dad. In hindsight I guess I was not very user-friendly when compared to my wife. I was always blunt, to the point, and maybe even hard around the edges. Don't get me wrong, I worked as hard as I did because I loved my family. Me providing was top priority.

But now that my wife is gone, so is the ear that my daughters relied upon. Our oldest and strongest daughter called me the other day and just started talking about miscellaneous stuff. I think it was the type of conversation that she had with her mom. At least a couple times a week.
And it dawned on me while she was talking that she is desperate for an ear. So I kept my mouth shut, and listen to every word she wanted to speak. And had an actual conversation with her.
So with all that said it makes me think that I have to soften myself. I think I need to learn how to communicate with my grown daughters. They're not used to having conversations with me. A lot of standard chit-chat but nothing like what they had with their mother.
So am I on a good track? Am I missing something? I would appreciate your open and Frank response. Thank you

Hey mls, I hope Barbee chimes in on this too, but I think you've come to a very smart conclusion. Your daughters need you in a different way now, and it sounds like you are making progress towards meeting this need. Shutting up to listen, although it may not come naturally, is always a good strategy in a relationship, and especially since in a way you are making a new/renewed relationship with your daughters. I think the other thing I would say to you is that it would be okay to be a little vulnerable with your daughters...in this sense. If it comes up, let them know that you are not quite sure how to fill this new gaping hole, but that you are trying, and that (if you are okay with this), you'd appreciate some constructive advice. This may allow them to buy-in to what you are doing and build your relationship even more.

That's my two cents.

-Debbie

Good advice Debbie, thank you.
Turns out that I manage to make better choices when I take a woman's advice.
Thanks again...

Sounds like you are exactly on the right  track. Listening to your daughters will be good for you all. Throw in some hugs and "I love you" at the end of each conversation and you'll be the winner! Each of you is grieving -- and will be for a long time -- so know it is OK to let them nurture you once in a while. Share your tears and memories and heartaches as well as the joys. You are not as lost as you think.

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