I stopped talking to knuckleheads about being widowed. I found myself being more angered than anything else adding insult to injury. I have a sister who is just a plain nuisance and can't relate. She has even went as far as trying to call me schizophrenic? I'm like okay. It's grief! I have a cousin who was widowed seven months prior to me losing my Gil. We talk all the time. I think the greatest challenge for us is trying to establish a separate identity from wife, mom, and grandmother. She was with her same man for over forty years. I was with Gil for only eight. Pain is pain. I've been married three times. Divorced twice, and widowed with the last husband. The pain of being widowed is nothing like pain of being divorced even though I was told this by a niece, my sister's daughter that it is all in the same category. She is 59 and never married at all. Never had a workable relationship. She is a minister. I hope that she doesn't try to minister to widows! I'm like good luck with that.
We cannot rate the pain of another. There is no formula whereas you take the number of years married and multiply it by another factor. You are right, pain is pain. No one should question, whether they have experienced it or not. And yes, it may seem at times we act a little different— maybe even a little crazy in someone else’s eyes. We need to survive. Grief is more like a solo journey for a spouse and it is not a choice. Neither is the way we react.
Many people here mourn the loss of their spouse and mention the many years they were together. Then there are others that had a shorter marriage and mourn the fact they will not be spending the rest of their lives together. We all mourn our losses no matter the circumstance and I don’t think it’s fair that anyone tries to tell a widow how they should feel or act. If they cannot be supportive, they need to keep quiet. Their remarks and analysis are not helpful.
So true, Callie. I married my husband in 2013, two weeks later he passed out at the car wash and was rushed to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism during his first health crisis. It was all down hill from there. Several touch and go instances throughout those three years we spent together, but managing to grab some happiness in between each medical incident. But what some people don't understand, is that I will do it all over again if I had it to do again with him! That is how much he meant to me. I don't care if we were married for one day or 100 years, I would give anything just to be with him one more minute. I've had people to tell me to move on, remove my wedding rings and other dumb stuff. Okay, I get it. We are no longer with each other physically, but how do we detach from our love ones spiritually? From what I understand, love never dies.
Moving on means different things to different people. We can let go of the past, which isn’t really optional, but we don’t ever or will ever forget. I remember after my husband passed I experienced such confusion. I really believed that death breaks that bond and just as suddenly as he passed, I had to stop loving him! You know Peach, I quickly changed my mind about that and realized I didn’t HAVE to stop loving him. It may ripple out into space but I don’t have to abandon these feelings because he is no longer here. Yes, I too would give anything to spend of few more hours with him!
Moving on to me is reaching a point in time when we are no longer grieving and have found a way to shelve some of those emotions that have consumed us for such a long time. It’s when we are able to inhale and exhale without crying. It doesn’t mean forgetting but rather accepting the loss and getting used to living with it. There is no timetable for grief and it’s unfair for anyone to compare one with another. Healing is an individual thing!
Oh my God! This is so true! I love this! I told my niece the same thing. Grief has no timetable. And yes, healing is an individual journey.
Me too married three times..I finally got it right! We were together 10 great years..and I would do it all over same way..even knowing the end. I said the other day to someone the same comment about divorce vs. death. No comparison. I am just learning to tilt my world back to some kind of order. Some people can do that quickly..others can not. One lady in my town lost her husband a few weeks after mine. She got remarried just 4 months after her husband died. I couldn't do it..Heck! I can barely think of dating..but I don't know her life or her heart..or the circumstances. But it seems to work for her..she is happy. She did say that she lost nearly every one of her friends over it. How sad. But now she must surely know who her real ones are by now. Life is just way too short! Can turn on a dime and by all means grab ALL the Joy and Happiness out of it you possibly can.
In general, most people cannot make a quick recovery but like you say, circumstances differ. For example, people that are long term caregivers may be dealing with grief long before an anticipated death. We can only do what we think is best for us and pay little attention to wagging tongues. I agree with you, life is too short! A true friend might express an opinion out of concern but will not desert you if you don’t heed their advice. You wish them the best!
This is so true. Sometimes a caregiver in this relationship has already grieved the loss before the person has transitioned especially if it has been a lingering illness. It depends on the person.
Also, we never know who is pulling strings for us in the universe. There is so much we don't know about the unknown and the spiritual realm. But I am a firm believer that death does not separate us from our loved ones spiritually. I'm glad the woman from your town is happy People can come across to be so judgmental over someone's actions. There is so much that cannot be explained. We can't help who we love or control the timing when it happens.
Heck, I lost a lot of hanger-on relationships which included a relationship of a former sister in-law who would randomly call at her own convenience. That woman criticized and critiqued me for over 51 years! People like these are non-factors in our lives. - I digress (One thing I can say about people like this is that they have no idea what is going on in your life because they pop in and out.) Back to that sister in-law,that relationship ended. One thing I learned from all of this is that I no longer let people run up in my life anymore at their random convenience. She had no idea that my husband had been diagnosed with cancer and would have been getting his first chemo treatment that Monday. I can't believe that I sat on the phone with this person for a couple of hours when my husband was expecting me to go with him for a drive. I took things for granted, and had no idea that his options for treatment was very limited and that his cancer was so far advanced. Now had she been a steady person in my life she would have known.
you and I think a lot alike. I believe in the Universe and Spiritual also..
It took me a bit to find my strength but you can know that my mouth these days has no filter. If I'm thinking it..unless its hurtful..Its coming out of my mouth. I most certainly am not the same woman I was 2 years ago.
I let my friend get away with her cheap shot because I just did not want to start drama in front of all those people. But it is going to come out and I will sit her down. We went to high school together, we raised our kids in the same town, she lost her dad last year..which is why her comment made no sense. My dad died too but would I ever think to say her loss of her dad to cancer and mine to COPD..how could she possibly understand?? No..thats just crazy because we both have lost our daddy's. It matters not HOW. I just know that I will confront her with it and only because we have always been that way with each other.
You know, you have the right to confront her. But I had a woman who works in my building take a cheap shot at me a couple of months ago. We used to be pretty good associates, but after that, since she was an associate, I'm cordial but no longer hold conversations with her. A lot of it has to do with her own convictions, and I just realized it had nothing to do with me. For about a couple of weeks, she spent a lot of time giving me dirty looks among other things. I just kept in stride and didn't get caught up in the drama.
I took my daughter, grandson and his cousin on a camping trip two weeks ago, and when I came back, it didn't matter anymore. This is the first trip I took since my husband died. When I got back home, I had over thirty gallons of water spilling over on my floor! I turned the fish tank into a memorial setting for my husband that now houses his ashes, his picture, candles, fake fruit, wine glasses, flowers I used to make my wedding dress, his wedding ring and the theme is our wedding colors and flowers. It is really beautiful. I know that his soul is at peace and is safe with God. That it all that matters to me right now. People are going to be who they are. I know, sometimes I want to get in their and rip them a new one, but I will let life do that one. As the old saying goes; "Every dog has its day."
2 days after my husband passed my sister-in-law said, "I know how you feel. But I met (current husband) less than a year after my 1st husband died. You're kinda pretty and young. You will find someone new in no time and can put this all behind you."
Was also told,
"No marriage is perfect and you had better start living in the real world or you will never find another man."
"He would want you to move on. Those kids need a father figure."
"At least you get to make all the decisions. Isn't it freeing?"
"You have it so much better than me. I have to deal with my ex all the time. Have to put up with the kids' attitudes when they come back from visitation. I wish I was a widow instead of divorced."
I could go on and on, I never realized how insensitive and cruel people could be.