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The five year anniversary of my husband's death is approaching (May 28) and I am sad, and I am lonely and I missing him more than ever, and stressed with all this pandemic junk going on...  Last night, talked to a dear old friend (known her 30 years or so) but we now live in different states. We chit chatted about her kids, grandkids, and she asked about me, and I told her how stressed, depressed about this coming 5 year death anniversary. And she said, "Get over it" she also said, "I can imagine one year or two years of grief, but it's been five years. Let it go!" I tell you, I'm speechless... I want some sympathy, empathy,  just someone to talk too and getting this response. Tried to explain how he was my soulmate and one doesn't "get over it" and everyone is different in the grief journey and she says "He's in a better place now." (I hate that) and "Wouldn't he want you to be happy?" (hate that one too) 

How do you respond to people like that?  I certainly don't want to lose an old friend.... so just ended our conversation...

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I think accepting some people just can't sit with other's grief is all you can do. This is not a friend who can be there during your grief. So, come here and share your feelings. We get it.

Thank you

Dee.  The  oldest, dearest  most  compassionate  friends  still  can  never  ever understand or  say appropriate  things to us  because  widowhood  is not like any  other  have  to  experience  it  yourself  to  "get  it".  Very  simple truth.  Your friend  was  expressing   her  feelings  outside  of experiencing  what you  are going  through---it's  all she  can  do.  Right or wrong  we expect  people to  support us  and  say  the  right things  when  in reality  they  haven't  a clue.  Try  not to let it get to  you  and/or  hurt  you.   And  when  people  talk  about  the  afterlife  and  where  they  think  another  person's  love  one is now---they  again  are guessing  and  have  no  clue  what to  say  so  they  bumble these  stupid  sayings because  they  just  don't  have the  right words.  It is a letdown  and can make you feel even  more  alone  and  not  understood  at all.    I  too  hate  people  telling  me  what  they  think  my  husband  would want (for me).  They  are  clueless  and ignorant  to  say  things  concerning someone else's thoughts.    Many of us  have  lost  contact with  friends  and  family  who  are  not  supportive,  say/said  stupid /hurtful  things to us  or  just  faded  away  because  they  could not  deal with  death  well.   They do  not  and can  understand  and will  only  when/if they  become  widowed. You must accept  that  even  with  explanations  friends  do not  "get"  it.  Try  to  forgive  their  stupidity and hurtful  words.  Tell them  your  heart  and  mind  are  still processing  your  loss  and you do not expect them  to  understand   until  they  go  through  the  same experience.  For the  record...I  don't think  we  move forward  through  our grief  to  please  our  dead  spouse!  We  move  through  it  because  we are  called  to respect  the  gift  of life  and  if for no other reason to serve  as  an example  for  others  to  strengthen  them and  show  them  survival  techniques  when  they are  ready  to  give  up  hope or are stopped  with the inability to bring back " normal".    Be  strong  and  when  you  can't  come  here  where  there  is  always  someone  who  knows  exactly  what you are  going  through.   The  28th  will be   24 hr  long  just like  every  other  day  and it too  will-  come  and  go  ...light  a candle   say  a prayer...your  husband  may  be  gone   but  he  will  always  be  with  you.     



Thank you laurajay, you are so right on so many points,  esp: we do not move forward in our grief to please our dead spouse --- I have to keep reminding myself. My friend is not a widow, she is divorced, her husband an asshole I know divorce hurts as I'm divorced from my ex husband, remarried to the love of my life and he died at 59 years old.... we had no children I feel so alone  -- I will light candle, say a prayer, I do that everyday, I also ordered a windchime in his honor, he loved wind chimes... hoping it arrives  so I can hang it up on the 28th

I  have  a  lovely  windchime  and  I  will  hang  it  up  on  the  28th  for  you  in  remembrance  of  your  beloved  husband  just  in  case  yours  does  not  arrive in time...unless  I  misplaced  it...then  a  cowbell  will  have  to  suffice.  

Thank you laurajay!

Dee, I can feel your pain. Saturday, May 23 would have been my 56th wedding anniversary had he lived. He died seven years ago. No one besides me remembered. It also was the one-month anniversary of my brother-in-law's death from COVID19. On top, I got a message that my nephew's son died that afternoon. He had an unexpected, massive heart attack at age 39 and leaves a wife and three children. It seems like there is a huge black cloud hovering overhead. But some days are like that. Later this week, there will be sunshine (literally and figuratively) and smiles and laughter will return.

I know that because that is how my grief journey has been -- ups and downs. My time grieving is mine and no one else knows exactly how it feels. We all grieve differently. I've learned that others want to help, but because they are inexperienced with a life partner's death, they really do not know how to be helpful. No one else knows the nitty-gritty intimacy of your relationship, so they base what they say on their experiences. Take what others say with a grain of salt. Remember they are trying to help. You are under no obligation to respond except maybe say "thank you for letting me talk" or "thank you for listening" or "I'll need some time to think about what you said".  Your job now is to take good care of YOU. Best wishes.

Thank you barbee  and sorry to hear of your many losses.... I feel your pain too, my husband died, two weeks later our beloved cat died, and the next month my dog died (I know these are our pets, but are family to me) and then six months later my best friend died....  We actually all lived together, my friend and her two dogs in the back apartment, Bob (my husband) 2 cats and one dog. It was a wonderful communal type thing. Then, everyone started dying, and I was left with just me and Ripley (one cat)....  Overwhelming.... I did get another dog, a rescue, so now it's me, Ripley and Kona (new dog) ... but life feels cursed sometimes.... so lonely esp. with the pandemic thing...  And thanks for your suggestions, I will remember them.

Total lack of understanding.  No one “ gets over it”. I’ve gotten used to my husband being gone, but after 11 yrs I can’t say I’ve gotten “over it”.  It’s not unusual to feel sad on those milestone anniversaries.  You don’t need anyone’s permission either!   Maybe a response could be “Until you experience such a loss, it’s hard to understand the complexity of grief.  I am not asking for anything but your understanding and empathy.”

There is no timetable—at two years you’re supposed to be past the grief?  It does not work that way.  As long as you feel you’re making progress and not “stuck”, I would say it seems normal to me.  Some people deal with it by making some sort of plans for that day. It’s OK to remember and deal with the sadness too. Why not? Grief is more a process than an emotion or feeling. It takes time and a whole lot of patience too.  You can’t skirt around it or avoid it . Eventually, peace finds us.

To all who responded, thank you so very much, it was exactly what I needed and I really appreciated it... This year was especially hard, as past death anniversaries a friend would usually invite me for lunch or dinner to get me out of the house and my mind off the day, this year, however (I'm in Florida) and we are still "locked in" so not many places open and really, no one wants to go out. I did get and hang a wind chime in my husband's honor and watched a couple of our favorite movies, lit a candle (always do) and cried a bit but got through the day..... 

Thanks again everyone for your support.

I decided I just won't talk to that friend for awhile and when I next do, I won't bring up my husband's death.... 

As with grieving from abuse, some people do not understand that dealing with a spouse's death is a journey not a destination. This is a ride I'll be on the rest of my life. The pain will lessen over time. The journey never ends.

I thought erroneously about healing from abuse, believing that one day I would arrive and be finished. That is until a therapist told me it is a life long journey. That was a shocker. It took me several months to come to an acceptance about my new reality. And now I'm on yet another journey which intertwines with that journey.

I've explained that concept of grief as a journey not a destination to people who say, "Get over it," and it usually resonates with them. If not, I just dust off my shoes and walk on.

Because of what I went through in my marriage I realize my situation is different than many who are widowed. It adds a different element to my journey.


Regarding your comment  "The pain will lessen over time"

I don't think the pain lessens, I believe the  level of pain stays the same, we simply get use to it over time and it becomes the new normal.

Everyone is different but that it how I view it.



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