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Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.
Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.
We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."
For those widowed suddenly or unexpectedly by any cause.
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Latest Activity: 7 hours ago
I am still inclined to trust the therapist. If she feels Shelley is becoming obsessive maybe she knows better than we do. She is trying to help her work out her issues and I think it’s worth a try. It doesn’t sound like criticism to me. It sounds more like honesty.
This is true, a therapist might be able to offer assistance, however, if all that is offered is criticism than it is of no help. Therapists sometimes use anger to direct/push people to resolve issues on their own. Its better to directly ask for her/his advice. I would not be surprised if self help books are suggested ...
No one gets over grief or simply let's go of nagging issues - working them out prevents the conscious from recycling it/them for another go round & another go round till resolved ...
On the front page of this website it says:
” Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.“
Everyone here wants to help and there is some good advice. But your therapist probably knows you better than we do. At least give some consideration to what your therapist says. Maybe he/she can offer you some ways to work through it. Yes we all move at our own pace and I’m sure your therapist knows that too. You are going there for a reason so I would recommend listening to what they say.
In your time, you will break the glass ceiling on survivor's guilt. Its not something you can just let go off - it takes lots of work to rebuild your self confidence. The shoulda, coulda, woulda guilts are part of rebuilding - they challenge your strength, worthiness of life & love of yourself. Therapists are textbook & work experience educated - grief w/the living is one of the least studied areas. Most all books have been written by those who have experienced it rather then based on clinical studies ...
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote in 1969 the groundbreaking 5-stages of grief in her book "On Death and Dying" based on studies of the terminally ill patients. These 5 -stages closely resemble those of the widowed. Her book might provide you w/a better understanding of what you're going through. They can also be found on the internet. Its not mentioned how any patient got through any of the stages to accept death - it was not part of the study. How you choose to heal is up to you ...
Shelley...I had many guilt issues. My husband and I were happily married for most of the 30 yrs, but after his retirement things changed. I won't go into detail but he became depressed and felt no sense of purpose and it changed him. So we argued more and I will admit to escalating it at times because he said hurtful things and it made me mad. Anyway fast forward to a brain cancer diagnosis and death 11 yrs after retirement. He was in a nursing home the last 6 weeks of his life and he wanted to be home, but I was alone (no children or family) and could not do it by myself. He was bedridden and in diapers. Then to top it off, I had gone home from my daily visits and he passed away after I left. So talk about guilt!
But 5 years later I have come to terms with all this. He could be mean verbally and I had a right to speak up for myself. I couldn't handle him at home and if I had tried...well I don't know the answer to that. And I couldn't know that he would die when I had already gone home for the evening like I did everyday. It wasn't imminent.
It takes mostly time and clearer thinking that will come. We are all only flawed humans and make mistakes in judgement. He did too I tell myself. Neither if us were perfect although I consider that I had a good marriage and I loved him, still miss him and want no other man.
Dont try to rush the quilt away. All of this grief and guilt will go away or lessen on its own time table and it's different for everyone and people who have not gone through this cannot understand something they've never experienced. Just give yourself time and don't worry if you feel a lot of guilt. I promise you it will lessen. You will see the bigger picture in time. And most of all don't feel guilty if you're still feeling guilty. Don't worry with it...just let it happen and time will be your friend.
Tjtango, I know that feeling as well. After 19 months, I think no one expects that I am going to have a meltdown and feel the depth of my loss as much as I still do. Once in a while, it would be nice to have someone call to say Hi and how are you doing? with no other expectation. Now that texting is an option, I feel like it takes little effort to send a text saying the same. ((Hugs from afar))
Sometimes I just hate technology. Shelley, I had an entire reply prepared. I needed to edit and couldn't find the feature to do that, just the x in the corner, which deleted my post. Anyway, I feel it's easy for a therapist to tell you to reprogram your brain, it's just not so easy to do. I tend to have feelings of guilt, not so much concerning my husband's death, but decisions I made in the past, that live on and on. If you find a trick to ceasing this behavior, let me know too! Peace and hugs to you.
I think you should listen you therapist. After a while it’s important to let these things go.
My therapist told me today that she thinks my thoughts of guilt (what I said, didn't say, what I did, didn't do in the weeks before my husband's death) are becoming obsessive. If I had known that my husband was going to die, I wouldn't have .... If I had known that my husband was going to die, I would have said ... I have a running dialogue with myself about these things that I would do differently if I'd known my husband was going to die. I thought that this guilt was just part of my grief. But my therapist says no. I dealt pretty well with the 'what if's'. And that was a huge accomplishment. My therapist says it's time to 'reprogram my brain', to stop automatically heading toward guilt, that this rut I'm creating will not help me grieve. Any thoughts/suggestions?
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