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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

 Since Jerry's death, I have heard the whisperings of people who may or may not be well-meaning.  It is a really small town and everyone knows everyone.  So, I expect that I have to hear things I don't like or answer questions when I really don't want too.  Ignorance runs rampant around my town.  Not everyone, most folks are kind or mean well even if they don't cut the mustard.  

I am on the fence, should I fight stupid with stupid?  Should I put my mask on and pretend all is wonderful in my world?  Of course, life in a small town is a double-edged sword.  Wear my mask, and people will be all over me.  Whispers that I am on to my next man.  How did she get over him so soon?  Complain (when asked) that I'm not okay, and I'm scared, lost and insecure.  I've actually been told that I am okay and to stop saying I'm not.  Why didn't the man A) not ask since he apparently know's how I feel better than I do or B) Smack me hard across the face and get it over with?  

Sometimes, I do feel fine.  It doesn't mean that 15 mins later I'm not fighting tears or choking on sobs. Only to be okay again moments later.  I hear that I'm faking.  Which annoys me to no end.  I don't know why that happens to me (or rather didn't),  Whatever range of emotions you have at any given moment are valid, people should have enough common sense to know that. I felt insane at the beginning of my bull ride through grief.  I'm not even sure I can call grief a journey anymore.  Journeys are peaceful, this crap I'm going through is violent. 

I used to be friendly, I used to smile a lot and wave hello or greet folks as they came towards me.  I'm not always in the mood, I keep to myself and try to be pleasant.  Don't ask me to be who I was before Jerry's death, and don't let me hear another person say what's with her?  I'm working on getting myself to where I want to be.  I'm jaded now, and I'll never be the same person.  I've excepted that.  Have you ever just wanted to scream into a crowd of folks that YOU ARE NOT YOU ANYMORE!  There is no "what's with her?", the HER you are referring to is GONE!  So how do you make people understand they need to get to know the new you?  

At the moment, I'm working on courage.  (an hour from now I might be working on picking myself up off the floor) I digress. So, what I think I might do is work on a speech to educate women and or men on what to expect from and how to interact with grieving widows.  When I have the strength and courage I will go to these small town churches around here, all of them and offer to give a talk to WMU's or whatever little groups they call themselves.  No one in our position should ever have to answer the question, What's with you? Or hear the mumblings of what's with her?  I don't know about where you all are from but in THIS small podunk town, these folks really need to be educated on what's with grief

Should anyone like to help me gather thoughts for my speech, I would love it!  Maybe together we can make sure all bases are covered and help folks understand their peers one small group at a time. While at the same time getting some frustrations out.  I don't know about you but it would make me feel immensely better to do something proactive to help the next man or woman have a slightly better time on this bull ride.  

Jerry has always told me I worry way too much about what people, in general, say about or think of me.  He's right of course, I do.  This time, it's bigger than me.  It's you too, and all of the widows and widowers who are going to be joining our tribe.  I know there are people who want to know how to understand a grieving friend or family member and some folks are just assinine but I sincerely want them all educated.  :) Regardless of what they say or think of me. 

I'm constantly looking for positive ways to help myself "cowgirl-up and ride this bull".  Maybe if we all come together with thoughts that should/need to be addressed we can come up with a very nice universal speech we can all use if needed!  I can't be the only one who feels the need to light a fire.

Just as an addendum, I am not the only person around here who has had a hard time with the expectations of others.  I have heard gossip about other widows and widowers.  It's just that until NOW I didn't realize what was happening to those poor souls or what they needed from us as a community. 

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Comment by NancyD on March 13, 2018 at 2:53pm

Maybe Megan Divine's article about how to help a grieving friend would suggest a few things to share with "non grievers" in that talk?  http://http://www.refugeingrief.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/grie...

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