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Everyone means well and they all know what I should do.

So it's been 2 years and 5 months since I lost my husband to Non Hodgkin lymphoma.  I have two grown daughters that I can't stop worrying about.  My faith has carried me this far, so I don't know why I worry.  My oldest is 26 and a free spirit with a bachelor's degree in Philosophy.   She is trying to find her way and works at a private school  being a tutor/shadow to a boy with autism.  She likes to date wounded men and "save" them.  When I think back it's no different than what I did when I met her dad. My youngest is very focused and studying to be a teacher.  I just want everything to be settled and squared away.  I'm tired of the "journey" and people telling me about tough love with my daughters.  I want to talk to my husband, he knew what to say.  People ask me how I am and then tell me what I should be thinking.  Why do people think I need to be told what to think?  Do I come off as damaged or needy?  I hope not.  I don't want sympathy.  I will find my way.  Another thing I would like people to know is that I don't need to be dating someone to move on.  It all makes me feel like I need to paste on a smile so they won't have to feel sorry for me.  I never knew it would be so hard to be without him.  I count my blessings every day and I have so many.  Are those people that know what's best for me counting their's?  Do they appreciate the sun in the morning like I do?  Do they notice the occasional Cardinal resting in a tree?  Maybe I need to tell them how they should be thinking.

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Comment by katpilot on April 2, 2014 at 10:47am

In thinking about what others say to us, I am reminded of my own journey. I am just over three years now on this path I sometimes call hell. I used to half jokenly remark that Kathy went to heaven and I went straight to hell. Any of you relate to that?  The thing I grew to understand was how those that knew Kathy or even related to her, had a level of grief unlike my own. Within months, they had passed most of the pain and sorrow and could go about their lives as before. I grew to understand it and stopped feeling angry at them for not allowing me to feel the sadness as I was.  I began to accept them being that way when I remembered how I must have seemed to people close to me suffered such a loss and I was not there feeling the same grief. Once you recognize that, it makes it easier to just be quiet and let them go on.  You will be alone soon and you can cry to yourself.. In my opinion, I would rather be alone when the sadness comes than have others around me.  Do you not agree that their are times when others keep you from grieving when you must?  I am glad I live alone for that reason. After three years, I have adapted to being on my own. I need and actually crave just being by myself sometimes. That is when I don't need to explain or justify my bevavior. I just need to miss her that's all, in my own way, in my own time.

That is when I can go out and live a life.  It took more than two years before I realized that I laughed more than I cried. I smiled a little more. It doesn't mean I am where others in my life are, but I can coexist. I will still have my sad moments and they come quite often. I just keep them more to myself.

And also let me ad that it took many months to get my friends to drop trying to "fix me up" with the perfect woman for me. Those who know me understand that our friendship could never continue should they keep at it.  I am married and will be for all time. It's just who I am.

Stephen

Comment by Barbie Doll on April 2, 2014 at 9:53am

Hello amim9.  I'm having the same problem.  I'm at 2 years & 3 months and friends and family are giving me all kinds of advice for how I can fix myself.  If I just dated, if I just took a long trip, if I just got a dog, if I just moved…..   It reminds me of a Trisha Yearwood song, " Everybody Know"…everybody knows what to do about my misery, yeah everybody but me:)  As laurajay says, we are damaged if we loved well and long.  

Comment by amlm9 on March 30, 2014 at 6:17am

Thank you, so much.  This is such odd terrain in my life.  I do think I need to not talk about family, and leave that to prayer.  I will keep counting blessings and keep taking it one day at a time.  I had no idea this would be such hard work.

Comment by laurajay on March 29, 2014 at 10:34am

dearest amlm9,

Only one comment as I too have people thinking and telling me what they think I should be doing etc. You state you

'just want everything settled and squared away" and to that I say not likely to happen.  Grief is messy, long, painful and unpredictable.  It does not follow a pattern or a timeline.  If you try to hurry it it will just come back later to haunt you.  You cannot settle it.  You cannot square  it away.   We are damaged if we loved well and long.  People say dumb and stupid things to us because they are afraid, have never dealt with loss, or just are at a loss of words.  They do care and many think they are helping you to get on with it by telling you what to do.  Best to nod and ignore them.

I mark the  2nd anniversary of my husbands sudden, unexpected death tomorrow.  Mar 30.  I will light a candle,   sing to him and spend the day reflecting on our fun times.  After 44 yr I  am not expecting to settle things nor square away a lifetime of married love...now that he is gone.   Do what you will in your case but be honest with the reality of death of a spouse.   Countings blessings is a wonderful way to remember we are still living and still with good in our lives but time still asks for processing in a diligent manner so we can continue to rebuilt for our future alone.     lj

Comment by only1sue on March 29, 2014 at 10:28am

I get a bit of advice from time to time too.  I think people think they are being helpful.  I think they just don't know what to say.  I need to stop talking about my family and learn to talk about the weather I guess.  Maybe that would help.

Congratulations on just going on step by step, day by day, I know it is am effort for me and some days yes, I do pin a smile on my face and just aim to be polite to the folk that I meet.  If that is all I can manage on that day it has to be sufficient.

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