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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."

Mad as a hornet tonight. Just one of those days when the world conspires again me as a widow.  Nothing special just a whole lot of different people saying : "when we have the family over..." or "my husband and I always"  or just making a few disparaging remarks about their husbands wno they have left at home mowing the lawns etc.  I want my husband back, I want to be part of a couple, I want to be able to say "my husband a nd I"  or "guess what he did?"  I want to not feel left out of the conversation.  I know I should be "over it" by now and I am but the holiday season, summer, Christmas, that family time of the year is all impacting on me and shaking my new found security and I hate it, I really do.

I went to my Lions Club meeting tonight and we had a debate on whether or not at our next meeting which is our Christmas meeting we would bring in $5 gifts for the ladies.  This, in the past, used to be a thank you gift for the extras the ladies/wives/partners who were not members did. Then the Lions Clubs accepted women into the Club, some of them single, and all of the ladies got a gift so no-one felt left out.  Now one of the single ladies wants this practice stopped so the men with partners are to bring in gifts and their ladies will receive a gift.  I must have looked sad because the man opposite asked me if I was okay.  Well hell no!  I used to be a Lions Lady, then I became a Lion to chauffeur my late husband Ray to Lions dinners.  So I was still a Lions Partner and now I am a woman without a partner so no gift, no partner to accompany me and I feel like someone stole something from me. Hell's bells I could have run SCREAMING from the room!

So, circling the Black Hole again.  I am not usually like this, I am a warm bubbly person and I soon recover from any slight and tomorrow I will say "Oh well" and go on with life but that is not how I feel right now.  Right now I feel cheated, right now I feel sad, right now I feel mad.

Apart from that life is busy, too many things to do and I find myself rushing from one place to another and not finding enough time to relax and unwind.  Which probably explains the mood I am in.  Who do you find to unload your angst on?  I really have no-one right now to do that with.  A couple of good friends seem embroiled in their own family  squabbles and I don't want to burden them further.  I have a lot of  friends who are older and of course we are all going through the stage of having relatives who are sick or dying or just out of focus in some way and I don't want to burden them further and so... basically no-one to tell. So I am venting here, where at least some of you are going through the same feeling of being left out.

Yes, I am having a pity party, Yes, I will be over it soon. Tomorrow it is back to visiting in the nursing homes, so I will buy some small baskets and fill them with sweet treats, just something to take in to show we care.  Who is the WE that care?  Well basically it is me, the representative of the church who visits the old ladies. I wish I could say it is a lot of people but it would not be the truth. Old ladies in nursing homes are easy to forget.  Occasionally someone will ask me about one of them as they are all past church members but it is rare. We all have complicated lives and in our busyness forget those who have helped us in the past or worked alongside us in the various organisations.  In  a nursing home you tend to be "out of sight, out of mind." Sad, but true.  The exceptions are those people who do have loving families who come regularly to see them, tend them and still look after them.

Maybe I am looking at my own lonely future.  Those who have families including grandkids, some also have them close by or visiting on a regular basis. I love my kids and would do anything for them but they are busy raising their own kids and just occasionally think of their Mum, who lives alone, and contacts me.  I used to ring my parents on Friday nights when we lived a long way from them.  I would tell them all my triumphs and all my woes, give them news of their grandchildren and of my husband Ray.  I also sent letters to a lot of Ray's family as he was the one with the brothers and sisters and cousins and I tried to keep in touch with all if possible.  Of course that is not the way we do things in this day and age. I still send out a lot of Christmas cards with a newsy letter, harder now that the children and grandchildren's lives so busy as I don't really know what they are doing right now. So maybe that is adding to my feeling of isolation,that I don't feel as if I am being kept in the loop.

Of course there is also the controversy about whether we say "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas". Right now I just want to say:  "Bah Humbug!"

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Comment by Diane on December 18, 2016 at 4:41am

Thank you for writing this, only1sue.  Its so heartfelt and honest.  I hope you know that being willing to share such honesty is not only giving you a place to vent, its helping others who identify with it.  This place is such a blessing!

Comment by Gary'swife on December 11, 2016 at 6:12pm

@only1sue - Thank you for visiting those in the nursing homes.  I was so disappointed that hardly any one from her church came to visit my mother (whom I took care of at her home for 2 1/2 years) came to visit.   I am sure this visitation is a result of you being such a caring, giving person, and I am sure it is appreciated.

I completely understand your comments about the "ladies gift".  That is so ridiculous.  Perhaps you can explain to the leaders (privately) why their latest decision really is not acceptable...but of course for next year as I am sure this year it's too late.  Perhaps you can just bring yourself a gift...treat yourself.   If it were me, I would even be so cheeky as to "claim" it was a gift from my secret santa, but somehow I think you might be too honest to pull this off.    

Please know we here do understand, and I always enjoy reading your blog posts, eventhough I don't comment.

Comment by only1sue on December 11, 2016 at 5:58pm

Callie, things have improved marginally since I wrote this.  A few factors, I am doing half the job of our assistant minister so a lot more work and responsibility.  I am feeling bad because of something else that is happening in my son-in-law's family. I feel unsupported in a lot I do, a hazard of the job if you are the support person because no-one thinks you need support yourself. And as Lizabeth says this is the season for feeling grief.  Mine is from the loss of family members,  by death, divorce and absence so feeling a lot of that right now.

Comment by Callie2 on December 11, 2016 at 3:38pm
Sue, if I didn't already know you wrote this, I would not have associated it with you. You must have been feeling very down when you wrote this. But you know, it is OK to feel this way sometimes--we have to allow ourselves to feel bad and vent some of these frustrations. Then we go on. Holidays are hard--it's another reminder of our aloneness. We can be more sensitive when others talk about their spouses or refer to "we" in conversation. I hope you can find a way to be good to yourself and lift your spirits--may the New Year be a good one for you!
Comment by lizbeth4 on December 11, 2016 at 12:06pm

I think that the holidays do trigger grief.   No one can truly feel what we feel.   You have to experience it.   I think that self-care is very important for us.   Sue, take care of yourself.  (((( (Hugs)))))

Comment by barbee on December 6, 2016 at 8:00pm

Sue, you are correct in saying we all have these moments. You have found a healthy way to vent by writing it out here, among friends

and those who know. Take care of yourself. Eat a healthy meal or two and get some sleep. Be kinder to yourself. Know you are really

never truly alone. ((((((HUGS))))))

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on December 6, 2016 at 5:01am

The holidays tend to trigger grief ...

God is always w/you during these trying times ...

Get the anger out & trust God to guide you...

God provides what is needed even if it's not what you think you want ...

(((HugsSue)))

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