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Sorry, But the Allowable Time Period for Mourning Has Expired....

That is the expectation that I keep bumping into from well meaning friends and relatives, and those are not the words that come out of their mouths, but it is essentially the message: "Sorry, the allowable time period for mourning has expired."  I know that their well meaning words come from a place out of ignorance of not having any comprehension of the heartbreak and devastation of losing a spouse.

I have shared that this month has been hard because of significant personal anniversaries. Valentine's Day was one of them because on Feb. 14, 2011- that was the last time we celebrated as a family the day before he left for what would be his last business trip. (I only discovered the significance just before Valentine's Day 2014.) The other significante date is my son's 16th birthday, and then on Feb. 28th, what would have been our 23rd wedding anniversary. 

I had a long talk with a trusted friend who is divorced, but she says, "You just have to let it go."  Hmm.  What in the hell does that mean exactly to someone who is widowed? I did "let him go" the hospice, and I collapsed when they wheeled him on the stretcher and out of the house for the very last and final time. I let him go when I said good-bye before he died.  She also said I should see a therapist and find a support group. (Argh!! I have done all that for an extended time!!) 

She is not the only friend (or family) who has left me feeling UNheard, judged, and unsupported.

The message I receive is that of impatience, a lack of understanding, and that there is something "WRONG" with me because "it is time to be done with mourning. " How am I supposed to be over it in 26 months when we were married for over 20 years, but a couple for 28 years- since I was 18 years old?? I don't feel horrible all of the time, but this is a freaking difficult month, and I feel that no one cares. Only those who are widows or widowers understand.

Time for me to go.

All for now.

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Comment by my roses on July 1, 2014 at 10:23pm

My roses

Mariposa  I agree with you very much.. I too saw my beloved taken out on a trolley from our home.

Worst still was the fact that the house was filled with ambulance officers, coroners, police all asking questions  about what drugs he was taking etc.   As if  I had done something to him.  As a caregiver, this was unbelievable... Also they arrived and it took nearly the whole day (forms to fill out etc ) and they took him away about 6 pm at night... I am glad that  I had sat him up with many pillows on a settee the night before.  Also with a lovely sheet around his knees covered in flowers.  His blue eyes were beautiful and I had picked a posy of roses and put them on his shoulder.  The very roses he gave me for Christmas 2011 and which is no my name  My Roses.  I have also had this "you have got to  let him go" said by  a messianic jew. His whole response to me as a widow was very different to when  we met him on other occasions. In fact, many people of faith have said some  highly insensitive things.  Rise again's quote stands "There is no way I can just let go of the best person in my life".  I cannot hold him back... but these comments can sure hold me back... if I let them.  

Comment by Mariposa on May 20, 2014 at 11:45am

Thank you, RiseAgain, for your supportive comment. God bless you, too.

Comment by RiseAgain on May 19, 2014 at 7:56pm

Its ok, people here will not judge you for what you need, and feel, and share.  No one has any right to tell you when you should be "over it".  

Yes people are well intended, but havent a clue. I believe most people are just uncomfortable with mortality and prefer to move on.

Also, I noticed over my 55 years in this life, that with each passing few years, Funerals, are becoming a one day memorial service and its over! supposedly!  On to life! It just seems there is little room to allow the loved ones to grieve and feel and share.

I remember back a couple decades, it was a 2 day wake, and then funeral. So now its one day. People say it due to financial reasons but I also wonder if it is due to people want to get it done and over...

Well, I too was with my wife since 1986. So about 28 years, and Married 20, about a month shy of our 21st wedding anniversary.  

No way is this just gonna be something to just "let go" of. 

I am sorry that you had to qualify for this site, but I am also grateful you have WV and support.  I am not going to be here much for now... But I just want to say be encouraged, and take the time you need, and share with people who get it. God bless you

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on April 6, 2014 at 2:19am

Yesterday was the semiversary (six months) since my husband died.  A very, very tough day. I have an outside shared blog where I rant about politics, pop culture, whatever strikes me on any given day.  Lately I've been pretty self-involved, so I see everything through the prism of my current emotional state.  Yesterday I wrote about the stages I've gone through:

I'm spending this entire weekend alone.  I can't ask my friend whose daughter died eight years ago and who is the only one of my friends who gets it to entertain me every weekend.  My neighbor with whom I'm friends now has her husband home in the evenings so she is out of commission and they don't invite me over.  My kitchen is horrible falling apart and dirty much of the time so I don't dare cook for anyone (I'm trying to do something about that).  My best friend of 30 years duration sends me a text message every six weeks but never calls, never suggests getting together.  No one gets the complexity of a marriage until it is yanked away from them -- and I don't wish this on anyone.  Of course all this solitude makes it easier to think about relocating.  I am going to try to stick it out another year at my job and save some more money, then head south to where my sister is and start fresh.  I'm starting to have that "neither here nor there" feeling where there is only so much of a new life I want to build here in NJ because I don't plan to stay here.  It is too expensive and too angry.

Comment by Mariposa on April 5, 2014 at 2:39pm

BergenJC- the utter callousness of the workplace is hard to take, as I have been discovering in the interviewing process. It is a cold, hard world.

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on March 15, 2014 at 11:17am

The bottom line is that no one gets it who hasn't been through it -- or something similar.  One of my friends lost her 24-year-old daughter.  SHE gets it.  No one else does.

And try dealing with corporate America with this.  You get 3 days bereavement leave if you are lucky and then you are expected to pick up where you left off.  For me it is even harder to claim widow fog brain because I worked all the way through my husband's illness -- including when he was in ICU at the very end.  There are NO options for grief, unless you want to claim incapacitating depression and get meds....and then THAT goes into your HR file.

I can deal with the friends who distance (though luckily I don't have a lot of those, my friends hav ebeen great).  I can deal with the crying jags that come up with increasing frequency.  I can even deal with knowing that my husband and I were both weirdos in the same way who found each other and that I will never know anyone like that again.  But the utter callousness of the workplace just makes me nuts.

Comment by Mariposa on March 15, 2014 at 5:56am

Thanks everyone for the support and understanding. 

It takes time to mourn, much more than most people understand. I know a woman who is a military widow and he husband was killed in action in Afghanistan some ten years ago. She shared with me that only in the past year has she felt that she needs to move forward. I'm only at 27 months, and she's been widowed 10 years, so I know that this journey takes time.

Comment by Barbie Doll on March 4, 2014 at 8:22pm

Hello Maraposa.

 I'm right there with you.  My husband passed on Christmas Day, 2011 so I'm almost at 26 months too.  For the past month I have felt a peace and have actually started to sleep at night.  I knew not to get too comfortable though and suspected that my extreme grief would return…..and so it has tonight.  Just missing him so much tonight and desperate to talk to him and have him hold me again.  

Another widow told me it took her 4 years to start to feel like living again.  I was hoping I was ahead of that timeline but now I know I'm still as screwed up as ever.  I look forward to the 4 or 5 year mark and only hope I will make it that far!  

We can only complain or share our feelings here on this site.  No one else gets it!  All my family and friends think I should be OVER it.  I know I will never be over it.  The love of my life has gone and I am still having a hard time accepting it.  I still beg him to return.  I'm so grateful to have this place and Camp Widow to wallow in my grief.  (((HUGS)))) to you.

Comment by cecilia576 on February 25, 2014 at 5:30pm

Year 2 is dreadful. It hits hard, and they expect you to move on. I am now on 40 months( cannot believe I am writing this) and only now, can I accept that he won´t come back. I miss him, but I am used to being without a spouse, a husband, a father. In a way, I have just started laughing without remembering him, or planning the weekend without thinking I´m alone. When others said, it takes, it sure does, and there is no special date but I was really surprised to find myself with the feeling of being alive, and somehow content with nothing special...only watching the flowers and blue sky and summer here in South America. I hoped I would not fall into pieces, and I did not. Perhaps the pain is easing and I am healing?? I do not know, cannot tell what it is. Will enjoy this warm time both in weather and in my heart.

Comment by Rosemary on February 25, 2014 at 5:21pm

I hope everybody's comments have been as helpful to you, Mariposa, as they have been for me! I can relate to the brain fog of Year 1 and though everybody around me seems to think the first year is the hardest, I suspect Year 2 will not be much easier. Though I wish no one pain or extended suffering in their grief, it's comforting for me to know that others have taken a long time to .......not move on, or get over it......maybe accept is the word, I don't know. I'm still grappling with the fact that almost a year has passed since David died. A whole year. Where did it go? How did I get through it? Where am I going now? I have no idea.

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