Grieving the loss of friends while grieving the loss of a loved one.

Studies show that widows lose 75 percent of the  people they believed were friends when their spouse passed.

COUPLES:  Many a husband and wife do everything together with other couples.  Although becoming a widow was not by choice since she is no longer part of a couple   she is not included in couples events.The loss of friends seems insignificant compared to the huge loss of a husband, however losing long time friends is unexpected. Friends promise to call her to get together, but they never will. 

MISUNDERSTANDINGS:

Many friends and family tell the widow, “Let me know if there is anything I can do.” In shock, struggling with deep grief and overpowering waves of loneliness and confusion, a widow doesn’t know what it is that she needs….

When she was in the middle of a crying jag and simply could not talk she didn’t answer the phone. She didn’t return calls as she simply didn’t feel like talking not because she was trying to avoid well-meaning friends and family. Yet,  they assumed she didn’t want to hear from them so they  gave up trying to stay in touch.  When the phone finally stopped ringing she was left wondering if she had said or done something wrong.

In the awkwardness of a chance encounter at the grocery store the widow forces a fake smile, declines offers of help by her reassurance that she is doing just fine and keeps the pain inside. Taking her at her word that she is doing well and that she doesn’t need help offers of help are few and far between. (THEREIN LIES PART OF THE PROBLEM!) 

A widow believes she must be strong so others aren’t forced to cope with her pain and sorrow, she puts on a big act to appear normal. She stays busy to fill the void convincing everyone with her wide smile that she is doing great.  When she is alone she   is often in a heap on the floor sobbing. Only another widow might realize the excruciating pain she is in. that leaves her unable to even clean her house or cook.  Every day is a struggle. Yet she doesn’t want to be a burden or whine or complain or have anyone know that she still continues to grieve. She doesn’t want to appear weak.”

Those who  don’t know what to say or do so they will not come around– When someone has never not lost a loved one  they may avoid a widow.  It isn’t personal and it isn’t that they don’t care. They simply have no idea  what to do or say to someone  who is grieving. and are scared of making her cry by “saying the wrong thing or mentioning her husband’s name. Yet, she wants to hear people mention him; to know that he hasn’t been forgotten

It would be better if they just gave a hug and did not say anything- A hug is almost always appreciated.

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THERE ARE ALWAYS THOSE WHO THINK SOMEONE ELSE WILL DO IT:    When My Grandmother Became a Widow….

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When faced with the greatest darkness she has ever felt, everything seems broken and friendships gone. The pain is overwhelming and she doesn’t want to be alone.

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