Monday, January 31, 2011

Good coping skills

When you were dating you looked for men that had certain qualities you wanted in a husband.  Is he honest?  Does he have a sense of humor? Is he affectionate?

On job interviews you are always asked to describe your skill set.  What are your strengths?  How do you deal with stressful situations?  Are you a team player?

So what does it take to be successful at being a widow?  Well according to my family I have good coping skills that have helped me accept and live with my loss.

I guess it looks like I am coping. I get out of bed every morning. I take care of my basic health needs.  I don't complain. I always say I am doing well.

I go through the motions.  I do what needs to be done. But I keep my fears and frustrations to myself.  I rarely share my inner thoughts.

So do I have good coping skills?  Or am I just a pretty good actor playing the part of a widow who has accepted her new life?
  

26 comments:

  1. I feel like there are no coping skills what so ever when it comes to being a widow. There are days when I feel like I'm managing fine, but there are days when I'm just existing, just putting one foot in front of the other and......waiting to die. I can't imagine ever having joy in my life again. I don't care wether people get it or not. It's my personal hell. Nobody can understand it unless they've experienced it......period.

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    1. Your words echo my feelings. I have put a lot of my heartbreak into writing poetry but words, however elequently written, cannot express the ache in my heart. I understand how you feel....one foot in front of the other....waiting to die. Nothing makes sense. I know that only those who have experienced this, could understand. But I try to hang on to hope...hope that life will make sense again one day.

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    2. I understand exactly how you feel. No one can understand unless they have experienced this loss. I feel like I am half of myself. Some days are okay and then all of a sudden I just lose it! It has only been slightly over one omnth since my husband died and I still can't believe it.

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  2. I believe you're a "normal" widow...

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  3. Joyce Carol Oates has a new book out about being a widow, A WIDOW'S STORY. I heard her talk about it on PBS News Hour tonight. She sounds no different from the rest of us. Somehow that was reassuring.

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  4. Going on with life is not easy. You are always feeling that empty place in your heart and home.

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  5. I lost my husband 5 months ago after a 27-month fight with cancer. I'm 50 years old. I feel like you do Sue. Am I coping? I go through the rituals of the day, I go to work, I smile, make small talk; and then at night I sit and ponder "how will I do this?" It doesn't seem like I can but I make it through to another day. My heart aches.

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  6. My husband dropped deadat 57 while on his bike- a complete shock. It has now been 5 yearsand I find the hardest part is that all my friends are couples so wkends are long. I just wish there was some way to connect with the many other people like myself who just want friends who understand and want to go to the movies, dinner, play cards etc. It seems we are all sitting alone "together"

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  7. What remains of my heart goes out to you! Please know that what you are experiencing is a normal part of grieving the loss of your spouse. Only you know if you are "playing" the part of a widow accepting her life. I got tired of puting on the face of a widower who is accepting his "new life." Problem is I miss my wife (old life)! I can no longer take putting on the facade. I lost my wife last March. She battled through manying medical issues. But she lost the war. I look forward to when my sadness becomes happy memories of our 29 years of marriage. Right now I am trying to stop the roller coaster.

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  8. I'm coming up on 1 year March 7th since I lost my Richie. I don't know if I am coping or just existing. This as been one of the worst years of my life. I do know that my girls think I am better because I don't cry in front of them anymore. I do that at night when I am by myself. Because I don't always talk about Richie I think they beleive I am better. But if I don't talk about him them I don't have to face the fact that he is gone. So I guess I'm not coping so well after all.

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  9. well its been 4 months to the day that my beloved Terry died. It still is fresh and being a spouse to a disabled vietnam veteran the goverment sure dont give you much money to live on, Terry was concerned about that i told him i would be getting plenty, Im glad he didnt know. Still on my anxiety pills they help a little bit but still the tears come everyday. I had to rent a room to make ends meet see im only 54 and will not get his social security till im 60. So he still takes care of me i manage, Dont want to be rich or anything just want my Terry back.

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  10. I just saw an ad about Valentines. Now I have anxiety about facing another day without my valentine.

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  11. When I first became a widow back in 2006 I was shocked to see the lack of support groups/forums on the Internet or in my community. I could not have gotten through my grieving process without the help of 7 wonderful friends. My feelings on the journey of grief, it takes as long as it takes, talking helps, try not to avoid feeling the pain and most importantly believe with all your heart it will get better, because it does. Grief is a journey you need to participate in, not avoid. There is a song done by Leona Lewis called “Happy” and it really should be every person’s anthem for going through grieve. Check it out on YouTube. God Bless!

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  12. I lost my husband on April 20, 2011. He had only 4 months after being told he had Cancer. The day before he died he said he was worried about me. Would I be OK? No bitterness, no anger, just concern for me. It broke my heart. I tell my friends I'm OK. I smile. I wonder if they know I'm not OK. We had 50 years together and now I am 70 years old. I want to heal my heart so that I can give to others. I am so utterly lost but I feel guilty for feeling like that because I have so many caring people around me.

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  13. I lost my wonderful husband to acute leukaemia six months ago. It was all over in two weeks and he was unconscious for most of that tine. Only knew he was ill for a few days. What a nightmare. No-one around me really 'gets it'. How could they? I pretend I am doing OK. I can be such a good actor. 'Yes, I am doing OK. How are you?' has become my mantra. But it is all such bloody CRAP. We aren't OK, are we? We have lost our best friends, our future together, and our dearest love.

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  14. Even though our story is different it's the same. " appArently" I look really good and I am so strong and everyone is so proud of me, I'm not. I never thought I was good at acting but I am. I too have been abandoned by all my married friends but I don't care. I just want to be alone. I went to church this morning and almost ran out so desperate to be home alone with my grief. I crowd all the way home. lay on the couch with my cat and watched the kind of movie we would never have watched on a Sunday ( Sunday was for sport and after that was our time alone). it's such a terrible week. My 4th month after a tragic accident and on the 31 st my wedding anniversary. how am I going to get through this week. This blog is my only hope. tha k you to all of you who have been through it and help us

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  15. Dear Sunny Dawn,
    Just breathe hon........
    HUGS

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  16. My husband went out for a bike ride and didn't come home. Found him next morning on the side of the road- massive heart attack. Just want to tell you that you need to be kind to yourself- no feeling is "wrong", you don't "get over it". You go on, you don't "move on". Take one hour at a time when you need to. Don't make any big decisions for a year and don't listen to any advice from persons who haven't experienced what you have. Yes, we are all Scarlet O Hara's- acting like we are okay. But my mother gave me great advice- " The sun still comes up and the sun still goes down". Hang on, you will make it.

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  17. I lost my husband a little over a month ago due to lung cancer. It was too late to do anything by the time we found out. I now have 2 daughters to raise on my own. The hardest part is my 3 year old will never know her father. She will miss out on all those father daughter moments. It just breaks my heart to think about it. I feel like i'm in robot mode most of the time. Sometimes it's hard though to even go on. I've thought a lot about death and after my husbands death I don't fear it as much, it actually looks very inviting considering all that is wrong in this world today. Things in this world are getting worse every day at least my husband doesn't have to deal with the crap the world may throw his way, unfortunately I do and it scares me

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  18. How brave we have to be - and yes it is a great acting achievement. My husband died almost a year ago and I feel as if I am in a giant bubble just carrying on. Everyone seems to think I am coping so well - if only they knew! I am not a whole person and will not be again. We have to be brave and it is one of the hardest things to do at a time when we feel anything but brave

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  19. Ditto sentiments from a new widow. 3 wks ago my husband of 34 yr./best friend died following a 2 1/2 yr. battle with cancer. He was my rock. No one saw my tears, only hear my frustrations re: assuming manly chores with which I'm having a tough time coping. Thank-you notes are written and everyone has moved on. My wish would be to race to the front of the line for the 'next bus to heaven'. I wouldn't do anything stupid for the sake of my adult children/friends, However, I can't wait to depart and see 'the what and why' of God's plan. Hopefully all this grief will be worth it for all widows/widowers at the end of our journeys. For now, we must suck it up and draw deeply from our inner strength, even though it may be
    cracked and torn at times.

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  20. I refuse to lie anymore. Pretending 24/7 is exhausting and I'm tired of the awful pretense. One day is only a a little less sad than the previous. I don't expect anything from anyone because, truthfully? There is nothing they can do to ease the pain so what would be the point?

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  21. My husband, my love, my best friend, died on December 11th of last year. I'm so numb right now. I cry a lot. I don't know how to do this by myself. My kids need me but I really don't want to be here.

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    1. to anonymous jan 18th 4:30am

      I'm so sorry .....I know the heartbreaking pain you are feeling right now. Its overwhelming.....
      I know....I feel the same way that I dont know how to do this by myself...but it has been 28 months for me and I am still here, still surviving when I didnt think I would make it thru the first night without him. I remember being right where you are....all i can say is just take it one minute at a time, and breathe, and take care of you....only do what helps you, dont worry about what everyone else thinks you should be doing or how you should be grieving...only you know what is best for you and what will help you.
      My kids told me that they felt like they loss both of their parents, because I didnt want to be here either. Its so hard because all we want is our husbands back and the life we shared with them. No one understands unless they are living this nightmare how horrible and lonely it is for us.
      I hope you continue to come on here and read and post whatever you need to say or how you are feeling...I have gotten so much support for this site and it has helped me so much. I hope it does the same for you. It helps to pour out your feelings on here and release them, and to just know that you are not alone someone else understand this gut wrenching pain......
      sending you a (((hug))) hang in there, breathe and cry all you want....
      forever loved forever missed

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    2. I buried my husband nine month ago today. And I am not okay. And I do not say that I am because I am not. I don't complain but I breakdown (a lot) and cry (all the time) and weep (sometimes uncontrollaby). I am in pain; it is on my face, in my heart, in my walk, in my posture. I am in pain almost all of the time. This is purgatory. I am overwhelmed by the loneliness and lack of outreach from the people (my husband's family) and our close friends) who I expected would there be for me. This is so difficult. This is so unbearable. It is like living an surrealist play. And it is everywhere, every moment. Recently, it is becoming difficult to eat; eating alone is terrible. My husband was very sick with bone marrow cancer for 15 years. And in the last two months he was in the hospital for treatment when it converted to leukemia; that treatment was promised to be a cure. So, as I try to survive this loneliness, I am also trying to cope with my failure at saving him. I truly believed that I could save him by advocating for him in the ICU. I feel like I am fighting now to survive the aftermath of his death and the life alone, as well as my sense of failure of not having succeeded in saving him. But where are the couple friends? How could they simply drift away or not "check" in once a week? This is so difficult

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    3. To anonymous Jan.31, at 5:22p.m.

      No, you are not o.k. in your life. Just feel what you feel, that is normal, and is o.k.

      Yes, it is purgatory!

      I, too understand your loss as my husband died of bladder cancer, after suffering for 4 long yrs. taking chemo.

      You, I am sure did all you could to save him, please do not burden yourself with guilt.

      You did not fail him, trust me on this observation, having been there also.

      My husbands family abandoned me and most of the couples also, except for one.

      Please try to eat good meals, rest, I know this sounds simple, but it will help you.

      Cry all you want as it will help relieve all the tension and stress you are now under.

      All of us have been where you are now, so believe me we GET IT!

      Sending you a (((big hug))) and letting
      you know my heart goes out to you, sister widow.

      Veteran Widow (5) yrs.

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