Monday, June 25, 2012

Boring?


A friend of mine said something to me this week that kind of offended me but kind of made sense.  She said a lot of widows she knows are like new moms.  They talk and talk about someone other people are not especially interested in.    

I don't know if she was talking about me but it got me thinking about the subject.  Widows quickly come to the realization that friends and to varying degrees family members don't want to hear us talk about the dearly departed.  I always thought it made them uncomfortable but maybe it just bores them.  I too have been bored by a new mom extolling the cute behavior of her baby.  Am I doing the same thing to others when I talk about Lane?

I don't think widows talk about their late husbands to get attention, brag or gain sympathy.  I talk about Lane for a lot of reasons.  First, it lets me feel close to him again.  It brings my memories to life.  I talk about Lane because I don't want others to forget his kindness, humor and quirkiness.   

I try very hard to keep my Lane references to a minimum.  Although I have never seen anybody yawn, I have noticed blank stares or a quick change of subject.  I have been told that "living in the past is unhealthy" but maybe living in the past is just boring.

Why do you talk about your late husband?

Sue

I am taking next week off.  Have a safe and happy 4th of July.

51 comments:

  1. SUE,

    I TALK ABOUT MY DEAD HUBBY TOO AND I DO THINK IT KEEPS US CLOSE TO THEM. KEEP TALKING THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT.

    I DO NOT SEEK SYMPATHY EITHER.

    YOUR FRIEND IS NOT AS MUCH A FRIEND AS YOU THINK. SHE WAS RUDE, COLD AND UNFEELING.

    SHE IS THE BORE, A REAL FRIEND WOULD LET YOU TALK, KNOWING THAT YOU NEED TO DO SO.

    I GET ANGRY WITH PEOPLE TELLING ME, THAT I JUST NEED TO KEEP BUSY AND ALL WILL BE JUST FINE. BALONEY! I KEEP BUSY.

    MY X SIS IN LAW SUGGESTED I WAS NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH TO GET ON WITH LIFE. HOW DOES SHE KNOW ANYTHING I AM FEELING OR DOING? SHE IS A BORE AND A KNOW IT ALL.

    IF I BORED HER, SHE BORES ME WITH ALL HER TALK OF CELEBRATIONS AND TRIPS TO EUROPE, ETC. SHE NEVER MENTIONS HER BROTHER OR HOW MUCH SHE MISSES HIM?

    SHE SAID SHE JUST THINKS OF HER BROTHER AS ON A TRIP AND NOT DEAD. WHO HAS A PROBLEM HERE?

    FURTHERMORE, SHE POINTED OUT JUST HOW WONDERFUL OTHER WIDOWS WERE DOING WITHOUT THEIR HUBBIES. THEY ARE NOT DOING SO GREAT ASK THEM?

    I THINK THESE FOLKS ARE NOT BORED WITH US, THEY DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING BECAUSE WE ARE A CONSTANT REMINDER THAT THEY COULD BE THE NEXT WIDOW?

    HAPPY JULY 4TH, SUE AND MANY THANKS FOR STARTING THIS SITE!!

    I COME HERE AND KNOW THERE ARE KINDRED SPIRITS THAT UNDERSTAND.

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  2. My husband of 40 years has been gone just twenty-five weeks. I talk about him a lot for a number of reasons. First, he was part of my life for so long that I don't yet know who I am without him. Our identities were meshed. Second, his short illness and death have by far been the most significant thing that has happened to me, and don't we all talk about major events in our lives, especially if they've been traumatic? Thirdly, I talk about him because it keeps his memory strong for me and I guess if I don't want to forget him, then I don't want other people to, either. I, too, have noticed the silence after I mention him and I have noticed the blank faces. Most people really don't want to hear what I have to say because it makes them feel uncomfortable or awkward since there is nothing they can do to help me feel happy. I need to remind myself of that and learn to talk less about my husband, because my future depends on how well I can merge into society as a single person. I appreciate this post so much because it has helped me to be more aware of what I need to do as part of the healing process. Just because I talk less about him doesn't mean I don't care any less. And to the occasional person who may notice that I talk about him less and comment to others that I "seem to have gotten over it quickly", I say "pffft--they only know what they see, and we all know how deceptive that is." The bottom line is, my life has changed irrevocably, forever and ever and I need to move on if I want to be healthy, but there will always be a part of me that stopped living in January, 2012.

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  3. What an interesting topic. I, too, have noticed that some people tend to change the topic when I talk about Sam. Family members will generally listen and add a few related facts or comments, but others (who did not know him) quickly move on in the conversation. I think that it is simply because this is someone that they did not know, will never ever know, who does not exist anymore, etc.... All they can really say is: "He sounds like he was a wonderful man". They don't realize that sometimes I need to bring him into the conversation. I have had a few occasions where I would say something about him and (a) get the most pitying looks (b) have a hush fall over the group as though we were at his memorial service or (c) look at me as though I had said something totally off topic. "Hey, has anyone ever had a fly land on their baloney sandwich"? Tsk Tsk Tsk, that poor woman. How very very sad. I bet her home is an entire shrine in his honor! We can only hope she finds someone new to give her back her life. Debby Downer for sure -

    As widows, we can only incorporate our husbands into the conversation by bringing up things that happened a long time ago. I suppose that to some people, this is as entertaining as us talking about last week's news.

    Lately I've been feeling like the relationship he and I shared was just a blur. A 32 yr long blur. Somewhat like childhood, which is a significant portion of our lives, but when it's over, it's over. There aren't too many people out there who would care to hear my stories from my childhood - maybe it's the same with talking about a spouse who is no longer alive.

    It's safe to talk about our husbands here. My husband gave the best hugs, never failed to kiss me good night, loved and nurtured our kids 24/7, and made the best hot dogs on the grill!

    Enjoy your week off, Sue!

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    1. To the comments i've just read, 100% true. I feel I gauge my conversations on who i'm with, if I went out with a girl friend I don't tell the children, or I should say 1 daughter, she seems to think I should sit home in front of the shrine, to my co workers they want me to go out and enjoy my life, to other relatives I don't talk about my personal life because they'll call the 1 daughter and we start the whole circle over again, it is a tight rope I walk on a regular basis, I love my family, all of them but just wish they would respect this new life, as it is a new life for me as well. Maybe it's just my family, the tightrope sure doesn't extend to them offering any extra help, like need help fencing, or how's the drive way, need help changing oil or how's those tires on the vehicles, no, nothing offered in that way. When I do speak of my husband it's usually in the form of us, we, me is a very hard word to swallow. Especially when I'm with my family, we have had no widows in this family, so I have to walk that tight rope, not to sad, not to happy, i just want to avoid these situations, they above all knew him and how much I loved him, I tend to make the visits short, I talk about my grandchildren, which probably bore them more than if I talked about my husband, Where is the solid ground here. Sometimes I just want to throw my hands in the air, tell them all where to go and pack up and move to another state. Am I alone in this?????

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    2. no you are not alone .... they say they understand but they don't my family is the worse, it has been 2 and a half years ( or 30 months but who's counting the days and weeks) . The more I am a "widow" the more i realize that we don't talk enough about death how hard it is , how people react, how you can really help , some discussion on the impact of this whole terrible thing. Time is suppose to heal .. it dulls but I don't think I will ever heal. I miss his so, so , so much. This space helps so much. thank you Happy Canada Day and 4th of July

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  4. What a great topic and so close to home for me. Since the words "we" or "Steve and I" were a part of my vocabulary for 30 year, how do I suddenly stop saying them?

    I would always brag to my friends about what a great father or husband I had. Especially when they were complaining about their husbands. Now, I still want to say, "well, my husband.... or Steve would..." Because it just seems like the natural thing to do.

    Luckily, I am surrounded by many friends who don't mind if I talk and talk. Because talking about my husband may bring me to tears, but it still makes me feel so good.

    I thank you for giving me another place to talk about my husband. I am more than happy to listen to anyone else who wants to talk about theirs also

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  5. All of the above posts echo my feelings. My experience along these lines have often left me bewildered. I now realize being sensitive to our needs must be uncomfortable for non-widows.

    I would talk about my husband mainly because it was so hard not to. Any statement I made during those early months included a 'we'. It took a long time to focus on the singular 'me'.

    My intent has been to keep his memory alive. I don't want anyone to ignore his legacy. He was a great guy who worked hard, took great care of his family and had many friends. However, after almost 4 yrs, I have learned to tone it down or keep quiet depending on the person(s) I'm with. There are a few occasions where others have made reference of him while going down memory lane. My heart would swell with pride and laughter.

    Finding this site has given me an outlet to talk about him without fear of annoyance, rejection, or ridicule. Thanks Sue!

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  6. OK WIDOWS I LOVE YOU ALL AND DONT COMMENT ON THIS SITE BUT READ EVERY WEEK SO TRUE SO TRUE ON ALL OF YOUR BLOGS .ITS BEEN 1 YEAR AND 8 MONTHS I STILL HAVE A WAY TO GO ON THIS. VERY DEPRESSED AND WHEN I TALK ABOUT MY BELOVED TERRY. PEOPLE EITHER CHANGE THE SUBJECT OR SAY I NEED SOME HELP OR COUNSELLING? THEY DONT KNOW NEVER BEEN IN MY SHOES. SOMEDAYS BETTER AND MANY DAYS CRY ALL THE TIME. HAD BEEN MARRIED 30 YEARS UNTILL AGENT ORANGE KILLED HIM, WIDOWS WHO HAD MILITARY HUSBAND IN VIETNAM WILL AGREE WITH ME AND UNDERSTAND. I STILL WONDER WHEN IT WILL GET BETTER WE WERE INSEPARATABLE. I MISS HIM SO MUCH I WILL NEVER HAVE A MAN LIKE THAT AGAIN, THEY BROKE THE MOLD WHEN TERRY WAS BORN. DIED TOO SOON, LOVE TO EVERYONE WIDOW I UNDERSTAND AND FEEL YOUR PAIN.

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  7. I talk about my husband because he was the love of my life. Although he is no longer here, he is still here. In my heart, mind and soul. Others who haven't walked this path don't understand but that is OK. I will get through this with strength from above. It isn't easy and some days are just BAD. But I know after 43 years together, you can't pretend your life never existed before.

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  8. So what? we're boring. We can be boring when we want and there are times we just need to be boring. Some of us are feeling our ways through this new perspective.

    If we find we're boring people, we should take stock of that and decide if 1) we still want to talk to that person at all, or 2)we really do need to ratchet back the widowspeak. Sometimes, we should be saving it for ourselves and those closest to us who understand.

    Think about how you reacted before you were a widow. We can be just a wee bit intimidating sometimes.

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  9. Sue. In answer to your question: I talk about my late husband because he was a part of me and my life for 55 years and I've only been without him for 10 short months. So any frame of reference to my past life includes him. I know that some people are saddened, but mostly they listen respectfully, knowing how important it is for me to include him.

    Regarding this so-called friend of yours, I am highly suspicious of her/his motivation suggesting that when you talk about your Lane it's boring. The therapist in me might think otherwise -- like perhaps using the word boring to cover say, envy for the fact that you and your husband had a good relationship, something rare and precious. Enviable, even if you've lost him. "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved."

    I know that some people are put off when we talk about our late husbands because it makes them uncomfortable. It's scary and threatening. I find it hard to believe that they are bored.

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  10. I can echo many of the comments here.

    I don't talk about my husband to anyone anymore, for the same reasons mentioned. Whatever thoughts, sadness, loneliness I have, I keep it to myself.

    In my experiences in church life; it has been ironic, and an eye-opener. In the last 5 yrs., I could count on one hand the amount of times I've spoken of my late husband to anyone; but have received several comments that I need to "get on with life", and "stop living in the past". This has told me loud and clear that I have been the topic of conversation among these "spiritual giants", apparently on many occassions when I wasn't there. I've stopped going there. There's got to be a line drawn as to what I'm going to put up with. The loneliness, and dealing with life day to day is hard enough without having to manuever around people who seem to have nothing better to do with their time.
    Losing a spouse is a traumatic, life altering experience; getting over it is a process that is unique to each person, and there is no how-to manuals that help. Only the honest, simple steps of getting up every day and facing it, and being grateful for places like this where people who are going thru the same thing can share with each other.

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  11. As with the folks on this blog most of my adult life was spent with my husband. He was the lovely and kind and fun and I truly loved and respected him. It's been a little over 14 months since he died and I ache for him. I'm trying to do the best that I can but I too have been amazed by how no one wants me to talk about him or what I am going through. It really hurts and I sometimes question if I want relationships with people who are so insensitive. If they haven't been here for me now why would I ever need them.
    I have two sisters and just spent a weekend with them. We have tried to do it annually for awhile. My sisters are the worst. From one who is a widow herself I have never heard a kind word. She has been a widow for 11 years and three weeks after Ed died she told me it would never get any better. How cruel. I know who she is and stopped opening myself up to her. The other sister is married and constantly talks about all the trips and lovely things that she and her husband are doing. She is the "we" girl. But all conversation stops abruptly if I mention Ed or the difficulties of putting one foot in front of the other. Thankfully I have sweet children, good friends and wonderful inlaws, but it hurts that my sisters can be so cold. I don't think our relationships will every recover. I just go through the motions and minimize exposure.

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  12. I, too lost my husband 40 years after he was exposed to Agent Orange. The type of cancer he had was very rare and incurable. We were married 30 years also and his death came unexpectedly or should I say the actual treatment destroyed him before the cancer did. It's been 2 years now as of June 24th. I still can picture him walking thru the front door and can hear him comment with his witt and humor on certain situations.

    I have started grief therapy but all I do is cry when I am there. I was told that I have to get rid of his things now that it was one of the first things to be done. Why?? I just am not ready yet.

    I am getting better but I will not have anyone tell me when I should do certain things or just "move on with your life".

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  13. I can relate to all the above. No one seems to know what to say when I talk about my dear husband. It was a year ago today that he passed away and I am still having problems moving from "we" to "me". My whole life was built around him and us. We had 33 wonderful years together and I don't kid myself there were some rough times too. But over the years we mellowed out and really became very close. Two of my sisters are trying to be matchmakers but I can't convince them I'm not ready yet. I am waiting on God to show me my new path and if it's right he will send me just the right person. He did it once and I believe he will again. I don't want to settle just so I won't be alone. So I thank you all for your words of encouragement.

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    1. Thank you for expressing my thoughts perfectly. It's nice to know someone else feels as I do that to replace my husband isn't as easy as others may think. I too believe what you said.. "If God wants me to find someone new he will make it happen". I also like the part where you said "He did it once and you believe he will again". I'd like to add to that.. If not I'm alright to wait and see him at the end of my journey. My best wishes to you!

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    2. Amen! My thoughts exactly. Almost four years now and so far, not one date. Lonely sometimes but not desperate for romance.

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    3. I don't believe it's being desperate for romance, to go for a meal or an activity with a man. I would like to comment, God does touch our everyday life, however he gaves us a heart, common sense and brain to perhaps open up to the possibilty of what may be again. He didn't intend for us to live th rest of our life without love and/ or companionship, and I mean more than a dog. Don't close yourself off for two long a time, when you know your ready to stretch your wings.fly!

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  14. After 3 years when I look at my husbands picture it scares me how I'm forgetting what it felt like to be loved so much, to feel special, to feel like a whole me,to feel safe and unafraid. The sound of his voice is fading. When I talk about him it brings him back in a small way. Like he's part of my life for that moment he exists again. I know he's gone I get it, but I don't want to lose all of him in my life. Talking about him makes him a part of my now. After 40yrs I don't think I want to be without him near in some way. Even if it is to mention his name out loud and say he did this or said that. I'm careful not to make people uncomfortable but to eliminate him from my vocabulary, to wipe away 40yrs of existence would be ridiculous!

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  15. Sunday--July 1st will be the six month mark since Fred died. "They" say it will get easier from here on. I wonder.

    I haven't been right since Fred died. I handled his dying so well--like I was prepared for it and in a way I was. Then all the things that had to be done, kept me very busy.

    But through it all--every moment for the last six months, I feel like I am dreaming everything. Like life is moving around me--things are happening to me and I am just floating along--not really aware or involved--watching like it is a movie and just going which ever way I am moved--no control--not caring.

    I feel like I am in a pin ball machine and I go whichever way the flipper sends me--really out of it mentally. Sometimes I don't even remember any details after an event--who I talked to, what went on.

    It feels like I am on some psychotropic drug that has dulled my mind--like I am completely out of it, but physically moving through whatever comes up.

    I haven't taken any pain drugs in 4 days, but my mind is still in a fog. It has been like this since Fred died and I wasn't on any drugs then either.

    It is a very weird feeling.

    Have any of you had this feeling--it's kind of scary. Thanks

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    1. Yes, I felt very much like you described during my first few months. I was confused, angry, felt like I was losing my mind somedays. My thought patterns were all over the place. I felt a heavy weight all around me and just went through the motions with everyday activities.

      Somewhere towards the first year, I became fed up with that weird feeling and chose to gain some control over this difficult phase of my life.

      It gradually got better with some slipping and sliding. And now close to my fourth year, I am finally functioning with a sense of purpose.

      Check with your doctor about your medications and be kind to yourself in the meantime. Grief is a heavy burden and we all understand the pain.

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    2. To Jude, I called that feeling flat linned, I wasn't happy, I wasn't sad, I was just walking with no emotions. I felt this for some time after my husband died, nothing make me happy, or nothing made me sad, other than coming home and he wasn't there. I called this my public face, just a kinda mona lisa smile all the time, I felt I had to do this as not to make people pity me, or avoid me. it will be 3 years in 4 weeks. The birth of 2 new grand children seemed to help, i felt real joy and real compassion for the new babies, and of course a new love developed with them. From that point I now can feel anger, happiness, the real emotions of every day living, flatlinned is a safety mechanism I feel for survival mode. you're ok with this feeling, it will ease with time and events. take care

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  16. judemiller1...it has been 10 months for me. You have described exactly how I have been feeling. I do not take any meds at all, but feel very out of it. The weird thing is I don't think anyone has noticed that I am so out of it! On the outside I am functioning. I wonder if this fog we feel is our minds way of protecting us from the intense grief we are going through.

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  17. It's been little bit over three months since I lost my husband of almost 20 years suddenly at work- we both work same place, same job- and it devastated everyone.I'm still in shock, numb- functioning automatically. Nothing seems real, all the familiar places seem so strange now, empty without him. There seems to be an empty hollow echo of life around me with life dancing it's merry tune around me.
    You are all right about people being uncomfortable about talking about my dear husband, changing subject, getting funny look on their face or just fidgeting nervously. We were together 24/7 work and home, and suddenly the other half of me is gone, I feel lost and alone without him. Have no children, just pets. Had to put one of them down few weeks ago, it was hubby's pal in life. Not been able to return to work yet, too painful in memories. They say with time it get's better, it's not easy though since trying to keep his memory alive and him close to me by talking about him and his accomplishments makes neighbours and friends uneasy and uncomfortable. I think the idea of death and loss of loved one scares people- hits too close to home and they don't know how to deal with someone who is experiencing great and deep loss.
    Hope you all have a fantastic Canada Day and Fourth of July Day......As the moon sets down so will the sun rise in the morn.... <3

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  18. Hi All,
    It is party crasher Bob again.
    Boring, maybe a little, I will continue to do it too. This remembering and grief thing is more complicated than just that. It is about relationships with; our lost partners, past common friends, new friends and even prospective new partners. The month before Ana (see I am doing it too) was diagnosed with cancer she talked about dead partners sometimes being given saint status and the living not being able to achieve such status. It is like she knew and was preparing me for what was coming.
    Old friends may be grieving too, differently than me or you and cannot deal with the pain of us talking about our loss (this is not the boring part). Some old and new friends may think of us as being in a rut (this is the boring or one trick pony thing).
    Every day I get up and ask myself, “what can I do to make the world a better place”? Then it is one foot in front of the other.
    I will never give up my fond memories.
    Bob

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    1. Thanks Bob, you give a fresh perpective on this subject.

      It's nice to think of my husband now having 'saint status'.

      Bless you!

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  19. i too have difficulty with my mind. i have been calling it a brain fog. i've tried to explain it to everyone and no one else understood. sorry, but i'm glad to hear others have it too.. i also talk about my husband and it does make people uncomfortable. maybe it makes them sad,i no some of them change the subject. they don't realize the past is all we have left. i'm glad u all come hear too, it lets me no i'm on the same path as other widows. i miss him,so much.

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  20. My husband had been my high school sweetheart, I met him when I was 14 years old so I have known him for 44 years. We were married for 37 of those years. I can relate so much to what you have all written here. It is Canada Day here and I am completely alone. I rented some movies to watch on iTunes and then came to make myself a cup of tea and I started to cry. I can hear the fireworks going outside and all I can think of is the last time I sat out on the deck with Reg and watched them. He died 10 months ago from cancer. I have never felt so alone and sad in all my life. I have a lovely daughter who lives nearby with her boyfriend and they are entertaining his brother for the weekend. My closest friends are away on holiday...and here I sit. I try to keep busy all the time but the worst is at night. There is no one to talk to. Some days I haven't spoken to a single person all day. I hate this. I have a sister who lives an hour away from me. I have seen her once since my husband died. She keeps making excuses that she is too busy to visit. She came once while my husband was ill and that was the week before he died. It was her curiosity that really made her come out then, not her love for me or him. I have discovered who my true friends are. I miss him so much it makes my heart hurt. My daughter misses him too and I know she has found all the firsts difficult...Her birthday, his birthday, fathers day...all in the same couple of weeks. I am so lucky to have such a lovely daughter, she is so much like him. I don't want to have her worrying about me, so I pretend that I am doing just fine. Thank you for listening. I will think of each and every one of you tonight. Peace be with you all. xx

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  21. It has been two years for me. Everthing that is being said is so true. Each situation is different but yet the same. After twenty three years he was like losing half of my body & soul. I too hesitate to say too much about him to my family and friends. They just do not understand. No one can until they go thru it and I pray they won't have to but as we all know in life, eventually it will happen. We were so sure we would go on forever. I have tried to find solice in God, I have failed and now I have that guilt to deal with. It just seems there is no end to the grief. It has dulled some and then comes back like a knife slicing any small barrier I put up. There is no certain answer on how to keep going.

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  22. Anonymous are stories sound somewhat similar that it makes my heart ache for you. My precious Tom and I were married just 3 weeks shy of 20 years. He has been gone since April 3, 2010 now. We worked together and came home together for thos almost 20 years. We had one daughter and I brought a daughter into the marriage. I didn't return to work for almost 3 months; I couldn't bear it alone. It seems easier these days; not good but easier. It seems like it a constant battle to keep his spirit alive. I am sure people are sick of saying Tom ...... but I never will. He was my everything. I feel like if people don't want to hear it they can find someone else to talk to. I had a very very good friend leave our friendship because it made her uncomfortable for me to miss my spouse so much and to keep his ashes in my house. Although that was vey hurtful it turned out fine because I now have friends who have experienced this kind of loss, live this kind of loss, and understand this kind of loss. I still have original friends who try but they don't get it not yet. One day it makes me sad that they will get it. Much love. Sue Clark

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  23. Judiemiller: I understand completely how you are feeling. For my entire 1st year as a widow I felt like I was just going through the motions of living. It was as though I did not have a firm grasp on anything. When I look back, I think that maybe that is nature's way of softening the sharpness of the reality. The loss is too great, the pain too severe and our bodies recognize that we are on overload and need to be protected. Hang in there. Try to exercise, get a good nights sleep, remember to eat healthy foods. The fog will lift eventually and you will begin to feel more like yourself. Hugs.

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  24. This site is so reassuring. I thank all of you for your comments and encouragement. I am 11 months into this frightening new journey and need all of the help I can get.

    After reading several of the newer comments about the physical changes we've experienced, i.e. mental fog, I can add to that the feeling of unsteadiness, loss of balance at times, not to mention loss of focus. My recent physical showed nothing unusual, but my doctor indicated that anything is possible when it comes to the shock and grief of a profound loss.

    I had a wonderful visit with an old friend, widowed for five years who assured me that it would get better, but that it will probably take more than a year (the time that is most discussed for beginning recovery). For her it was three years before she felt somewhat normal and the zest for life returned. And, on this weeks subject -- it was wonderful to be able to talk about my husband to a receptive friend.

    There is a book that has helped me greatly: "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion. I have read it several times and take comfort from her experience so beautifully written about after the sudden death of her husband. In it she mentions her strange physical symptoms that mirror mine and many of yours.

    Also, I'd like to mention that it is rare to read in this site about so many long-term and loving relationships that many of us were fortunate to have had.

    Bless us all.

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  25. I too am "out of it," I am even having trouble recalling names and phone numbers lately and I am in my 40's. I feel like since my husband's death, I have become a real basketcase some days. I heard it being referred to as "widow brain." I do talk about my husband here and there but not as much as I really would like to. I find now that I sometimes edit my life to not include mentioning him because it has irritated others, but how odd to edit 17 years of my life as if he never was there! My own mother told me he was dead every time I mentioned him, so that really helped me to clam up quickly. Do people really realize what they are doing to us widows? People usually ask how I am but it is a nicety, and the conversation does not seem to flow in the right way to actually bring up what is in my heart. So I hold it in. I recently told a friend that I am available to her family member who is soon to be widowed and that maybe it might help for her to know I am here to talk to. I figured the offer would be brushed aside, and I think it was, but it made me realize how desperately I do want to talk about my husband and my heartache. I need someone to care and to understand. No-one who is not widowed can possibly understand. I was told the other soon to be widow has different circumstances but a widow is a widow. How can one not relate to that heart break? How lonely it is to have no-one want to hear about the greatest love and loss of our lives. For this soon to be widow, her family has decided for her that she doesn't need to talk. People might as well say that they do not want us to grieve, because that is what they are really saying if they can't handle listening to our husband talk. I have absorbed this loss right to the very core of my soul and to not be able to be who I am and to tiptoe so others are not bothered- that is just sad. On another note, maybe the person who thinks they are floating along will not feel so odd when they hear my new plan. It has been a year for me since my husband died and also it would have been our wedding anniversary the 21st. Saturday was my and my husband's date night which really just meant that we put the kids to bed and caught up on our favorite tv shows, cuddled, ate mint chocolate chip hot fudge sundaes,etc. How loved and special I felt and so looked forward to Saturdays. I guess I am not moving on properly because I have re-implemented date night with my husband. Imagine what non-widows would think if they heard this! I am sure I would be committed. Well, I bought the icecream and fudge, bought the dvd of this years season of a show we used to watch together (I could not bear to watch it alone this past year), and I even bought myself a pandora charm as an anniversary gift that reminds me of him. I told my husband that I need him now more than ever and that date night was on. I asked him if he could be with me or see me from Heaven to please give me a sign on date night. Well, I sat down and started the show, talked to my husband for a moment and was reminiscing about loving thoughts and memories of when he was still here by my side, and suddenly from the other room what do I hear but Kiss playing. My daughter was on radio disney and they were playing Kiss. My husband loved Kiss. At that moment I remembered I had asked him for a sign and believe me, I could not have asked for a better sign that he was there. I felt so happy tonight to think that he is there watching over me still, that even though apart, the love that we share is still strong. Death cannot take that away from me. I still love my husband with all my heart. Well, thanks for listening and thank you Sue for this site.

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  26. TO ALL THE NEWLY WIDOWED, HANG IN THERE!

    YES WE ALL HAD FOGGY THINKING AND RANDOM THOUGHTS AT THE FIRST OF WIDOWHOOD. YOU ARE NOT CRAZY, IT WILL GET BETTER.

    TO THE PERSON, WHO SAID SHE THOUGHT SOMEONE WOULD BE SENT TO HER AS HER FIRST HUSBAND WAS, I ALSO BELIEVE THAT AS WELL

    NO, WE SHOULD NOT SETTLE FOR JUST ANYONE SO WE ARE NOT ALONE.

    I TOO, ASK FOR GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION FOR MY LIFE.

    I AM ONLY A FEW WEEKS FROM HAVING BECOME A WIDOW 3 YRS. AGO.

    IT DOES GET EASIER, IN SOME WAYS. BUT TO THE PERSON, WHO SAID WE CANNOT ERASE YRS. FROM OUR LIVES. THAT WE ONLY HAVE OUR PAST, TO NOT SPEAK OF OUR LOVED ONES TO SAY THEY NEVER EXISTED.

    GOOD FOR THE WOMAN WHO QUIT GOING TO THAT CHURCH AND NOT PUTTING UP WITH UNKIND PEOPLE.

    THAT IS SO TRUE, FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT IN OUR SITUATION THEY HAVE NOT A CLUE ABOUT US.

    WE TRY TO MOVE FORWARD AS BEST WE CAN EACH DAY. SOME DAYS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS.

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  27. I still talk about my husband because he is always in my mind, He is still with me in many ways. It;s not easy to put your loved out of mind but I have become more selective who I open up to about my husband. Somehow, sometimes, talking about him makes me feel less lonely. If I can talk about Chris then I am not alone.
    Best wishes, Cathy Leach

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  28. I talk about my husband as if he is alive with strangers. I just repeat things he taught me about home maintenance and what products he used when I am at home depot or lowes trying to tackle a project alone. I like telling stories about him and people seem Interested...no need to mention his death 29 months a go. I have some dear friends I can talk about him with....they knew him and loved him too. I also lost 2 very good friends but I am glad I found out what they were like and maybe it took my wonderful husbands death to teach me that hard lesson. People who stick by you during your first few years of widowhood are your true friends. Forget the rest!! And may you all find a little bit of peace during this independence day holiday!! For we are independent now!!

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  29. So a common theme in these posts is the fogginess. I hope that knowing that this is normal can help someone new to the experience. I was so foggy for the first year--people tell me things that happened during that year and I literally have no recollection. So--to those who are experiencing the fogginess---you are not crazy.

    I am so glad someone above mentioned "The Year of Magical Thinking"---I also read that book and it stuck with me. One thing she said was that she kept her home clean in case her husband returned.That really stuck with me because I acted in similar ways----I would think about him coming through the door, what his opinion would be on a decision, what color to paint a room----it is just so natural to oontinue living as if you still had a partner---especially for those of us who were with our spouses for a long time.

    I wonder where this idea that things will get better in a year comes from? That myth needs to be dispelled---it is what causes some well meaning people to urge us to "move on"---well they say it has been a year.

    Not to be mean ---but I do wish there were some way to educate non-widows on the life and experiences of widows. One thing I've learned in my 10 years of widowhood is that mostly people are afraid: afraid to see your pain, hear about your pain and also afraid that they may someday be in your shoes.

    I think that it is nice to hear from the gentlemen above that he is so positive (and I often hear about the widow who is doing so great and "back out there") but I also want everyone who is not doing well to know that it is okay---this is not something that you can will to happen. If are sad, destroyed, foggy, depressed, hopeless etc then that is okay. It is okay. I wish someone had been there to tell me that.

    My grief process (or recovery) is not measured by how I make others feel, or the amount of time it took --it is not measurable --you will feel somewhat better when you, your mind and body are ready to.

    Be gentle with yourselves. We have had it hard.

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  30. I sure do relate. Feel as if I have something others fear is 'catching.' Friends are scarce except in the most shallow of ways. No kind words of comfort after just a little over 2 months. God, this is hard.

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  31. It will be a year this month and my mind has been in a fog the whole time. I too, speak to people who don't know he passed as if he were alive and well. They listen to my stories about what he liked and didn't. I was not my husbands first wife and his children and family have marked me off their list. Maybe, I just reminded them that he was gone. My own children never bring him up but they listen whenever I do. Married friends do have away of staying away. Its just a remainder of what could happen to them. Churches are not accomudating to widows, we don't exist, their there for families. I still wear my wedding ring and talk to my husband, of course he doesn't answer back. I haven't moved on or know how.

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  32. The 9th of this month will be 7 months that I lost my husband. I still have a hard time comprehending this. He died so unexpectly, in his sleep, he was only 47 yrs. old. I do think that sometimes its harder now than when he first died, then you have so much to take care of, it seems like time has no meaning, but now the finality of it hits you. As for talking about him, people, friends mostly, do look uncomfortable, it is like you have something that they don't want to catch. The friends we had were couples, now I am like the third wheel. The one thing that bothers me is that some people we thought of as friends over the yrs came to the viewing and offered the standard "let me know if there's something I could do", but since then I have not heard from them. If you really don't mean it, don't offer, what would be more helpful and meaningful, is a hug, a phone call once in a while just to ask how my family and I are doing. I know that most don't know what to say, but trust me, I much rather had them just hug me and call me. Actually the people I work with have asked me more than others. Maybe it's because they did not know my husband. I feel like I need to find a new group of friends not because of this but this is a new journey filled with sorrow. As for support groups around my area, most are religious based and are on a structered program that runs for a certain amount of time and are offered certain times of the year. This is not what I am looking for. I for one have found myself searching for things that I never thought possilbe, like looking into meaning of dreams, the question of the ability to "see" the loved one. I was always the skeptical one, he was leaning more towards the unknown. Other groups are for parents who lost a child or deal with hospice. Where do widows fall? I know that there are others like me, where do we go, who do we talk to without being judged or told that life goes on. Yes we know that life goes on, but I feel that Dec 9 2011 was the day that my life ended, my life as I knew it. For the most of us we just function not live. I know that most of my day at work and home is filled with thoughts of him, of us, of the guilt I feel wondering why didn't I wake up in time to maybe try to save him. Would that have made it somewhat easier knowing that I tried, would the outcome have been the same? I will never know. Sometimes the frustration is overwhelming that why I wish there was others to talk to that would really listen and maybe have some type of understanding.

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    Replies
    1. my husband died 6 months ago. since the wake the phone has not rang once. my life for 29 yrs was everything. when i am around other people i can't help but talk about him. i never made any friends because he had a heart transplant 12 yrs ago and doctors and hospital was our life.his mother and other daughter never accepted me . they live a mile away, our daughter and i are fighting her in court because she wants us out of the house that was suppose to be in a trust for my daughter after i'm gone.

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  33. It helps to hear stories of people that loved each other. I was starting to wonder if I was the only wife that felt that way about her husband.
    I was 16 (he was 6 months older) when we started dating. He was 47 when he passed. Its been just over 3 years and I still have times when I sob. I know everyone is tired of hearing me say how much i miss him, and bringing up stories bout him , but he truly was the best person I knew, and i loved him and I miss him and i dont know where i belong or what my path is supposed to be now.
    And its not just about feeling lonely, its about the feeling of being totally alone. I have 3 young adult children all out beginning their lives. My parents, sisters, and children all live within 5-10 miles of me and yet, they are all doing their day to day things and sharing with boyfriends, girlfriends and spouses.
    But my best friend, my soulmate, that other person that shared so much of himself with me, and i with him, that we became entangled in each others souls. Like two trees planted side by side and slowly grew to become one. That tree can never again be two trees. It can be cut or torn in half but that doesn't make it two trees.
    Who do I share my day to day with or the little inside jokes or the actor that you just recognized from another show or how far your kids have come or.. I just need to snuggle.
    The only people that will understand the loss of a truly loved spouse, are those that have lost and are not just lonely,... but alone.
    Thank you for this place to share, where I actually feel like someone else understands.

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  34. my husband of 29yrs has been gone 6 months. i don't know how to move on with life. he was my life. he was sick for the last 17yrs.i never had time to make friends or anything else. i am 61yrs old and i miss him every day

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  35. In my 10 years of widowhood these are some things I found helpful:

    -therapy-counseling
    -support groups
    -medication (here and there)
    -journaling your feelings and your story
    -some type of spirituality (in whatever form works for you)

    But I can also say that there is no magic bullet to fix our grief--but it will diminish I am living proof of that.

    Just keep trying every day -just see if you can push yourself one more day, then one more week and you will see some improvement.

    I feel your pain and completely commiserate.

    Be patient and kind to yourself.

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  36. I can relate so much to all of the above! Sue, your topic really has made me think. Boring? Maybe so. I will probably try to cut back a bit on my references to my hubby, but not to my daughters - it usually makes them smile, thank goodness. As far as the mental fog, I have felt exactly the same. It has been almost 14 months. Sometimes I feel like it is harder now than a year ago because I am actually feeling things now. There are days when I wish for the emotional numbness again. I do believe it is a God-given blessing and a way to help us survive the shock.

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  37. I never thought I would be on a site where widows can express themselves. It sure feels good go have found this site. I am too a young widow in my forties. I lost my husband 3 yrs ago who was my everything. We met in 1982 and he died in 2009, 27 yrs of knowing each other with 23 years of marriage. And yes, strangers seem more interested in hearing of the loss than family and friends at times. Telling stories how we met, who he was, and things we have done together become a cartharsis for me and help me to move on gradually. It hasn't been easy at times but the old adage stands true--time heals all wounds even in the stings of deaths. And yes with time, I will get stronger and wiser to deal with the intermittence of moods affected by memories of where I once was--a happy married woman having a blast with a wonderful man in her life. It will get better. God is ever so faithful to keep His hands and eyes on the widows and the loveless.

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  38. iam a new widow its been 30 days from june 7th 2012 my husband of 11 years past away suddenly in his sleep,he was 38 years old we have shared two children 21 months and 3 1/2 year olds,it seems like its only been a week and its been a month??i find myself lost,empty and to make matters worse our two precious children,my son misses him dearly and our daughter calls everyone daddy now??? i feel like its just getting worse like the numbing is wearing off. what do i do now??

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  39. To the widow of 30 days with 2 small children...I am so very sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself and try to eat healthy. Your children will keep you busy and that will be a positive thing! Staying busy with my children saved my sanity. And I see him in them everyday and it makes me smile. I am so glad we had children. Theymade me engage with people at parks and pre schoold and community activities. Give yourself time and make your way at your own pace. Ignore well meaning advice that hurts your feelings. You will make it...and I do believe his spirit is with you always. Good luck and know that we know this is a rocky road....but you can do it.

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  40. I was married for 38 years, and then poof, he's gone. It took a solid year to reach the point where I was tired of hurting, and yes, being miserable. He had children by a previous marriage, and I thought we would continue as we always had, but no, they went their way and I've not seen or heard from them in four years. Once the will was read that was it. I am not bitter, life is too short. Friends and relatives don't want to hear about the loss. It reminds them of what is to come, and those who aren't married, perhaps they don't know how to relate.
    There are many of us who are truly alone and we need to start a new life and our interest. I tried the groups for grieving, and counseling, and for me, I was around others who are hurting and depressed, I had to move on. It didn't help me. I am social and truly love being happy and being around those that are also happy. It's a life choice. My life isn't over, it's a different phase, and one made for myself. Yes, I have found love again, I am 62 and I refused to believe I couldn't build a life without love. My life is now exciting and I will say with very little money, but I am doing and going where I always wished.
    I will write more later. Hang in there and make the choice that's correct for you. Surround yourself with love, and realize you will need to build a new life, not continue with the old. That old life is over. The other person is gone and won't return.

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  41. Sue,

    It is obvious that your friend probably did not think before she spoke, as her comment was not very thoughtful though she, like many others, probably meant no harm. She is evidently very unaware that a huge part of your coping and healing is to talk about your late husband. She obviously does not realized that one of the best ways to "be there" for you is to simply let you talk and to listen. This goes further to prove how uncomfortable and unaware our society is, at large, with grief and "the grieving". I hope that you have gotten some support since your loss: counseling, support group, etc. Another glaring difference between you and a new mother is that a new mother has a new addition to her family and is beaming with happiness about it; whereas, you have endured a new loss and are overwhelmed with grief. I hope you do not allow such a comment to make you feel that you should stop talking about your late husband and be overly concerned as to how your grief and mourning is making others feel. If I can help in any way, please feel free to reach out to me, as I facilitate grief support groups, I recently was a keynote speaker at Widow Women Living for Jesus' annual luncheon, and I am Life Coach that works specifically with those that have endured significant loss. Stacy(theone03@charter.net) Best wishes to you on your journey! Please continue to speak up!

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  42. I was married for 3 months when my husband died of liver cancer. It's been 2 months. His son, friend and family members turned on me. It' been awful. They put horrible lies about me on the net. Guess they don't realize I lost my new husband.

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