Friday, April 29, 2011

What Can You Say To a Widow To Make Her Feel Better?

Daily conversations, what an ingenious concept.  As if widows cannot do this?  Well, surprise, most of us can.  Some of us will get a bit teary eyed, but so what?  This is normal.  Certain thoughts, events, scents, and so much else will trigger a memory.  It doesn't mean we are so fragile that we're going to break into a million pieces.

What hurts worse is when we are left out of casual conversations.  The type of conversations that include laughter, jokes, what is happening in the world around us, and even though you are married and we are not, many of us do care and understand relationships are important!  We were married remember?  Just because the one we loved is not physically with us, does not mean we are not happy for your accomplishments.


Sure, sometimes we may feel sad and jealous.  But doesn't everyone go through these emotions?  Its normal.  Do you not have a casual conversation even with those who tell you, "I'm so jealous, my husband never buys me flowers?"

I had an unusual incident the other day.  A friend of my husbands, who honestly really never could remember my name, came up to me, while I was in the midst of a few single male friends and said..."Hey, you are Rob's wife.  I am so sorry.  We were good friends."  The person with him had a sudden reaction of "Oh God are you OUT of your mind" and his eyes were the size of saucers.  Not to mention the deathly silence amongst everyone else.

I smiled and said, "yes you are right.  Its okay to say this.  I was his wife, and I don't mind that you still think of me this way.  He passed away, we did not divorce.  It keeps his memory alive for you and reminds me also how much he was loved.  Its okay because to some of you, I will always be his wife."

Absolutely no harm was intended.  He hadn't been in town for a few years, but at least he knew my husband passed away, and he was kind enough to acknowledge it also makes him feel bad too.  He really just wanted to acknowledge he knew and feels bad.

So we are really not that hard to approach.  Here's some simple tips:
  • Most of us don't mind you talking about your husband.  We used to have a husband we spoke about too.  When we converse back, we will probably use our husband's name.  Remember, we had a relationship too.  This is not to make you feel bad, it actually makes us feel a part of your world and not so isolate.  Why can't we talk about our husbands too?
  • Please don't gossip or give us news updates of other widows and their personal private lives comparing us.  We're glad that they are doing well, and updates are good, but how about leave the salt out of the equation.
  • You feel weird around us...well how do you think we feel?  Its just as odd for us as it is for you.  So maybe be honest.  Tell us you feel strange and don't want to hurt us but want to continue the friendship and spend some time with us.  We'll let you know we're interested and we feel odd too.  But a workable solution to this exists, it is called communication.
Gee, it wasn't that hard was it!

As for being scared you'll say something stupid, to be honest, we have all said stupid things in our life.  If you do say something stupid, we'll let you know.  Most of us will anyway.  What hurts is the silence.  The avoidance we feel when we do try to reach out.   Please remember, we are frightened, and will be this way for awhile.

Sometimes we hide out and avoid you.  We don't want to tell you about our rotten hands in life.  We would like this ability, as it's nice to have someone to talk to, but we understand no one appreciates a depressing conversation.  It is very hard to keep a happy face and tell you we're doing great, couldn't be better, when in reality it isn't that way.  We're just pleased someone stopped to speak to us.  So when its not going so well, we'll probably hide out.  Don't force the issue and don't be offended never speaking to us again.

Please keep in mind,  many individuals have gone through a family loss.  However, losing a spouse, it is a whole different ball game.  Words cannot begin to describe what we are going through.  Just because you lost a family member doesn't mean you understand how we are feeling.  Empathize with us, but don't take away our right to our pain.  To us, it is worse than an uncle, aunt, sister, father or mother.  I've suffered loss also. In fact I lost my mother to cancer just a couple years before my husband.  I will tell you now, it really hurt to lose my mom, but gawd I can't begin to say how much pain I felt when my husband passed on.

It is the end of the world to us.  Realize this.

Do you really want to say something beautiful to us to make us feel better?  How about, "I've been thinking about you."  Isn't that easy?  If you really mean it, give us time to think on how to respond. 

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8 comments:

  1. Very nicely stated. You spoke for many of us. I love it too when someone says, "I've been thinking about you.

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    1. Read my story .....

      Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in Texas,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks.

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  2. I have had a couple of phone calls when someone just said, "I've been thinking of you." It was such a good feeling! I mean the thought someone really did care and was thinking of me. It's always nice to know even if i have nothing to say back!

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  3. Indeed! There is nothing more frustrating when you happen on a conversation about a joyous occasion when individuals turn to you and the conversation stops or worst when their eyes become filled with pity. We have enough pity for ourselves without adding theirs to our bucket. However, you have to appreciate that they are all well intentioned. Wouldn't it be nice if individuals would turn instead and ask about your moments? How was your day when you got married?

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  4. Ginette, this is an excellent point especially with marriages. I happen to feel joyous when two people are in love and make that commitment. I did have one young lady who was so excited call and ask, "I don't want to hurt you but I have to know, what was it like." The first person ever to ask me since my husbands death what it was like to be in love with him! :) I see greatness for this persons life! I was very happy to talk about it!

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  5. wow, thank you for this. Written beautifully. thank you so much for taking the time to write this out. things like this are very helpful for friends of widows. I spent hours searching the internet for different posts like these when my friend was newly widowed, just trying desperately to figure out how I could support her (and what I was doing wrong!)

    A friend and I recently started a blog for friends of widows, to provide information and support for friends so they can better know how to serve and love on their widowed friends. to know what helps and what NOT to do/say. We also made it as a resource that widows can share with their friends that need help understanding more what they are going through without the widow having to make a huge effort to spell it all out or try to articulate what she means while she is still raw with grief.

    Just thought I would share that with you in case you are interested.
    -Violet

    (I hope you do not mind me posting this here. I will not be offended if you want to delete this post if you feel I am out of line sharing this with you here. )

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  6. Something I struggle with is when "friends" who have lost adult children tell me that 1) because I have never been a mother (I have cared for lots of children in family and for friends), I can't possibly know the pain of losing a child, 2) that losing a child is much, much worse than losing a spouse (which they have never experienced). Their pain is worse than mine. I don't usually talk about my pain, their remarks just pop out. I respond that I don't think pain with loss of a loved one can be graded but when you lose a spouse you also lose what you thought your future would be and must reinvent your life, goals and future. But they don't seem to think it's as major a loss as their child.

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  7. Thank you for your article! It touches my heart deeply because I have recently went through something similar 3 years ago before all this spells and spell casters madness on the INTERNET started which makes people to be confuse and scam them of their money. ALSO IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC AND SPELLS, I THINK YOU ARE MISTAKEN, DON’T GET ME WRONG, I ONCE HAD MY DOUBTS, TOO.
    THIS IS MY STORY: I was married for 6years with 2 kids a boy and a girl and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that My husband filed for a divorce. I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me because I love him so much and I don’t want to loose him but everything just didn’t work out, he moved out of the house because it was a rented apartment and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. I was surfing the internet for solution on what to do when one Dr. Zigaga of islea shrine DUPED me of my hard earned money because I was so desperate to get my wife and children back, Dr. zigaga it will not be well with you were ever you are. The breakthrough came when Monalisa my best friend introduced me to this wonderful, great prophet named Prophet Abayotor who eventually helped me out. I have never been a fan of things like this but I just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice, behold within a week after the regular prayers and proceeding, my parent call me on phone and said that I should come home immediately, when I did my husband was with them immediately he saw me he came to me and knelt down begging me to forgive him that he was so sorry for how he treated me. That it was his mother that made him dislike me so much, I was shocked and began to cry because I thought I lost him forever, immediately I forgave him and he promised that he will always love me, immediately he opt out in filing for the divorce from there we moved into our new apartment together. As for Prophet he is real and cleared my doubts, me made me belief in thing I never believed in Prophet Abayotor you are the best I say Thank you, you can contact him here at ajamugashrine@gmail.com and tell him I introduced you to him.

    ReplyDelete

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