How to be around others!

I struggle to be a positive and a ‘together’ person when others around me are not grieving or who seem to be able to always hold it together. When I have not been afraid of showing that I am low, I get a reaction, such as ‘maybe its not a good time to talk now’., or a long lecture on how sympathetic they are when you know they are just saying that to make you feel better.

I am tired of pushing my feelings to the back burner, so that I don’t upset anyone. It seems the easiest way is just to put on a brave smile and to act positive.

Does anyone else struggle with this?


I rarely used to cry - didn’t really have reason to. Now, I find I can’t control it so people have to put up with it. If they can’t, then I have come to the conclusion that they are not the right people to have around me.


Hi Jules,

Thanks for your reply it helps to see how other people deal with this, so was helpful reading your reply. Also we should not be ashamed to say how we feel, and if we don’t want to elaborate on why, then its okay to just say I’d rather not talk about it.

I have found that my close friends and family have been very understanding and don’t flinch from my emotions. I am not going to very public places at the moment because I don’t want this to happen with ‘acquaintances’ in such places.

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That is lovely you seem to have very understand family and friends and yes you are wise not going to public places. I am trying to find ways learn ways of dealing with this by choosing what to say to certain people and not others, and not to feel guilty about needing to justify myself as you can’t please everyone

I too select those I have contact with at the moment dependent on their attitude. Husband’s brother called not long after my husband’s funeral all cheery and as soon as I started to get upset was told he would ring back when I was in a better place. Told him not to bother if he only wanted to speak to a ‘happy me’. Needless to say he has not spoken to me since.

That’s so sad because the whole point is that we need people to stand with us when we are at our lowest - not when we are at our best! I think people jus5 don’t know how to deal with people in grief, which is sad as everyone will have to contend with grief at some point.

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Hello All
Sorry we’re all in this mess. I lost my dear Dad 11 weeks ago and struggling to cope. NOBODY understands except my Mum and I and we now realise that we only have each other but we are dragging each other lower as we are struggling so much. I have no idea what we are going to do?

Hi Gee,

I am sorry about the loss of your dad and its only been 11 weeks ago. I lost my dad 8 months ago, there are days that are more difficult than others, difficult physical feelings inside become so tense, that I feel the only way is to release these for me is by crying , and then going for a walk seems to help lift my moods Do you live with your mum? Our mums are now precious as that is all that we have left of ‘our parents’. I have a sister in Australia and another sister who has a young family, so it is mostly me who stays over for one night a week, and then now usually we go out to eat together and go shopping. I feel so guilty when I have to leave her all alone when I have to go as she tells me she is lonely. I often hide my tears, whenever I think of dad, and go in a private place where mum can’t see me as she tells me not to think about it as it will make us feel worse etc. I just let her open the subject when she wants to talk as it gets too much for both of us. Yesterday when I got in my car after I stayed with her, the floods of tears were uncontrollable, as I knew I had bottled up feelings for too long, and it adds fuel when you hear songs whilst driving with words that can easily be linked to dad. I really do struggle…added to this its all the guilt of leaving mum on her own! I also have this enormous fear of what will I do when she also goes. I can’t bear these feelings of needing to cope with so much emotional and physical pain, human and wonder if they will ever end or can I ever get back to normal.

Sheila I like the fact that you are able to select who you talk to dependant on their attitude. I do not always have the choice of whom I can choose as I have to work with people or have friends that ring me, who have a posiitve approach about everything. I have learnt just not to open up totally to certain people as their answers could be part of something they could be also struggling with and I feel I am still ‘raw’ and not able to take it. I just am more select in what I open up to them about and select the few that can listen me out.

Hi Jules,

I do not think we talk about death and grief until it happens to us. Maybe people just dont know what to say or they worry about saying the wrong thing. It is so much worse when people just walk away from our pain. I feel the people who listen more and can empathise are people who have suffered a grief themselves, like we are doing here.

Dear Cherryblossom

I have to be honest it is probably not the best approach because it just shrinks the number of people who you have contact with. But some of the comments from friends have been really insensitive and caused me a lot of upset. Equally in terms of family it is a matter of respect for my husband. I tried on numerous occasions to shrug off insensitive comments until it became obvious that they had moved on and were not happy that I was not going at their pace. For a while I did give them the benefit of the doubt thinking it was perhaps their way of dealing with their own grief but following a number of incidents it became apparent this was not the case.

I am so sorry that you have lost your father. My dad made me the person that I am (was) and influenced my choices/pathways throughout my life. Before my husband died and when we first became grandparents my husband turned and said to me that if he was half as good a granda as my dad then he would be happy. My husband did not have a dad when growing up so that was the affect that my dad even had on my husband. And my husband was a wonderful granda - equally as good as my dad - in the short time he was part of our grandson’s life. As I know you will, treasure your memories.