QUESTION.

I have a friend who lost his wife of 25yrs marriage 4yrs ago. For her last 10yrs she needed him to care for her in the most difficult of circumstances. He clearly loved her and still does so he says. And even to this day he never stops talking about her. After she died he said he’d shed a few tears at her cremation but that was all. Within two weeks of his wife’s passing he went on holiday to America and a month after that to Thailand. Since the cremation he says he’s never cried or become emotional about his loss. My friend just behaves as if his life has now changed and simply gets on with it quite happily. He himself doesn’t understand why he has accepted her passing so pragmatically and accepts others like myself who grieve traditionally cannot understand him. WHAT are your views or feelings about this?

James.

It could be that he hasn’t dealt with his grief and it will come out much later - this has happened with other people. I think going on holiday is probably just trying to escape the reality, To be honest, I just wanted to get in a car and drive away from it all.

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Dear Jules4

Ive considered your view myself.

And my friend is very materialistic always buying things on Amazon plus being over the the top with being house proud. Always giving me a blow by blow account of what he’s done to clean his house on a daily basis. Not typical male behaviour I consider, being a male myself, and knowing many others in the past.

It sounds very much like a front that he’s putting in to try to show that he is coping. That would worry me more than someone who was showing their true feelings as what happens when the ‘front’ slips?

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My dear James71, I must admit that I echo other members opinions on this. I do know of an elderly couple who were married for 60 yrs, unfortunately her husband passed, not long ago I might add. They couldn’t have a funeral so he had a private cremation and she would receive his ashes. Now when he passed this lady of 60yrs marriage went home and gutted her house completely of her husband… Everything, clothes, photos, ps4 everything that reminded her was removed from sight. So to try to understand your friend’s process is tricky, but it does seem that with the absolute desolation of losing his wife, his defence against being drawn down into a place of no return is to baracade himself from the pain and put up a defence so he doesn’t have to revisit that emotional abyss. Even talking about her he can rationalise the situation without the sorrow. Everyone has their own way of dealing with grief. I have been told by numerous professionals that nothing is ever wrong.
The only thing I could suggest is patience and understanding. Without that you’ve got one hand tied behind your back already.

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Hi setantil,
Thats similar to what my friend did. Within two weeks of his wife dying he gave all her clothes away to charity. But to be fare he has many photos of her in the house.

He says he’s confused himself as to why he feels nothing emotional about his wife’s death. Yet he never stops talking about her.

People are strange creatures

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