It’s not surprising that people don’t feel that they know what to say to someone who’s bereaved. I didn’t before Julian, my husband, died this July. And I don’t know it all now when I’m speaking to a friend who lost his wife even more recently. I know what I have found supportive, but some of that has changed as the weeks have passed since his death. For instance, I loved when my grown up kids did some of the pre-funeral paperwork for me when one particular form was too upsetting. Nowadays what I find helps is when people talk about Julian rather than avoiding the subject in case they upset me. Truth is, I can’t get enough of remembering him; such a wonderful man . What do other people want from their nearest and dearest?
Yes Lucy, remembrance and memories are two edged swords. They can lift us up or cast us down. I am not adverse to anyone talking about my wife provided it’s positive and has some sincerity behind it. Sympathy we do not want. It’s empathy we need, and understanding of how we feel, and that can only come about if the person has been there.
It’s why I came on here and it has helped me enormously to come to terms with my loss. It’s not selfish to say that by helping others we help ourselves. He will always be with you in your heart just as my wife is.
Be kind to yourself and others who grieve with you. Blessings. John.
Hello Lucy, I now feel the same as you in that I can, and in fact, need people to talk about Helen, my wife who died 5 months ago.
It was Helen’s birthday this week and I was in pieces building up to it. But my sons and very best friends agreed to celebrate the day and talk about Helen, and it worked. She’s a great person and deserves to be talked about.
The trouble is I’ve now reverted back to absolute misery, dont know why. Hey ho, it’ll pass.
I totally agree. I talk about Frankie all the time. I hate it when people avoid the subject. Guess it’s a typical British stiff upper lip thing. I look at photos and listen to music. My friend’s let me talk freely which helps massively. It’s Frankie’s birthday next month which will be tough but I will do something on the day to honour his life. My friends and I plan to build an outdoor bar called Frankie’s because we always had bbqs in the summer. He will live on in my heart💙
Yes John, you’re right, empathy not sympathy. I’m new to this forum but am finding relief in being able to talk about my husband with people who have some understanding even if they didn’t know him
HI Jim. A good idea how you celebrated Helen’s birthday. I might try the same with my family and friends. And it’s understandable that you will still have times when you feel miserable. Having such a good support network will help you grieve the way you need to but their kindnesses don’t change the fact that you are grieving, which inevitably includes the full spectrum of grief’s emotions. We can distract ourselves for so long but the devastation of losing someone you love will catch up with you eventually. Personally I feel I need to ride the storms of grief’s emotions in order to learn to live with them. And strangely, I feel closer to my husband when I feel the pain of his loss.
I love the sound of that bar
Hi. Lucy. You highlight the fact that we need to ‘go through’ this process of grief and not try to ‘get over it’. By going through it we feel the pain, oh yes, don’t we just, but we also feel that love which we think we may have lost. No way can that ever happen! It’s not the flu to be got over and forgotten, although some outsiders may think so. It hits our very soul and Spirit. There is no worse human emotion than the grief that accompanies loss. It’s very much a life trauma.
It’s two years to the day I lost my wife. The pain is still there, but more in the background. I have learned to live with grief and life does look brighter. The one consolation through all this has been what my wife would have wanted for me.
Yes ‘riding the storms’ is what it’s all about. In another post I have likened this to being in a boat riding out the storm.
We do eventually come to a safer haven. But it takes time and so much patience.
Thank you Lucy for understanding your post. John.
Hello Jonathan, You always write such positive posts and try to uplift others but today being the anniversary of your lovely wife’s death must be especially hard. As you say, she will never be forgotten and time will hopefully ease the pain a little but you never get over it. Nurture yourself a bit today. I Just wanted you to know you are not alone but very much in our thoughts today.
Hope you are coping as best as with today.
You are always there for everybody,now our turn to be there for you.
Thank you both for those kind words. We all have anniversaries and they can be painful. With another Christmas coming up it does not help, but I have survived two others and will no doubt, survive this one. In spite of all the commotion on the site from time to time, you kind and loving folk are always there. it gives us all a fresh heart to go on.
Love and Blessings to you. John.
Thinking of you, today, John
Hello Jonathan. I just want to let you know that I am thinking of you. Today must be very poignant - time marches on relentlessly. Thank you for writing so many thoughtful, helpful comments. Christie x
In my thoughts today John. And to everyone else who has upcoming anniversaries💙
Thank you all. It’s still good to know that there are some who understand and reach out with genuine empathy.
Blessings and hugs. John.
Hello friends, this is my very 1sr post and I am with you all the way on your feelings if your loss.
I list my husband in Aoril after a very short but painful death suffering from pancreatic cancer and 3 weeks later I list my mum of 94 with COVID.
I was devastated going through this trauma.
It definitely is 2 steps forward and 1 back.
Some days I dont even know who I am crying for.
I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve lost two of your loved ones in such close succession. You’ve come to the right place for a community who are more likely to understand what you’re going through. Talk to us about whatever you like, if it helps.