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Do people say this to you?


BBB

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I often have people tell me that "Your wife would want you to be happy". Obviously. If I got to ask my wife if she would want me to be miserable or happy today, she of course would want me to be happy. That's logical. However, my issue is that I derived my happiness through her. SHE is what made me happy. Maybe that's weird because people don't seem to understand that.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, foreverhis said:

I've come to the conclusion that just because someone says something just trying to be comforting or to connect with us, it doesn't mean we have to simply smile and think, "They meant well."  Not that I'm saying we should react harshly or in anger all the time, but our society is so clueless about death, loss, and grief that if we don't gently try to educate others, none of us will ever learn how to help others who are grieving.

You are very strong and generous. And you are right, of course, but I just did not feel up to it. Like someone juggling 5 burning torches for the first time, I just did not feel like I could reach out and catch someone's knife and handle it in the mix. I just let it drop.

But you are right, someone ought to *gently* point out some things - there is a page on the hospice web site for "What to say to a grieving person" - but my neighbor would not have had the chance to see it. Maybe I would write an editorial to the local newspaper about it one day. It would be much easier to talk to people that way, rather than after they said something hurtful they did not mean, I think.

In that vein, for people in the United States, I did like that video from Beau about what to say or not say to a vet on Memorial Day...

(53) Let's talk about the dos and don'ts of Memorial Day.... - YouTube

 

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1 hour ago, Roxeanne said:

Bennie i saw that clip of Dalai lama..since my early days of grief it helped me at least to understand that i was not alone in my pain.

What a treasure your video with your husband talking about some difficult arguments!

One of my close friend in the early times i lost my partner said to me: " you don't have to think about what it was.."

People have no idea!

She is clever and sensitive...but people have no idea !

You are so right, Roxanne. I don’t think it’s possible to completely understand what it is like until you’ve had such a loss. I didn’t have a good understanding of it myself until I knew that I would be losing my husband. The people who have helped me the most are the ones who have also lost their spouse. They have been there and know what you are going through. Those people are the ones who let you know that you aren’t completely alone in your grief, and who give you hope that you will be able to survive the pain of that terrible loss

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I feel like alot of people try to comfort people who are grieving, but don't really know how. For example I had people tell me "It's okay you will find someone else or you will find love again". That's not something you say to someone who lost their husband. For me it just made me mad and want to cuss that person out. Saying he's in a better place doesn't help for me either. Some people it might help if the person lived in pain, but my husband died young. (39 years old) So to say he's in a better place than with me doesn't help me. I understand the meaning behind it though. 

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12 hours ago, Bennie Jets said:

You are very strong and generous. And you are right, of course, but I just did not feel up to it. Like someone juggling 5 burning torches for the first time, I just did not feel like I could reach out and catch someone's knife and handle it in the mix. I just let it drop.

It's true that I am stronger now than I was 2-1/2 years ago.  That's probably also why I have started to be able to gently explain to some people why saying certain things is painful and often hurts more than it helps.  There is no way, simply no way, I could have done that in the first year or more.  Not that I think I was weak exactly because every day I got out of bed, got dressed, and tried to do one "useful" thing.  Doing that was a triumph during those months.  But without my literal better half, my support, love, comfort, and best friend, I felt as if I had nothing to hold me up.  There will always be that hole in my life and I'm sure that my heart will never fully mend.  Although time doesn't heal everything, it is very slowly helping me rebuild some of the strength I had with John by my side.  And that is what has helped me speak up sometimes.

You are just at the very beginning of your loss and grief.  Of course all you can do right now is breathe in and out.  No one should expect otherwise and I apologize if I made you feel that you should.  Right now your only "job" is to survive each day, one to the next.  Your analogy is quite apt, I think.  You have more than enough to handle as it is without worrying about what anyone else says or does.

I am glad you found your way here.  I can't tell you how much it has helped me to have the support and understanding of others who "get it" in ways no one else can.

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22 hours ago, Bennie Jets said:

there is a page on the hospice web site for "What to say to a grieving person" - but my neighbor would not have had the chance to see it.

But we can print out something and give it to them later.  It doesn't help the current moment but maybe they'll think before they speak next time to someone facing loss?

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2018/01/what-to-say-or-not-to-person-in-grief.html
https://themighty.com/2016/12/what-to-say-to-someone-whos-grieving/

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10 hours ago, foreverhis said:

It's true that I am stronger now than I was 2-1/2 years ago.  That's probably also why I have started to be able to gently explain to some people why saying certain things is painful and often hurts more than it helps.  There is no way, simply no way, I could have done that in the first year or more.  Not that I think I was weak exactly because every day I got out of bed, got dressed, and tried to do one "useful" thing.  Doing that was a triumph during those months.  But without my literal better half, my support, love, comfort, and best friend, I felt as if I had nothing to hold me up.  There will always be that hole in my life and I'm sure that my heart will never fully mend.  Although time doesn't heal everything, it is very slowly helping me rebuild some of the strength I had with John by my side.  And that is what has helped me speak up sometimes.

You are just at the very beginning of your loss and grief.  Of course all you can do right now is breathe in and out.  No one should expect otherwise and I apologize if I made you feel that you should.  Right now your only "job" is to survive each day, one to the next.  Your analogy is quite apt, I think.  You have more than enough to handle as it is without worrying about what anyone else says or does.

I am glad you found your way here.  I can't tell you how much it has helped me to have the support and understanding of others who "get it" in ways no one else can.

Wow - I am in absolute agreement with you again!

This site, and may I say *you* in it, are such a tremendous help, comfort, way for me to breathe at the moment. I don't know how I would do it without you! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to respond! It means the world to me now.

"tried to do one 'useful' thing" - yes, exactly, that is my goal at the moment, too. I even gotten to the point where I realized I am so raw, I need to gently ask myslef to consider doing X the next day, and only if it suits. Then I usually do it and it is no problem. But I cannot ask myself to do things like I used to, like a slave driver. I used to do a lot more than I felt comfortable in a day. That is not in the picture now. I tread softly.

No appology needed - If anything *I* wanted to push myself to say something, but had to write 'out loud' that I have my reasons not to. It was more a conversation with myself.

Yes, I am so glad, too, that I found my way here. A friend of mine sent me a set of links and this site was the first one. They were all supposed to be reputable. I did not explore the others (yet), and am so grateful for this one right now! I was just about to start a new topic talking about that. Maybe I still will. This site, and writing things on paper, and you tube videos on grief and handling guilt and pain have been my life boat so far.

Thank you @foreverhis for being there! 

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luckystarhongkong
On 2/16/2021 at 12:55 AM, Bennie Jets said:

'll go water some plants that need water. I am not happy, though. Just grateful we had the time together, me with such a fantastic angel, and hanging in there for now.

[Yeah (a few hours later) everything has lost its joy - the plants used to occupy me and I was excited about new growth - now everything just reminds me of Alan. Nobody asks me anymore about my plants when I come back into the bedroom. He is not here. It hurts so much.]

yeah that's exactly how I feel: me and my wife have a little balcony garden; we like potted plants; a few days before my wife passed we went to the flower market and bought some morning glory and fuchsia(some of them are still there). We used to be excited to see them grow and blossom. I could spend hours arranging these potted plants in various way to make it look perfect; now I have no joy in them anymore; I water them every morning for 1 min and that's it. 

On Sundays I used to wake up early and go jogging for an hour or so. When I got home, it's just the time she wakes up; we'll prepare simple breakfast and spend hours chattering in our balcony garden. She loved that garden with a panorama view of the green part of our city. Every day I went to work she'd wave goodbye to me on the balcony when I walk down the road in front of our mansion.

The month before she passed she said to me,' everyday when I see you walking down the road to work you look so lonely; I don't want you to be lonely.' She had a severe sepsis 2 months earlier and was treated in ITU. That was dangerous. But miraculously after some really hard time she recovered and return home on X'mas day 2020.  Even though she was improving well, she tended to talk more about life and death. She told me she should have gone in the ITU; but she missed me and our 14 yo daughter so she struggled to come back. I would tried to comfort her by saying that you'd be OK and we will be together until we got old. Just when we were thinking we will be fine suddenly she had an unrelated acute illness and passed. Eventually, I am all by myself.

The problem in modern society is that people don't know how to face death; I don't blame anyone: I used to be one of them; I used to think that people who lose their love ones should be OK after some time and should 'get going' and I found it awkward to be in the company of widow/widower. Mainstream culture makes people feel they have control over their lives/the lives of their love ones but in fact, as everyone on this forum knows, we have little control when it comes to life and death. I was thinking if I am fortunate enough to be able to go through this grief, I should start a forum like this one in my own city(I'm in Hong Kong) in Cantonese so other people losing their love ones would get some support. That's what my wife wanted to do right before she left: to help others. 

Thank you everyone on this forum. Your kind words mean a lot to me. 

 

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On 2/15/2021 at 9:38 AM, BBB said:

I often have people tell me that "Your wife would want you to be happy".

It would have taken a lot of will power for me to stop from saying something like "wow really, Capt Obvious? Thanks for that brilliant insight; and here all the time I was thinking she'd want me to be miserable. Thank God you came along!"

Good grief. People...

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9 hours ago, widower2 said:

It would have taken a lot of will power for me to stop from saying something like "wow really, Capt Obvious? Thanks for that brilliant insight; and here all the time I was thinking she'd want me to be miserable. Thank God you came along!"

Good grief. People...

:D

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11 hours ago, widower2 said:

It would have taken a lot of will power for me to stop from saying something like "wow really, Capt Obvious? Thanks for that brilliant insight; and here all the time I was thinking she'd want me to be miserable. Thank God you came along!"

Good grief. People...

:lol:  Oh yes!  "Thanks a lot, Captain Obvious" is one of my absolute favorite internal things to say.  I've even said it about someone else to a select few of my "posse" who I trust 100%.  They get why I am so irked and can help me move past it.  But I think I mentioned that I haven't had too much of that anyway, so it doesn't happen often.  I'm lucky in that way.

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Honestly I haven't either. I guess that's lucky in a way...although the flip side is largely people haven't said ANYTHING to me, which IMO is worse. 

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