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Seeing/meeting people who don't know about your loss


widower2

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Wondering how people have dealt with this, esp when getting to know new people. I have a new job and in casual conversation it's hard to "dance around" things - for ex. over lunch the other day we were talking about our dogs and stories of funny things they did, how we got them etc etc. I started to tell about ours, or should I say mine now, and kept cutting myself off because I couldn't without saying how she got him, or how "we" were out with him one day and this or that etc. While it's not something I'm trying to hide, it's also not something I care to just blurt out or mention at all unless it becomes basically unavoidable, like if someone asked if I was married or recently spoken for etc, if for no other reason than I know all too well how uncomfortable it can make people.

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W just tell them if they ask. -- I have done it that way, and then they don't go deeper into it. They say something like oh I am sorry and I say I am sorry also... I am sorry he got sick and I am sorry he could not get better - then I drop it. YOU will be fine my friend.

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Thx Caremal but with people I've just met they aren't about to just ask out of nowhere - I mean more like when you're talking about things with people that don't know - I'd rather not go "well (her name) and I were doing this or that" because the obvious question follows oh who is that etc and it all comes out. Again I'm not really trying to hide it, but I'd rather not "go there" if I don't have to.

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Its the new you.

No easy answer but it has an upside. New people will see you as you and this is not always a bad thing.

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Again thanks but - and I hope this doesn't come out wrong - FYI I'm not looking for a "don't worry it'll be OK"/pat on the head here :) I'm wondering specifically how people have dealt with these situations.

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I dont introduce it. If it comes up it comes up and is relevent, I say.

Speaking frankly if they didnt know my wife then after a 20 second 'oh I'm sorry' it is done with.

I dont want to be known as a widower to new people, I want to be known as me. I also always feel awkward talking about loss with people who didnt know us. It feels like a playing for sympathy thing.

Not really single though, have no idea when I will or take off our ring but dont care what others think and if people want to brand me well thats their problem.

Dunno if I can balence the want to be known as me with the wearing of the ring but that is just the way it is. Hope no pats.

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I was filling in the online registration for my sons' football. Came to the part of parents information. Stupid form wouldn't let me skip parent two. Totally fustrated with that.

I find when I talk to people I keep saying "we", when I say "we" I mean my sons and I. Should I start saying I?

My sons have mentioned to me that they are always fearful when we are meeting new people. That I will say that my husband their father just past away. I totally understand why. Widower 2 it is an unsettling thing to talk about.

I don't even know how to answer the phone if it is for my husband. I try to screen the call, but honestly if they don't have caller ID I don't trust the person on the phone.

I too don't know when it is time to take off the ring. I had a few people mention it too me. I have no idea how to handle that question either. <_<

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I dont want to be known as a widower to new people, I want to be known as me. I also always feel awkward talking about loss with people who didnt know us. It feels like a playing for sympathy thing.

Exactly, that's part of why I try not to go there. But again it can be hard not to when having casual conversation...I find myself replacing "we" with "I" about some experience or story etc. Which is fine, no big deal, but sometimes it becomes hard, I don't mean emotionally hard but from a strictly telling the story kind of way. For ex. at one point people were talking about slow and fast talkers and she was a fast talker but I had to check myself where normally I would just talk about how she was (etc). Make sense? It can simply make casual conversation awkward because of how much they were a part of your life.

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Needy, I think you can take off the ring or leave it on, it is up to you and how you feel. I have a wedding ring that my husband had custom made for me through a Vedic jeweler that is based on my star chart when I was born with the stones chosen by the planets in my 'house' on the day of my birth, so it is very special and significant and a total one of a kind. I will wear it always, but I moved it to my right hand. That way, people I don't know don't ask about it. Oddly enough, when I wore it on my left almost everyone, everywhere would ask about it, but now that it is on my right nobody bothers to ask. I found that eases my mind. My anxiety is at an all time high, and my therapist says that is how I am processing my grief, so anything to keep my anxiety down a notch or two is helpful.

As for the "we" or "I", I usually just say, if it comes up, "My husband passed away." I don't give any details, and I try to say it in a tone that conveys "don't ask." Most people pick up on it except for the socially awkward ones, and then I say, nicely, "I prefer not to discuss it, thanks."

My kids don't want to discuss it, either, and we have talked about how to handle it at home, and my kids and I even role played it, as dorky as it sounds (their therapist suggested we do so). The kids have also found if they say, "My dad passed away." in a certain tone, again, most people drop it ... most people. Again, the "I prefer not to discuss it, thanks." is usually the end of it.

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Sammijo2424

I find myself referring to everything as OUR house or our whatever, and I always say we did this or that, fortunately I live in a town of 15,000, and most people knew my husband, he was born and raised here, and most know he has passed away, if not, I just say He passed away and leave it at that, I refuse to discuss details, it is just too painful and feel if they don't know it is none of their business anyway. My husband passed away 2-8-13, I still wear my wedding ring and have no intention of taking it off, I am still married to him, I also wear his wedding ring on a long gold chain around my neck, I think I will always wear it, have not taken off necklace since I go the chain, it was on his hand when he died and I feel closer to him having it on.

People can be so insensitive asking what happened, etc but I think they just don't know what to say, somebody is not suppose to die at 55 unless they have cancer, etc.

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I am having the same problem Sammijo. My husband was 48 years old and passed away in his sleep. Nothing was found on post mortum. We are waiting for more testing which could take 6-9 months. The family doctor told me generally when it goes this long they never find the cause of death. People love to give me their thoughts on his cause of death. I really don't appreciate it.

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Needy, just a thought because I'm drawing from my personal experience here. When I give my thoughts about what might have happened to my girlfriend, it's partly in hopes that I will get some information. Along the lines of "well that couldn't be it because X happened".

Again, my situation is different because I'm being left in the dark, but its possible other people try to cope the same way.

As for people that don't know about my loss, I seem to be both ways on it. When I found out I wouldn't get to see her before cremation, I went to the grocery store to but some balloons. The idea was to tape a picture of her one a big one, and write something nice about her in the others. The lady working there said "I'm sure she is going to love these", to which I replied "I hope do". She then asked who they were for. I paused a moment and said my girlfriend that had just passed away. She gave the obligatory I'm sorry and went quickly back to work.

I find it easier to discuss with people that don't know me as well. I guess I still really like talking about my girlfriend.

When it comes to people that know me better, I seem to be more distant. I get agitated when they ask what I've been up to lately and I try to avoid conversation all together. At the office is a particularly good example of this. My cubicle neighbor has known me for over 2 1/2 years now. I asked him for advice when I first met my girlfriend, he doesn't know what happened though. But when I finally came back to work he would send me emails saying "who have you been interviewing with? Why are you dressed nice? Where have you been if you haven't been interviewing?" It took a lot to not just stand up and punch him.

Not sure why its working for me that way though. I think I'm partially crazy now anyway.

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ken, given what you're going through, you'd have to really be nuts NOT to be "partially crazy" if you follow me. I know it's a tired cliche but hang in there.

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Yesterday one of my old classmates was in town for a work shop. Joined her and a bunch of ladies for supper. Was having a wonderful time then the conversation switch to talking about husbands, Then one of the ladies asked what my husband does for a living. Sure put a big dent into the evening.

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ouch. Sorry about that. This new job it's bound to come up for me sooner or later. I prefer later.

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Yadairaisabel

Widower I can def relate to this. My son started soccer this year and I began to participate a lot with the team and eventually the question popped up! I had no idea what to say! I still wear my ring and people just assume so when they ask its hard to deal with =( but you know its going to be ok! they were a part of our life and in a way they still are so you may not start of a conversation with "hello my name is so and so and Im a widow" but when the subject comes up just take a deep breath tell them what happened and hopefully that person wont feel uncomfortable and honestly they shouldnt feel uncomfortable but we all know how weird peoples reactions can be.

God bless you!!!

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I agree, I prefer later. I also hate the statement "you are one strong lady".

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Wondering how people have dealt with this, esp when getting to know new people. I have a new job and in casual conversation it's hard to "dance around" things - for ex. over lunch the other day we were talking about our dogs and stories of funny things they did, how we got them etc etc. I started to tell about ours, or should I say mine now, and kept cutting myself off because I couldn't without saying how she got him, or how "we" were out with him one day and this or that etc. While it's not something I'm trying to hide, it's also not something I care to just blurt out or mention at all unless it becomes basically unavoidable, like if someone asked if I was married or recently spoken for etc, if for no other reason than I know all too well how uncomfortable it can make people.

I have had the same issue occasioinally for 18 years now. I lost my youngest son in 1995, and it was devastating, but eventually I got to the point that I could cope with it in what I consider a healthy manner. Throughout the years, I find myself referring to "the boys" (I have another son still living), but then the person I am talking to never hears me mention the younger one in a recent context. A few times, I have been asked about it, and I just tell them the truth. They are usually a little uncomfortable, but I just tell them it's okay, and that I don't mind talking about it. This eases the discomfort that they are having.

My recent loss was of my husband on April 28, so it's still fresh in my mind and very painful. I am a nurse, and last weekend, I had a patient that I was talking to, and the subject of being a widow came up. She asked me if I am a widow, which took me by surprise, and my response was "Well, now I am", and I left it at that. She looked at my left hand, where I still wear my wedding ring, and looked a little confused, but she said nothing more about it. It's hard to say that I am a widow. I never expected to be, at least not at this age. From my experience with losing my son, I know that it will become easier as time passes, and it's just something that I will have to adjust to. When you feel like a part of you is missing, it's so difficult to re-imagine yourself as something else.

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