Author Topic: I have lost the one I cherish..hope this helps....  (Read 1882 times)

HoldingOn

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I have lost the one I cherish..hope this helps....
« on: September 05, 2015, 09:17:51 AM »
I came across this when I was a new widow..and just now found it again..and would like to share here..as I hope it brings you perpective and comfort and it did when I first read it....
Wishing you all peace...


I have lost the one I love, the one I cherish.

How I am Feeling
? I am numb. I am in shock. I am emotionally exhausted.
? I am in pain. A horrible, gut-wrenching, intense, unimaginable, and indescribable pain.
? My mind is totally occupied with processing my loss. I am trying to understand what has happened. I am attempting to make sense of it all. I am trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.

? I can't sleep. I want to sleep all day. I am physically exhausted.
? I can't eat. I can't stop eating.
? I can't be bothered cooking. I can't be bothered cleaning. I don't want to go shopping.
? Everything is overwhelming. Small tasks are overwhelming. Small details are overwhelming. I just don't want to know about it right now.
? Nothing sticks in my mind. I walk out the door without my keys. I forget what I was going to do. I forget everything except that my love has gone.

? I am going through tidal waves of emotion. One minute I might be laughing, the next I may be in tears.
? Sometimes I want to talk. Sometimes I need to be alone. Sometimes I need silent company.
Sometimes I need all of these things in the space of 5 minutes.

? Some days I just want to curl up in bed and do nothing. Some days I will keep myself totally occupied in an attempt to escape.
? Sometimes I will be intense. Sometimes I will be irrational. Sometimes I will be snappy, and often I will be totally lost in myself.

? Often I may not have a clue as to what I want, but it only takes a moment for me to realize what I don't want.
? I am hypersensitive and will often be offended by things you say to try and make me feel better.

? I want to wail. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to just sit.
? I have no choice how I react. This is coming from deep inside me and intelligence and self control have no effect.

? Sometimes it so hard for me to respond to phone calls or letters or emails, but I truly appreciate that you are doing it, so please don't stop just because I don't respond.
? I will not be fully-functional at work for a long time. In fact, I may never work with the same intensity again as my perspectives of what is important and what isn't has been changed permanently.
? I still want to laugh. I need to laugh. I may suddenly go quiet mid-laugh, when hit by a sudden reminder, but I desperately need to continue to laugh.


Emotional Things You Can Do
? Let me talk about him/her. I want to talk about our love. I want to tell you how we met, our last days, and everything in between. I want to show you his/her picture, tell you how wonderful (s)he was.
? Let me cry. Your acceptance that I need to cry and your permission to allow me to is one of the best gifts you can give me. Hand me a tissue, and do your best to sit quietly and let me cry.
? Once you have allowed me to open up or cry, please don't change the subject or try to stop me.
I know you feel uncomfortable that I am in pain. Don't. Changing the subject, trying to stop me crying just makes me hold everything inside, and eats away at me.

? Tell me all your stories of when my love was sweet, courageous, or funny. I need to hear everything about him/her. If you don't know many, find out some from those who are too scared to approach me now.
? Let me try to tell you what is going on inside me. I won't succeed, but I need to try.
You don't have to do anything. Just allowing me to do it, and allowing me to feel what I need to feel means so much.
? It is really hard for me to tell other people about my loss. I'm working every moment of the day- minute to minute, hour to hour to deal with my emotions. Trying to deal with someone else's reaction or discomfort is the last thing I need, so if
someone needs to know it would be good if you could explain it to them.

What Not To Do
? Don't tell me you understand how I feel, or that you can imagine the pain I am going through, unless you have lost the love of your life. Trust me, you can't. If I can't, and I am going through it, ? your mind will just not let you voluntarily imagine this much pain.
? Don't try to compare my loss to the loss of a parent, or a friend, or an acquaintance or pet, it's not the same. I understand that all of these things are painful, but it is not the same.
? Don't ask how I'm doing unless you really want to know. I am assuming that as you know, and as you have asked, you truly want to know.
? Don't try to save me from my feelings or make me feel better. I know you can't bear to see me in so much pain, but I need to go through all of these feelings whether I want to or not.
? Once you have "given me permission" to talk or cry, please don't try and distract me with small talk. I know it makes you feel better if I appear happy, but my pain is ever-present and it makes me feel like you don't care.
? Don't tell me everything will be okay.
? Don't tell me "(s)he's always with you".
? Don't tell me "(s)he's no longer in pain".
? Don't tell me "(s)he's looking down on you from heaven".
? Don't tell me "you're lucky that you had such love, some people don't".
? Don't tell me "(s)he's in a better place".
?However, Don't be surprised if I say these things to you?

? Don't ever tell me "you must be strong". If ever there's a time I should be permitted to be weak, this is it.
? Don't tell me "don?t cry". If ever there was something to cry over, this is it!?

What's more, if I only "need to talk" to you once every few weeks, chances are I have
been strong and right now I really need you to understand that I am exhausted and need help when I do reach out.
? Whatever you do don't tell me "If I were you I'd?." Until you are in the same situation, you have absolutely no idea what you will do. Your logical brain has absolutely no control.
? Never try telling me "life goes on", or "(s)he wouldn't want you to cry",
or "God will never give you more than you can handle" or any other meaningless platitudes.
? Don't try to solve my "problem". Unless you can bring him/her back, it can't be "solved".
? Don't feel the need to fill in silences. I know the silences are hard for you, but if you can accept them, you are helping me immensely.
? Please don't try and help me find "closure", or tell me I need to find "closure". Closure is an obscene word for me right now, as is "moving on"/"move on".

Practical Things You Can Do
I understand that a lot of you find it hard to cope with my emotional pain.
Hate to see me hurting so. If you can't help me emotionally, you can help me practically.

? Don't ask me what you can do to help. I have no idea, I am overwhelmed.
? Bring me some meals that I can just put in the microwave.
? Find out what sort of bread, milk, toilet paper, etc I use and bring me them to me. I have
no idea I need them until I run out, so don't bother asking me if I need anything. I will always need tissues?.
? If you are an organized person offer to manage my bills. Collect the bills as they come in and let me know when they need to be paid, and make sure I do. Time has no meaning for me right now. It's only when the cut-off notices come that I realize I need to do something.
? Get copies of photos I don't have from family and friends and put them in an album for me. It will be one of the most precious gifts you could give me.

Practical Things I Need To Do
? I need to surround myself with beauty.
? Sit in the sun and just soak it up.
? Enjoy nature. Look at the majesty of mountains, and enjoy the miracle of a blade of grass. Go to the beach and look/listen to the waves.
? Have a massage.
? Write in a journal.
? Cry when I need to. Tears are a release.
? Not make any big decisions for a while. A big enough life change has already taken place.

Remember
? Grief is an emotional injury that requires time to heal. Not a week, not a month, not even a year, it takes as long as it takes. It is similar to major physical injury. You may not be able to see the wounds on the inside, but they are there.
? Real-life is nothing like TV.
? I will not "get over it" - I will learn to live with my loss and incorporate the lessons into my life.
? I will get better over time, but I will never forget my loved one.

The pain ebbs and flows, but never goes completely.

Death ends a life?not a relationship.
When all else is lost?love lives on?


w1d0w3r

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Re: I have lost the one I cherish..hope this helps....
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 04:16:59 PM »
This is beautiful; it encapsulates so much and importantly speaks not only to us, but to others in our lives. It has articulated so many things that helped me understand how other people see me that I had yet to see put into words. Thank you.

I hope you don't mind that I have taken some of the "You" statements, compressed/edited them a bit, and added some things so I can print this list on cards I can keep in my desk to share them with people I work with. This way, I'll have a better way to foster healthy communication, especially for the next person who arrives at my office door having only recently heard the news.

Work is my altruistic distraction; most days I like my job (in healthcare IT), and my efforts (although indirectly) ultimately help people who are sick or injured or at risk of death. I've found it hard to walk the line between work and coping, especially since I have a "work family" of colleagues - many of which have really gone out of their way to help see me through this. Others just don't know what to say or do, and while I know there's no intentional lack of sympathy, this is for them:
_______________________________________
Feel free to fold this and read it later if you want to. This is my way of thanking you for respecting the memory of my late wife and taking your time to offer condolences and show support.
  • Thank you for talking with me about a painful and uncomfortable subject. You may have asked me if there's anything you can do to help.
  • You just did. Thank you.
  • You are probably uncomfortable with the emotional nature and accompanying pain of my uncommon circumstance. Knowing I've passively put you in this position makes me uncomfortable too. So here's a way we can make this easier:
  • I respectfully ask you to accept that this is my reality, and the only thing that can and will make things better for me is time. In the meantime, I would like to focus on the good we can do through our work.
  • While I will always try to do my best, I may not be back to "100% pre-widower productivity" at work for a long time. This is due in part to the fact that my perspective on life has changed. The upside of this change is that I will be kinder, more empathetic, and more emotionally intelligent when I interact with my colleagues and our customers. Our goal of helping healthcare providers to minimize the number of preventable deaths now has a much more personal meaning for me.
  • Some days will be harder than others for me. Please don't take it personally if I'm quiet or don't respond quickly.
  • It's natural to habitually or intentionally ask people "How are you doing?", "How are you?", etc. Please know that I'll happily & normally respond to these greetings.
  • It's OK to ask me how I'm doing about my loss, progress, etc. I'll answer honestly, and I will appreciate your support - but please don't ask unless you want to know and have time to listen.
  • If you don't know how to bring it up next time, just ask me "Do you have a minute? How are you feeling today?"
Thank you for your kindness and understanding.
_______________________________________
I can't believe I just made a "How to talk to your widowed co-worker" pamphlet. At least writing out this post feels good. Maybe I'll show it to one or two of my closest work friends to get their reaction as to where this idea falls on the crazy-o-meter.

I hope it brings you perspective and comfort and it did when I first read it....

Yes & yes. Thank you so much for sharing and posting here. I'm 7 weeks in and I needed to read this and respond in this way. I hope my reply wasn't too tangential to your intent for the thread; I'm grateful you took the time to contribute this.

Death ends a life?not a relationship.
When all else is lost?love lives on?

Wise and so very true.

Peace and love,
w1d0w3r
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller

WifeLess

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Re: I have lost the one I cherish..hope this helps....
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2015, 08:10:38 PM »
HoldingOn,

Thank you for reposting this for newer members. It is called "Letter To A Friend", which appeared on the old YWBB. It was also previously reposted on this new site here:

http://widda.org/index.php/topic,7.0.html

--- WifeLess

Jen

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Re: I have lost the one I cherish..hope this helps....
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2015, 10:10:23 PM »
Hugs, hugs, and more hugs...
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton