Author Topic: Grief and Friends  (Read 382 times)

DragonTears

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Grief and Friends
« on: August 26, 2017, 01:40:16 PM »
I'll be honest.  I haven't had many close friends over the years, so it is hard for me to judge what a good friend really is.  But not hearing from a single friend on weekends, especially the long holiday weekends, doesn't seem like real friendship to me.  And I've had many long holiday weekends over the years where the only people I talked to were strangers on Craigslist, who were also home alone with nothing to do.

Then you go back to work on Monday morning or Tuesday and everyone says, how was your weekend?  How do think it was?  It was lonely, sad and depressing, much like the rest of my life.  Of course, I never say that, because people like to live in their little bubbles, and I try to be as pleasant as possible at work.  If they only knew the truth.

Any thoughts about this?

BrokenHeart2

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  • Widowed 2013
Re: Grief and Friends
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 03:07:00 PM »
Yes, DT I have a thought.  I know just how you feel because the very same thing happens to me on the weekends.  I am constantly the one to reach out but sometimes you just get damned tired do that too.
Hugs
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.

sojourner

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Re: Grief and Friends
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 03:24:00 PM »
Yep. (Minus the Craig's list and often plus a rebelling teen.) Sigh.

blue

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Re: Grief and Friends
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 03:45:29 PM »
Gosh yes. I think at first people probably wanted to give me "space". A couple months after he died I did get maybe 3 invites to go out in the evening, but I had a traumatized 4yr old who would go into a panic whenever I left him and the invites were not things I could bring him to. I passed because I couldn't figure out the logistics. And then people stopped inviting me and the ones who never reached out probably felt weird for being out of touch. Fast forward and now I'm 2.5 years out and I'd say I am in touch with maybe 10% of the so-called friends we used to have.

Things are better this year because now that he is 2 years older, my son and I have all kinds of adventures together on the weekends and I'm not just counting the hours.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 03:52:59 PM by blue »

Guaruj

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Re: Grief and Friends
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2017, 08:41:00 PM »
DragonTears -

I am also someone who has had few close friends. I also have no children. I typically spend my weekends alone (though today, which is a Sunday, has been a happy exception). I'm comfortable being alone, perhaps too comfortable.

I suppose it hurts more to have friends disappear when you don't have very many to begin with. It's always reassuring when I can remind myself that it's easier to make new friends than I expect. I learned years ago that it helps to volunteer for activities outside of work. You're less likely to feel out of place if you have doing something necessary that's also fun. You may need to try a few things to find something that works for you.

I also took a language class recently. I learned German many years ago, and was always good at it, but I was very much out of practice. The great thing about taking a language class is that it forces you to talk to other people. The mistakes you make can often be a source of humor, too.

Next weekend is a long holiday weekend for Americans like me. A long weekend like this can be extra lonely if you're the only one without any special plans. If this is situation you're facing right now, do you think you might be able to try something new next weekend?

|+|  M a r k  |+|

Mizpah

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Re: Grief and Friends
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 09:25:08 AM »
I think a lot of this is about habit, rather than quality of friendship.  I've found that people don't reach out, even when they would love to get together and would say yes to things.  I think this is about slowly changing habits, creating community.  I moved about 3 years ago from a place I'd lived for over a decade, and had a wonderful social network, to a place where I had no friends.  It's taken a really long time, and lots of sucking up pride, and rejecting the idea that if they don't contact me I won't contact them, to get what I need: community/friendships.  If you want to hang out with someone, reach out.  Gauge their reaction.  Do they want to but can't?  Then try again.  And again.  It also helps to suggest things that are easy to pull off or makes sense in the schedule of their lives/interests/location.  Try not to keep score about who initiates unless the person doesn't seem interested.  Most people are passive and in the ruts of their routine. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

TornApart

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Re: Grief and Friends
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2017, 02:42:54 PM »
Me too. Talk to grocer. Go to pilates and be an invisible participant. Drift through the weekend
"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." Kahlil Gibran

Euf

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Re: Grief and Friends
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2017, 05:50:50 PM »

I think part of the problem is that we are used to being part of a couple, and part of a social network that knew us as a couple.  There may be singles and couples in that set, but were a part of it as a couple. Now we are something else.

When our spouse dies, we fall into some limbo land. We don't belong anywhere.  I think a lot of people are just as happy if we kind of fall by the wayside and drop out of sight.

But I also think that there are a lot of people that just aren't quite sure how to interact with us although they would like to.  I know that when my husband died, I was crazy. My best, dearest, most wonderful friends stuck with me.  But now, 11 years later, I don't blame the ones that didn't.

Someone on YWBB once wrote that friends were like food.  Some were empty calories.  Some gave you nourishment.

As if we don't have enough to deal with, we also have to sort our friends into food groups!  LOL  But in the long run, it is easier if we accept that some people aren't up to the task.  Some are.  But we may have to just chuck most of them and start again.

The other way that I look at it is that everyone's friends change over time. Even if our spouses had lived, eventually we would cycle through some new friends.   You get married and you tend to have just married friends.  You have kids and you end up hanging around people with kids. You are widowed and . . . . . . .I guess you end up here.  Or in a support group.   But what we really want is to be an actual person again that fits somewhere among the people just living their lives.

It hardly seems fair, but I think if we want friendship, if we want to be included, remembered,  thought of: we have to be the ones to try harder.