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Today is the 3 month "anniversary " of the saddest day of my life.  Why do people keep giving me advice when they have never been kicked in the gut like this?  They know nothing about this.  I understand they are just trying to help, but stop it!  I know anything you say comes from ignorance and you have never felt this crazy shit, so just stop!!!

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Im so sorry - I can understand what you mean. You are in the early, early grieving stages (Im 6 years out but I remember it was so hard at 3 months) and listening to advice (which seems misplaced) can just exacerbate the grief. If I hadn't been through this, I think I wouldn't fully understand either. I've learned its amazing that although death is part of life, people often deal with other's losses in terrible ways. And by that I mean they minimialize it, compare it to divorce, not want to talk about it, avoid widows/widowers. Honestly, I just appreciated when people acknowledged what happened to me and my young son, said how sorry they were and then asked how they could help. People trying to make sense of the death or tell you to get over it/move on etc etc (insert other advice here) just upset me. Try to block them out as best you can - I think often people around us hate to see us in pain, don't want to experience our pain so want us to move on sooner. Wishing you all the best - and be good to yourself

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Things I hated to hear in those early months:

 

"God must have had a reason for taking him"

"you're not alone, we will always be here for you"

"I know just how you feel, my 90 year old grandmother died last year"

"I felt just like you when I went through my divorce"

"you're so strong "

"you just need to get out and be around people"

"you have so much to grateful for, stop dwelling on the negative"

 

yes people are trying to help and they are blessed to be ignorant to the pain you are experiencing.  I don't have any great advice to make them stop, you will get thicker skin with time, you will distance yourself from some people and others will distance themselves from you. Hopefully you can identify a few close people who you can be real with.  When you have to deal with those who just don't get it you can always do what I did and scream as loud as you can in your car with the music cranked up.

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"Nobody gets it"  You are so spot on with that Steph.  It can feel so depressing listening to people who want to help but don't have a clue.

 

I hope that soon you will be able to say "Almost nobody gets it"  That will be the moment when you realize that you are not completely alone.  For me it happened in my local credit union.  It was my first trip in to deposit checks.  DW had always been the one with that chore.  The teller did not know me but she recognized the name from the obits.  She said she knew what I was going through because she lost her husband very recently.  We held up the line for what seemed like forever while we cried our eyes out, not caring a whit what everyone else was thinking around us.  A few times like that pulled me through the much more common "don't get it times".

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Thank you all for understanding.  It wasn't supposed to be like this!  We were supposed to grow old together.  I am just so sad, and it doesn't seem to get any easier.

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Steph, I'm sure all of us have echoed your words at one time as well.  You are so early your grief.  One statement that really stuck to me early out and has helped me was "If you're going through hell, just keep going." I repeated those words to myself many times to remind me I wasn't the only one enduring this pain.  Keep going one day at a time. 

Hugs.

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You are definitely in early grief. It's still so fresh and ever present in your thoughts that it's hard to imagine what comes next. My own litany in my journey has been: "It will always suck and I don't ever have to get OVER it but I need to MOVE forward and ACCEPT it." Be gentle to yourself and give yourself time. There will be a moment when you will be able to laugh and smile again and see beauty and goodness is still to be had in this world even if it is without the one person we loved so dearly. Hugs for you today.

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So very well said J3.  I remember at 3 months out I couldn't even imagine that would be possible or if I even wanted it too.  I have learned so much over this past 5 yrs and thankful that these words really became so true for me.  I hope they will be for you too Steph!

Hugs

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Posted (edited)

I’m also at the 3 month mark which coincides with his birthday. It’s been the worst dealing with other people at this stage. They don’t get it and it feels like what most people are saying and doing does not respect where you are and how you are doing. It’s unwelcomed. I know in the back of my mind next year I’ll look back and know they weren’t trying to be disrespectful but right now, they really need to back off. I also am getting the, we all lost someone, speech. True, and I know you hurt too, but you’re lives still exist! You still get to go home at the end of the day to the house you share with your husband. You get to continue on the same path you were on before even though the road became rockier. I don’t have a path, our home, a future right now. They just don’t get it. So I totally get what you are saying. I’ve decided that if I feel someone at this stage makes me feel worse or more crazy, it’s okay to take a break from them. I need to focus on feeling a little better each day, surviving. I can rekindle those relationships a little later on if I want to.

Edited by Jessm1
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Posted (edited)

Jessm1,

I am so sorry you are in the same black, lonely and sad place that I am.  I was actually asked today if I was dating yet.  WHAT????? I can barely breathe some days and I cry at the drop of a hat if my mind is not occupied.  I am losing the home we built together, everything is still falling apart in my world.  My patience for stupid people is nonexistent at this point, but i know that they just have never known real grief, they are the lucky ones.  Please know that i am where you are right now, and if there is a way to private message on this site, please feel free to message me.  We might be able to lean on each other since we are in the same awful place, surrounded by blissful ignorance.

Edited by Steph

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A few thoughts from someone who is 12+ years out.

 

We used to call them "DGI's" (Doesn't Get It). The term applies to everyone who has not experienced what we have. And it's true - they really do not understand what this does to us. Most mean well but ...

 

Advice/comments - Trying stated it above - some people feel compelled to offer advice designed to "cheer us up". They don't understand how offensive some of the  comments are (DGI's again). But more so, they don't understand that this isn't something that is all better in a half hour, like some TV show. I think our society these days doesn't know how to deal with someone experiencing grief. They are uncomfortable with anyone in pain.

 

How to deal with DGI's - When we are raw with grief, the comments can feel like a spike in our hearts. Steph's cry to just STOP IT is something I think most of us feel at the time. How we react to it is the thing. We can't change what others say or do, but we can try to change how we react to it. Most of the time, they really do mean well. They just DON'T GET IT. So let it wash over you. Focus on the idea that they actually are trying to help. Then let it go. Your life will be easier for it - and you know we need any break we can get!

 

It's OKAY for us to take time to grieve, to cry when we need to, to be sad and to be different than we were. We truly have changed and we will forever be a different person. Not necessarily bad - I think in most cases we grow and become better persons.  

 

So, 12 years after my wife, Cathryn, died, I can tell you that life can be good. It's different, for sure. I am a different person than I was 12 years ago. But I can smile now when I think of Cathryn. The crying only happens once in a while and it's much shorter lived. I have made peace with her passing and am looking forward to the rest of my life here on Earth. It took time and a lot of self inspection to understand what happened and why it happened but it was worth it. I am a better person.

 

Two books I want to suggest reading - "Why Bad Things Happen To Good People" by Harold Kushner and "Everything Happens For A Reason" by Mira Kirshenbaum (read this one after your grief subsides).

 

Hang in there - my wife's aunt told me, a week after Cathryn died, that "It gets better, but it's different". She's right.

 

Michael

 

 

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My perspective 2 years out is people feel so desperate to do something that they say stuff to try and fix the unfixable. That doesn't stop unfortunately. My sweet dad who I have gradually educated on my loss will still slip up when I have down days and tell me to focus on the positive. Well intentioned ignorance. I've had people look lost before and I reassured them there really is nothing they can say. It's just bullshit this happened. Which it is.

 

Breathe for now. You're in early days and tolerance for crappy sayings is low. You will grow back your skin slowly but it will always be annoying. 

 

Hugs

 

Kk

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I remember those days all too well.  I still hate going to our neighborhood pool because I can never erase the memories of watching people whisper to one another when we - my daughter and I - walked in.  "Oh those poor people."   Nothing made me feel worse than people not understanding just how not ok the whole situation was.  Back then, it was searingly painful when people said or did insensitive things but in time I came into my own, came to own my reality and make something of it.  It's definitely not the life I was planning on and I am not the person I used to be but it is mine and I think I came out of it more thoughtful and kind because of it.  But it took a long time.  Some days, it is still hard and confusing.  

 

Some people will fall away from your life but new people will join you on this long journey.  I wouldn't trade the new friends I've made for anything.  Try not to isolate yourself - I did and it was a big hole I had to dig myself out of that made things much more difficult than they needed to be.  

 

Two books that really helped me were Jon Kabatt-Zinn's "Wherever You Go, There You Are" and also "Full Catastrophe Living."  These are books about mindfulness and meditation.  I never did very well with the mediation bit but I appreciated the messages and the books did help me to find something of a "center" when I felt the world was out of control.  

 

Also, I made friends on this board.  Some in real life, some just online.  Its been 5+ years and we still message each other regularly and talk on the phone.  That network saved me.  They always picked up the phone.  They talked me off the ledge during the really difficult times (which for me came long after three months); sometimes they just talked to me because I was lonely and bored.  Now they talk to me as I navigate the new life I've created.  Please try to reach out to others who are also in this early time frame.  One of the great gifts my husband's death gave me was the community of widowed people who saw me through it, who helped me realize that I wasn't alone, that it is ok to laugh again and somehow, pain is less painful when shared.  

 

Mostly, I just want to say, it does get better.  Time is a true friend, or it has been at least for me.  

 

 

 

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Amen to all the above comments. As Dr. Alan Wolfelt, a grief expert [if you ever get the chance to hear him speak, DO IT] says, 

Some of what people say is harmful but mostly what theybsay is "True... BUT NOT HELPFUL!"

He's no longer in pain...true..,NOT HELPFUL

You have the rest of your lufe,,,True..,NOT HELPFUL

etc.etc 

They are clueless DGI's and I  wanted to punch them in the throat

 

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I get it. I'm almost at the 4-month mark. I have a friend that I am thinking should become an ex-friend. She keeps comparing my husband's death to her divorces and trying to tell me what I need to do to get over it. Most recently she told me, I should get rid of my husband's pillow because it isn't good for me to be sleeping with it still. It doesn't make me sad, I feel comforted having it there. I always stole his pillow every time he got out of bed, so it's a small thing that makes me feel normal. Some of the things she has said make me want to scream. I'm really trying to disengage from her at this point.

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Shayla, I  am at 2.5 years, am doing so very much better. If anyone had told me where I'd be now I wouldn't have believed them. However,  his jeans still hang in the bathroom that he was going to wear the next day, his pictures are still everywhere, etc. They usually make me smile not cry these days.. but when I do cry, it's good not bad. You keep his pillow forever if ylou want. NO one has the authority to dictate that except you

Four months is the rawest of grief time. No one understands that. They think 4 months is a long time. It's a nanosecond. 

H u gs

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You are on your own timeline. There are no rules just what works for each individual in their own space and time. I'm happy in a relationship 2.5 years out after losing LH. However, I still do have his clothes and shoes in the closet. It's not for me but we have kids and our girls like seeing them there and get comfort from them. I would never deny them comfort when they have low days and it's a small thing. 

 

Sometimes it's healthier to distance yourself from people with strong opinions like that. Hugs for you today! 

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