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Widows at Christmas dinner

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My parents invited their probably 75 or so year old widowed friend and her 90 year old widowed boyfriend to join us for Christmas dinner.  I've known her my whole life as I grew up with her youngest son, and I was so happy for her when  my Mom told me she'd met someone in the community she checked herself into after her husband died.  They were both married probably at least 40 if not 50 years, and so they - naturally - both talked about their late spouses a lot throughout the afternoon.  At one point, I said to her partner, "Andy and I are both widowed, too."  And he just said, "Yes, I know." and moved on. It was such a strange moment.  I felt this little inner voice wanting to say, "But wait!  Didn't you hear me?!  We're widowed, too!"  I was less than half his age when Scott died.    No big deal ,and there's not much point to this post but I kind of wanted to assert my widowed status with this 90 year old (and I've got to say, pretty spry and with-it) man I'd only just met (which of course I did not do!). It was really weird!  

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There's an elderly man in my neighborhood that I occasionally run into while walking my dog.  He mentioned recently that he was widowed and I responded that I was widowed too.  No reaction at all - the conversation just continued.  I also wanted to say - "hey wait - I lost my husband young, it was sudden and unexpected and I was left to raise 2 kids on my own!!" I get compassion from younger non-widowed people - thought that there would be some kind of recognition and compassion from older folks too.  Strange indeed -

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Isn't it strange how 'they" treat us the younger widows? Like we can take it. Like we have a tougher skin for it or something? I remember when I went to my first grief support group and it was all 75 to 80 plus individuals who were using it as a get together for themselves. And they had NO problem letting me know I wasn't wanted or welcome there!

Many of them had been meeting up there for years. I can recall that I finally spoke up for myself and said something like, "death doesn't pick just OLD age", and one lady stood up

for me, at which point , tears running of my face I stormed out of there and NEVER went back and found the first board before it became this one..... That was 12 years ago....

Sorry that this happened to any of you.

Edited by sudnlysngl

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To me this isn't all that surprising.

 

Many of the older folks I know, which happens to include me too, have either personally experienced many tragedies or have been very close to them. Sad yes, but not all that unusual among all the folks they know. So, they may not make too much of it. It isn't personal at all. It's just if you live long enough, you've seen it all and are shocked by very little.

 

Mike

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Ok Mike, then they and you aren't surprised by much. But they could have had more compassion towards another person for goodness sakes!

How about that! 😊

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I think it's interesting.  I generally feel an immediate kinship with anyone that I learn is widowed, regardless of age.  About 18 months after S died, I spent a month in NYC as a get away from life.  My mom was coming to join me so I was meeting her at the airport.  While waiting, I struck up a conversation with a lady maybe in her early 60s.   I told her my story and she said she was meeting her sister who had lost her husband a few months before.  When her sister arrived, she introduced us and I told her I too had lost my husband.  It was like we instantly connected.  Our eyes welled up and we talked a bit about how difficult it was and then we hugged before departing.  And then there are the two older widows at my church that clearly knew my husband well.  One has never even remotely acknowledged my situation and the other barely has offered a word of support.  There are others that were just lovely, but these two always had me a bit baffled.   Maybe it's an age thing, maybe its just a personality thing.  I don't know, but I agree it feels weird when it isn't even acknowledged.

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On 12/26/2018 at 5:27 PM, trying2breathe said:

There's an elderly man in my neighborhood that I occasionally run into while walking my dog.  He mentioned recently that he was widowed and I responded that I was widowed too.  No reaction at all - the conversation just continued...Strange indeed

Maybe not.  I wonder if he's hard of hearing, and has just stopped asking for people to repeat things. He just processes the verbal and other cues and relies on people to repeat themselves when THEY notice he's missed something.  I know someone who does this. Sometimes he's a couple sentences into a thought before the other person tells him he's gone off-track.

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I'm 73 & my dear husband was 82 when he died 12 days ago.  The pain makes me wish I weren't so human.  But I am human, and I know the pain that we suffer when we lose our spouse, no matter what our age is.  One of my FB friends, in response to my grief, told me he, too, was grieving because he just lost his dog. I gave him my sympathy.

Grief is grief. It hurts worse than any physical pain I've ever had because physical pain can go away with a Tylenol, but NOTHING makes grief go away.  Please know this, no matter if you are young, old, or in between......I feel your pain.

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It happens i have a friend who was like big bro for me and he lost his wife when he was in late 30ish and when i lost my wife he didn't even called me and when i called him after few months he started giving me some advice and i was like bro where were you when i needed you the most.

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