Jump to content

Young Widow Forum

Register to view blogs.

Recommended Posts

It's been 1 year and 5 days since my husband died twice at home and the EMTs revived him, only to leave us with a shell of a man with brain damage. After two months in the hospital and rehab, the palliative people came and told me that he'd never get better and we should go to hospice. So anyone that has ever had to make that choice, it sucks, but we did as a family. Here's the thing...I am so sick of explaining that I'm a widow (to everyone that I had to engage with for life insurance, the bank, doctors, lawyers, etc.) and hearing "I'm sorry for your loss"--it means nothing to me except you're trying to be polite and you don't actually know what to say, because your scared for your own future. Maybe just say "I'm sorry, how are you"? or say nothing at all. Every time I hear "sorry for your loss" it makes me angry and just I wish people knew...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

People don't know what to say and often say stupid shit. I prefer "I'm sorry for your loss" to "everything happens for a reason", "life goes on" or "you are young, you will find somebody. Your husband would like you to be happy". F*** off

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

It hasn't been easy for me to hear people's responses either - six years and it's still surreal.  In these six years, I've attended several funerals and find myself saying the same stuff that I don't like to hear.  I don't know that there really are any good responses to what we deal with.  A client shared with me that she lost her daughter in a horrific car accident - only thing I could think to say is "there are no words" and give her a hug.  Nothing good about any of this.  The one question that I hated in the early days was "how are you?"  When asked this I usually responded that I was doing okay - but really??  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I hear you @trying2breathe Being asked how you are / how your weekend was etc are always hard for me to answer. Even now, 3.5years on. I always pause and think - shall I say the truth or I simply respond, Im fine thanks, to shut the conversation. I usually do the latter. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you for your comments...still dealing with everything. I started seeing a therapist today, maybe I can get past my anger issues with people who just don't know what to say, I know they don't mean harm. 

Share this post


Link to post

I understand anger issues @Sillyjerkycat. I was fuming in the first year in particular. Now, I rarely get upset. People don't have a clue but they will get it when it happens to them. Try ignoring it x

Share this post


Link to post

I don't mean to be harsh, but honestly, what *are* people supposed to say?  What are the magic words that would make anyone feel better?

...

...

There aren't any. The only thing people can do is express some kind of empathy. That's not a bad thing. Thinking badly of people for doing the best they can doesn't do you any good, or them. 

Being angry about the loss is normal. The only time I was angry with individuals was when they *didn't* show empathy.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

"and hearing "I'm sorry for your loss"--it means nothing to me except you're trying to be polite and you don't actually know what to say, because your scared for your own future"

 

Well, you could be right but how does anyone know this? 

 

If someone says "I'm sorry for your loss." one way of looking at it is they are sorry for our loss - nothing less. Perhaps, you (and we!) were/are too upset to properly evaluate the motivation behind their words and we are simply pissed that nothing anyone says can change the fact of the loss of our spouse. I say "Sorry for your loss." all the time to those grieving. I mean exactly that - because I am sorry.  

 

 

Yeah Faye, you're right. What is a person suppose to say in all instances when meeting a widow/widower? 

 

What is comforting to one will be insulting to another. We've seen that here many times over the years. 

 

I'm like you - everything said to me I took as an genuine expression of sympathy - whether it was delivered inartfully or not. I didn't look for fault in any way by the presenter. 

 

 

 

 

It is impossible to speak in such a way to not be misunderstood. 

 

- Karl Popper

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
59 minutes ago, Portside said:

 

What is comforting to one will be insulting to another. We've seen that here many times over the years. 

 

 

What is irritating for one loss may be comforting for another.  "------" is in a better place." When a loved one died unexpectedly and too soon, it only grated on me a tad. For someone who died after making others miserable, I thought, "I hope so. He wasn't happy here."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Now for something entirely different.  I'm on a dating website.  In my profile I say that I've been widowed twice.  Minutes ago I got a flirt, nice looking lady, 9 years younger, divorced.  I'm not sure if flirt is the right word.  She wrote:  "I am sorry for your losses. Enjoy the day!"

I am neither comforted nor offended, I am LMAO !!  xD

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post

Okay friends, I've read your replies and I have an update for my anger issues...I started see a therapist and that person has helped me figure out a path to move forward. I'm not angry anymore at the random public people saying the words I hate. I know they don't mean any harm, it's just that they don't know what the triggers are with people that have lost someone they loved. Case in point, I went to the Verizon store the other day to get a new phone and I had to explain to the young man that my account changed to just one phone because my husband passed away...and then this young man said to me "Rest in Peace" and I was not triggered! Yeah for small victories! 

 

Through my therapy I'm learning that it's a journey that never really ends, it just changes to be less painful. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I think I should share an author that my therapist recommended...Christina Rusmussan. She has books, but when I looked her up, on the site,  it included a blog that was helpful and she allows guest authors to contribute. 

Share this post


Link to post

My kids still hate hearing "I'm sorry for your loss", my daughter especially. She once answered, "He's not lost, he's dead". 🙄 She was 10 at the time. My new answer to death/illness is "that really sucks"- because it does; granted saying that makes me sound young/uneducated, but I think it sums most situations up nicely without using empty platitudes/triggering phrases.

 

I'm glad you found a therapist who has helped you with a path forward.

Share this post


Link to post

FYI, I've read on this forum or it's predecessor someone saying "that stinks" triggered her.   
When my Mom died, a neighbor said to me, "No matter when you lose your Mom, you feel cheated."  That was true for me, but I know people who were abused by their parents, so it wouldn't work for them.  There is nothing I can think of that *no one* will find troubling, which is why I think it's petty to resent people giving it their best try at being compassionate. 

Edited by faye
fat fingers
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
14 hours ago, faye said:

  There is nothing I can think of that *no one* will find troubling, which is why I think it's petty to resent people giving it their best try at being compassionate. 

 

"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood."

 

Karl Popper

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/17/2019 at 2:35 AM, trying2breathe said:

I've attended several funerals and find myself saying the same stuff that I don't like to hear.  I don't know that there really are any good responses to what we deal with.  A client shared with me that she lost her daughter in a horrific car accident - only thing I could think to say is "there are no words" and give her a hug. 

Nine years on and I have been to a couple of funerals of people my age or younger and found myself on the 'other side' so to speak. You also realise how many people you must have encountered yourself in the same situation (widowed) over the years without even realising. Now I find "There's nothing to say" or "It's just horrible" my best, really. The (harsh but realistic) reality is, when it is someone you don't know, or know well, it doesn't affect you emotionally that much, so you will just be polite, I guess.

The anger will indeed ease. For one thing, it just gets too tiring. Looking back, fortunately I hardly had any inappropriate remarks made to me, though my in-laws did. And also looking back, I was probably half-deranged for the best part of a year. That's what folks don't expect, I think. Not the devastation and sadness, but that horror and madness.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.