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Scared All The Time

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Does anyone have an advice what to do? I'm scared all the time. Whenever I have some health problems, I fear it could be something serious. I'm scared what might happen to my parents or my dogs. I read that fear is a part of grief but I didn't feel that before. But just recently I'm sometimes paralysed by this fear. I'm afraid to travel by airplane, afraid to let my mom drive (so I go with her though I would rather do something else, just because I would be scared if she drove alone), I think about what could happen, how much longer I will live and whether I will ever find joy in life again?

Maybe I have too much time, too much time on my own. I'm lonely. Funny (well, not really funny), I used to be very outgoing person, I had a lot of people I considered as friends, and I could never imagine I would ever be so lonely - and certainly not in the age of 28?!?! I am lonely. There's nobody to talk to. I do have better days, but even then I'm lonely - it's just that there are days when this loneliness is bearable. But then there are times when I just wish I had somebody to talk to, about anything. But people just don't call anymore.

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"I used to be very outgoing person, I had a lot of people I considered as friends, and I could never imagine I would ever be so lonely - and certainly not in the age of 28?!?! I am lonely. There's nobody to talk to. I do have better days, but even then I'm lonely - it's just that there are days when this loneliness is bearable. But then there are times when I just wish I had somebody to talk to, about anything. But people just don't call anymore."


I know exactly what you mean. Exactly. Yesterday/last night was one of those days especially. I was having those exact thoughts. I'm 27 years old and also used to consider myself very outgoing. I was used to doing lots of things with friends, etc. Yesterday, I had one phone call, and this friend was just saying how she was going out with other friends and how that "group" is so social. I tried to act cool but it made me feel so isolated. Lately I've started doing things by myself. It makes me feel somewhat independent but, on the other hand, very lonely. And I too think to myself that I never imagined my life to be that way at such a young age! Last night I decided to go to the botanical gardens (they stay open late on Thursday nights). I used to never do things by myself like this. But I wanted to go and couldn't think of anyone that would want to go with me. I really enjoyed the gardens at night but I was the only person there by myself. There were families, couples, groups of young people, and me. When I went through admissions, they asked how many in my "group." I said "it's just me." All night I just kept thinking "it's just me." Yeap, my life and it's just me. Me alone. Not me with my family. Not me with my boyfriend. Just me. Seeing the couples together bothered me. They never know, one of them could just up and die one day. I went to the orchid area where there is a display of white orchids just like the one Josh gave me for my birthday last year. I sat there and cried. My birthday is March 13th and yesterday was July 13th, and it just made me think about how 4 months ago I was "celebrating" my birthday. (It was the day after I flew home from Josh's funeral.) And how one year prior Josh had just given me a white orchid for my birthday. Yes, I sat there alone in the gardens, "just me," and cried. I feel this huge expanse of silence and loneliness between me and the entire world. It's very quiet here. I don't understand why people don't just call and say hi. Not my sister. Not my cousin who I left a message with weeks ago. Not my mom. Not my friends. The only person who calls to say hi is Josh's mom. She called from the cementary the other day so I could "visit" Josh too. (I live far away...) And as much as I absolutely love this site, and it has helped emensly in filling a void in my life, it still is not the same as having a friend go with me to the gardens so I wouldn't have to cry alone with the orchids. I have tried reaching out to my friends, to make that effort. But sometimes, everyone else is just busy with their own lives. They have husbands, boyfriends, family, etc. And it's "just me."

Other the other hand, I do not feel the same fear you are describing. Quite the opposite really. I have this irrational idea that, based on pure statistics alone, I or anyone close to me will not be dying soon. Josh died in a car accident. I just can't imagine that within a couple of months, I or anyone I know would also die suddenly. Eventually, I will have to come back to reality. Hopefully someone else may have some words of wisdom and/or comfort for you in this area. But, for now, I too feel an overwhelming loneliness I didn't think I would have to experience at this point in my life. :(

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"I think about what could happen, how much longer I will live and whether I will ever find joy in life again?"

i always have these thoughts in my mind too, spela. after my ex-bf died in an accident, i began to wonder what life holds for me, or what my future will become. i began to wonder if i will ever have that passion again to pursue my goals and dreams in life. or will i ever be given the chance to achieve

it. i realized life is so short. i realized that no one of us knows what's gonna happen next. i'm scared of almost anything now.

like you, i also feel this intense loneliness. there's no one to talk to, no one who can really understand what i am going through. i used to be a very outgoing person too. but now, i prefer to just stay home..

i am just 27. and yet i feel, i am scared of what life will bring now. or what will happen next. i am scared of something bad happening to any of my family. i am scared going through another loss/grief..and i cant help thinking why i have to go through these much pain now..

and most of the times too, when i see couples, or family, i cant help thinking, they will never know what's gonna happen next. someone they know will die too, at the most unexpected time. and i am bothered too with my kind of thoughts. why am i thinking like this?

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Thank you both. Kellymarie, thank you for sharing your experience and somehow letting me know it's not my "fault" that people don't call, because in the first few months I couldn't have any contact with (almost) anybody and didn't answer the phone. So the reason is not that, well, it may be in a few cases, but some people NEVER called. I think back then someone gave me the advice (or perhaps I read it somewhere) that you should not completely isolate yourself because you'll need friends at some point. But I could's agree with that. Real friends would understand. I have one friend who calls sometimes, but she has her own life ... I can't even tell them I'm lonely and that I hoped they would call occasionally, because I thought THEY would at least check from time to time how I'm doing, and when they didn't, I deleted their numbers and emails. Stupid? Maybe, but it was helpful in a way when I did it, it was the only way I stopped looking at my phone book and wondering what their reason for not calling is.

I have, too, started doing things by myself. You could see me now drinking coffee and readong a newspaper in a bar, but then I think how pathnetic this is and I don't really do that often. WHY IS IT THAT YOU NOT ONLY LOSE THE ONE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST, BUT YOU ALSO LOSE YOUR FRIENDS????

The fear I'm talking about has appeared a few months ago. It's not here from the beginning of my grief. At first when I read about fear being a aprt of grief, it didn't make any sense - I didn't care about anything. I didn't care about living. In fact, I would have rather died. But now I'm scared, and in my worst moments I' paralysed by this fear. What if something happens to my family? What if something happen to my dog? What if I get sick and it would be my "fault" because I'm not doing the right thing, and can't talk about my feelings just because there's nobody to talk to?? Ann, maybe someone had an advice for us in this area?

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Kellymarie, Spela and Ann, I have been reading your notes and have been thinking exactly how to say this. Having gone through this whole thing of losing a spouse, before, I know first hand that that is the way other people, even your closest friends, react to death. They withdraw. They don't know how to react to death if they have not been this close to it before. I wish I could explain why people act and react the way they do. I can't. I thought that, with the death of my second husband, the reactions of his friends and, actually mine too, things would be different and I would not experience the isolation this time. It is totally the same!!!! I have gone weeks without phone calls from people. I have been fortunate, this time my step daughter has kept in contact with me. With my first marriage, my three step children totally dropped off the face of the earth. My son lost contact with his step brother and two step sisters too. My second husband has a daughter who has a little daughter and baby son. I am very fortunate that she and I had gotten so close during my husbands illness and death. So far she has remained as close. I can only hope that she will remain as close in the future. I wish there was a different answer to how people react in the presence of death. But from my personal experiences, the reactions are exatly the same. After all is said and done, you become a STRONGER person within yourself. As much as I have labored over this delema of how to react to the reactions of people, it all comes down to how people have experienced death in their own lives.

I have a very close friend who lives some 450 miles distant from me. We had been separated soon after my first husband died. We have been reunited after the death of my second husband. She experienced the loss of her sister almost one year ago. Through that experience, she has gained the insight, compassion, empathy and trust that only one that has experienced such a loss can have. You will find the same in people that you know also.

Blessing to you all. Peace will come. Time will allow it.


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I've been posting on here a few months now since losing my fiance (together 14 years). Its really becoming obvious that we all are having the same experience with friends and family. We all feel alone, not many calls or visits and I know in the beginning when Larry died (Nov.2005) I couldn't comprehend it and kept saying to anyone who would listen "why aren't my friends here, why aren't they calling... what the heck is going on???" Now time has passed and I've come to realize that this is "our" experience to own. As I say to my hospice counselor, its a damm cruel twist of fate to have to face the worst pain in your life, ALONE. And more importantly I've come to realize that the support I need CANNOT come from them because they can't understand. So I'm starting to learn that I have to develop new support systems and new friends who share this unfortunate pain. It's the last thing I want to do right now but its the only answer. You, too, will slowly come to this, even though your mind will keep repeating WHERE IS EVERYONE AND WHY DON'T THEY SEEM TO CARE!! I guess they do, but for me, right now, I have to find my own way and this site is the BEST for pouring out your heart and being heard and understood.

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Spela, I think you should sit, drink coffee, and read the paper alone as much as you want! I personally would like to think it's not pathetic because I've started doing this! However, I think to myself that I'm really having my coffee or sandwich with Josh. We're out together; it's just that I'm the only one who knows this. Yes, I know this makes me crazy, and I just don't care. Kelly

(Also, tonight I further confirmed that people on the other side have no idea what it's like on this side. I went to the movies with a few friends (I had to call them and make the plans; why would someone call me????), and mentioned doing things alone now. They replied with saying "oh, I'm sure there are other people who go to the gardens alone, etc." Ha ha ha! I educated them that other people don't in fact do so many things alone. And why is it that no one else wants to mention or talk about Josh? They all knew him and spent much time with him over the last year. People are weird, weird, weird. I guess they're all okay with the fact that Josh died.)

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LarrysGirl, you are right, we have to help ourselves, and this is a great site. But it's still hard. And I don't expect anymore that my "friends" would be there to help me, but I also didn't expect they would compeltely forget about me.

Kellymarie, thank you for saying that drinking coffe and reading a newspaper alone is not pathetic. :) What you wrote mafe me think of - maybe - ordering a coffee for him too next time. It's just an idea, which would probably be weird in reality.

I don't think the reason that your (our) frinds don't mention them is that they're ok with the fact they died - but that people tend to avoid subjects such as death and disease, something that could happen to them. And also, they don't "want us to remind of the pain" (yeah, right, like we ever forget about it???? :wacko: but this is their way of thinking - I used to think that way!). Shortly after he died I sent to my friend "A wish list" (I don't know if this site was where I found it or was it somewhere else) but it's the sam as if I didn't. I wanted them to know I need to talk about him - but it didn't help.

Wish List…

(A little something for those around you)

• I wish you would not be afraid to speak my loved one's name. They lived and were important and I need to hear their name.

• If I cry and get emotional if we talk about my loved one, I wish you knew that it isn't because you hurt me: the fact that they died causes my tears.

• You have allowed me to cry and I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.

• I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish you wouldn't think that if I have a good cry my grief is all over, or that if I have a bad day I need psychiatric counseling.

• Being Bereaved is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't stay away from me.

• I wish you knew all the "crazy" grief reactions that I am having are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, fear, hopelessness and questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected following a death.

• I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in 6 months. The first few years are going to be exceedingly traumatic for me. As with alcoholics, I will never be "cured" or a "formerly bereaved", but forevermore be recovering from my bereavement.

• I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. I may gain weight, lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop a host of illnesses and be accident prone, all of which are related to my grief.

• Our loved one's birthday, the anniversary of their death and the holidays can be terrible times for us. I wish you could tell us that you are thinking of us and them on these days. And if we get quiet and withdrawn, **** know that we are thinking about them and don't try to coerce us into being cheerful.

• I wish you wouldn't offer to take me out for a drink, or to a party, this is **** a temporary crutch and the only way I can get through this grief is to experience it. I have to hurt before I can heal.

• I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before my beloved died and I will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to "get back to my old self" you will stay frustrated. I am a new creature with new thoughts, dreams, aspirations, values and beliefs. Please try to get to know this different me -- I'm the one who'll be here from now on.

--Author unknown

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I've not posted in a while and it breaks my heart to see many new people join this group. As I read somewhere.."I've been thinking in the dark". Having passed the year mark in June, it's where I've become comfortable..just me and Gene, talking to him in the dark. Spela, your wish list...it's says everything I want to tell everyone I know. My darling Gene touched so many lives and now his name evokes a change of subject when I talk to someone. So I've given up contact with a lot of people. I know I make people we knew uncomfortable being the "widow". And I'm sure it's because I'm now a reminder of their own mortality. I've decided I don't need anyone. Our children and grandchildren are enough as we are traveling through grief together. I could be standing in a sea of people and still would feel alone but I'm alone with Gene in my heart. I would crawl into the pictures to be with Gene if I could. As I watch the few video clips I have of Gene I remind myself of how happy we were and I yearn to replay our life together. I wish I could turn back time for all of us.

To all new on this journey we do not want I am so sorry for your loss and pain. Here are wonderful people brokenhearted reaching out through the pain to lend a hand when you feel you cannot take another breathe. To all that have traveled along with me I amy very grateful for your support and there is not a day I do not think about all of you.

Wishing peace for all of us.

Always Gene!


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Spela, Thank you so much for that list. I am going to write an e-mail to my friends and family and include this list. Even if it doesn't change anything, I will have at least told them where I'm coming from. I really haven't tried this approach yet. On another note, I'm not sure if we have answered your question about your fears about certain things. I just remembered something that happened to a friend of mine. He went on a first date sometime in January. At the end of the date, the person he was on the date with had a heart attack in the parking lot. He called the ambulance, and the person went to the hospital. My friend called the hospital later and found out that this person had died. It was a rather traumatizing experience for him. He told me that he developed anxiety attacks and also developed a fear of flying (I'm not sure how it's all related but maybe you understand where he's coming from). He saw a counselor who helped him get over his fear of flying. Last month, he was able to fly again. So his reaction to death was fear and anxiety. (And even though he had this experience, he's still not good at asking/listening about my grief experience!)

On yet another note, I just think it's so sad that we are experiencing the "change of subject" when we mention our loved ones. What is so horrible about talking about someone we loved?????

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On yet another note, I just think it's so sad that we are experiencing the "change of subject" when we mention our loved ones. What is so horrible about talking about someone we loved?????

I had the same experience. There is a couple back in Ohio who my husband and Iknew in college when we were dating. In fact, my husband had the idea of introducing them to each other on a blind date with us, and then they fell in love and have just now had their 30th anniversary. Well, I live on the west coast, and they just came out to visit their son who lives a couple of hours from me. I drove down and we spent the weekend together. Now that it's two years since my husband died, I can sometimes talk about him without crying, and I brought him up to share fun memories, talk about things he did and said. I wanted them to share their memories of him with me.

But instead, they turned away every time I talked about him. They said, Uh huh, and changed the subject. I felt so crushed. Did they think it was best to pretend he never lived? Neither one of them mentioned his name the entire weekend we were there.

I now have no interest in ever seeing or talking with them again. However, my mother said she sees this reaction a lot in people, that they don't know how to deal with grief or with the bereaved, so they think it's best to avoid the subject. I am toying with the idea of writing to them and saying that I am sorry they feel unable to talk about him, but I will always talk about him, because I value the life we shared, and never intend to forget him. I'm just trying to figure out a way to say this without getting too sarcastic! I don't want to hurt their feelings, but I feel a need to express myself.

I have been fortunate, because two dear friends of my husband have gone through this with me, and we have shared every step of the way through grief. One in particular always emails me on any anniversary -- of his birth, of his funeral, of our anniversary. It's so sweet, she always remembers. It's so rare, that someone takes the effort and love to do that, although she lives on the other side of the country. She called me on the anniversary of his death last month. It helped so much.

But so few people "get it" like that. I think you find out who your friends really are. I find there are three types. Those who just can't take it, and avoid you; those who don't get it, but love you enough to hang in there anyway; and those who really do understand and are true diamonds. Those last two are worth keeping. The others might not be.

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Ustwo, it's good to hear from you. I know sometimes you need some time just for yourself - I need that too, and then I can't write to the forum because I feel I don't have anything to offer.

Kellymarie, do that, send the list to your friends - who knows, maybe there's at least someone who will find it helpful?

Perhaps the reason why people change the subject and don't want to talk about them is, like ustwo said, that it reminds them of their own mortality, and the mortality of their loved ones. "It only happens to others." But that's not true.

AnnC, you're lucky to have such friends. I have just one who still calls from time to time. It's true what you're saying, we do learn who our real friends are.

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Dear Ann,

You said, I am toying with the idea of writing to them and saying that I am sorry they feel unable to talk about him, but I will always talk about him, because I value the life we shared, and never intend to forget him. I'm just trying to figure out a way to say this without getting too sarcastic! I don't want to hurt their feelings, but I feel a need to express myself.

Not a bad idea! You can write that letter with no intention of sending it, and you can include in it all the anger and sarcasm you can muster (in order to get it outside of yourself, and onto a piece of paper or into your computer's word processor).

On the other hand, if you decide you want to write a letter whose objective really is to help others know how they can help you, below are some writings I've gathered over the years (some of which I've posted on the Comfort for Grieving Hearts page of my Grief Healing Web site), that may help as you compose your own letter. (See also the article I've just posted in The Latest News forum on this site, I Don't Care How Long It's Been; Can We Talk about My Loved One?, by Bob Baugher.)

My Dear Family and Friends,

I have experienced a loss that is devastating to me. It will take time, perhaps years, for me to work through the grief I am having because of this loss.

I will cry more than usual for some time. My tears are not a sign of weakness or a lack of hope or faith. They are the symbols of the depth of my loss and the sign that I am recovering.

I may become angry without there seeming to be a reason for it. My emotions are all heightened by the stress of grief. Please be forgiving if I seem irrational at times.

I need your understanding and your presence more than anything else. If you don’t know what to say, just touch me or give me a hug to let me know you care. Please don’t wait for me to call you. I am often too tired to even think of reaching out for the help I need.

Don’t allow me to withdraw from you. I need you more than ever during the next year.

Pray for me only if your prayer is not an order for me to make you feel better. My faith is not an excuse from the process of grief.

If you, by chance, have had an experience of loss that seems anything like mine, please share it with me. You will not make me feel worse. This loss is the worst thing that could happen to me. But, I will get through it and I will live again. I will not always feel as I do now. I will laugh again.

Thank you for caring about me. Your concern is a gift I will always treasure.



Please See Me Through My Tears

You asked, "How are you doing?"

As I told you, tears came to my eyes . . .

And you looked away and quickly began to talk again.

All the attention you had given me drained away.

"How am I doing?" . . .

I do better when people listen,

though I may shed a tear or two.

These feelings are indescribable.

If you’ve never felt them you cannot fully understand.

Yet I need you.

When you look away,

when I’m ignored,

I am again alone with them.

Your attention means more than you can ever know.

Really, tears are not a bad sign, you know!

They’re nature’s way of helping me to heal . . .

They relieve some of the stress of sadness.

I know you fear that asking

how I’m doing brings me sadness . . .

but it doesn’t work that way.

The memory of my loved one’s absence is with me,

only a thought away.

My tears make my loss more visible to you,

but you did not cause this sadness.

It was already there.

When I cry, could it be that you feel helpless,

not knowing what to do?

You are not helpless,

and you don’t need to do a thing but be here for me.

When I feel your permission to allow my tears to flow,

you’ve helped me.

You need not speak. Your silence is all I need.

Be patient . . . do not fear.

Listening with your heart to "how am I doing"

validates what I’m going through,

for when the tears can freely come I feel lighter.

Talking to you releases

what I’ve been wanting to say aloud,

clearing space for a touch of joy in my life.

I’ll cry for a minute or two . . . then I’ll wipe my eyes,

and sometimes you’ll even find I’m laughing in a while.

When I hold back my tears, my throat grows tight,

my chest aches, my stomach knots . . .

because I’m trying to protect you from my tears.

Then we both hurt . . .

me, because my feelings are held inside,

causing pain and a shield against our closeness . . .

and you, because suddenly we’re emotionally distant.

So please, take my hand and see me through my tears . . .

then we can be close again

– Kelly Osmont, MSW, LCSW, CGP, in

What Can I Say and Do? How to Support Someone Who Is Grieving a Loss,

© 2000, Centering Corporation. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.


The Elephant in the Room

There’s an elephant in the room.

It is large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it.

Yet, we squeeze by with, “How are you?” and “I’m fine”. . .

And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

We talk about the weather.

We talk about work.

We talk about everything else —

except the elephant in the room.

We all know it is there.

We are thinking about the elephant as we talk.

It is constantly on our minds,

For you see, it is a very big elephant.

But we do not talk about the elephant in the room.

Oh, please, say her name.

Oh, please, say ‘Barbara’ again.

Oh, please, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

For if we talk about her death,

Perhaps we can talk about her life.

Can I say ‘Barbara’ and not have you look away?

For if I cannot, then you are leaving me

Alone . . . in a room . . .

With an elephant.

— Terry Kettering, in Bereavement Magazine,

Reprinted in Ann Landers’ Column, Arizona Republic, February 12, 2000


Please Ask

Someone asked me about you today.

It's been so long since anyone has done that.

It felt so good to talk about you,

to share my memories of you,

to simply say your name out loud.

She asked me if I minded talking about

what happened to you —

or would it be too painful to speak of it.

I told her I think of it every day

and speaking about it helps me to release

the tormented thoughts whirling around in my head.

She said she never realized the pain

would last this long.

She apologized for not asking sooner.

I told her, "Thanks for asking."

I don't know if it was curiosity

or concern that made her ask,

But I told her, "Please do it again sometime —


— Barbara Taylor Hudson


How to Help a Friend in Grief

As much as we would like to avoid unpleasantness in our lives, sometimes it is inescapable. Instead, we must learn how to grieve in healthy ways and work through our difficulties. If you are wondering what you can do to help a friend who is in intense mourning, here are some suggestions:

Recognize that everyone grieves at their own pace.

Some progress rather quickly, some move very slowly. We never move at the speed that others think we should. Help us take one day at a time.

Keep us company and be there for us.

You don't need to say anything profound or do anything earthshaking. Often, your greatest help is your quiet presence and simplest deeds.

Make suggestions and initiate contact and activities.

It is important for you to respect our privacy and give us some time alone, but we also may not have the energy to structure our lives right after a traumatic loss. We may have to rely on others to think of things that we don't know to ask for.

Provide a safe environment for us to show strong emotions.

It may be very painful, but it can be of enormous help.

Help us remember good things.

Tell us your memories of our loved one as you listen to us tell you ours. If we begin to show our emotions outwardly, you have not upset us, you have simply enabled us to be a bit more open in your presence.

Be there after the first wave is over.

Make the effort to call, to come by, to help us out six months and even a year down the road. Crowds may be difficult for us. Shopping and holidays will be overwhelming. Offer your help. If we're not up to a visit we'll let you know, but let us know you remember and are there for us.

Listen to us.

We need to tell our story over and over in order to process our grief. We may even say outrageous things. Don't judge us by what we say or how we feel. We have a lot to work through, and in time we will come to the answers that are right for us.

Be careful of clichés, religious platitudes, or easy answers.

You may not be able to help us with certain issues right now, so don't be too quick to share your opinions if we say something you don't agree with. We need time to work things out on our own.

Be sensitive to our needs, be patient, have confidence and believe in us.

We will get better, we will experience healing; but it will take some time, and it can be rough going for much of the way.

Be on the lookout for destructive behaviors.

Traumatic loss can lead some people into depression, alcohol or drug abuse. We may need you to keep an eye on us while things are especially tough.

Help us find humorous diversion.

Laughter is good medicine.

Be willing to do difficult things with us.

We may need someone to sit with us in court; we may need a safe place to rage; we may need help with the funeral or afterwards. There may be some hard times ahead and facing them alone can be terrifying.

Help us find ways to bring good things out of the bad.

It is important that our loved one be remembered and memorialized.

Find out about grief.

Read some of the books that are available. The more you know, the better able you will be to help us.

Help us to find support and inspiration.

Often, a poem or song will speak to us in ways that no one else can. Also, talking to someone who has survived a similar loss can help us to realize that we are not alone in our grief.

We have to go through this valley in order to get to the other side.

Dealing with grief cannot be avoided or postponed. Grief can make relationships difficult and you may get frustrated with us or feel uneasy around us. But please remember that now, more than ever, we need the caring and patient support of our friends and family. Help us get through this as well as we are able. Your true friendship and companionship, your kindness and patience can help us get our lives back together.

We will experience some level of grief over our loved one's loss for the rest of our lives.

Some days will simply be better than others. One day, we hope to reach a point where our good days outnumber the bad. That will be a major milestone for us.

Thank you for being here for us.

Reprinted with permission from

What to Do When the Police Leave : A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss (3rd Edition), by Bill Jenkins, WBJ Press, Richmond, VA, 20001



And there is this food for thought, from Ken Doka:

Sometimes we can find respite with others.

When I work with bereaved people

I ask them to make a list of their support system.

Once they do that I ask them to tell me

who are the good listeners,

who are the doers.

But I also have them identify their respite people.

These are the people who are friends

even though they are uncomfortable with pain and grief.

I remind bereaved people that these persons can help, too.

They are often good people to go with to get away from grief.

They are unlikely to ask about the loss.

But they have a valued role in providing diversion.

-- Kenneth J. Doka, Ph.D., in Journeys: A Newsletter to Help in Bereavement, Hospice Foundation of America, May 2001


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Hi all, Yesterday I wrote an email to a bunch of friends and family and included the "wish list" and "how to help a friend in grief." I also included the date of Josh's death so if anyone cares to remember anniversaries, they'd have no excuse. It felt good to send the e-mail. One of my aunts wrote back a very nice email saying she was wondering how I was doing, and "it is true that others tread lightly around someone who has suffered a great loss, so afraid of causing them more pain." One friend replied saying it was "a good thing" and asked where I'd found it. So it was nice to hear from them, but the other 20 or so people???? Well, at least they know where I stand and what I "wish" for. Love, Kelly

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I do not know why we find ourselves alone, as if we have not gone through enough, but unfortunately, it is all our experience that we have to ultimately answer, "It's just me". We need to befriend ourselves, to realize that we really are good company, and it really is okay to go somewhere alone. There is nothing wrong with us. This is something that single people face too, not just those who are widowed. Of course we would rather our loved one be here, by our side, that is why we chose them, that is why we were together. Nothing eases the pain of that loss. But I think it's terrific that someone can go to a botannical garden by themselves to enjoy the flowers, and not miss it just because there's no one to go with them. I don't think there's any easy answers, I've been muddling through these last 13 months trying to figure my way. The only conclusions I've come to is it's damn hard and unfair and no one asked us, and our truly greatest asset is our focus and attitude and it's up to us to try and build something out of our lives...it will not be the same again and you can't compare it to what we've lost, that's yesterday, this is today, we just have to go from here. We all experience the same anger, fear, pain, lonliness...yet we have to continue with faith and hope and positive focus too. That's all a hard balancing act! And we all need to find our own way to deal with everything...we're all different so that path is going to be different for each of us. Some will withdraw into their solitude and some will be social butterflies so they don't have time to think...and there is no right way or wrong way, just our way. We will hopefully all get stronger and learn to stand up for ourselves so people don't take over our decision making as they like to try to do. We will survive and learn how strong we really are...whether we wanted to be or not. And we will turn to each other because there's no one else out there that quite understands like someone else who's been through it or is going through it. And we will all thank God for each other and this site.

Edited by kayc
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Hi to all,

I read this earlier today, and really couldn't think of anything to write. My son is at his Grandpa's in South Carolina for the next week and a half so as I was sitting in my living room all alone (Ironic)it all made since.

I have a lot of contact with friends and family, they have really come together to help me take care of Carson and to help me in any way. Phiscally I am not alone.

Mentally, I am all alone. I can be in a room full of people and I am still alone. Some of my friends and family don't mind if I talk about Karen, I have a safe place where I can grieve and feel my emotions with them. However they will never understand what it is like to lose a spouse. Even though they are there I am still alone. It is so hard to find someone that has been through this at my age. The hardest part of all is the ones that have had a loss through some other means other than death try to relate the grief process thay went through, how ever there is NO comparison.

I am still a very outgoing person, however I am very reserved compared to the way I used to be. It is nice when you can find someone to talk to one on one instead of by the forum where you have to wait for a reply. The forum is a very good resource to vent and to read what others are going through and knowing that there are others going through the same problems you are which means even though we may be separated by distance, we are not alone, we have each other. I wish I could reach through this computer monitor and hug each one of you. One day somewhere down the line who knows our paths may cross anytime.

God bless


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You aren't alone...it just feels like it because you aren't with the one you want to be with. I know. After 13 months today, I still have a hard time really thinking about it, the pain is too great. How I would love to hear my husband open the door and say, "Hi, Hon..." in his sweet voice. It just never stops. You say "they will never know what it is like" but that's not so, unfortunately...someday, sometime, one or other of the couple will go through what you are...they may not go through it as young as you, but from what I'm hearing, I'm not so sure it matters how young or old, how long you've been married...the ones that had their spouse jerked away so soon feel gypped...the ones that spent their lives together and then lost them, they can't imagine life without them...it's hard, no matter when. I know one thing, we've been changed, forever changed because of it, and whenever we encounter loss such as this, we will know and feel what the person is going through...and we'll be less likely to say something stupid or desert them or expect something from them...we'll be more likely to be there, to listen and care and let them talk and cry. I can't say it gets better or easier, but we do learn to continue even in pain.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All,

Thank you All so very much for all your posts, I have read them over and over and I now feel that I am not crazy and others do feel the same way I do I still have the lonely feeling especially at bed time I miss my mom's kiss good night even at age forty I still feel the need. I miss their hugs and the times I spent with them. I am alone physically as well and now I moved in with my sister and her family I still hide out and I just can not make myself enjoy their company. I feel so alone and yet when I am not I want to be. How crazy is that??? Take care Shelley

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Not crazy at all...part of us is afraid to get close again for fear of going through loss again. Yet part of us wants to be close too and misses that. But we also feel set apart or different from other people...and that sometimes makes us withdraw...we feel others don't understand what we are going through, they can't relate...and we also want to protect ourselves from the stupid things people unknowingly say.

It makes perfect sense to me. Maybe with time we will totally rejoin the land of the living, who knows?

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I agree with Kay C that is not crazy at all. I want to be around everyone but the feeling I have sometimes is that life shouldnt be the same and everyone around me thinks it should. They may have lost there brother or there friend, or there uncle in my husband, but I lost my world, Part of me and who I am. You feel like people expect so much of you and I just want to scream sometimes nobody understands!!! That is why I want to be alone sometimes, because if no one else can understand they can just make ya feel worse because you expect them to understand. I also have to agree with Derek it is hard to find someone my age that could even begin to feel what I am feeling around me. I mean I go to a group to talk with others who have lost there loved ones and it helps but i just wish there was someone around I can relate to more. I know it doesnt matter if you lost someone you have been with for4 years or 50 we all have had that love that was taken from us and could never be replaced. I just feel very cheated sometimes because my husband was diagnosed 4 months after we were married and we tried to stay strong even though I know inside both of us were so scared. I guess we all feel cheated and that shows how much we truely loved them. It upsets me when I hear people complain about there husbands and wifes etc. My husband and I were so in love and I couldnt imagine feeling that way about him. In a way I feel sorry for those people because I had such a wonderful relationship with Jason even if it was for a short time he gave me enough love to last a life time. God bless everyone and if you can my father is in the hospital and is going to be going for cardiac procedures can you say a quick prayer for him.

Thank you and God bless..


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I agree with you. You hear people gripping about how their wife or husband is doing this or doing that or they are nagging them about something else. I would give anything to have Karen gripping at me about anything right now. And I usually tell them if they do it in front of me, I tell them they ought to be grateful to have that person still in their lives to grip at them

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Hi All,

This is so weird, but I am scared 90% of the time now. My mom and dad died in 2005 four months apart and I had to change addresses and jobs and I am trying to meet new people. I am scared because I do not know what is going to happen to me. I live with my sister and her family and I am scared what if they just say leave what will I do? Is my sister going to die too like my mom and dad? I had to give my dog Chelsea to my other brother to raise because she could not come to my sister's house with me. Is there going to be a day when I get that call that she is dead too? what are I going to do if I have no one who loves me? I know this probably sounds a little self centered but I always looked after my parents and now I have no one to look after and I do not know what to do next???? Please help me Shelley

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Of course you're scared, we all are...that's part of the grief cycle. We have all experienced having our world shaken up and with the loss we have experienced has come a feeling like we are out of control of our own world because no one asked us if we wanted these changes and yet they just happened to us...so we worry that other things will come that we also didn't want. What I have found that helps:

  • Getting feelings out by verbalizing or writing.
  • Taking control of what you can in your life, like your health, by walking and watching what you eat.
  • Trying not to leave an undue amount of time to be alone in which to brood or worry.
  • Recognizing that if something unasked for does come your way, you have already tackled so much and you will tackle it just like you have these other events.
  • Bring your concerns up...for instance, you might talk with your sister about your concerns about possibly being asked to leave. Reassurance from others helps.
Remember, you can always talk with us!

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Hi All,

I just want to say that every since I found this site I feel like I have a new family. I feel like this is more of a family than my own go figure.

Hi Chrissy 777,

Thank you for your understanding and your kind words, I feel that I am a very lucky person to have found this website and the people that are hear are wonderful. take care and God Bless you Shelley

Hi KayC,

Thank you for your kind words and your last post it really means alot to have someone who really understands what I am going through take care and God Bless Shelley

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