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Hit A Rough Patch Lately


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Hi, everybody:

I wanted to pose this question to see if anyone else has noticed this happening to them. When my Dad died, there were a lot of people who said to us, "If you need anything, please don't hesitate to call!" I've tried not to be a burden to my friends and family because I know everybody has their own lives to lead. However, there have been a couple of occassions lately where I've needed some assistance or have phoned family members to invite them to our house for Thanksgiving. The first thing I get is this really weird, uncomfortable silence. Then, they're either too busy, have other plans and can't end the conversation quickly enough. Why do people say that if they don't really mean it?? When I first began my bereavement sessions, my counselor had me make a list of supportive people in my life....that list appears to have shifted and changed. Why?? The people I thought I could count on (mostly relatives) haven't come through and the ones I thought wouldn't be there for me have been awesome.

Thank goodness for you guys! :)

Leann

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Leann, I definately noticed this too and have heard this from other grievers as well. In the beginning, I called who I thought would be supportive, and this "list" in my mind changed so much from what was actually true! I love this line from Stephanie Ericsson's Companion through the Darkness:

Grief makes what others think of you moot. It shears away the masks of normal life and forces brutal honesty out of your mouth before propriety can stop you. It shoves away friends, scares away so-called friends, and rewrites your address book for you.

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Leann,

Oh yes, I can definitely relate to this! And like many of us on here, my "address book has defintiely been rewritten"!

There was a line in "Tequilla Sunrise" where Mel Gibson says, "Friends are like tires. You only get so much mileage out of them and then you have to get new ones". It seems to me that most "friends" are for certain "stages" of your life, and when that stage is over, their gone! The only real ones are the ones that are there for you during all your stages, and I'm afraid there aren't many of those around! I can count my real friends on one hand, and have quite a few fingers left! I, of course, thought there were more than that, but found out it wasn't so.

Hang on dearly to the ones who have helped you now. They're definitely keepers.

Hugs,

Shell

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Thank you both for those great quotations. I keep a quotations notebook and I'll definately add those to it> :) I guess what gets me the most is the awkward silences from relatives. My family is dwindling in number and their reactions make me feel even lonelier. I'm actually receiving more support from friends than I am family. :( Oh well...I guess that's just the way things are.

My brother and I received the layout for Dad's stone today. The company has done a wonderful job. It looked so nice; just the way we wanted it. However, it took me aback to see it there in black and white.

Hugs,

Leann

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Leann,

That would be hard to see, but I'm glad they did a good job. I'll add one more "quote", a favorite of my moms: "This too shall pass". I remind myself of that when I get overwhelmed. I know that things will change and I will handle them (I hope!) and also that good things will happen too.

Hugs,

Shell

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Hi Leann,

I have felt the same way at times. When my Mom died there were so many that offered me their time and assistance. I got some really great help in the days that followed her unexpected passing away....I have kids and I needed help with them and school because my parents live out of town. Friends brought food and sent condolences...but your right, as the weeks pass help is less frequent. It's because this horrible thing didn't happen to them. I am guilty of the exact same thing for others.

I went back to work and there were people who just did not know what to say to me. I have 1 very good friend who lost a brother in a drunk driving accident in 2002. She was my grief buddy....in 200 she also lost her father-in-law to cancer. I called her every week after her brother died and we would talk, she would vent, I would listen and sometimes we cried together. She has been like that for me and for her I am grateful. I also have very good friends who do not like to bring up what happened to my Mom, I think they fear upsetting me still. Little do they know, that there are days that I cry by myself and talk to my Mom because no one else is around. Then I have days where I am okay all day. I think we need that offered help the most when the funeral arrangements have been done, everyone has gone home and we finally realize that our loved one is never coming back. Sometimes, relatives are not the best to be that comfort, because they are often grieving too. I remember last year at Christmas (my Mom died Nov. 30th), my Mom's sister---my Aunt, was insistant that I spend Christmas with her and her family...my mother-in-law was upset that I wasn't planning on the original plans for Christmas that year. I was an emotional basket case. Crying because all I wanted to do was spend Christmas with my husband, daughters and Dad. It took every ounce of energy I had to decorate that year because I have young kids. I kept getting phone calls at work from them and I finally broke down and a motherly woman I work with and have known for years came over and told me, "you do what is best for you this year, they'll get over it".

Finally, I am thankful for this site, because there is always a person willing to lend and ear, confirm what you are feeling, offer gentle advise, I see myself in so many of the posters here. I visit everyday and feel the compassion of the members who are trying to continue to live and find their new place in life after the loss of a loved one. It's been an emotional year for everyone and with each new day without my Mom I realize I have changed. Missing her has been the hardest thing I have had to endure in my entire life and I am glad I have at least a select few to share that grief with.

Hugs and peace to you.

Lori

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Hi Leann,

I'm sorry you are going through this....it seems that we have all had this syndrome from reading other replies...unfortunately, people just don't know how to act or behave, or they feel guilty for offering false promises...who knows...anyway...when my mom died, not one of her 10 brothers or sisters contacted me or tried to comfort me or help me or anything...neither had any of my 50 some-odd cousins. I felt so alone as well and bewildered by their apparent lack of caring..I have come to realize that they were grieiving in their own way as well and figured they probably could not bear to look at me as I am the spitting image of my mom...I even get gasps when I enter a family function still as they think it is my mom...I still feel alone and probably always will. That is why this site is here I think...to help us realize that we are not alone and we can chat with each other. I don't post much as I really try to keep busy, but I do need this site as much as all of you to help keep me afloat on the bad days... peace to you and the only thing I can say is that keep the friends that are with you no matter what and as for relatives...hopefully they come around some time and if not, bringing it up is sure to cause some discomfort as they know what they do and don't do; so while I don't advocate pretending nothing happened...not mentioning it even if you wanted to might be something you should entertain so as to at least have some type of relationship even if it is not as close as it once was...take care and wishing you comfort in happy memories...

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it's been a while since ive been on the site, but i've been struggling w/ the same thing, leann....when i saw your message i thought "me too!" wow... your words really speak to me. for me, im coming up on 3 years now (in a couple weeks) and i can feel the lump in my throat developing. i want so badly to call some friends, but im afraid they will politely listen to me, yet think, "geez...isnt she over this yet?" ironically, ive been receiving emails from some of my dad's friends & distant cousins telling me how much they miss him, but im not 'connected' to those people, ya know? i want MY FRIENDS to acknowledge it. but, we all have kids/husbands/our own daily drama, etc... so here i am. so glad this site is here. leann, i agree w/ the other posts - you really do become aware of those who say 'anything you need' (because thats the standard reply) and those who just DO for you...know what i mean? those who still call, still ask how you're doing, those who take the TIME. i know we cant possibly expect for others on the fringe of the grieving process to continue supporting us for years & years (and it DOES take that long) but yet, it is still disapointing to feel that others have 'moved on' and you are still 'stuck'. my only advice would be for you to know & see WHO IS there for you & use them, for lack of a better term...and always, always THANK them for being there for you in your continuing time of need....know also, that this site is forever a place for you to blow off steam, cry, & get different points of view. we are all here for each other, and we should all cherish that....good luck & much love & understanding to you....

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