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I have been having a hard time for the past few weeks and haven't even felt the strength to respond to anyone. It was 9 months for me a week ago and I am still really struggling to see where I fit in - especially with our "couples" friends. A few weeks ago I had taken my dog Zachary out on the ice road to visit some friends(??) when they told me that he was no longer welcome at their camp, they were making it dog free. This really hurt because it felt like they were telling me that I was not welcome either, so I stopped going there. They know how important our dog is to us and how close Rick and Zach were. We called Rick "the big dog" - everyone did. I discussed this with my councellor and she said maybe I should try and explain to my friend why Zach was so important to me at this time. To me he feels like my best friend, the one who is always with me and seems to understand that I feel bad. He never judges but loves me uncondionally. He is also a great tie to Rick. I tried -by email-yesterday because I figured I would just cry if I saw her in person and I really wanted to explain what life was like for me now - the emptiness, loneliness etc. I really "bared" my soul to her which was very hard for me to do and I recieved a curt email back saying that it was too bad that I felt the way I did but "that she was not prepared to go down that road " with me. By "that road" she explained it was my emotions. I didn't want her to take what I had said personally because that was not what I meant, I was only trying to explain my feelings so I emailed back and tried to explain but I guess she is not interested and it HURTS. She was angry when I said that I thought I might need to find some new friends (who are single and have experienced loss of their husband and who completely understand where I am and where I am coming from). I didn't mean to leave our old friends completely but what she doesn't understand is the pain I feel when I am with them because HE is not there - it just isn't the same anymore and I am not the same either. She is constantly after me to have a drink because it'll make me feel better - I am on medication and shouldn't drink and don't want to anyway - she says just go off the meds for a few days and it'll be ok??? After Rick died a friend of my mom's whose husband had died gave me a book my mom had given her and it says that this break with friends often happens and I thought to myself how that would not happen to me but it is and I am feeling so lost - I know they haven't had the same experience as me but I wish they would just "get it". Sorry for rambling but I needed to get rid of these rejection feelings - any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated Thanks Jane

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It is very hard to lose our friends on top of our best friend, our spouse. I was surprised by that when it happened to me but have found it is common. It is usually their issues, not ours. Sometimes people are no longer comfortable with us because they feel if it could happen to us, it could happen to them. Or maybe they just like being couples together. Or maybe they felt more of a kinship with the one that died than the one that was left. Who knows? I've tried to figure it out and now have just accepted that it is what it is.

I think it was good for you to express how important your dog is to you and insensitive for her to not get it...but she hasn't been down this road and unfortunately, doesn't get it. It isn't good advice for her to tell you to go off your meds and drink with her. Medications are best not gone on/off/on/off, but with the doctor's instructions and knowledge. Hang in there and do what you know is best for you. Perhaps seeking new friends would be good...it'd be nice to have a mixture of both new and old ones. Love you!

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Dear Jane,

It feels like the hardest thing in the world to lose your spouse - and 'rejection' from so-called friends (or family) afterward just makes the clouds darker. What I thought of when I read 'your friend's' reply to your soul-baring disclosure is that SHE can't handle it - it has nothing to do with you, but has everything to do with HER - and her apparent selfishness and callousness. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. People are weird sometimes, arent they?

My husband of 10 years had 5 grown children and 15 grandchildren when he died in August, and I haven't heard from ONE of them, except through an attorney the middle daughter hired because she was under the impression that he had money that went to me that should have gone to them. The daughters were around when he died and one of them was asking me - a couple of hours before he died - what funeral arrangements I had made...I wasn't even thinking straight, never mind thinking about a funeral. They went ahead and had a funeral (I let them get some of his ashes) in their home-town and b asically sent me the message that I wouldn't be comfortable attending because my husband's youngest son would be there and he and my husband and I were estranged. I still find that whole situation unbelievable!

His youngest son, with whom he had been estranged for about 8 years, wouldn't even say ANYTHING on the phone to his father the day he died...and my husband was in a coma, so there would have been no respone. One of the sisters called the son to let him know their dad didn't have long left and would he please say something to him on the phone - his reply was 'no'. How cold-hearted can a person be?

I sure learned a lesson from all of that...people can do the meanest, most heartless things you can possibly imagine - and none of this was about me, it was all about their selfishness and callousness. I know that to be true, because we all got along fine while Dick was alive.

I hope this mini-novel has helped somewhat. Just remember, the people who are truly kind and loving and considerate will NOT treat you this way - and you're better off without the 'mean' ones in your life!

Love, Benita

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Jane,

It made me feel so bad for you when I read your post. Someone that you thought was a good friend, tells you not to bring your dog around, wants you to go off your meds so you can drink. And isn't "ready to go down that road" with you, doesn't seem like someone you need in your life right now. I have a relative in my life that is being very hurtful to me and I have decided I don't need that right now and that she feels toxic to me. This person in my life is not the person I thought she was and when I needed understanding and compassion, she offered cold,insensitive, hurtful advice.."in my best interest"...maybe you should just take some time away from this person. You need positive, caring people around you right now..especially your dog!

Take care.

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Thanks Spunkye and Kayc

I think that I will be grateful for the good friends that I have and just let this one go , it's not worth the emotional upsets in dealing with her. I feel sorry for her when her day comes to deal with the loss of her husband - he is older than her and really not in the best of health. She is very opinionated and sees things only her way - the tough part is that we were all part of a group of 10 who did things together on the lake. I think that I will just avoid the group gatherings and see the others on my own. Kayc you always give good advice --thanks for listening. Spunkye, I am so sorry for all the turmoil in your life in dealing with your husbands children. They seem so selfish. Do you have children of your own? Thanks both for the encouragement - I wish that friends did not have to be an issue at this difficult time in our lives - sometimes I really think that they just do not know how to respond.. with love Jane

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It's good to hear from you all on this post. I just went through something last night since I posted...

My sister called me and told me my mom had just told her how unhealthy our (sisters) relationship with each other is (she's jealous if she's ever excluded...but wait, you'll see why she is sometimes excluded). She went on to say it was so horrible that we (me) would rather be with each other than with our (my) dying husband. Can you believe that! I went to my annual Sisters Reunion (there are several of us) and AFTER I left, my husband had a heart attack and went to the hospital...I learned about it LATER and he didn't want me to come but I came as soon as I could get a ride anyway. Of course I wanted to be with my husband and I didn't know until I got to the hospital that he would die.

Talk about toxic relationships, what do you do with a mother like that?! And my family wanted me to transport her from her grandson's graduation (several hours away)to her house, even though it'd mean I'd have to get up at 3:00 a.m. to do so in order to be at work on time. This same grandson is accepted into U. of Portland's Honors Program and when "Grandma" was told that, she responded by saying "I don't care about his accomplishments, I just want him to follow the Lord!" Anyway, I told them no and am in the middle of trying to help them to understand why I just "can't do mom" right now. This is the same woman that called me first thing in the morning after my husband died and demanded to know when I was going to come get his trailer. (He often stayed down there during the week because of the distance to his job...he also was the only one who loved and cared for her and took her places all the time and was so good at dealing with her...I figure he was a saint-I'm not).

Edited by kayc
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