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Hi. I have a busy weekend coming. My cousin is coming to stay a couple days. Her husband died a year before mine, so we've only been widowed for less than 2 or 3 years. I haven't seen her for 30 years. I can't wait. The problem is this...we are having a "gathering" in her honor. That usually means about 100 people. I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it. I'm sure she will be too. (It was not my idea, my very social sister planned this one.) Being I have to stay for five hours as I'm escorting the guest of honors, I feel I need to put on a happy face. I've cried more in the past month since reading all these posts and especially with anyone new coming in, you would think I would be all dried up. It feels just opposite. Most of these people haven't seen me since the funeral. I want to hide. In fact, I didn't "plan" any major activities, because I just want to be with my cousin and talk. She has a son my son's age and they've never met, yet have more in common than anyone else he knows. I have been pestered from all angles about not having plans. Please HELP!

When I get stressed, I tend to shut down and not do anything. I feel a great lumpiness coming on.


Edited by kath
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Oh Kath! I'm so glad you two will be reconnecting! Sounds wonderful.

They are upset because you don't have plans???

Oh...but you DO have plans...

Remember these plans:

I just want to be with my cousin and talk.

Those ARE plans. :)

Sure you could escort her to the party.. but after that.. hey.. you two just plunk down and have an old fashioned chat. Do what feels right and good for both of you. She's your guest really so ask her what she wants to do.

The "party".... yeah I know that trepidation of seeing everyone for the first time after a funeral. I had to go to a wedding recently and dreaded it too.. for some of the very same reasons.

But.. I went.. and I really did ok for most of it despite having spent the weeks and days leading up to it a blubbery mess.

Once I was there.. I just tried to get wrapped up in the whole wedding and bride and groom.

Sure at one point I let a few tears go.. and that was the worst that happened.. A when it it did happen.. what did my cousin do the instant he saw me well up? He wrapped me up in his arms and hugged me. So.. that wasn't so bad. I knew he understood... he didn't have to say anything and he didn't.. he just hugged me. It was brief.. and I ended up laughing through my tears.

I have to try to remember.. these are family members.. and some won't get it and others will. But.. in the end... they are all extended family. And the ones who meant the most to me.. understood.

That day try to just focus on your cousin. Hopefully you two will get a chance to chat some before the party. And hopefully your boys do get that chance too. (How neat they have so much in common!)

I'll be thinking of you.


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Your "social sister" needs to be in charge. Please tell her what you've told us. She may not understand, not having been through it herself. That doesn't matter. What matters is that she HEARS and REGARDS you! You are feeling understandably overwhelmed, and need out of this. You and your cousin need some relaxing alone time together, and the boys need time to get acquainted. The last thing you need is some big to-do! If you absolutely can't get out of it, do NOT be in charge of a bunch of stuff, just do one thing and that's it. Let social sister do it. Please, be very assertive with her, if you don't protect yourself, who will?

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Oh I agree KayC..

Kath definitely let your sis "do" the party. I kinda thought she was but maybe I misread what you posted. No.. I don't think you should take ANY of that on. Kayc is right... Your Sis is the one who wants the party so just let her do it. You, understandably, just aren't up for all of that!

And just wear your face... whatever it happens to be that day... I'm sure it will be beautiful.


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Here is what I am wondering....does your cousin even know about your sister's plans? If yes, how does she feel about it? I would be furious if I came to visit family as a new widow and someone planned this type of gathering for me. I would refuse to come! Now maybe that sounds selfish but I have to tell you that I have been through enough turmoil these past few months that I AM going to put me first! The only other person I would have any additional consideration for would be you (my cousin who also lost her loved one). Being surrounded by that many people would scare me to death at this point.

Ok, I'm done being a "B". I hope you have a wonderful, and RELAXING visit with your cousin.


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The "festivities" are over and though I didn't say so, I think the reception was planned more for my sister's benefit than for my cousin and her son. I told my cousin the plan before she arrived and it was news to her. I was shocked, too that sis didn't ask if she would even care for such an event. (She would have said "No way!") We were able to chat some this morning and took a nice walk around the lake. But having to meet and greet for most of the day made it impossible to find a nice place for dinner. We also had to get tickets for a later play and it was tough for the kids. It would have been far more enjoyable to spend time with her and the kids doing something fun, like bowling and attend the play in the afternoon.

Also true to form, I forgot half the stuff I was supposed to bring and my dips were like soup. I would really like to know when I will get my mind and my cooking abilities back.

Thanks, all, for your input. It really helps. I think I get too defensive about this stuff, so it's nice to know others think I have a right to be.

Something wonderful that happened was, my cousin brought me a ring that my grandmother gave to my aunt and then to her. Its to wear instead of my wedding ring, if at some point, I am ready. I don't think I ever will, but it fits perfectly on that finger and her thoughtfulness was incredible. (Both my grandma and aunt are dead and I have nothing from either of them.) I told JeanneC I would let her know if I found my lost ring and keys to the cabinet...the keys were found yesterday and while I didn't find my ring, this one will be treasured in a new way.

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I am glad it's over with and that you at least had some good time with your cousin. I think if your sister ever does anything like this again, the two of you would have every right to just tell her that you already have plans and you will not be in attendance. Pushy people annoy me to no end but it seems like every family has one (or some) and we have to stand up for ourselves and make decisions we know is in our best interest.

I'm glad she brought the ring, too, that was very thoughtful and sweet. And should you never want to remove your wedding ring, that is fine too, maybe you could wear one of them on a chain around your nect, or maybe just keep the new ring as a special treasure of memories.

I hope you're having a good day today!]



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