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Have We Changed That Much?

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One of my wife's sisters found out February she has Cancer so everyone in the family stopped talking to me?

When I confronted them to see if I had done something wrong to be cut out of the family they told me about the news. They said there had been a "family meeting" and it was decided I could not handle this so close to loosing my wife.

Shun me because they were afraid I would find out and be upset? It hurt me more being avoided. Yes it brought back memories of my wife and all we went through fighting her cancer but, I offered my help to my sister-in-law and her family. "They don't think", he has been through this and he is a great resource not someone to avoid.

People don't understand we are emotional and finding our way but, we are still the people we were deep inside. They all knew how caring and giving I have been all my life. I had even looked at becoming a Nurse a few years ago because I love to help people. God Love Them I jumped at the chance to help once I found out. I had tried to volunteer with Hospice and was told it was to soon and I understand that but, this is family. Now I am the one afraid to tell them how they hurt me by pushing me away.

On the lighter side, while they were avoiding me for my own good, they also forgot to tell me I was invited to a Birthday Party! (Mine) :o

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I am so sorry you had to deal with that.... I don't know why they do that..... but my best friend failed to let me know that another of our friends MIL had passed and so went to the funeral without even telling me. I had to read it in the weekly paper after the fact... At least I got to send a card and call them after it was over.... but it would have been nicer to be there for them at the service and all..

I sometimes feel as if I have a big Red W tatooed on my forehead... and I just hate that.. but I guess I will have to learn to live with it.


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This makes me really appreciate my friends and family who, at least to this point, have been very good about making sure I stay in whatever loops there are. People tell me that by this point people stop calling, stop doing the things that have kept you sane. I have two friends with mothers in nursing homes who are on the edge one way and another. We went out to dinner last night and each of us had time to bring the other two up to date. They both have built in excuses for not seeing me that are absolutely legitimate, but there they were. Someone at school sees me every day, just to check in. On Friday's someone makes sure to tell me where staff is meeting after school to grouse about the week. Another friend's daughter is home from college this week, but she still took the time to call and check on how I was doing.

I am truly blessed by the people around me in ways I did not entirely understand until now.

But DV they were trying to do what they thought was the right thing. And of course they got it wrong. Who knows us like our spouses did? And even knowing each other as well as we did, we sometimes did the wrong thing. At least I did. And when I am honest with myself and not putting my wife on the pedestal I sometimes now put her on, I know she miss-guessed stuff as well.

It still has to hurt. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And this is clearly one of those times.

But that won't in any way prevent you, now that you know, from providing the support that those people need. And you will be better able to give that support because of what you have experienced. You know parts of the road they still have in front of them. You will do it because it is part of who you are--and it is part of who you were. You helping them may help you reclaim a part of your self.

Just after my wife's funeral, one of my friends called to tell me that her husband had been suddenly hospitalized and that they were not sure exactly what was wrong. The two of them had sat in my living room just the week before offering all the support they could. Now she needed what help I could give--and in the same breath was giving me even more support: "I now really understand where you and Jane were in August. This not knowing is awful." We talked for a long time that night on the phone. And we both went away from the call feeling significantly better.

Her husband is now home from the hospital, but his recovery has been very slow--and they still are not sure exactly what caused his problem--nor if it will recur. Helping the two of them get through the emotional fog of both the initial shock and the still-not-knowing has helped me to deal with my own grief. It is good to feel useful and not like this pure ball of hurt that needs help all the time. We may be hurting, but we all need to feel of use. And in being of use we can, perhaps, begin to get our humanity back.

Unfortunately, most people see grief and just want it to go away, apparently. They want to avoid causing us more pain--and in doing so they sometimes deny us the very experiences that may help that pain to lessen--or at least help us better come to terms with who we were, who we are, and who we are becoming.

I am finding all of the posts here very useful in getting me to think more clearly about what it is I--indeed all of us--am going through. I hope my posts are being equally helpful. But DV, this one has really struck a huge chord in my head. Thanks,


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I think it's important to let them know that while you appreciate their trying to spare you, it's important to you to be included in all things, that they need to let you know about everything that is so important in the family, that part of your healing journey is to deal with things as they come. They need to let YOU decide what you can or can't handle. I'm glad they remembered your birthday though, Happy Birthday!

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I just found out my grandmas cancer is back and this time its stage four , and my Dan has been gone for 7 months now. I find myself saying sometimes I just cant go threw this again but then I realize that however hard and sometimes seemingly unfair it is this is our circle of life. When I have my times (they seem like all the time lately) of grief thats swallowing me whole I tell myself this is our circle of life and its the path that I have to go down and with that I just let my grief be,, if I have a day where I cant stop crying well then I just let it be, same if Im having a happy day, or an angry day.

Dan is always in my thoughts every second and in my heart and soul.

I find sometimes talking to him helps or if we are having a nice family day then we include him,, tell little stories ,, jokes at his expense(as they always were), or even talk about something funny he would have said. This gives me the feeling of him being included in my life the same way he is still and always will be in my heart.

I have a good friend who once said to me just before my grandpa passed grieve for him when he is gone not while he is still here , enjoy every last second u have with them maybe if u explained to your families that this is what they are taking away from you when they dont include you ,, and really the only thing they are leaving u with is the grief if either a friend or family member does pass on ,, its a very special gift to be able to say your goodbyes to a loved one(either family or friend) and I am right now dealing with the news about my grandma who is one of the very most important people in my life just this way I will try and wait to grieve untill after she has passed.

lots of hugs Barb

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