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They Just Don't Get It, Do They?


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Sorry but I must say this to someone. A really good female friend of mine and Pete's (she and her husband have been our friends since 1973 though we don't see them often) rang to see how I was. I was telling her how I have a friend coming from the States to stay in August and that Pete and I had planned to take her all over. But now I just couldn't summon up enthusiasm for anything and we would maybe just go to a few places. she said "well in a month you may feel differently". I thought A MONTH?. How long does she think I will be to feel differently? A month? How could I feel any different by then? Maybe several years! I don't know, but I do know that this isn't going away in a month. I was truly shocked that someone I was fond of could be so totally obtuse. She doesn't get it and I'm glad she hasn't got to go through this but it made me realise that I just don't want to associate with people who don't get it. It made me feel that I just want to be alone if people are going to expect me to turn back into the person I was when my darling Pete was with me. It made me feel like turning into a recluse rather than have to pretend that I am any other than a totally broken person. Sorry for the rant. You have probably all had something like this and I shouldn't be so shocked maybe?

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Jan, I am so very sorry for your loss and that you have to go through the grief that follows.

If you have not experienced the loss of your beloved spouse, you honestly do not have any idea what we as surviving spouses feel. At the same time, I will say that I do not honestly understand how you feel, I am not you.

I know exactly how I feel and what I have experienced. My husband died 4 years ago and time has helped me grow accustomed to the loss, the pain, the loneliness and to realize that this is my new "normal" life. Doesn't mean I am "over it" or that a month will truly change how I feel. It's pretty much a day by day, moment by moment way of living. There are still things said by friends and family that hurt, baffle and bewilder me.

It is hard for others to know how to respond to us and often their responses are hurtful and seem insensitive. My loss and grief has taught me to keep my mouth shut when I am with someone in grief. I am not all that much of a touchy, freely person, so a touch on the arm or pat on the back is generally my first personal touch and just saying "I am so sorry".

Time will help, honestly. Right now, you do not need to feel like a tour director. You need to do what you feel you can do. Treat yourself with kindness and gentleness.

God Bless,

Anne

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Jan what you are saying is a common thread we all experience in our journey.....I was emphatic to others before, but had no idea what this would do to me.......funny you should talk about this today, my Mom who has tried to be helpfull, I say this knowing that she would never try to hurt her kids, but more than once she was awfull.....She called to check on me today....she admitted she didnt know what to do for me, but was pleased I was making it through. As for others.....I have disconnected our friendships....some have encouraged me to get over it, others found out I was Gay and have never called again.......never expected their behaviour...

Time has been an friend here, everything has changed from a new address book of friends and family.....to moving into a new house...I still have plenty of moments......and know that there is not one aspect of my life this hasnt affected...even my physical health....but believe as time continues, your time not anyone elses, you will find your way through this horrible maze of experiences and emotions. And will be able to figure out who you want in your life.

Best Wishes! Dave

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Hi Jan,

Yes, I believe most if not all of us have experienced someone's total lack of understanding. I have in my own family. People just can not comprehend and do not know what to say even if intentions are good. I have learned over these months to blow them off. I do avoid them however if I feel a lack of freedom to talk to them about it. I tis frustrating for sure and hurtful at times. We all get it here.

Peace

Mary

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Jan, sorry for that experience. Knock on wood but so far I've been pretty lucky about not having "dumb" things said to me. I would suggest trying to keep in mind that what they said was (I assume) well-intended, despite its colossal idiocy. :) I'm not excusing it, just something to keep in mind. I know it's hard though; I think part of it is that it's another reminder of how isolated/alone this can make us. Not just the obvious of not having that person, but of so few people having a clue about it. That's why I'm grateful for places like this.......

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Yes it does help me to be able to sound off a bit. This is such a new world for me and some of the people I expected to understand just don't. It makes me realise we are all basically living in our own little bubble and I'm sure I would once have been just as stupid about someone's loss I suppose.

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Unfortunately alot of us here have had really bad experiences with people saying the wrong thing. It would make me so angry and hurt. I did separate myself from some of the people and what hurt more was they didn't even notice. I gave up trying to explain it to those who haven't lost a "spouse" because I would end up getting into some kind of debate trying to explain how this was a different grief, not more, not less than other grief, just different. It still hurts after 6 yrs. At least now, I just shrug my shoulders and let it go. Deborah

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Guest babylady

no. they don't get it. people keep telling me i have to get out and make friends. not only am i still grieving (it hasn't even been 2 months) but i'm ill. how can i go out and try to socialize when i feel sick most of the time? my sister says "it's all in my mind" and i can make myself feel better. she said i'll feel better when i'm out. if that's the case why do i have panic attacks when i'm out doing something like food shopping? was it all in my husband's mind that he had a brain tumor?

yes. i know the power of positive thinking, but it's very hard to be positive right now.

hugs to all of you.

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Jan, it's been a relatively short time, and it's preposterous to think you could feel like being a tour guide at this point. But the others are right, people just don't get it unless they've been through it, and even then, everyone reacts differently. Listen to your inner self...it knows best.

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