Grieving with Family and Friends

posted in: Stages of Grief | 5

I had lots of support from family and friends when Donnie died. Even a year later they were there at the grave site for the one year anniversary. I truly appreciate them; but as much as I needed their support, I also treasured my time alone.

Grief is not a process that ends after we pass through a series of predictable stages such as denial, anger and acceptance. I wanted – needed to grieve my way. We shouldn’t put pressure on people by saying that enough time has passed and they need to get on with life. Well, that’s totally wrong!!

I’m so thankful that my family and friends didn’t do that to me but I hear stories every day from grieving people that feel rushed. Our patterns of grief are as unique as our patterns of love. We don’t have to follow anyone’s pattern or perceived stages of grief. Sadness and grief are perfectly normal and necessary to our healing.
Grieving is not self-indulgence, self-pity or hanging onto something in the past. We should accept grief, welcoming our moments of sorrow as a time to heal.

Grief is not something we recover from but an ongoing process that may be part of our lives to our very last breath – and that’s okay. Grieving with family and friends is a blessing as long as they support our choices.

I’ve learned to live without Donnie but not to forget him, to honor my memories of the times we had together, while still living in this world. I don’t try to avoid my grief anymore but instead when it comes I let it have it’s time.

5 Responses

  1. Annie
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    It’s been seven months since I lost my husband and I must say it seems to get harder rather than easier. I guess reality has set in and I accept he won’t be back. My joy is I know we will be together again one day. I am not a real social person so for me right now I enjoy my alone time. I work everyday but even with my children I find it hard right now to be together. I pray this will change but for now I have to do what is in my heart. A blessed Thanksgiving to all of you.

  2. Mary Francis
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    Take care Annie and Thanksgiving blessings to you also.

    It’s okay to need some alone time and to be social is hard at the best of times let alone the holiday season without our loved ones. But in time please force yourself to get out, because there is a thin line between healthy grief and depression.

    Take care, Mary Francis

  3. janabarb
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    My husband died by my side unexpectedly, one minute he was asking me if I have ever had an extremely sharp pain in my jaw and when I turned to answer him, I knew looking back he was gone. That was November 4, 2015, which sometimes seems like yesterday and other times a very long time ago. We had moved to Laughlin, NV from London, Kentucky, looking for warmth and a single level home. Our home in Kentucky was a 4 bed, 3 bath 2200sf cottage that was waterfront. It was on 2 acres and absolutely beautiful all year with the seasons. I was heavy and injured my knees so we put the house up for sale and bought a home in Laughlin, NV. We had the house remodeled while we lived in our RV for 2 months. We were very happy, however it was very hard meeting people there, they didn’t want to be met. So when my Bob died I was completely alone, after my Sons and family left, I had no one to lean on. I spoke with my sister everyday as she just lost her husband 5 months prior. At times I literally screamed out loud and just cried and cried. I just felt so alone. I struggled along and started eating more healthy. I took all my husband’s clothing to the Salvation Army. I had to voluntary surrender our RV and I had to file for bankruptcy and we still had not sold the home in Kentucky. We had a renter and just a few weeks after my husband died she called and announced she had to move due to a promotion in another city. So I had to let that home go. We just didn’t plan very well. I had to put my husband’s dog down a month after he passed away. Buddy was 11 years old, and was having respiratory problems, and also suffered from dog dementia per our Vet. I sold our home with all the furniture and moved to California near my sister and bought a mobile home and now live in a park. At first I was in such a downward spiral, but with my faith I managed to pull myself out of my despair. I have met many people and also have many friends in the area as I retired from a job very near where I live. I danced last night by myself at my club’s function, and today I feel so guilty, this was the first time I have dance since he was alive and we dance in our kitchen! My husband and I met very close to where I live and I had asked him to dance and we never left each other and 4 months later we were married, till death we did part. We had a wonderful relationship and were very much in love for 31 years, 10 months and 12 days! I want many friends however I have no interest in any male companionship. It has been almost 16 months and I still struggle but I have lost 121 lbs, and almost off all medications and love where I am today! I still miss him so much!

  4. AUGUSTA
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    I am in the 4th month? of grief for my husband. I buried two of my children (16 & 32) before burying my husband. We were together 42 years and the pain and loneliness is sometimes overwhelming.

    Best wishes for the both of us.

  5. Mary Francis
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    Dear Augusta I’m so very sorry for all your losses. You are an amazing lady to still be standing strong after all your grieving. Take care of yourself. Mary Francis

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