Grieving with Family and Friends

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.

10 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.

    • 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

  2. 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!

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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.

    • 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

  4. Ruth
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    Lost my best friend and my husband 4 months ago. I can’t forget the last time he was at ER he told me: I don’t think I can make it this time dear, I told him not to think about it and just be positive. He apologized to me for smoking which led to his eminent death. I was there with him from beginning until he breath his last. I was thinking what if I didn’t stay there, would I feel as much hurt as I am now or the other way around? I am taking it one day at a time, work is a bit of distraction but I am still crying when I think of him as I am now. Thank you.

    • Mary Francis
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      Hi Ruth – I remember when my Donnie died suddenly I was thinking, is it better to have a quick painless death or a long treatment filled death? In the end I decided that it didn’t matter as the end result was the same – I didn’t have my husband any more. I think that is the same for you – whether you were there for his last breath or stepped out for some reason and missed it; the end result is the same and you will hurt no matter what. It has only been 4 months and the hurting and grieving has to have it’s time. It’s normal to still be crying and it’s okay to do so. Take care of yourself, Mary Francis

  5. Ramona
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    I lost my Steven 12 days ago. I miss him so bad it is almost unbearable. We were together 17 years which hardly seems like any time at all. I like reading everyone’s stories it makes me not feel so alone.

    • Mary Francis
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      Hi Ramona – Grieving is the most difficult thing we will ever do in this life. It’s very important to travel this journey with others that understand your pain and can offer you support and encouragement. Check out the widows under the “community for widows” section on the website and also the resource page. Take care of yourself, Mary Francis

  6. Augusta
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    I am sorry you have loss your dear Steven. I understand the pain, loss and grief you are feeling right now and it is okay to grieve for your loss.

    It will be one year for me on Jan 6, 2018 and on Dec 31st, my husband and I would have been married for 40 years.

    Please know that others do care about your loss. Feel free to keep us posted and to talk.


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