As a widow, do you want their attention? Your loved one has died. For some the support quickly leaves, but for others they get constant questions about how they are doing or what their plans are. It’s not helpful and it feels invasive, but how do you convince others that you need some space?
You don’t want to hurt their feelings, but then again is this about their feelings or your need?
Your family and friends feel that it’s their job to empathize, but also to give you attention. And they don’t know how you feel about this unless you tell them.
Most people simply don’t know what to say or do when someone is grieving. We widows understand that they are doing the best they can and we hold our emotions back, so that no one’s feelings get hurt. But sometimes it is all too overwhelming, and emotionally the dam breaks and everything tumbles out.
Instead, say “I’m grateful for the support and patience you’ve shown me. But I don’t have the emotional energy to spend on our relationship (family/friends). To be honest, I don’t have it to give as I’m numb and totally drained. For now I just need time for myself to reflect and heal.”
Let them know that you hope they will stick by you as you continue to grieve and heal. Promise them that it’s not personal and soon you will be able to socialize and give them the attention they deserve.
Having said that, not every friendship (especially couple friends) last forever. It takes courage and honesty to assess the vitality of each friendship, so that when you are ready you will have the necessary energy for those that support and encourage you.
As a new widow, life is mixed up and you may be unbalanced. One day you don’t want to talk to anyone,and another day you are upset because no one calls you. Be patient with yourself and also with family and friends.