Grief - The Pity Party

by Allison
(Canada)

(I'm the broken leg/broken heart/life widow.) I am almost 10 months through this "journey" of grief. Calling it a journey implies that there is a destination. So far that goal escapes me. I prefer to feel it as a new state of being - being alone...being sad...being afraid...being frustrated...being angry...just being everything I never was before. And here's where the pity party comes into play. I have a hard time feeling sorry for myself and yet daily that's a big part of my life. I had a wonderful husband who is now gone. Poor me. He loved me completely and now that love is gone. Poor me. I am so sad. Poor me. And on it goes. I am the only one who can look out for "me" so I wish I could shake this self pity. It's an extra burden of grief that I never expected. Any suggestions on how to take a new view of this "new life"? The pity party serves nothing positive and somehow tarnishes the happy memories I need to savor. I achingly miss him so much. Poor me.....

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Aug 28, 2012
Piyt Party Rethunk
by: Allison

It's me again and I thank all who commented. It was very insightful. I read a very good book a few months back by Joan Didion called "The Year of Magical Thinking" about her first year after the sudden death of her husband. I caught an interview with her on the radio yesterday and she discussed this very topic of feeling so sorry for herself.. Sthe reframed it eventually in her own life as it being an almost separate and distinct mourning of the loss of her old self. Like a thunderbolt striking me, it suddenly made perfect sense. Multi-tasking mourning...who'd a thunk it. So now I won't try to fight that feeling,but work through it. Does this strike a chord with anyone else?

Aug 25, 2012
Been Down That Road, and Still Traveling
by: Maddi

I feel for you as I, too, have been traveling down that road since losing my husband last December. I do know that some days are better than others; but there are times, when nothing seems to help. We were together for over 44 years, and did everything together. We loved to travel and we did a lot of that and enjoyed each other's company no matter where we were. We were there for each other, but I had to let him take this last journey on his own, leaving me behind. They tell me that time helps to heal, and I guess it does, but when?

Aug 25, 2012
Grief-Pity Party
by: Pat J.

Allison,
Don't be so hard on your self. It is okay to feel sorry for ourselves. Some may call it a pity party, but unless they have experienced our kind of loss, they don't have a clue as to what we are going through.
Our life is forever changed; what was once WE is now just ME. Change is very hard; no one really likes change. We can't change that our spouses have died. I still, after one year, the 27th of June, have a hard time realizing my husband is dead. I will no longer ever experience the things we shared. He was not perfect, none of us are. He could be an A..hole, but he was my A..hole.
We were married 46 years on the 26th of June,2011. He died from a massive heart attack on the 27th of June 2011. One year and two months later on the 27th of August here I am; still going on. IT IS NOT AN EASY JOURNEY.
We all deal with grief differently and the kind of relationship we had with our spouse has alot to do with our grief. They isn't any right or wrong dealing with our grief. It is what it is. Cry, scream, punch pillow, be angry, it's okay. We have to experience all the signs and stages of grief in order to go on. We do go on; Yes our life is never the same. We no longer have their physical presence, but we will always carry them tucked safely in our heart. We have our memories. No one can take that away from us. We can be grateful we had them in our lives at all.
My husband was 67; alot older than many who have gone before him; yet still way too young to die. We were just going to enjoy retirement together. Now instead of being in total retirement I am working part time. This is not the way I imagined my life to be at 65, but it is what it is.
The death of Red(his nickname) has brought opportunities in my life and I developed a friendship with three widows I met through a grief support group. They help to deal with the loneliness we all experience. We do things together; otherwise we would probably stay in our own little world. We go with our lives; our spouses would want us to be happy. It will be a new kind of happy, because our old kind of happy is gone. We make a new life for ourselves, something I find myself doing. I oh so would like my old comfortable, secure life back in a minute; but I know Red would not what to live a life with disabilities. He was very proud and handsome man and wanting him back is selfish on my part; he wouldn't want that kind of life. I am so grateful, our loving God took him quickly. It doesn't change my grief though.
Allison, we who have lost our love are alot stronger than we ever realized. We choose the things we want to do. We all can say no to things we don't want to do. We can be selfish and take care of ourselves first.
Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME. Before you know it, you will look back and be proud of the things you have done. Take it easy on yourself.

Aug 25, 2012
You might be the only one there but it's your party and you "can cry if you want to."
by: Constance

You get to feel any way that you want to. You have permission to have a pity party any time you like. You might be the only one there but it's your party and you "can cry if you want to." Other people would cry to if it happened to them.
That being said, you sound like you already know where you want to end up,moving forward. That's a good sign that you are not stuck in this grueling place because you still have the vision of what you want life to be after- you have happy memories that you want to savor.
Grief is a ridiculously long process. The minute you stop pressuring yourself to hurry up and get over it, you start moving forward.
I spent part of my day, allowing myself to grieve while I did the everyday things of life even if I felt sorry for myself every moment I was doing them. Then I spent a portion of each day wondering what I might like to do someday, for me, when I was ready, when the grieving was done. I started making lists of things that went under the topic, "If I was feeling better and was over my grief I would....". This turned into longer periods of the day that I thought about some new thing I was considering doing. I felt a little guilty moving forward but I had to ignore the guilt. I started picking the easiest items on the list and did them. Simple things, like buying a good book to read or painting my room or rearranging the furniture. At the end of each day, I scheduled a small pity party before I went to sleep. The pity party eventually turned into talking to my loved one that died about what I was doing and how I missed them.
Eventually my days were filled with this new life.
Don't be hard on yourself if the happy memories you want to savor are tinged with an aching or a longing. I think that will always be there. I notice that the memories I have with people that are still living feel good all the time. The memories that I have with the ones that I have lost- even if they were the best kind, always leave me with a tugging in my heart. Just savor them anyway even if it hurts to. I don't think you ever "get over" the loss. You just learn to be happy and live again while you occasionally notice a soft ache in the background.

Aug 25, 2012
Grief - The Pity Party
by: Doreen U.K.

Alison I am sorry for your loss of your husband. Will you try PLEASE and Shed the Expression "POOR ME" & "PITY PARTY" these expressions should not be used when we lose someone in death. You lost your husband. No wonder you can't GRIEVE Well because You don't think you have the right to. You see it as having a "Pity Party". I suspect you are really scared of Grief and will wonder if it will Break you into a thousand pieces so instead you say you are not going to have a "Pity Party". SO WHAT! even if one finds themselves feeling sorry for themselves this is O.K. There are no boundaries in Grief. as to how one should behave. Even Self pity will soon evaporate. Don't feel Guilty about Grieving. This is normal. You are doing yourself a grave injustice to not grieve and spoiling it for everyone else who does GRIEVE. This is normal. My husband died almost 4 months ago. A great chunk of his personality was "Self Pity" He didn't know how to change this. I loved him never the less. He wore self pity well. he had other character qualities that made up for Self Pity. My husband's famous words were. " I don't have anyone to feel sorry for me so I have to feel sorry for myself." He was a Gem of a Man. I LOVE HIM. I WILL ALWAYS MISS HIM. Give yourself permission to Grieve and feel the ANGER. SADNESS. SORROW. PAIN. HURT. GUILT. FEAR. UNHAPPINESS. You are not dishonouring your husband to express how you feel. You are doing yourself dishonour. It is not selfish to think about the "ME" "WHAT DO I DO WITH ME NOW" ETC. As women/wives/mothers. We focus on our families/others. Then when we lose the love of our lives and become a Widow. We lose our identity and don't know how to behave. There is no right and wrong way to behave. Be a REALIST. Give expression to how you feel and then when grieve starts let it happen. It is a journey. A new Journey we widows have not done before. Our destination is "HEALING." Becoming new people. Finding ourselves. Learning how to go on in life. How to make new friends. I sure had to be FIRM so that You "GET YOUR LIFE BACK."

Aug 25, 2012
I agree
by: Anonymous

Don't worry, I do the same and pull myself up. Oh poor me sitting here on my own and no one cares or understands sob sob sob.....I was never like this before either and my partner would hate it.
You made me smile though gotta laugh sometimes.x

Aug 25, 2012
Pity Party
by: Alan

So sorry for your loss, Allison. I'm nearly at the 9 month mark. I lost my Donna last December, this past June was our 35th anniversary.
You titled this thread " The Pity Party " but I don't view it that way at all. The world as we knew it is gone. Forever. We have to relearn everything, from relationships to what melon is the best at the grocery store. Most times we do all this alone. In terrible pain. I don't think it's too much to ask us to be patient with ourselves, pamper ourselves when we're able to.
Grieving is such an impossibly hard thing to go through, so personal, so all-encompassing.

I guess what I'm trying to say, Allison, is it's okay to feel sorry for yourself.

Please know you are not alone.

May we all find the strength to carry on.

Aug 24, 2012
A Party of Many
by: Judith in California

Allison, I hardly remember 10 moths. I know it felt so many different things at that time. No problem having a pity party, it's okay. Yes. it is a journey of sorts. It's more of an emotional roller coaster ride this grief. One day you're angry, the next sad, then you'tre feeling guilty, the next back to anger . It's all a part of this horrible journey to acceptance and peace. It's been almost two years for me ( next month). I'm emotionallly scarred from his passing. It's still hard to say death. I just know that with each day that passes it's a day he's moving further away from me. Not what I want at all. I still wish he were here.
The journey is a life searching for ME. What am I about now, what do I want, don't want. Will I be alone forever or do I want to risk caring for someone else again. It's just getting used to a new normal with out him. It's hard changing from a WE to a ME.

I wish for you to reach the acceptance and peaceful side of your grief.

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