We All Grieve In A Different Way

by anonymous
(Chicago, IL)

I wanted to share this with you all to show how different people grieve in different ways. There is no right or wrong to grieve. Everyone moves at their own pace. It will 18 months for me in a few days and I'm stuck. For the first six months after Joe's death I was in a total state of shock just drifting through the days......not feeling much of anything good. What I did feel was pain and grief. I told my friend that I just want to feel excited about something again. That hasn't happened yet. I went through an anger phase that I didn't even think I was capable of. I was so mad at my husband and the whole world around me. It still kills me to see happy couples holding hands and laughing together.

A very good friend of mine from high school lost his wife in September 2010. I sent him a card and told him to call me anytime he felt like talking. He called me the day he received the card and thanked me wholeheartedly. He said it really touched him and though he was sorry for my loss he was so happy to have someone to talk to who understood. He said he was going though a horrific time. I totally understood. We talked for a few minutes and he ended the call. I could hear the tears in his voice. He said, “I can't believe my Suzie is gone.” We corresponded via email for the next 6 weeks, at least 3 times a week.

He called me and told me he wanted to have a cup of coffee and talk. He was “ready.” Although I wanted to meet him he insisted on picking me up. One hour into our conversation he reached over the table, took both of my hands in his and told me he was ready to move on. He said, “I always had a crush on you in high school. Do you want to give it a try?” I WAS MORTIFIED!! The first anniverary of my own husband's death was 4 days away. I was already dreading the day. Another day of going through a full box of kleenex, couch duty and not answering my phone. His wife had been gone 2 months to the day. I told him absolutely not. I'm not ready to even think about something like that. We retuned to my apartment building, he practically threw me out of his car and I haven't heard fom him since. So much for the lean on me thing. Now my daughter-in-law has informed he is getting married. His wife will be gone just one year in about a month.

The other day my brother was visiting. We were chatting and his cell phone rang. He said, “Sorry sister but I need to take this. I haven't heard from this guy in such a long time.” No problem. I started making some sandwiches. He talked for about 20 minutes. When he ended the call he said, “There you go. I'm going to fix you up with my friend Barry. He lost his wife about three years ago.” I said, “No thanks. Not yet anyway.” He told me that Barry started their conversation by asking, “Your're not one of the people I told to go “*” themselves are you?” My brother said, NO, he didn't think so. He told me his friend went through a terrible grieving process that nobody in his life understood. He got so tired of people telling him it was time for him to move one, it's your turn now, she would want you to be happy, she's in a good place, she's at peace, this is new normal, blah, blah, blah. He totally removed himself from everyone in his life and holed up in his darkened house for almost three years. He went to the grocery store and church. He needed that time to grieve. He couldn't put on a happy face for everyone. So he told everyone to “* OFF!!” It took him three years of grieving for his wife of 39 years just to get to the point where he feels a bit ready to move forward. He's not really over it, none of us ever will be, but he's now at a place where he feels like he wants to think about starting to live again. He set up a golf date with my brother, something he hadn't done since he lost his wife.

Two different men. Two different ways of handling their grief. At 18 months I'm so tired of everyone in my family telling me what's best for me. They have no idea. I know they mean well but................

If it's been a while for you and you seem stuck, hang in there. I'm stuck. I know a lot of you are. My brother's friend (who I haven't met) has given me some hope. I just can't imagine sharing my heart with anyone again like I did with my husband. I'm still too fragile. My feelings and emotions are still all over the map. I'm taking baby steps but it's been a slow process. Eighteen months.....no. I'm not ready. I don't know if I ever will be but that's OK too. My life is mine.
God bless us all.

Comments for We All Grieve In A Different Way

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Oct 02, 2012
My Tina does not need her wheelchair,for she is now walking in heaven
by: Tom

Doing work for a charity seems to be how I will be able to get some peace & tranquility in my life after the death of my Tina? She was in a wheelchair for 18 years due to her Myotonic Dystrophy and I cared for her all of those years. The first 14 years of our 31 years together were "very good" but I think that her disease just "wore us out" over that time span?? I want to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association because they do good work and also helped my wife very much over the years. Even though she was an adult,she was still one of "Jerry's kids" and I can't thank them enough for all of the support that they gave us in helping us to battle Muscular Dystrophy! We had also lost an infant daughter(Tracy)back in 1979 to this terrible disease and I don't think we ever really "recovered" from this loss??? On the night that she died,I told our sons "my life will never be the same without her???" Tina was "special" to many people but always "very special" to me!!!

Oct 01, 2012
Yes indeed!
by: HH

WOW that is soooooo true! I had a grieving buddy that I met here. We went through all of the firsts and called each other SOS'ing when we had too. But he began dating oh...what was it 6-8 months in and became engaged ( to someone else) after the first year. I know that we all grieve differently. It surprises me to hear people say in early grief that they would never want anyone else and for the most part men are the ones to move on in their lives first. I thought it was a replacement sort of think that perhaps they could not function being alone.

I am almost 3 years in and it is at this point that I find myself sliding backwards momentarily. I am find finally with this new life, but that does not mean that I am ready to include another into my heart as it is still mending.

I guess it is possible to have 2 great loves in your life in one lifetime. But I often hear of people who rush into love again and regret it. IF I found someone to just merely spend time with, that is all that it would be. Simple companionship to keep the loneliness from eating away at me and needing to become "Human" again.

If they want more than I can give then I will have to back off and be all alone again. I can not give anyone my heart until I can let go of the love that I had and still miss.

I am not sure how someone lets go of Love after death. I am still trying to figure that one out...

Sep 23, 2012
My Tina does not need her wheelchair,for she is now walking in heaven
by: Tom

I UNDERSTAND YOUR PAIN!!! My Tina and I were married for 31 years,18 of which she was in a wheelchair with Myotonic Dystrophy(Adult form of Muscular Dystrophy). She went to heaven 6 years ago and my life will never be same again without her!! My boss keeps trying to get me in with some women,but I told him that after all of those years that I was married and the 6 years since Tina's passing have made it too "stressful" for me to engage in any dating for the foreseeable future. I'm on depression medication,have been to some "grief and loss" groups and have talked a lot about my Tina to our sons who are the ONLY ones who really understand how deep my grief is?? To the world Tina was only 1 person but to 1 person(ME)she WAS the world. I now have 5 grandchildren(one of which remembers his Nana)and am trying to "press on" as best as I can. My grandkids are a great comfort to me and I love them very much. We must NOT listen to the ones that keep saying to "Move on". We must go forward in our "own time" and in our "own way". There are no shortcuts!! My wedding anniversary is coming up on 9/28 and the "emotional flashbacks" (as I call them) will be back again. I still cry for my Tina but the songs of Josh Groban are an inspiration and comfort to me. I played "Raise Me Up" and "Remember When It Rained" at Tina's funeral and these songs ALWAYS make me cry!!

Sep 16, 2012
it's very hard..
by: Anonymous

it's six months since I lost my beloved. I am on an emotional roller coaster. I have friends, family, health and a job where people are very understanding. I miss my love, husband, partner, best friend of 50 years terribly!

Sep 05, 2012
We All Grieve In a different Way
by: Doreen U.K.

You are right. We all grieve in a different way, and there is no one who can tell you differently. You will know when you are ready to move on and if you want another relationship. I was married for 44yrs. and my husband died 4 months ago. I could never think of replacing my husband. I could never have anyone intrude on my memories. Everything is so raw and painfull. I would like to have companionship. But that is all. My aunty has lost 3 husbands. She has met another man for companionship and they share a nice meal together, and he does any repairs for her since she is over 80 and so frail. Everyone has to realize what they want out of life and try to see if they can make it work mutually. I sometimes can't believe I have lost my husband. I am still in the searching stage. I tell God every day that there is nothing He can give me or do for me that could make a difference in my life. He took away (for whatever reason) all I ever wanted. I lived a very simple life. No holidays, or extravaganses. Just each other. Doing what we could for each other that made a difference to each other. A cooked meal together, or just doing the garden up. Just being together was everything. No one can replace this. I am not ready for NEW MEMORIES. I would rather give my life for a good cause. e.g. charity work. This would give me fulfillment. Not sure if I could take a risk on Loving and Losing. There is no right or wrong way to grieve or to go on in life. We will find it when the time is right for us.

Sep 05, 2012
Thank you
by: Ashley 30 years old

I am going through the same thing only my family is trying to get me to get over it less than two months (Please read my story **The loss of two of the most important people of my life** My Soul Mate and Best friend only 29 years old and my Mother 45 years old. I feel so alone right now. My family is supposed to be there for me in this time of grieving. I know that crawling in a deep hole is not the thing to do, so I just get up every morning go to work and come home and pretend to be happy when really I and empty inside. Thank you for your story it makes me realize I need to grieve in my own way and for right now tell everyone to !^&** off. I will come to terms with it when I am really and hope that I can share my heart with someone as special as him again one day. If you ever need anyone to talk to please feel free to contact me.

Sep 04, 2012
by: Anonymous

I totally get it. I make seemingly irrational decisions daily. I'm just past seven months, but I know that grief can take many different paths.

What I've also learned is that I can't live the life that "he would have wanted." I hung on to that question for the first few months. I checked my decision making with "is this what he would have wanted." It was helpful for a while, especially when your mind has been so completely battered. But after a while, I came to realize that what he would have wanted is anything I choose to do. He loved me that much.

Thank you for posting this. It helps. You do what you feel and think is right for you.

God bless.

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