Monday, June 21, 2010

A Widow Asks, "Am I The Only One . . .?"

Kelly has been following this blog for a while, and the other day she came across this poem on the internet and she's curious about your reactions to it. That's where a blog like this comes in, rather than a website with tons of info. On a blog we can comment, and question what's going on. We can ask what's normal (if there is such a thing!) Best of all, we can find out if others have felt the same way, or receive their encouragement and insights.

I've copied the poem Kelly found here, but please let me add that it was changed from the original. The original, a poem by Rita Moran on the death of a child, may be viewed on this link.

Anyway, Kelly would like some feedback on your reaction to this poem. How do you think the writer felt? Have you felt that way? Has knowing Jesus Christ given you a different perspective? Think about it and add your comments below. Kelly would really appreciate hearing from you!

Poem:
Please don't ask me if I'm over it yet.
I'll never get over it.

Please don't tell me he's in a better place.
He's not here with me.

Please don't say he isn't suffering any more.
I haven't come to terms of why he had to suffer at all.

Please don't tell me how you feel
Unless you've lost someone in the same way.

Please don't ask me if I feel better.
Bereavement isn't a condition that clears up.

Please don't tell me at least you had him for so many years.
What year would you like your loved one to die?

Please don't tell me God never gives us more than we can bear.
Please just say you're sorry.

Please just say you remember my loved one if you do.
Please mention my loved one's name.

Please be patient with me when I am sad.
Please just let me cry.

Kelly says: "I cannot relate to this at all. I've never felt as angry as this poet sounds. I just took everything anyone said to me for what it was - people being uncomfortable and trying to say something nice. I appreciated every comment and hug, even if the words were not quite right, AND I appreciated it when some people couldn't say anything at all and would just smile at me with sadness in their eyes. BTW - I was happily married for 27 1/2 yrs. Life is too short to find fault with what people say or do in uncomfortable circumstances.
I'm beginning to wonder why I seem to be the only widow who was/is not crippled by grief. Did I not love my husband as much as these women? Not possible. Am I just a unemotional person? Hardly. Any words of wisdom?"
****
Please post your comments below or email me and I'll post them for you. You can choose to remain anonymous if you want. If you've got a lot to say about this, go right ahead! (Kelly left comments here on Saturday and last Tuesday; if you want to know her a little better just scroll down and click on the word 'comment.') Grief has a lot of twists and turns and can be different for everyone. I look forward to hearing from you! Also join "The Gathering Place" created by Carol Buley on Facebook for another good way to connect. (Friend me and send me a message if you need help finding it--there are a few other groups by that name).   ferree

10 comments:

  1. To tell you the truth, knowing the original poem was about the death of a child changes my attitude a bit towards the poet. I cannot fathom losing a child. A local woman lost her child to a drunk driver last year and she has said publicly she can never forgive the driver and spends her days angry and in tears.

    That being said, the comments following the poem on the other site actually prompted my questions - the widows were saying varying versions of "right on!" or "I'm sending this to people so they'll know how I feel". and "I'm reposting this on MySpace/Facebook so maybe people will think before they speak". Those comments are what made me think about my own feelings, which led me to write Ferree.

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  2. I often wondered, "When will I get to the 'angry stage,' or "Is it OK to be OK with this?" Of course there were times when I crumpled, but as those times got spaced further and further apart I wondered if I was normal or hard-hearted or emotionally repressed. This is something we learn as we go along. We need feedback, and it's good to compare notes.

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  3. I'm not angry that my husband died, but I'm definitely frustrated with widowhood and single parenting. It's hard on many levels without him. I miss him and our life. I'm just sad.

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  4. In my own experience of grieving (husband's suicide) the best thing you can say is, "I am so sorry." and "I love you". I had a few people tell me they were so angry at my husband which did NOT help ME! I am not saying they shouldn't feel that emotion, just that it was deeply hurtful for ME to hear. Keep those things to yourself and just say, "I love you!", and "I am so sorry!" Save all the platitudes because we already know them. A good hug is healing too!

    Accepted in the Beloved,
    MaryLou

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  5. I have not had to deal with the "anger" issue either. I am 2 1/2 years out in this "journey". Everyone said I would be so angry at my husband but he was sick and how can you be angry at that?! I think people feel they MUST say SOMETHING but I have learned that those who just let me talk and were loving "listeners" were what I needed the most.

    MaryLou

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  6. I wasn't ever angry either, just sad. Sad that the girls would grow up without their dad and that I would be making all the decisions on my own. My faith in God helped so much - knowing that He is there to support me and love me even when I feel alone. He did speak to me that night that my husband died. He told me not to worry that everything would be alright. It has been.

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  7. I find that people without faith or without a strong faith in the Lord grieve in this way. They can get really stuck in their anger. I participated in an online chat last week, and I had to leave because it was so negative. My Grief Share group isn't like that so I was really surprised. I don't want to be bitter and angry, so I try to avoid people who are grieving in that way. I'm not judging them, just making a choice for my own self-preservation. I had to do the same thing when my husband and I were dealing with infertility. Lots of women become very angry and bitter about their infertility and they are easily offended by fertile women and couples. I did not want to be that way.

    I look around me and I see that so many are touched by loss already, and if not now they will be one day. I look toward the promises God has given us for an Eternity spent with Him and our saved loved ones, and I'm excited about that. Our God is a God of redemption. He's going to more than make up for my heartache in this life when I arrive on the other side, and I praise Him for that!

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  8. These comments remind me of the words in I Thess. 4:13--we don't grieve like those who have no hope. In spite of the sadness and pain you all have made it crystal clear that Christ gives you help and hope!

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  9. Wow! Thank you all so much for your input!

    I do believe with all my heart that our Lord aches when we ache, and can give us immeasurable strength when we need it.

    I do have to reply to MaryLou, though - I agree, those people who told you they were angry at your husband - I think that comment takes the "What were they thinking??" prize. I am sorry you had to hear that. I do love your "Accepted in the Beloved"! We are, and He Is.

    Thank you all for your comments!

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  10. Ferree, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 is on my husband's head marker! It's one of my favorite verses.

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