Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Porchlight: Finding Our Way Home Series

*Did Friendships Change?*
Did you lose other friends, too, when you lost your husband?

I hope it wasn’t been like this for you, but my life was one wild roller coaster ride for several years. Granted, with my kids in high school and college, it would have been crazy anyway. But as I look back, I sure did have a revolving door in the friendship arena.

It’s not that everyone left me, it’s more like a whole lot of people came for some short, intense times, and then we somehow naturally parted.

A few did leave. But they were my husband’s friends. I had little in common with them, and at the funeral and the other intermittent times I saw them, it was an awkward dance. In one case, there was a family who said they’d “do anything,” but when I asked them to come eat a casual supper with us every week--everybody's got to eat, right?--it was downright impossible. Between soccer, track, softball, youth groups and homework our lives could not connect. No one was at fault, but I gave up after two tries.

I made a serious effort to stay involved with my in-laws. We survived a few rocky misunderstandings. They are lovely, gracious people, but we were all raw with grief and it was hard. We lived in different states and it was hard to span that distance. It was well worth the effort as they have been an important influence on the kids through these recent times.

My own brother explained it well for me. He said, “It was so good to be at the funeral and be together as a family. But then we went home and got preoccupied with our lives. Then, the next time we see you, the fact that Bruce is gone slams us again. You live with it everyday and are moving along. We start back at square one again every time we see you.”

Perhaps that was the reality of living hundreds of miles from my various family members. However, they were all in different areas, so there was no one place I could move to be with them all. Plus, my kids were happy in their schools and since I could keep my house, moving wasn’t a necessity.

How was it for you? Did you suffer the loss of friends and family, too? Please tell a bit about your experience. Maybe you'll help other widows find their way home and adjust to this "new normal."

1. How long had you been in the community when your husband died?

2. Did you remain in the same area or did you move away after he died?

3. Did you find that old friendships
a) stayed the same
b) were strained
c) got stronger
d) other _______

4. What is one thing you’d do differently if you knew then what you know now?

5. Were your friends that knew the Lord any more understanding than those who weren't interested in God?

Others would love to hear from YOU! Reply to any or all, or ask questions of your own in the comments.
ferree

7 comments:

  1. Here are the questions for easy reference.
    1. How long had you been in the community when your husband died?

    2. Did you remain in the same area or did you move away after he died?

    3. Did you find that old friendships
    a) stayed the same
    b) were strained
    c) got stronger
    d) other _______

    4. What is one thing you’d do differently if you knew then what you know now?

    5. Were your friends that knew the Lord any more understanding than those who weren't interested in God?
    Add your own questions, comments, suggestions . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1. John moved here in 1969. The city was virtually brand-new. I moved here in 1974, and other than four years in Flagstaff, I've always been here. His family is still here as well.
    2. Still here, but I will move as soon as my youngest graduates and as God leads. I don't care for the heat here, and I'm a four-seasons, ocean, mountain girl.
    3. Friendships have stayed the same, although I think they are stronger due to what they've been through with me.
    4. I would not have done anything differently... I was John's caretaker, and that's the way I would keep it.
    5. Not really - I have wonderful friends!

    ReplyDelete
  3. When my husband was alive, the relatiohship with my best friend, though cordial, was somewhat distant. When he was hospitalised, she became my pillar and prayer warrior. When he died, she was with me through the rough patches. Its strange right? That it is through the down times that my friendship with her rockets? I wonder why?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I definitely gained friends, although while some of them meant well, they were more discouraging then encouraging. My late husbands parents were both deceased, but his aunt and uncle had stepped in as grandparents to my children, and still remain close almost 3 years later. Even now as I prepare to remarry, they are planning to come to the wedding. I have gained many new 'friends' just this summer here on FB, and I'm so thankful for the work that God continues to do in my life! That is the most important friendship I have gained. My personal relationship with the Lord is stronger than its ever been in my life!
    Carol

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was under the very strong impression that friendships pretty well died when someone is widowed. Mine blossomed, too, aside from some periphery people in my life, but I was very surprised at how many friends came to me, and thought it was very unusaul. Apparently it's not! Thank Goodness! From these comments,I gather that you've experienced some very precious, growing friendships during this time! Evidence of God's lavish grace! I stand amazed and am so thankful for the people God has placed in each of our lives!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My girlfriends have been good to me. Inviting me out to eat etc. I did call one of my husband's friend to come drive his car since it was a stick shift and he gladly did it for me. The men at my church have asked me about grass cutting etc. I will be moving from the area we live in, but only because of financial issues make it necessary. We live in a small town, but I will be moving to a bigger city. In some ways, I will just be one of thousands and no one will be able to keep bring up my husband's passing. Other ways I will miss the small town caring about me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hope moving to a larger city will place you in another good church and still let you keep the old friends, too. Keep us posted as to how it goes. Moving can be complicated--sometimes bittersweet, but I hope this site can be something that's always available for you.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am not always able to reply but your remarks mean a lot to me and will appear as soon as possible.

Here are some tips for commenting:
Remember to click the Publish button.
Choosing the anonymous identity is easiest if you do not have your own blog.
Using a computer rather than a cell phone seems to work better. Thanks again!