Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Porchlight: A Prompt for Your Stories, 3


(Since I'm travelling most of this month I'm re-posting some of my favorites. This Porchlight Series will be every Wednesday. On Wednesdays I post widows' stories and what I love about Porchlight is that it tells YOUR stories as readers answer the questions and correspond in the comment boxes. I hope you'll appreciate these stories as much as I do, and I hope to hear from you!)

*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. 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 all over 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.

How was it for you? Did you suffer the loss of friends and family, too? Tell a bit of your story using the questions below. Copy and paste all the questions right into the comment box. Then answer the ones you want to and delete the others. 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! ferree

2 comments:

  1. I will try and answer all:
    1. How long had you been in the community when your husband died?
    12 years

    2. Did you remain in the same area or did you move away after he died?
    we still live in the same house
    3. Did you find that old friendships
    a) stayed the same
    b) were strained
    c) got stronger
    d) other ___some friendships are so strained but others got better. Some have also ended, and i got lots of new friends too.

    5. Were your friends that knew the Lord any more understanding than those who weren't interested in God?
    Yas and no. Compassion is within us, not religion, though knowing God makes it easier to spread love where it is needed! Most of my new friends belong to my church.

    Oh, one more thing, your brothers statement ".....it slams us all over again,.....and we start at square one again every time with see you" has finally brought it home, why my in-laws have a hard time connecting with me since my husbands burial. We live thousands of miles away from them and maybe every time I try to connect with them, it all comes back to them!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Helen said
    1.) When Dean passed away I had been in this area for 38 years and am still here, though I am comtemplating moving (closer to the beach or back to where we both have our roots in the mountains of NC.) All this is complicated now due to decisions I made in the first year when I was in no frame of mind to do such. No one - pastors, Hospice Support Group, funeral home, family or friends told me I should not make any major decisions in the first year! I am not placing blame here, I just am saying I DID NOT KNOW and certainy was not thinking clearly in this first several months.

    2.) Relationships: strained - though very supportive at first...

    3.) I would not have made some big, life-changing decisions that I did within the first year. Now what? I am struggling with this right now because to do what I need to do - for me - will affect my daughter and her family. You guessed it, I asked them to move in with me!

    4.) Some, but not all. I have my greatest support I have ever had through Lifeboat2. Talking to other widows is a huge help. They "get it". And they are Christians which is such a blessing!

    ReplyDelete

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