Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Widow's Story: Maybe There's A Reason Friends Don't ...

On our private, free, Lifeboat support groups (see tab at top of blog), widows learn from each other as they talk about the things God brings across their path. No one can relate to a widow better than a group of other widows and the posts and conversations are wonderful and very helpful!

Recently, a Lifeboater posted the following. I thought everyone would appreciate it so much that I asked her permission to reprint it here. Comment below with your own insights and experiences, OK? Widows learn from each other!

Thanks everyone, I look forward to anything you have to add. Remember, if you receive this post in your email, please click on the title to visit the blog to make a comment. And a special thanks to Lynda for letting me share her words with you... ferree

I just had an epiphany.

Please bear with me - this is gonna be a long post.

After Sunday church evening service, my mother told me about a college acquaintance of mine who has cancer and had just been told that he has a year to live. He's married with three kids, all about the same ages as mine. My reaction was of recoiling, of being paralyzed. I didn't say much and I'm sure Mom was a little puzzled by my silence but wisely left it alone.

For the past couple months, I had been feeling like at last I was coming out of my shell--- like a turtle or emerging from a fog, when I was just going through the motions of going to work, paying the bills, feeding my family, etc.

I didn't like the way I reacted to the news.
 

I was grateful for all the prayers, cards, home meals, restaurant gift cards, small money gifts, etc. during my husband Mike's illness and I was ready to start giving back. But that reaction to the news came from the painful memory of being told that Mike had to go into hospice care and that he may have had only weeks to live (which was correct).

My first thought was "There's nothing I can say to make it better because I KNOW it will be hard for this family." I then realized why a close friend that I've known through high school and college hadn't seemed to show me much support.

I wasn't really offended at the time because I knew she was still grieving the loss of her mother to cancer the year before (she herself was a breast cancer survivor), but I thought she would communicate more, giving her own input or any advice.

I now realize it would be just too painful for HER to relive everything that she had gone through with her own mother. She, too, had to watch a loved one die. She probably felt too emotionally unable to do or say much for me.

So if any of you have had any friendships strained because of your situation, this may be why. Your friend(s) may have just gone through a tough life situation, or unable emotionally to help, or simply just felt inadequate to say the right words because they haven't been through such a situation yet.
 

I've gotten over my reaction since Sunday night and I intend to mail a book that had helped me tremendously, hoping that it would help them too. - from Lynda
 
Have you had similar experiences? Please feel free to click the comment line below. It's easiest to select the Anonymous identity; add your name at the end of your note if you'd like; don't forget to click the Publish button. ♥ 

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. This was very insightful of you, Lynda! After my husband passed away, I was tremendously hurt from what I thought was his family abandoning my daughter and me. It took a while for me to realize that they were grieving, too, and truly had nothing to give. But God placed others in my life who could help me.

    Now I find myself on the flip side. My mother passed away in January, around the same time that a dear family friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have found that no matter how much I truly want to be there for her, I just can't. I have zero percent to give. I feel very bad about it, but I also take comfort in knowing that she is being very well supported by others who do have something to give. These are lessons in grace! Sometimes we extend it to others without bitterness, and sometimes we need receive it ourselves without self-condemnation!

    Leslie

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  3. Thank you Leslie! So true! "These are lessons in grace! Sometimes we extend it to others without bitterness, and sometimes we need receive it ourselves without self-condemnation!"
    You remind me that the Lord is really orchestrating this whole thing and He's the one who raises various people up to minister in His perfect timing. He doesn't expect us to be everything to everyone---we simply can't, and sometimes He uses our weaknesses to empower others with the privilege of ministry too.

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  4. Does everyone in life at one time or another come to a crossroad in life with the dilemma ......of being stuck?

    I don't feel like giving and I don't even want to receive?

    It seems that all my negative emotions have trumped all
    my positive emotions.

    What's going on?

    ReplyDelete

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