Who’s To Say ???

A friend of mine lost her husband 5 months ago. She is having a really difficult time with the grief she is still experiencing.

There are those who have told her she is taking too long grieving… that she is wallowing in it. It occurred to me that this doesn’t just happen when someone we love dies, but also at other times, but to address the grieving process, lets ask ourselves; ‘who’s to say’ what the correct or appropriate amount of time is, to allow ourselves or others time to grieve?

As far as I’m concerned there is no specific allotted time. I would think that there are so many things to consider, and in my friend’s particular case, she lost her husband of 43 years. She lost her confidant, her lover, her support, her feeling of well-being. She lost the laughter they shared, the conversations about everything and anything, the music and shows they enjoyed, the memories of past times they would talk about, the sharing of joy when children and grandchildren would visit. What about the date nights and what about the times when one or both of them felt discouraged or broken, and the other one would lift them up? What about someone to help them with the household and property chores?

When you lose your spouse or partner in life, you don’t just lose a ‘body’, you lose a lifetime of sharing the joys and sorrows of life. You lose the person who actually has become part of you and you of them. You lose therefore part of yourself!

Of course losing others whom you love, whether it be brother, sister, friend, parent etc. is very difficult and grieving must take its’ course.

The same concept is found in perhaps a person who is going through depression or another form of mental illness and is relevant I believe also. How many times does the person feel as though others are thinking they should ‘hurry up and get well’?  They feel as though they must not take too long, as it is bothersome to their family or friends.

So how long is too long? There is no definitive answer I believe.  My thoughts are, that those who are concerned about the grieving process of a loved one, should certainly try to help, pray for, and encourage and support in whatever way they can, and just ‘be there’ for them, and that in doing so it will help to alleviate some of the feelings of loss that the person is feeling. Nothing I don’t think will take away all the pain, but it can help.

Having said all of this, just don’t pressure someone into fitting into your schedule, of when you think it’s time to stop.

Just support and love them through whatever time it takes.

 

11 thoughts on “Who’s To Say ???

  1. Brilliant, I experienced something similar with my sister she lost her husband of 30 yrs to diabetes nearly 2yrs ago. Her grief was over and done with, within a few months, but she lost him a long time ago. I understood the man she buried was not the man she first met and fell in love with. She lost a lot of friends because she moved on so quickly, I used to tell her they were only hanger oners and not worth the time or energy.

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  2. Beautifully said. When Tom passed away suddenly after being married for 35 yrs about 18 months ago, I was blessed with a few ladies who told me to take all the time I need to grief, do not put a time limit on it and don’t think for one moment I am doing it wrong. Grief is different foreveryone. They also told me they would always be here for me and to this day ask me how I am holding up or coping with something that Tom normally did.
    I understand telling us to move on, we are griefing too long is well meaning, because our loved ones do not like to see us suffer. But grief is a real emotion and cannot be shut off just because someone things we are taking too long. Grief is a process that allows our emotions and body to heal.
    Some even wonder why I still wear my wedding band, like one woma said, I am still young enough to find love. Well, I already found it, it that circumstances too him away too soon. I have the promise of our Lord that I will be reunited with again as he prepares our heavenly home.
    When we grieve God will wipe away our tears (no matter how long it takes) and carry us through each day until He reveals to us when we are ready to move forward and then He will equip us with what we need.
    I have come to know and love your friend – she is exactly where she needs to be. I am learning that joy does indeed come in the morning but grief still fills our nights with tears but I hold onto the promise from God that joy will not only come in the morning but will be a part of my days and nights once again.
    One more advice, let us talk about our loved ones, it helped me talking about Tom as if he is still with me, because you know what he is. He will always be a part of me, my life. I enjoy talking with my friends about the silly things we did, the memories and basically our life to life things. Tom died…but he remains a part of my life.

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    • While I have not experienced the pain that you or Deb or others feel I can only imagine, and I definitely would want to talk about my loved one. The kind of support from people that would just support me no matter what time is involved, is what I would hope for. Thanks Patty…Diane

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