Saturday, September 15, 2012

Things NOT to Say to a Widow

The last 5 months have taught me that while people do mean well, they don't always think before they speak. I've had a lot of people say things trying to comfort me, but they don't. Instead they make me feel worse, or even angry.

I've learned to thank them, hug them, and then change the subject. I know they don't get it, and getting mad and making a scene wont change it.  I have learned that unless people have been through the loss of a spouse, they really don't get what IT really is.  If you'd like to see some insight to what IT is for me, check out my What It Really Is post.

There are just some things you don't say to a grieving widow/widower. (I hate being called that. Sugar Pea says people should call me a ladybug because widows are spiders, and they're gross. I have to agree.)

1. How are you? Really, how do you think I am. I usually answer OK to this because most people don't really want to hear that I'm not ok. That I have to force myself to get out of bed and pretend to be a normal person. That I feel guilty when I laugh, or when I enjoy a day out with my kids. I'm not ok, and right now I feel like I will never be ok.

2. Remember he's always with you. This one drives me nuts. I will always have my memories. I will always share Tin Man's story. But I would much rather have him here with me, in person. I want to hug him, see him. TALK to him. I do feel him around me, but its just not the same.

3. When I lost my dad/mom/fill in the blank. I lost my dad when I was 14. My step dad when I was 28. 3 Grandmothers, 2 Grandfathers, an aunt, an uncle, 4 friends. NONE of them felt the way this does. Tin Man was my best friend, my lover, my soulmate. He was part of me. I feel like half of me was ripped away. Losing someone is always hard, but no one I have ever lost compared to this.

4. God has a plan. Are you kidding me? My husband died. My kids lost their father, and God is ok with this? Why would God send us a healthy new heart? Why would God give us hope of a new life? Why would God let my husband suffer 2 weeks before he died? If God had a plan, he could have left me all of Tin Man's passwords. That would have made life a whole lot easier.

5. He's in a better place. So being without me and his kids is a better place? Being away from his friends and family is better?

6. Call me if you need anything. Very few people really mean this. They have no idea what to say, so they blurt this out. I learned this from experience. I needed some help right after Tin Man's funeral. All these people that were going to be there for me scattered. I found out real fast who my true friends were.

7. Ending love in ED. He lovED you very much. He lovED the kids. He still loves us. He always will. We still love him, and always will. It will never be past tense.

8. Bible verses. Right now I'm angry at God. Not as much as I was in the beginning, but not enough to care about what the Bible says. Whether you want to believe it or not, being angry at God is a normal thing. Only thing is most people won't actually admit it out loud. I will. I am angry at God. I can not be angry at Tin Man because he fought the fight of his life to stay with the kids and me. I can't be angry at the doctors, nurses, or hospital because they did everything in their power and more to figure out what was going on and try to fix it. They were just as devastated as we were. I can be mad at God. Why? Because he didn't answer my prayers. I prayed for a month. I prayed harder than I have ever prayed before in those last 2 weeks. I feel like they were unanswered. So yes. I am angry at God.

9. God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we want. I wasn't even sure how to respond to this person. My prayers were to make Tin Man better. To let the doctors figure out what was wrong with him. To not take my husband or my kids' father away from them. HOW is there any other way to answer those prayers?

10. At least you didn't have to go through a divorce. First let me say I'm proud of myself because I was able to control myself and not go off on this person. Death is better than divorce? I didn't choose this. You chose the divorce. In a divorce the children still have both their parents. My kids lost their dad. Divorce is NOTHING like death, and trying to say its worse than death shows just how little you really know.


  1. Numbers 4 and 5 incense me...number're right on the money. If they actually intend to do something to help, they just do it. Those that ask are basically like "there. i did that." And I cannot believe someone thought it was a good idea to say number 10. I've never been in your position, but my mother has. Twice. And me? I've got a 6 year old with Leukemia and the majority of our friends and family didn't know what the hell to say, so they opted mostly for stupid stuff. My favorite was when the mother of a friend of his asked how he was doing and then plunged into a whole thing about how she didn't know what to tell her son know..."something happened." What a ditz.

    All I can say is that my heart goes out to you. Feeling him around you is nice, but I know it will never replace having him with you in the flesh. And no one can fully understand what you're going through but you.

    So I will say that I send you hugs because it's got to me it's unfathomable and I wish no one had to go through it. I wish you didn't have to go through it.

    And I'll also do you the favor of not telling you to "hang tough". xxxx

  2. I would have killed #10. #4 & #5 & #9 would have felt my boot up their... well, you know. You're in my thoughts.


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