Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What Advice Would I Give?

I have had people ask me what advice I would give to their friend's cousin's bestfriend's sister who just lost their husband.

You know, since apparently I'm a pro at being widowed.

Honestly, I don't know what I would say.  Nothing you can say can make it better.

Yes it gets easier, but at that time you think/feel like everyone is lying to you.  So constantly hearing it does get easier only makes you more and more angry.

Wait one year before making any huge life changing decisions.  This was the advice that the funeral director gave me.  He told me that he had lost his wife the year before and this was one thing he learned.  Unfortunately, this isn't always possible.  Life doesn't stop when your husband dies.  Which means you can't put off making decisions for a year.

Embrace the numbness.  I hated the numbness.  I wanted to feel something, anything.  I hated walking around like a zombie without feelings.  Yes I cried all the time, but I didn't feel much.  I missed Tin Man but that was about all my brain would accept.  It wasn't until about 6 months later that the numbness fog lifted and the pain punched me in the face.  It was a type of physical and emotional pain that can't be explained.  And something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

You find out who your real friends are.  I thought I had more friends.  Everyone came out of the wood work to help us when Tin Man got the call for his new heart.  Friends stepped up, took care of the kids, fundraised for medical bills.  They were there for the kids and I after Tin Man died. For about a month.  Then most of them disappeared.  Ignored texts messages and phone calls.  If I saw them in the store, many of them turned and ran.  Those that actually stopped made small talk until they could find an opening to leave.  Not only was I grieving the loss of my husband, but also my friends.

Everything will make you cry.  My kids had a bet on how long we would be in a store before I started crying.  They thought it was hilarious.  Songs made me cry.  Tin Man's favorite foods.  Smells  People who hadn't heard he died asking how he was doing.  I found out there were a lot of TV shows I couldn't watch anymore.  Same with movies.  Some of my all time favorite movies I can't watch anymore.

I think the only advice I would give a newly widowed person would be, prepare yourself for the stupidest things people will say.  It's amazing some of the things people will tell a person who just lost a loved one.  I heard a lot of them when my dad died, and heard them again when Tin Man died.

He's in a better place.  While that might make you feel better, it doesn't make us.  Our other half just died.  We will never see them again, so telling us that them being in a better place, anywhere away from us, is insulting.

I know how you feel, I lost my cat last year.  Um hello?  Are you serious?  Yes my dogs are part of my family.  I will be devastated when they die, but I know their deaths won't even rate close to the death of my husband.  Tin Man was my other half.  The person I was raising my kids with.  The person I talked to every single day.  We texted all day every day.  He's the person I called first with any sort of news.  He's the person I was supposed to grow old with.

At least you weren't married for 40 years.  We had just celebrated our 14th anniversary a few months before.  I feel like I was cheated out of 40 years.

Remember, they are always with you.  Are you serious?  Because their memory being with us is so much better than them being here physically.  I wanted to punch people every time they told this to my kids.  Their dad is going to miss first dates, graduations, weddings, grandchildren.  Their memory isn't the same as him being there for all those and everything else he's going to miss.

God has a plan.  This may be what you believe, but not everyone believes that. Hearing this was like someone ripping me open.  Tin Man waited 15 months for his new heart.  Why would God give him a new healthy heart, just to take him away?  Why would God let him suffer the way he did?  Why would God let someone like Charles Manson live and my kids' father died?  I don't believe he died because of God's plan,.

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.

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?

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.

I think that's all the advice I would give a newly widowed person.

The rest of my advice to them can wait until they are a little farther out and able to see past the grief.

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