Chris you are only "overly sensitive" because its a natural stage right now. I, too lost my husband last year and have finally let go. My emotions are intact but you are rightly so that only widows and widowers know what you are feeling. I attended a grieving group to help me sift through my feeling because I really wanted to be in the 1year later phase. Its a journey that I knew I had to endure alone but with the help of other widows and widowers I have accepted the stages. This loss is the highest form of loss then followed by a child, then a parent. The only friend who knew how to give me a hug after a sudden cry, was my departed husband's bestfriends wife. She was not a friend when he was alive but at the funeral, she held my hand and said that my husband drew us together and we were meant to stay together as friends. She still holds my hand but I can now return the hand holding when she wants to cry too. This is a rare friendship that I will cherish forever. My own sisters never came this close. Lots of people don't know how to deliver a kind message to sooth the loss.
Chris, I hear your pain - I am one of the occasionally drop in's who often post a comment on a topic. Yes, I have never been married and yes, I never have lost a spouse but at the same time, I have dealt with death more times than most people in this room would like to experience on all levels. My sister lost her husband from Cancer of the throat and neck - I was there with her every step of the way that spanned over 8 years. I loved my BIL more than anyone could love their brother and for her to say, no one can experience her pain to me was extremely hurtful. No, I did not lose my husband and no I did not have the intimate relationship as she had but I lost someone who was in my life since I was 13 and who I told my darkest secrets to which helped me to heal from them. One of my mother's closest friends said something very wise to me many years ago after she lost her husband from a terrible cancer and was left with 4 children to raise. She said everyone lost a piece of Pat. Yes, I lost my husband the children lost their father and this is horrific but everyone who loved him, lost him as well. You may find this insensitive or un-necessary since I have not lost a spouse but losing someone and having your heart cut out from it does not mean a spouse, child, parent, etc. Yes, it is different without a shadow of doubt but in healing, reaching out and hearing and identifying another's pain comes in all different ways and through this comes healing. I have found the greatest healing is when I can come out of myself and realize that others are suffering as much, even more than myself and yes, in different ways and for different reasons.
Mary, it's like I posted to Ray. Lurk all you want, but please don't, for a minute, equate your losses with a spouse's loss. It's not the same and never will be. I've lost parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors, teachers, peers, etc. Nothing compares. I've told a few of my friends--Be the first one to go; you don't want to go through this. Don't be the last one standing. As if they had a choice!
May I ask why you post in this forum? What are you seeking?
Chris, that is what I posted, no one can experience the same pain but we all go through death and we all go through that person taken out of our lives. No, I cannot experience what you experienced losing a husband but I can share in your pain. I have thought and prayed for you a lot since this post and I have to admit I feel sorry for you, because the only way out of pain is sharing it and realizing that we all suffer, maybe in various degrees, many in various relationships but pain is pain and to hold on to it an think that no one could suffer the way I have because they have not experienced that particular loss, minimizes the sufferring as well as the healing that comes from the Eucharistic family. We are all called to share in God's suffering as well as to pray for each other. No, I may not have suffered the loss you have but you have never suffered being alone your whole life and not having children. You have a deep bonding and depth of love I will never have. Do I look at you differently because of it. No, because I accept where I am and have learned to deepen the relationships that I do have. So yes, do I have something to share occasionally. Do I know your pain, no but either do you know mine through God we help each other to heal.
Again as my wise friend told me years ago when she lost her husband and left with 4 children to raise. We all lost a piece of him. Those words have never left me and has help me heal when I have lost people and realize that I was not the only person that lost, everyone lost a piece of them, no matter how close my relationship was to them.
I pray for your healing and comfort and that you come to the understanding that you can hear in your hear the words stated at the Mass of the Resurrection.
'life has changed, not ended' for the loved ones we have lost and gone home to God. They are still present to us but just in a different way.
As the day pass may you find comfort and peace
Mary, that's exactly my point. There is no way that I can say, "I understand what it's like not to have a husband and children because I lost my husband and my children live far from me". Wouldn't you be hurt by my words? Wouldn't that rub salt into a wound? I can't truly understand what it's like for you--I haven't been there and you haven't been here. We haven't walked in each others' shoes. Your shoes don't fit me and my shoes don't fit you.
Does this make sense to you? We've both been dealt a cross to bear but they are not the same crosses. I don't suffer the same as you and vice versa.
My post was not about my healing or finding peace. Again, please don't be presumptous that I haven't found, through the grace of God, peace and healing to some degree. My post was about people posting about understanding circumstances that they could not understand. I don't want anyone to rub salt in my wounds, give me platitudes, and hurt me and others more. I "assume" You don't want someone doing that to you either. My reality is far harsher than I ever imagined.
I welcome prayers for my situation. God knows I need them. If anything, God's trying to teach me humility. I'm a work in progress.
Mary, do you feel comfortable answering my questions to you--what are you seeking; why do you visit this room? I'm sincerely interested. Chris
Am I being overly sensitive when I read responses in THIS room (that's meant for widows and widowers) from people who haven't been there? To be truthful and un-Christianlike, I want to tell them to get out of here, they don't know what they're talking about; it's not the same as.... and they should keep their interest to reading and learning. They're invading a space that doesn't belong to them. IT HURTS TO READ THEIR 'OPINIONS". IT HURTS WHEN THEY SAY THEY UNDERSTAND. They don't know what we're going through; how it feels; the struggles we face daily. It would be most inappropriate of me to venture my opinion on divorces and death of one's children, or of being childless!! Am I the only one that feels this way?
I visit this room to look at what other people have to share and to pray for them. I rarely post only when I find that I have a thought to share.
I guess we have to come agree to disagree. I think that everyone has something to share whether they have been in a situation or not. no they will not comprehend the level of pain or understanding but that does not mean that they cannot support someone. See Chris, I do not believe the way you do, people can support someone in thought and prayer even if they have not walked in their shoes in the same situation.
God give insight to even people who have not been in the exact situation, even to unmarried people. I am not talking about pat answers or remarks.
One of the reasons everyone can share in the various forums is to give insight or support to one another.
I am sorry for your loss but we will always be at an impasse, just because I have not lost a spouse does not mean that I can't support to others during their grieving process. No, I have not experience the exact same pain as you have but I have experienced the loss of losing someone. I always state to the person that I have not experienced the loss of a spouse or child or whatever the relationship is, if i have not gone through it but I feel your pain (no not understanding the exact pain) The amount of people that write in this room over the years and I was around when this room was created that have not been widow and widowers is not that many.
So let us end that we agree to disagree. I am sorry that other people's concern and caring is causing you or others pain. No we have not experienced the loss of a spouse but that does not mean we can not understand another's pain in death.
Kathy, you took the words right out of my mouth: "I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy". I've said that more than a few times these past 3 years. It's hard to believe that it's been 3 years. Should I write a book? I feel confident that God has answered so many prayers on my behalf. These past few weeks I feel more at peace--denial seems to be acceptance. I sincerely hope this isn't another rollercoaster ride. I actually was able to answer the innocent question: "How are you"? Not only answer, but also answer with a big smile and say:"I'm doing really well. Thank you for asking". It feels good.
Kathy, thank you for your supportive post. Time plays tricks on us, doesn't it? Tom will always be 53, I've lived in this house, not 30 years, but 33 years, etc. I have to think about time frames or they will revert to 2009. Time for me is flying by. I find it incredible that it's been 3 years; it seems like just a few weeks or months. How could 3 years pass by so quickly; how can he be gone for 3 years. Now, I'm crying.
I digress here. We are building a new church and I spoke with our fairly new pastor last week as an historical FYI. Only I and another woman can say that we married in this church, had our children baptized here and buried our husbands in this very church. There are only 2 of us that came full circle. The church will probably be torn down; so many memories. I literally met Tom in that church, a meeting set up by our dear, beloved, departed pastor, unbeknownst to me!!
Dear Chris - As a fellow widow - I will share with you that some of very best advice during my grief and dealing with lost of my husband, came from a dear friend - who is not a widow but the wife of a Deacon. Some of her advice:
Let NOBODY steal your grief - it is yours and yours alone. (meaning do not accept comments like "it's been 6 months aren't you over this?")
Whatever you are felling - it's OK regardless of what others may say.
Mike (my husband) will always be with you.
So, in a nutshell - advice from others - I sift through - some of them have real pearls.