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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2002
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    Lightbulb Reflections of Widowhood (aka, what loosing my husband has taught me)

    This isn't a woe is me thread, but as I lay awake tonight, thinking about the past five months, it struck me that I should share with y'all a few things I have learned:

    1) Get a life insurance policy, and read the small print for it.

    2) Get a Will - even if you are young.

    3) if your job does not pay to Social Security, then you need to have 1. Even more.

    4) Make your wishes known to someone, in writing. Death can bring out the crazy in people, so writing down what songs you want played, or if you want an open or closed casket will go far in decreasing family squabbles.

    5) Take pictures. Often. The pictures I have of my husband are priceless, and are the only thing my 22 month old has to remember her Daddy by.

    6) Save your cards and letters to each other. Even a post-it note on the fridge could be a priceless memory one day.

    7) Realize that some things really don't matter. Tired of picking up his boxers or putting the toilet lid down? You may be missing it one day.

    8) A few things not to say to a widow: (that have all been said to me)
    "They're in a better place". (Yes, in our case he is, but that doesn't make me miss him any less)
    "God has a plan." (Agreed, but not something you tell a grieving person)
    "Are you better now" (You get better from colds, not from being a widow)
    "Why would you want to keep that?" (Because throwing it out is too painful right now)
    "I know just how you feel. We just had to put our dog down." (???)
    "We'll, life goes on." (Yes it does, but sometimes I feel like I'm standing still.)

    9) Treat everyone as if its the last time you will ever see them. One day you may be right.

    10) The first few weeks after a death, the family gets plenty of support, but know that the hardest time for grieving parents, kids and spouses is a few months after their loss.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
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    ((hugs)) Those are very good points. Thank you. I am so sorry for your loss.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Jan. 18, 2008
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    Alberta, Canada and South Australia
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    *hugs* those are some very good points and a few of them I really should get done ( will/insurrance)!

    P.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Aug. 25, 2008
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    Florida
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    I know this may be difficult, but could you maybe think of some things TO say? I'm always at a loss (don't say any of those things, of course), but always end up fumbling around and saying something like "I don't know what to say, I'm so sorry."


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Aug. 1, 2002
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    To be honest, there isn't anything you can say. What has meant the most to me are simple acts of thoughtfulness. A hug, someone getting me coffee at church. People holding my hand if they see I'm getting emotional. Honestly, what would've helped the most, especially a month out, would've been for a friend to say "I am taking your kids for the day. I'll be there at 10:00". Or "I am coming over to clean your house." Or "I am coming over with take-out and some goofy movies". The thing is, is that most people who are grieving are not going to reach out. Grief is so unbelievable overwhelming that anything you can do to reach out to that person and lighten their load, will mean more to them, then anything you could ever say. For me, grocery shopping is still very hard, so when a friend took me, it meant soooo much.

    I tend to be a bit of a hermit anyway, and now I am an even bigger one. A lot of my friends don't talk to me anymore. I don't think they are trying to be hurtful, I think I just intimidate them. What DO you say to a 36 year old widow?? When they mention their husbands they look at me as if they've slipped up and dropped the F Bomb. Honestly it doesn't bother me. Mostly, I'm just lonely. I no longer have the companionship of my husband, so just having someone to listen to me, is what I crave.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2005
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    Va
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    Yes, it's kind of sad. You get this rush of support in the first couple weeks and then it seems that all but your closest best friends drift away one by one. For your married friends there seems to be some unconscious feeling that you'll be trolling for their husbands, or maybe that it's a stark reminder that they're one heartbeat away from losing their spouse, which, since that's something they don't want to face they'll just remove themselves from the constant reminder.

    Then, the people around you avoid mentioning your husband at all, when all you want to do is talk about him and "remember out loud" the funny things, the good things, the things that make you mad. You want someone to share that with because the love doesn't die. You need someone to laugh with you and cry with you and give you that needed hug. You sure as heck don't want to pretend that he never existed!

    So....."cyber hug".....


    6 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Apr. 4, 2010
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    yonder a bit, GA
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    Thank you for sharing! I agree, the amount of support immediately after a tragic loss is amazing and comforting (most of it at least!) but the loss doesn't just fade after a few weeks. I think it's important for friends and family to remember that, and offer their support even after the big wave of it has passed. But lots of people don't really know what to say or do, especially if it's some time after. They don't want to "bring it up" or "remind" the person (as if they had forgotten!).
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Dec. 2, 2004
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    Here's what I did for a friend when her husband died very suddenly, passed away of a heart attack on the FR sofa in the middle of a weekend afternoon. The funeral was huge, they lived 6 hrs away. It was pointless to go - she was numb and the crowd was too much. I told her that I would come later when she needed me.

    That phone call came at 3 o'clock in the morning a month later. I dropped everything and drove the next day. She hadn't eaten, she hadn't slept thru a night. The house felt cold and lonely. I went to the grocery, bought a big chunk of meat, veggies and started making my infamous BBQ pot roast (the secret in the sauce is the green peppers) - the house started feeling warm and the whole house smelled oh so delicious. She ate two whole plates, and she slept thru the whole night. The next night we had 2 bottles of a good wine and some chunks of good slicing cheese and we sat and talked, and cried and laughed. She said that it was exactly what she needed.

    Do reach out, tell a friend. I hope that someone will know and answer. I feel for you, I realize how much your life has changed.
    {{hugs}}
    About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
    -- Tom Wilson, actor & comedian


    13 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Dallas, Georgia
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    Wish I lived closer!

    I think the worst is: "If there's anything I can do, let me know."

    I fully recognize the heart & love behind it... you do want to help!!! But the grieving person has no way of saying "I need my children's shoes polished for the funeral" or "I need money until the insurance pays off."

    So if you see it needs doing, do it. If a need needs to be met, meet it.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoMare View Post
    I think the worst is: "If there's anything I can do, let me know."
    One of our friends is recently widowed. We call her at least once a week and ask specifics. Just the mundane things. Is your lawn mowed? Is your car running all right? When is the inspection due? etc. As always, there are things you never thought of as simple as the fact that an older woman may actually need someone to take her and show her how to put gas in the car. You know, all those little things hubby took care of. This probably comes more naturally to those of us who are naturally a bit bossy

    We manage to meet her for breakfast or plan to eat out a couple of times a month. We will go pick her up if that's what she needs to get her out the door.
    The first year is the hardest.
    Why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?
    ~ Dave Barry


    4 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Mar. 13, 2006
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    Thank you for the wonderful post, it really makes me think to appreciate every person I am close to as much as possible. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Jul. 15, 2003
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    Thank you. I am so very sorry you are going through this.
    Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom



  13. #13
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    Jun. 23, 2010
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    Thank you for sharing your wisdom...wisdom that I'm sure you wish you didn't have. My uncle died unexpectedly, and my husband taught me a lot about what to do...which was just anything. He worked near my aunt and would stop by the house to help her sort through tools she wanted to sell, to make sure the lawn was mowed, to take the truck for inspection. I've saved your post for future reference, as it is all too easy to slip into paralysis and not do anything when a friend is grieving.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2002
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    Chocomare - that is SO very true, but I can't tell you how many people have told me that! It's sweet, but I'm just not one to reach out under normal circumstances, and I'm sure not about to reach out now. (and everyone should be so blessed to have a friend like her!!)

    pony grandma - what you did was just perfect. What a wonderful friend you are!

    thatmoody - it means a lot to me that you would even ask that, and honestly saing "I have no words, I am just so sorry." is probably the best thing you can say to someone!

    SmartAlex - your friend is so blessed to have you!


    As a side note, I hope the person who gave me a thumbs down on my OP, realizes that my intentions were not to start a woe is me thread. Honestly, I think I'm doing OK considering. My husband worked at a job with great so while I'm not rolling in money, I have more then plenty for my kids and I, which has been such a blessing. My next door neighbors are letting me keep my two ponies at their place, for free, which has been wonderful for my kids and I, as well as my ponies, since they don't have to be rehomed. I miss my husband every single day, but he struggled terribly with addictions, and I know in my heart that God called him home. I hate seeing his parents, and sister grieving for him. I hate looking at our daughter, and wondering if she will ever have another Daddy. I am about to turn 36, and although I desperately wanted more babies I think I am probably going to stay a Mommy of 2. But, I am alive, and my kids are alive, and I KNOW we will be OK. Most days I am pretty darn happy, but some days - like election day...he was a die hard Ron Paul fan...and just the holidays in general, are hard.

    I am thinking, and praying for ALL of those here, who have suffered a recent loss.
    Last edited by Freebird!; Nov. 6, 2012 at 05:42 PM.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird! View Post
    SmartAlex - your friend is so blessed to have you!
    I have to give my husband most of the credit. He's the naturally bossy one but he says he feels weird calling a widow all the time and that he doesn't want to become a sarogate husband so he reminds me. Its a good lesson to learn.
    Why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?
    ~ Dave Barry



  16. #16
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird! View Post
    [COLOR=#417394]As a side note, I hope the person who gave me a thumbs down on my OP, realizes that my intentions were not to start a woe is me thread.
    Freebird, your OP was extremely thoughtful and helpful. This use of the thumbs down is what a lot of us were concerned might happen -- some people can be morons, or, just immature, over this stuff. I hope you didn't let it bother you.

    One step at a time.



  17. #17
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    May. 15, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoMare View Post
    I think the worst is: "If there's anything I can do, let me know."
    I think people do that because they're scared of being seen as pushy or intrusive if they simply decide to do what needs doing. For some people that may work, but I can see others resenting it.



  18. #18
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    Aug. 1, 2002
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    Georgia
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMF11 View Post
    Freebird, your OP was extremely thoughtful and helpful. This use of the thumbs down is what a lot of us were concerned might happen -- some people can be morons, or, just immature, over this stuff. I hope you didn't let it bother you.

    One step at a time.
    Nah - I'm pretty thick skinned - no worries!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2005
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    West Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird! View Post
    This isn't a woe is me thread, but as I lay awake tonight, thinking about the past five months, it struck me that I should share with y'all a few things I have learned:

    1) Get a life insurance policy, and read the small print for it.

    2) Get a Will - even if you are young.
    Also, it is very important to keep these documents up to date - especially if you have remarried and have additional kids.

    My father passed suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 7 years old, months after building a new house and opening a restaurant. His will and life insurance were not updated to include my Mom (current wife) and me - and all of his benefits went to his previous wife and kids, leaving my mom with all of the debt. He had an appointment with his life insurance adviser set up for the week after he passed.

    If you are having health issues GO TO THE DOCTOR. After his passing we learned that he had complained to a friend of chest pains - dropping to his knees at one point - and attributed it to heartburn. He died of a heart attack less than a month later, at age 52.

    Freebird, I'm so sorry that you and your daughter are going through this.
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.



  20. #20
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    Aug. 25, 2008
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    Such good advice - I've mostly been on the other side of it (lost my parents and a baby early on, and was so numb with grief through all of it that I don't really REMEMBER what was helpful or not helpful - I just kind of remember emerging into a big mess at some point - the horses did get fed, and the dogs were a comfort but it's funny that I don't remember much about the PEOPLE during that time). So I appreciate all of your words of wisdom, because as I age (I'm in my 40's now) I am beginning to hit the realization that I'll likely be on the supporting end more and more. I've tried to be quietly there for my sister, who lost her husband last year (she is a ways away but just made a trip up there to help her redo her closets ) so yeah.



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