A Memorial to My Husband

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coping With Grief – Where is My Support?

When you are grieving the loss of a loved one that is when you need family and friends around you for support the most.

I am a member of two widows groups myself and I hear many stories of family and friends being unsympathetic or disappearing all together leaving the bereaved to cope with their loss all alone.

Some people are fortunate enough to have constant support through this journey of grief they are on and sadly some have no one to comfort them or give them any support.

Death, no matter how you look at it is a tragic loss of a spouse, a child, mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather or friends and will affect many people in different ways.

The loss of contact from family and friends at a time like this is a double loss to the grieving person. Already they feel like their world has been turned upside down and part of their own life has died with their loved one. They no longer feel they have a place in this world or how to live or exist and often times they don’t even want to live without their loved one. To have family and friends disappear makes the experience even more devastating.

Maybe you are guilty of this yourself. Maybe you realize it and don’t know what to do about it or maybe you don’t even realize that you are doing this to someone.

* You don't want to face the thought and/or realization of your own mortality.
* You are also dealing with the loss from a different standpoint.
* You don't know what to say or how to act around them.
* You think the grieving person wants to be alone.
* You are afraid you will make them cry or feel worse.

Don't abandon someone suffering the loss of a loved one. Even a short phone call to say "Hi" can mean the world to them at this time. Offer to bring them something to eat; offer to take them for a ride; or offer to just come and sit with them for a while.

Even though it may be hard to make contact and keep in contact with someone who has lost a close loved one, it will mean so much to them and you will have provided some hope and a future life for the one left behind.


  1. We had a flood of people while my husband was sick. When he died they all went back to their husbands and families, just as they should. How do I tell them I am lonely without making them feel guilt or pity?

  2. People just do not realize what we go through and that we still need support even after the event. I wouldn't worry about making anyone feel guilty or pity.

    You need to look out for yourself. If you need some company and some support, ask one of them to go to lunch, go shopping, for a walk or anything you can think of that you like to do. You don't have to put a guilt trip on anyone.

    Some people think you want to be alone and some people honestly do not know how to "be around you now". Join a support group locally or you are welcome to join our Yahoo GriefShare group http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/griefshare/

    I don't think I would have made it without the comfort and support from this group that I received in the beginning and still continue to receive.

    My heart goes out to you and feel free to keep coming back to my blog or email me if you need to talk.

    Monna (We are sisters in a club no one wanted to belong to).

  3. I, too, lost my beloved husband quite suddenly, due to cancer in October, 2008. Since we had both been married previously and had a "blended" family (but no children together), it seems everyone has gone back to their busy lives, and I feel I'm left alone in my grief. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that I wonder why I'm here. I miss my husband so much and hate being alone. Our old neighbors seem to have passed away or moved away and I wonder if I shouldn't sell the house and move where I have more "people contact". I'm only 61 yrs. and have a dog that I love dearly. Any suggestions?

  4. Anonymous, let me start off with saying I understand your pain, confusion and loneliness and I am sorry you are going through this tough time.

    I don't have any answers other than what I have been told that "we are left here for a reason".

    They say you should not make any major decisions for a year but in some cases you might not have a choice. I would talk with the people you would be moving closer to and get an objective opinion, as you know you are not thinking clearly now and won't be for quite a while. Having contact with people always helps to ease the loneliness to an extent. Given the economic times, would you benefit or lose by selling the house right now?

    You are more than welcome to join the Yahoo GriefShare group at this link: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/griefshare/ I know without a doubt I would not have made it without the support and comfort from the members in this group. Feel free to email me any time you need to.