Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"You Should Be Happy" .....

.... is what someone told me last night.
Actually, the entire sentence was .... "All of your children are home.  You should be happy."
I felt like I had been slapped in the face.
I was on the phone, explaining to this person, through tears, that I was feeling sad.
And that sentence was the response I got.

Most people would probably agree with that statement.
But you who read this blog are not "most people".
Thank God.

My response was to almost yell into the phone, "Don't tell me that!  Don't tell me what I should be feeling!"
There was quiet on the other end.  But no apology.  No attempt at an explanation.
I said, "I AM happy that the kids are home.  But it's very bittersweet.  Yes, we're all together.  But we're not ALL home.  Jim is not here and that makes me sad.  Very sad.  Yes, even after three stinking years it makes me sad."

It's been a difficult week.  I'm content one minute, in tears the next.
I don't remember being this emotional last year, but then I AM a widow and so my memory is not what it once was.
I AM happy to have all of the kids here.  And so very grateful.
But the presence of seven of us is a huge reminder that there are not eight.
Just like the stockings that are hanging over our fireplace.
This is the first year that I did not add Jim's.
It just seems too painful to constantly see it there.
The stockings are such a visible reminder that he is not .... visible.

So yes, maybe in the eyes of some people I should be happy.
I am blessed.  My children are all healthy and they are all home.
I have many loving family members and friends.
I am financially secure.
I should be happy.

And I usually am now.

But this week, this month .... I am sad.
And there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

Except ignore the ignorant, thoughtless words of people who don't know what the hell they're talking about.
Sounds like a plan .....


  1. They have no right to say that to you! It makes me so angry that the rest of the world really doe not get what it is like to lose someone. I have often thought about what I am I need from people. As widows/widowers we need undersatnding without pity. Thank God we get that here on this blog! You have the right to miss someone so precious to you! They just have had the luxury of not having lost something that really means something and matters!

  2. i am so tired of those who "don't get it"; just wish they would mind their own business. This is our 3rd Christmas yet for the first time we aren't putting up a tree; the kids don't want it; the rest of the "family" doesn't understand. My house, my kids; they only have to see them for a few hours over the holidays we have to live it; so I'm with you, sometimes ignoring those comments and just trying to survive is a great plan! Ignore, feel, survive; and I hope you find some sense of peace among it all.

  3. I think your friends intentions were good. I see it as there are two kinds of grief, inside grief and outside grief. When we lose someone, outsiders seem to come out of the woodwork to support you. They seem to give you understanding love, support and lots and lots of food. But they have an expiration date on their patient loving support. After a few months - when they start to feel better - they expect for you to feel better. But you are an insider to this grief, you will feel this pain everyday of your life. I found a letter the other day, I looked at the handwriting and I thought, 'This was written on the last normal day of our lives." because the next day was Earth shattering. I mean, it gets THAT detailed where you look at letters and think this stuff two years later. It never ever returns to normal, it just changes to your new normal. But the outsiders think how you should feel now because they feel okay looking in from the outside. I have been told, 'Let's talk about something other than death.' People need to learn that death is something you talk about until you stop talking about it. Its up to the person dealing with it to decide. Not others. Its just SO hard.

  4. I think it is a good plan. I struggle with this too, people telling me how I should feel about my life and future, it drives me crazy. I just repeat to myself that they don't know what they are talking about.

    Hopefully that is the last dumb comment you will get this Christmas season ...

  5. You have every right to be sad! I would advise you to go with it; get that sadness out in every way that you can--cry, rant, stomp your feet, whatever works. One way that I get my sadness out is to journal with freedom to write anything, no matter how shocking, and then you can always shred it afterwards. I'm sure that your kids also miss their Dad. I would put his stocking up and then have everyone put small notes to him to his stocking, and then you could share them together as a healing time and a toast to his memory and an acknowledgement that his Spirit is still with you and he is not forgotten. God bless.

  6. Well...I don't have to say it because you already know it, but you have every right to be sad! It is hard not to hang the stocking and to realize that this is now your life. I still hung Jeff's this year, but it looks oddly out of place and this might be the last year. He's not here and it seems to accent that all the more. To top it off I upset my kids last night because I'm not always tactful especially now.

    So...thanks for sharing your feelings. They are yours and stupid people have NO idea what they are talking about. That it's possible to be happy about your children but sad about your husband AT THE SAME TIME!

    I say screw those people...Wow, really cranky myself this morning!


  7. ignorant thoughtless people - even if you weren't a widow, that is a crap response to someone's feelings. Why must people negate things? Stupid negators. (is that a word?)

  8. Oooh yeah - I hear you.

    Apparently I am "just feeling sorry for (myself) and am being selfish". ... and "Greg wouldn't have wanted you to be sad".
    At 9 months out I wanted to yell "well he shouldn't have f-ing died then should he" ... but I didn't yell it out because that would be rude (which I find odd given that this is one of the rudest things anyone has ever said to me - you think I'd make an exception).

    It really angers me because I know how hard this is and they have no idea ... and I know this person would crumple into insanity if she had to deal with even a tenth of the pain the kids and I are dealing with.

    But for every 10 people like this, there is one person who has empathy and compassion and I'm reminded that there are good people in this world.

  9. Oh boy, people's comments never cease to amaze me. I don't think most mean to be cruel - they're just ignorant because they haven't had to live through what we have. They're so very lucky, yet they don't even know it. However ... your friend certainly crossed the line since you were sharing how sad you were feeling. Shame on them for not supporting you.

    I had to take a death certificate over to the Social Security office this morning. The clerk was pleasant and even said "I'm sorry for your loss" when I handed over the document, but when I was preparing to leave she added "Have a great holiday!" without giving it a thought.

    This is a tough time of year for anyone who has lost a loved one. Today marks 3 months since my husband passed and the sadness is overwhelming.

  10. Once again. Thank you for sharing. We all deal with this added to the pain and grief we deal with. It's amazing how they don't understand the intensity of this pain and grief....I so wish they would just keep their comments, suggestions etc to themselves. It would be nice if they really cared or understood or wanted to help to just let us vent or just a simple statement I can't imagine your pain- is helpful. I'd love to say "keep your words of wisdom" to yourself - they don't help me....why is it OK they feel the right to tell us how we "should:" feel. Add in the pressure, anxiety & anticipation of the holiday filled with memories of our loved one who is now not here - makes this all so difficult - I must admit I can't wait till the holidays are over!

  11. People do not understand what it means unless they walk in your shoes. today I would swap my shoes for someones else. Maybe then they would have compassion and not be so heartless. We know better so maybe we can forgive and pray that we make it through.

  12. Debbie LaudenslagerDecember 22, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    Nobody knows unless they have been through it. This is my first Christmas without my husband and though things were not perfect I really miss him. I just couldn't even decorate the house. My son doesn't come over much and my daughter lives in Hawaii so I feel quite alone. It makes the season much more difficult.

  13. OMG ! I just got off the phone with my sister in law who called me once since my husbands passing. Telling me I need to do something to feel better like get a dog - and she can relate when she lost her mom she was devastated and when she got her new dog it helped her. OMG - Though a dog is a good companion, it's not going to help with the pain and grief and devastation I feel in losing MY HUSBAND! My lover, best friend, soulmate, person I spent my whole adult life with, person I had plans and dreams for our future with and retirement with and eery waking moment with especially the my pain during the holidays with out him, it's just a year and I'm still raw - OMG I wish they'd just keep their advise to themselves! Like this isn't hard enough - I wish I could just shut the world off and wish I could be with him

  14. I bumped into a casual acquaintance in the store and after only 11 months she asks, "Are you over it yet?" Shock. Anger. I wanted to slap her across her stupid face. "Not yet", I said. I should have said that if I was married to her dumbass husband it would have been much easier. Only 3 months after I lost Joe, my own sister says, "We're all going to go through it, you're just the first one". I don't talk to her much any more. Other favorites, "you're lucky you're so young". Great, more time to be in agony without him. "God has a plan". What about all the plans Joe and I were making? Keep writing ladies. After almost 3 1/2 years, you are the only one's that have a clue as to how it feels.