Tuesday, April 16, 2013


So my new bed arrived on Saturday (and I LOVE it).

....and being a wanna-be photographer, I dutifully  took some photos and shared them on my 365Project.
...and being a little bit clueless, I also shared my WV post (text, not link) about buying a new bed with the photo (changed somewhat to reflect the emotional aspect of buying a new bed, mostly to distract all my facebook friends from immediately saying "ooohahhh, lucky you, I wish *I* could afford a new bed" (and I'd then have to refrain from pointing out that if they didn't need the overseas holiday every year and the new car, they too probably could have a new bed to).
I forgot how many of my friends and family lurk there to see my photos.....

Anyhooo...... it was a good lesson to me as to why I don't share my writing here with my non-widowed friends and family......

I can't tell you the number of concerned messages I have had by well-meaning friends and family worried about the state of my mental health because I actually expressed  the things I freely express here on this blog. 
Basically, my emotional response in seeing my old bed taken away was a bit too scary for some of my dear friends to cope with: they worried about me.

I tried to reassure them that they don't need to worry about me.  I miss Greg All The Time and this was just another thing that was part of letting go. 
I was repeatedly e-mailed a variation on the theme that "Greg is around me and a piece of furniture doesn't matter". 
Well obviously I know that he was so much more than a bed, but I just can't seem to explain to them that its not the bed.... its the closeness.... the memories of being in that bed that nobody else knows about and it was sad to see it go.  It still went though .... I knew I couldn't keep it, just as I know it is just a bed.

I know my friends and family are just showing their concern for me, but it does tend to feel like I am a child being placated.  The concern is real, and I know they don't know what to say, but I find that they really don't understand. 
It confirms my decision not to share my WV posts with my non-widowed friends: they just don't know how to react to my feelings.  Much as I know its what they all want for me, I am not "all better now", nor will I ever be.  ...and explaining that I will never be "over" my husband's death is tiring. ...and its sad to tell them that while I appreciate everything they do for me, they can't fix me, nor do I expect them to.

So thank you all for the opportunity you give me each week to pour out my thoughts and feelings freely, without worry that my emotions are too much, or that I need to be fixed, or reminded that Greg still loves me. 
I thank you for the cheap therapy you provide me in being able to share my pain with you without fear of scaring you with the enormity of it all.
Most of all, I thank you for just understanding. 
....and for reminding me that I am not alone.


  1. What you write is SO true! It has been 26 months since losing my Marty; and I often feel that when I shared honestly, which has been my commitment to self this entire time, that at this point, others are thinking, "You're still lugging 'that' around?" So, what I am finding now, is that I don't share as much. Or maybe, better said, I am selective about "who" I share with. I don't feel holding back is fake when that decision is made based on a little bit of self protection from those that will NEVER understand, either because they don't want to, don't know how, or are so disappointed because they can't "fix" me - all their efforts to "make it better" have not worked and it's causing 'them' pain to see and hear my pain. Fortunately, I do have my few who are still journeying alongside me. Weird thing is, if you hang with me just a little bit, you will see that there is more in me now than just my loss. A few things have returned or have been made new....but at times, my loss is front and center and I am hurting, or angry or crying....but stay, and you will see the real me in spite of.
    And I too, like you, don't put much on fb anymore. Found that many times, people are just nosy and also so anxious to see that I am "doing well" that it is all smoke and mirrors. I have taken up personal blogging with my link given out personally by myself.
    I'm glad you like your new bed. No, it is not the same as your old bed and yes the memories are still yours, but like you, I have learned that "memories are meant to be shared". I hate that I hold "our" history alone.

  2. This post is so spot on. Other people do not get it. I too come here to express what I can not to the non widowed. You feel it everyday but have no where to go with it except here. It is exhausting to have to do this every day, but I am so glad the writers are here for me! It has saved me! Unfortunately my older sister lost her husband recently and she is starting to get it,because her loss is so new. Thanks so much for this post!

  3. child being placated -

    Man. Exactly. Packing, sorting, moving this house has given all kinds of people license to placate and voice their worry. Sh*t I'm not even emotional about, suddenly people presume I am and give accompanying "comfort" messages. Never have responded well to the infantilization, or the platitudes. (mmm I sound cranky. Ready to be done with this move.)

    1. That stuff has made me cranky from the beginning. It's hard to hear advice as though if only we tried what they thought up, we'd start feeling better. As though we weren't already trying with every molecule of our being to survive it. It's really tough to hear. As though there was really any way to understand the complex ways this experience changes us when someone hasn't experienced it.

    2. Way back, I think Matt Logelin wrote something about how grief hadn't made him stupid, and he wished people would stop treating him as though he were.

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I was widowed over 6 years ago, and am now remarried, and still come here and read for exactly the reason you wrote - for the reminder that "I am not alone."

    We get it.

  5. We know that a bed IS a big deal - the very symbol of a marriage. That's why so many of us cannot return to our beds when they are empty of our mates or where we lost our mates or where we knew we were saying goodbye to them forever.

    Congratulations on your beautiful bed and for your courage and work in getting ready to have it. It's unfortunate that they don't understand the foreverness of grief. I hope they never have to.

  6. Such an important message, Amanda, and beautifully stated ~ thank you! I've added a link to your piece at the base of my blog post, Tips on Sorting a Loved One's Personal Belongings, here: http://j.mp/14YjJ7q

  7. I had a tree removed from our backyard 2 weeks ago. It had outgrown the space in the backyard and I couldn't mow around it because of the roots.

    I found myself teary while the guys were taking it down. I couldn't watch. I know it's just a tree, but it was part of the house we bought together. It was ours.

    I didn't tell anyone because they won't understand. I know you will though because I understand how hard it was to get your new bed. <3

  8. Just before my husband got his transplant the engine in our car blew up. We were trying to figure out how to get a new car when he got the call for his new heart.

    After he passed away I had no choice but to get a different car. Even though the car could barely drive a mile without over heating, it was our car. One we had together. One we spent hours in on our trips to the hospital for appointments and tests. It was where a lot of our post transplant goals were thought up.

    So when I had to get a new car and junk that one, it was a horrible feeling. I, too, had a lot of people worry about me and tell me that the hold I had on a car wasn't healthy, for me or my kids.

    I couldn't get them to understand that it had nothing to do with the car itself, but the memories that the car had. Still to this day I don't think any of them really understand that, and at some point I just gave up trying.

  9. Understand the enormity of your pain, Amanda. We all share it with you.

    I, too, do not share much with others these days, all they want to hear is that I am moving on and life is good. I am moving on, but it is an everyday struggle, and they can't understand how I can't/won't/haven't found that joy yet. The "how are you doing?" gets a "I'm doing" response, to which they have never asked that I expand on.

    As many of you have stated, until you experience a loss you have no idea what it entails. The circle of friends I share my heart with keeps shrinking as time goes on, I treasure those friendships who have stuck by me, no matter my state of mind. I know that someday they too will experience a loss that will profoundly affect them, and I will be there for them.

    I am readying for a move too, (so wish I knew where I was going), most say "about time", but are absent to assist in the physical process. Oh well, makes it easier to not feel bad about giving it all away. The memories of processing through 40 years of stuff is brutal, but you do what you gotta do, day after day. Can't wait to be done.

  10. Amanda, thanks so much for continuing to cover the story of your new bed and the accompanying emotions. You are so right that the non-widowed world hasn't a clue. But fortunately, the widowed world has writers, like you, and wonderful widows and widowers who respond frequently. I come here to feel not so alone because with the exception of one widowed friend, no one else gets it.

    I like what MJay said about "hang with me long enough". Because like many of us here who are more seasoned, I too, have more to offer than just the loss I've experienced.

    Thank you Amanda for a wonderful post! I know your new bed will soak up the tears on those difficult nights but might also absorb some of your laughter to which you are so very much entitled!

  11. A very timely post for me... 22 months on I have just moved the bed from one side of the room to the other. I'd been thinking about it for a few months and yesterday felt physically ill knowing that I was probably going to move it later in the day.
    Having moved the bed I feel freer and ready (and keen!) to make some other changes around the house.
    I'm very fortunate in my support in that the people around me try very hard to get it... but it is so good to come here for people who get it without trying.
    Thanks for your stories.

  12. I am approaching the 4th anniversary of my husband's death. It occurs to me today that I am well past the time when my/our friends will listen to me about my grief. If they didn't want to hear about it at year 2 or 3, they surely won't want to hear about it at year 4. I'm so angry at some of them, still. I find myself wanting to say "let's see how well YOU do when your husband dies, because he probably will." Pretty mean of me, I guess...

  13. Thank you for your post and for all the responses too. I just found this site 2 days ago... I agree it is nice to be able to share with those who understand, because they've been there.

    Clutter brings me comfort, always has. My husband's side of the bed is full of clutter. Just realized why... I miss him so much! The memories of our togetherness that no one else knows are truly connected to this bed... I just want to be safe in his arms again... Crying as I write this...it's been only 6 months.

    Love your new bed!
    Thanks for listening and understanding!

    1. I thought I was the only one that had clutter on my husband's side of the bed. Thanks for sharing this.

      My husband and I had even thought about getting rid of the bed but as uncomfortable as this bed is, it brings me much comfort these days and lonley nights.

  14. thank you all. I lost my husband 5 months 11 days ago. I do have very dear friends and family-but they do not get it as everyone has said, so good to read your posts. I just want to scream at all of them everyday-they keep wanting to put some positive spin on it all-I know they are trying to help-but it does not. I too am crying and miss him so. We had such a wonderful happy life and he was taken in an instant and without warning-I miss his voice, all he did for me and him putting his arms around me. Bless you all who feel the same pain and thanks for this outlet to describe my pain.

  15. Thanksgiving of this year will be 5 years that I have lost my beloved husband. We were married for 38 wonderful years. I still keep wondering "When will it get better?"
    All of the above posts are true. Unless you've lost someone dear to you, they CAN'T know how you feel. Even after so many years, I'll see something that will remind me of him and it's just overwhelming! I have a few friends that I can talk to but my greatest disappointment has been that I can't talk to my 3 sons. It must be a gender thing or ??????
    It has been very difficult for me to cope, but slowly I am. What choice do I have? I have 3 wonderful grandchildren that I do it for.
    I know that death is apart of life but I was hoping that if anything should happen that we would die together. "Best laid plans....."
    It is comforting to be able to share here with others that are going thru the same thing.
    Thank you for listening!

  16. OMG! Thank you all so much for sharing heartfelt true words! My husband has been gone now a little over 21 months. I came across the last e-mail he had sent me in 2011 and I just cried and cried! We would have been married 37 yrs, Nov. of 2011. I miss him everyday! I need to make some decisions soon, about our home, our bed, our stuff! Other people mean well, and just don't get it. Thank you for letting me share, and for getting it!

  17. My husband will be gone five years this October and I still struggle. I know what you mean about talking with your sons...hoping you can share your feelings with them. I too have three sons and have come to believe that boys/men have a harder time sharing their emotions......but know they are struggling too. My boys don't talk to me about their father's death. As for the triggers (those sudden little moments that spark an eruption of tears, I get that too. My only daughter thinks it's time for me to truly move on now. I have made progress but clearly she has no idea. Your husband is your best friend, lover,it's hard to "MOVE ON" as if there is a limited about of time your allowed to grieve! I realize everyone is different and for me I need more time. I have a friend that lost her husband a year ago and is now dating ( good for her ) somehow that helps her. I have just begun to think about the possibility of dating and think I would be so totally intimidated, I think I forgot how to date. Oh well, one step at a time that's all we can do. Sometimes I find I am laughing again and have real moments of enjoyment that I didn't think I could ever have again. So there is HOPE. We can all make it together through this wonderful support system. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to share with you. Thank you all for sharing!!!!!

  18. You know I too have started thinking about dating???? But where to begin? My husband was my 1st and only love. Plus it's so scary out there?
    I wish I had a daughter to share with, but it wasn't meant to be. Maybe this was the Lord's way of showing me that I DO have to make it on my own. Luckily, none of my dear friends has even suggested I move on. They just listen to me and I love and appreciate them so much for that. I've always been lucky in having good friends and I think that is very important. If it hadn't been for them, I don't know how I would've coped!
    I have come a long way in the last 5 years and find myself being proud of all I've accomplished.
    The most regret I have is that my 3 grandkids couldn't get to know their granpa. They would have loved him soo.

  19. My name is Linda.I found this site my accident.I guess I will tell you about me.I was marry to my bestfriend for 28 years.We did everything together.He was my heart.He made life have meaning.He never was sick.He died from a brain aneurysm.He was only 54 years old.I miss him everyday.He is missing so much.His two grandsons and one granddaugher.He would had so much fun with them.I don't understand why God had to take him.I still love Gary so much.We had our golden years a head of us.Now what do I do? Take care

  20. My salvation has been the grandkids. For the 1st 3 years after my husband's death I lived an hour and a half away from them. It was Very difficult. But I had to sell a house and had a job. I moved closer to my kids in Dec. 2011. It was the best thing I could have done. I watch my 22 month old grandson for my son and daughter-in-law every day. He keeps me busy and distracted. The weekends are still hard but getting better. My husband and I did everything together, also. People that don't have that kind of relationship with their spouses can't even imagine what kind of hole there is in your heart! I don't even know if it can be put into words!
    Just someone to come home to, to share your day with. After 38 years we still held hands when we went for a walk. We would end up holding some part of each other during the night.

  21. Tomorrow is the 6th month anniversary of my husband's passing. He was 63 and I thought in wonderful health-but had a "widow maker" heart attack with no symptoms at all. As the rest of you do, I feel cheated, resentful and so very lonely and sad. I am also going to retire in 15 days. I feel his gift to me-but scared-I do not know what God's plan is for me other than it is without my husband and I know, I can no longer work-I am 55
    Just writing so you will pray for me tomorrow-will be a very tough day. 10 years ago we were moving into our wonderful home and planning our wedding. Life sucks.