CSN Login
Members Online: 21

People are so clueless....

bingles
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2010

Well I was at work last night....and during a nanu second of down time one of the other nurses I work with start this dialoque with me about Bill....where it came from I had no idea....thinking it started because we were talking about cooking and I said I really don't cook...I prefer not too and eat out most days.
Anyway the conversation slid right into Bill's illness and his eventual death....I tried to take the high road and keep it as light as possible....and than came the BIG burning question on her small little mind...she suddenly concluded that I now live alone and asks me...."doesn't it get lonely..living alone?"
I wanted to slip into sarcastic mode and fire back something not so nice...I had a million of them at the ready..again I took the high road....closed the conversation and moved on...
why are people so clueless?
Pat

Noellesmom
Posts: 1293
Joined: Aug 2010

I'm thinking (and hoping) she had to be a child - about 12 or so - to ask such a question. I didn't know they even gave people that young a nursing degree...

Pat, I know lonely is not even the right word for what you and others feel after losing your spouse. I hope we never come up with the word because it would be too sad to say it aloud.

Many hugs to you and hopes that your co-worker matures without ever knowing the pain of "lonely".

david54
Posts: 115
Joined: Apr 2009

Wow-I hear you Pat - “No, I’m not lonely. Brad Pitt and Colin Farrell have been waiting for me to call them and you just reminded me to do that.”

Or (political leanings not withstanding) “Are you sure you aren’t Sara Palin moonlighting in disguise?”

Or in my case its “Nah, I’m not lonely. Angelina Jolie and Catherine Zeta Jones are tired of their marriages and are knocking on my door.” Geesh!

I am convinced people don’t know what else to say and out comes an idiotic statement –or they were dropped on their heads as infants.

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

My favorite response to idiotic questions:
"Why would you ask a question like that?"

Their inevitable response is stammer, stutter, mumble....Kind of gives them the HINT that they are insensitive clods.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Oh, Pat, I think we all have a million of those. I know people said dumb things before, but I can't help but think people just keep finding even stupider things to say. Some people occasionally realize that they have said something dumb. Others just seem to float through life without a clue. What are you gonna do? I guess we just have to try to find our sense of humor. Good job, David. I think I related the story before about a friend who lost his wife being asked at the funeral what he was going to do with his 8 year old daughter. In relaying the story he said the only reply he could think of at the time was that he didn't know he had options. Sell her to the gypsies? Give her away? Send her back? In the end his response was a stunned silence. I actually had a elderly friend of Doug's call me the day after Doug died and without identifying himself simply asked, "Did Doug die?" After I told him yes he proceeded to tell me that someone had called him but he wanted to make sure that person was telling the truth. So, age doesn't necessarily cure stupid. Fay

david54
Posts: 115
Joined: Apr 2009

OMG Fay - that takes the cake!

"No he really didn't die. We made the whole thing up for an early April Fools joke!"

"What will I do with my daughter now? Well, she has been acting strange lately. Come to mention it, we are have an exorcism at our house tonight and you’re invited!"

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Boy, do I know what you mean. Not only did my husband pass away 3 months ago, but my two children are moving into their own places which I encouraged and support. It surprises me when people tell me how lonely I will be. Even when I try to be positive about my soon to be empty house, they continue to tell me how lonely it will be and why. What is wrong with people?

Caregiver1963's picture
Caregiver1963
Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2010

I think often people think they need to say something and that is where the trouble starts. I actually had someone say to me recently- " well you life must be better as you have less work now that you don't need to take care of your husband anymore" Those people who say " I don't know what to say" or "nothing I can say will make you feel better" are more comforting I think
Mary

bingles
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2010

You all had me actually laughing here and thats not generally something I do while on this site....people are just stupid.
Went to my berevement group today and one of the ladies sort of had the same stupid happen to her....some idiot told her that she should make sure the next man she hooks up with is healthy...and after been though this death thing she should be able to pick someone without medical issues....I asked her if she left the lady in an upright position....
Keep reminding myself...its a process...
Gotta scoot...need to shower and gussy up...Brad is due at 10 ( wink)....
Pat

Noellesmom
Posts: 1293
Joined: Aug 2010

I, for one, think you should be proud your children are moving on and moving out - it means you and your husband were successful in your goals for them.

Now, being the boomerang generation, they may be back, but at least they are trying!

Yes, you will be lonely. Life goes on, doesn't it?

I'll just bet you already knew that ;)

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Noellesmom,
I am ver proud of my children for many reasons. Moving out into your own place is another step of growth and maturity. I am bracing myself for the loneliness but will keep plugging along. We have no choice, we all have to put one foot in front of the other and move forward.
You are all in my thoughts.

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Noellesmom,
I am ver proud of my children for many reasons. Moving out into your own place is another step of growth and maturity. I am bracing myself for the loneliness but will keep plugging along. We have no choice, we all have to put one foot in front of the other and move forward.
You are all in my thoughts.

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

I, too, think a lot of people just don't know what to say. I know I was that way before I lost my husband. (No, I didn't say some of the outrageous things some of you have quoted, but I did have trouble finding the right words.)

I've pretty much isolated myself since my husband died four months ago, so I have not had a lot of conversations about his death. Rather than dissolve into tears, I figure I can better control my emotions if I keep to myself. (As I've posted on another thread here, I did finally attend a bereavement support group for the first time last week. I cried throughout the session and it was all I could do not to bolt out of the room. In the wake of that group session, I have had a hard and really emotional week.)

But on this topic... The remark that I've encountered (in a couple of telephone conversations) that sets me back is: "He would want you to be happy." I know the people who've said this to me are well-meaning people, but how am I supposed to respond? I can't control my grief. While I know that my husband would want me to be happy, I can't bear (on top of everything else I'm feeling) to think that I'm letting him down by not being stronger and "moving on."

Hatshepsut

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Hatshepsut,
I just lost my husband in June and the sadness and loneliness is overwhelming at times. When I was going to counseling before Terry died, my counselor told me of a patient she had who was terminal. He told her once that he had the easy part, all he had to do was die. It was everyone else who was left with the hard part. I am not sure I totally agree with that. Terry's death was not easy, especially the last 3 months. But I do wonder sometimes how he would have handled things had I been the one to pass and he was here. I loved him and would never want him to feel this consuming sadness. Waking up everyday struggling through the day, going to bed lying awake all night thinking, remembering, worrying. If he could talk to me I know he would tell me to pull it together, stop spending so much time at the cemetary, and start living again. He was always one to take what life hands you, deal with it the best you can and move on. Really, what choice do we have. I know some day things will better but I will always have him in my heart.
You are in my thoughts, this is all so new and everything is so ray still.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1293
Joined: Aug 2010

Hatshepsut,

I know you are saying the group session did not work for you and I understand that. I think I've told you before I am personally a very private person.

It concerns me that you feel you have isolated yourself for the past few months. There is certainly not one right way to grieve, and no limit on the time one can give to grieving, but I wonder if you should consider talking to a counselor in a one-on-one session just to get assurance you are moving forward with your grief - sometimes we can use a nudge to get us moving forward. Even talking with your minister, if he is good with the subject of bereavement, can be all it takes.

Grieve, please, but make sure it is a healing grief. There is definitely another kind.

bingles
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2010

It was just yesterday that my berevement counselor told the group that the middle of the road needs to be found in the grieving process..one extreme is to stay hunkered down in the grief until it reneders you non-functional..the other extreme is to keep it at bay by not acknowledging the grief..running from it..sort of.
Neither is healthy...middle of the road being...you acknowledge the grief...get comfortable with it...see it as healthy and move on.
We cannot out run it...its part of our DNA now....personally speaking...each day for me is a challenge....I cry when I am alone...I sit quietly with my memories...but I function...out and about...working 4 or 5 days a week in the health care field...I keep my home up and take care of my self....but it is still a challenge...when the tears come out of no where I just stop and embrace them....each time it gets shorter.
I doubt that any of our husbands would have wanted us to have the rest of our lives dictated by their deaths...but rather have the rest of our lives be tolerable and productive because they gave us strenght and love.
My heart and prayers are with each and everyone of you gals...we didn't choose this..but its all ours now.
Pat

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

I totally agree that we all grieve different ways & some seem to get over the death of their spouse easy. I myself, did not do anything, but cry, lay on the couch, stay in the house & stop eating. People said, get out and start doing things but I wasn't ready. And my counselor said "don't let anyone force you into doing something if you aren't ready>" But it's been six months on the 25th and I have finally started doing things. It's so hard for people to say things that are senseless, cause they've never been through losing a spouse. So guess we just have to take our time and do things at our own pace. Glad you agree with counseling. I had asked mine about going to a bereavement group and she said sometimes that can make you feel more depressed. And I think one on one, like you said is better too. This site is so helpful talking to people who understand & has helped me deal with my loss alot. Thanks!!
"Carole"

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Thank you for your replies.

As we all attempt to decipher the outlines of our "new normals," it is difficult, I think, to know what is a normal response to such overwhelming grief.At least, it is difficult for me. It appears from your posts that the definition of "normal" is different for each of us.

In my case, I face my new reality with the tools I have developed over decades of living and coping with shyness and a sense that I alone need to deal with my own problems. Although I had a long and successful professional life with interaction with hundreds of people in a given year (I was a high school history teacher), my husband was the one person in my life that I let get truly close to me. With him gone, there is an enormous void in my life. I retired a few months before my husband was diagnosed with cancer, so I don't have a job to fill up the empty hours. And, because my retirement was filled with caring for my husband, I never really learned how to deal with being retired. As a consequence, I now find myself trying to learn how to be alone and how to be retired at the same time.

I apologize if I gave the impression that I have become pathologically reclusive. I admit that there was a time at the beginning when I pretty much locked my doors and wept. Now, while my house is not large, it is a complicated house with pets and gadgets and gardens and a lot of projects to catch up with after four years of dealing with my husband's awful disease as his sole caregiver. I find that I deal pretty well with the cleaning ladies and the handyman and other people whose services I need. Situations that require me to deal with closer acquaintances and discuss my husband's death and my grief are the types of situations I find myself avoiding. To borrow an expression one of you used, I guess that means I'm not "embracing the grief" as a part of my healing. I hope I get to that point soon but I'm not there yet. Perhaps the bereavement support group will be an avenue for me to follow in that direction. I appreciate knowing that my tears at my first session did not represent a totally unique response to the loss of a loved one. I will try to handle myself more calmly at this week's session.

Sorry to go on and on about this, but I do appreciate the opportunity to "talk" about my particular grief situation in this safe and supportive environment. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my posts. I'm sorry that you have lost your loved ones but I'm appreciative of the fact that we can learn how to deal with our grief together.

Today marks the fourth month of my husband's death. In the great scheme of things, I realize that I'm in the early stages of my journey.

Hatshepsut

junklady's picture
junklady
Posts: 88
Joined: Aug 2009

I hear what everyone is saying, I'm there. My love , Dale, passed away on Aug. 29. It's only been two weeks. I'm lonely, can't believe he is gone. I wander around the house, crying, keeping the doors locked, censoring my phone calls. My friends are here for me, but what happened to Dale's so called friends? Not one has left a condolence message on the phone or bothered to send a card. Just makes me wonder. One of his friends called weeks before he passed and proceeded to tell me that I am a strong woman and will get through it, after all his wife had cataract surgery and she was fine. What is the parallel here? Facing death is different. How stupid. I retired after 33 years of teaching in June 2009, Little did I know that my new job would be full time caregiver. I has been a rough journey. Some day I am hoping to do the things I planned on doing in my retirement. The list is long. I can't get motivated to do much these days. I was the type of person always go, go, go. Now nothing. I know it will take time, and I'm going to do this on my own terms. No one is going to tell me how to grieve or what I need to do. They have not been in my shoes. This, to me is the only place to visit, because we all share some common bond, a place to vent, without criticism. The road ahead will be tough, take only one day at a time. Thank you for letting me share.

Cynthia

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

If one more person tells me I look fine or I'm strong, I may smack them.

From necessity, sort of, I made a sanity list of projects to do around the house, as much to remove reminders of his youngest and to improve the security as anything else. Now I've pretty much finished all those. The house looks nice and is safer. I like it and regret that it doesn't look the same as it did when Don was alive.

The next big hurdle is actually using the spaces I've set up. I will have to have a lot of discipline so that I don't migrate from the bedroom to the kitchen to the living room chair. I have managed to start a new painting in the sunroom and I've decided to do my exercises in the room where the sewing machine and desk live.

Don and I always worked. Neither of us were exactly big socializers. I'm welcome at people's houses when I drop by with flowers or muffins, etc. and usually they invite me to stay and chat, but as far as calls or notes or visits in return, let's just say that the house is lonely and silent.

I expect that one day I may actually invite someone for supper and they may accept.

I tell people that if you have a huge hole in your life, you can expect to fall in occasionally. They say I'm doing fine and I don't explain that from time to time I wonder why. People tell me that Don would want me to get a nice life going and I agree, but privately sometimes I wonder if he's missing me as much as I'm missing him and wants me to come home to him.

Ah well.

david54
Posts: 115
Joined: Apr 2009

Wow! I relate to so much all fo you are sharing! I got a call from my company's case manager this morning wanting to talk to my wife. Geesh! When my wife was ill we got all kinds of calls from my employers group insurance, case workers, intake coordinators, my wife rarely spoke to any of them. They usually called from the East coast and we certainly did not know them on a personal level. Well this morning I got a call from a caseworker wanting to speak to my wife and I informed her she died July 29th.

"She died?"
"Yes she died."
"What did she die of?"
"You don't know? It should be in your records"
"Let me put you on hold to make sure I can talk with you"
"Okay David I have here that you wife has given us permission to speak with you."

And the brainless people live on and on and on and on.

onlyhuman
Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2009

I try not to judge people for their cluelessness but here are a few of the things said to me that have left me wondering...:

1. You have the girls. At least you won't be lonely.
2. You dont look as if its been 9 months. You look like its been a few years since he passed. (Anyone want to explain how I should look?).
3. (From my mum) You two fought all the time so you probably won't miss him for long.
4. You need to get over him (as if we got divorced...halo...he died).
5. (as I approach the one year mark)...you know you should expect the pain to get worse before it gets better.

The "you are so strong" comment also wears very thin. All through his illness and since then its been a recurring one amongst my friends. Inside I am shouting "DO I HAVE A CHOICE??"

(Deep breath) ok rant over. :)

Sangeeta

ktlcs's picture
ktlcs
Posts: 360
Joined: Jan 2010

Here are some others

I am getting insurance bills rejected for the reason "individual was no longer covered on that date" No he died that day

That's a beautiful new car, bought yourself a present huh? (our prev car was a wheelchair accessible van) a present? You must be kidding me.

It must be so much easier for you know. Yes I find it quite easy to lie on the couch all day in tears, to look at the empty side of the bed, to pick up the phone to call him and then remember he's not there. And cleaning out his stuff gave me lots more closet and drawer space!

Please send us a copy of the death certificate and a utility bill in your name as proof that we should change the name on the account (this FROM the utility co!)

And the ever inspiriational "You'll get through it" Gee ya think, really, is there another altrnative I am unaware of?

Sorry I too seem to be venting'

Kathy

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Kathy,
I know how you feel. My husband died in March and it's taken me six months to start doing things again. People don't know what to say or how to feel if they've never been through it. And some are stupid and say such dumb things. We don't have a choice & have to get through it, but we all grieve in a different way. Take your time and don't do anything you aren't ready for. Hey you can vent all you want, that's what we're here for. My husband was always healthy and was first diagnosed in January. He really didn't suffer & death wasn't expected so didn't have time to adjust to realize I would lose him so soon.
Hope you keep posting!! "Carole"

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

After my dad died, we didn't change the listing from his name because my brother's name was the same and he was in real estate. We figured that people would need to see that instead of initials in order to contact him.

A year later my brother died suddenly and when I got my feet back on the ground, I decided not to change the listing. To me, initials indicated the possibility of a woman living alone and my 80+ year-old mom was there by herself all day. I paid the bill by check for the next six years until she died.

When I moved, I called the phone company and asked to transfer the number to the new house three miles away. Couldn't be done, they said. The account would have to be closed and I'd get a new number. I said, fine; do that. They said they needed to speak to John D. Smith and get his authorization. I explained that they were both dead and the circumstances. They still had to speak to him or have a death certificate. I said that they were fortunate because I knew where that was, but if I hadn't had a death certificate, I would have told them to keep billing and to let me know where the payment was coming from if they got one.

It makes me smile a little now, but it was just plain stupid then.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network