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No one talks about my husband

Stargzr
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2011

Recently, I have spent time with family, friends and co-workers, and I noticed that no one mentions my husband. If I bring up something about him, they gloss right over it. I hate that! It makes me feel so isolated. He will always be a part of me. I would love to hear some of their memories of him - funny stories. Lately, the only time I hear any reference to my husband is when someone is expressing their sympathy. My husband lived an amazing life, and he would want people to remember and celebrate his life.

Elizabeth15
Posts: 37
Joined: Apr 2011

I am fortunate to have a sister that listens and talks about Bob, laughs about him and tells me stories and shares memories...yet most shy away from talking or if they do it is with a sad forlorn look...almost pity like...In my opinion they have picked up the pieces and moved on...as much as they miss Bob they have not lost what you and I have...or for that fact what anyone has who had a spouse they loved and made a good life with. I believe you can not miss what you do not have...the relationship we had was private, personal and we were one with each other...no one shares this kind of a relationship but a committed husband and wife...it is so deeply personal and singular that no other couple can compare it to another couple which is why the lose is so devastating...others can only imagine but they really do not know...I have no way of knowing exactly what you have lost just as I believe you really do not know what I have lost...I am not sure if I am expressing myself clearly but it is such a personal lose it just is incomparable...we may share similar if not like feelings, experiences, reactions but when it comes down to those true moments of despair and grieve it is only ours...so those around us just can not give us what we need...it is a solitary path that we travel...there are places such as here that allows us to express ourselves and know that what we are feeling is "normal" and we have not gone totally bonkers...but no one can share our lose and I believe they are uncomfortable with it and can simply not relate...too bad because we are really not asking for much...While I can not share stories of your Bob with you...it would be my true pleasure for you to tell me about him sometime...

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1614
Joined: Aug 2009

I am blessed with family and friends who do talk about Doug. I am so glad they do. Some people feel uncomfortable about it, but our family talked openly about him from the beginning. I guess I led the way, I often point out that he would have liked something or tell a funny story about something. I agree with Elizabeth that others have moved on with their lives because our husbands, though important to them, were probably not part of their day to day lives. Our lives have changed much more than theirs have. They don't want to "dwell" on it. Some may even think that it isn't healthy for us to keep bringing up our dead husbands. They don't understand that remembering them helps us move forward. Doug was a part of my life for 45 years. He was both an important part of me and a wonderful part of my life. I'm not going to stop talking about him. If it makes others uncomfortable, so be it. Fay

MissTodd's picture
MissTodd
Posts: 28
Joined: Jan 2011

I was just at the familys for easter. Not once was Todd's name brought up. How sad. I need to talk about him. Why do people think that once our loved one is gone that "we" don't need/want to talk about them?
I'm not crazy, I still talk to him.

AnnaLeigh's picture
AnnaLeigh
Posts: 177
Joined: Jan 2010

Yes, it is really sad when family and friends feel like they do not want to talk about our loved ones with us when this is exactly what we need to do. Our loved ones were such a huge part of our lives. Our friend, partner, right-hand, confidant, and our other half. Just because they have passed does not mean we should treat them like they never existed and avoid talking about them.

It's true, some people who were not as deeply affected by the loss don't feel a need to talk about them. While others avoid the discussions because they are not ready to deal with the emotions that will surface when we talk about it. And yet others actually think they are being considerate to us by not talking about our loss because they don't want to upset us.

I have quickly learned which people fall in to which category and try to let them deal with their own emotions in their own way. In the mean time, I have found bereavement groups that meet monthly where I can feel safe discussing my progress (or lack of progress) and they understand each other's need to talk and share memories.

The group also understands that the tears I shed are healthy ones. Tears that help wash out all of the emotions held inside. Talking and sharing is healthy also. It's what helps us cope and deal with our grief instead of letting it build up.

All of us on the board are here to listen. Share with us. Tell us your stories.

Stargzr
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2011

AnnaLeigh and Elizabeth, the following is a memory...

My husband and I were the worst travelers that you can imagine. Do you know how the airlines tell you to arrive 2 hours ahead of time? Well, we would arrive panic-stricken at least 4 hours ahead of time. Many years ago we decided to take a trip by train. The train pulled into a stop, and a lot of passengers were getting off because it was a 20 minute stop. To this day, I do not know what possessed us to get off the train with my son who was a toddler at the time, but we did. We took an escalator up into this massive station to look around. Then we came back to the room we entered when we got off the escalator and found that we could not find the way back down to the train. Words could never convey our sense of panic. I was running around, my husband was making preparation to run down the "up" escalator (which was unbelievably massive) while carrying our son. Just in the nick of time, an Amtrak employee entered the area and rescued us from our silliness. She led us to the correct door. We hurried back on the train, both promising never to step more than 2 feet away from the train - any train forevermore. There we sat for the next 15 minutes waiting for the more rational travelers to find their way back to the train. It makes me smile just to think of this.

Please share a memory of your spouse.

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

Stargzr, Thanks for sharing that memory; it made me smile. I got the greatest image of a guy with a toddler having taken a few steps back just ready to run and leap down the up escalator stairs. I can only imagine the panic you must have been in. What a neat memory to have.

I read the rest of the postings here, and I do understand what you mean. I am blessed because we have a number of really close friends and I have a large family; and they were all really close to my husband Mike, so they have no problem talking about him, reminding each other of a funny memory or a "Mikism" as we always called them and have all shared that they too talk to him (they told me when I told them I do it). I even have some family members and friends who will call me and tell me that Mike visited them because something really strange happened and they know it is him trying to communicate with them. And really, my family and friends are fairly normal, but we have always been close (especially family).

But I do know what you mean about people not talking about him. At work, many people knew my husband as I have been at the same place for 34 years and we are locals (along with many of my co-workers). There are only a very few who, if I say something about my husband, will elaborate on the memory as opposed to just glossing over the comment as if I never spoke. And the ones who will speak of him (and even bring things up about Mike first) seem to be the people who have themselves, been through the death of a close friend or family member.

I agree that I believe it is because they really do not know what to say and are afraid that they will offend/upset us. I just don't think they realize it is actually more upsetting that they don't speak of him.

But, thanks again for the memory. Take care.

Stargzr
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2011

The memory warms my heart because my husband and I used to laugh so hard about it.

You are right that people don't realize that is more upsetting when they don't speak of him. I have started to tell the people closest to me that I need to talk about my husband. I hope this will encourage them.

Elizabeth15
Posts: 37
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Star, I absolutely love your story!!!!! As I read your words I could actually see the chaos that ensued as your Bob actually contemplated going down the up escalator...I can envision this couple who decided to let down their hair and do something crazy...spend a few minutes in a train station just one floor from their train....I laugh as I think of this wild and crazy adventure....but I laugh out loud as I imagine the two of you clutching your son promising never ever to do anything as daring as this again...but the most hysterical thing is I know every time you two looked at each other you made this promise with your eyes...unspoken couples words...I mean it never again...I agree we will never ever do anything so daring again...that was just to much...You guys really seem to have complimented each other!!!!!

I will have to think of something to share...it seems like most of my memories lately have revolved around sweet private moments, repeated routines that were daily patterns developed over years of two people just living together, shared tasks to make the day easier for each other...shared looks that said more than words could ever express, mornings started and evenings ended with I Love You...simple things that developed over the years of two people sharing one life...boring to most but comforting to me...

I am still laughing as I think about your 15 minute wait for the train to leave after the stop...promising never ever to do anything so daring again...I love it! Elizabeth

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