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Support group

Posts: 50
Joined: Feb 2010

I lost my husband, best friend and soul mate almost 4 months ago. We had been married for 38 years. I started to attend a support group and after the first meeting we were asked to bring a photo of our loved one to share with the group. This I did and it was Ok however our assignment for the next meeting is to share with the group something "we do not miss about our spouse?" I personally find this an upsetting task to be asked to do particularily at this stage of my grieving. I was just interested to hear what others might feel about this.

Posts: 37
Joined: Apr 2011

That seems a bit intense to me...it would seem there should really be some trained personnel there when the group starts digging into that kind of stuff. I am in no way an expert on leading grieving people during a group session but that kind of question is just too much from my point of view. Really what is the point of asking that kind of question...my thought is are they trying to get you on some sort of express route to forgetting and moving on...sort of like marriage counseling without one spouse there? I don't know how you deal with this stuff but for me I'd refuse to answer it...I'd say I am not participating in that train of thought and questioning. I have a friend who lost her husband to a sudden heart attack a few years ago and she had to try out a few groups till she found one that "fit". If it upsets you maybe you should really think about not doing it. I have always heard that as we grieve we tend to forget any problems or little irritations (I think all married folks have them) and the good shines through...so when is it really a good time to publicly hang out the "dirty laundry". I wish you all the best if you stay with this group...just don't let anyone make you do or say anything you are not comfortable with. You know yourself better than anyone else. I would be interested in hearing another perspective but I agree with you this is an upsetting task. Elizabeth

Posts: 50
Joined: Feb 2010

Thanks for your input,it has really been bothering me and I have made a decision to not think about it anymore and if I go to the next meeting I will simply tell them that I do not think it is in any way beneficial for me and I have nothing to share.

Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

I too attended a support group for young widows and found it to be very helpful. Our first meeting we talked about our spouses and what took them from us. We then took turns talking about our spouses, and who they were without talking about their deaths. We were never asked to speak about anything derogative. I think that would have upset me. I think I would want to know the purpose in talking about something I did not miss about my husband, especially at a time I missed him so much.

Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2009

I am sorry for your loss.

I am not trying to be controversial. Just maybe shedding some light on their thinking.

I have read lots of material trying to figure out how to cope with losing a loved one and moving forward and I remember reading about how we should avoid putting them on a pedestal just because they are gone.

I dont think the exercise is meant to criticise your loved one...its meant to bring your memories and grief down to some form of reality.

I miss my husband .....and I miss being annoyed by the things he used to do that would annoy me but I dont miss the annoying things he used to do. Make sense?

In the end you have to go with what you are comfortable with.


Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009

I agree with onlyhuman-the question is a tricky one- I am not sure it should be even presented as a primary question but more in tune with the grieving process.

Part of my grieving to be honest, is accepting the difficult things in our relationship. We were both human, there were days I asked myself why I married her (I KNOW she wondered the same thing-lol) But we made it work. I remember the hard days as well as the wonderful ones. My wife was hard to live with, she was a perfectionist, she could be overly critical. Yet she was loving, hard working, energetic, I loved her laughter, her boundless energy, her desire to explore and creativity. She could be overbearing and did not have a lot of tact (sometimes I cringed in public places), yet I admired her honesty and calling it as she saw it.

I miss hearing her play Mozart on the piano-it stands alone now.

In the end I marveled at her amazing courage the last few months of her life. A year ago she was facing her mortality with the grace and faith that I question I would display in the same circumstance.

Another issue in a group that I might bring up is how we changed because of our partners, and what we are willing to give up to become the different people we are today yet honor them at the same time.

I think the most challenging part of the grieving process is that we are all trying to redefine our roles and who we are with our partners gone.

It is not easy, it hurts, and it’s a long process.

lovingwifedeb's picture
Posts: 183
Joined: Aug 2010

My husband just recently passed on May 27th... I am still holding my breath. My heart is bouncing in and out of many emotions, love... anger... self pity... absolute hate and most of all regret. I am a firestorm inside but you certainly wouldn't know it by looking at me. It's not in my personality to show the world how I really feel. I do know I will crack when the pressure is too much and it won't be pretty but it will be on my terms. I think everyone grieves at their own pace, there are no rules. But there are stages, certainly.

I agree that a marriage is not perfect and if you place your spouse on a pedestal there is not one other person in your life that will ever be able to live up to your expectations... a disaster in the making. My heart aches that my husband is no longer with me but he was only human, had his faults as I did. But love each other we did, disagree sure, you bet. He had the worst habit of leaving cupboards doors open... now it seems so stupid but walk into my kitchen day after day with all the doors open, it was like living in a tornado sometimes. My husband's skilled hands were always remodeling our home and my sense of order (perfectionist that I am) was always being tested. Give and take... I miss his presence, the space he fills up and his large laughter.

I do know people are brought into our lives to teach us lessons... I do know my heart is bigger today that it ever will be again.

Peace to all here.

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