My Grief Care

Widow Grief

7 Episodes

Episode 5 : I Lost My Spouse and My Friends

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Episode Notes

I Lost My Spouse and My Friends

We often hear from widows and widowers that after the death of their spouse, they are not invited to couples’ activities anymore and many of their “couples” friends disappear.  That is not the case for everyone but if it happens to you, it is just another loss on top of losing your spouse.

We hear too often how people lose their social group of couple friends and they feel abandoned.  I am not sure I have an answer on how to fix this, but I want to acknowledge that it happens.

Some of my couple friends didn’t include me anymore.  And some did.  But I had an unexpected experience with a neighbor who wouldn’t let her husband talk to me after my husband died – and we were really good friends.  At first, I was hurt and shocked, but you know, after I looked at her from her view – I was a needy and hurting single woman and I was good friends with her husband.  What if he was comforting me and it led to something else.   I am not sure if she was that wrong.  I had no interest in her husband nor he in me, but I have known two people where that is exactly what happened and it destroyed them all. So I wasn’t that upset when I put myself in her shoes.  But that kind of thing still can add insult to injury and it just adds to the isolation and loneliness.  We lose our identity because we don’t have our partner that we were one with, and now, we don’t have some key friendships.

So I just want to recognize that.  And say I am so sorry if that is happening to you.  I am not sure what the answer is.  Having an honest conversation with your friends about how you are feeling and your needs and maybe educating them on grief, so they don’t feel as uncomfortable or awkward might help.  And, some of your friends are just going to be gone, and that’s how it’s going to be.

That is why it is essential to develop another community of people you can be with you who you enjoy and understand you.  I host a monthly widows tea and those women can’t wait to come every month to be with ladies who “get them”.  How could we find something like that for you?  Is their a local in-person support group or online one that could help you connect?  Or would you like to start a widows or widowers book club or meet up group?  I’m pretty sure others like you are looking for something like that out there.  And when you have community, you do better.

We have lots of resources for you to look at on our resource page where you might find ways to connect.

So don’t give up my friend.

KEYPOINTS:

  • When you lose your spouse, not only could you feel out of place at couple events, you may also feel unwelcome and are no longer included.  Usually, they are uncomfortable and don’t know what to do.
  • Finding a community of people who do “get you” can be really helpful and there are ways to find them.

STEPPING STONE:

  • Have your relationships with other couples been negatively impacted since the loss of your spouse?
  • Is there anything you can do about it?  Can you share what your needs are and what you want to try to make them more comfortable?  Should you reach out to them?  Or should you just let these relationships go for now?
  • Where might you find a community that “gets you”?

REFLECTION:

When we lose our spouse, we lose so much more.  There are many other losses that may result from their death, including long time friendships. Acknowledging them is important.  And it doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong.