After the Funeral, Help Them Help You
I joined the W Club in July of 2016 after my husband lost his battle with cancer.
I blog about my revelations as a widow working my way through grief at The Wandering Widow. I’m grateful Treasure Valley Hospice invited me to share some of my observations with you.
Starting the moment your loved one breathes their last, a flurry of activity takes place. Family and friends are notified, funeral plans kick into high gear and you are surrounded by people 24/7. You are in shock, even if it was expected. You are surrounded in casseroles, flowers, stories and love.
And then the funeral happens. And then there is silence. The friends and family that were at your side disappear, returning to their own busy lives while you are left behind.
Regardless of the reason, their disappearing act doesn’t reflect on you. It doesn’t lower your worth or mean they love you any less.
We can help them help us by simply communicating. When they ask what we need, tell them the truth. Be honest, even if you don’t know the answer.
After visiting with some of my fellow W’s, here are some examples we came up with:
- Call or text me every day to let me know you haven’t forgotten me.
- Don’t disappear or stop asking me questions, even if you think I’m being negative. Help me talk about him and listen when I do.
- Don’t let me become a recluse. Keep inviting me out even if I say “no” a lot.
- I don’t know what I’m feeling or what I want.
- I just need to be held or to talk and you don’t have to fix anything, just be here with me.
- I just lost everything. Please don’t leave me too.
- Don’t offer me solutions or advice, just give me time to pull through this with you at my side.
- And most importantly don’t hide your grief from me. I want to know you loved him as much as I did. It makes me feel less alone.