As with all tragedies, you will learn who really cares about you and who doesn't. When you are grieving you need people, whether you realize it or not. I had a tendency to want to be alone and I needed time alone, but I needed people who cared about me to check in on me now and then. I had lost my best friend that I talked to about everything, I was lost. Who would I turn to for this?
While I needed people, I needed a lot of alone time as well to process my memories of his death and also our life together. There were about three people who sent me texts every single morning to see how I was. One of these three people sent a Bible verse along with their texts, one told me what their morning was like and what they intended to do the rest of the day, and one just wanted to know the answer to one question, every single morning, “are you okay?” or “how are you?” These texts kept me going.
During this past year, I had three people who helped me to not become a hermit. On Tuesdays, I had “Taco Tuesday” with one friend and her family, one friend invited me to Thanksgiving, lunch on Thursdays, and now and then for her family get togethers, another friend invited me to her house to sit in her gazebo and just talk.
Now to the ones that I found to be supportive only to the point where it served them. You will learn that not everyone cares about you even though they appear to.
One friend tried to control me. I only knew her because her husband and my husband were friends from childhood. She and I had only limited contact with each other for twenty plus years. She tried to tell me how to do certain things for my husband's memorial service, how to 'handle” my grown son, and how to communicate with the guy helping me with my farm. When I said something she didn't agree with, she started with hurtful words. One day she accused my sister of trying to control me. My sister had been there every day for me and still is. This “friend” did not know my sister. I decided I had to limited or completely cut my time with this person out of my life. This was about six months after my husband's passing. After about three months of no contact with this person, I realized how much she was holding me back from healing. She was actually contributing to my pain.
The second person was a woman I worked with for a few years. We immediately became friends and remained so for several years. However, it was after I spent a week at the beach with her a year after my husband's passing that I realized a few things. We never really spent time together except for an occasionally lunch or dinner, I was the one who always initiated the calls, and money is her motivation for living, she had finally landed a great job making lots of money and now she enjoyed flaunting it. I was happy for her because I knew how hard she worked to get where she was now. Before I accepted her offer to go to the beach with me, for support, I thought I knew her and I explained that I may not be my normal self that week. I told her up front that I would be crying, thinking, and spend a lot of time alone. She said she understood. In the end, she didn't understand. She was bossy. She questioned everything I said. She thought I should put her first since she was my guest. I brought her home at the end of the week.
All in all, you are going to have people who really care about you and those who don't. You must remember to put yourself first during this time. You must stand up for yourself even when you don't care about yourself. There will be times when you won't care if you go on another day. Just don't stay in those times more than a minute or two. Take care of you. I leaned on God. God is the one constant in life.
Before I close this blog, I must tell you about my sister. My sister has experienced loss in her life, a husband and a child. She is younger than me and while I was always the one my siblings leaned on because I was the oldest, she is the one I lean on now. She has been there every single day, sometimes multiple times a day. She listened when no one else would or could. She never judged me, she encouraged me. She never argued with me, she always supported me. She listened. If I called her at 3 am crying, before we closed the phone call, I would no longer be crying and I would be able to go back to sleep. Without her, I don't know how I would have done.
Everyone needs someone like my sister. Find that person. If you can't find one among your friends and family, seek one out professionally, perhaps a therapist or grief councilor, a preacher or elder. Just don't try to do this alone You need just one person to support you, but you need the right person.
There will be more blog posts coming on this topic. I have a lot to share. May God bless you always.
Have you ever experienced anything that took you to a deep dark hole and one person was there for you? Do you have one person in your life whom you can share anything with?