I believe that when you lose your spouse, you also lose many of your friends. After my husband’s very sudden, unexpected death I was surprised and hurt by the people who stopped contacting me. I was already isolated, living far from my family. My husband was an only child and his parent’s were elderly and unwell. I was alone in a huge house with my 22 month old twins. I was overwhelmed by everything. Some people, most notably neighbours were great because they offered practical and tangible assistance. A few even followed through. Tasks like cutting the lawn were monumental. We lived on two acres and even with a ride on tractor, it would take me a couple of hours. With no one available to watch the kids…. well you see how difficult it was. In the aftermath of his death, NOT a single person offered to watch the kids for me.
The friends that no longer called or dropped by hurt the most. The rejection was particularly stinging. One of the few people who remained in contact with me tried to explain it. She said, “They look at you and see something that could happen to them. And it hurts too much to imagine it. They go home and hug their spouse and children and thank their God that it was you and not them. Then they feel guilt for being spared and they just can’t face you. ”
The Story of Me is a guest blogger on Bridges.