Note: I did not write this. A friend posted this from something she'd read, and I am re-posting this for another friend to read.
I don't have the original source, but to my knowledge, this was written by a woman who's husband took his own life.
HOW YOU CAN HELP ME..
about my loved one, even though he is gone. It is more comforting to cry
than to pretend that he never existed. I need to talk about him, and I
need to do it over and over.
Be patient with my agitation.
Nothing feels secure in my world. Get comfortable with my crying.
Sadness hits me in waves, and I never know when my tears may flow. Just
sit with me in silence and hold my hand.
Don't abandon me
with the excuse that you don't want to upset me. You can't catch my
grief. My world is painful, and when you are too afraid to call me or
visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I most need to be
cared about. If you don't know what to say, just come over, give me a
hug or touch my arm, and gently say, "I'm sorry." You can even say, "I
just don't know what to say, but I care, and want you to know that."
Just because I look good does not mean that I feel good. Ask me how I feel only if you really have time to find out.
I am not strong. I'm just numb. When you tell me I am strong, I feel that you don't see me.
will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I'm not sick. I'm
grieving and that's different. My grieving may begin at any time after
my loved one's death. Don't think that I will be over it in a year. For I
am not only grieving his death, but also the person I was when I was
with him, the life that we shared, the plans we had for watching our
children and grandchildren grow, the places we will never get to go
together, and the hopes and dreams that will never come true. My whole
world has crumbled and I will never be the same.
not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my loved
one and rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and love
into the rest of my life. He is a part of me and always will be, and
sometimes I will remember him with joy and other times with a tear. Both
I don't have to accept the death. Yes, I have
to understand that it has happened and it is real, but there are some
things in life that are just not acceptable.
When you tell
me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and alone. I feel
badly enough that my loved one is dead, so please don't make it worse
by telling me I'm not doing this right.
Please don't tell
me I can find someone else or that I need to start dating again. I'm not
ready. And maybe I don't want to. And besides, what makes you think
people are replaceable? They aren't. Whoever comes after will always be
I don't even understand what you mean
when you say, "You've got to get on with your life." My life is going
on. I've been forced to take on many new responsibilities and roles. It
may not look the way you think it should. This will take time and I will
never be my old self again. So please, just love me as I am today, and
know that with your love and support, the joy will slowly return to my
life. But I will never forget and there will always be times that I cry.
need to know that you care about me. I need to feel your touch, your
hugs. I need you just to be with me, and I need to be with you. I need
to know you believe in me and in my ability to get through my grief in
my own way, and in my own time.
Please don't say, "Call me
if you need anything." I'll never call you because I have no idea what I
need. Trying to figure out what you could do for me takes more energy
than I have. So, in advance, let me give you some ideas:
(a) Bring food or a movie over to watch together.
Send me a card on special holidays, his birthday, and the anniversary
of his death, and be sure to mention his name. You can't make me cry.
The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the opportunity to
shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach out on this
(c) Ask me more than once to join you at a movie or
lunch or dinner. I may say no at first or even for a while, but please
don't give up on me because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and
if you've given up then I really will be alone.
how difficult it is for me to be surrounded by couples, to walk into
events alone, to go home alone, to feel out of place in the same
situations where I used to feel so comfortable.
don't judge me now, or think that I'm behaving strangely. Remember, I'm
grieving. I may even be in shock. I am afraid. I may feel deep rage. I
may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt. I'm experiencing a pain
unlike any I've ever felt before and one that can't be imagined by
anyone who has not walked in my shoes.
Don't worry if you
think I'm getting better and then suddenly I seem to slip backward.
Grief makes me behave this way at times. And please don't tell me you
know how I feel, or that it's time for me to get on with my life. What I
need now is time to grieve.
Most of all thank you for
being my friend. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for caring.
Thank you for helping, for understanding. Thank you for praying for me.
remember in the days or years ahead, after your loss - when you need me
as I have needed you - I will understand. And then I will come and be
with you. ♥