Calling a Friend After a Death of Their Loved One

I recently had an epiphany about surviving spouses. People will say “Hey is there anything I can do for you” and everyone replies “No I’m fine but thank you”. I am sure this is true of most people who have lost a love one, not just a spouse.
“I am fine” is a really dumb statement because we don’t know what we need. We don’t know that we are in shock or horribly depressed. But we have nothing to compare it to and for some odd reason we don’t want to burden anyone with our troubles.
When did we become a society of individuals where we think that we are weak to ask for help or say “I am not fine”? I deny how I feel all the time; I hear it come out of my mouth on a daily basis.
About a month after my husband died a friend that I have known for years and also a widow called to say, “we need to go to dinner next month” and she pressed me for a day that I could go and we have been going out for dinner every month for a year now.
Last night was our dinner date and I told her that had she not called me I wouldn’t have called her or anyone else. Death sends most people into hiding and that is where I was headed. I didn’t want to talk to my family, friends; even the checkout person at the grocery store. I was a zombie. But she made that phone call and got me out of the house and it has helped me tremendously. Not only because she is also a widow and she gave me some great insight as to what lay ahead for me, but really she has helped me in the grieving process. I am still in stationary mode where I can’t move forward in my life but I know that she is helping me every time I see her and I hope that I am also helping her move forward in her life also.
What I really want you to take away from this long rambling blog is that someone needs you right now. Pick up the phone and call. Life is so short to think “I wished I would have but I didn’t know what to say”. No one knows what to say, but by seeing your friend you will help that person get though a very difficult time in their lives. I am told that “year 2” after the death of a loved one is harder that the first because “it’s more real” and friends forget because you have already been though all the “First’s”. So it doesn’t matter if you didn’t get together the first year, call and see each other during the second.
I am approaching my “2nd” Christmas without my husband and although I am not down on the ground sobbing my eyes out, it is still very emotional and heart wrenching. I need my friends this year as much as last year, maybe even more. So, I want you to pick up the phone and call someone and go out for lunch, movie or dinner. It doesn’t matter what you do, just call them. They need you. And they are not going to call even though you said “Call me if you need anything”, they just won’t.
I am so very grateful my friend Angela called me.

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