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Bereavement

Disapproval of what I'm doing

(40 Posts)
TillyWhiz Thu 18-Jun-20 12:36:55

My husband died 16 months ago after being ill a long long time. I believe I had anticipatory grief because after the initial shock that it had happened I have not really cried. My daughter has also had cancer so I have had to focus on supporting her too.
Now during lockdown because she is shielding at home I am totally on my own but I have been able to volunteer remotely, and really enjoy it.
However some of my friends I am in contact with remotely are showing disapproval that I am doing this and if I mention it, which I do as it is so much part of my life at the moment, refuse to comment or discuss. I note that it is the older men who are like this, husbands of friends or the like.
Can you understand the mindset because I don't?

rosenoir Thu 18-Jun-20 12:43:40

If they were your friends they would be pleased for you doing something you enjoy.

They sound like they think they know what is best for you,they do not.

silverlining48 Thu 18-Jun-20 13:52:11

Tilly. Your husband died not long ago, maybe you havnt cried about him because he was ill for so long and you did your mourning then. Its your daughter, where your focus has understandably been. I do understand and hope she is ok.

Do whatever makes you happy. No need to worry about why some of your friends’ husbands think as they do. It doesn’t really matter does it?

ginny Thu 18-Jun-20 13:56:57

Do what you feel is best for you. Real friends will be pleased for you. There is no set way to grieve or deal with grief.

Gramann Thu 18-Jun-20 14:03:54

Well done - it is often in helping others that we can help ourselves. Grief and the ways in which we work through it is different for all of us. There is no right or wrong but I would suggest that your experience of dealing with your husband's long illness will enable you to have empathy for others. I am sure your daughter, despite her own illness, is proud of what you are doing.

Nonogran Thu 18-Jun-20 14:09:07

Hello Tilly, you've had so much to deal with and like a previous poster, you've likely done your mourning before your husband passed away. Given your daughter has been your latter focal point perhaps your grieving has been sidelined a little too? No matter, we all grieve differently & there's no text book case to follow.
Meanwhile, tell your "friends" as nicely as possible of course, to mind their own business. Do you pass comments about what they do with their lives? Probably not. It sounds like you are offering a lovely kind humanitarian service and are to be applauded for it, not shut down my miseries. Ignore the naysayers, you've been through enough and now is your time. Enjoy it!

PinkCakes Thu 18-Jun-20 19:52:28

You had your husband ill, then had his death to deal with. On top of that, you've been supporting your daughter through cancer. The Covid-19 had affected everything, too.

Good on you for helping others. As for your so-called friends not approving, I'd say "Sod them", don't bother about their opinions. They can't be very nice people if they judge you like that.

GagaJo Thu 18-Jun-20 19:53:57

TillyWhiz, I think you should be applauded for helping out at this very difficult time.

If it helps you, you have nothing to feel bad about. Everyone grieves differently.

welbeck Thu 18-Jun-20 19:59:38

well it help to sort and sift; don't bother with these people.
they are numpties.

tickingbird Fri 19-Jun-20 09:52:44

I can’t understand why anyone would disapprove of you doing this. Ignore them and carry on I say.

kwest Fri 19-Jun-20 09:53:19

You are familiar with terms like anticipatory grief so I assume you have done a lot of reading about grief, the grief cycle etc.
As others have said, do what is right for you.
If you need help later to deal with any residual grief, there is plenty professional help out there both private or voluntary organizations. Whatever feels right for you probably will be. Trust your instinct. However please don't be too proud to ask if you need help.

GoldenAge Fri 19-Jun-20 09:57:07

TillyWhizz - you have had thought time’s to go through - anticipatory grief followed by your husband’s death and then your daughter’s cancer - that it from me as a bereavement counsellor that you are unique in your own circumstances - you don’t have to cry but if you want to cry buckets that’s also OK - your own identity changed when your husband died and although it might not feel like it you are gradually finding a slightly different one that just happens to include volunteering - there’s nobody on this earth who has the right to disapprove, criticise or prescribe your behaviour - those who try are not true friends - they just want you to remain as you were without helping you to build resilience by doing something that gives you satisfaction - well done for helping others during lockdown - and accept this as part of the way you are dealing with your own grief - you don’t have to go around wearing sackcloth and ashes but you can if you want. Good luck.

jaylucy Fri 19-Jun-20 10:02:07

Quite frankly, it is nobody's business but yours as to how you deal with your grief - I thought that the times when we were expected to wear widows weeds for 12 months had long gone!
You are dealing with your life in the best way that you know how.
I am not sure what volunteering remotely involves, but I have always found that if you are doing something for someone else, it helps very much with any problems you have, and puts it in its place!
Carry on doing what feels right for you.

Ph1lomena Fri 19-Jun-20 10:09:06

What have your friends got to disapprove about? You are doing what is right for you and making a great job of it, by the sound of things. It's your life, not theirs.

Shandy3 Fri 19-Jun-20 10:10:55

Everybody greaves differently. It's ok to greaves in your own time. When someone is I'll fir a long time it affects us all in different ways.
Your daughter having cancer took your focus away from the death of your husband, understandably.
On the other subject what do they disapprove of? And their disapproval says more about them than you. Well done for doing something you enjoy that supports others at the same time. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Apricity Fri 19-Jun-20 10:39:03

TillyWhiz my heart just goes out to you. You have had so much of life's seriously hard stuff to deal with in a very short space of time. You are doing a great job. Concentrate on what you feel you need to do. Some "friends" will inevitably fall by the wayside at this time. Let them go and treasure those who have helped and supported you. It's times like these that we truly know who are our real friends. 🌹

TanaMa Fri 19-Jun-20 11:00:58

Not quite the same situation but similar. Since my husband's sudden but natural death, his side of the, quite large, family have not been supportive because he had decided he wanted his body to go to medical research. Obviously there was no funeral just a memorial of his life. Sad as I was, this was what he wanted.

Knittynatter Fri 19-Jun-20 11:15:54

I imagine your friends want to ‘look after’ you and are miffed because you are leading your own life. Good on you!! There’s no right or wrong way to deal with what has happened. Good luck for the future 👍

25Avalon Fri 19-Jun-20 11:22:49

Grief takes us in different ways and no one person has the right to criticise another in their way of handling it, especially not if those “friends” criticising have not experienced death of a close loved one.
You looked after your dh for a long long time and then had the worry of your daughter’s cancer which meant you were forced to concentrate on something else as you supported her. I do hope she is in a good state of recovery.
After my son died our family helped raise a lot of money for his special charity. We felt we had permission to get involved in life again because we were doing that and I recommend it as a positive in an otherwise negative situation. Your voluntary work similarly is not just for you but for others and you are to be commended. You have discovered giving can be good for everyone concerned. Would your friends were more compassionate.

GreenGran78 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:05:44

How do your friends know what form your grieving takes, behind closed doors? I wouldn’t let their remarks get to you. If they do, maybe it’s time to make some new friends.
Some people I know, all adults with families, are forever on Facebook about how much they miss their mother, who died four years ago. It’s almost as if they compete in being sad, and I’m sometimes tempted to tell them to ‘get a grip, and move on’. I wouldn’t dream of doing so, though. Everyone has their own way of dealing with bereavement.
When my DH died, suddenly, after suffering bad health for quite a few years, I admit to feeling relief, not grief. Glad that he was free of the life that had become a burden to him, with all its indignities. I think that he was ready to go. I also think that I had done my grieving for the life he could no longer enjoy, and shed no tears for a long time afterwards.
You have had a tough time, and now your are feeling your way into a new kind of life. If that includes doing things that meet with others’ disapproval, well, frankly, my dear, you shouldn’t give a damn!

Caro57 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:08:31

Embrace what you are doing and enjoy it. How anyone deals with grief - anticipatory or otherwise - is their business and their's alone. If your 'face to face' friends don't want to hear about it please tell us - it's sounds wonderful

JaneRn Fri 19-Jun-20 12:12:13

You .sound as if you a very bra eve and caring person. If you have not so far dissolved into tears, remember everyone deals with bereavement in their own way, there is no right or wrong. "A blaring cow forgets it's calf the soonest" which is an old West country saying.
It will be five years tomorrow that my husband died and I expect I shall shed a quiet, private tear but that is all.

Lexisgranny Fri 19-Jun-20 12:12:33

Never let your life be defined by what other people think.

Cs783 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:18:22

Oh TanaMa your husband’s altruism was amazing. I do hope you feel some consolation from that. A shame his side of the family were not accepting but not all of us can be as brave and clear sighted as your husband seems to have been. Personally I’m grateful for his and your fortitude.

JacquiG Fri 19-Jun-20 12:21:36

You are doing great. The world needs volunteers in these COVID times, and here you are - making the world a better place for others.

Frankly, I don't see what business it is, of anyone let alone men, to comment on your life. Is there a touch of control freakery here do you think? That as a now single woman it is up to them to ensure you are only engaging in pursuits they approve of? Or do they feel uncomfortable about a woman picking up the pieces of her life successfully? Are they ultimately worried that their wives will be able to function without them?

If so, tough. Do what is right for you, not them.