Kiddo has a favorite restaurant that we often frequent. The staff is very nice and a few months ago we were talking with a Hispanic man who works there. He had mentioned that he lost his wife. This weekend, I asked him how he was doing, he told me that he doesn’t have any family in the states since he lost his wife a year ago. He said he has two grown daughters in Mexico and mentioned that one was having a baby this summer. I congratulated him and asked if he would get to meet his grandson. He excitedly told me that he planned to be going to Mexico to see the baby. He then started talking about losing his wife. He said, “It was really hard,” paused for a second and then continued, “I drank a lot, much more than I should have. But, it’s getting a little easier. I have too much to live for.”
It made me think about how grief is so isolating. After the funeral, typically, most of those who aren’t spouse, or children, or parents… they move on. I’m not saying that others don’t remember and miss the deceased, but they move forward.
When you walk into any oncologist office there are magazines and pamphlets entitled with article about coping with cancer, dealing with intimacy issues, and how to proceed with treatment options. These magazines are sprinkled with ads for cancer drugs and have survivors talking about their fight and how they won.
They don’t have such a magazine for widows/widowers/ family of the deceased nor do they print a publications for caretakers with deceased patients.
A friend of mine is learning to cope with a family members drug addiction. He attends Al-anon meetings and mentions how sad it is to see so many people affected by drugs and alcohol abuse, but how great it is to have a support network.
There is no national Widows/Widowers Anonymous… I do know that there are places that do have great grief groups, but I don’t live in an area that does. When my husband passed away the hospital didn’t provide me with any information about grief groups and I even looked in their publication and there is a support group for caretakers but not for grievers. The funeral home doesn’t offer a grief group either.
Luckily, I have been able to find some online resources like ywbb.org and a facebook group. Like my friend’s Al-anon group, we all wish we didn’t have to be there, but are all happy that we’re not alone and have people that we can relate to.
It is not unusual to be alone in the grieving process. There is no national support organization. Many who have lost spouses end up drinking more or involved in other unhealthy behaviors.
It brought a big smile to my face when the gentleman said, “I have too much to live for now.”