I was attending a function the other night, meeting new people. The conversation turned to what we do professionally. I explained my work and one of the gentleman said, “I need to speak with you before you go.” Before the night ended, I found him and reminded him that he had mentioned he wanted to speak with me.
“ The Wise Widow”, he said. I chuckled and said “Yes, that’s who I am”. He continued, “I have a friend, her husband died five years ago and she’s not over it yet.” UGH! How many of us have heard that cliché? I gently said, “We never get over the death of a loved one, but perhaps she would like to talk about what she’s feeling.” He shook his head in agreement and took my card.
How many of us hide our grief? In my video on my website home page, I talk about a dear friend who was my neighbor when I moved to a new town 6 months after Joe’s death. She told me, after these many years, that she believed I had it all under control, had it all together. That is how well I hid my pain, loneliness and utter confusion.
I recently read this story and asked Greg’s permission to share it. In his words:
“I am new to this discussion thing but my son passed away 26 years ago at the age of 4. I never sought counseling, I had to play the mucho BS all these years and it ate me up like a cancer. No one ever saw me cry, I did it in private. We had a three-month old daughter when he passed so I had to buck it up. I pass this along because last year I hit a wall; I could not work and did not want to get out of bed. I finally went to a grief counselor and WOW. It took about three months, twice a week, but it worked. I can now accept his passing, although I still don’t like it. I no longer torture myself with the question “WHY”. Please do not go it alone, do not play the macho man, get help!
In my work, I have counseled woman who, like Greg, come to me years after the death of their loved one, when they too hit a wall or realize they never moved forward.
How long have you or someone you know been secretly grieving?