June 2009


Dear OurHopePlace.com,

Wanted to write regarding, “How men and women grieve differently”.

My wife has died. I am a man, and I grieve as a man. “Be strong, don’t show your feelings, and never cry,” I was told growing up. As soon as she died I cried hard, alone. I’ve felt like crying since then, but I am able to stop myself. It’s strange, but I feel more angry than anything else. I don’t understand why she had to die! Should I have seen this coming? Could I have taken better care of her? My wife was my confidant, and now I have no one to listen to me. I can’t discuss anything personal with my buddies. They would not understand, and there is no way you would catch me going to one of those grief groups. If only I could do something concrete to help me feel better. I remember–she always wanted a pink dogwood planted in our yard. I could put all the photos I took of our travels in a special album. Bill lost his wife several months ago. He is not a talker either, but we could play golf and afterwards maybe get something to eat.

My husband has died. I am a woman, and I grieve as a woman. I am so thankful I can cry and not feel guilty. My dear friends mean so much at a time like this, especially the two who are widows. They let me talk about him and find things for us to do together. Sometimes we just cry as they hold me, and that feels so good. There is a grief support group at Hospice, and I will join. The leader might suggest books on how to handle my grief and what I might expect. Maybe later I can actually grow from this awful and terrible experience. But I must protect my children in every way I can. I can’t sleep and I don’t want to eat. Maybe I should make an appointment with my doctor to see if she can help. I must stay strong for the children. Somehow I will get through this, and begin to live again.

Marta Felber, Author

Grief Expressed When a Mate Dies

Finding Your Way After Your Spouse Dies

www.LifeWords.com

TO:  OurHopePlace.com,

I wanted to share my loss…

In 2005 I lost my Mom after an extended illness, less than one month later my husband died after a tragic accident. I found myself a widow the same time as my father.  Dad kept his feelings inside more than I did initially and further into this journey through grief.   I tended to just let all my feelings out without holding back, the  crying, anger and dispair.   I grieved my loss openly with family and friends, Dad kept more to himself.  I learned to ask for help from household tasks to financial concerns, Dad tended to take care of things himself unless I suggested I help with something specific.  Dad tended to become more isolated than did I.  I would call friends for dinner or other activities, Dad did not.  Men and women do grieve differently, but I believe both want to talk about those they’ve lost because it keeps those cherished memories alive.

JoAnne Funch founder of http://www.heartachetohealing.com/blog a site offering resources, support, and to help and inspire those who are suffering through life transitions by sharing her personal story of surviving loss.

I am writing on my perspective on men and women grieving differently.   I am medium and do communication for my clients on a daily basis. The details that come through are amazing to me.
I think the biggest difference between how men and women grieve is that men are taught to be tough, not show emotion and to just keep going. Women are treated differently when they are grieving.
People are more compassionate to women and it seems like they are allowed more time to grieve and also it is more understood by others if it takes them a long time to try and recover.
The other thing I notice about my women clients is that they are more open to trying to connect or communicate with their loved ones who have passed. I probably have 7 women to every man who wants a session to connect to their loved one.

I have also noticed that when men go into collapse from grief, they make no apologies or excuses for their collapse and they can stay in what I refer to as a vegetative state (TV, sleeping and eating only) for months on end.
Women, if they go into collapse, may need some medication, but after a shorter period, they feel guilty about their collapse and try to get moving again, through their pain.  I also think women try to develop their spirituality to gain an understanding of where their loved one has gone and to take solace in the fact that the love they shared still exists, even though the person who has passed no longer has a physical form.

It’s important for everyone to understand that grief is a normal part of life and that it is a process to be experienced, not avoided or put off.
Thank you for allowing me to respond.
Terri Jay, The Messenger www.TerriJay.com

Once in a while I write on something that, in my mind, is really important.   Indulge me in one (more) of those moments…

I was watching the news and heard they have some gene learning for Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBF).  This is great news!  I applaud the scientists from The Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center  (and the other teams that are working with them) who have identified a key gene—eIF4G1.  They found you, you little gene…  hopefully it is only a matter of time until they find a way to get you.

Do you know about IBF?  It is deadly, it is fast moving, it is often missed by doctor, it is often mistaken for an infection…  it DOESN”T show itself as a lump… do you know that – not all breast cancer involves a lump.  Everyone needs to know this.

Click on the website, see the learning, see the short write up on IBF…  share this with all the women you know.  Maybe it will save someone’s life.

Dear OurHopePlace,

I am a Bereavement and Palliative Support counselor.  I work with men and women in my line of passion. Men grieve more task oriented and women are generally more emotive. This is not tried and true.  

Grief is your emotions associated with loss and Mourning is to express these emotions!

It is fine that we grieve but if we don’t mourn we have not done our work. HELEN KELLER said “The Only Way to Get to The Other Side is to Go Through the Door.” “ This is so true of Grief.” You have to go through the door of grief and let yourself feel pain rather than take a shortcut and avoid and go around grief…If not your unresolved lossest will come back later and bite you in the bum later.  

Akin to an overflowing linen closet that finally falls to the floor. You will have to deal with each loss one by one. 

Remember it is never too late to mourn! To heal you have to feel whether you are male or female. While we can say that many men will go their workshop and pound out their feelings of sorrow ..,there will be still other men that are sensitive and emotive. The same is true of women. Grief is individual and dependent on so many factors. Think of our thumbprint. (individual and different and unique).

Grief is the hardest work that we will ever do in our lifetime. To be healthy we need to GRIEVE and MOURN well ….so we can LIVE WELL and LOVE WELL.

Please log onto my website www.astringofhope.com.

Warm regards,

Audrey

Hello OurHopePlace,

I am a Grief and Wellness Specialist. I have a health & wellness center located in Frederick, Maryland.  I see Men, Women and Children for a variety of grief issues from Death, Health, Home, Job, Finances and so on. My website is www.naturalSOULutions.com

What I have found most about Men versus Women is the inability to share their deep feelings and know that is OK. Not only do they not share them with their wife’s or families they also keep them hidden from close friends unlike women you tend to discuss their grief with sisters and girl friends. They tend to bury their selves in their work and hold it all in. Men in our society have been taught that they are supposed to be tough and that men do not cry famous quotes “Only Sissy’s Cry”. They then pass this on to their sons not knowing better because this is how they were taught and raised. My famous quote to Men and Women is “Men and Women have the same internal organs and everyone heart grieves the same”  there is no difference between how Men and Women feel inside but there is a world of difference in how they express their emotions or I should say how they do not express their emotions.

I looked at your website it is wonderful, it is amazing how you have created such a wonderful avenue for others to relate and express their emotions through your own tragedy.

Many Blessings,

Sharon Welch, Grief and Wellness Specialist

Natural SOULutions Health & Wellness Center

Dear OuHopePlace.com,

I was into my first marriage when I realized the impact of how me and my ex wife grieved differently.

With a miscarriage we suffered the loss of fraternal twin girls. Since I did not cry enough according to her a grudge was held for years without me even knowing it. It may have been one of the reasons we parted ways.    

Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes 
“Give Someone a WOE, a Word of Encouragement” 

Creator of Derricknyms 
Author of 1 WORD Is All It Takes™ (Fall 2009) 
Publisher of The WORD 

www.derrickhayes.com

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