Widow Wisdom: What was something that someone said to you that was NOT helpful after your husband died?

We asked our widow sisters to share their wisdom by answering this question; What was something that someone said to you that was NOT helpful after your husband died?

Here are some of their answers:

  • Today is the anniversary of my husband’s death. He died very suddenly and I was so numb that a lot of what was said I didn’t even hear. As time went on, I realized that many people simply don’t know what to say and end up saying something insensitive or comparing my loss to one of their’s. Those who were and continue to be of greatest comfort to me just listen and support me with their presence. -Kris

 

  • “I know how you feel” when they have not lost anyone close. Or “you are young, you will find someone else.” Married 29 years together for 32 years, no I do not ever want anyone else, only him. I just turned 51 and there will never be a place in my heart.- Tiffany

 

  • “Bad luck comes in threes”, “I feel sorry for you… how can you live alone?”, “good luck” and “just wait, the second year is even worse”….I could add more! – Wister on Instagram

 

  • “He chose to do what he did and there’s nothing you can do about it” – not long after he took his own life, from my mum and my GP. Also comments on how ‘brave’ I was – well intentioned but what option is there? It’s not bravery it’s survival – Leah

 

  • Had a grief counselor that said she was more than qualified and knew what it felt like because she lost her parents and cat. She was in her late 70s. Needless to say, I only met her once! Another horrible thing was “you’re so young and beautiful, you’ll find someone new.” – Allison

 

  • I was asked by an office worker just less than a month if I will marry again. I challenged her asked me again in 5 years and I will still say I won’t. It’s been 12 years now and I am still by myself. I won’t ever changed my words cuz I still love and miss my husband everyday. – Nitz

  • People would say things like, “I know how you feel. My (cat, dog, uncle, grandmother, etc.) died.” I’m sorry they had those losses in their lives, but, no, they don’t know how I feel. Not even close. -Kathleen

 

  • “He was sick along time”. I know, I was with him, I was his caregiver for 8 years. Trust me, it’s still a shock when they pass, it still hurts. – Debbie

 

  • This will only make you stronger. Yes because you have no other choice than to be strong with 3 little kids, and after 20 years of being a widow, I now hear, well it’s been 20 years you should be over it by now. “Over it”. Yes I’ve heard it all, as I’m sure we all have. I’m now more aware of what I say to people who have lost someone. Most of the time it’s just I’m so sorry. I don’t want to add to their pain. Because after all of these years I still hear the painful words.- Tawny

 

  • “At least you didn’t have kids, at least you got to say goodbye, at least you’re young and can find love again. In a way I think my divorce was worse than a death because he chose to leave.” – Laura

 

  • So many said I can’t imagine how you are back at work already. Also, I can’t come to your house, it reminds me of him- Penny

 

  • My mother in law told me they believed children should be brought up in a 2 parent family and I should think about adopting my child out. – Dawn

 

  • When my friend’s husband died, i said I can imagine how she felt. When my husband died, I realized I never knew how she felt. It does not get better, easier to accept maybe, but not better. -Sherry

 

  • “At least you don’t have kids. I find it so hard to get up in the morning..” all that went through my mind was at least that’s a reason to get out of bed, I had nothing… – Tracey

 

  • “He’d been sick for a long time so I’m sure you’ve already grieved him. You should be over it.” This was said to me by a co-worker a month after his passing. I told her that was the most insensitive thing she could have said!- Katherine

 

  • Oh I know exactly how you feel. My dog died last year and I was devastated! – Katya

 

  • He lived a good life, you were lucky to have those few years, YOU call me if you need anything….many others. I get it now. You just don’t know what to say when you’ve never experienced it.- Ilse

 

  • Many things like, I know how you feel, I’ve been divorced, When you are done feeling sorry for yourself, you are wallowing. – Lindsay

 

  • I had the responsibility of closing out accounts my husband had as a custom woodworker. A woman was upset that the job was delayed and not going as planned. She said to me “I’m not the one that killed your husband, I just want my cabinets”. I couldn’t and still can’t believe someone could be so soulless to say this to me 1 month after he died. – Mary

 

  • 7 days after my very healthy 48 yo husband died suddenly of a heart attack, my hairdresser (as I was getting my hair cut for the funeral), said “Wow, well….I guess if you’re gonna go, dropping dead like that is the way to go. Quick and easy! How short do you want your hair?) – Jennifer

 

  • My mother in law reminded everyone that she did not want him to marry me. We were married for 28 years when he passed. I did not need her to remind me of her dislike. I lived with it for our entire marriage.- Charlotte

 

  • My husband was killed by a drunk driver three weeks before Christmas. Christmas Day my uncle told me to stop moping around feeling sorry for myself because he lost his dad when he was a kid. Good friend lost her husband around the same time. He was an elder in the church. Someone told her if his faith was stronger he would have lived. People! – Christie

 

  • You have no reason grieve because there is only rejoicing knowing he’s in heaven! – Cindy

 

  • Boss to Jr . Boss at funeral reception over heard by me as close “Make sure she gets back to work” (happened a few days later as job was threatened) – Patti

 

  • My pastor said he was more concerned about my late husband’s parents, because I would get a “new” husband and build a “new” life, but his parents would not get a “new” son. This was 2 weeks after his death, on what was to be our 13th anniversary. Now 9 years out, and no “new” husband. – Debbie

 

  • Oh yeah, here’s a good one..I tried to join a church soon after my husband died. I sat in the back alone because I knew no one. A decon or elder who knew me came and scooted up beside and asked me if I was “man hunting” because ” I know about these things” – Christine

 

  • When I went back to work after my husband died, a lady came and told me she knows exactly how I feel. Her husband was having chest pains over the weekend and they rushed him to the hospital. She kept saying it was so scary. I just listened and nodded occasionally. I wanted to say, “But your husband came home with you that night because it wasn’t a heart attack! And you have NO IDEA how I feel!” – Jodi

 

  • “I guess you’re going to lose everything now. “ from a family member- Carolyn Moor, MWC Founder

 

  • A week after his funeral, a friend asked if I had forgiven him yet for ending his life and leaving me with 4 children. Forgiveness wasn’t even on my radar. I understood the pain he was in and just wanted to hold him again. – Ineke

 

  • The 29th is the anniversary of the death of my husband of 50 yrs. People say it will get better with time, no, it’s been 7 yrs and I feel the same, I miss him, I think of him every day and think he will walk back in the door. I’m a 3 legged table, everything in my life changed, I had to find me….still working on it. – Elaine

 

 

  • When I had to have my wedding rings re-sized and told her how wrong it felt to not have them on, she said, “It’s not like you’re married anymore”. This is a highly educated woman, a counselor no less! I felt sick, but told her I’d always be married to my husband. – Carol

 

  • “It’s too hard to visit as my husband misses your husband too much.” “Do you still have the floral arrangement we sent? We’d like that back to keep to remember Allen.” Two months after he died, my pastor said, “I’ve been very patient with you. When are you going to start singing again.” “Sister ____ got over the loss of her husband much faster than you and they were married much longer.” I could go on but I’ll stop there. – Lee

 

  • Many told me…you have kids to raise, focus now on them and grieve later. – Jo Ann

 

  • That “you ain’t the only one hurting. It’s people who knew him wayyy longer than you did.” – Keyia

 

  • You are young, you have your whole life ahead of you…..people don’t realize how much that stabs you in the heart. Yes I am young. Yes I have a long life ahead of me…without the love of my life. Without my soulmate. I have to figure out how to live 30,40,50 years without my soulmate thanks for reminding me of that. -Brandi

 

  • “God needed him more than you” and ANY statement that’s starts with “at least” – Wister on Instagram

 

  • “You are so strong. If my husband had died I couldn’t have done what you have.” When I heard this I felt like I didn’t grieve right. As if I should have fallen apart. – Wister on Instagram

 

  • At least you didn’t have kids. Nor will I have the chance to with the love of my life. I was a widow at 32. – Wister on Instagram

 

  • God only takes the good ones. God must’ve needed an angel. Be strong. – Wister on Instagram

 

  • “I think I know how you feel. My husband stopped going to church with me. It’s lonely.” – Wister on Instagram

 

  • “Grieving is selfish.” – Wister on Instagram

 

  • You are definitely the better one to stay as the only parent. – Wister on Instagram

 

  • It wasn’t meant to comfort me, but something that really started bothering me was when men or women would refer to themselves as “single parents” while their significant other went to work or on a trip. – Wister on Instagram

 

  • “You’re still young honey, you’ll love again”(as if death stopped me loving my husband???) “He’s in a better place” “When it’s your time to go…” so many more! Plus I didn’t like them telling my son his was “the man of the house now” HE WAS 10!!! and lost his daddy just a few days before his own 11th Bday he was not nor would I expect him to be the man of the house…also my husband was a musician and he created a track for my sister, who is an artist. She wrote a beautiful poem to the original track and performed it at his Celebration of Life and right after the service someone came up and asked If he could have/use that track!!!! I couldn’t even speak- Wister on Instagram

 

  • Oh, and like about 6 months later someone asked, “are you dating yet?” – Wister on Instagram

 

  • In the month after my husband died suddenly, one of our financial advisors said “I’ve learned from his death how to really prepare my other clients should this happen to them”–really??? – Wister on Instagram

 

  • “I don’t handle funerals well so I won’t make it” – Wister on Instagram

 

  • “Oh, is this your first loss? That makes sense.” (To explain the amount of grief and distraction I was experiencing.) – Wister on Instagram

 

  • Good thing you had family pictures taken right before this happened…. I still can’t believe he’s gone.. – Wister on Instagram

 

  • Someone said to me in the viewing line, while I stood next to our 4 young children,” God will be your husband now”. That made me cry more because I just wanted my husband. – Wister on Instagram