FLEET SPEAK

Happy April Friends!

Stop for just a second and see if you can at all relate to any one of the following comments:

 

**  “All of my friends deserted me and have been of no help. Everyone else seems to have moved on with their lives.”

 

**  “Friends that knew us as a couple no longer include me and my family is not supportive. Everyone disappeared after the funeral. I just don't trust anyone after all this.”

 

**  “I finally decided [to] visit friends [during the week of my wedding anniversary and the anniversary of my husband’s death] and another friend said her family would join me. Then I get an email from this friend [asking] how flexible I am [with the dates] because her family has other commitments! Let’s see - I will move my anniversary date and the date of his death.  They just don't get it!”

Photo credit:

Pamela Marches Photography

I will bet that more than a few of you are nodding along with these sentiments.  How strange and almost obscene it feels to watch others go on about their lives with a seemingly undue haste – especially when your life has come crashing down around your ears.  How can people be so insensitive?  How is it possible that everyone seems to have “already forgotten”?

 

Welcome to:

 

Your Pain vs.

The Rest of the World


Permit me to take you back in time to September, 1998.  Mike’s diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) had just been confirmed by one

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of the foremost neurological specialists in the United States.  He had said all of the typical uplifting things to try and keep us in a positive frame of  mind…but no matter what the doctor said, or how cheerful a façade he tried to put on, we both knew what that diagnosis meant:

 

My Mike was going to die.  Soon.

 

It wasn’t until much later – long after Mike passed away in fact - that I realized that no one – absolutely no one – was going to feel the pain of Mike’s death in the same way that I did.  Why?  Because there is only one widow…and I was looking at her in the mirror every day.  This is certainly not to say that many others did not grieve Mike’s passing – it’s just that no one was going to feel his loss in the same way.

 

Folks, I know how it feels to be “deserted” by those who once claimed to be your good friends – or worse, those whom you considered to be your family.  I also know the pain of watching others attend your beloved’s funeral and then go back to work or activities the following day when in the meantime, you cannot figure out how to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other. You have been left to pick up the completely shattered pieces of your life and wonder how to move forward into a new life for which you did not sign up and in which you are not particularly interested.

Do I condone desertion by friends or family?  Never.  Do I think that it is acceptable for people to behave in a “fair-weather” manner?  Absolutely not.  It is despicable, it is hurtful and it is not okay.  However, I also realized that it was unrealistic to expect anyone else to mourn in the same way that I did; nor could I expect anything of those who willingly chose to leave our lives.  

People are going to “go home and go on” after the funeral – it is to be expected and it is not unreasonable.  However, if people also made the choice to desert both me and my daughter once the funeral was over - and they did - so be it.  In that process, I discovered the depths of their integrity and character (or lack thereof) and I thereafter chose to surround myself with the people who did not desert, “cut and run” or otherwise behave as though once the funeral was over, that it was “back to life as usual”.  These were the people who were happy to sit with me, cry with me, reminisce with me, have a meal with me and slowly but surely help me begin to move forward into the new life that I eventually embraced. 

Anyone who has consciously chosen to leave your life are the ones who have lost out – not you. They have lost out on your unique relationship and they have lost the opportunity to be the kind, supportive and positive people in your life that you deserve. Quit wasting time and energy on these people and their choices – they will not change and neither will the circumstances. Surround yourself instead with the people who want to be there for you – and everyone has at least one of those.  Can’t find one?  How about a few thousand?  You will find them on Facebook at Carole Brody Fleet and at WWS Peer-Led Support Forum and believe me, every single one these people truly care about you.

Take a deep breath. Exhale. Do it one more time.  Then, recite the following:

 

“My healing journey belongs to no one else.

I cannot and will not be compared to other people

and my loss cannot and will not be compared to any other loss experiences;

including my own.

Even though there may be people around me who wish I would do otherwise,

I cannot and will not hurry my grief or my grieving processes;

nor will I make any attempts to do so.

 

I accept that healing after this level of loss is neither fast, nor is it easy;

therefore, I will truthfully honor whatever it is that I am feeling

when I am feeling it;

rather than let others dictate how I should

or should not be feeling.

 

My personal healing journey is just that.

Personal…and mine.”

 

Repeat daily. 

APRIL

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Answers to questions about ordering online and by mail, shipping and return policies, as well as testimonials from other widows can be found on the "FAQs" page. Don’t put off either beginning or continuing along on your healing journey for another minute.  Get your copy of “Widows Wear Stilettos – What Now?” today! 

RESOURCES

 

Included below are resources that you may find helpful in pursuing your healing journey.*** 

 

CRISIS INTERVENTION AND PROGRAMS

 

*National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255. Help is available by telephone twenty-four hours a day; seven days a week. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 

 

* Alcoholics Anonymous:  www.aa.org. 

 

* Narcotics Anonymous:  www.na.org. 

 

* National Eating Disorders Association: (800) 931-2237 www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.

 

* Gamblers Anonymous: www.gamblersanonymous.org. 

 

* Debtors Anonymous (compulsive shopping / spending): www.debtorsanonymous.org 

 

* Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA): www.sca-recovery.org.  

 

* Mental Health America (“Cutting” or other means of self-harm): www.mentalhealthamerica.net

 

SERVING THE WIDOWED COMMUNITY

 

* The American Widow Project: www.americanwidowproject.org:

 

* TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) www.taps.org 

 

* Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation at www.sslf.org and www.campwidow.org

 

* Social Security Administration www.ssa.gov

 

* Department of Veterans Affairs (for military widowed and surviving family members): www.va.gov

 

***Please note that no suggestion and/or recommendation is meant to replace expert medical or legal assistance.  Carole Brody Fleet, her representatives and / or employees or assigns do not receive any remuneration whatsoever for any recommendations made herein.