Thursday, November 18, 2010

Husbands and wives grieve differently

Men and women grieve differently. It is one of the most constant facts I discovered when I interviewed people for my book.

Generally couples don't grieve the same at the same time and this is a huge blessing. When one person is in a hole and depressed then usually the other help mate is not. The other is able to help the one grieving. When Donnie is grieving I am there to offer help and support. When I am in a hole he is there for me and keeps me going.

Often one or the other wants to talk about their child and express their grief while the other is quieter with their emotions. Donnie likes to talk about DJ and what memories he has. For me it is too difficult, I usually get quiet and don't talk much at all. For me the pain is always sitting their just below the surface and to talk about DJ too much is hard. Memories of DJ are always with me, they never leave me and I am just not able to talk about them as much as Donnie. Donnie doesn't want DJ's life forgotten and to talk about him keeps DJ alive.

Some people I interviewed expressed that the husband's would get angry and grumpy while they grieved. While the woman would get sad and cry.

Some men went to the gym to work out their pain and often the women ate to stuff their pain.

Parents drank, some did drugs. They would immerse themselves into their work and some would almost quit working.

It was almost completely universal that the men would take great care in the headstones and gravesights of the children. They felt the need to continue to take care of their children in this way. And they were all concerned about who would take care of their child in this manner after they too passed away.

With all this said I just want everyone to realize that it is okay for people to grieve differently. Fortunately it is a good thing that we do because if we were both grieving at the same time or both doing destructive behaviors at the same time we would not be able to support one another. Our remaining children would have more loss and devastation to deal with. Life has already been seemingly unfair and we don't need to burden our loved ones with more. This is God's way of protecting us all I think.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lisa, since I have lost my mom I occasionally have started reading your blog's, first of all they are really amazing, DJ is a lucky boy to have you for a mom. The encompassing love he must feel from you each and everyday while in heaven.
    When I read this blog and the differences that men and women have, I saw with my parents. The statement about how a man feels the need to take care of the gravesite and headstone. Such a completely true statement my dad would go to the cemetery each and everyday to make sure the headstone and his gravesite were clean and looked good. He just felt he had to do this, so when I saw that in your blog I thought oh yes that is very true. You know after my mom died and I was cleaning my parents closet out, I had a slight moment of panic, it just hit me, I had a panic thought of now that my parents are gone who is here to mourn for my brother. Of course we as siblings mourn but you know my parents mourned for my brother in a way that is different from how we as siblings mourn for him. It was a very strange feeling, like he didn't have parents to mourn for him anymore just like I didn't have a parent to be here for me anymore! I just felt sad for my brother, I felt the loss for him even though he had passed, just like I felt the loss for myself still living. I just thought I would share this with you, it has been 18 1/2 years since my brother died and I still think well Todd would be how old, and think how things might be if he were here today, I still think about him everyday, and I am sure my other siblings do the same thing. Your blogs are very enlightening and I do take a sense of comfort reading them, as I can apply alot of your thoughts and emotions to my own life. Thank you Lisa! Your neigbor, Julie