10 Years A Widow: Friendships
You will find out who your true friends are when your husband passes from this life into the next.
Some of them will stick around, some of them will get in a slow boat and leisurely drift off to China, while others will get in a speedboat and go zooming off to China.
Why Friendships Die
There are several reasons friendships die along with your spouse:
They do not know what to do and do not want to learn what to do.
They were only friends with you because of your husband and now that he is gone, there is no reason to be friends with you.
They are convinced you have cooties. Yes, it is a return to good old Junior HIgh and that lovely game of Cooties. Your friends are convinced that what happened to you will happen to them if they stay a part of your life. So they leave you high and dry.
You are now single and therefore you are after your friend’s husbands. Yes, you have just put your husband’s earthly body in the ground and are now on the prowl for another husband and what better way to find one than to break up your friends’ marriage. Trust me, the last thing on my mind when Joe passed was finding another man.
You will be surprised at the friends that will fall into these categories. People who have been with you through thick and thin over the years or even decades will suddenly disappear.
Making New Friends
Meeting new people is nice, but do not count on being friends with them. Friends support one another and have each other’s backs. The people you meet will already have their group of friends and there is no room in their circle of friends for anyone new, especially a widow (see the above reasons). They are happy to be a friendly acquaintance but when the going gets rough in your life, they will turn their backs and walk away.
Yes, this happened to me. People I thought were new friends turned out to be only acquaintances.
People think I have a lot of girlfriends that I hang out and go shopping with and have slumber parties with along with all the other “teenage girly” things.
In reality, most of my time is spent home alone, in part because there is no one to go hang out with and in part because there is no room in the budget for dinners, movies, theatre, opera, symphony and other events.
So I and my camera travel around to parks or other scenic locations. We have a lot of fun together.
Online vs Offline
Do not be surprised if you find your online friendships are stronger than your offline network. The people I’ve met over the years being part of various Facebook groups are wonderful and I feel have my back better than my most people I know only offline.
I pray that when / if the time comes and you are widowed that your friends will stand by you as you move forward with making a new life. That is what is in your ultimate best interest.
However, even if your friends leave you there are 3 friends that will never leave you – God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They are with you every step of the way, even though it may not feel like they are there.
Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of chocolate, red roses and golden retrievers and is an amateur photographer.