Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Respectful Mourning time???

Well I am back up and running, well more like a leisurely stroll than running but you get my point. Haven’t been feeling so spry the past few days. It is not even like I have been sick, well as always there is this pesky chest cold thing. But, I have been feeling more like just really sucked out, no energy. It is like it takes a real effort and I almost have to force myself to just walk across the room. I didn’t even shower yesterday, just the thought seemed to tire me out. Did my regular telephone interview with the research department of the heart failure clinic, yesterday. Listening to my raspy, wheesy breathing caused her to suggest I see my doctor asap. Will make the appointment today.

I haven’t written in the past few days, but I have still been checking in to read comments here and emails. Thank you to all. I will be responding soon I hope. Computer is in the basement. Getting down here is no problem, it is the facing the stairs going back up that is exhausting.

Had an interesting thought provoking question posed to me via email.

“What do you think is the respectful amount of time a widow/widower should wait before beginning to see someone else?”

I remind you I am not a doctor or a therapyst, I am just me. You asked for my opinion so here is how things are “According to Bill”. Also remember free advice is usually worth about as much as you paid for it.

I take this to sort of mean, how long is an appropriate time to spend in mourning the passing of a spouse? What is a respectable amount of mouning time to spend before moving on with your life?

I will give that a very definite, that depends. Grieve is a very personal and individual thing, everyone deals with it in their own way and in their own time. I think the question should be, when is the surviving spouse ready to move on in a healthy way? At this point it should be all about the surviving spouse. If you are asking, say should a widow spend a year dressed in black locked in her house to show proper respect for her deceaced husband my answer would be no, UNLESS that is something he/she must do for their own healing.

Not sure how to word this to get what I mean across. Do I expect my family to mourn my loss? Fact of the matter is I know they will. But, I hope and pray the “true mourning” phase will be brief. I hope I will be missed and always remembered but not in a mourning way. Does that make sense?

I don’t think moving on with your life should have anything to do with respect or disrespect for the passed loved ones. It has everything to do with the survivors living healthy happy lives.

Will I feel in anyway disrespected if All of my loved ones don’t spend an “appropriate” time in mouning? Not at all, if anything the exact opposite would apply. The greatest respect that could be shown to me, is by everyone moving on with healthy happy lives, I can then rest at ease knowing I have somehow contributed.


13 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Respectful Mourning time???

  1. Martha Mihaly says:

    I think this is a decidedly ‘old fashioned’ question. Some people never find it the ‘right’ time, others are ready within months. Most are ready in between. We cannot live our lives worrying about what other people think. We have to live our lives true to ourselves.

    My two cents there Bill.


  2. Henri says:

    Hi Bill,
    A friend from Vancouver recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
    Why do horrible things/events happen to the innocent?
    3 days after his first birthday Graydin Rathje developed septic shock and is currently on dialysis at childrens hospital in Vancouver. The hospital removed half his small intestine to repair a tear. His parents have set up a site on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2492605709&ref=mf#/group.php?gid=50630711207&ref=mf

    I am asking your friends to visit the site and send words of encouragement and prayers to Graydin, his Mom, Jenna and Dad, Neil.

  3. Jennie says:

    Sorry you are feeling so depleted Bill. I hope the doc can help with your lungs.

    Maybe the computer could come upstairs? With so little daylight now, the last place I would want to be during the day is in the basement. Only 16 days til solstice.

  4. Roads says:

    What a wonderful post, Bill. The grace and sheer strength of mind you show in writing it is far greater than any ordeal that can be set by the stairs.

    I have direct experience of this question. And I agree with everything you say.

    Well said. And I appreciate your words all the more because I believe them to be true.

  5. Laura says:

    Energy for insight and reflection you certainly have. Hope you are feeling comfortable.

    Seeing my frailer parents on Thanksgiving and then talking to my father about where all the stuff is and how my friends’ mothers have mostly outlived their fathers put me in a thoughtful mood. Time to mourn. At first I thought that your comment on the family incorporating the mourning, in a sense, with life is inappropriate. But as I sit here contemplating a response I realize that that is what life is, incoporating those who are here and those who are not here (even if in another physical location), it is part of the ebb and flow of life. And so, perhaps those who can incoporate the present and the no longer present fully into their thoughts are the richer for it, and who have fully respected those who have gone. That and naming a child after the loved one are key.

  6. clary says:

    A wonderful post, one I hope will help those with loved ones gone. It is true, grieving is a personal matter and nobody should judge people’s sentiments according to the length of time they grieve before they are ready to move on and be happy again.
    Hope you regain your strength soon.

  7. Henri says:

    You ever have one of those days when you want to scream at injustice. When I posted my last note… That was one of those days for me.
    To get to your topic… When someone close to you dies a piece of you dies with him/her. I know I will always mourn the loss of those close to me. Time does not heal all wounds. It is as clear as yesterday. You begin to accept the finality of it… Heck I mourn lost relationships. Loved ones past are always on my mind. But, like everyone else… I carry on. I smile when I remember how a loved one would handle a given situation and, carry their/that memory with me….. forever.

  8. Mel says:

    *sending prayers and healing thoughts to little Graydin and his mom and dad*

    (thanks Henri….)

    And Bill…….each of us find that ‘readiness’ when we’re ‘ready’. There’s no timeline, not as I see it.
    Now, I don’t believe the world’s culture would agree with me. I’d guess that’s all in the nature of the relationship lost and the relationship between the people who remain, know what I mean?

    I know weeks after my father passed away I was appalled to discover my step-mother entertaining a gentleman friend. It seemed wrong, disrespectful….and I was angry. How could you love a man, lose him and weeks later be entertaining another? The answer was simple–she was sad and lonely and starved for companionship in her grief. It wasn’t ‘that type’ of a ‘date’. At that moment in time, none of that mattered to me. (yes, I was a selfish, spoilt child!) I was grieving and feeling the losses that felt equally overwhelming.

    Today, I understand the decision.
    I don’t know that I’d make it. Nor do I know that I wouldn’t.
    Whatever feels ‘right’ to the person(s) involved, whenever they’re ‘ready’….IF they’re ever ready, yaknow. We each get to make that call.

  9. Jo Hart says:

    Hey Bill………. “Im back !!!!”
    As always you leave another great post. It is such a personal thing grief and one in which each person is an individual with how they deal with it. You cannot give any individual a timeline on how long the appropriate time is to greive, each person will know within themselves when they are ready to move on. I have a great example from here in Australia. One of our great comedians has his own show call “Rove Live”. His name is Rove McManus. He married one of our Aussie Actresses named Belinda Emmett. Belinda was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in her early 20’s. It was very pulicised, and she helps alot of charities with her fight. She was doing great guns. They were a great love story, and every one in Australia saw how much Rove loved Belinda. Belinda then was diagnosed with Bone Cancer, and all of Australia watched as she battled this disease, they watched as her ever so loving husband supported her throughout it all. Belinda lost her battle 2 years ago on November 11th. Australia was devestated for Rove. His great love. He stopped his weekly TV show, and went into mourning for a couple of months. We were all devestated for him. Anyway about 10 months later, he entered into a relationship with another Actress, whom he had been friends with for over 10 years. Some of Australia was in an uproar because it hadn’t even been a year. This is my opinion of the subject. We all knew his love for Belinda, it was there clearly for all to see. On what was supposed to be their second wedding anniversery, he took his wedding ring off, and made that decision that Belinda would want him to move on with his life. He now has a beautiful girlfriend Tasma, who I believe they should be wished the best. He is a true sole who would not harm a fly. Let them be bloody happy is all I can say. Does that mean that because it had only be 10 months that he doesn’t deserve happiness again.

  10. babychaos says:

    The simple answer to this question, I guess, is as long as you need to. I know there is way more than that but sometimes, when a person gets knocked down, they need to take a little slack time before they stand up again! I guess the trick, as a friend is spotting the difference between a pause for breath and a loss of confidence. As somebody up there said time doesn’t heal all wounds but you can learn to live with the scars. I hope, when I go, that those left behind will celebrate my life and remember me with joy and laughter. Then again, I believe in life after death which makes that much easier.

    As for the cold… ack! You have my sympathy. I haven’t had flu for 8 years and now, now that I have a wee lad and it’s very inconvenient, I have gone down with it! GRRRR! I should imagine it’s a lot grimmer for you than for me though!

    Ah well, runny noses of the world unite!

    Have to dash now, my dimunitive lord and master calls… or at least… burbles down the monitor!

    Take care you



  11. dave sexton says:

    Bill , of late you seem focused on death and all things surrounding it. I also suffer from congestive heart failure and also am a patient of the Heart Failure Clinic , altho currently I am doing well my original prognosis was very bad , in fact similiar to yours. My day will come.
    Our loved ones must live their lives to the fullest after our departure. Imaginig what that may entail is counter productive to today. Our job is to focus on today , make the best of today and plan a tomorrow. We know not what tomorrow may bring BUT we must assume we have a tomorrow. Death will come to all , we are all on the same course travelling at different speeds to the same destination.
    Try not to be depressed but infact uplifted that your day may be nearer than others. Others have much pain yet to endure and yet many rewards , we have both but perhaps on a shorter term.
    Focus on today , my friend and the love from those surrounding us , I am not worried who may play with my toys after I am gone. I wish my family well when it is time to say farewell , it must come to us all.
    Keep up the good work , do not lose your faith.

  12. khaiyoorim says:

    hi bill..
    i like to read ur blog coz its about life n the most important thing is how u express in words on how u feel n what u think.. i’m from malaysia by the way.. nice to meet u, bill.. ^^

    Hello khaiyoorim, it is very nice to meet you. I am so glad you stopped by the site and left a comment. I love to hear from people in other countries, with other cultures. I hope you will share you thoughts with us.

  13. Thank you so much for the way you described the time for appropriate mourning. I’ve been struggling with this matter, more from the surviving spouse marrying again only 6 months after the death of his long time wife. Somehow that has been eating at me terribly. I have two separate sets of death and circumstances that seem to oppose the other, and yet, I KNOW they would want everyone continuing to enjoy life and have a cup of cheer on their behalf. The other I don’t know as well, which is the 6 month marriage.

    Others that I’ve tried to gain counsel from have pretty much said what you did, however you described it, broke it down, and made it and individual personal thing, which, it is.

    Thank you so much!

    hi Karin and welcome to the blog. I thank you for the visit and for taking the time to leave this comment.
    Mouning the loss of a loved one is a deeply personal and individual thing, each of us will do it in our own time and in our own way. I don’t believe there is any one right way to do it. It is so deeply personal, I think we should allow each to deal with it in their own way. i am sitting here thinking I am going to do a post on this up dating my thoughts from way back in 2008.
    I thank you for getting me thinking along these lines. Please check out the blog in a day or two.
    I do hope to hear more from you.

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