The Squeaky Wheel

How to protect your psychological health, improve your relationships, and enhance your self-esteem.

The 5 Psychological Challenges of Loss and Grief

Grief and loss are a part of life, but the psychological and emotional challenges they present can be enormous. Here's what happens to you and what you can do to heal. Read More

The last point really struck

The last point really struck me. I often find that my beliefs are so shaken when I undergo grief. Many times, I realise I am holding on to a belief when grief challenges them. Very true, indeed!

In my case, after losing my

In my case, after losing my husband of 30 years to cancer I found that people avoided me, not the other way around.

I reached out to my friends & family but they did not respond & I wound up coping with my loss alone.

I received no emotional support from anyone in my family & it was over a year before my brother & his family would even talk to me again & then they acted as if nothing had happened between us.
I push them away now because I haven't forottenm their treatment of me or the hurt I felt. They abandoned me when I needed them most & to me it felt like I had lost my husband & my family too.

I have spoken to other widows & a great many of them have had the very same experience. It's common to be avoided when you're grieving. The worst part is the people who inexplicable bail & come back later seldom appologize if questioned about it.
confronted. Instead they try & blame us, saying we pushed them away.

I know I tried reaching out to others in my grief but I got my fingers chewed so I just learned to keep my hands in my pockets.

Fear vs. Indifference

I feel do sad that this has been your experience with your family. Grieving is such a painful experience. I lost my mother three years ago, two years ago I lost my uncle and then last year I lost both my mother and father-in-law within a five week period. Needless to say, it's just been overwhelming but it is getting a little better now. I know it hurts deeply when people, especially family, abandon us, in our time of greatest need . Many people are very uncomfortable with their own impending mortality. The death of someone so close in the family strikes terror in their hearts however unconsciously it might do so. Others feel very uncomfortable in the presence of a person in mourning because they don't know what to do or say. They don't realize that they need do or say anything- that their mere presence and ability to listen and be with the mourner is what is really needed and is more than enough. It is not an excuse but might be a possible reason for their behavior. I would prefer to think this than to think that they lacked compassion and empathy when you so needed them. My heart is with you. Namaste.

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Guy Winch, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and author of The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships and Enhance Self-Esteem. more...

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