Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Get Letters, Grief Triggers, Hello Linda,

Be kind to widows; we have friends in high places.
--Linda Della Donna

Letters. I get letters. I get lots and lots of letters.

Today I am honored to share a letter I received from a widow who read my words, was inspired to pick up her pen and wrote to me, along with my response:

Hello Linda

I feel compelled to share something with you. It hurts so much, maybe it will help get the heaviness off of my chest.

In your recent Mourning post you asked what we remember. You remembered hearing I love You from your husband. I remember those beautiful words, too, but once in a while, like now, I remember a hurtful memory that I wish I could take back. My husband called me Sweety, or Sweetheart, usually when I was upset or unhappy about something. Whenever he called me sweety or sweetheart, I would ask him not to (because) I felt he didn't mean it and was being insincere. It is a regret that I carry in my heart and (now that he is gone) I would give the World for him to call me sweety or sweetheart, again.

I know the reality and that he would not want me to feel this way and we forgave each other,  I even have a little Mary Engelbreit picture frame that says Sweetheart on it. I had it in our kitchen window when he was here. But the memory pops in my mind every once in awhile and I feel so sad and cry about it. It will be 7 years March 2nd that he is passed, but sometimes I feel the pain as if it just happened.

I am sorry this is so long, thank you for reading it. Thank you for being my friend and for being here. You have been an inspiration for many years now.


Dear C,

Thank you for writing. I am so glad you wrote. I am very honored that you chose me to share your deepest thoughts and feelings on the death of your husband.

All widows carry guilt memories. Me, included. It is more than twelve years my husband is dead and I recall once I was impatient with him, actually more than once. And ouch, it hurts. And on those lonely only mornings and evenings, holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, weekdays, Sundays and more, those memories will rear their ugly heads and cause me to think back on them and tearfully wonder how the heck did that guy put up with me? It's what we widows/widowers do. Seems everything/anything can be a trigger. Especially on the anniversary of their death. It is part of the grief process, which we both know is forever. And we learn to live with.

Try not to be so hard on yourself. Expressing yourself here is a good thing. You are healing. I am healing. As Martha Stewart says, "It's a good thing." It is a necessary part of our never-ending journey. The good news is we widows and widowers have each other to lean on for support. We are not alone.

I like to think, when thoughts of my beloved Ed come to me, that he is reaching out to me and letting me know, best he can, that he is thinking of me, remembering our love, the good the bad and the ugly times, and sending the message that he loves me. Still. I believe the dead are always looking for ways to contact the living. We have only to keep an open mind.

Continue writing, sharing and living your life to the fullest. If I can get through this grief process, so can you.

I am sending love and prayers and white healing light to guide you as you continue your grief journey. I will be thinking of you and your beloved husband, most especially, March 2, 2017.

Thank you for being my friend.

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna

Got a grief question or memory? Feel free to write Linda at l i t t l e r e d m a i l b o x (the at sign) a o l (dot) c o m (all one word)