I’m not sure what it is about someone becoming widowed that immediately allows people to think that they can tell said widow what to do.
I have experienced this myself, of course, but have seen it in action amongst my widowed peers, acquaintances, and friends.
Do we need a little help sometimes? A little advice?
Do we need someone directing every single second though?
No. Not in most cases.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had people weigh in on multiple topics like my love life, the way I keep my yard/property, career, hobbies, and even travel!
None of this, solicited, mind you. Just “Here are my thoughts.”
Dating was a biggie.
Many folks will outright stop being your friend when you find yourself in the company of another love interest.
They somehow feel as if the widow is betraying their Beloved.
This could not be further from the truth.
Contrary to what the masses may think, there is room in one’s heart for both their departed love and someone new, who might make their days a little brighter.
I dealt with some of this myself, early on, but was never given the ultimatum of “it’s us or them,” meaning that I didn’t have to choose my family/friends or a new love.
I have heard of others who weren’t so lucky, though.
I just cannot fathom, a “loved one” who would make such a demand of their friend or family member who had been brave enough to open themselves to love again.
And even more, I cannot fathom my accepting such terms.
I learned early on that people fall away and fall away quick after a death.
So, if they had dumped their ill-intended ultimatum on me, I like to think that I would have told them to kick rocks. (Widow Brain might have had me answering differently – I’m glad I never had to find out!)
Nearly six years out, I still get snippets of this attitude once in a great while, but now, it really just makes me smirk a little.
I also love the opportunity to school people if they get too audacious, which I highly encourage other widows to do when the situation arises.
You can be nice, but you absolutely can firmly let people know when they have overstepped their boundaries.
A lot of time, those on the receiving end will wind up learning a lesson and will respect you for speaking up.
Those who get incensed though?
Let them fall away.
They will invariably find someone else to boss around, and you won’t have that negativity in your life anymore.
To those out there who truly feel that they are helping their widowed loved ones by being “bossy,” just don’t.
Be an EAR for your loved one, and not a MOUTH, unless very specifically asked.
Be PATIENT with your loved one, even if you think they are dating* too soon, or are dating someone that you may not personally like.
If your loved one is in danger, that is another issue entirely. But if this is just an opinion, unless asked, keep it to yourself.
Your widowed friend needs your support, not your control issues.
Image via Pinterest
*Unfortunately there are scammers out there who prey on all types, but widows specifically. There are signs that can help one spot situations like this. Everyone, widowed or otherwise, should be on the lookout for these unfortunate situations.