I've had a very positive bereavement group experience. My group was comprised of wonderful, strong supportive women who I just knew after the first meeting would be my friends. (not all of them, of course - but four of us have formed a bond.
After the tenth and last session we decided to continue meeting once a week casually for dinner. That was such a huge success and since we are all in our sixties and retired we began doing more activities together.
We all live on Long Island so we go into the city for a matinee on Wednesdays and sometimes on the weekends and we often have each other at our homes for occasions.
My problem is that this has been going on for several months and two of my old friends who are not widowed are jealous. They complain I don't have time for them anymore and are constantly saying that there is nothing more important than old friends.
I've been widowed for just over a year now and while I love my old friends and appreciate that they've been here for me I feel like a fifth wheel around couples.
Shouldn't they understand and be happy for me after all I've been through?
Keeping Company With Other Widows,
Dear Keeping Company With Other Widows Sue,
Women are so petty. A while back I acccused my mother-in-law Fanny of being petty and luckily she's fairly deaf - so to avoid a confrontation I switched it quickly to "pretty." She didn't buy it, but that's another story.
It's refreshing to hear that you found other widows in your bereavement group who can be your friends outside of the group. While the group was going on your group dynamics must have been incredible since the personal caring was in place, too.
Personally, if I had had to depend on my fellow group members to socialize with I would have become a hermit. I would have had to become my own best friend...but to quote me as Dr. Friendship "If you're your own best friend you need to get out more."
And, now here you are with two jealous friends behaving like Junior High School. Women, no matter what their ages are only a gin and tonic away from being 14 year old girls.
My advice to you is to sit down with your old friends, smile and say, "I love you and I need you in my life, but look how my life has changed." Then, hand them a list titled "This Is What Widows Talk About."
Write back to me when you have a moment and send me the list so I can share it with my readers. Thanks, Sue.
Carol P.S. Just wait until you start dating and you have to explain to the widows
what a man gives you that they can't.
Please send me that list too, a detailed list, spare nothing, thanks in advance.