Shayne On You: Begin By Letting Go
Published: October 29th, 2008
By: Maggie Shayne

Shayne on You: Begin by letting go

Dear Maggie,

I lost my wonderful husband of 29 years to cancer in May 2005. My best friends held a fundraiser to bring my family and I back home, which is where my late husband wanted to spend eternity. I was so grateful to them, and it was an embarrassing amount of money they raised.

I made my late husband three promises. I would take care of our children, my health, and my career. I focused so much on # 1 that I neglected the others. My health has been very, very bad the last three years. I have multiple problems, but I won’t go into detail. Because of my health, my career has suffered horribly.

My main problem is that I didn’t start grievance counseling until 18 months after my husband’s death. The counselor realized early-on that I was pushing away everybody closest to me, including my family and best friends. Fortunately, my family and a new gentleman friend were stubborn enough to recognize my problem, and we are closer now in spite of it. In fact, I have never been closer to my children.

Last February, I sent all my friends a letter apologizing for trying to distance myself from them, and hoping we could continue forward in a more positive and enlightened fashion. That hasn’t happened. I have been ousted from the inner circle of every group I held dear – online and off – and now have no friends. Let’s face it – women need female friends. It empowers us. I have none.

I really believed those “best friends” would understand what I had gone through, and would support me as I re-emerged into a social circle. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, they have given me the cold shoulder. Two of them have told me they are ridding themselves of “toxic people,” and that includes me ...

Apparently – according to one of them – there is a time limit on mourning and grieving.

These are women I have known and loved – more like sisters – for seventeen years. I can’t begin to tell you how deeply wounded I am. Apparently there is no room for forgiveness. I don’t know how to continue. All I have now is my immediate family and my gentleman friend. Absolutely no women friends at all ... They have all abandoned me.

I am deeply, deeply hurt. I have tried to talk to them, and two of them came right out and said they want nothing to do with me. Losing my husband to cancer, fighting horrific health problems, and raising my children alone, then losing my “best friends ...”

Around the same time – February – I lost an online support group to which I have belonged since 1993 for much the same reason.

Which of the gods or goddesses did I tick off? I’ve lost my husband, my health, my career, and my friends ...



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