listening to others

cocoonerSeptember 17, 2005

I stop in this forum now and then. I lost my Dad eight and a half years ago and miss him a lot. I look at the messages here and pray for those currently in extreme pain.

Today I went on a jaunt to see my husband at one of his craft shows. On the way back I stopped at an antique shop, and encountered a man who'd lost his wife eight months ago because she'd smoked. He was so sad. I listened to him and tried to just be there. I did have to go after 15 minutes or so and I think that he felt that I left because of his talking.

Actually I had to go to get back to one of our dogs who'd been really sick yesterday. Tell me, is it really a help when a stranger listens? I felt bad that I had to go, and thought of going back to pick up something in the store sometime and letting him talk some more. It is some 35 miles away though. Hugs to you all.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it is good if ANYONE listens..I have lost friends because I am no longer the happy, always smiling Donna, I was before I lost my Roman. I try not to talk about him all the time, but catch myself falling back into the same conversations..I guess it because he is all I think about. So thanks you for listening to the sad gentleman even if it was for only 15 minutes.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cocooner, you were so very kind to listen to him, really! I'm sure it helped him a lot, and maybe he has no one else to talk to.

Does it help to talk to strangers? Of course! We're basically strangers here, bound by our losses. Words of understanding mean a lot, no matter where they come from.

You are an angel!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

you guys are all angels, When i am feeling down and like there is no way I can go on. I just get on they computer and talk to you guys and let u all know what i did that day.Even when I am feeling so low you guys always make me feel better and like i can make it one more day without my husband. I take it day by day and you guys help me get thru that day without jumping off a bridge. thank you all so much for being there for us we really need you.Even though we are strangers.. thanks again tracy

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I find that there are 2 types of people. Those who like to go over a bad situation over and over again. And those who think this is annoying.

When my father had passed away, my sisters couldn't understand why my mother kept going on and on to everybody about the moment my father had collapsed. I, on the other hand, would do just as my mother. I feel this need to repeat a sad situation to everyone who will listen. I don't know why because I am normally a very private person. It just somehow helps me when I am grieving to talk about it.

I think it is wonderful of you to have let this person talk about their situation.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 10:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cocooner, I definitely think that you helped the gentleman by listening to him. Sometimes, the strangers who will listen are more helpful than the people who are closest to us. I think in some cases, people tend to hold back when speaking to people who are real close to them. Either they don't want to upset them or they don't want them to know how really upset they are.
That was a very nice thing that you did!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I did a very nice thing by listening. I have found, with our own loss, that sometimes just talking about it helps, friend or stranger. I hate to spring it on a stranger because sometimes the reaction is: Ohmygosh, I never heard of such a terrible thing happening, but sometimes, a kind listener is a blessing. You were great to let him tell his story. Susan

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 4:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks to everyone for their kind words. I felt that I was there for this man through God's love, and was honored to be doing that.

I have been struggling with my own time issues these days. I am self employed so have flexibility with my time, which is great. But it seems like there is more to do than ever. I am a member of my town's planning commission as well as a member of a church committee, and lots of times I feel like I am not accomplishing much of anything in those venues. I go to the meetings and do the best that I can, but don't feel like I am making a difference in a specific person's life.

When I was with that dear man Sat., I felt like I was really being there for *him* and was glad to do so. Some of the other things in my life, I'm not so sure. I have been praying so to get God's thoughts about what my priorities should be.

Hugs to all.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

there are few greater honour than to be able to stand and bear witness to another's pain.

it takes more compassion than most people can muster for their own blood- so to be willing to for a stranger?

sometimes,we do entertain angels unaware.

and I know- been on both ends these past few years.

and yes. sometimes its is that kindness in strangers that does what even the love of our kin cannot-

help us make some sense out of things.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 3:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Honored, yes, that's how I felt when a stranger talked to me about his wife's death, Cocooner.

One fall day a couple of years ago, I stopped at the church across from the park where I had just started walking daily. A man was raking leaves and I decided to ask if I could help with the chore in exchange for the leaves for mulching my garden. I pulled out my leaf rake and leaf bags from the trunk of my car.

We talked as we worked, I don't know what about, except that he told me about his wife's death and what it had been like dealing with the medical people (He was grateful for them all) and making the last decisions for her life. It had been almost two years since her death and he said he'd never spoken to anyone about these things. He seemed like a man very in touch with his feelings, and articulate enough, and obviously he had a worship community that was an important part of his life. But somehow, he'd just not talked about it till I, this harmless leaf-raking stranger came along. I think the circumstances were just right.

Yes, I felt honored. I realy liked the guy, too.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 12:36AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Disposing of Loved Ones' Belongings
Going through our deceased loved ones' belongings and...
Seeing a Loved One After They Passed Away
I have heard a few stories of people who have actually...
Memorial Scholarship
Greetings, Does anyone have any experience setting...
New member - gripping
Hello all - I am so glad I found this group! I'm sure...
Hello, I joined today because a friend has just lost...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™