Author Topic: Grieving introvert  (Read 1433 times)

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Bethalize

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Grieving introvert
« on: November 03, 2012, 03:51:40 AM »
I'm an extrovert who is good at articulating my feelings. My husband is the opposite, and his father has just died.

I spent all last week being present without having my attention on DH and it was incredibly wearing on me (although I don't resent that, it's just a fact). DH doesn't want to do anything so I can't take his mind of things, especially now as I'm away on a course and he said he doesn't want to visit me this weekend, not even to see two of his favourite bands when the accommodation is already paid for and it's only two hours away. In normal circumstances I'd get him to do it on grounds that he'd love it once he did it, but I don't feel able to do that now. This is just background to give you a picture of the kind of person DH is and what his state is.

My question is: If you are an introvert who doesn't like to talk about things how would you like to be supported during your time of grief?

trailgrrl

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Re: Grieving introvert
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 04:38:20 AM »
Bethalize,  I'm also an extrovert married to an introvert and the mother of a more extreme introvert than his father.

Let him be.   If he wanted to come out with you he would. He wants to be alone and process.  I understand that you don't want to leave him alone with his grief, but that may be what he needs.

My Husband's father died shortly after we married while my husband was deployed in the Navy and he was not given leave to come home and attend the funeral.  His dad had been ill for a while and his passing was not a surprise, when my husband was called in to the XO and given the news, for a second he thought something had happened to ME.

I think while he would have liked to have been given the opportunity to go home and support his mom, the fact that he was able to stay disconnected  and deal with it on his own terms gave him greater peace than going home.

Hugs for you  and your husband, I'm so sorry for his loss :'(

Iris

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Re: Grieving introvert
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2012, 05:31:59 AM »
I'm sort of a mix in that I like to talk about things *when I am ready to* and only to certain people. Any perceived pressure to 'let it all out' makes me shut up like a clam.

I often tell DH that I just want him to be there. Not to be trying to make me feel better, not to be trying to share, just to be there so that when I am ready I can say "Hey, I was thinking...". Also to back off when I am ready to stop. Things will come out in bits and pieces sometimes. To be honest, I can't think of anything worse in the whole world than to go for a night out somewhere loud like a band the week after someone I loved died. A quiet dinner with close friends with loads of comfort foods maybe, loud music alcohol and crowds? No freaking way.

It sounds like you've been doing the right thing. Sorry it's been wearing on you but it may just be something he needs at this time. If you want to take him out a quiet activity or even just a walk would probably be more likely to succeed.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Grieving introvert
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2012, 09:37:33 AM »
My DH didn't want to talk about his feelings right after his Dad died.  He wanted to internally process it.  Then after a few weeks I'd bring him up in a positive way and he'd talk about his dad but still never shared his grief.  But FiL was ill for a long time and DH had a lot of time to prepare so that might be a difference. 

My DD is also an introvert but also very much like her father.  When I was trying to get her to discuss her feelings about loosing her grandfather she replied something like "What do you want me to say.  Yes I'm sad he's gone, yes I will miss him, but crying or talking isn't going to change anything.  Death is natural and you accept it as part of life.  Quit trying to make me grieve like you do."  Maybe your DH is similar to my DD. 

Firecat

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Re: Grieving introvert
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 11:03:16 AM »
My DH didn't want to talk about his feelings right after his Dad died.  He wanted to internally process it.  Then after a few weeks I'd bring him up in a positive way and he'd talk about his dad but still never shared his grief.  But FiL was ill for a long time and DH had a lot of time to prepare so that might be a difference. 

My DD is also an introvert but also very much like her father.  When I was trying to get her to discuss her feelings about loosing her grandfather she replied something like "What do you want me to say.  Yes I'm sad he's gone, yes I will miss him, but crying or talking isn't going to change anything.  Death is natural and you accept it as part of life.  Quit trying to make me grieve like you do."  Maybe your DH is similar to my DD.

Your DD is wise. OP, your DH needs to grieve in his own way. But I think it would be ok to ask him, once, "what do you need right now?" He may or may not be able to answer, I know sometimes it's really difficult for me to articulate my feelings. But that you're asking may show him that you care about his needs at this point (I know you do, but he may need to hear it just now), and if he is able to provide an answer, that can help. Do you have a friend who could use the concert tickets with you, or friends who could purchase them from you?

Bethalize

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Re: Grieving introvert
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 08:00:03 PM »
Thanks.

I didn't get concert tickets. It was an opportunity that came up, to see two bands. He has the back catalogue of each, and he said no. That's probably more about the two hour drive.

I shall just continue being positive and nurturing and let him get on with processing/grieving/whatever

I often tell DH that I just want him to be there. Not to be trying to make me feel better, not to be trying to share, just to be there so that when I am ready I can say "Hey, I was thinking...".

That's particularly helpful, thank you.

DH is feeling up to going to a friend's fireworks party this evening, and I think he'll enjoy it. I wish I could be there.

joraemi

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Re: Grieving introvert
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 08:30:47 PM »
I'm an introvert.  When my mom died, DH stayed home with me the day she died, which was very helpful in those most overwhelming hours of realization.  His boss called and said he could stay home the next day too and they would cover his shift.  I said, "Why?  What's he going to do here?".    I wasn't able to attend her funeral as it was out of state and I was going to be induced in a few days with our 3rd child.  I just relaly didn't have the time or energy to all out grieve right then.

For myself, my routine is very important.  Any deviation from the routine, especially if it involves people being in my space, is really difficult for me.  Sometimes just being together in silence is good.

Take the cues from your DH.  He will let you know what he needs.  I'm sorry for your loss.




Courage is the price life  exacts for granting peace.  ~Amelia Earhart~