Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Women & Men, We Grieve Differently

She Grieves...with words and feelings.

He Grieves...with space and silence.

They Both Grieve...sometimes together, sometimes apart.

But They Both Grieve.

I believe that how we communicate in life is how we communicate in grief.  Remember when you started dating and you would read articles in Cosmopolitan Magazine about how men communicate like this and you, as a woman, communicate like that. Well, there is some truth to these articles.  Men and women communicate differently.

And that isn't going to change when it comes to grief.

Nick and I went to a support group that focused on the differences in the way men and woman grieve.  The men and women were split into groups by gender and asked what they wanted their partner to know about their grieving process.  Here is what we learned about the opposite sex:

·         Need more breaks.
·         Can’t always talk about it.
·         I need to NOT talk about it.
·         It’s hard to verbalize feelings.
·         It’s difficult to describe how I feel.
·         I feel I need to protect you and can’t.
·         Sometimes I need to be alone.
·         Sometimes I can’t stand hearing about it.
·         Sometimes I need to be together without talking.
·         I like to focus on things we can control.
·         Working out and going for walks help.
·         Organizing and cleaning helps, it gives me a sense of control.  I need that.
·         I can’t tell you my feelings “on demand."
·         Sometimes I say things that were meant to be comforting but didn’t turn out that way to you.
·         I think more, talk less.
·         I think about our child every day.
·         Life seems scary now.
·         As a guy, I don’t always know what I want or need.

·         It’s ALWAYS on my mind.
·         I need to talk, sometimes over and over again.
·         I need to cry.
·         Please don’t feel like you need to FIX it, you can’t.
·         I need to process my birth story.
·         You don’t need to be in control.
·         I need open communication between us.
·         Please, tell me how you feel, I want to know.
·         I need to know you think about our child and haven’t forgotten.
·         I sometimes obsess about another pregnancy.
·         It’s okay that it’s not okay.
·         I still have a maternal instinct that needs to be filled.
·         I worry. A LOT.
·         I feel like a failure.
·         I sometimes blame myself.
·         I can’t always control my grief.
·         I like it when I can talk to you about my grief.

Grief, like a relationship, is a dance and sometimes we will step on each others toes as we learn the moves.  But if we are aware of each others actions and communicate with our partner about what step is next, we will eventually learn how to waltz together through grief.  


  1. You've nailed these lists, Lindsey! Chris and I are doing really well; we vowed our marriage would not be another statistic after losing Ro...but it is difficult. We were kidding ourselves when we thought it would be a breeze (our marriage surviving this loss). He DOESN'T talk about it as much; he DOES feel like he has to protect me. I DO obsess over another pregnancy; I CAN'T always control my grief like he can. I could go on and on in agreeing with your assessment. I love the analogy of dancing; I'll have to share it with Chris since we love to dance :)

    1. :) I hope you and Chris are dancing well with each other.

  2. I reblogged this on my blog. Great post - so true!

  3. This is such a perfect explanation! We lost our son Caleb to stillbirth Apr 2012 and we still face most of these challenges. Lucky for us, its brought us closer together than before. I blog about our loss and life after at http://calebs-story.net

    I'm so sorry for your loss but I'm glad to have found your blog.

  4. Hi momma, I'm so sorry for your loss, this article is so perfect!! I wish I knew this before I had so many fights with my husband :( I wanted to tell you that I translated this for our blog, it's called "Mirar al cielo" (it's an spanish blog) and I give you full credit for the article, with a link and everything.
    Thank you so much for writting this.


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